Being more sustainable has been the focus for many brands and people, perhaps influenced by Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg. Scientists have declared a climate emergency, so it’s good the consciousness of consumers is shifting. Even beauty booking platform Treatwell, had noted an increase in the search for sustainable and vegan salons. But aside from the usual recycling processes, I wanted to share some handy hacks of how you can make your bathroom a more sustainable space.
Recycle in the bathroom
My dad has been recycling since the early 90’s, long before it became ‘popular’ and I guess it became ingrained in my mind that’s the right thing to do. However, recycling beauty isn’t always straightforward. An easy way to remember to recycle beauty is have a small bin in your bathroom, specifically for that purpose. You could even opt for an empty cardboard box you’ve received in the post - cut a hole on one side - double eco points!
Favour easy to recycle products
Unfortunately, not all plastic or packaging can be recycled due to their multiple layers and different materials that comprise them, and beauty products are some of the trickiest ones in this respect. For your plastic items, make sure you clean them and remember, pumps must be removed and binned. Paper and cardboard can be recycled and don’t forget the toilet roll tube! Glass requires more energy to be produced, so when empty, try and reuse instead of recycling.
Swap out cotton pads and wipes
Most wipes are a complete no-no, bad for our skin, bad for the environment, so instead get some small muslin cloths to remove your makeup. Though brands offer biodegradable wipes that break down in nature in months instead of years, other options are usually better for your skin. Instead of cotton rounds (better than wipes but not perfect), you can buy organic cotton rounds (ideally unbleached) to use with your skincare. These can be washed in the washing machine with the rest of your clothing, and reused, same with the muslin cloths!
Switch up your cotton buds
Cotton buds are the equivalent of plastic straws in our bathrooms, and we use them a lot both for cleaning our ears and our makeup mistakes. The plastic cotton buds are polluting our waterways as well as animal/marine life, and in 2020, they will hopefully be banned. Bamboo or paper stemmed cotton buds are now readily available. If you want to take it a step further, there are some reusable cotton bud options that can be washed and used over and over.
There are various brands that offer naked products, with no packaging at all. These include shampoo bars, body soaps and more, and can often be an easy alternative to what you’d normally buy. Also, the humble soap bar is making a comeback, so why not use that to wash body/hands and face (special face bars only though)?
Written by beauty and lifestyle journalist Fani Mari @fani_breakeven