|The Green Spa|
Consumers across the world, and in particular those with a special interest in the hospitality and wellness industries, are increasingly asking important questions about the products and trading practices that apply to the businesses that they frequent:
As wellness generators spas, by their very nature and existence, promote the health and wellbeing of their guests. A logical extension of Spa activity is to also promote the health and wellness of the planet and also the community in which the Spa operates and this is what Spas in South Africa are increasingly aiming to achieve.
The Green Spa not only promotes all-round wellbeing for guests, but also operates a sustainable business model, relying on and promoting a harmonious relationship with its surrounding landscape and communities. The underlying philosophy is that personal wellness connects with and is interdependent on earth- and community wellness.
Green Spas share many of the attributes listed below and should have their Green Policies that incorporate these principles available for guests to study.
- Green Spas are committed to reduce harmful practices and exposure to harmful substances and are open to learning, adopting and implementing new environmentally friendly strategies and techniques.
- Green Spas strive to conserve natural resources and operate in environments that promote health and wellbeing. For example, a Green Spa building will create a healthier and consequently more productive environment to work and provide therapy in. The subsequent benefits are transferred to the experience of the Spa guest, adding wellness value to the therapies themselves.
- Green Spas adopt energy conservation practices and incorporate fixtures and fittings that comply with such practices. The conservation of energy translates into a reduction in carbon emissions and an overall smaller carbon footprint for the Spa.
- Green Spas are committed to using materials which can be recycled, follow recycling practices and actively promote waste reduction.
- Green Spas incorporate natural or organic skin care products in their therapies and actively encourage their guests to apply this thinking in their personal health regimes at home.
- Green Spas promote the wellbeing of their communities by participating in community projects and contracting with their local communities for the delivery of products and services wherever possible.
- Green Spas also share their concern for the planet’s wellbeing with guests and set ongoing examples of Green living and Green thinking.
Today, Green Spas are becoming the destinations of choice for a discerning clientele. Spa owners and managers already appreciate that prospective Spa guests will begin to weigh a Spa’s environmental- and community upliftment policies and will reward those Spas who have shown to have incorporated authentic, natural and indigenous treatments, hired local staff and contributed to the local communities.
In recognition of the need to identify Spas with green policies in place, the South African Spa Association (SASA) has published a Spa Index with special indicators for such Spas. The Spa Index can be obtained from SASA at www.saspaassociation.co.za.
Author and Green Spa owner Charne le Roux has also published The Green Spa Guide, which takes a very specific look at the spa and wellness industry and provides step-by-step guidelines and a holistic pathway to a sustainable business using Green principles. The golden thread connecting each page is that personal wellness is inextricably linked to and in harmony with planetary wellness. The Green Spa Guide is available from www.greenspa.co.za and many of the larger book retail outlets.
Charne le Roux
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