Happy Earth Day!

Hi everybody,

How are you doing? I haven't been around for the last two days because I was under the weather. On Monday morning, I woke up with the biggest headache ever! That day the weather decided to do a full 180 degree on me and it was really hot. I obviously did not feel the heat so early in the morning and also did not drink enough fluid ended up being dehydrated. So for the last two days, I guzzled down water like a fountain and now I feel a whole lot better. So kids, drink your water and spike it with some juice to make it taste better.

Today is Earth Day and everywhere this week is celebrating Earth Week. For the last two years (or since 2007 State of the Union address) environmental issues have been in focus. Although Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970, the media and press only dedicate to it more diligently for the last few years. Being a person rummaging in the environmental field, I am more than glad to see Earth Day being widely recognized like this.

Initially, I wanted to do a whole FOTD for Earth Day but for some reasons, the pictures did not come out as sharp as I hope but there's always a plan B. So here it is:

10 Practical Environmentally Friendly Beauty Tips

1. Do reuse your empty containers
After finishing a bottle of toner, I usually keep the empty bottle if it is in good shape and does not require a lot of cleaning to be ready for its next task. Believe it or not, sometimes you wish you did not throw that jar/bottle away because you desperately need it to store something, then ended up going to the store to buy a container that costs an arm and a leg! That's ridiculous so keep the containers for future use.

2. Do recycle the empties as well
Sometimes you end up with so many of them that you wish to get rid of the empty bottles and jar (and you can!) However, plastic containers can take up to 5 million years to decompose, we don't live that long to see our trash turn to dust, folks! So please bring them to your nearest recycle facility, some of which even exchange your recycle for cash. (A former colleague of mine funded her marathon trip that way: registration fee, plane ticket, room and board and all!) Sometimes college campuses have recycle containers that you can dump your unwanted recyclable stuff there. For makeup empties, some companies even reward you for bringing back the empty vessels:
  • MAC has the famous Back2MAC program when six empty containers can exchange for a lipstick, lip gloss, or eye shadow at MAC Pro Stores, or a lipstick at department store counters;
  • Origins gives you a sample for any empty makeup/skincare/body care bottle you bring, regardless the brand.
3. Do buy the largest volume item, if possible
When you go shopping for detergent, soap, etc, you notice the stores stock up different sizes of the same item. Some stores like Walmart or Target also do the price per unit calculation for you and usually, the bigger the volume the cheaper the unit price. So if your place has space, please buy the biggest item of its kind and here are the reasons:
  • Obviously, for stuff like soap, detergent, and dish washing liquid, you will use every single drop of it until the very end and it makes sense to get it as cheap as possible. Buying the largest volume item saves you money in the long run;
  • Also, buying the biggest item saves you multiple trips to the store to get replacement items once you run out of material. That also reduces your carbon footprint and saves you gas, cha-ching, baby!
  • It does not take a lot more to make the bigger container than the smaller one. By buying the biggest container, you reduce the use of plastics, carbon footprint, and save money at the same time.
4. Do buy refills
If you like to wash your hands with liquid soap that's dispensed from the pump, this is for you. After your initial purchase of a bottle of liquid hand soap, you can refill the empty bottle with its refill material. Most brands offer refillable materials in a big container for cheap and if you do not mind the matchy-ness of the container and refill material, this way saves you a whole lot of money to buy new bottles of liquid hand soap. Also, you reduce the amount of waste emitted. If you have a big house with many residents, buying refills eventually saves you a lot of money since people wash their hands a lot. Some of the refills are packed in big plastic packs instead of bottles which require more material to make. So if you can find them, the packs are more environmentally friendly purchases than the bottles.

5. Do swap and trade your makeup stash
For those who are familiar with Makeup Alley, the place is a swap heaven! Often times, you get items that you thought you love but end up at the bottom of your stash. Before you are contemplated to toss it, you may check out Makeup Alley to see if anybody are interested in your item. You may get something you like out of this type of exchange. This way, you have an opportunity to get rid of something you do not use as much and get a new item you may use more for the cost of some stamps.

I have to admit that I am not so fond of MUA swaps but since becoming a makeup/beauty blogger, I did swap with some fellow bloggers and one reader (hi Leslian!) Swapping is a lot of fun and can get addictive, let me forewarn you!

6. Do raid a stash and let your stash be raided
When I was a college freshman, I often raided my aunt and cousin's makeup stash. My aunt is a Clinique GWP shopper and so is my cousin. They rack up a whole lot of those GWP items that they do not use at all. GWP is an intricate issue: you may get one or two items you love but the rest, most times are lipsticks, may go to trash. So whenever I came, the lovely aunt and cousin were really willing to offload said lipsticks and sometimes blushes to me, along with the GWP bags. Some of my favorite colors from Clinique came from the stash raiding events and Clinique does get a customer out of me. Really, stash raiding is a win-win-win solution: the raider get stuff, the raidee get to let go of stuff, the company get to have a new customer. Everybody's happy!

7. Do buy fair trade products
Fair trading is an interesting aspect of commerce: when the buyers pay a fair amount of money to the farmers for their products, the farmers have more resources to care for their land and the environment benefits out of it. Now, you may pay a bit more for your skin/body care products but in the long run we all benefit. Since the soil is better taken care of, soil erosion is less severe. After all, our lands and water are things we value a lot as most of the things that sustain us come from them.

8. Do reduce your water usage
This probably is the oldest point from the environmental conservation textbook: take a shower, not a bath. This way you reduce half of the water consumption per session and if you pay for your water bill, that's a lot of moolah you save. The water bill does not only counts for the amount of water you use but also for the same amount that you dispose. Often times, the cost to dispose you water waste is a lot higher than that of your clean water. So less water used, less water waste, and less money to pay. But if you have to indulge yourself with a bath, schedule it once in a while so it feels special for you.

9. Do use biodegradable face wipes
Although I am not a big fan of face wipes, sometimes I need one of them to remove my makeup fast so I can go to sleep. Although there are many different types and brands of face wipes out there, a handful of them are made from biodegradable materials. Often times, we have no clue of the fate of the products we just used. Non-biodegradable used face wipes end up as trash on your landfills that takes a very long time to degrade while biodegradable wipes break down fast and do not accumulate in the environment. It's not only an environmental decision but also a humane decision: you probably have walked through a landfill before, you have reacted to the odor and the sight, now think of the people who have to live next to it the next time you go out to buy your face wipes. (Everyday Minerals have really good biodegradable face wipes for $2.50 a pack!)

10. Do buy organic lip balms
Although I am a fan of saving money, there are some certain products I decide to go organic for my own sake and lip balm is one of them. Since we do ingest a bit (or a lot) of our lip stuff whether we're conscious of the action or not, whatever comes with the lip balms may end up inside our bodies. Organic products are free of pesticides and since my research is related to pesticides, I can say some new evidence of long term pesticide exposure at trace level to human health is disturbing. Beside pesticides, organic balms also do not contain synthetic fragrance and dyes which can aggravate your skin.

Now, before you think yours truly is a tree hugger, I am not! These environmentally friendly tips stem from my wish to save money. In the process, I figured out it actually saves me money to be green. As much as I care for the planet, most times my wallet does the talking. And once the realization was made, the rest was easy! You too, can go green without sacrificing your greens. And you can start then greening process with your makeup stash and the bathroom.

That's all for today, ladies! I hope you're having a wonderful Earth Day. As always, stay gorgeous!

With green love,
Your Makeup Blogger

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