Pulse March / April 2016 | Page 59

dation as a result of conventional farming,” Karamooz says. In terms of operations, the company’s goal is to attain 100 percent renewable energy for its facility. To further minimize its carbon footprint, the company uses 100 percent postconsumer paper, printed with soy ink, and fully biodegradable ingredients. “Among the most harmful things to the environment is disposing complex compounds into the waste water that are hard to remove or take years, decades, or centuries to decompose. For example, many municipalities have begun to detect traces of prescription drugs in their water supplies recently. Another recent example is passage of the Microbead-Free Waters Act that is intended to eradicate the use of synthetic plastic microbeads in personal cleansing products by January 2018,” she says. Hickman, on the other hand, says Szep Elet’s green initiative is evident in its products. In fact, ilike Organic Skin Care’s Carotene Essentials Moisturizer was recognized by the 7th Annual Beauty with a Conscience Awards for purity of its ingredients. “Besides implementing earth-friendly practices in our office and business practices, we continue to develop and provide products that have a real impact on both personal and planetary well-being,” she says. Strengthening Initiatives Implementing environmental best practices require commitment and dedication, especially since challenges are bound to arise in the process. “To us, the biggest challenge is finding suppliers who adhere to our strict eco-friendly standards. Therefore, we spend significant time vetting our supplier’s credentials and certifications to ensure that their social and environmental standards have been validated by trusted third party entities,” Karamooz says. Hickman, on the other hand, believes that in order to have a successful green initiative, one must focus on educating guests and staff members in order to help them change habits. “People are creatures of habit—both in what they do and what they believe they know. Eco-focused initiatives, whether in the form of how we go about our daily lives or introducing products that challenge commonly held beliefs, requires that we first change our habits that are usually driven by short-term VIDA KARAMOOZ, PH. D. CEO • Blue Beautifly • Oakland, California “With an ecofriendly mindset, we are keenly concerned about the air and water pollution caused by chemical fertilizers and pesticides due to oversprays and run off.” March/April 2016 ■ PULSE 57