Every 22nd April since 1970, Earth Day is there to remind us to care for the planet: “while there is still time to solve the climate crisis, time to choose BOTH a prosperous and sustainable future, […] time is short.” This year’s theme revolves around investing in our planet, something we probably should have done about 100 years ago. Considering the enormity of the task as a whole is impossibly daunting, but breaking it down by looking at specific areas of our lives can help us to contribute. So once Earth Day is over, what are the long-lasting changes you can make in your everyday life? I’ve previously participated in Counter Culture’s #JustOneSwitch campaign encouraging us to switch to a more eco-friendly beauty routine in support of the planet. This online store specialising in ethical and sustainable beauty products recognises that everyone has a part to play here, and that minimising your impact on the environment doesn’t have to feel like hard work. Here I partner with beauty salon and beauty stockist Pure Beauty to highlight some of their best sustainable beauty choices.
Ditch virgin plastic in favour of ocean plastic packaging
Not-so-fun-fact: it’s estimated there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050 (by weight). In the last few years you’ll probably have come across the concept of ocean plastic, a term used to describe plastic collected from coastal areas that is bound for the ocean. Now there are red flags to look out for if you’re going to dive into ocean plastic, because companies can claim they’re using ocean plastic if the material was located within 50km of the ocean. Yes 50km. That’s a pretty wide net, and by no means guarantees this plastic was truly ocean bound. Another consideration is that true ocean plastic – the type that has been fished out of the ocean or river, or collected from a beach – is likely to be damaged and of poor quality, which can mean the product you purchase doesn’t last as long. Now that I’ve got all the negativity out of the way, let’s look at the positives in the form of REN’s Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium range, featuring bottles made with ocean plastic and fully recyclable (80% PCR and 20% ocean plastic). The cruelty-free and vegan brand has partnered with Terracycle on this range and to date has removed 1.5 tons of plastic from ocean sources. Even the pump (notoriously difficult components to recycle as they are mixed material) is fully recyclable, just remember to keep the empty packaging as a whole (with pump attached) when adding to your recycling.
70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water but less than 1% is available for human use. Water is a limited resource, and with our current usage water poverty is set to impact two thirds of the population by 2025. The beauty industry can play a part in changing that bleak outlook: water makes up about 70% of most products. So that the plunge and pick a product (or more!) you can see yourself using in solid format. The waterless beauty trend is going from strength to strength so you really have more than enough choice, from shampoo bars to classic hand soaps. The beautifully presented selection of soaps from The Sea Shed will make this swap a breeze, and if you’re feeling confident then step it up with Evolve Beauty’s Deodorant Cream – I have to admit this is the only solid format I’ve struggled with so far, having tried Aurelia’s version but then finding refillable sticks easier.
The terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ are not regulated in beauty, so the best way to erase any doubt on the validity of these claims is to look for certified formulas. Evolve Beauty’s Bio Retinol Gold Mask is certified COSMOS Organic, a standard globally recognised by the cosmetic industry and a guarantee that the product is genuinely organic, looking at the total product composition of organic content, the cleanliness of storage, manufacturing and packaging, environmental management and concerns, and clarity of product labelling. Also, the colour of this gold mask is like nothing I’ve ever seen before – stunning.
Discover upcycled ingredients
If you haven’t heard about upcycled ingredients yet, it’s only a matter of time. I first discovered the concept thanks to Upcircle and their Coffee Face Scrub made from repurposed Arabica coffee grounds from London artisan cafes. And with 70 million cups of coffee drunk every day in the UK, it’s a no brainer to upcycle this material. There are many by products from the food industry that could easily end up in landfill, but by valorising this so-called waste we can see it as a material worth using rather than chucking.
Eliminate to concept of waste
This leads me on to waste in general, not just food waste, but any waste. Terracycle’s mission is to eliminate the concept of waste, because unfortunately we are far from this approach. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, almost 70% of plastic containers and packaging waste end up in landfill. But it doesn’t have to be that way if we start to see the value in all materials. Practically everything can have a second life (or third, or fourth), and this is perfectly illustrated with Zero Waste Club’s soap dish made from non-recyclable plastics. Not only is it eco-friendly, but the swirly marble effect looks great too.
Swap single use accessories for reusable ones
I cannot sing the praises of reusable pads enough. I first discovered reusable face pads thanks to The Konjac Sponge Co and their Eye Cleansing pads which I used on the whole face with a cream cleanser. Now I rarely use single use cotton pads, except for removing nail polish and when I’ve forgotten to wash my reusable pads. I’ve also re-discovered the joys of wiping cleanser off with a flannel, making me wonder why they ever went out of fashion: a clean make-up free face and light exfoliation to boot, what’s not to love? JoJo Glow boasts fantastic eco-credentials: pads can be machine washed up to 200 times, the packaging is biodegradable and recyclable, and they even offer an upcycling scheme so you can send back your pads once you’re done with them so they get a second life.
Ditch synthetic in favour of natural ingredients
Finally if you want to start gently on this eco journey, look for high quality natural formulations which won’t be a massive departure from what you’re used to. This Dry Body Oil from cruelty-free and vegan Bloom & Blossom is 99% naturally derived and has the benefit of also being waterless, so what you’re buying is a blend of quality ingredients without dilution.
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