As consumers become more aware of their lifestyle’s impact on the planet, more and more of us are seeking changes to help conserve resources and combat climate change.
We’re aware of the usual recommendations to become eco-friendlier – like shutting off lights when not in use, reducing food waste, or opting for sustainable transport – but how about considering an eco-conscious beauty routine?
Why is choosing a more eco-conscious beauty routine important?
A key to making sustainable choices is understanding why they matter.
Sustainable beauty is important because it just not helps conserve natural resources but also prevents us from leaving too much carbon footprint on the planet – what we buy, how often we buy it, and whether it ends up in a landfill or oceans.
Did you know that the beauty industry is one of the world’s largest polluting industries? Here are some statistics related to beauty waste:
- Select skincare products and exfoliants (even the ones with glitter) contain microplastics that pollute the ocean.
- An estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into landfills each year, with packaging accounting for 40 per cent.
- The beauty industry produces nearly 120 billion units of packaging each year.
If you’re thinking about how you can contribute to doing better for our environment, updating your beauty routine is a fantastic way to start. While it may seem intimidating, it isn’t as hard as you think.
In today’s feature, we’re sharing eight tips for a more eco-conscious beauty routine.
Eco-conscious beauty routines that won’t break the bank
On the supply chain side, shipping can create much waste. Imagine all the materials used to shop one product: packing materials, receipt, labels, tape, etc. On top of that, you’ll include the energy spent, like fuel and transport for your parcel to reach its destination.
Supporting local brands, especially buying in retail stores, is a great way to cut emissions and resources needed to ship goods. Who knows, you might discover a favourite or two 🙂
Recycle empty jars and containers
Some skincare products like cleansers and moisturisers are packaged in glass bottles or jars. These can easily be cleaned and recycled as containers for other products like powder or refilled with lotions for travel. You can also upcycle these bottles into something new like a brush holder or even as pots for your herbs or flowers.
Don’t leave the water running
Everything is finite. Yes, even the water on your faucet. It may not be that obvious, but leaving the water running when you’re not using it can contribute to your carbon footprint. When brushing your teeth, washing your face, or even in the shower, you can hit pause for a while and just turn it back on when you need to rinse. Now it may seem easier just to keep the water running, but this little effort can make a big impact.
Drop the disposables
Disposable razors, makeup wipes, sheet masks, cotton pads, sanitary napkins, tampons, etc. The number of disposable items in beauty and self-care products can be staggering.
You can cut back on single-use items if you consider what products you can swap out for reusable ones. For example, instead of using a single-use disposable razor, you can opt for a quality safety razor that can last you for years and only needs occasional blade replacements or sharpening. Even the steel blades can be recycled or upcycled because of their material.
Check the label
We’ve mentioned the glitter and exfoliants in skincare products, and even oral care products like your toothpaste contain microplastics and would just end up in our oceans.
Check the label of the products you are purchasing to see if they’re truly safe for the planet. Stay away from products that contain Polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP), as these are the microbeads that are made of plastic.
With over 120 billion packaging units produced by the cosmetics industry worldwide, most are not recycled and just end up in landfills or oceans. Choose beauty products that use eco-friendly packaging like recycled or recyclable materials. You can also choose to shop in bulk, so you can just refill your containers (recycling!) at home. Or perhaps, even better, support products that barely use packaging, like shampoo bars or solid deodorants.
Check out these refillable toothpaste tablets we tested recently.
Several beauty brands are already offering incentives for customers to return empty packaging so it can be recycled.
For example, Mac cosmetics has a program that gives shoppers a free lipstick in exchange for six full-sized empties, Le Labo gives a 20 per cent off on refills for anyone that returns their used bottle, and L’Occitane gives 10 per cent off in exchange for a used packaging of any full-sized product.
You save the planet and save $$$ too.
Finally, finish before re-purchasing
It can be tempting to stock up on all the trendy, buzz-worthy products we want to try. But think about it: can your face really use all of it? Consider that these products expire, especially skincare which has a shorter shelf life. It’s beneficial for the planet and your wallet to finish what you’ve started before trying something new.