Our beauty routine is part of our everyday, and with it comes a lot of waste. Every year, 120 billion units of packaging are produced by the global cosmetics industry, according to a report by Zero Waste Europe. Making small changes to your routine can have a positive impact both environmentally, and on your wallet, so Beauty Expert Shobana Lakkavally is sharing simple ways to reduce your beauty footprint.
Where do we even start?
It can get complicated when you take into consideration where the products are made, how they are transported, packaged, mailed, recycled, and what ingredients are used. One of the simplest things to do overall is to just reduce our consumption and waste and recycle better.
Tip#1: Replace Disposables with Reusables
One way to simply reduce waste is to opt for products that can be reused over and over again. Some examples of this are:
- Swapping face wipes for cleansing balms or oils. These are not only eco friendly, but also better for your skin!
- Swapping disposable cotton pads with reusable pads, which can be used over 1000 times! Considering that many cotton pads are not reusable because of the bleaching and mixing processes used, this is a no-brainer.
- Swapping disposable razors for refillable razors, like the ones from Well Kept. We’ve also got a video on why this is a great choice!
Bonus Tip: Save product by spraying directly on your face rather than onto a cotton pad.
Tip #2: Make Your Disposables Biodegradable
If you can’t make a product reusable forever, like a toothbrush, try to find biodegradable alternatives! The Humble Bamboo Tooth Brush is a great choice, since the handle is completely biodegrable. Usually, however, the bristles aren’t. There are a few brands that offer toothbrushes with bristles that are recyclable but make sure you check before purchasing.
Check out our video on bamboo toothbrushes here.
Tip #3: Change Packaging or Just Ditch It
One of the biggest contributors to the waste from our beauty products is the packaging it comes in. So no-packaging products, brands that have refillable options, and biodegrable packaging is your friend. For instance:
- Many shampoo bars and powders are sold with biodegrable packaging, or are just unpackaged, like these ones.
- Beauty brands like Kjaer Weis offer refills of lipstick, foundation, blush and more!
- Brands like Ren Skincare and Cheekbone actively seek to use zero-waste ingredients and keep waste out of landfills.
Bonus Tip: Repurpose packaging. For example: glass bottles/jars can be transformed into flower vases and holders. Lipstick tubes can be used for bobby pin holders.
Tip #4: Recycle at Home and in Stores
There’s a lot of ways to up your recycling game. For instance, you probably throw a way a lot of things in the washroom that could be recycled instead. Setting up a recycling unit in the loo like the Joseph & Joseph Split Bathroom Waste Basket can help you stay mindful of what’s trash and what’s recyclable. You can also use programs like Terracycle which will effectively recycle your products, since many beauty products cannot be recycled and end up in the landfill. In-store, seek out brands with recyclable initiatives like MAC comsetics.
Bonus Tip: Once stores are open to full capacity shopping, designated Deciem locations will accept all your beauty empties as part of their Terracycle program.
There are lots of ways to reduce waste, shop more sustainably and recycle effectively – it doesn’t need to be hard. You can start with baby steps or take much bigger steps. Make your dollar count and support brands that are taking steps to reduce their impact.