One of the few things I’ve been really focusing on these past few years is sustainability. I know it’s something that I should have been aware of for my whole life, and I have, but my focus has shifted to prioritize reusable products. Since the beauty industry is one that focuses heavily on a “need” mentality, I thought it would be an easy discussion to have here!
I’ve been slowly trying new ways to remove makeup that doesn’t make it so much of a hassle. I was using single-use wipes, but as I’m trying to not use so many single use products, that isn’t my favorite. I started using micellar water with my washcloth, but my mum got me two makeup erasers for Christmas, and I’ve been using them since. These are great because you only need to use a little water along with the cloth to remove makeup! Plus they’re machine washable, so you can use them all the time! I find these to be more effective than micellar water, and then I can use a washcloth to finish off my nightly routine. If you wear makeup, I highly recommend you check these out!
Pan Your Products!
Project Panning is something I have loved for a couple years now. I wrote a whole dang piece about it here, but the quick deal is this: focus on using up your products! It’s pretty basic, but many of us tend to buy new products to replace or use alongside our current products. I found that to be a struggle because I ended up with a ton of half open products expiring on my shelves. I found project panning and it has helped me to focus on what I have. It also helped me to see that I don’t need as much new makeup as I think I do. This is great for the world because the less product we waste (due to expiration or unuse), the less trash we’re putting out there.
Reusable Period Products Deserve More Credit
I am someone who gets a period. It is not a great time, due to endometriosis and other problems. But one thing that has always bummed me out is how much trash comes from tampons (my product of choice). About 5 years ago I started using OB Tampons;they’re applicator free, and therefore they make less trash! But I’ve started looking into (and using) new products that reduce my waste further. The first time I used Thinx Period Underwear was about 4 years ago, and I wasn’t sure it would actually work. But they do! Each pair is about $30, so getting a week’s worth is no cheap endeavor. These also require hand rinsing before washing, and air drying. I really enjoy my Thinx, and the fact that I still have that same pair, 4 years later, in great condition says a lot about the quality. But not using tampons once a period wasn’t really doing it for me. So I picked up a Diva Cup, something that has intimidated me forever. It took a few tries to get it right, but now I’ve got it sorted, and rarely use tampons! I know that these options are not for everyone, but I think it’s important to know that you have viable options! You can learn more about OB, Thinx, and Diva at those respective links!
Order Online Less
This one is a bit tough right now, with the current situation. For many of us, it is safer and easier to order online instead of buying in-store. But when you are more comfortable visiting stores, try this tip out. When we order things online, there is a lot of extra packaging used; boxes, bubble wrap, tape, and more! While those things are used to get products to stores, they’re usually housing far more products than we’re ordering to our homes. When we buy in store, we reduce that trash, can use reusable bags, and tend to buy less. While I find impulse buying a bit more possible in store, I remind myself that I don’t need new things! If you have to order online, try to place orders of everything at once, from as few locations as possible! That way, hopefully, your items will come together, and not use quite so much packaging.
Reusable Ear Swabs?
Yup, they exist! And honestly, they’re pretty dang rad. I have 3 from a brand called Last Swab. Just over a month ago, I started using mine, and they’ve taken a bit of practice. I had to change my ear cleaning routine, but they work damn well! Instead of swabbing my ears immediately after a shower, like I would with cotton swabs, I either clean right before bed, or before the shower. Cotton swabs are absorbent, which makes cleaning ears post shower a good plan. Since the Last Swab is made out of TPE (thermoplastic elastomer), which requires low energy to produce and lasts quite some time. They say that the Last Swab is intended to last over 1,000 uses (that’s almost 3 years!), and I intend to find out. You can learn more about the brand (and order your own) here.
Bring Your Own Bags
I know, it’s predictable as heck. But reusable bags are awesome, and they only help the planet if you use them! I know someone who argued that you need to use these bags over 1,000 times to make them worth the energy output. To that, I have a couple points. First, use them! 1,000 uses is quite a few years of use, so don’t ever forget them! Second, if you don’t want to use the ones that can be bought in the check out line, don’t! Make your own, or buy canvas bags. As long as you’re not using the thin plastic bags, you’re helping. Third, the reason that the thin plastic bags are extra dangerous is that they look like jellyfish in the ocean. This makes them deadly to wildlife that eats jellyfish! If you don’t want to use reusable bags (or if you forget yours), check to see if the store has paper bags. They’re a great alternative, and can be reused and recycled many ways.
Get Yourself a Big Kid Razor
I’m hella late to this game – I’ve been using disposable razors for forever. But while I was at Target I saw that Harry’s has made a women’s razor (the Flamingo, for the same price). While I hadn’t used a Harry’s razor, I had heard good things. I did some price research and found that for my current needs, the Flamingo razor was best suited for me. If you’re someone looking for a subscription, Billie is a similar price and low waste as well. But I’m not much of a subscription person any more. To each their own! But getting a nice razor is a great way to reduce your waste, and I’m happy with the shave I get from the Flamingo. You can learn more about Flamingo and Billie here.
I have been working hard to reduce my waste. I’ve been finding ways to get rid of single-use products across my routine; it started with period products, and has grown to take over my life. I’m very glad to have been working on this, as it’s better for everyone. And while one person won’t change everything, together we can make an impact.
Drop your sustainability tips in the comments below, and check out my thoughts on books and beauty here!