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When you hear terms used like “going green” , “eco friendly” and “sustainable living”, you probably think of reusable water bottles and reusable grocery bags (if you don’t, that is OK). When we think of eco friendly our mind usually goes to the kitchen (the place where most plastic and waste happens), but we often look past our beauty drawers and wellness habits.
If you looked in your bathroom, how many plastic containers could you find? Not only that, but how many tubes of mascara, hair products, trail size products, and skin care products could you find? Go peek around, I’ll wait here.
Let me be 100% honest with you, if you looked in my bathroom, I am no saint either. What I am working on is not perfection, but I am working on minimizing my waste and becoming a more minimalist with my routines.
Now let me start by saying that I am not telling you to go through all your drawers and toss out everything because you have 3 bottles of mascara and you have everything packaged in plastic… please do not do that, that is the definition of wasteful. But it is important to be mindful of what you have, how it is taking up space, how you spend your money on them, and how you can create less waste in the future.
First thing first, take inventory of what you have. Go through your products and toss any expired products. No expiration date? If you cannot remember how long it has been in your beauty drawer or the last time you used it, toss it. If you have 3 bottles of mascara, use up what you have and don’t buy any more until you run out (same with all your other products too).
Next, look at how your products are taking up space. Often times our drawers, shower shelves, and counter tops overflow with a wild assortment of products. Now look, and think of what you could use that space for instead of 10 different hair products that you might use once every other month. I always say that a chaotic home creates a chaotic mind. Clearing out your space will not only feel good, but it will help make your mornings easier now that you don’t have to search through to the bottom of your drawer to find an unexpired deodorant.
Next, take a deep look at where you give your money to. I don’t mean go check your bank statements, I mean look at the brands you’ve invested in, I am sure there are quite a few. Where do you buy shampoo from, where do you get your lipstick from? I myself love shopping from small businesses, businesses that don’t participate in animal cruelty, brands that care about their packaging and what goes into their products, and brands that give back. What type of brands do you prefer? Does your beauty collection match that criteria? I know it is a lot of work to switch products, especially if you searched forever for a product that works for your skin, I am just asking you to be mindful.
Now that you’ve done that part, lets move on to the good stuff.
These are my tips to creating a more sustainable beauty routine and creating less waste.
BUY LESS PLASTIC CONTAINERS. If you are interested in learning why plastic is so bad for the earth, check out my guide to an eco friendly lifestyle. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news but even if you’re product bottle says recyclable, and even if you do recycle it, not everything gets recycled (it is the saddest truth I have ever heard, but it is quite true). Luckily, more and more companies are creating more sustainable (and non-toxic) products. Companies are creating products and packaging in glass jars, and shipping them in cardboard containers. I am not sure when or if we will be able to have all the products we love in glass containers instead of plastic, but doing the best you can makes even the smallest difference. If you aren’t able to find a product in a glass container (or another sustainable option), recycle it (as long as it says recyclable).
REUSE! REUSE! REUSE!! My sister got grossed out by me drinking a coffee out of an old pickle jar (I don’t blame her because when I say the sentence it does sound odd, but I am trying to make it the norm!) so this may not be for everyone. When you run out of products (mainly glass jars) reuse the jar. Some things that I reuse glass beauty containers for are:
*travel containers (storing shampoo and conditoner)
*storing a DIY exfoliator or other homemade beauty products
*storing salad dressings or dips (I usually wash a few times before using for food)
Try DIY! I love making my own products! So many products out there are filled with so many harmful and toxic ingredients, and a lot of those products can be made right in your kitchen! Not only will these decrease your plastic waste, but it will also save you money, and help reduce food waste too! Below are some of my favorite recipes:
*DIY face mask: mix together yogurt, oats, and honey (equal parts); mix together, then apply to skin, leave on for 15-20 minutes then rinse away.
*DIY detangler/ leave in conditioner: 1 tbsp argan oil, 1 tbsp jojoba oil, 5 drops of rosemary essential oil, 5 drops of lavender essential oil, 1 cup filtered water. Mix together in a spray bottle and spray 2-3 sprays onto hair and comb through. Shake well before spraying.
*DIY hand soap: Using Dr. Bronners Unscented Baby- Mild Castile Liquid soap, add to a soap dispenser filling up about 3/4 of the way, then add 1 tbsp of jojoba oil. Then add 2 drops of your favorite essential oil (I love rosemary and peppermint), then add water to fill the rest of the way. Shake a bit to stop separation.
*DIY exfoliator: Mix together sugar and coconut oil (enough coconut oil to make it stick together and to adhere to your skin, but it shouldn’t be liquid). You may add your favorite essential oils (if doing a lip exfoliation, do not use essential oils). Scrub onto desired area, then rinse.
*DIY Deodorant: This is the recipe I use and love! You can store it in small mason or Weck jars!
Buy from brands that practice sustainability and brands that give back!
Some of my favorite brands are:
True Botanicals– Their mission was to create a collection of beautiful skin (and hair) products that are safe for your skin and also safe for the planet. They have an amazing non- toxic shampoo and conditioner that is great for most hair types. They also use sustainable packaging and shipping! My favorite is their Nourishing Cleanser.
OSEA– Their name stands for ocean, earth, sun, and atmosphere. This non- toxic brand is committed to supporting local economies, using recyclable glass for packaging, and creating cruelty free and gluten free skin care. They truly care about what goes into their products. They also give back to foundations like Mission Blue, Surfrider Foundation, and many more.
Lunette– If you haven’t invested in a period cup, now is the time. It takes about 2-3 periods to get used to it but it is worth it. Their mission statement is “Whether it’s destigmatising periods, disrupting gender stereotypes or protecting the planet, every day we commit ourselves to building a better world. One that’s safe, inclusive and sustainable for all.” I have had my cup for a few years and I love it! Tampons and pads are one of the biggest culprits of waste, the cup creates zero waste!
Zomchi Razor: Instead of replacing your old plastic razor with the plastic heads, try out this stainless steel razor. All you have to do is replace the blades!
Remember that plastic shows up everywhere. Plastic is hard to avoid 100%. It is OKAY if your routine is not 100% sustainable. It is about progress, not perfection.
Let me know how you are practicing sustainability with your beauty routine!