Take a look around your home. You’re probably consuming more single-use items than you think. And with Earth Day approaching on April 22, we’re taking inventory of everyday items in our beauty and self-care routines that can be swapped out for more sustainable versions.
We’re talking about things like hair ties, toothpaste, and makeup-removing pads. So here’s the 411 on alternates that’ll help you go green.
They’re stretchy, strong, and won’t immediately rip out your hair when you go to take your ponytail down. But best of all? They’re made without plastic. Just natural rubber and cotton. When the hair tie has run its course, you can toss it in the compost. Aka an easy way to make your life a bit more green. ($14.95/27 pack, Amazon)
Hello, zero waste. This vegan bar is shipped in recyclable packaging and is free of silicones and synthetic fragrances. It’s got ginger root, argan oil, and tuberose to hydrate and smooth your locks. Bonus: no more banging bottles in the shower to get the last bit of shampoo out. ($24.50, Goldune)
No plastic bottles here, either. The bar will arrive in recyclable packaging and is 100% carbon neutral. To achieve this, by Humankind works with the Manoa REDD+ project in Brazil and the Hudson Farm Improved Forest Management Project in New Jersey to help restore earth’s forests. When it comes to the body wash bars, you can choose from blood orange and bergamot, grapefruit, tea tree, or an unscented option. All of them are vegan, sulfate-free, and ethically sourced. ($15, By Humankind)
So you get a handle that’s comfortable to hold and flexible bristles that feel soft on your teeth. And when you’re done, the toothbrush can decompose at a rate between a few months to a few years. That’s wayyy quicker than plastic (which can take up to 20-500 years). And if you’re wondering how Juni is different from other bamboo brushes, it boils down to the finish on the handle, the bristles, and the production. The entire thing is made in-house, so you get the best product every single time. ($8.99/2 pack, Juni)
Why spend time painstakingly squeezing a tube when you don’t have to? These tablets are made with N-HA (a nontoxic fluoride alternative), coconut oil, peppermint oil, aloe vera, and tea tree oil. They’re designed to whiten your teeth, freshen your breath, strengthen enamel, and reduce sensitivity. They also happen to be plastic-free, cruelty-free, and SLS-free (the ingredient that makes toothpaste foamy, also found in detergents). ($12/62 tablets, Huppy)
The formula is made sans aluminum, and the stick is designed to be reused. So you don’t have to keep purchasing the entire package. Before you go on doubting how effective natural deodorant is — don’t. The non-GMO cornstarch and baking soda work together to keep you dry and neutralize odors. The coconut oil and shea butter help to smooth your skin. And the candelilla wax and beeswax work to keep your skin feeling hydrated. Your armpits = covered. ($28, Beautycounter)
That’s right — 90% recycled plastic bottles and 10% spandex. They’re perfect for lounging around the house, your afternoon bike ride, or for morning workouts. They’re sheer-proof (so you can do that set of squats with no fear). When you feel like the pants have seen better days, you can recycle ’em with ReGirlfriend. So no fabric goes to waste. ($48, Girlfriend Collective)
With regular washing, this menstrual cup can last you over a year. It provides 12-hour protection and comes in two sizes, depending on the heaviness of your period. It’s made with medical-grade silicone and is free from latex and phthalates. If you’re on a mission to reduce your usage of single-use products, this is a great place to start. ($17.69, Target)
Bamboo grows fast. And absorbs carbon dioxide quickly. So it replenishes itself and can help with deforestation (aka it means fewer trees cut down for toilet paper). This toilet paper is made from 100% bamboo and doesn’t use any chlorine or chlorine dioxide during production. It’s also biodegradable and safe for septic tanks. One roll has 300 sheets and comes in recyclable packaging. If you wanna cut down on your toilet paper use overall, consider a bidet. Your butt can thank us later. ($69/36 rolls, Tushy)
These pads only need water to work (gasps in surprise). Once you’ve removed your makeup, you can flip the pad over to use the other side for applying toner and moisturizer. They’re pretty thick and come with a mesh laundry bag. So once they’re all used up, you can just toss them in the wash. ($15.97, Amazon)
It’s 5 millimeters thick, with no PVC or plasticizers. It’s also 99% latex-free and can be recycled. This mat has a bit of added support and a grippy texture, but comes in thinner versions if that’s what you prefer. Reviewers rave about its quality and no-slip feel. ($95, Manduka)
It’s made from Biofeel, a plant-based material. So it takes less energy to create, and therefore less carbon dioxide is produced. It can be used internally or externally, has multiple speeds, and is pretty darn quiet. Plus, it’s latex- and phthalate-free, and made from body-safe materials. We can’t think of a reason not to buy. ($9.92+, Amazon)
PS: These are editorially selected, but if you purchase, theSkimm may get something in return. PPS: If something’s out of stock, oops, it was there when we published. Thanks.
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Skimm'd by Alexandra Napoli, Emmy Favilla
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