Over the last few years, most people have embraced the shift towards environmental awareness in aspects of their day-to-day lives.
Whether it’s remembering to reuse plastic carrier bags while you’re out shopping, switching off unnecessary lights and electronics or trying out the cold setting on the washing machine, we’re all going green wherever we can.
But I’ve noticed something as I’ve been blogging about sustainability and eco-friendliness: grooming seems to be a ‘green’ blind spot for many men.
You’ve only got to sift through your bathroom bin to see the extent of the problem – we go through plastic bottles and containers at an alarming rate. As a society, we tend to prioritize convenience over just about everything else. When it comes to our ever-more-hectic daily routines it seems plastic is the most prevalent option, but it is possible to find a balance between keeping things easily accessible and eco-conscious.
Guys, here’s your guide to sustainable grooming. Your skin and the planet will thank you for it!
How to make your grooming routine more eco-friendly
Don't Waste Water
With water being accessible just about everywhere with the simple twist of a tap, it can be easy to forget that it is actually a finite resource that should be conserved.
Managing wastewater can be as straightforward as turning the tap off while you're brushing your teeth, turning off the water when shaving or running shallower baths or shorter showers. However, if you’re serious about water conservation, you can also invest in a device like an eco-shower head, which can dramatically reduce wasted water with extended use.
Be mindful of packaging
When shopping for grooming products, the main goal should be finding products that come in plastic-free packaging. Picking packaging responsibly goes further than avoiding plastic, though. You can try nixing it by picking ‘naked’ products like shampoo bars – which are particularly useful as some of them can be used for both your hair and your body- perfect for men who love a simplified routine!
Head to your bathroom and open your cabinets and count the number of almost-empty plastic bottles that line the shelves. Instead of throwing the next one away when you’ve finished, try finding a refill shop. You may be able to find some near you in local markets. These eco-friendly shops allow you to bring in your old packaging and refill it with everyday goods like shampoo, shower gel, shaving cream and moisturiser. There are also online shops that offer refillable services! Make the swap to plastic-free or refillable products and you’ll soon find your bathroom bin is filling up a lot slower.
Avoid disposable products
When thinking about an environmentally friendly grooming routine, your first guess might be that disposable razors have the worst impact on our environment. There’s no getting away from the fact that the average pack of disposable razors contains an eyebrow-raising amount of plastic! If you are a person who routinely buys disposable razors by the bagful, chances are you could have just as easily invested in a reliable multi-use razor and saved yourself a substantial amount of money in the long run. Steel razors look much better than their plastic counterparts and are a whole lot better for the environment.
Also, an electric toothbrush might seem like a good idea, but you’ll still need to replace the head every few months, meaning you’ll be wasting some plastic. Seek out biodegradable alternatives, such as toothbrushes made from bamboo and tablet toothpastes!
Buy from eco-conscious brands
More and more skincare and grooming brands are opting for an environmentally-friendly approach that applies not only to their products but the way they manufacture them. This includes using renewable energy sources through wind-powered factories and companies that are completely carbon neutral or even carbon negative! Do your research before purchasing a product from any brand and committing to using their products. You want to be sure you’re aligning yourself with a brand you believe in and one that you can reliably trust.
Check the labels
Just the way you’d check a food label at the store, it’s important to read the labels of your grooming products thoroughly to ensure there’s no nasty surprises inside. What you’re looking for are environmentally friendly and alcohol-free ingredients that will have the most positive environmental impact and effect on your skin.
Use eco-friendly products
Finally, it’s essential to keep sustainability top of mind when shopping for men’s grooming products. While looking for natural and organic products, choose products that are pesticide-free and avoid toxic ingredients like parabens or petroleum. It’s also essential to keep an eye out for palm oil. Palm oil plantations are the main force behind deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. These two regions account for 85% of the global production of palm oil. In short, say no to palm oil.
So there you have it, you guys! With a little bit of research and thoughtfulness, your grooming regime can be much more sustainable. It's worth putting in the effort- your skin and your planet will thank you!