Greta Thunberg, World Earth Day and David Attenborough’s heartbreaking climate change documentary has given the world major food for thought recently. It has been obvious and well reported for quite a while how damaging we as the human race are to the world we live in. I try to be ecologically friendly and always favour sustainable options (when aware) however at times I am in a hurry or truthfully being a little lazy and haven’t been as respectful of this beautiful planet that I live on as I should be. Although social media can also be a little damaging at times, I am hoping that the recent surge in ecologically friendly content will inspire people to make immediate changes.
When I was planning the content for this post, I soon realised that there was a lot I could and wanted to write about! The global skincare, beauty and cosmetics industry is predicted to be worth over $675 billion by 2020. In the UK, the beauty industry employs over a million people and is worth £17 billion. This industry will continue to grow so it is imperative that we as consumers can influence how our productss are developed, shipped and their carbon footprint on the world. Simply put – if we have higher standards and stop purchasing products we aren’t proud of, the industry will have no choice but to change.
It’s not all doom and gloom, experts are saying there is still time to dramatically reduce the harmful effects we have inflicted. We are also consistently seeing brands old and new, making efforts to positively impact the world. I am no expert but have decided to do a little series of blogs on how we can be greener and treat the world with respect when enjoying skincare, cosmetics and beauty. As aforementioned, I have a long way to go in becoming more environmentally friendly so I thought I would kick these blogs off with immediate changes that I have made in the past few days and will continue with.
- Cancelling all monthly subscription boxes!
Those of you who know me or this blog know that I am extremely partial to a monthly subscription box. I like the element of surprise, I enjoy trying new products and also enjoy the pleasure of a monthly beauty treat each month. However on reflection, this probably results in a lot more waste than it is worth and a habit that I can easily break. The reasons I have decided to stop them are below:
- These products travel from all over the world leading to a large carbon footprint before it finally ends up at my front door.
- As the the products are a surprise, I don’t have control on whether the ingredients are sourced sustainably or tested on animals – two things that are very important to me.
- Sometimes, I’m not hugely impressed with a product I receive. I very rarely chuck it but don’t get a lot of joy from using it either and simply use it for the sake of it.
- Finally, a lot of the time the products received are sample sized. These samples are meant to be mass produced at a low cost which sometimes results in them being packaged in lower grade, non recyclable plastics or materials. This is not to say that the product quality is poor however it may be less harmful to the planet if purchased full size as this can then be recycled! (Have a little look at the beauty samples you receive – are these recyclable?)
2. Use the products I already own!
This could take a while…. but it will be fun! I have drawers and drawers of cosmetic products, both skincare and make-up which I am proud to say always get used however it is bordering on stupid to purchase more before using what I already own. My plan for 2019 is to not purchase another until I have completely used the original, recycled it and evaluated whether I truly need it in the first place. This may seem small to most of you but the skincare/ beauty obsessed reader will understand that this is no mean feat. I should definitely take a before and after picture of the storage in my house for this one! Imagine all the lovely space I will have in a few months.
3. Purchase with total integrity
I do try to do this but have definitely been previously naughty and chosen to be blissfully ignorant with some of my beauty buys – not knowing their back story or how they view sustainability. In my experience, brands are usually pretty proud if they’re ecologically friendly and tend to use this as a marketing tool. When I talk about buying products with integrity, I will now ensure I know the below before deciding to purchase:
- Does the brand test on animals?
- Are the ingredients ethically and sustainably sourced?
- Is the packaging recyclable?
- Does the brand support a philanthropic or environmental cause?
- Are any of the advertised ingredients harmful or toxic to the environment?
- Does the product contain animal derivatives?
- Is the same or similar product produced in the UK or Ireland therefore cutting down on shipping>
Although ALL of the above would deter me from a beauty buy, I haven’t always researched my purchases as well as I should have.
I am a huge advocate in investing in your skin, hair and emotional well-being through the beauty and spa industry however this cannot come at a detrimental cost to the Earth we live on. Investing in our future selves must be synonymous with investing in the planet for future generations to enjoy.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions and please, please let me know if I post anything questionably green (or not!) in the future!
Thanks for reading!