TRULY SUSTAINABLE MAKEUP OPTIONS!

To be honest, I have been disappointed by most of the “sustainable makeup” lists and blog posts I’ve seen. They always seem to actually be about organic or cruelty-free options, which are also great, but I am looking for plastic-free and reusable packaging. Too many of the companies on these lists use lots of plastic.

I’ve probably talked about my goals of reducing makeup waste before but I haven’t bought new makeup in a while so I haven’t thought about it recently. I don’t know about you but I’m not wasting time and mascara primping for Zoom meetings these days… Hahaha.

When I decided to really work on my sustainability a few years ago, I knew it would mean more than saying “no” to straws and plastic bags. I wanted to really reduce my single-use consumption as often as possible, especially when making new purchases.

MAKING MOVES TO REDUCE MAKEUP WASTE

Step 1: I canceled my Ipsy subscription. I already had enough makeup to work through. I put up a small shelf in my bathroom for it and it was full, so I cut myself off. Now I had to decide how to not let this happen again, and be more conscious of new purchases and their packaging.

Step 2: Don’t buy something similar to what I already have and pass on stuff I don’t use (for hygiene reasons, I wouldn’t give used mascara to friends but pretty much everything else is probably safe. My bestie can pull off the coral lip shade that I learned did not work on me…)

When I filled this shelf plus a makeup bag with so much plastic, I knew I needed a change.

Step 3: Seek out environmentally- responsible makeup companies that offer refillable packaging in glass, tin, wood, or cardboard. Bonus if they’re local or a U.S. small business, to save carbon emissions and support real people too!

Step 4: Be aware of “Green-washing”. This term refers to companies and advertising using colors, symbols, and phrases to appear sustainable when their practices don’t back it up. It’s all fine and well to offer “recyclable packaging” and “eco-friendly ingredients” but companies can do better than that, especially when it comes to packaging. Support ones who really try (see list below!)

I am not sponsored by any of the companies I mention on this blog, I just honestly love their options and efforts to help protect the planet ๐Ÿ™‚

SUSTAINABLE MAKEUP COMPANIES THAT ACTUALLY PUT IN THE EFFORT:

Zerra & Co.I just came across this Maryland small business on Instagram and it inspired me to write this post. Hailey, the founder, aims to check all the sustainability boxes – from product production to plastic-free packaging. They are cruelty-free, have vegan options, work with local beekeepers for their beeswax, ship carbon neutral and more. They even offer $1 shop credit when you return containers in good condition. They have lots of options – like a gorgeous eye shadow pallette, make-up remover, and mascara – yes, even the wand is plastic-free! I can’t wait to try their tinted lip balm too. It’s so affordable and has amazing reviews. Insta: @ zerra.and.co

Cardboard tube and gorgeous, cruelty-free colors!

Clean-Faced Cosmetics – This Michigan company is another great option that’s not greenwashing us. Laura uses sustainable packaging and has vegan options too. This is a good shop to try some foundation and lipstick in reusable packaging.

Dab Herb Makeup – If you’re looking for a wide variety of concealer shades or other prep items, like color corrector, tinted moisturizers, or primers, check out this California shop. They have a few plastic components like pumps and some samplers so look out for those and request samples in tin instead (they offer that option.) But they have wonderful packaging otherwise and a huge selection.

Etsy is really where you’ll find some of the best options for sustainable packaging!

Don’t forget, visit farmer’s and craft markets near you to find local, sustainable items!

It’s National Recycling Week! Can I recycle this? How? Find out here.

^^^ CHECK OUT THE LINK ABOVE TO FIND OUT WHERE TO RECYCLE ANYTHING! ^^^

Scroll down to this section and click on ‘disposal locations’

Recycling is important. I’ll say it again for the people in the back- “RECYCLING IS IMPORTANT!” Truly, recycling should be our last resort at this point, as we are running out of space to store it here in the U.S. as the industry stands today. We used to send most of our recycling to China, but they cut us off last year. Now, in order to create own circular economy, we MUST recycle what is produced here. By putting what we’ve already made back into production (recycling), we reduce the need to produce and use brand new materials! This significantly reduces the carbon footprint of that single-use item from both angles!

Refuse, reduce, reuse… then recycle what you can’t.

The more we recycle what single-use plastic we do use = the more recycled plastic products will be able to buy in the future.

