As the pressure on our planet increases, more and more people are becoming aware of their relationship to the Earth and the waste that they contribute. From using reusable shopping bags to recycling, there are so many amazingly easy ways to help protect Mother Earth and reduce the footprint you leave behind. There are several simple ways to waste less, be more eco conscious, and even save yourself some money when it comes to sustainable beauty products and important items we use every day like toothbrushes, soap, and even clothing. Giving even a few of the tips listed here a try, and diving deeper into researching about sustainable living (there are so many good YouTube videos and sources out there!) can help make a huge difference for the future of the planet!
1. Make sure the products you are using are cruelty-free and eco-friendly!
Now this one might be obvious, but it is the easiest step you can take towards making your daily makeup or shower routine more eco friendly. Many people think that eco conscious or cruelty free brands are much more expensive, and while some can be, there are so many brands out these days that are affordable and kinder to the Earth. It’s important also to purchase products that are packaged sustainably and use sustainable materials, such as your toothbrush, makeup brushes, or cotton pads. Makeup brands such as E.L.F, Jane, and Wet and Wild are cheap and eco friendly. Steer clear of hair products that contain Biotin (made from milk or yeast), Cetyl Alcohol (made from the head cavity of whales and dolphins), Gelatin, Hyaluronic Acid (made from animal umbilical cords and joint fluid…yuck!), Keratin, and Stearic Acid (fat sometimes harvested from euthanized animals) to ensure you’re contributing the least harm possible to our fellow animals. It is important to support companies that are changing the way things are done.
Most cruelty free and vegan products are proud to display that they follow these values. Almost always, a cruelty-free or vegan label will appear on the back of the product. Other good labels to look for are non-gmo, organic, or fair-trade certified. If you don’t see a label, it may take a little research, but google can usually answer those questions quickly and its worth it!
Cruelty-free does not necessarily mean vegan and vice versa, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping for products. Cruelty-free means the product was not tested or used on animals, while vegan means it does not contain any animal products whatsoever. (You avoid all those yucky ingredients listed above!)
2. Give Bar Soaps a Try in Place of Body Wash
THIS ONE IS BIG! Simply switching from body wash in bottles to bar soap can make a huge difference in reducing plastic waste, and save you money and time. I work at Natural Grocers (which is a wonderful place to purchase eco friendly food and products, I might add!) and we offer several different kinds of eco friendly, cruelty free soaps 3 for 5 dollars. Each bar of soap can last me several weeks, even when I use them almost every day! Think of how much money and effort you will save! Less trips to the store, less plastic, less waste, less spending. It’s a win for you, the animals, and the Earth!
You want to avoid bar soap brands such as Dove, Ivory, and Irish Spring. These bar soaps are not eco friendly, vegan, or cruelty free and in my personal opinion aren’t great for your skin anyways!
Lush Cosmetics offers the most beautifully scented, cruelty free, and vegan bar soaps if you’re looking to treat yourself. They even have shampoo and conditioner bars, which is an amazing way to further reduce your plastic use and ensure you’re using earth friendly products! Give their mouthwash tabs or body scrubs a try while your at it.
3. Use Natural Beauty Alternatives as Much as Possible!
It is important to evaluate the products we are using and if they are really even necessary. If your often finding your face is breaking out even though your using face wash, moisturizers, acne creams, etc., maybe what your skin really wants is to just breathe! Often times these creams and sprays and “cleansers” that are supposed to help us are really just unnecessarily coating our skin with chemicals and clogging our pores. Evaluate what products you are using and see if you can tone it down a little bit; save yourself even more money by eliminating unnecessary products or even replacing them with cheaper, simple, natural alternatives. Mother Nature provides us with all we really need to take care of our bodies and our skin, which is really so beautiful and we should take full advantage of this bounty! You could try a few days of washing your face with just hot water and a wash cloth, then utilizing a simple skin care routine of only a grapeseed oil moisturizer and light spray of rose oil toner to see how your skin responds. By using less of the harmful products we’ve been taught are “essential” and instead using what nature provides us, we can easily avoid buying into companies who’s practices are not eco friendly and further reduce our contribution to a polluted world.
