the peninsula spa chicago

Green Spa

green spaDespite the increased focus on sustainability, the counter-trend identified here is that consumers are becoming overwhelmed with sustainability initiatives, and a significant ‘green-washing’ fall-out is expected as consumers learn to discern its true meaning and impact.

While many spas are jumping on the organic beauty product, waterless pedicures, and other green spa initiatives, consumers are looking for validation in many areas. First, it is difficult to tell whether the green trend is continuing to climb or is beginning to flatten as consumers wonder if organic and all-natural products are accurately labeled, equally defined, and useful. Currently, green products and cosmeceuticals seem to coexist.

The desire for green and organic is still huge. People always want to know that they are working with an ecologically responsible company. However, if two products were placed in front of a client and one is organic and green but takes longer to achieve results, and the other is not organic but delivers quicker results, the consumer will choose the one that will deliver results. Just look at the high number of individuals receiving Botox injections. Ideally, future green and organic products will also provide quick results.

How Green Are You and Your Spa?

The only Green in spas used to be the color of your face mask or seaweed body wrap. Now, that is all changing as many spas make a concerted effort to impart “green” strategies to help conserve the earth’s rapidly dwindling resources.

These strategies include building with environmentally friendly materials, conserving energy with solar lighting, implementing water reclamation areas, and using organic product lines as well as installing non-chemically treated carpeting and furniture. As well as using nonchemical cleaning products.

Everyone likes a clean home, but few of us like the chore of cleaning. Even worse, we often rely on a cocktail of hazardous substances to make our bathrooms sparkle or our floors shine.

The very cleaners that help us pick up dirt and dust; irritate our skin, eyes, and lungs. They can also leave toxic residues or pollute the water when we rinse them down the drain. But keeping our homes clean and avoiding toxic cleaners don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Did You Know?

Cleaning products were responsible for nearly 10 percent of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers, accounting for 206,636 calls. Of these, nearly two-thirds involved children under six, who can swallow or spill cleaners stored or left open inside the home.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside the typical home is on average 2-5 times more polluted than the air just outside—and in extreme cases 100 times more contaminated—mostly because of household cleaners and pesticides.

The Janitorial Products Pollution Prevention Project reports that 6 out of every 100 janitors in Washington State have lost time from their jobs as a result of injuries linked to toxic cleaning products, particularly glass and toilet cleaners and degreasers.

In a 2002 U.S. Geological Survey study of contaminants in U.S. stream water, 69 percent of streams sampled contained persistent detergent metabolites, and 66 percent contained disinfectants.

Kermit says, ‘It’s not easy being Green.”

It is easier than you think. Several companies now produce “green” cleaners that avoid ingredients that are toxic or don’t biodegrade. Green cleaners can also be made from a range of safer substances we might already have around the house.

In my home, I clean with a professional steam cleaner and a micro-fiber towel. These two items can clean everything in my home. This includes my kitchen appliances, windows, shower doors, bathrooms (tub, toilet, sinks, and countertops), tile floors, and glass tabletops. Other household cleaning items I use are vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and hydrogen peroxide.

With the money I save on buying cleaners, I can enjoy more spa services. 

This week, I would like to highlight some Green Spas. These spas have committed to an in-depth environmental assessment and action plan. They are dedicated to finding ways to become more eco-friendly.

The Living Spa in Taos, NM

With every environmentally friendly detail, from fabrics to cleaning supplies to treatment ingredients, this spa was designed to go ‘beyond organic.’ Spa treatments are crafted from an intoxicating blend of indigenous plants, flowers, and minerals. A ‘biolarium,’ or giant greenhouse, contains an aquatic treatment system that filters the water.

Spa at Sundance Sundance, Utah

Treatment blends of honey, cornmeal, sage, and sweetgrass are a luxurious reminder of the spa’s Native American roots. Buildings crafted with eco-friendly materials create a rustic, handcrafted look.

Sundara Inn & Spa Wisconsin Dells, WI

Set in a forest, it offers “organic cuisine prepared from ingredients grown on Midwest family farms. The sandstone body polish, containing powdered remnants of ancient Cambrian sandstone, is harvested on-site.

The Spa & Wellness Center in Brooklyn, NY

The Spa has been inspired by the natural beauty of the four corners of the earth. Combining elegance with the dedication to respecting the environment, The Spa has enhanced its Wellness Center decor through the use of natural products, colors, textures, and by following the traditions of Feng Shui.

Natural Body Spa & Shoppe, Georgia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee

“I feel passionate about designing and creating each spa, hand-selecting the recycled materials that will form a beautiful and environmentally friendly cocoon for our guests.” – Cici Coffee, Founder Natural Body Spa, and Shoppe

Naturopathica Spa, East Hampton, NY

Clients recognize the dramatic effects that are attained by using Naturopathica’s botanical skincare products, which are free of synthetic solvents, thickeners, and emulsifiers. Their products also contain no petroleum-based ingredients, artificial dyes, or fragrances. Each one is fortified with therapeutic essential oils and herbs. Naturopathica is committed to using only the highest quality natural ingredients.

Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, Freestone, CA

Osmosis is the only day spa in the U.S. that offers the Cedar Enzyme Bath, a rejuvenating heat treatment from Japan. Inspired by a vision of healing, beauty, and inner peace, Osmosis was founded in Sonoma County in 1985. Since that time, many hands have worked together with an abundance of heart to manifest one of the most unique and relaxing spas in the country.

Strong House Spa, Quechee, VT

The Strong House is committed to continuous improvement, prevention of pollution, and compliance with all state and federal regulations. They give preference to suppliers whose products have environmentally friendly attributes that maximize Post Consumer Recycled content, minimize toxicity and packaging or have any other ecologically preferable attributes, with minimal sacrifice to price and delivery requirements. The Strong House is also setting the standard for sustainability practices for all spas as one of the seed spas for the Green Spa Network.