But Why?
3 Small Planet-Saving
dog groomers building on top of the world
Changes You Can Make In Your Salon
by Jonathan David
T he pain of inflation has unfortunately hit all of us. Our grocery bills have leaped to insane amounts, gas prices have made us want to stay home more and the costs of running a business have mounted, forcing many to raise prices and trim budgets. I recently sat down and did a deep dive into my business expenses to see where I could squeeze some additional savings from the already tight budget. As I combed over my expenses, I was pleased to find that some previous changes I had implemented to save time and money were actually paying off. The extra perk was that not only was I able to save time and more of my hard-earned money, but I was also helping to lessen my impact on the environment. Some of the time- and money-saving practices I had implemented were in fact contributing to me doing better for our beloved earth.

But why would changes that help save me time and money also help save the environment?

Many associate “Going Green” with a feeling of personal gratification that they’re doing their part to preserve natural resources and lessen their environmental impact. Others associate the phrase with extreme life changes or doing without life’s conveniences. But, in reality, there are simple changes that we can all do that don’t impact our comforts or way of living.

These small changes not only contribute to helping to preserve natural resources, energy and the environment, but they can also help you to save money—and when you’re running a business, every dollar counts! The following are a few of those changes that have helped me and that you can implement right away in your grooming business.
Reduce “Standby Energy”
A lot of people don’t realize how much wasted power they’re paying for in their monthly electric bill. Every electric product that remains plugged in when not in use is still drawing power and slowly adding to your electric bill. This state of pulling energy while not in use is referred to as “standby energy” or, more commonly, “vampire draw” or “phantom load.” Standby mode can consume a lot more power than you might think…According to the Department of Energy, standby power accounts for up to 10% of a consumer’s electric bill. When you think about how much your business’s electric bill is each year, 10% can equal hundreds of dollars just wasted.

The way to help reduce this cost and reduce the strain on the power grid is to unplug any electronic that is not in use and doesn’t require constant power. Items that display a digital clock or that operate by remote control can be the biggest culprits of vampire draw, so if they’re not a necessity, unplug them while they’re not being used. Some other examples of items that can be unplugged while not in use are charging cables for phones or clippers, blow dryers, televisions and sound systems. A great way to make this an easy one-step process is to use power strips where multiple electronics can be plugged in at once and easily powered off with one switch.

Computers are another huge standby-energy consumer. If you use a computer system that can be shut down at the end of the day and even unplugged, that is the most efficient way to save on energy. But, if your computer performs functions during non-business hours, allowing your computer to go into “sleep” or “standby” setting during off hours will also help to reduce power consumption.

planet in the shape of a heart being held by two hands
Switch out Light Bulbs
Lightbulbs draw varying amounts of electricity, depending on the type of bulb. The yearly cost to power a traditional incandescent lightbulb is about six dollars per bulb. Upon first thought, six dollars for an entire year seems rather inexpensive and completely affordable; however, consider how many bulbs you use to light your entire business. In my prior business, we had more than 150 lightbulbs in our space. So, over a one-year period with incandescent light bulbs, I was spending a minimum of $900 per year, assuming each bulb even lasted the entire year.

Two alternatives to incandescent light bulbs are fluorescent light bulbs and LED light bulbs. Both of these alternate types of bulbs consume about the same amount of power, but both consume far less power than traditional incandescent light bulbs—and they last 10 times longer on average. These types of bulbs cost about two dollars per year to operate. So, in my example of 150 bulbs, the yearly cost is $300. That’s a savings of $600 per year! Another perk is that fluorescent bulbs and LED bulbs don’t give off heat like an incandescent light bulb, so the space will stay cooler, therefore assisting in bringing down your AC costs as well.

Conserve Water
Another resource that seems to be an increasing issue is water. Water isn’t an especially expensive utility; however, when you run a grooming business, water usage adds up…and so does the bill. Many areas of the country are often struck by droughts, causing water reserves to run low, so being resourceful with water usage is a necessity. There are a couple things that you can do to save water and lower costs…
Being a little more eco-conscious doesn’t have to be a major life change, nor does it have to take away from life’s pleasures. Making small changes to help conserve energy and save your hard-earned money at the same time is a win.
First, installing a water saver in your faucet reduces the amount of water flow. If you have strong water pressure, much of that water is wasted and it washes down the drain. A water saver can help to reduce the overall water consumption.

Another way to reduce water usage is to use a bathing system. Bathing systems work in a variety of ways, but they all aim at reducing water and product consumption.

I personally use the method of frothing shampoos to conserve water. Frothing is simply using a small amount of shampoo and a small amount of water whipped together with an electric mixer. There are even small egg mixers being used to froth the shampoo into a thick, rich lather that spreads on a dog’s coat with ease and lifts the dirt and oils out. Then, because the product is already mixed into a lather, it rinses more quickly and with less water. This is especially useful if you’re a mobile groomer, as water is limited in a mobile unit and finding ways to conserve water is an important part of operations.

Being a little more eco-conscious doesn’t have to be a major life change, nor does it have to take away from life’s pleasures. Making small changes to help conserve energy and save your hard-earned money at the same time is a win. Take a look at the small changes you can make in your grooming salon and join your fellow groomers in their quest to save the planet, one groom at a time!