By Caroline Vandergriff

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Thursday, April 22 is Earth Day, but at least one North Texas salon says it focuses on the environment year-round.

Novak Hair Studios in Fort Worth says it’s one of the largest zero-waste salons in the entire country.

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“We are actually able to divert 95% of all the waste that comes out of the salon by partnering strategically with recycling partners that allow for us to take stuff like human hair, for example, which can be used to clean up oil spills in the ocean,” said Benjamin Novak Hudgins, co-owner and founder of Novak Hair Studios.

The beauty industry isn’t known for being eco-friendly, but Hudgins wanted to do things differently when he opened his salon.

“Even stuff like aluminum foil,” he said. “You get a highlight, you get a hair color, those types of materials traditionally go into a landfill where they can take up to 400 years to decompose.”

Sustainability has become an integral part of how the studio operates.

Novak Hair Studios in Fort Worth (Caroline Vandergriff – CBS 11)

“When I realized how damaging hair care was to the environment and realized what Novak is doing to make a difference, that totally sold me,” said client Sarah Darby.

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According to Zero Waste Week, more than 120 billion units of packaging are created each year in the global cosmetics industry,

A lot of that isn’t recyclable, but what is often ends up getting thrown away instead.

“If you think about the amount of single use plastics that we use in our bathrooms every single day, we’ve really got to be more responsible with what we’re doing with them after that,” Hudgins said.

For the past month, Novak Hair Studios encouraged clients to drop off their empty plastic beauty products.

They’ve become part of a large Earth Day art installation, created by DFW artist Elizabeth Hill, to inspire people to think about their own recycling habits.

“There’s no single deed that is too small to be able to make an impact on the world that you want to see,” Hudgins said.

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His salon sees beauty and new meaning, in what some consider trash.

Caroline Vandergriff