Committed to promoting personal wellbeing, resource sustainability, and the health and regeneration of the planet, GSN Planet, formerly known as the Green Spa Network, recently introduced a new campaign, Pledge for the Planet, to respond to the increasing global challenges we face. According to Joanna Roche, executive director of GSN Planet, the purpose of the pledge is to provide and promote earth-friendly products, services, and business practices; network and share environmental awareness, resources, and inspiration both within the organization and throughout the wellness community; and share sustainability efforts with clients, customers, and guests to raise awareness of the connection between personal and planetary wellbeing.
Members of the wellness community are encouraged to pledge to do the following:
1. Limit Plastics
Refuse single-use plastic products and packaging in your business and encourage staff and customers to participate. Replace straws, coffee cup lids, cutlery, plastic cups, bags, and packaging with paper, glass, stainless steel, or other recyclable choices. Replace all plastic bottles with boxed water or water in recyclable aluminum cans, install refillable water stations, offer guests reusable water bottles that are not plastic. Create signage and regular communication to help staff and customers avoid single-use plastics.
2. Reduce Water Usage
Replace all shower heads and faucets with flow-restricting, water-efficient fixtures. Modern low-flush toilets can reduce the amount of water used per flush by more than 50 percent compared to older styles. Keep up on maintenance to reduce the amount of water lost through toilet or sink leaks. Place signs in guests’ rooms to suggest the reuse of towels to save on laundry. On property grounds, plant drought-tolerant landscaping that is less demanding on water supplies and irrigate late at night or early in the morning to reduce evaporative loss.
Study your state’s recycling requirements and manage recycling opportunities throughout your workplace. Provide clearly labeled recycling containers to educate your staff and guests. Pay special attention to recycling linens, sheets, towels, and clothing properly as these items are known to clog landfills.
4. Switch to Alternative Energy
Determine if solar, wind, and other renewable energy solutions will work for your business. Many energy companies offer free assessments and improvements like LED lightbulbs, more efficient heating systems, and improved insulation. Get guests involved by placing cards in each room that encourage them to turn out the lights when they leave. Many state, regional, and local municipalities have programs that help small businesses perform energy audits and efficiency upgrades. These investments have an immediate financial return and add marketing value to your business. Contact your local provider for guidance. The Small Business Association has a list of resources by state, available here.
5. Plant Trees
Plant trees as part of your sustainability commitment in your business, at home, and in your community — spread the word about carbon sequestration.
6. Choose Organic
Whether it’s food or products you ingest or place on your skin, ingredients and soil matter. If you are eating a plant or putting product on your body that has been grown in soil treated with harmful fertilizers or chemicals, you’re eating or absorbing them in your body. Know your supply chain and be sure the products you consume, sell, and provide to your customers are made of pure, organic materials and ingredients.
7. Reduce Meat and Dairy Consumption
Grazing land for cattle is the main cause of deforestation and biggest destroyer of forests and rainforest. Additionally, raising cattle adds to the global warming crisis because of cows’ release of methane gas that increases emission of CO2 into the atmosphere. Help to protect these resources by adding “Meatless Monday” to your weekly menu and make a conscious effort to reduce meat and dairy from the menu list. Let guests know that by choosing vegetarian or vegan options, they are helping to fight climate change by saving trees and reducing carbon emissions.
8. Increase Education
Know the facts about climate change, renewable energy, and ocean preservation and share with your networks, staff, and customers. The more awareness we can create, the better chance of fostering lasting, positive change.
Take the Pledge for the Planet at www.greenspanetwork.org/pledge-for-the-planet.