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Earth Day may have already passed, but it's not too late to celebrate Earth Month by making small, environmentally-friendly changes to your routine. Heck, even if you're reading this in September, it's not too late. Treat every day like Earth Day if you can.
Not sure where to start? Today I'll be sharing five extremely easy things you can do to green up one aspect of daily life: Your beauty/grooming routine!
THING #1: TURN OFF THE SINK TO REDUCE WATER CONSUMPTION.
Before you get horrified, don't worry—I'm not telling you to bathe without water. But I think a lot of us tend to mindlessly keep the tap running while we brush our teeth, wash our face, etc. Did you know that bathroom sink faucets can use up to 2.2 gallons of water per minute? If you're brushing your teeth for the full two minutes that most dentists recommend, that's a lot of wasted water. Likewise, I think most of us who use foaming cleansers tend to lather up and let the water run. Instead, try turning off the tap while you brush or using a little bit of water to lather up your face and save the rest for rinsing. And if you really want to reduce your water usage, turn off the shower while you're lathering your shampoo. Depending on the flow rate of your shower head, you could be using anywhere between 25 and 50 gallons of water per 10 minute shower... that's a lot of water!
THING #2: SWITCH TO WASHABLE CLOTHS FOR REMOVING MAKEUP.
Hands up if you typically use face wipes or cotton pads to remove your makeup. These aren't the worst things ever from an environmental standpoint—many of them are biodegradable. But if you're using them every single day, the trash piles up a lot faster than it can decompose. So, on light makeup days, consider using a soft cloth to remove your makeup on light makeup days instead of wipes or disposable pads. I use inexpensive baby washcloths for this purpose—they're soft and I can use them with oily makeup removers without worrying about whether or not they get stained.
THING #3: RECYCLE EVERYTHING!
Well technically you can't recycle everything, but how many times have you thrown away the outer box from your beauty and personal care products without really thinking about it? Remember that almost all types of cardboard and paper can be recycled—even little things like beauty boxes, paper packing material, the cardboard backing on blister-packed products etc. And don't forget about about your products that come in glass or plastic bottles! Plastic can be a bit tricky because there are different rules about what kind of plastic can be recycled in different cities. Check the bottom or back of your products for a recycling symbol with a number inside it:
Contact your municipality/local recycling center for a list of which plastic "numbers" can be recycled, and dispose of your (clean) packaging accordingly. For example, plastic #2/HDPE (which is what's used on the haircare product pictured above) is almost always recyclable, so I'll be sure not to throw this bottle in the trash once it's empty!
THING #4: REUSE PRETTY PACKAGING.
I'll admit that I'm a total sucker for face creams in beautiful jars. Are jars as easy to use or hygenic as squeezy tubes? Nope, but they sure do look nice sitting on my bedside table. If you've emptied a product that comes in especially pretty packaging, don't throw it away—find a way to reuse it! I recently gave one of my empty skin cream jars a new life as a cotton bud holder.
If course you're not just limited to cotton buds—small glass jars can be used to store anything from spices to craft supplies to DIY candles. Just be sure to wash the jar very thoroughly in hot water if you're using it for food storage—and you may have to replace the lid.
Want a quick tip for removing super-sticky labels from glass jars? It's easy: First, fill the jar up with very hot water so the glue behind the label softens and peels off. Next, dispense a few drops of olive oil (or other cooking oil) on a scrubby sponge and go to town on the glue residue. Oil + warmth will dissolve most adhesives more efficiently than water alone. Once you've scraped off all the crud, give the jar a good rinse and let it dry. Et voilà!
THING #5: CHOOSE GREEN PERSONAL CARE BRANDS.
I really like Tom's of Maine because their products are free of artificial colors/flavors/fragrance, and they explain all of the ingredients they use (and their purposes/sources) very openly and plainly on their website. They also make a point to use recycled content in (and maximize the recyclability of) their packaging, which goes hand in hand with what I was discussing earlier. Their Whole Care® Peppermint and Spearmint fluoride toothpastes have long been a favorite of mine—they're super minty and refreshing without tasting artificial. Fluoride not your thing? They also make a Antiplaque & Whitening Peppermint fluoride-free toothpaste. There's also a fun option for the kiddos—Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry™!
Thinking about more than just your mouth? Tom's of Maine deodorants are also a great option if you're looking for something a bit more natural in that department. I've tried a few "flavors" of their Long Lasting Deodorants over the past year or so, with Fresh Apricot being the most recent—you know what's crazy? It actually smells like fresh fruit! I might try it eat it if I didn't know better, heh.
You can find all of the Tom's of Maine products I mentioned above in the health and beauty section of your local Walmart. Even better, there's currently a $1.00 off coupon you can grab before you shop—just visit this link to print it!
What do you think of my greener beauty routine tips? Have you/will you be taking any steps to green up your own routine this month?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, however any opinions expressed above are honest and my own. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.