As the world is on fire, and I mean that quite literally, our society is scrambling to fix a lot of the damage that we’ve already done. Our lifestyles have had a huge hand in global warming and natural disasters, yet many of us have become dependent and accustomed to the behaviors that contribute to this damage.
The responsibility to clean up our environment should fall on the producers, not the consumers. However, as with many issues that need solving, those in power have somehow redirected the burden to fall on us, those with little to no choice. So what can we do?
Besides being involved in political and social movements to impact our legislature going forward, there are a lot of ways that our unconscious behavior produces unnecessary waste, and those instances add up. It’s part of the reason why the United States the worst carbon footprint on the planet, producing the most trash in the world.
Hair products are a necessity for many women, and reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t necessarily mean losing out on any of that. It’s all about being more strategic, which eventually leads to being less wasteful.
Just for a second, think about every hair product you’ve purchased in the last year. For me that would be at least a few products a month! All of those empty containers typically go into the landfill, along with other non-biodegradable materials. If we could think about ways to repurpose the remains of these products, and reduce the use of toxic products overall, collectively we make a huge difference.
1. Purchasing All Natural Products
There are a bunch of ways that packaging can contribute to environmental degradation, but the actual ingredients in our products are important too! All of the toxins and dangerous chemicals that may be in our everyday hair care, typically goes right down the drain into our water supply.
Image Source: @naturallclub
NaturAll Club takes pride in the fact that their products are pure. So much so, their homepage emphasizes, “Products so natural, you have to refrigerate them.” And off that slogan alone, we have to stan. Their products are described as being made with natural, safe and non toxic ingredients, CurlyWorld has a similar mission, and with more brands prioritizing our health and environments, natural products may be easier to come by.
2. Online Shop in Bulk
While we’re now able to purchase mostly any curly product we want with the click of a button, we often forget the amount of waste online shopping produces! Sometimes for just one product’s shipping, the box could come with a plethora of non recyclable or non reusable materials. Check out the Shop NaturallyCurly website with over 100+ brands in one place to make it easy to navigate and find the best products for your curly needs.
Shopping in store is much better for the environment because it cuts out all of the extra shipping waste, and you’re more likely to waste products or purchase things that you may not otherwise. So, when you absolutely have to resort to buying your favorite products online, rack up on the ones vital to your routine!
3. Reuse Empty Product Jars
We can’t save and reuse every single product package we purchase, but we can try! One of the best things about packaging that works like a container is you can reuse them for a bunch of purposes!
I like to reuse all of my empty Carol’s Daughters’ product jars as travel cases, storage for my sage and other herbs, paint jars, the list could go on. If I find a purpose for it, I will use it. That’s not to say some of my empty products don’t make it to the trash, some packaging is much harder to reuse than others. If the opportunity is there though, try not to let it go to waste!
4. Make Your Own Products
Now hear me out, a lot of us are no stranger to using natural materials in our own homes to treat our precious mane. Whether we’re using coconut oil, fresh aloe, or even clay. When we make our own products, we know exactly what they contain, and we don’t produce more packaging waste.
NaturAll Club’s founder began the development of her products in college, by forgoing products in store and creating all of her own from fruits, oils and nuts. Her avocado mask was the first product she began selling to her following. We have the ability to be resourceful in our own kitchens, and sometimes the benefits outweigh what may feel like a challenge or inconvenience.
No one is perfect, but the world is in crisis so we all have to start somewhere! Reducing your carbon footprint is not about outdoing or shaming others. It’s about fostering a communal understanding that we all have to make some behavioral changes, and demand the companies we purchase from do too, before haircare truly becomes a luxury and the least of our worries.
What are some ways that you like to reduce waste from your products? Share with us in the comments!