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Green spas are sanctuaries of wellness, and their practices reflect a commitment to personal and planetary health. The Green Spa Network, a non-profit spa industry resource that works with spas on their sustainability efforts, provides several reasons to choose a green spa, one of which is that “Green spas are attuned to the rhythms of nature as well as the rhythms of the human body. When nature and body are in harmony, humans feel healthier, stronger, and more attractive.” This is certainly the case with the two spas featured in this article: Ahh Green Spa and Spa Velia.

Ahh Green Spa, Hilton Head, SC
Ahh Green Spa is owned by Brad and Deborah Spencer. Brad’s a licensed massage therapist. This eco-friendly day spa specializes in massage (including the ahh-mazing Sticks & Stones deep tissue treatment), facials, and body treatments using organic, fair trade products.

 We installed a hybrid hot water heater 62% more energy efficient than a regular hot water heater.

We used Zero-VOC Natura paint from Benjamin Moore. It was wonderful to walk into a freshly painted room and not be overwhelmed by that chemical stench you get with regular paint. No headaches!

The armoires, wooden tables, and some of the chairs in each of our treatment rooms were found at local consignment stores.

The artwork we‘ve displayed is from local artists. All artwork is for sale.

For basic cleaning supplies, we’re experimenting with different brands such as Method, Seventh Generation, etc. With so many choices out there we’re trying to find the best cleaner with the least “green-washing” at the best price. We’ll keep you posted on what we discover.

Our massage lotion and all of our skin and body care is organic and made in the USA.

Cloth napkins are supplied in the relaxation lounge. They’re easy to toss in the washer with the hand towels and other linens. Sanitize and reuse!

–Deborah Spencer, Ahh Green Spa, Owner

Spa Velia, San Diego, CA
Spa Velia is a day spa in San Diego that is striving to reduce its environmental impact. It has always had the philosophy of sensory perfection, and what better way to achieve that than to provide a warm, healing environment. Spa Velia offers a full menu of treatments from eye-brow waxing to the Organic Coffee Confection, a luxurious vegan body treatment.

Reduce, Reduce, Reduce, and then Re-use! Spa Velia’s amazing wet treatments have always been performed with the use of a disposable plastic sheet in order to keep the table and linens dry, warm, and comfortable for our guests. When we made the plunge to “go green”, we decided that we could no longer waste 8 feet of plastic. Our solution to this quandary was to replace the disposable plastic sheets with re-usable vinyl tarps as a table barrier. They are sprayed with alcohol after each use and hand dried with a towel. Each room has 4 tarps for those busy days with back to back treatments. The landfill space that we are saving coupled with minimizing our use of virgin plastic is helping us to REDUCE our carbon footprint and boost our eco-friendly factor.

Organic products are a must for green spas! What happens to scrubs, salts, and oils when they are showered off our clients’ bodies? They go down the drain and into our oceans. By using organic and locally harvested botanicals for our body care, we are making leaps in protecting our earth's waterways from toxins and build-up.

We minimize the use of plastic containers and water bottles by providing staff with their own logoed reusable water bottles to use on site.

Spa culture and training is designed for staff to manage resources efficiently (e.g., turning off appliances and lights when not in use and conserving water by not allowing it to run unnecessarily).

We sell and apply products that are 100% cruelty-free.

We minimize the use of retail bags by inquiring if guests want a bag when purchasing retail products.

Make close to home purchases from suppliers to reduce gas consumption, emissions,
and support local businesses.

–Jessica Lane Spa Velia, Holistic Health Practitioner & Massage Director

These facilities are just two excellent examples of spas that are minimizing their environmental impact while maximizing the benefits their clients will receive. So if you happen to visit San Diego or Hilton Head Island, schedule an appointment at one of these relaxing spas—you’ll be glad that you did.