Containers and product packaging account for about 30% of the waste created in the U.S., and that is simply way too high. Though I do find encouragement in the green beauty community. As natural, healthy ingredients have become vital to the beauty community, consumers are also demanding that brands become cruelty-free as well as more eco-conscious.
To effectively address climate change and be better to our planet, it's going to take businesses and individuals making better choices everyday.
If you've made a commitment to minimize your carbon footprint, here are some ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle when it comes to your beauty routine.
1. Swap Out Liquid Soap with Bars
From body soaps, facial bars, and even shampoo bars; a bar soap is a great way to reduce your waste. A cleansing bar comes in less packaging and lasts much longer than liquid soap. To create even less waste, go with something like this Bambo Earth Shampoo and Conditioner Bar Set that comes in zero-waste biodegradable packaging.
Some brands, like Cult+King, even offer refill packs; while others like Le Labo will let you bring back your empty bottles to be refilled with your next purchase. Here is a longer list of beauty brands with refillable packaging.
2. Purchase Products in Recyclable or Reusable Containers
Another way I like to reduce when it comes to beauty packaging is to go with recyclable and reusable containers. While brands like Garnier are taking huge strides in using recycled materials and working with TerraCycle to make it easier for you to recycle plastic containers, I also like beauty products in metal tins or glass containers that I can reuse for multiple purposes. The prettier the bottle, the more things I can upcycle it into.
A pretty glass bottle for example, can easily be turned into a bud vase. Something with a wider opening, like a glass body scrub container, can be used as a decorative container for makeup brushes.
3. Replace Disposable Items with Washable, Reusable Versions
There are so many disposable products all in the name of convenience, and it is unfortunately creating so much waste. For removing makeup or applying a facial toner, replace your disposable cotton balls or cotton makeup remover pads with these Reusable Makeup Remover Pads.
With 18 pads in a set, that is enough to last a week between washes. They also come with their own mesh laundry bag, so you don't have to worry about them getting lost in the laundry. Can you think of any other typically disposable products you use that could be replaced with a washable version?
4. Purchase Products Made with Renewable Materials
When it comes to beauty items that cannot be reused and must eventually be disposed of, like tooth brushes, go with one that is made from renewable and biodegradable materials. This Bamboo Toothbrush, for instance; is all-natural, biodegradable, made with environmentally sustainable materials. Their product packaging is also recycled, biodegradable, and compostable.
5. Go With Compostable and Biodegradable
For times when you really want the convenience of disposable, you can still go eco-friendly with these Rawganics Biodegradable All-Natural Facial Wipes. I've tried these myself, and I love them! They're effective yet gentle, and of course I love that they are biodegradable. Cotton wipes that aren't biodegradable can hang around for over 100 years!
While these items are a great step towards being more eco-friendly when it comes to beauty, think about additional ways to reduce. For example, when ordering, purchase in bulk in order to keep your carbon footprint even smaller; and shop local whenever possible. When using these products, go with low-flow fixtures in your bathroom and only have the water running when necessary.
The simplest way we can green our beauty routines is to simply use less. I know...that can be hard! With all of the incredible products out there, it can be tempting to try a ten-step facial care routine or to buy your favorite body butter in three different scents, but by simplifying the amount of products we use, we can immediately cut down on the waste we produce.
Can you think of any other ways we can make our beauty routines better for the planet? Please leave any additional tips in the comments below!