Tuesday, November 12, 2013

6 Ways to Save the Environment with Cosmetics

You don't want to hurt this lovely creature, do you?
Image Source: Bill Longshaw | Freedigitalphotos.net
According to Eurostaf statistics on 2007, the annual turnover rate generated by the cosmetic industries worldwide reaches to USD 170 Billion. With that amount in mind, we can hardly imagine how much raw ingredients and packaging materials it takes to manufacture cosmetic products every year. The accumulated wastes acquired from the disposable plastic bottles as well as the skincare chemicals being washed away from our sinks can leave undesirable impact on our environment.

As consumers, we can help reduce our carbon footprint and environmental wastes by making the right choices. Below are a few ways that we can do to lessen the damage on our oceans and wildlife as well as reduce landfill mass. Though following each and every green tip we find is sometimes impossible, it's better to follow some doable pointers than none at all. One little effort by every one of us is a big deal to our environment.

1. For skin exfoliants, avoid microbeads made with plastic. To find out if your exfoliant contains plastic microbeads, check if the ingredients list contains polyethylene.

2. Though bar soaps are less preferred by many consumers, they give off less wastes on the environment. They don't come in plastic tubes, which take far more energy to be produced than simple bar soap wrappers or cartons. In addition, we tend to use more liquid soaps than bar soaps, leading to more wastage. If bar soaps don't irritate your skin, then always stick to bar soaps.

3. For liquid soaps and shampoos, reuse your plastic dispensers if possible. I've encountered a Japanese store called Muji selling personal care product in reusable dispensers. The said store also sells product refills. If you cannot find such product brands in your area, then patronage those products with containers coming from recycled materials (which would be indicated on the label).

4. Opt for eco-friendly products such as those made with natural and organic ingredients. However, there is no standard rule for the label "natural" and "organic," and manufacturers tend to abuse these terms despite including only a few of these ingredients. For certainty, it is wise to look for a third party seal indicated on the label of the product. Keep in mind though that organic or natural products does not necessarily mean they are better for the skin, many ingredients may still irritate the skin. So always do your research.

5. If you decide to use synthetic products instead, always check the ingredients list for harmful chemicals. Educate yourself for the common ingredients found on cosmetic products. To identify which ingredients are eco-hazards, a good place to start is here.

6. Aerosol deodorants, hairspray, nail polish, and nail polish removers are flammable items. Aside from those, many other personal care products contain non biodegradable chemicals that are harmful to the environment. If you decided to throw these items, call your local waste management services for proper disposal. You may search via online search engine for their contact details by typing "waste management services" plus your city.

Do you know any other ways to help save the environment with regards to cosmetics use? Share your green tips below.
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