Going More Eco-Friendly
I cancelled my Fabletics membership. Why, you may ask? It’s not because I am tired of logging into the site every month to skip my monthly “outfit” subscription (which required me to remember my password, which was a whole other ordeal). It’s because I am trying to live a more sustainable and eco friendly life.
Growing up, I went to this hippy farm school that stressed the importance of nature and keeping the environment clean at a very young age. Recycling and not being wasteful with water, electricity, food, etc. has been ingrained in me since then, but I kind of lost my priority with sustainable living until now.
It all started when my sister told me about how climate change was probably a contributing factor in the coronavirus pandemic. That thought alone freaked me out the most.
Then I saw my friend pull out her reusable to-go utensil set when we got food together. And it just hit me that I should be, can be and need to be waaaay more sustainable.
The more you read about climate change and how its’ affecting our earth really saddens me, to the point where I sometimes wonder whether or not I should actually have kids because I don’t want them to inherit this poor, dying earth.
Clean Beauty vs. Sustainable Beauty
I have already been using up all my beauty products and then replacing them with more “clean” products because I wanted less toxins on my skin and in my body. My mom always tells me that our bodies end up ingesting pretty much everything we put on our skin. Scare tactics are effective on me, is what I’m learning from writing this post, but I digress. Anyway, so yes, I started using more clean beauty products, which is definitely NOT the same as sustainable beauty, but it was kind of pushing me to do more research on my products, and in doing so, I have learned more about sustainable beauty.
Sustainable beauty differs from clean beauty in my mind because sustainable beauty is more focused on product packaging, processing and determining any harm to the environment. Clean beauty on the other hand, focuses more on what the product actually consists of and how harmful it is to your skin. Some of the main questions I ask myself when determining if a beauty product is sustainable are:
Is the packaging recyclable? All of it? Is it made from recycled materials? This includes the box it comes in, if it comes in a box.
Was the product made in a sustainably ethical way? i.e. is the company dumping loads of chemicals into the air or polluting water by manufacturing this product?
How reusable is this product? Does the company offer refills rather than repurchasing products? Can I reuse the packaging?
Do the contents of the product harm the environment? The packaging can be the most eco-friendly thing in the world, but if you’re using a face scrub that has beads of plastic in it that are bad for the ocean, that kind of defeats the purpose.
There are probably more aspects to sustainable beauty than these, but this is what I’ve been focusing on when looking to replace products. I have found it a little challenging to shop sustainably for beauty on a budget, because let’s be real, ya girl still makes no money. But it is possible!
Because I have already been on a mission to gradually replace my beauty products with clean alternatives, I might as well go the extra step and make sure they are sustainable too.
Sustainability Outside Of Beauty
Then I thought, why stop at beauty? Beauty is probably one of the harder things to do sustainably and so if I can manage that, I can definitely improve my sustainability in other areas of my life. So I am really trying to hold myself accountable for living more sustainably. I already do a decent job- I always use reusable water bottles, recycle, my family doesn’t waste plastic bags and we always give away or donate our old clothes.
But here are some new things I started doing:
-Carrying reusable straws in my bag, now I usually always have one on me
-Completely stopped shopping on Amazon (I REALLY despise Amazon but that’s kind of my own personal bias, if you ever want to hear about that, slide into my DMs) (but more importantly they’re killing small businesses and I want none of that. Sustainable to me also means a sustainable economy)
-(trying to) Sell my clothes more on Poshmark (it’s been a struggle, so I will probably end up donating them)
-Not buying fast fashion (Forever21, H&M, Old Navy, etc.)
-Focusing on buying from more sustainable clothing brands when I need/want new things (Girlfriend Collective is my favorite example of a sustainable clothing brand) I’m also trying to minimize any unnecessary clothing purchases.
-Cancelled my Fabletics subscription so now I’m not tempted to buy workout clothes that I don’t need
Things I want to do to make my household more eco-friendly (once we use up what we have):
-switch to reusable floss container
-switch to shampoo/conditioner bars
-get a reusable cutlery set!
I know there’s so much more I could be doing, and I want to do more and more, but these are just my first baby steps into my eco-friendly living journey. And I know my small changes probably won’t be able to stop the climate change that is slowly ruining all of our lives, but maybe one person after reading this will go out and buy a reusable floss holder when they’re done with their current floss package. And then maybe more people will do it and then more and more until eventually every household has a reusable floss holder and we don’t even make those dumb single use floss packages anymore, we will just sell the floss.
We have to be hopeful at least, and do what we can as individuals.
It honestly makes me feel good whenever I change a less sustainable habit or get to switch out a product, because I know I’m doing what I can, and I guess that’s all we can ask for. The next step will be somehow getting big corporations to make serious changes, but that’s a way bigger issue and I’m not sure how to solve that (yet).
*the product pictures in this post are not all sustainable beauty (most are clean beauty though)! I'm still working on finishing all my old products before I invest in new more sustainable ones because I don't want to be ~wasteful~