Birthdays should come only once a year (at the most!). But celebrating Earth Day only once a year seems a little, well, illogical. After all, it’s our home—would we only clean our house once a year? Or be thankful that we have a roof over our head only annually? Of course not. Most of us love nothing more than locking the door, queueing up the Netflix, popping up that organic popcorn, DIYing a killer face mask, and celebrating the little pleasures that take place inside our home. So why let Earth Day happen only as often as our (dreaded) birthdays?
Fortunately, we can easily make every day Earth Day—from recycling like a fiend, eating organic and local food, using a fuel-efficient vehicle, and in our body care products. Yes, our skincare. Our shampoo and conditioner—even (and especially!) our deodorant.
If that last one seems a little strange, let’s dive a little deeper into why your beauty care choices matter for the planet.
First and foremost, ingredients matter. If you’re still using synthetic chemical-based personal care products—you’re putting your health at risk. There are countless studies linking common chemical ingredients in personal care products to health issues as mild as rashes and allergies to life-threatening cancer risks. You can’t exactly be a beacon of good for the planet if your own health isn’t optimal. But there’s another issue: many of these synthetic chemicals are produced in labs with limited resources that have toxic effects on the planet (looking at you, petroleum byproducts). Other ingredients that wind up in our waterways can be harmful to marine life, including our vital coral reefs.
Natural ingredients, on the other hand—whether that’s sustainably harvested shea butter, organic essential oils, or coconut-based soaps—come from renewable resources. If they’re sourced from organic producers, they contribute to healthier soil and pollinator habitats. They cause considerably less pollution (if any), and are much friendlier to our oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams.
Also consider another key component of personal care products: packaging. While most conventional products come in plastic—a petroleum byproduct deeply linked to environmental damage—many natural personal care brands opt for more sustainable packaging such as glass. While there are issues with glass, too—mainly the weight in shipping, which uses more fossil fuels—there are pros not just for the planet, but for our health, too. And every bit helps move us toward a cleaner system overall. A box that uses recycled paper and soy-based inks is one less product using virgin paper and petroleum or coal-based inks.
Supporting natural body care product companies doesn’t always mean you’re supporting a small business, but if often does. Small businesses help to shift our economy toward local, U.S. made products, and many have environmental or social causes tied to their products, making them an even healthier choice for the planet and everyone on it.