If you’ve had the good fortune to pamper yourself at a fancy spa, you know how fabulous it feels to be steamed, sprayed, scrubbed, stroked and soothed. Chances are you may have been too distracted to notice the large volumes of water used, or to tally up the number of chalk-white robes and towels that must be laundered and bleached every day. But over-the-top indulgence doesn’t have to mean being environmentally profligate.
Going green is a definite trend in the spa industry. Eco-conscious spas aim not only for a sustainably built environment, but use organic and natural products in treatments and strive to reduce waste in every dimension of spa services, from water to packaging.
Eco-leaders like Bend, Oregon’s Anjou Day Spa recognize that spas are “places of renewal where people come to seek balance and health both inside and out. The entire body is treated because we recognize that all parts of our bodies are interconnected, and the failure of one area will soon become the problem of another. The same holds true for the planet as it does for each of us as individuals, and the same care is necessary to ensure long-lasting health.”
Toward that end, Anjou’s inviting space is built of recycled materials, the robes clients enjoy are made of sustainable bamboo fiber, and all laundry and cleaning products are toxin-free.
Moss Wellness Spa, an “eco-luxury destination spa” in Scottsdale, Arizona, is awaiting LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for its interior space, which uses creative materials such as recycled denim for wall insulation, reclaimed wood and wood from certified well-managed forests, and natural daylight and low-energy LED lighting to create a calm, restful atmosphere.
Hotel Terra Jackson Hole, a slopeside eco-boutique hotel that incorporates sustainable practices throughout its operations, is home to Chill Spa. Treatments use the Eminence certified organic skin care line, whose ingredients are not just chemical-free but grown from biodynamic sources. Organic cotton linens, towels and robes keep guests cozy.
One resource to find green spas when you’re traveling is the Green Spa Network, a growing network of day and destination spas that have committed to sustainable practices. Spa Index also publishes a list of eco-friendly spas.