As I have previously noted, I have been seriously pondering my own sustainability practices during the pandemic, and I largely credit this to the fact that I have been working from home since March 2020. Therefore, I have had the time to consider the ways in which I am unnecessarily wasteful. Here are a few things that I have implemented, or plan to try, to reduce, reuse, recycle. Follow a few easy steps to get started, and it will radically improve your beauty sustainability practices.
Buy less and use what you have: Before purchasing more products (skincare, haircare, body care, makeup, etc.) use what you have on hand. You spent good money on those products and the first sustainability practice is to actually use what you already have before replacing it with some shiny new product. While it is very tempting to buy everything that you want to try (and how many shades of nude lipstick do you really need?!), it makes far more sense to use what you already purchased before it expires.
Purchase eco-friendly skin, hair and body refillable sizes: Whenever possible purchase larger sizes or refill bottles and bags. Brands such as Rahua and L'Occitane have begun making refillable bags for some of their products, and it is much easier on the environment. It also is even more environmentally friendly to replace liquid products with solids, such as bar soaps and shampoos, because they use less packaging and they often last longer than their liquid counterparts.
Recycle or upcycle every bottle, jar and tube that you can: The catch is that you have to clean them out well enough to ensure that they will actually get recycled. I use a dish pan filled with warm soapy water to clean out those containers– that way I am not wasting water in the process. Rather than recycling all of them, think about how you might be able to reuse some of those containers (for decanting products etc.).
Purchase washable facial pads instead of cotton balls or rounds: I still have not made this transition, but I plan to. Here are a few that I am considering: Reusable Cotton Rounds (from Amazon), Paula's Choice Reusable Cotton Rounds (from Paula's Choice) and WellBe Set of 7 Cosmetics Cloths (from Nordstrom). I really don't like the idea that so many cotton balls and pads make it into the landfill because of me, therefore I don't feel that it is too great a sacrifice to make.
Overall Assessment: Small changes make a big difference over time, and it is a rewarding journey upon which to embark.
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