1. Buy Refill Bottles
Take a moment to think about how many hand washes you have in your house. In my house, I have 6 - one at each sink. If I were to regularly buy and replace them, not only would I be wasting all of that plastic, I'd be wasting a lot of money too!
Simply buy refill bottles of hand wash and refill your bottles as they need. Love the foaming hand wash? You can easily refill those bottles by putting in about 1/2 inch of soap in and slowly filling it with water. One refill bottle will last years if you use foaming hand soaps. Think of the cost savings as well as the greenness of that!
And don't forget your shampoo and conditioner as well. Some times you can even buy gallon size bottles of hair products. Refill your shower bottles as needed.
2. Use Bar Soaps
Shower gels might be more fun, but what happens when your bottle is empty? Do you recycle it? If so, that's great, but how many of us just throw it in the bathroom garbage?
When you buy a bar of soap, you use the entire thing. Yes, you do still have the box it came in, so make sure to recycle that.
Make it even more earth-friendly by shopping with a soap maker on sites such as etsy.com. Rarely do they wrap individual soaps in a box, and if they do use cardboard, simply request they send the soaps without. Also, request they use recycled materials to send the product to you.
My last etsy purchase was sent in a taped up Trader Joe's bag. Not pretty, but it did the trick!
3. Shop Local
Going back to sites like Etsy.com, try finding a local soap and skin care company to shop from. You're supporting local business, getting products that were likely made by the person who you bought it from and will be available for questions as you have them.
Spring and summer is a perfect time to find these businesses as you visit local farmer's markets and community festivals.
By working directly with the person responsible for making your products, you can ask for products that are just right for your skin type or skin concerns. And because they make them, they can adjust them to fit your skin's need.
4. Support Fair Trade
Fair Trade is when a company or business works with communities to purchase goods, ingredients or products for a fair price. It's not standard in business, and many times communities receive a fraction of what they should receive.
When a company stands up and does the right thing, we as consumers should support them. You can look on the label for the words, "Fair Trade Certified". (learn more about fair trade)
Some common fair trade beauty ingredients are Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and Aloe, which, as you might know are very common in beauty products. Read your labels.
5. Travel Frequently? Grab the Hotels Products
I'll be honest, the only time I use the hotel shampoo and soap is when I forget my own. Call me spoiled, but I have my favorites. But that doesn't mean that I don't make use of the products at the hotel.
If you travel frequently and find yourself hosting friends and family for overnight visits, grab the soaps, shampoos and lotions to keep on hand for your guests. (Or yourself, if you don't already have everyday favorites.)
Keep them in a cute basket so your guests can pick out whichever soap and shampoo they'd like. (Best part? It's free!)
6. Use Multi-taking Products
Don't buy a shower gel and a bubble bath; just use one for both. Ladies, ran out of shaving cream? No need to rush out and buy another,simply use your conditioner instead.
Feeling the need to use a separate eye cream? You don't have to! Just use your facial moisturizer. Ran out of exfoliator? Mix a palm full of sugar with your shower gel to make a fantastic cleansing exfoliator.
I'm just touching on the skin care side of beauty here, but as you can see, minimal product is really all you need. So many products can be used for more than one purpose, so slim down your Target bill by eliminating the products you don't need.
7. Create Your Own Products
I'm not asking you to go all hippy on me, but making your own skin care products is not only fun, but super frugal as well. Invite a friend over and make a night of it. Here are some recipes to get you started.
The basic of all steps to starting your green path. Recycling might seem difficult, especially when were talking about little bottles, covers, tubes and pieces that you just don't know what to do with.