One of the biggest wake-up calls we received in 2019 was how our culture of consumption and convenience could be killing the planet and threatening the very survival of our species. According to the EPA, even though 75% of the waste produced in America is recyclable, only 30% of it is actually put through the process—an alarming statistic that should be remedied immediately, lest we all drown in the very waste we keep putting out.
If you are committed to living in an eco-friendlier way this 2020, every aspect of your lifestyle should be up to snuff, including your daily personal care and grooming routine. Get ready the greener way by employing the following practices:
Check the Ingredients
Taking the time out to read labels and ingredients lists can help you become a more discerning consumer, thus enabling you to make more informed purchase choices while shopping. In general, natural and organic makeup and skincare products are a fairly safe bet. They are usually free of petroleum derivatives and other ingredients that could be damaging to the environment, are cruelty-free and not tested on animals, and often come in environmentally friendly packaging.
Meanwhile, steer clear of microbeads and microplastics, hormone-disrupting parabens, and toxic ingredients such as mercury or lead that can harm your skin and the planet.
Shun Single-Use Items
Single-use products are a major contributor to the global waste problem and can include plenty of beauty-related items such as cotton pads, facial cleansing wipes, sheet masks, blotting sheets, packaging paraphernalia and the like. Committing to producing less waste or leaning fully into the zero-waste movement can help alleviate the issue. Consider swapping single-use beauty products out for reusable alternatives, and endeavor to reuse items as much as possible. These can include shampoo and conditioner bottles, lipstick and lip balm tubes, mascara wands and more. Instead of using cotton pads or cleansing wipes to take your makeup off, switch to a washcloth or use cleansing oils instead.
Conserving natural resources should be a major priority if you are committed to going green. This means using water responsibly—a simple enough task. All you need is the presence of mind to turn the tap off when you aren’t using it instead of letting the water run, or washing your face with a washcloth instead of using a stream of constantly running water to do so.
Another way to conserve water and reduce your carbon footprint in the process is by taking shorter showers and easing up on your water heater. This not only helps your skin retain the natural oils that prevent it from drying out, it can also promote healthier hair and better overall circulation!
Buy in Bulk
Buying wholesale or bigger sizes of your favorite beauty and personal care products is not just a cost-effective measure that’ll save you money in the long run; it’s better for the environment, too. By buying in bulk, you can significantly reduce packaging waste and lower your carbon footprint by minimizing transport pollution. You can take it a step further by patronizing refill stations that allow you to buy products wholesale and using your own containers to store these products.
Simplify and Minimize
The popularity of Korean beauty and skincare gave rise to laborious morning routines that consist of anywhere between 10 to 15 steps. Yes, pampering your skin is important, but going through all the steps of your skincare routine can be time-consuming and expensive, not to mention wasteful. Ask yourself: do you absolutely need to use both a facial serum and an essence with your daily moisturizer? You may find that these products all contain the same ingredients anyway.
Simplifying your skincare and paring down on the products you use can be beneficial to your skin. A skincare routine composed of the bare essentials minimizes the risk of products conflicting with each other, plus it gives your skin some space to breathe and flourish. At a minimum, you should have a trusty cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen on hand. Everything else: eye creams, spot treatments and the like, are bonuses, not necessities.
By leaning into a more sustainable, kinder way of living, we can all make an impact. Simply being more conscious of ourselves and making small but meaningful changes can help the planet out significantly, so don’t be afraid to start today!
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