The Environmental Impact of Beauty Products And How To Fix It
Beauty products are a billion-dollar industry, and yet many of them are wreaking havoc on the environment. It’s not just about how much water or how many animals die to produce your lipstick or shampoo–it’s about what happens when those products end up in landfills, rivers, and oceans. Let’s talk about some ways we can fix this problem.
The first step is to look at the packaging of your beauty products. Is it recyclable? If so, great! But what happens after you recycle it? Does your city or town have the facilities to recycle all of those polyethylene plastics? Do they go to a nearby recycling plant, where it is processed and turned into something else? Or does it end up in a landfill, which ends up emitting methane gas into the atmosphere? There is a big difference between landfills and methane gas emissions, and we need to stop thinking of recycling as the end goal. It’s not. The end goal is reduced usage and repurposing or upcycling of products that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
When buying products you should look for items that come in recyclable packaging, and even better if it is made with reclaimed materials. There are many plastic-free options on the market. When you buy a plastic free deodorant by Paper Cosmetics you’re also ensuring that the deodorant tube won’t end up in a landfill and potentially in our water supply one day. To clean up the oceans of plastic trash, we need to stop putting more out there. And one way to do this is by reducing the number of products you buy.
The next big issue is animal cruelty. There are many innocent creatures being hurt and maimed to produce our beauty products. For example, did you know that snakes have their fangs cut out of them to make anti-wrinkle creams? Or that peptides in cosmetic products come from pig spleens? If you didn’t, don’t feel bad. They’re not advertised on the label.
If a product lists one of these ingredients, it’s up to you to research if they come from an animal source or not. Look for products that are labeled cruelty-free, vegan, and plant-based. By buying these items you are telling the market that there is a demand for them and they will start appearing more frequently on our shelves, making the process of reducing the use of animal products in beauty products easier with each purchase.
By doing your research and buying vegan products, you are helping to decrease the demand for animal-based products. The more people that do this, the more pressure is put on manufacturers to provide a variety of non-animal tested and vegan options for all of us.
Remember, reducing your use of beauty products will make a big impact in the long run. So remember, don’t buy it if you don’t need it! And when you do purchase one product, look for a variety of other cruelty-free, vegan options. It’s not the end of the world to pick up that non-vegan mascara, but it is an essential part of maintaining a clean and healthy planet for us all.