Hey readers! Today I want to talk about something that I have been slowly transitioning to over the last year or so. I am a long way off from my goal, but any small change that I can make now is still a step forward. Something that I am passionate about is protecting the environment and preserving this beautiful planet. However, not only are there many things polluting the environment, there are many things polluting our skin and bodies as well. A lot of what I have learned has come from my favorite blogger Jess Ann Kirby (blog; Instagram), so I am linking to a few of her posts here. These posts offer some great advice and knowledge about what we are putting on our skin and into the environment, and how we can make small changes in our lives to limit these pollutants. (Clean Swap Challenge; Clean Beauty Q&A; Reduce Waste at Home; Your Vote Matters; Sustainable Clothing Brands)
Here are some changes that I have made and want to continue to make in the future. If you have other suggestions or try any of these yourself, comment below. Let’s all protect the environment together!
Lifestyle Changes I Have Made
Use Reusable Bottles
Stop buying plastic water bottles! I have heard that you have to use a stainless steel bottle something like 500 times for it to be “better” than a plastic bottle, but I think it is still worth it. If you use your stainless steel bottle every single day and refill it multiple times per day for a year, you will hit that 500 mark. If you are worried about drinking tap water, there are water bottle filling stations everywhere these days – airports, hotels, schools, etc.
Limit Single-Use Plastics
I can’t tell you how much I hate plastic. The fact that there is a plastic island in the Pacific Ocean the size of TEXAS is horrifying. Some switches that I have made are investing in reusable ziplock bags and reusable produce bags. I also have metal straws that I use every day. I know lots of people dislike not being given a straw at restaurants, but I urge you not to ask for a straw unless you truly need one (some people require a straw to be able to drink).
Transition to Clean Beauty & Skincare Products
Take a few moments to download the Think Dirty app and check out the ratings of the products in your bathroom. You may be surprised by how many known carcinogens are in the products you use. This is because the U.S. does not regulate certain products, and nearly anything can be listed as a “fragrance” in skincare products. Over the last year, I have been making small changes to my skincare lineup. It can be a very expensive undertaking to do a complete overhaul of your skincare and beauty products, so whenever I run out of a product I replace it with something cleaner.
I love the brand Follain, their principles, and their mission for clean beauty and skincare. See Follain’s restricted ingredient list here. You can even bring your own reusable bottles to a Follain store to fill with soap, reducing plastic bottles! I have already switched to almost all clean face and makeup products. Changes I still need to make in my lineup: deodorant, toothpaste, body wash/lotion, mascara, and haircare.
I am that person who yells at people when I see them throw paper or plastic in the trash instead of the recycling bin… It is so easy to recycle, so please just do it. Be sure to rinse food containers prior to putting them in the recycling bin to ensure that they can actually be recycled.
My town recently started a program called Simple Recycling and I love it. This program enables you to recycle any old or unwanted clothing, accessories, jewelry, and even some household items. This prevents clothing from ending up in landfills, which I think is awesome. Check out if your town is enrolled in this or a similar program.
Buy Only Sustainable Clothing
I have committed to purchasing new clothing only if I know it is sustainable and/or ethical. I love the brand Everlane for their ethical, transparent approach. Try to buy clothing that was made ethically and/or with environmentally friendly fabrics.
Lifestyle Changes I Will Make in 2020 & Beyond
Transition to Clean Hair Products
When I run out of the hair products that I currently use, I will make the transition to non-toxic shampoo and conditioner. I hate the thought of putting shampoo or conditioner made with known carcinogens directly onto my head.
Transition to Non-Toxic Candles & Essential Oils
This is something that I have been wanting to do for a year, but I have not made the jump yet. I have so many candles at my house that have not yet been burned, so I am slowly burning through all of them before I make this transition. Did you know that many candles are made with toxic chemicals? Even essential oils that are marketed as pure are not necessarily made of 100% pure essential oil. I am committed to making the change to non-toxic candles and essential oils when I run out of what I currently have. Check out Follain for non-toxic candles and Young Living for safe essential oils.
Start a Compost Bin
This probably won’t happen for many years (likely when I have a house one day), but it is a goal that I have in mind. I would like to have a compost bin and my own vegetable and herb garden to reduce waste from the grocery store.
Another long-term vision is to have solar power in my home one day.
I wish I had been more mindful about this when I purchased my car 1.5 years ago. When I inevitably have to get a new car one day, I am committed to purchasing an electric vehicle to reduce my carbon footprint.
Talk About It
Tell your friends and family about your sustainability goals! Be careful not to sound pushy, and let them make their own decisions. However, it doesn’t hurt to simply give people the facts or a link to an educational article. During the holidays, it also doesn’t hurt to tell friends and family about your commitment to a non-toxic lifestyle. This may prevent them from buying you beauty, skincare, or home products that don’t match your goals. For example, I told my boyfriend about the brands that I love and my goals for non-toxic skincare. In response, he got me a gift set from Follain for Christmas.
You don’t have to make all or any of these changes all at once, as that can be a very overwhelming and expensive undertaking. However, I recommend that you do a little of your own research. Learn how your choices impact the environment and how you can make a difference. Educate yourself on the chemicals that you are putting in or on your body, and make changes that you see fit. Thanks for reading!
*I am not an expert on this topic. These are some changes that I have made, and I still have a long way to go.*