By Sommer Saadi
Green Right Now

Maybe your nose is twitching for a facial with organic avocado or the skin is crying out for an invigorating cane sugar rub. How do you find a green spa to fulfill these desires?

The Green Spa Network is a good place to start. The network launched in 2007 with six founding spa members and has already grown to include nearly 60 spas across the nation. The network prides itself on spearheading the green spa movement, which is all about utilizing low-impact facilities and sustainable products for traditional spa treatments.

The GSN consistently challenges spa owners to deepen their commitment to green practices by undergoing a “green audit” to make sure member spas are using principles of low energy, reduced waste, recycling programs, stocking natural products and incorporating community outreach education programs.

Last fall, the GSN sponsored the Green Spa Congress in Atlanta with the aim of developing standards for environmentally minded spas and health/wellness centers. The Green Spa Network Sustainability Assessment Tool (GSN-SAT) was designed with the help of 24 members of the network. It offers guidelines and benchmarks against which spas can measure their green progress, in the absence of any formal certification for green spas.

The Atlanta meeting covered everything from spa marketing and architecture to equipment and skin care products; an expert discussed the lack of transparency in beauty products used in the U.S. and the emerging openness about product ingredients worldwide.

Another national green spa listing service is the Spa Index, which has a section devoted to eco-friendly and green spas.

As you sort through the listings, be sure to take note of whether the spas are day spas or destination spas. Some destination spas strive to create a more holistic, green experience, and focus on things like beauty treatments based on indigenous customs. They operate in buildings that are built to maintain green standards.

Green day spas offer green services like organic waxing and chemical-free facials while also selling lines of beauty products that meet the highest green standards.

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