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Green Living Blog: 6 tips on choosing eco-friendly beauty products

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Green Living Blog: 6 tips on choosing eco-friendly beauty products

Green Living Blog logo After reading this post, don't forget to enter our contest – you could win a new dishwasher. Plus, do you have your own story to tell? Send it to greenchallenge@canadianliving.com (no more than 300 words, please), and you could win one of 30 daily prizes. As I mentioned a couple of days ago in my post about toothbrushes, most of my actual garbage is plastic packaging, and quite a bit of it comes from the bathroom. Sadly, I often end up throwing out bottles from lotions, cleansers, shampoos and other beauty products because the packaging isn't recyclable. To be frank, a lot of the products we use in our bathrooms are an environmental disaster from start to finish. Here are some of the things I'm doing at home to clean up my act that you might want to try, too: 1. Use what you have, and buy new stuff less often How many of us have several unfinished bottles of shampoo in the shower, either because we got tired of one kind, wanted variety, or bought a new kind because it was on sale? (Don't even ask me about my nail polish collection.) And how often do you throw out an unfinished bottle of something because you found a new one to replace it, or it just got too old? Instead, I'm trying hard to use what I've got and not buy new products until I've almost used the old ones up. 2. Choose products with recyclable packaging Many beauty products come in recyclable packaging, such as #1 and #2 plastic. Check the bottom to see if it's recyclable in your municipality. And if your favourite brand comes in a bottle you can't recycle, contact the company and tell them you want them to change. Burt’s Bees lotion 3. If you can, find products in packaging made from recycled material One of the keys to making recycling work is to find a market for everything we put in our blue bins, so if you see something made of post-consumer recycled paper, glass or plastic, snap it up. One of my personal favourites is Burt's Bees Soothingly Sensitive Aloe & Buttermilk Lotion – the bottle is made from recycled plastic and is recyclable in your blue bin, too. 4. Even better, find products with little to no packaging One decision I've made is to use hand soap in bar form instead of liquid soap, so that I'm not purchasing the plastic bottles, and I tend to buy the soap from my food co-op as an unpackaged, unlabelled bar. Many health food stores also offer bulk versions of many products, so you can bring back your bottle and refill it. And when it comes to makeup, one of my favourite eco-friendly brands is Aveda – a number of their products are available in refillable packaging. 5. Support companies who use eco-friendly ingredients This one requires more research – unfortunately, a label that says "100% natural" doesn't necessarily mean the product is easy on the earth. But do watch out for ingredients that are fairly traded, sustainably sourced or certified organic. One company that means organic when it says it is Origins, which now has a line of products made from ingredients that are USDA certified organic, meaning certified in the same way as the produce you buy in the grocery store. 6. Make your own For many products, such as scrubs and masks, there's a homemade alternative to the store-bought versions. Find out more, plus get recipes, at ELLECanada.com. What are some of your tips on eco-friendliness when it comes to beauty products? Today's code word: beauty Read more: • Make your bathroom eco-friendlyThe homemade spaGreen beauty companies we love
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Green Living Blog: 6 tips on choosing eco-friendly beauty products

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