When we talk about an eco-friendly lifestyle, the first and foremost thing we should be informed about is recycling.
The first things that come to mind are paper, plastic bags, bottles, and, maybe, aluminum cans. A recent UK study shows that, while 90% of the Brits recycle in the kitchen, only 52% do the same in the bathroom.
Few of us think about recycling our toiletries because some of them are difficult to recycle, while others are simply unrecyclable.
Given that, every year, around 120 million cosmetic packaging items are being produced, and 40% of the total plastic produced is directed towards packaging (the box you open, take out the product from, and then throw away), it makes sense to pay more attention to this problem.
This doesn’t mean you need to stop buying makeup. It means you have the power to make smart decisions to reduce your environmental footprint.
Here are 3 simple things you can do to help the environment and go to bed with a clear conscience.
With these being said, for an eco-friendly lifestyle, you might want to watch out for the following:
1. RETHINK YOUR SHOPPING STYLE
Tell me how you shop and I’ll tell you who you are – this is becoming, slowly, a certified truth. Some people are becoming 100% „sustainable”, some are careful with their choices, but not entirely dedicated, some couldn’t care less about the environment. We’re not here to judge, we’re here to help each other. So what you CAN DO in terms of makeup shopping is, before anything else, think twice before purchasing.
Less is More
You may already know this, but here we go again: lipsticks and powders expire after about 18 months, mascara after about 3 months. Each product has a precise expiry date, which looks like below. Respect that.
If you’re mindful of the creams you apply on your face, it only makes sense you should be just as careful with your makeup. Sure, who can swear by never putting on expired makeup? That doesn’t mean there is no irritation potential somewhere in the future. Don’t forget: less is more. Why not spare your budget, instead of piling up make-up you’ll never be able to finish up until it expires?
Go For Refillables
You need to know that, in the makeup world, whatever comes with a mirror (shades, powders etc), a pump (foundations, primers) or a magnet (shades) most often that not cannot be recycled. This also goes for makeup brushes. With this piece of info in mind, you may want to cut back on the amount of product you buy, and what you buy.
You can find at Sephora a variety of foundations with refills, and there are also a bunch of perfume brands on the market that sell refillable bottles. As for brushes, the wisest piece of advice is to invest in quality brushes and to wash them frequently, so as to increase their lifespan.
There are things we believe to be indispensable in our lives and, probably, harmless, but are actually pretty “evil”. We’re talking about makeup removal wipes and pads, cotton buds; basically all single-use, everyday products. You can’t just ditch these overnight; what you can do is opt for biodegradable products, like bamboo and organic cotton. You can also replace cotton pads with microfiber face towels, or simply cut back on face wipes. Any change, however small, matters.
2. RECYCLE WHEN YOU CAN
Bathroom recycling doesn’t stop at bottles of detergent and liquid soap. If a plastic dispenser has the Mobius loop on it, then it can be recycled.
Unlike food packaging, which needs to be taken out relatively fast, or else it’ll stink up your kitchen, cosmetic packaging can wait. This means you can gather a good pile and then take it out to the nearest recycling point.
When you recycle cosmetic packaging, it is important to empty it out completely and, preferably, to remove the packaging labels as well – this makes the recycling process easier.
3. LOOK OUT FOR COSMETIC RECYCLING PROGRAMS
There aren’t that many cosmetic recycling programs out there, but that doesn’t mean things will stay that way forever. For starters, Kiehl’s has a program called Recycle And Be Rewarded, which enables customers to return empties in exchange for product gifts.
MAC has a pretty sweet initiative that spans the United States and some Europe countries, called Back to MAC. The deal is: you take back 6 empty primary packaging containers and get a free lipstick in return.
Aside from recycling campaigns and programs, you can also shift towards sustainable cosmetic brands. Tata Harper, BareFaced Beauty, Iehana, Lush Cosmetics are only a couple of brands that are paying attention to both ingredients and their impact on the environment.
Remember: our choices should dictate the industry trends, not the other way around. As long as we keep that in mind, we can make a positive change.