If you didn’t know, green is the new black. Recycling, reusing, and reducing is the trendiest thing since the 90’s comeback. Okay, that may be an overstatement because everyone is still rocking the scrunchie but it is cool to do, especially within the beauty community. Eco-friendly brands are popping up everywhere and making the switch easier everyday. 2019 is already pushing the envelope when it comes to new products and innovations that make it easier than ever to produce less waste and save some green (both trees and money). Most blog post and YouTube videos tell newcomers that the best way is to omit all plastic from your routine but have you ever thought about what all comes in that non-biodegradable material? I’ll answer it quickly so you can keep reading, almost everything! Going plastic free is really hard and expensive up front so I’ve put together a few simpler steps to help your beauty routine be more green and less harmful to both you and the environment.
1. Zero-Waste Packaging
In 2013 the EPA estimated that an average American creates 4.4 pounds of trash each day! That number is insane, especially if you live in a large household. Just imagine how much of that is beauty waste. 91% of plastic is not recycled (side note: if you aren’t recycling in 2019 what are you doing?) and is thrown in landfills that can take more than 600 years to decompose. We constantly throw away beauty products, but what if we don’t have to? Q-tips, shampoo bottles, deodorant containers, empty chapsticks, and old makeup brushes get tossed everyday. But today, brands such as Lush have package free products. Shampoos, conditioners, bath bombs, toothpaste, bubble bath, and bar soaps can all be purchased with zero waste. You can also grab some product free products at The Umbrella Market on Wednesdays on Evans Street in the Spring. For products that don’t have that luxury try out cardboard or recycled packaging. Beauty brands are constantly coming out with cardboard eyeshadow and face palates made from up-cycled materials which can be thrown in the blue bins once completed. Being aware of our use of packaging is the first step in Going Green.
2. Buy B-Corp
Certified B-Corporations are businesses that meet high environmental standards and strive for a more sustainable economy. According to their website the companies and leaders must aspire to do no harm and benefit all humans and animals through their products, practices, and profits. One B-Corp company we know a lot about at Salt is Davines. Along with following their guidelines they also push sustainability as a focal point of their brand, even including it in their logo. By creating beauty sustainably, they encourage people to take care of themselves, of the environment, and of the things they love. Not only do they believe in their own efforts but also the companies around them. Many B-Corps, such as Davines, team up to bring consumers the best product possible. So, look for the stamp of B-Corps, a capital B, because there is no planet B.
3. Girl, Wash Your Face
Not just a best seller but also great advice. As an esthetician I know that cleansing your face is a top priority but I also know it can be one of the most detrimental parts of a beauty routine for Mother Earth. Facial wipes have been popular for years now, almost every brand has at least one option. Those are quick and easy but are thrown away with every single use. Cleansing with soap and water can also deter us from Going Green. Every minute the faucet runs two gallons of water goes down the drain. This year the brand Kaia came out with a bamboo cleansing cloth that biodegrades and is rinse free. If you don’t feel like going to that extreme just remember to cut off your water when not in use and only use disposable wipes when regular cleanser and water isn’t available.
4. Reward Yourself
Many companies in the beauty industry want a greener planet and know consumers are the first step. Mac gives you a free lipstick when you bring in six empty containers, Origins gives you free travel sized samples when you bring in five empty plastic product containers from any brand, and Aveda gives you a discount when you drop off plastic caps from soda bottles or toothpaste tubes. Even more companies, such as Lush, give an incentive to consumers to recycle containers. With all these free products and gifts is there really any reason to not recycle these days?
5. Don’t Hurt The Bunnies, Or Bees, Or Bears
Ever seen that cute little bunny on any of your makeup or skincare products? That’s a great sign, definitely add that to your cart. This means the products are cruelty free. Did you know that more greenhouse gases are produced by animals used in the food and beauty industries than all the transportation combined? Why not help lower that number just by reaching for that little bunny symbol? Not to mention that beyond sustainability of our environment, these animals need our help. Drugstore brands such as Elf and NYX make it affordable to make the switch. Nars, Farm House Fresh, and Milk Makeup can also be purchased in town if you desire high end makeup. As 2019 goes on more brands are planning on cutting their ties with animal testing.
I know it seems impossible to be sustainable but just remember to take it one step at a time. Big results are made up of a lot of little changes. Spread the word, get your friends involved, and remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle whenever possible. Imagine this: its 2035, your home is heated by solar panels, diapers are biodegradable, and everything is up-cycled. How dope would that be? Well it is 2019 and for now we have take small steps to get to there. Do your part and GO GREEN in your beauty routine this year and respect your Mother Earth.