SOME WATER FOR THOUGHT…

See what I did there ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway… In America, we use 2.5 million plastic bottles each hour. That’s insane. And almost always avoidable. Get a stainless steel water bottle and take it everywhere with you. To work. To school. To parties. To bars. Even the movies. I’ve never been stopped. Haha.

Let’s face it, we can all do better. But we also need plastic for certain things. No one is perfect so don’t beat yourself up. For example, I wear contact lenses. I can’t see as well in my glasses, and my active lifestyle makes glasses impractical a lot of the time. There is no single-use plastic free alternative to my contact lens and cleaning solution packaging, for sterile reasons.

THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS

PRETTY FACE = UNSIGHTLY AND FORGOTTEN TRASH SOURCE

Make-up is something I have been thinking about lately. No, it’s not something we need, but it’s something a lot of people enjoy and use regularly. I look at my collection at home and think “Am I just going to pretend that’s not part of the problem?” The options for easily accessible, sustainable make-up products are limited. And can I recycle my make-up containers somewhere, somehow??? FIND OUT HERE!

When possible, shop local! Google “handmade cosmetics _______” and insert your city name. Or check out sustainable, small-business cosmetic options at this link – www.etsy.com.

For those that aren’t ready to make the switch to homemade items, I just learned about these options today and I’M STOKED!

SEPHORA – The $10 Z-Palette has refillable makeup pans that pair with brands like TarteSmashboxMary Kay, and Sephora!

TERRACYCLE accepts mailed-in cosmetic containers and packaging from hair care, bath/body products, and makeup containers. And you don’t even have to clean them out! Woah.

ORIGINS – Origins stores accept any brand’s cosmetics packaging and containers to recycle. Check out your local store.

M.A.C. – Return six M.A.C. product containers to get a free lipstick!

Information on make-up recycling from: https://www.bustle.com/articles/152113-how-to-recycle-old-makeup-if-you-have-empty-compacts-stacked-up-on-your-vanity

IN ADDITION TO MAKE-UP, OUR OTHER FAVORITE HACK TO AVOID LOOKING LIKE ZOMBIES EVERY DAY IS ALSO A TOUGH PROBLEM…

MORNING PICK-ME-UP = MOUNTAINS OF TRASH

Seriously. TerraCycle takes almost everything. Those K-Cups you love but your hippie, tree-hugging niece* hates and won’t stop guilt-tripping you about? YOU CAN RECYCLE THEM!

If they have a recycle symbol, clean pods can be recycled anywhere that accepts #5 plastics. If they don’t check out TerraCycle to send them in.

*P.S.- That hippie niece is me. Two of my aunts love these damn things, and one of them is an environmental engineer for Keurig. They’re both lovely human beings who love their coffee almost as much as they love me…

TerraCycle can be pricey to do alone, but check out your local Staples for boxes, ask your company to get some in the office, or work on a neighborhood/school initiative to share the costs.

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

In the Houston area, and many major cities, general recycling has gotten sooooo much easier. You just throw all recyclables into the same container, right? Well, yes and no. The link at the top of this blog post is an amazing resource to find out where and what to recycle in your area. It’s also a great resource for ALL the ways we can protect our watersheds all over the nation. I’ll give you some quick tips right here though.

EXAMPLE OF MAJOR CITY RECYCLABLES

1. CLEAN OUT YOUR CONTAINERS!

2. CHECK LOCAL CENTER PREFERENCES FOR BOTTLE CAPS/LIDS (SEPARATE OR ATTACHED)

Utilize the embedded link in this post to find the Earth911 search. Type in “bottle caps” and your zip code.

In Galveston, you can re-attach them after you rinse the bottle

In Houston, remove them and leave them in the bin on their own

3. DO NOT RECYCLE PLASTIC BAGS/WRAPPERS/FILM WITH OTHER PLASTICS

Collect plastic grocery bags, produce bags, wrappers, film, etc together and bring them in a plastic grocery bag to your local grocery store, Target, or Wal-Mart and look for the bag recycling receptacle. These items jam up recycling center conveyor belts when mixed in with hard plastics.

When in doubt, e-mail or call your local recycling center!

I’ve done it and received responses every time. And now I have info to share with people in my community. Make yourself a resource to friends and family. Let them think of you as the Eco Warrior you are!