April is Earth Month, a time to reflect on the environment and do your part to protect it. You don’t have to sacrifice style to save the planet. If you want to make a difference but don’t know where to start, try these five feel-good ways to go green!

1. RELINQUISH the potpourri of hair-care products crowding your bathroom vanity. Are you always in search of the perfect curly concoction – whether it’s a cleanser, conditioner or styling product – only to test it, then regretfully tuck it away? If yes, take that treasure trove of products you know you’ll never use and head over to your local women’s shelter or another organization in need. Even the smallest beauty item can make a big difference in a woman’s self-esteem. After all, every woman deserves to feel beautiful.

Replace paper towels with reusable cloth towels.

2. REPLACE the wad of paper towels from your daily styling routine with a reusable micro-fiber towel, one that will remove the excess water from your freshly cleansed tresses without disturbing your curls. Think about how many trees you’ll save! Even if you don’t opt for a microfiber towel, try switching to recycled paper products. Check out the Natural Resources Defense Council’s site for help in finding recycled paper products.

Recycle plastic bottles.

3. RECYCLE empty plastic beauty bottles instead of tossing them in the trash. First, check the bottom of all your hair care products. You’re looking for a symbol that indicates the type of plastic a container is made of, which helps when your sorting recyclable items. Then, ask your local recycling program what types of plastic it accepts.

4. REUSE travel-size bottles of your favorite products. You may have purchased them because you want to lighten the luggage load for your vacation. But instead of tossing them in your hotel’s wastebasket when you’re done, take the empty bottles home. The space they take from your suitcase is small, but the overall impact is huge when you think how many times you can rinse and reuse those convenient little bottles.

5. RESEARCH and support companies that are eco-friendly. Is your favorite company doing its part to help save the planet? Does it use minimal packaging? Are the product containers made of recycled material or can they be recycled? When is the last time you flipped those fancy bottles around and looked at the labels? What are the ingredients and where are they sourced? If you do your homework, you’ll be well on your way to finding the best eco-conscious products that serve you – and the environment.


Want to do more?

Check out these online resources for more information on how you can make a difference:

Idealbite is a free subscription website that offers daily eco-living tips.

Freecycle is a gifting site where you can give — and receive — items that you may have otherwise tossed in the trash. And, it’s all free!

Earth911 is nationwide environmental hotline and website that provides localized information on how to protect the environment in your own backyard.