How to Make Eco-Friendly Choices with your Cosmetics
How to Make Eco-Friendly Choices with your Cosmetics
Think for a moment about all the cosmetic products you use on a daily basis. For many of us even with a very simple skincare routine, this can include multiple items such as face wash, moisturizer, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo and the list goes on. Did you know, according to a study reported in the Telegraph UK, that on average the typical woman uses 16 beauty products a day? If you consider the fact that every single one of these products is contained within some type of packaging, the amount of waste adds up fairly quickly. The majority of these products are packaged in plastic and other non- biodegradable materials. For a sobering statistic, consider the fact that in 2018 the United States alone produced 7.9 billion units of plastic for beauty and personal care packaging according to Euromonitor International. Yes, you read that right, 7.9 BILLION units of rigid plastic to be used as packaging for our day-to-day cosmetic products. It is fair to assume then that the majority of these packaging units will at some point or another end up in a landfill as non-biodegradable waste once they are empty. It is statistics like this that give us a reason to pause and wonder, what can we do as individuals to help alleviate this massive generation of waste?
While swapping a moisturizer here, and a toothpaste there to an eco-friendly packaging alternative may not seem like it will make any difference, these small changes do add up. Plastic has long been the go-to packaging choice for its durability and cost-effectiveness but the detrimental effects its accumulation is having on the planet can no longer be ignored. The problem with its widespread use is that all of our favourite cosmetic and personal care items are available only in plastic packaging. Take a walk through your local drugstore and you will see that this is true. You can see all the moisturizers, shampoos, body washes all neatly lined up in their shiny plastic packaging. So how do we escape this convenient, grab and go solution? The answer is to make a conscious effort to seek out new companies that are making a shift towards biodegradable and low-waste packaging.
Many companies have recognized the mounting issue of plastic waste and have been striving to offer a better, cleaner alternative. The solutions many companies are developing are not only resourceful, but also cost-effective. Many companies are shifting their business model towards a refillable system. This means that after an initial product is purchased, once it is empty you can replace it with a packaging-free product replenishment. The benefits of using a refillable product versus a plastic-packaged product are massive. In a study conducted by the LCA Centre it was found that choosing to refill a product instead of purchasing a brand new one, you save 70% on CO2, 45% on water and 65% on energy. Another trend currently on the rise in the cosmetic industry is the use of recyclable materials in the place of the typical wasteful plastic versions. Many companies are choosing to use materials such as cardboard, glass, or paper for their packaging. There has been a large shift in consumer environmental awareness, and thankfully some companies are listening. Some examples of new packaging alternatives are grease-resistant paperboard, silicone tubes, glass jars and aluminum tins.
So where can you start? While it might feel overwhelming to immediately switch every one of your products to a plastic-free alternative, there are a few small swaps you can make today. One easy replacement you can do today is to switch out your traditional cotton swabs with a plastic stem for ones made with bamboo stems. 1.5 million cotton swabs are produced daily world-wide and the majority of these end up in landfills or worse, the oceans. By switching these to an eco-friendly alternative in your home you will help reduce this massive amount of plastic waste. If you are not quite ready to kick your plastic packaged products to the curb just yet, a simple switch you can make today is to start buying a super-sized version of your current products. By buying a larger bottle, you can extend how long it lasts and reduce the amount of total bottles you end up disposing of. Remember that even tiny improvements add up over time.
Earthy Good’s line of DIY products is focused on a natural, low-waste alternative to purchasing wasteful plastic products. Each of our four DIY kits comes in eco-friendly packaging. Each product is packaged in a fully recyclable cardboard box. Inside each package, there is an incredibly unique packing paper. Our packing paper comes from Botanical Paperworks, who are an eco-friendly company that produce wildflower seed paper. This plantable paper is a biodegradable product that is made with recycled post-consumer materials. Instead of throwing this packing paper in the garbage, you can plant the paper in a pot of soil to grow your own seedlings! The paper composts away to leave behind plant seeds that grow into herbs, vegetables, or flowers. This is just one example of how we hope to leave no trace behind with our packaging.
The products inside each Earthy Good DIY kit are also tailored to be as low-waste as possible. For our Toothpaste Making Kit, we swapped the traditional plastic toothpaste tube for a silicone, reusable option. Our toothbrush is made from sustainable bamboo instead of the typical synthetic nylon fibers. Our Lip Balm Making Kit switches out the plastic lip balm tubes for a more eco-friendly compostable cardboard based tube. Many of the ingredients that are used to create the lip balm itself are packaged in recyclable metal tins. Our Serenity Spa Making Kit comes with a variety of natural ingredients and we have chosen to package them in recyclable glass bottles. The droppers included in all our DIY kits are made of glass as a sustainable alternative to plastic. By making all these small substitutions, we have developed a line of products that will not contribute to the mounting plastic waste problem we are facing. We also believe that giving a gift should include an eco-friendly solution which is why we have included a furoshiki wrapping cloth in each of our kits. These pretty, patterned cloths can be used as a re-usable alternative to wrapping paper making our DIY Kits an all-in-one low-waste gift item.
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children"
Native American Proverb
"The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it"