While Valentine’s Day is often centered around buying bouquets of roses, heart shaped boxes of chocolates, and teddy bears for your significant other or loved ones, it’s important to remember to treat yourself as well. Often caught up in the chaos of scrambling for that perfect last minute present or booking a fancy dinner we forget that this day of love is also an opportunity to treat ourselves.
This Valentine’s Day we challenge you to take some time out of your hectic life and practice some well deserved self love, while loving your planet too. Often times, traditional drug-store self care products are riddled with excess plastic packaging that often finds itself being dumped into our oceans, amounting to eight million metric tons of plastic per year. The amount of plastic already circulating in our marine ecosystems has become a major threat for birds and sea creatures alike. Luckily, many businesses’ are combatting this global plastic waste crisis through products with eco friendly packaging or no packaging at all.
Next time you’re on your way to buy yet another bottle of shampoo and conditioner, consider testing out shampoo and conditioner bars. Not only do they cut out the need for plastic, but are travel friendly and can outlast those chemical riddled liquid bottles. Many brands producing these products are dedicated to preserving our ecosystems creating an added bonus of bars containing natural ingredients, essential oils, and are cruelty and palm oil free. Palm oil is a major ingred
ient in many supermarket essentials, but is linked to deforestation and is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. If you’re looking for a sustainable way to maintain those luscious locks look into brands such as Lush Cosmetics and Friendly Soap. While these are just two of the many eco-friendly alternatives, you can read here for more bars suited for your varying hair needs.
In order to set the mood for your day of self love, candles are a must! However, this essential part of your self care routine may be doing more harm to the environment and yourself than intended. Rather than acting as a tool for relaxation, the burning of scented candles results in the emission of dangerous toxins, possibly leading to cancer or lung problems. A major red flag when searching for aromatherapy candles is paraffin, which releases carcinogenic soot when burned. To maintain the ambiance of candles consider converting to soy or bees wax candles. Due to the high cost of alternatives such as bees wax, it is not uncommon for manufacturers to mix bees wax and paraffin. In order to combat this issue make sure your labels read “100% bees wax.” To make your search for non-toxic candles easier, visit Green America for a list of brands providing environmentally conscious candle alternatives. If you would like to opt out of candles altogether, but maintain their rejuvenating qualities consider a homemade spray, reed diffusers, or an essential oil diffuser.
With an abundance of companies converting to more sustainable practices, making your self care routine more planet friendly is much easier than one might think. With apps such as GoodGuide to help rate various products and companies, you can have more control and knowledge of what you’re bringing into your household. By simply scanning a products barcode, you will have access to things such as environmental impact, detailed ingredient reviews, overall health impact, and even social impact.
While converting all of your day to day care products may not be fiscally feasible, by simply replacing one bottle of shampoo or investing in a diffuser, we can all take steps to be more sustainable and reduce our environmental impact.