Learn how to generate less trash and live a healthier and more sustainable life in The Zero-Waste Lifestyle (Ten Speed Press, 2012). Author Amy Korst offers hundreds of ideas for throwing away less in all aspects of your life. In this excerpt taken from chapter seven, “The Zero-Waste Bathroom,” find out which companies offer eco-friendly makeup.
With seemingly bajillions of makeup products on the market, how do you sort through the myriad tubs, pots, and potions to find cosmetics that look great and are great for the environment? Luckily we live in a world where the green movement is growing, so there are more eco-friendly makeup options than ever on the shelves. I can’t possibly cover them all, but here are a few companies that I’m excited about right now.
Zero-waste contributor April loves her Lush products. “Everything comes unpackaged,” she says, noting that you can place products in tins, then bring the tins back for refilling or recycling. “The shampoo is so natural and good for you that I don’t always need conditioner.” The company has retail stores around the country or a website where you can order their many products. Lush “loves it naked,” meaning a number of their products are sold naked, or completely free from packaging. This includes products like shampoo bars, bath bombs, and massage bars. “If you go solid all the time, you can save over thirty plastic bottles a year from entering our landfills!,” Lush’s website proclaims. The company takes waste seriously, aiming for “the simplest forms of packaging to do the job and use postconsumer or postindustrial recycled materials that are 100 percent recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable whenever possible.”
Alima Pure is a company with admirable environmental values. The company makes mineral makeup that is cruelty free. They are participants in the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, a database that catalogues and rates the safety of ingredients in cosmetics. I particularly like Alima Pure for the company’s jar return program. Collect your empty makeup jars, and once you have five, send them to the company in biodegradable packaging and you’ll earn a free eye shadow. The company recycles the empty jars.
A popular department-store makeup brand, Origins also has a strong environmental ethic. Origins is unique due to its Return to Origins Recycling Program, which encourages consumers to drop off empty makeup containers—regardless of brand—at a local Origins store or Origins cosmetics counter. The empty containers are either recycled or used in “energy recovery” (read: incinerated). Since the program’s launch, according to the Origins website, the company has recycled more than seventeen thousand pounds of cosmetics packaging.
If you are a huge fan of your current brand of makeup, trying calling the company and asking what plastic the packaging is made from. Most makeup tubes, pots, and containers are made from plastic number 5. If the container isn’t labeled, check with the manufacturer first; these can be recycled in a Gimme 5 receptacle at Whole Foods.
More Zero-Waste Bathroom Tips
For more from The Zero-Waste Lifestyle, check out the article: Zero-Waste Lifestyle: The Bathroom.
Reprinted with permission from The Zero-Waste Lifestyle: Live Well by Throwing Away Less by Amy Korst and published by Ten Speed Press, 2012.