We are in an environmental crisis. Never before has our planet needed help as much as it needs it now. Climate change, plastic pollution, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, ocean acidification, and ozone layer depletion are just some of the devastating problems it is trying to deal with. Most of which has been caused by humans. Which is why it falls to us to do something about it. Before it’s too late.
Since 1970, Earth Day has been recognised every year on April the 22nd, and this year’s theme is ‘Invest In Our Planet’. It is up to every individual to take responsibility, to attempt to reverse some of the damage that has already been done. And whilst the small individual changes we make may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that lots of small changes add up to make big ones. The changes that matter; the changes that make a difference.
One area of our lives we can easily make changes to is our beauty regimes and by thinking about the ways in which we can make them more sustainable and more environmentally friendly. By making some long term beauty investments, not only can we invest in our beauty, but we can also invest in our planet too.
Here are some ideas for you:
Buy Products That Last
When I think back to the beauty gadgets from when I was younger, I remember them lasting for absolutely ages. I had a pair of gas cartridge hair straighteners that served me well throughout my entire teenage years. And whilst the technology has improved massively (oh what my teenage self would have done to own a pair of GHDs if they’d have existed back then!) it seems as though these days products like this just aren’t made to last any more.
However, this is something that companies are starting to take more seriously. And in the case of the luxury beauty tech brand FOREO they are purposefully creating innovative beauty products that function flawlessly for longer in a bid to protect the planet as well as the purse strings of their buyers. Take for example their popular product the UFO 2. This skincare device allows users to experience salon standard skincare from the comfort of their own home. The handheld device works with the FOREO app to guide you through set facials using LED light therapy combined with activated face masks to give your skin an extra special glow up. Switching between thermotherapy (warm) to soften the skin and then onto cryotherapy (cold) to lift and firm, the UFO 2 is a great example of a multi-functional foundational skincare device that delivers results and lasts the distance. Making that one-time investment for your skin, means it not only saves you money in the long run (I like to think of the price going down with every use of a device like this) but a long lasting product means far less waste and far less strain on the environment.
Stop Using Aerosols
With so many alternative products available these days there is absolutely no need for us to use aerosol beauty products any more. Aerosols such as deodorant and hairspray, used to contain dangerous chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which scientists discovered were damaging the ozone layer. However, even though these chemicals have now been removed, aerosols remain on our hit list, as they still contain compressed gas or hydrocarbons to enable the products to function, and this is by no means environmentally friendly.
So, what are the alternatives? Well the good news is we have options. Roll on and stick deodorants are just as effective as spray versions, but are infinitely better for our planet. One example is Wild, who sell natural refillable stick deodorants. Their packaging is made from anodised aluminium and recycled plastic and the deodorant itself is completely plastic free. On top of that they also sell refills, which can be delivered straight to your door on a subscription basis, so you’ll never run out of deodorant again!
If you really can’t bear the thought of giving up your volumizing mousse and hairspray just yet, look out for products that use pump-fuelled containers instead of gas, as these are better for the environment, but still give you the results you’re after.
We have become a disposable society. We want things that are easy to use, cheap, convenient, and quick, and unfortunately what that often means is the over consumption of disposable products. From face wipes to cotton wool, through to razors and period products, we use products such as these on a daily basis, but all to the detriment of our planet, which is literally suffocating under the weight of our waste.
It’s time to ditch the disposables and switch them out with these eco-friendly alternatives:
- Fabric Facial Pads – We use and throw away approximately 11 billion wipes every year. These wipes either block up our sewers or end up in our oceans and it is causing some serious damage. Replace disposable face wipes with fabric rounds that can be washed and reused.
- Period Products – In Europe and the USA over 80% of menstrual products end up in landfill and the plastic components contained within them can take up to 500 years to break down. Reusable period products are the solution to this problem. Whether you choose a Moon Cup or a pair of washable period pants there are thankfully lots of different options for us women to choose from nowadays.
- Hair Removal – Stop buying disposable razors and switch to other hair removal methods instead. From waxing, depilation, threading, electrolysis, and laser hair removal there are better, more sustainable options to choose from when it comes to removing your body hair.
Buy In Bulk
While it may upon first glance seem counterintuitive to buy more than you need, there is method in our madness. You see once you have discovered a product that you absolutely love and cannot begin to imagine life without, you know for sure that you will continue to buy that product time and time again. And if this is the case, then it makes perfect sense to buy in larger volumes. The point of this is not to buy lots of your usual sized bottles, but to do your research and find out what the largest sized bottle is available that you can buy, because one large bottle contains less plastic than several small bottles.
In a bid to meet the demands of their eco-conscious customers, many brands are now offering refills of their products, either by offering less expensive refill packs that can be emptied into the original container, or by offering refill stations in store whereby you bring your own container to fill with your favourite products. This is great news for both brand, customer, and planet alike. Far less packaging is needed, which is great for the environment – anything we can do to protect precious resources is always a good thing. Plus, manufacturing costs also significantly decrease, which saves money for the brand and this is then passed down to the customer too. Shampoo brand OUAI sell refill pouches in this way, which use far less plastic than bottles.
Another option is to only buy products that use recyclable packaging or offer either recycling or repurposing programs. Brands such as Garnier and Love Beauty And Plant use a program called TerraCycle, which allows consumers to mail their empty beauty products, typically ones that cannot be recycled in the usual way, for them to be repurposed. Customers are then rewarded with vouchers or discounts on other products to encourage the initiative.
Invest In Our Planet
If we all start taking responsibility for our actions and choices, these seemingly small changes to our beauty regimes will begin to play a part in the bigger changes. From investing in longer life beauty tech like the UFO 2, through to making sustainable swaps and ditching the disposables, we can all make a difference in the future of our planet.
*Article written in collaboration with FOREO Sweden. All views and words are my own.