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Cooper River Award Story

Copper River Salon and Spa Success Story | 2016 NJSBDC Sustainable Business Award Winner     

Barbara Weigand believes that Beauty should have an eco-conscience and that business can make a real difference in our environmental health, safety and sustainability.  Barbara recycled and composted at home, and looked for ways to bring her environmental ethic to work, where she regularly used water, electricity, chemicals and plastic.

With this unique vision, she reached out to the NJSBDC at the College of New Jersey to learn how to start a business, including the development of a business plan and loan application assistance.  Barbara went on to open her salon in September 2011 and since than Copper River Salon and Spa has become the first sustainable salon and spa to be recognized by the NJ Sustainable Business Registry. 

Barbara purposely created and designed her Salon with sustainability in mind.  Her environmental policy statement has served as a guiding document, defining her business goals to conserve energy, recycle, use reusable items, and reduce waste.  When possible, she also makes earth-friendly choices that promote ecological harmony and Made-In-America products.

With the help of her husband Ross, she constructed her salon using as little demo as possible, leaving original walls, floors and trim.  They also used reclaimed lumber and furniture to create a natural and warm atmosphere.  Day to day waste reduction practices include the use of cloth towels to dry hands in restrooms and glass mugs for drinks.  To support the recycled product market, she utilizes marketing materials made from recycled paper products and all the paper towels and toilet paper are made of 100% recycled content paper.

Her waste reduction activities also extend to the community.  Barbara partnered with her friend and TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky to recycle cosmetic waste by joining TerraCycle’s Beauty Brigade.  The Beauty Brigade offers her customers an opportunity to recycle cosmetic waste that is typically not collected by municipalities.  In addition, with each product collected 2 cents is donated to Women’s Space, a nonprofit dedicated to providing services to individuals and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence.

To conserve energy she invested in energy efficient light fixtures and appliances including a dishwasher, refrigerator-freezer, washer and dryer.  To conserve water she invested in a toilet that only uses 1.28 gallons per flush.  Indoor air quality for employees and customers is maintained through the use of eco-friendly cleaning products, laundry detergent, and dish soap.

Barbara’s commitment to sustainability is a wonderful example to all businesses.