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As we go into Plastic Free July, an annual global movement that encourages and supports people to reduce how much plastic they are using. Since it started in 2011 it is estimated that around 326 million people took part in 2020. Are you taking part this year? Or did you do it in a previous year and now live plastic free?
We are going to be going through some of ten easiest swaps that you can make when it comes to your makeup and toiletries.
My personal advice, is that if you are taking part this year there is no point throwing out everything you currently use and replacing it with plastic free items. This is a waste of resources and of course your money! Replace an item as you finish it, do it slowly rather than rushing in and replacing everything at once.
There is also a very famous quote when it comes to going plastic free, I cant remember who said it, but the quote is:
As we go through the swaps I will share what each swap will potentially save, so if you decide to do one swap at a time you can measure your progress.
So in no particular order:
This is a nice easy swap! When I first started Greener Beauty it was so hard to find decent plastic free deodorants. Now in 2022 it is so much easier, there is no reason to not make this swap. Something that we all use every day with a quick swipe under the arms. As long as the deodorant is effective and working for you, no one will even notice any difference.
Average no of Deodorants used in a year: 3 -4 bottles/ roll-on’s
Click here to browse our range of plastic free Deodorants.
Skincare is a very wide term that encompasses all skincare from cleansers to moisturisers and toners to eye cream. Traditionally these items come in a plastic pump, a squeezy tube or a plastic pot. Depending on what products are in your skincare regime you could save up to around 13 bottles of plastic every single year, think how quickly that will add up over a decade or even a lifetime! It might feel incredibly overwhelming to think about replacing every single item of skincare in your regime but remember just do one bottle at a time as you finish each one. If you need some help finding the right skincare for your skin type never hesitate to get in contact with us at GB HQ.
Average no of Cleansers used in a year: (depending on how many ml in a bottle) around 2 – 3 bottles
Average no of toners used in a year: 1 bottle
Average no of day creams used in a year: 2 jars
Average no of night creams used in a year: 2 jars
Average no of serums used in a year: 1 to 2 bottles
Average no of eye creams used in a year: 1 to 2 bottles
Click here to browse our range of plastic free skincare
One of the easiest and simplest swaps you can make is to move to refillable makeup.
Lots of brands are now switching over to a refillable model. The range comes in two different types of packaging; a full size and a refill. In the picture we have Love the Planet who package their range in aluminium tins and the refills are in a compostable kraft paper bag. Of course you don’t need to use their tin either, you could use straight from the kraft paper bag or decant into a pot that you already have.
This works really well for mineral makeup such as the range from Love the Planet. But what about makeup that is not in powdered form?
Don’t worry, there are still options.
I am yet to find a range of refillable nail polish, but honestly, who would want that mess! I think I would honestly get it everywhere. So best we accept that nail polish will never be refillable. However you can select options that have less of an impact, what is the bottle made from? And the lid? Traditionally the lid is made from plastic but there are more sustainable options out there such as the Zao Bamboo lid. It still contains a plastic brush but this is definitely a more sustainable and lower impact option.
So what about other types of makeup like mascaras and lipsticks?
As you move away from mineral makeup and pressed powders it becomes harder to find refillable options. However we stock the full range from Zao and the full range of makeup is refillable from the liquid foundations to the lipsticks, the mascaras to the eyeshadows. While the refills of the lip glosses, lip polishes, liquid eyeliners, Light Touch Complexion and Mascaras do contain plastic this is PET plastic which is fully recyclable. Even with this plastic refill it is a far more sustainable option than traditional throw away makeup.
Click here to browse our range of plastic free makeup
When you think of going plastic free your menstrual cycle might not be where your mind first goes to. But did you know:
So why not start with your menstrual products? A Mooncup is a great place to start and will last you approx. 7 years (this is what is advised but I have been using mine for around 10 years now..). If we go with the average person using around 10 tampons and 3 pads at the start of their cycle when its heaviest, for the 7 years you can use a Mooncup for you will save around 920 tampons and 276 pads, not bad huh!
Alternatively if you don’t get on with a period cup all our tampons and pads are plastic free and biodegradable, so they wont be left for 500 years!
Click here to browse our range of plastic free menstrual products
Dental swaps are another easy one. Whether you are swapping a plastic toothbrush for a bamboo or birch one, or moving from a plastic squeezy tube of toothpaste to a jar this can quickly add up to saving a lot of plastic. In the UK it is estimated that 300 millions tubes of toothpaste are used every single year. Imagine the impact on the planet if everyone made one swap of changing to a plastic free toothpaste. One that is often missed is dental floss and this is the swap I would urge you to make as soon as you can. Floss is such a thin thread of plastic that can easily become entangle and strangle wildlife, consider moving to one that is plastic free and ideally biodegradable.
