Presented by John Dee, 2010 Australian of the year, this business-savvy session was anything but the dry, eco-preacher talk Hair Expo attendees may have thought they were in for, writes Chloe Falivene.

Dee used the release of his new book, The 20 Step Guide to Cutting Energy Bills in Your Business, written in conjunction with the Australian Department of Industry and Science, to show salon owners in the audience how to cut up to $10,000 a year off their overhead costs. At first, claims like “a 10 per cent reduction [in energy costs] can be achieved by a trained monkey” sound bogus – until you realize that 10 per cent of your salon’s energy costs can be attributed to devices and styling tools in standby mode.

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John Dee

And the tips just kept coming. Watching your thermostat is the easiest way to save – keeping it at 18-20 degrees is ideal, and still comfortable for clients. An LED light costs a little more up front, but uses 83 per cent less energy than halogen lighting – and lasts 25 times longer. Most importantly, halogen lights have been proven to make food go off sooner and fade colour, so what are they doing to your clients’ hair and the products on your shelves over time?

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Paul Frasca

Although the session had a very different pace from the others, it was a welcome change. With a focus on the bottom line, the audience left the 90 minute talk armed with a slew of practical, environmentally-friendly strategies. Looks like green is in this season!

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Images by Oneill Photographics.