“Are you ready yet?” My husband’s standard line when we are getting ready to go somewhere.
“Nope.” My standard reply. “But you’ve put 6 things on your face and you still look the same!”
Yep. He said that, and yes, I then took even longer to get ready. He was starving, hangry even. I let it slide. But it got me thinking and you know what happens when that happens.
I opened the shower door and counted how many steps are involved in my shower process: two different face washes, 2 different body washes, and three hair products. My husband’s shower routine includes an all-in-one hair and body wash. I turned around and looked at my bathroom counter. My daytime routine: three face creams, numerous makeup and hair products, smelly good lotions, deodorants and perfumes.
Then, I look at my husband’s side of the bathroom. One stick of deodorant. Yes, folks, he looks amazing by using 2 products, and that’s it.
The point: I felt guilty when I thought about the money I was spending — plus the environmental impact I must be making, too.
Making small changes to your beauty routine could save your pocketbook and the Earth
Circling back to core values, I’d like to think I was making a profound difference in the world by not being self-centered or polluting the world with my beauty product garbage. Beauty, fashion and finance are my three “things” so let’s just get one thing clear, right up front: I am NOT about to advocate changing your hygienic practices, taking waterless showers (yes that Is a thing) or changing your makeup and hair styles. But there are benefits to the environment – and potentially your pocketbook — by making some small changes.
The beauty industry is changing packaging for the better
Let’s talk about packaging. In addition to not understanding how long it takes his wife of 16 years to get ready to go somewhere, Mr. Marotz simply can’t understand how a family of three can make so much garbage. The bulk of that garbage? Packaging.
Don’t be lured in by wasteful marketing
Those cute packages in the store might be the very reason you or I walk in looking for mascara and walk out with a bag full of stuff we may or may not need. The clever marketing and shiny outer shell that got you to buy the product you weren’t planning on buying in the first place goes straight into the trash. Meaning you spent more than I wanted to, had a negative environmental impact, and Mr. Marotz is mumbling to himself as he lugs another bag of trash down the stairs.
Zero Waste Week, an annual awareness campaign in September for reducing landfills, reports that more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry. (Mr. Marotz thinks 100 billion units are mine, and undoubtably some of them are.)
What are beauty companies doing about this?
Back to the environment – what specifically is the beauty industry doing to help the planet? How can you make the best beauty choices?
Companies like Dior are a great example. They’ve removed all cellophane and cardboard wedges from its products. And those luxury skincare instruction leaflets? They’ve been replaced with a scannable QR code. Dior is also swapping the plastic display shelving on counters with glass and plans for its formulas to contain 90% natural ingredients by 2020. Aveda is another brand that is on board with environment-friendly packing, as well as Guerlain and Kjaer Weis.
All you need to do is check your favorite products’ website to find out if they are helping reduce your beauty footprint.
Helping the environment can help the economy
I learned recently that even our sunscreens are destroying portions of the environment — in particular, coral reefs — the most important ecosystem our oceans provide.
But the financial advisor in me wanted to know just how important coral reefs were. Did you know that NOAA estimates coral reefs’ economic value, taking into consideration variables like food production and tourism, to be in the realm of $30 billion annually?
Consider the cost and benefit of environmentally friendly products
After all of this, I put back on my advisor cap and realized I might be paying more for environmentally friendly products. It’s true that products made by companies that go out of their way to be Earth-friendly, or products that are made with more natural ingredients, may be more expensive.
However, it’s worth it to consider the unseen financial perks of protecting the environment, as well as the benefits of creatively using what you have on hand instead of purchasing what you don’t need. This can help you create an environmentally friendly, affordable beauty benefit package!
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.