Average no of Toothbrushes used in a year: 4
Average no of tubes of toothpaste used in a year: 2 tubes per person
Average no of bottes of mouthwash used in a year: 3 to 4 bottles
Average length of dental floss used in a year: Approx. 150 meters
Click here to browse our range of plastic free dental
Shampoo bars are a great way to reduce plastic. The average person uses around 4 bottles of shampoo and 4 bottles of conditioner a year.
Depending on the brand of shampoo bars each bar seems to be the equivalent of at least 3 bottles of shampoo. And some shampoo bars; like the Zero Waste Path one pictured and the Strawberry Moon ones, are a combination of shampoo and conditioner in one bar.
Imagine swapping from 8 plastic bottles to 1 shampoo & conditioner bar. Now that is an epic swap!
Click here to browse our range of plastic free haircare
Choosing miniature products means that these products will not last as long and will need to be replaced sooner. Choose full size bottles or large sizes so that the packaging lasts as long as possible.
Cotton buds can be so useful in getting those wings absolutely perfect or tidying up some eyeshadow that might have fallen on your cheeks while you were getting those fabulous Smokey eyes. But what is the impact of using these on a daily basis and how can we make this step in our daily makeup routing more sustainable?
Traditional cotton buds or cotton swabs are made from plastic. These buds never degrade and the fear is that they end up in the ocean where they will stay forever.
We have all seen that famous picture of the seahorse floating in the open ocean clinging on to a cotton bud. It breaks my heart to think that it might have clung to the cotton bud thinking it was seaweed and was then carried away with the current.
Luckily these plastic cotton buds were banned from sale and distribution in the UK on the 1st October 2020 so the hope is that there are no more of these available anywhere. However a quick google at the time of writing this and I have found that the plastic versions are still available to purchase online. I know, I am as disappointed as you are!
Here at Greener Beauty we have never sold plastic cotton buds even before the ban and instead we have a few more sustainable options available.
Click here to browse our range of plastic free cotton wool
If you travel a lot one way of saving plastic, especially saving it from ending up in the ocean off a gorgeous island somewhere, is to decant your favourite products into a aluminium pot that you can just wash and take home when you are finished with it. This is also great if you are travelling and only have cabin luggage! We sell a range of pots that are all cabin luggage approved size (i.e. 100ml or under)
Click here to browse our range of plastic free travel pots
You can make a huge impact on your own sustainability by using a reusable make up remover. We all know that lots of the face wipes just move makeup and grime around your face but did you also now that lots of them contain plastic?
A great alternative is using a washable or reusable cloth to take off your makeup. If you use a face wipe on average 5 days a week this amounts to 260 wipes over the course of one year.
Personally I am a big fan of my ditsy cloth. I have been using the same one since around 2018 and it still looks and feels like new after being washed. An easy way to take off makeup without the need for any products, and just some warm water. Its like a little bit of magic!
Click here to browse our range of plastic free makeup removers
So there we have it ten easy swaps for Plastic Free July! Don’t forget that any and all small swaps can make a huge difference so rather than getting overwhelmed with where you are and where you might like to be, you can always just pick one or two things to focus on and add in more when you feel ready.
Another important piece of advice we can give is to start slowly and just replace things with a more sustainable option as you finish them. It would not be sustainable to throw out a full makeup bag full of products to just replace them with more sustainable options.
Don’t be hard on yourself. If you can only make one swap now that is amazing. If everyone on this planet made just one swap imagine the impact that would have on this planet.
If you need any more advice or help with swaps or anything greener beauty related please do get in touch with us and we will always be more than happy to help!
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If you celebrate Valentines or Galentines and are trying to find the perfect gift for a special someone in your life you have come to the right place! Read our blog, Your Greener Beauty Valentines Gift Guide! Choosing our favourite items from our entire shop is no easy task but we have done our best to select something for everyone in different price ranges to suit all purses. Don’t forget everything is 100% vegan, cruelty free and clean (no nasty sulphates, parabens etc) and only from ethical brands we believe in.
Are you doing veganuary this year but struggling with what to do about your full makeup bag or your bathroom cabinet but arent sure where to start. Read our guide on Vegan Beauty Tips for Veganuary and what to watch out for.