Happy Belated Earth Day

Earth Day always makes me reflect a bit more on my daily activities.  As I went around collecting “Free Earth Day” promotional items, I made sure to put them into my purse or a bag I already had, trying to be more eco-friendly.  I’m fortunate enough to live somewhere with the easiest recycling program ever.  We have a designated trash can (with wheels!) that’s collected weekly AND you just toss anything that’s recyclable into it. While you may not have such a great recycling program, there are some things you can do to “green your beauty routine”…

Choose Carefully: Try to buy products that come in recyclable packaging.  RecycleD is nice, recyclABLE is better.  Learn about what chemicals are bad for the environment and avoid buying products that contain them. (Sorry, I couldn’t find a good “quick reference guide” resource to give you.)

Break It Up:  Some packaging will have parts that are recyclable and parts that aren’t – like those boxes that have the plastic “window” to showcase the product.  Tear off the plastic pieces and recycle the cardboard.

Don’t Be Lazy:  If a product is expired (or unwanted), it’s easy to just toss the whole thing into the trash.  Empty the container and recycle it.  Lotions and cleansers can be put down your bathtub drain easily enough.  Do it while you’re taking a shower to save water.  Just set it in there with you and let the shower water rinse it while you shave your legs or whatever.

Reduce:  Try to find ways to use less stuff.  Body scrubs are nice, but you can do the job with an exfoliating glove, too.  The glove is washable, so it’s a more eco-friendly choice.

Reuse:  Chances are, you still get some bags that aren’t recyclable.  Try to reuse the ones that aren’t and recycle the ones that are.  Re-purpose product packaging bags for other things.  Example:  I use the zip-top bags that come with Sephora online orders to dump my brow/lip pencil shavings into.  (Otherwise, they end up all over the place when the trash gets emptied.)  When the bag is full, I throw it away.  I also use these types of bags to collect empty printer ink cartridges for donation to recycling programs.  Pretty much any zip-top bag that doesn’t have food reside in it gets reused in some way.

Recycle:  Seriously, people – if you have a recycling program where you live, use it.  If it’s one of those “once a month” type of programs, set a reminder for yourself.  Think of it as a cost-saving measure.  (You’ll have to buy fewer trash bags.)

In Summary:  Even if you don’t believe that global climate change is real and don’t care much about the politics of environmental issues, you have to consider the reality of all the trash we’re creating.  There’s only so much space for it.  If you can find a way to reduce, reuse, and recycle you can help us have more space for parks and shopping centers and fewer places with big, stinky piles of garbage.

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