Earth provides us with so many rejuvenating and effective ways to naturally care for our hair and skin. Coconut oil is not only good for hydrating skin, but it’s amazingly affective at hydrating and adding a beautiful shine to your hair. Aloe is one of my go to natural remedies for my skin. Almost every night, I cut a thin strip of Aloe Vera leaf I have stored in my fridge with a pair of kitchen scissors, then I carefully use the gel as a face mask, rubbing it all over my problem areas such as my cheeks, forehead, and chin. After I let is soak in for about 10-15 minutes, I rinse my face with cool water. It has been visibly affective in reducing my breakouts and hydrating my dry facial skin.
– Lemon, honey, turmeric, olive oil, cucumber, oatmeal, rose, and even coffee are all excellent for the skin. You can find easy DIY skin care solutions online or on Pinterest.
– Apple cider vinegar, honey, almond and jojoba oil, shea butter, and even avocado are all excellent for hair care and even promoting hair growth!
– TEA is an excellent way to take in natural herbs to detox and beautify your skin. I love Yogi’s Soothing Rose Hibiscus Skin Detox tea.
Do some research and see if any of these natural methods will work for you. You will help protect the planet, nurture your body, and learn more about all the bountiful and useful natural remedies that are at our finger tips.
4. Use Reusable Cotton Pads in Place of Makeup Wipes
I think most of us have hopefully figured out by now that makeup wipes are ineffective and harsh on your skin. They’re extremely wasteful and unnecessary. Eliminating your use of makeup wipes is an easy first step to take when trying to go green with your beauty routine.
Instead, purchase some reusable cotton pads or make some at home. After they’re dirty, you can just throw them in the wash on laundry day and eliminate the waste we can create just by removing our makeup at the end of the day.
5. Switch to a Bamboo or Other Eco Friendly ToothBrush!
Over a billion plastic toothbrushes end up in landfills every year just in North America. It may seem small, but investing in a sustainable, reusable, biodegradable toothbrush can be a great way to help the planet. Bamboo toothbrushes are a hit right now when it comes to the sustainable choice, and there are a lot of options to choose from.
6. Shop for Second Hand Clothing!
I will probably write a whole article on it sometime because I LOVE thrifting, but honestly it’s a huge win for the planet and your wallet and a great way to start living a more sustainable lifestyle.
The average American throws away 70 pounds of clothing every year, but buying a piece of used clothing extends it’s life by an average of 2.5 years, and therefore reduces its carbon and waste footprint by 73%.
Next time your wardrobe needs an update, try checking out your local thrift stores and consignment shops. Also be sure to donate and sell your own clothing that you don’t want anymore! You’ll save money and help the next person who is looking for cheap, cute clothes.
There are also many online consignment and thrift shops. The largest is ThredUp, which offers huge discounts on your favorite brand names. Everything is guaranteed to be good quality and is shipped in sustainable packaging.
7. Switch to an Eco Friendly Deodorant
Basic deodorants can be harmful to our bodies, causing cancer and containing harmful chemicals like aluminum, mineral oils, and formaldehyde. These chemicals are also polluting our environment and waterways, as well as damaging our ozone layer. They are also in non-recyclable packaging and are often tested on animals.
Brands such as Native, Tom’s, and Shmidt’s offer better alternatives. There are even deodorant creams, bars, and some people even swear by crystal deodorant sticks! Find one that works for you and stop using basic drugstore brands that contribute to a polluted environment and are negative to your health.
8. Use Eco Friendly Feminine Products
Tampons and pads contribute to pollution in waterways and in landfills. They are non biodegradable and the plastic applicators are awful for the environment. Millions of these products and their wrappings are flushed down the toilets or thrown away every day. Switching to menstrual cups is better for your body because of the harsh chemicals that can be found in cotton tampons, and they are washable and reusable. If properly taken care of, they can be a one time lifelong investment. Save money and help the planet by switching to the DivaCup or OrganiCup. If you’re not comfortable with trying a menstrual cup, try organic cotton pads or tampons either without an applicator or with a cardboard applicator instead of plastic.
By applying one or all of these tips to your daily beauty and self care routine, whether it be all at once or slowly over a period of time, you will feel more clean, cared for, and conscious about caring for the world around you. You will also be eliminating harmful chemicals from your body care products and utilizing the natural power of healing elements all around us. Living a sustainable and healthy lifestyle can be simple, affordable, and goes hand and hand with loving the Earth we were given. ❤