In my column last Jan. 17 (“Sustainability is the new luxury”), I suggested some sustainable clothing options and websites. Now I’ve also been thinking about giving tips on how to be really more conscious of the environment.
It’s not just a trend. Recently, I came across a Vogue article about brands producing pieces to acknowledge that unless drastic changes are made in the next few years, the world faces a bleak future.
The article mentioned Gabriela Hearst staging a carbon-neutral fashion show for her Spring 2020 collection with only local models to save on airplane fuel, minimal backstage lighting, and no hot tools for hairstyling.
In the same article was a tip that I want you to try to lessen your carbon footprint or carbon dioxide emission which harms the environment: Drop the hairdryer.
Hairdryers or blow dryers are said to produce 57 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. It’s a crazy number when you think about how small hairdryers are, but consider how many salons use them worldwide.
For you to stop using one is a small contribution but it counts. If you shower before bedtime, opt for sleeping with your hair damp. Tying it loosely will produce an Olsen-approved tousle.
Ditch the aerosols
I tried to gather more info to help reduce the damage caused by beauty routines. Going for a carbon-free hair care system means ditching aerosol cans. These days, you can get hairstyling products in regular spray bottles. Look for stores that accept empty bottles so you don’t add to more waste.
Stay away from products with microbeads. Read and research the contents of your toothpaste and body scrub as they may contain these tiny plastic particles. They may clean efficiently, but they also add to water pollution.
What’s really terrible is how these particles are too small and get past the filtration at water treatment plants. Women’s Health advises that you check out the labels for the following: oxidized polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), nylon and polypropylene. All of these are no-no’s.
Choose skin products that use only all-natural ingredients like Frank Body, Clean Beauty Co. and Bare Minerals.
If you stay at hotels often for travel, look up their toiletry provisions. Single-use dental kits and the little plastic bottles for complimentary shampoo likewise add to overall waste.
Hotels are now using hand and body soap and shampoo in refillable squeeze bottles. Try to include this in your checklist before booking!
I’ve long stayed away from sheet masks, also because they create waste, like plastic straws. Their packaging is often made of aluminum and plastic, which are almost impossible to recycle.
Sheet masks also contain ingredients that are either non-organic or non-biodegradable which make the mask—whether organic cotton or bamboo—unfit for composting.
If you really must mask, I’m a fan of those that come in tubs that involve less waste. If you insist on sheet masks, look for brands that use organic, biodegradable and recyclable materials such as those by Innisfree and Andalou Naturals.