A new year means zero tolerance for waste! And you can make a great start these natural cosmetics
We’ve all seen those incredible zero-waste advocates who can fit a month’s worth of their trash in a standard Mason jar. It’s impressive, I’ll admit, but that kind of raw dedication to the cause can make beginning a zero waste lifestyle really intimidating.
So what’s the best way to start? Go room by room! Take stock of the disposable things you have and brainstorm ways to replace it. The easiest place to start is your bathroom. Here are six cosmetics you can easily replace with zero waste alternatives this new year.
Replace shampoo bottles with bars
I’m sure you have reservations about this one, and I did too at first especially if you have incredibly stubborn hair. However, despite my reservations, when I started using shampoo bars I couldn’t go back!
But why are shampoo bottles so bad? Well, according to Johnson & Johnson over 552 MILLION shampoo bottles end up in landfills each year just in the United States!
You may even be rinsing and recycling all your bottles but unfortunately only around 30% of the 6 BILLION pounds of plastic bottles we produce a year ever actually get recycled.
Shampoo bars mostly come in minimal, if any, paper packaging. They can last longer than standard bottles and they give your hair natural fullness. Plus, you’re not weighing down your hair with artificial ingredients!
Replace tampons with a menstrual cup
I’m sure your eyebrows are thoroughly raised but hear me out! I have been using menstrual cups for almost seven years and I would recommend them to any menstruating person.
What’s so bad about tampons? Well, it’s been estimated that a woman can use up to 16,000 tampons in her lifetime. Multiply that by the 4 billion women on earth… that’s a lot of waste.
Not only are they wasteful but tampons are also filled with fragrances, dyes, bleach, and preservatives. Yuck! All things that should not be near sensitive skin.
Here’s why menstrual cups are awesome: a single cup can last for up to TEN years if properly taken care of! That massively reduces the waste that builds up from discarded tampons. Plus, cups are reusable, safe, sterile, clean, and are highly unlikely to be the cause of toxic shock syndrome.
Replace makeup remover with coconut oil
This one is a no-brainer! Makeup remover comes in plastic packaging that is difficult to repurpose and unlikely to ever be recycled.
Not only that but classic products used to remove makeup can contain drying chemicals or irritants such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.
Coconut oil, however, is gentle, natural, and edible. It can be purchased in glass jars which as easily repurposed.
You could, if you love a challenge, even try making your own coconut oil for an ultimate zero waste project.
Replace makeup wipes with reusable cotton rounds
The big problem is that makeup wipes are single-use which is a HUGE no-no in the zero waste community. Nothing we own should only be used one time.
Many popular brands of makeup wipes even contain chemicals like formaldehyde to preserve them. The problem? That dries the natural oils and moisture from your skin and it can take over 100 years for them to decompose.
Using either a store-bought or homemade cotton round with coconut oil, witch hazel, a natural cleanser, or water, works just as well as a makeup wipe. These are zero-waste because they’re washable and reusable.
Replace synthetic sponges with a wooden body brush or Konjac sponge
Bathing with polyester or oil-based sponges encourages the harboring of bacteria and odor. So essentially, you’re cleaning yourself with something that needs to be cleaned.
Even worse than that? Polyester body sponges from one household can take upwards of 52,000 years in total to biodegrade.
The best replacement is a wooden brush for your body and a Konjac sponge for your face. Wood takes only 13 years to decompose at most in comparison. Plus the natural bristles on a wooden brush make for great exfoliation.
Konjac sponges have developed a strong cult following because they are 100% biodegradable. Being made from a Konjac root (a plant native to Asia) means that they can be composted right in your backyard. Plus, they’re gentle exfoliants for sensitive facial skin. I have two hanging in my bathroom right now!
Replace plastic razors with a safety razor
An estimated two billion plastic razors end up in landfills each year and plastics can take thousands of years to even begin to break-down in landfills. Plastic razors cannot be recycled because of their blades.
However, safety razors save money, time, and plastic! One safety razor can last you your ENTIRE lifetime which is a zero-waste success. The replacement blades are only pennies on the dollar. Plus, you can even recycle the steel blades!
If you really want to be a mean green eco-machine then you’ll switch to paper-packaged shave soap instead of shaving cream in cans.
Note: If you decide to spring for a bit of luxury please note that some shaving brushes can be made out of badger hair and are not considered cruelty-free but there are synthetic options available. The synthetic brushes are cheaper and more hygienic so it’s a no-brainer!
Or, you know, just don’t shave!
If you’re like me you’re always striving to live a more eco-friendly life filled with as little waste as possible. Join me then in making your New Years resolution to start incorporating zero-waste into your lifestyle.
Travel far, live green, and remain hydrated!
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