Cut down on packaging and only buy what you’re actually going to use.
1. Swap out your regular liquid shampoo, conditioner, or face cleanser for a bar.
Hair and skin bars have come a really long way in recent years. Now, they do just as good a job as your regular shampoo or face wash, but they’ll also seriously cut down your plastic consumption. Most bars are even packaged in paper, making them seriously low waste.
2. Replace your cotton pads with washable rounds.
Making your own cotton makeup remover pads to replace those you’d normally use once then throw away will save you money and save a lot of waste. Instead of throwing your pads in the trash, you can throw these one in the washing machine, then use again and again.
3. And buy cotton swabs with paper sticks rather than plastic, so they can be composted.
Cotton balls and swabs can both be composted, along with hair and nail clippings.
4. Offer beauty products you no longer use to close friends and family before they expire and end up in landfill.
Everyone’s got a product (or 10) that they’ve used a couple of times, then decided just isn’t quite right. Instead of stashing these makeup and skincare items in the back of your beauty drawer, see if any of your friends or family members would be interested in trying them out. It will save you throwing out an un-used product and save them from having to buy something new.
5. Next time you run out of a certain product, wait and see how long you can go without it before you replace it.
Running out of a certain product feels like the perfect excuse to buy something new. But if you’re trying to cut down on the amount of waste you create, you might want to consider if you already own something that can replace that product in your routine, or whether it was a necessary step to begin with. Even if you do end up replacing all your products that run out, having these thoughts is a good way to become more conscious about your purchasing habits.
6. And challenge yourself to actually finish your beauty products before replacing them.
Have you ever actually finished a bottle of nail polish? What about a lipstick?
7. Say «no» to product samples you don’t truly have an interest in trying.
Free samples are hard to resist, but refusing them is a really easy way to cut down on your waste. Before you accept a sample, consider whether or not you had any interest in the product before it was presented to you — if not, the sample is probably going to be a waste.
8. Go to physical stores rather than order all of your makeup and skincare online.
If you can access a store that stocks what you’re after, shopping IRL rather than online is a very simple way to cut down on packaging. For extra brownie points, take your own shopping bag.
9. And if you do shop online, place one big order rather than several small ones.
Rather than buy one lipstick, wait until you need something else so they can get packaged and posted together.
10. Test products before you buy them if you’re always throwing away things you don’t like.
Products like eye liner, concealer, and liquid lipstick can have a short shelf-life as they dry out easily. Testing before buying means you’re more likely to come home with something that will only end up in the trash, barely used, because it wasn’t what you were expecting.
11. Replace your exfoliating body lotions and scrubs with a dry body brush that you can use over and over.
Most dry body brushes on the market are made from wood, so using one to replace a product that’s most likely sold in plastic packaging is an eco-friendly option.
12. Use coconut oil sold in glass packaging as body moisturizer and eye makeup remover.
Everyone knows coconut oil has a million uses, but another great thing about it is that it’s most commonly sold in glass jars, which can later be recycled or upcycled. Buying the biggest jar you can afford (and store in your home) will cut down on your packaging waste even further.
13. Or try making your own beauty or bath products to replace those you’d normally buy in plastic packaging.
This DIY body scrub is made from sugar, walnut oil, vanilla bean, vanilla essential oil, and dried rose petals, and is just as nourishing and pretty as anything you’d find in a plastic bottle at your local pharmacy.
14. Take your own products with you on vacation and don’t be tempted by hotel toiletries.
Marriott Hotels recently announced that they would be replacing their small, individually wrapped toiletries with bulk dispensers to save approximately 23,000 plastic bottles per hotel, per year. Hotel toiletries are fun-sized, but they’re rarely high quality and generate a whole lot of waste.
15. And always check to see if your empty bottles and pots can be recycled.
A lot of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and body wash bottles can actually be recycled, so be sure to check before throwing anything in the trash.