The Greening of TallGrass
TallGrass Aveda Spa and Salon, in Evergreen, Colorado, is making a commitment to reduce its impact on the environment. While TallGrass has always practiced environmental responsibility, the Spa is stepping up its initiative in 2008 with a staff-driven task force charged with researching, recommending and adopting far-reaching and innovative and programs.
"We are serious about setting the standard for green in the spa industry," says Operations Manager Stacey Jones and member of TallGrass Spa's Green Crew Committee. "It's a very, big deal for us."
TallGrass’s green initiative begins with its relationship with Aveda Corp. which is the exclusive source of all beauty products used in the spa treatments and sold in the boutique. Every staff meeting starts with an Aveda story highlighting the company’s 30-year history of environmental leadership. Staff can then share the stories with guests. Sometimes they talk about organic ingredients sourced from indigenous populations, sometimes about funds raised for environmental causes through Earth Month campaigns, sometimes about setting the industry standard for environmental packaging, and sometimes about becoming the first beauty company manufacturing with 100% certified wind power.
At TallGrass, an environmentally-friendly attitude has always encouraged recycling of paper, plastic, glass and aluminum. In the laundry room, a custom-built prototype washing machine recycles the water from the second rinse into the wash of the next load. Wood logs burn in the Great Room fireplace and guests find cloth towels, not paper, in all bathrooms. The steam room and common areas are cleaned with a composition of water and Aveda Active Oil designed to disinfect. Guests are served cucumber water in glass cups and they wear cloth slippers that are washed and re-used. When a TallGrass gift card is purchased, it is beautifully decorated with tall grasses that are locally sourced in the meadows surrounding the Spa.
In the boutique, Aveda’s clean-burning soy candles are offered for sale, along with organic granola bars and re-useable canvas shopping bags. The boutique features a clothing line of vegetable-dyed garments made with organic cotton and hemp and flip flops made of recycled plastic with straps that say “Love the earth” and rubber soles that will leave imprints of “love” and “earth” on the sand. Purchases in the boutique are placed in bags made of recycled paper, lined with tissue also made of recycled paper. And, packaging from the retail products that are shipped to the boutique is recycled, too.
The Green Crew Committee, headed by Stacey Jones with the assistance of Heather Mac Arthur from the Guest Relations Department and Amy Smith who is the Massage Department Team Leader, meets regularly to discuss green programs that are currently in practice and propose new initiatives to be researched and adopted when approved by management. “There is no end to the energy saving programs we are looking into,” says TallGrass owner Gail Ridings. “We are in the process of investigating purchasing wind power and low flow toilets, replacing light bulbs, buying locally, and supporting other businesses that support green programs, too.”
TallGrass shares its green research with subscribers to its TallGrass Clippings e-newsletter with a green article in each issue and encourages readers to write back with information about what they are doing to help green the planet.
During Earth Month, TallGrass is supporting Western Resource Advocates with fundraising programs that include an April bonus for newsletter subscribers which, when redeemed by purchasing a “green masque” spa service, will generate a donation. The “green masque” services are the Aromatherapy Facial, Caribbean Therapy Pedicure and two kinds of Herbal Body Masques. Also, paper water drops will be sold for $5 or $10 each and hung on the water wall in the Spa reception area. Funds raised will go to Western Resource Advocates and purchasers of the $10 water drops will be entered into a drawing to win a gift basket of Aveda products, valued at $50, compliments of TallGrass. And, staff will participate in ‘Jeans for Greens’ which will permit them to wear jeans to work for a day when they make a donation of $10 to Western Resource Advocates.
Western Resource Advocates has been selected by the Aveda Corporation as the beneficiary of Earth Month promotions conducted by Aveda spas in the Rocky Mountain region. It is a non-profit environmental law and policy organization dedicated to restoring and protecting the natural environment of the interior American west. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, with offices in Utah, Arizona and Nevada, Western Resource Advocates develops strategic programs in water, energy and land.
TallGrass Aveda Spa and Salon opened in 1995 in a picturesque mountain meadow on Upper Bear Creek in the Rocky Mountain foothills community of Evergreen, Colorado, about a 45-minute drive from Denver. The Spa offers a complete menu of massages, facials, body treatments, hair and nail care services, boutique shopping and catered meals, along with the private Sage Room Suite which is available for meetings and social events.
For more information about the TallGrass Aveda Spa and Salon green initiative, call TallGrass owner Gail Ridings directly at 303-679-4466 or visit TallGrassSpa.com
For more information about Western Resource Advocates, visit WesternResourceAdvocates.org
997 Upper Bear Creek Road
Evergreen, CO 80439
Mon - Sat 8:30 am to 6:30 pm
Sunday 10:00 am to 6:30 pm