In recent years, there’s been such a huge movement towards living sustainably and making choices that are better for the world in general. My family have always been big on recycling and whilst I was living away at University, I tried to carry this on; I was more aware of what I was chucking away, whether that be food or packaging, I tried to keep an eye on water consumption and what I was buying, and very often opted for public transport or walking where possible.
However, I have to admit, as a student living on a budget with a pretty busy life, this wasn’t always the easiest thing to do. I definitely could’ve done more, but now a year out of University I’ve been reading up so much more on how to live sustainably and I’ve tried to make a few more changes. This is largely because I now have the means to do this; this isn’t the case for everyone though so don’t feel bad if you’re not able to it.
Today, I wanted to talk about how I’ve been trying to make more sustainable choices in regards to beauty. Of course I still recycle but I’ve definitely found that I’m using public transport less and less. After reading up, I know as much as you can do is the best you can do; I can’t stop the amount I use my car as I need it for work, but I can make changes, albeit small, to my beauty routine to try to counteract.
Below, I’ve outlined the ways in which I’ve tried to make more sustainable beauty choices – it’s definitely not exhaustive and there’s much more I could do so if you have any more suggestions, please leave them in the comments!
Awareness of Packaging Waste
I never really paid attention to this when I was younger but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed how much packaging, specifically plastic, is involved in the beauty industry. I now try to buy products in glass packaging (mainly moisturisers or serums) and when that’s not as possible (most make-up) I aim for products that have recyclable cardboard packaging.
Using Reusable Products
This is biggest change I’ve made. I used to go through so many face wipes and cotton pads. However, I now have the means to buy natural skin care and washable muslin cloths as well as reusable cotton pads – I can’t remember the last time I used a face wipe. I opted for reusable cotton pads to use for toner and nail varnish remover pads so I no longer had to use the single-use ones.
I found these from Tabitha Eve on Etsy. I opted for the Cotton Make-Up pads and then discovered there was an option for the ‘imperfect’ ones – they’re essentially just not perfectly round and thus cheaper. I mean, I don’t think the shape of a cotton pad is biggest issue in the world and I thought it would mean less waste so chose the ‘imperfect’ option.
I also found these reusable nail varnish remover pads from The Stitchery Dorset on Etsy. Removing nail varnish was the main way I used cotton pads before so this has definitely cut down my consumption of single use products. Better for the environment and for my bank balance.
Making Natural/Vegan/Cruelty Free Choices
I have to admit, I never really gave this a second thought when I was younger. I just bought whatever I thought looked nice. I still shop like this, but before I buy I take a moment to check is it natural? Vegan? Cruelty free? I do have make-up products that don’t fall into these categories and I don’t want to waste them, and I most likely will still buy products that don’t in the future. But I do make a conscious effort to consider my decision and opt for the better choice where I can.
Reducing Amount of Buying
This is the biggest one for me. I used to just buy beauty products because I wanted them and they looked nice. I now try to restrict what I buy to what I need. I like a treat now and then, but it’s definitely much less than it used to be. I personally do not need an excess of beauty products and I find this is such a good way to make more sustainable choices – I try not to have ten different types or colours of the same products.
How I Can Do Better
Whilst I have made some pretty big changes (considering where I was at before), I can still work to educate myself further and make more informed choices. I’d like to be able to buy more natural and ethical products and see where else I can implement reusable alternatives to cut down on single use. For example, I still like to use a sheet mask. I aim to research reusable options, or face masks that are not single use.
I’m so aware that these are very small changes in a quest to live more sustainably, but every little thing adds up, so although it sometimes feels pointless, it’s not. I’m hoping to move out into my own house soon where I can make an even bigger push to make sustainable living choices.
What sustainable choices do you make? Any other things I should be doing?