The zero waste movement encompasses minimising the amount of waste we produce in general. Living a waste-free lifestyle is theoretically possible. In practice, it is easier said than done.
A zero waste lifestyle has picked up the pace in the last few years. More and more people are coming to realise the effect that their contribution to waste has on the environment. The concept is based on 5 main principles, also referred to as the 5R's:
Refuse: This principle entails the conscious refusal of waste such as unnecessary packaging. In a broader spectrum, the principle is aimed towards reducing what we consume in general. The less we consume (or refuse), the less is produced that needs to be disposed of at a later stage.
Reduce: Reducing what we consume and living a more minimalistic lifestyle is what one should be looking to aim at. How many pieces of clothing do we own that we have not worn in years, or ever? Resources were used for the production that went into the countless, unnecessary items that we own. Reducing what we own or do not require can easily be sold or donated to those that may find use in it.
Reuse: In the last few years, the production of products that can only be used once-off has reached a peak. Such items are only beneficial for one party, and that is the producers, as these items require the consumer to repurchase the item when needed. More and more throwaway products are being produced than items being repaired.
Recycle: Products and items that are left over after having exercised the first three principles, should definitely, be taken to a recycling branch. This also helps to save resources.
Rot (Composting): This entails the composting any produce that is not being consumed to use as high-quality manure.
Is natural cosmetics better for the environment?
The 5R's can also be used when it comes to cosmetics. The cosmetics' market produces mountains of plastic waste on an annual basis, but also the individual ingredients used plays an important role. Natural cosmetics do not contain any ingredients that may have adverse effects on the environment such as microplastics.
Microplastics are small plastic particles that are found in countless conventional cosmetic products such as scrubs and toothpaste, whereby many of these particles contain plasticisers and phthalates which can be hormonally active or even toxic. These tiny particles are set free in the environment via our drainage systems. Furthermore, environmental toxins accumulate on the surface of microplastics.
Today, the number of microplastic has increased to such a degree that they are now apparent in our food chain and, in some cases, our drinking water. This can only be put to an end when we refuse using products that contain them.
Plastic packaging - Alternatives?
Many natural cosmetic brands have started to avoid or use alternative, biodegradable packaging. There are also several natural cosmetics products on the market today that do not come wrapped up in packaging at all. Luckily, this trend is becoming increasingly more popular. At Ecco Verde, we offer a range of raw materials that can be used for homemade cosmetics and help minimise plastic waste. This concept has several benefits: