In the midst of this whole COVID-19 spell, it’s probably slipped your mind that it’s Earth Month right now. As this new world crisis overshadows a previous one, it’s all too easy to forget about the vital environmental movements we’ve been working on for years (April 22nd actually marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day).
But it doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to be a case of all or nothing. Along with switching off your lights and minimising the use of your car (finally, something positive to come out of our current self-isolation situation!), there are a few simple things you can do in your beauty routine to reduce your impact on the environment.
If you’d love to do your bit but don’t know where to start, eco-platforms like Banish are making it easier to find environmentally-friendly beauty products and credible information around sustainability and waste. “It can be really overwhelming when you first start out, which is the whole reason why I started Banish - to help teach people how to make small sustainable swaps,” Banish founder and CEO Lottie Dalziel explains. “I believe that it's not up to one person to save the world but together we can make a difference.”
Here are some ideas on where to start:
#1/ Look for sustainable packaging
Last year, the global cosmetics industry produced more than 120 billion units of packaging. While we still have a very long way to go, more and more brands are working to decrease their carbon footprint and stop waste. Dalziel’s tip? “If it is recyclable, wrapped in cardboard or tin - amazing! But if it comes in plastic wrap (like so many cosmetics do), find a more eco-friendly option.” Look out for brands like Davines, Garnier Organics and Kevin.Murphy, who are all using responsible recycling schemes.
#2/ Reach for beauty bars
The humble bar of soap has undergone a makeover, and it’s gaining some serious momentum. Rich in natural, sustainably-sourced ingredients, the new slew of beauty bars are not only good for your skin and hair, but many are packaged in recyclable cardboard and minimal packaging, making them friendlier to the environment. They’re also mega-concentrated, meaning they’ll last longer than that bottle of body wash or shampoo and they’ll nix water wastage at the same time. Try: Aveda Rosemary Mint Bath Bar, Carbon Theory Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil Cleansing Bar and Thankyou Botanical Lemon Myrtle & Goat’s Milk Soap Bar.
#3 / Use biodegradable wipes
Did you know 75 per cent of sewer blockages involve face wipes? Facial wipes and cotton pads are a huge source of beauty waste because of their single-use nature. Do the environment a favour and switch to a more eco-friendly option to remove your makeup and clean your face. Biodegrdable facial wipes like NIVEA Daily Essentials Biodegradable Cleansing Wipes and reusable makeup removing pads like Face Halo and Press Beauty Four Swipies Reusable Makeup Removing Towels help reduce the amount of waste piling up in landfill, washing up on beaches and causing havoc to marine life.
#4 / Switch to a reef-friendly sunscreen
Beyond facial wipes and other personal care products, sunscreen has a massive negative impact seen on our reefs and marine life. A whopping 14,000 tons of sunscreen is thought to wash into the oceans each year – crazy, right? And this isn’t just for all the water babies out there - even if you don’t swim after putting on sunscreen, it can wash down the drain and into the ocean when you shower. To protect your skin and coral life, natural sunscreens are more reef-friendly than chemical sunscreens. We like Sun Bum Face SPF 50, Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 and Invisible Zinc SPF 50+ Sheer Defence Tinted Moisturiser.
#5 / Opt for a bamboo toothbrush
Bamboo toothbrushes not only look cute on your bathroom vanity, but they’re way better for the environment than their plastic cousins. Bamboo is a fast-growing resource and completely biodegradable, meaning it’ll rot away in the compost rather than stick around in landfill for thousands of years. And we’re not even exaggerating – the toothbrush you used as a kid is still kicking around. Try: Colgate Bamboo Charcoal Manual Toothbrush, Bodecare Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrush or Grants of Australia Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrush.
#6 / Try a natural deodorant
The average antiperspirant is packed with aluminium and chemicals like parabens and synthetic perfumes, so it isn’t exactly great for Mother Nature. If you’re looking for a greener approach, try a natural deodorant. Trust us – these guys have come a long way. Designed to keep you smelling fresh throughout the day, there are now a whole heap of next-gen natural and aluminium-free deodorants that actually work. Some of our faves include: Sukin Natural Deodorant, Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Deodorant and Black Chicken Remedies Axilla Natural Deodorant Paste.
#7 / Get on board with biodegradable hair accessories
Biodegradable scrunchies are now a thing! Completely compostable, they aren’t just better for the environment, but they’re good for your hair, too. We’re loving Bar None’s range of eco-friendly hair accessories - they use soft material that won’t damage your strands and they’re completely snag-free.
Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.
Sun Bum /