Personal care covers everything from taking a shower, styling your hair, or using makeup. There are a number of easy ways you can reduce your impact on the environment without giving up your beauty habits.
Reduce Water Waste
If you have that tap running when you are brushing your teeth, washing your face, or shaving, turn it off! We’ve probably all heard this thousand of times, but it’s real. This does make a big impact. Similarly, try to reduce the amount of hot water you use. Approximately 25 percent of the energy the average family uses each year is for just heating water. Showers are preferable to baths, but try to get in and out as fast as you can. You can also multitask — that means wash your body while you are letting your conditioner sink in.
Another easy thing to do is to wash your hair less. When you skip a wash day, you don’t have the added footprint of running water, the hair products in the shower, the electricity from using your blow dryer and styling tools, plus more hair products. Washing your hair too frequently can strip it of its natural oils too, so skipping a few times could actually improve your looks.
We must brush our teeth at least twice a day so the toothpaste is one of the most consumed personal care products. Most people spread toothpaste to cover the entire brush following what they see in advertisements. However, bristles do most of the cleaning so the excess toothpaste is actually spitted out into the sink. All we need is a pea-size amount of toothpaste for adults. Kids younger than 6 should use even less—about the size of a grain of rice. The toothbrush itself contributes to waste as it is made of plastic and needs to be changed every six months. Next time you change your toothbrush, replace it with a brush made of natural ingredients like bamboo that can be composted.
Reduce the quantity of products used
Similarly to the toothpaste we also tend to use a great amount of other products as well following what we see in commercials. We do not need a handful of shampoo, conditioner or shower gel. Start by using a small amount and add up if you think that more is needed.
Reduce packaging waste of cosmetics
When you’re out shopping for products, try to buy big and minimal packages. Larger containers mean you’re recycling less packaging than a bunch of smaller ones. Buying in bulk also means less trips to the store, which means that less fuel is consumed to get you your products. Use small packages only if you are trying a new product but if you find the one you need go for the big one. Also look for brands with minimal packaging. A lot of products have additional boxes apart from the container that only serve marketing purposes.
Use What You Buy!
Tossing a bottle that is three quarters full is a waste of all those ingredients and energy. In case that you have bought something you do not really like try to find an alternative use. For example pour the shower gel that you do not like in a dispenser and use it as a hand soap. Or use a lipstick as a blusher. Even if you cannot think of an alternative use consider donating the product to someone that might need it.
When you have used up your products, keep your carbon footprint down by actually putting them in the recycling bin and do not stop to look for ways to live a zero waste lifestyle!