Running a Green Business

By Alexis Fletcher

Kabuki Spa & Skin Centre, a full service day spa, opened seven years ago as Hamilton’s first certified Green Spa.  In June, we are celebrating five years on Locke Street.  The outpour of community support has been instrumental in growing little Kabuki from a single person enterprise to a bustling six employee venture. Kabuki knew right from the start that it wanted to be as ecologically friendly as possible. The goal was to run a spa that made minimal impact on the environment. Running a business this way saves money, increases revenue, community spirit and goodwill.

In the last few years, Hamilton has seen an increase in awareness of environmental practices.  Currently we are the leaders in waste management in Ontario and one of the best in Canada.  We Hamiltonians now demand that our businesses care for the environment, their staff, and the community as a whole.  We want our dollar to mean something.  Kabuki is proud that our business has flourished among such caring and conscientious people.

Here are just a few of the ways in which Kabuki keeps green:

First, we look at ways to decrease power consumption.  When not in use, all power cords and lights are unplugged or turned off.  Heat and air conditioning is kept at a reasonable temperature. It is our theory that keeping the inside temperature more in line with the outside temperature will result in less sickness and compromised skin health.

We choose reusable and biodegradable options when possible.  The majority of our implements are sterilized and reused, and our hair removal system is all natural and biodegradable.  We were the first to offer hot coconut oil in place of the petrol by-product, paraffin, which is chemically laden and awful for the environment.

We have in-spa recycling awareness, placing recycling and compost bins throughout spa.  We have reusable coffee cups that the staff are encouraged to use.  Being beside a Starbucks, this has made a huge impact.  There are far too many people sitting inside coffee shops with disposable cups.

We are also proud to say we do not provide bottled water.  Bottled water has to be one of the worst environmental impacts in the past decade.  Over 50 billion water bottles a year are purchased and most are not recycled.  Plus, the cheap plastic they are made with leaches into your water.  Tap water is rigorously tested and held to a high standard.  According to a 2009 study by the Polaris Institute, bottled water companies have shoddy practices and testing is “essentially voluntary”.  Companies like Dasani and Aquafina actually bottle tap water.

One of the most prevalent things we do at Kabuki is to carry and use only natural, organic and fair-trade products.  Sadly, the skincare industry in Canada is very loosely regulated, allowing companies to use chemicals, by-products and fillers.  As consumers, we can’t trust labelling and advertisements to lead us to healthy choices.  Companies ‘greenwash’ their products, a combination of outright lies, misleading key words and images. We are led to believe their product is clean and green.  At Kabuki, we take great care to ensure that our products are healthy, good for the earth, and delivers results.

Why should you care about what you put on your skin?  What goes on, also goes in. It can take 26 seconds for some cosmetics to enter your blood stream. We also have to remember that everything we use eventually makes it into our drinking water.  We don’t want to be drinking parabens, hormone disrupters and plastic.

Kabuki is proud to be at the forefront of a sustainable spa effort in Hamilton.  We are particularly thrilled to be celebrating five years on Locke with the people who seek out, demand, and expect healthy skin care and spa services.

Join Kabuki on June 15th from 7-9 p.m. and find out how good it feels to make healthier choices. Plus, there is wine!