Gay-owned and operated Bambú the Eco Salon goes green(er)

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Petersburg | Gay-owned and operated Bambú the Eco Salon, which in its first four years sent only six bags of trash to its local landfill, is pairing with the Green Circle Salons program to go even greener.

Now in its fifth year, Bambú has generated over 300 bags of recycling through the efforts of out co-founding owners Chris Kiss and Joshua DeBlock, dedicated to leading their industry in reducing its carbon footprint.

The next logical step, the duo decided, was to partner with Green Circle Salons, self-described as the “beauty industry’s pathway to sustainability.” Bambú will join a network of salons dedicated to repurposing, recycling and capturing 95 percent of salon and spa waste.

Kiss has long dreamed of bringing the program to St. Petersburg. Currently, Bambú “is hindered on the recycling of our color waste,” he says, and due to local constraints, they’re unable to recycle their aerosol cans.

The Green Circle program, for which the salon will pay a fee to participate, currently diverts salon waste from landfills and waterways by recycling color tubes, aerosol cans, foils, color by-product, papers, plastics and electronics. Even hair clippings are repurposed.

With the program, client hair will be manufactured into “hair booms” for the purpose of oil spill cleanup. “Human hair has the same absorbent properties as an animal’s fur or feathers,” the program advises, “and proves extraordinarily effective at removing oil from water.” In the event of an oil spill, booms are donated to any party upon request.

To help cover program costs, Bambú will introduce a $1 eco charge—but clients will also be rewarded. “Even though we’re charging a dollar,” the co-owner advises, “clients will be able to bring in electronics and bottles for incentives and discounts. Those items won’t go into a landfill… when they bring them into the salon, they’ll be recycled.”

It’s Kiss’ feeling that the salon industry has had, overall, a negative impact on the environment—which led to Bambú’s founding. Their partnership with Green Circle will help them “show other area salons that this system can work for anyone.”

“That’s one of the greatest rewards,” Kiss says. “We don’t have to be an industry that’s hurting the environment.”

To learn more about Bambú the Eco Salon, you can visit bambutheecosalon.com or call 727-485-8802. For more on the Green Circle Salon program, visit greencirclesalons.ca.

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