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Cutting hair and cutting waste all in a day’s work for Ipswich hairdresser

Peak-A-Do House of Hair Beauty and Nails staff Kerri Truloff, Taya Truloff, Sharlea Hoad, Shelley Gehrke and hair model Zara Truloff.

The first thing you notice when you walk into a hair salon is generally the smell of chemicals.

There are bottles of products, reams of foil and chunks of hair all over the floor.

But all of these things can be recycled or reused and Peak-A-Do House of Hair Beauty and Nails, has become a waste free salon.

Salon owner Shelley Gehrke explains how she thinks the hairdressers of Ipswich can make a huge difference.

“I want to get more people involved. There are 87 hairdressers listed in Ipswich and surrounding areas. That is a huge difference we could make,” she said.

“Since we have joined Sustainable Salons we worked out we have been able to reduce our rubbish from between five and seven bags a week to just one small one.”

Every aspect of hairdressing is repurposed in her store.

“We have different waste bins for each category. Hair over 20cm gets put into envelopes for wigs to go to cancer and alopecia sufferers. All other pieces of hair are collected to make hair booms,” she said.

Hair booms are made by stuffing chopped hair into nylon stockings. The hair is absorbs oil from oil spills, and are used most commonly in the ocean. The booms are also like barriers that also stop the spill from spreading further.

Ms Gehrke said any used foil, aluminium cans, colour tubes or metal containers are also pressed back down and reused as either foils or back into other recycled resources.

“Any plastic bags and bottles are melted down into lentils and are then turned into glasses, park benches, and heavy duty plastic that protects our NBN cables,” she said.

“We also have a chemical waste bin for left over colour. We pop it in there and it gets broken down into water again and used for things like road base.

“Any money the company makes from selling waste is donated to OzHarvest to help feed people.

“So it is helping everybody.”

The program requires a $2 charge per customer but Ms Gehrke is yet to start passing it on.

“I wanted my customers to see it in action first so they understand what we are achieving and why it is worthwhile. After hearing about all the waste issue I thought ‘why in the hell am I not doing this, it makes perfect sense’,” she said.

Sustainable Ipswich Week (August 6-12) is an opportunity for the community to be involved in promoting and celebrating sustainability and our environment.

Participate in the range of activities and events throughout the week and learn valuable information on ways in which we can all live more sustainably now and into the future.

By working together we can protect and enhance our environment and its liveability for current and future generations.

Get inspired and get involved in Sustainable Ipswich Week!

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