Wellness starts within. Healthy kai, movement and sleep matters. But wellness on the outside matters too.

There's a buzz word that's growing: conscious living. Or some dub it sustainable living. I don't care what you call it, just do it more. How we spend our money, how we run businesses and our actions matter. Collectively we can create change.

I was among three guest speakers on a panel discussing sustainability this month.

The event was held by Pureology - a haircare brand that's organic, vegan, has no nasties and is proudly sustainable.

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In the audience were industry experts, journalists, editors and lifestyle influencers.

The speakers included Belinda Robb (founder of Auckland's Biba Salon), Devon Tong (Sustainable Salons business development manager, NZ), and Leisha Rae, co-founder of Bowl & Arrow (healthy smoothie bowls).

Disclaimer: I spoke on the panel in my role as a wellness expert but also as the Kiwi ambassador for Pureology. I love that their products are good on the environment, but they are also good - ie. they work. So I feel good using them!

Their products also all smell amazing. This is particularly noticeable when I use hairspray.

I used to walk out of the room when I sprayed my hair because I needed so desperately to escape the toxic cloud I had created in the air! Now, I love using the Pureology hairspray as it smells divine and it's not a toxic mist I'm inhaling.

Belinda told the audience she cares about sustainability and runs her salon in this way because it matters deeply to her. But new clients keep seeking out her salon because she runs it in an environmentally friendly way. So this decision not only makes sense, it makes cents.

So what is a sustainable salon? Essentially they have their waste collected and this is a valuable resource which can be repurposed. So instead of salon waste filling up landfills, it becomes repurposed which is kinder on our planet. Devon says they collect things like aluminium, paper and plastic and sell it to companies to be reused. They even collect hair ponytails to be made into wigs or hair booms (to soak up oil spills).

Consumers pay a $2 green fee which covers costs, he notes. Sustainable Salons also support the charity Kiwi Harvest, which rescues food before it goes to waste and redistributes it to vulnerable families.

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Devon says there are 60 salons in their programme in Auckland and Hamilton. They're looking next to expand to Tauranga, likely after Christmas. They have 12 Bay of Plenty salons interested in joining.

Co-founder of Sustainable Salons Paul Frasca says they have about 560 salons in the programme throughout Australia. He hopes to expand to Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin also.

- Rachel is a wellness expert and the director of website inspiredhealth.co.nz. Follow Rachel via Facebook ( InspiredHealthNZ) or Instagram (inspiredhealthandfitness)