1. Ditch the Wipes
As we try to keep up with the idea that we must live a ‘fast-paced’ lifestyle, the wipe (makeup, baby, feminine hygiene) has become another 21st-century staple that is having a big impact on our environment.
Wipes can take up to 100 years to break down in a landfill. Some wipes are ‘biodegradable’ but that term can be used without any time parameters, so while they will break down ‘at some stage’, it could still take decades. Wipes come in plastic packages that usually end up in landfill. They are made with plastic components that don’t break down when flushed — instead they end up blocking pipes and sewage systems and sometimes float all the way through to our oceans.
The most impactful thing you can do is to literally ask yourself, “Why do I use wipes?”
Connecting with ‘why’ you make the decisions you do will motivate you to take more conscious action. Now that you know some of the basic environmental impacts of makeup wipes, can you justify your ‘why’ in the same way? Some alternative options are also to purchase reusable wipes, some come with makeup remover already on them (just add water) or you can get into DIY mode and make your own wipes (and use an oil, such as coconut oil, to remove the makeup).
2. Look out for microbeads in your cosmetics
Did you know that microbeads, which are used as an abrasive in our face/body scrubs, soaps and toothpastes, are actually tiny plastic particles?
Microbeads are therefore rinsed off our faces and bodies, down our sinks and essentially into our oceans where they are eaten by small fish which are eaten by bigger fish, which are, of course, then eaten by us – yes, that means we are eating plastic! Try to purchase products with natural exfoliants, not microbeads. How do you know if the product has microbeads in it? The word you’re looking for ispolyethylene (PE), which is the most common plastic and frequently used to make microbeads. Alternatively you can use facial sponges that will give you the same clean, smooth skin, without the microbeads. We suggest checking out an activated charcoal sponge.
Conscious Action NZ