Every day really can be Earth Day.
We've all heard it before: "Every day is Earth Day." Well, why not? Caring for the environment isn't just for conservationists. With these simple tips, you can care for your hair, yourself and the environment at the same time. In no time flat, you too will be eco-friendly and loving it.
Sulfate and Paraben Free Hair Cleansers
Many synthetic chemical ingredients used in hair and skin products are not only considered harmful to your hair and skin, but also to the environment. Though "natural" doesn't always equal nontoxic, do you really want to take a chance on a shampoo that is arguably poisoning the earth entering your bloodstream? Many shampoos have ingredients derived from crude oil! Blech! Play it safe and do yourself and Mother Earth a favor and quit the questionable chemicals with sulfate and paraben free shampoos.
There's no doubt that my $39 investment in a beginner espresso machine and cutting out the daily visits to the Mega Chain coffee joint has helped me put my money to better use and I'm not throwing a plastic stirrer, coffee cup and lid into a landfill every day. By purchasing hair products with organic ingredients, I am more at ease knowing that my products have been made without pesticides. Note: the standards for "organic" do not mean a product is wholly organic. Read the labels (even if it means putting on your reading glasses in front of the entire store).
Are You a DIY-er?
For years, I was a bona fide Do It Yourself-er when it came to coloring my hair. Before I began leaving the semi and demi colors to a professional stylist, I went through many a box of clearance aisle Medium Ash Brown. One thing I learned in my quest to be "greener" was to rinse out the plastic bottles and recycle them, along with the paper instructions and the packaging. Even most small towns offer recycling of some sort. It is not imperative to completely cleanse your recyclables - using too much water defeats the purpose. A good rinse will do just fine.
Admittedly, this isn't for everyone, but even my 76 year old mother knows this trick. If you wash or cleanse your hair in the sink, by all means, use cold water. Cold water is great for hair because it helps keep the follicle closed, increases shine and protects your color. And, of course, you'll save on hot water. It doesn't hurt to keep your water heater at 120 degrees, either. Ka-ching!
Air dry those fabulous curls! Save electricity and save your curls. If you are in a time crunch or can't stay away from the hair dryer, purchase one of the many eco-friendly hair dryers now available. Eco-dryers have a ceramic heating element that purportedly uses less electricity than the common metal heating coils. As always, curly girls, don't forget the diffuser!
You really can make a difference.
Filter Your Shower Water
A shower filter that removes over 90% of chlorine in your water? Oh, yeah. We love the Aquasana Shower Filter! This filter is engineered for high quality water and minimum water pressure loss. With a maximum flow of 2.5 gallons per minute, this is one of the more eco-friendly filters available. Softer hair, softer skin and softer curls. Less product?
Eat Your Veggies
Not everyone can go meatless, but for those that can, hats off to you! Go meatless once a week or once a month, but make sure to eat those skin and hair-healthy veggies! How does this help the environment? The commercial production of meat results in animal by-product pollution, consumption of water resources and deforestation. Going meatless on occasion is indeed helping the earth - and your hair.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle - Your Hair
Cutting long locks? You can donate your ponytail to one of the many organizations that create and provide natural hair wigs for those battling cancer or receiving treatment that causes hair loss. Donating hair to a reputable organization gives others the chance to go on with their lives with a boost in self-esteem - and it will make you feel good, too. Check with your salon to see if they offer a hair donation program, or consider Locks of Love or the Canadian-based Angel Hair for Kids program. Check the requirements for donating your hair; some hair cannot be donated if dyed or bleached. Also, you may need to have your stylist put your hair in a ponytail before cutting. Most organizations accept ponytails by mail. Today's pony express!
Eco-Friendly Salons and Spas
If you are in the market for a new salon or spa, why not really pamper yourself with an eco-friendly salon? Eco-friendly salons are becoming more popular every year, as clients want to be bathed in the luxury of "naturalness." But wait! You are helping the environment, remember? Eco-friendly salons pride themselves on water and waste management, sustainability, and energy efficiency, too. This sounds like a win-win to me.
Calling All Product Junkies: Bring Your Bags!
I recently discovered, much to my chagrin, that I am a product junkie. I also have a habit of exchanging makeup for a lighter shade, or a blouse for a larger size (also much to my chagrin). I am the proud owner of at least 20 reusable shopping bags. I get a sense of pride when I bring my shopping bags with me to the store. Mere mortal that I am, I forget my bags on occasion, and I always end up with a few plastic bags at home. Need to return something? No problem! Grab a plastic bag, stuff your goodies in it, and take delight when the clerk at the expensive cosmetics store sees you walk in with the plastic bag from the 99 cent chain store. And take your exchange home in the same bag. My point? Those plastic bags you've collected? Use them several times before you recycle them. They come in handy!
With a little diligence on your part, any of these tips can help you make a small difference with global impact. Pretty soon these changes will become new, good habits and you'll be looking over your shoulder at the old habits you've left in the dust. Who knew hair care could be so responsible?
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