My 2019 New Year’s resolution list looks a little something like this:
vegetarian flexitarian (baby steps, you guys)
Journal for 10 minutes every day
Make home plastic-free by the end of the year
Guess which I have achieved on the eve of International World Water Day? If you guessed ‘none of the above,’ you guessed right! In my defense, rules were made to be broken, and no rule is more likely to be broken than a New Year’s resolution. I was also in a considerably different place when I set my intentions for the year. An ashram in India, to be specific. Eating, praying, loving and navel-gazing between handfuls of soupy lentils and enlightening (sometimes crazy) conversations with strangers from all walks of life, trying to make their way in this crazy world.
I know what you’re thinking. Soupy lentils: not so gourmandise. But it was the simplicity of the food that inspired me to cut out meat (or most of it) in the first place. The less you consume, the less you desire…or so the theory goes. And this is where we get to the plastic part.
On the 1st of January 2019, I was sitting on a beach in India watching the sun creep up over the Arabian Sea, alcohol-free and clear-headed, picturing myself same time last year diving topless into an ocean pool with a bottle of cheap prosecco in hand. Fun! The ocean is something we take for granted, and even more so, fresh water. Most of you reading this right now have 24-hour access to safe drinking water. Yet, as of 2015, 2.1 billion people (that’s every 3 in 10) did not.
Then, there is the alarming (and rising) amount of plastic filling our oceans. How did we get here and how do we fix it? A loaded question and one I am not going to wade through here. Again, baby steps: because I’ve always been a big believer in every individual doing their part – because isn’t self-love really expressed as a love for the whole? – I’ve pulled together a few simple tips for working towards a plastic-free beauty routine.
Do with them what you will and let us all take a long, hard look at our
Plastic-Free Vessel, But Make It Fashion
Hey, how’s this for an idea? Take a personal inventory of everything you are drinking from throughout the day and ask yourself two things: Is it made of plastic? And if yes, will I throw this away after a few refills? If yes again, stop right there! Put your hands up! There are so many bougie (read: overpriced) alternatives to plastic bottles and coffee cups these days, you’ve got little excuse not to be using one. Custom-glazed ceramic travel cup? Cute. Insulated, stainless steel water bottle with minimal Scandi curves? So chic I die. If you’re going to walk to work drinking a smoothie or coffee, turn it into a fashion parade, I say.
Dazzle Them With Your Evergreen Smile
Not that kind of green smile, you guys! I’m talking more biodegradable teeth-cleaning tools, less spinach wedged into your left canine on a hot date. Not so scary, right? In fact, it’s quite simple. Try switching from a regular plastic toothbrush to one of the biodegradable bamboo kind, like this one from Olas. While you’re at it, I highly recommend this Cuprum Copper Tongue Cleaner for removing the build-up of breakout and bad breath-inducing bacteria.
Bar Soaps, Forever
In the words of Dominique Chevalley, “Bar soaps are the stuff your minimalist chic dreams are made of and are also infinitely better for Mother Earth than shower gels in plastic pump containers.” She makes a fine case for the humble bar soap here and fires off a list of the very best, which you’d do well to clock. These are all for body and face, mind you, and it must be said that since the penning of that piece, shampoo in bar form has also totally become a thing! And a very good thing at that: this one by Christophe Robin, specifically.
Just Bead It...Or Don't
Did you know that plastic beads end up in our waterways? And that fish eat those beads and then we go right ahead and eat those fish? Old news and scary news. If you so wish, there are two ways to resolve this cosmetic dissonance: go straight for an at-home chemical peel, or look for products with plant-derived beads to slough away dead skin. I’m personally a huge fan of the roasted, ground, circulation-boosting coffee beans in Frank Body’s Green Tease Body Scrub, my go-to when I’m feeling sluggish.
Go For Glass Containers
This one’s the most obvious of the bunch, but also the easiest to execute. For one, glass containers are easily recycled, but when the packaging is too good to throw out, you’ll find they make for sculptural little objets d’art on your mantlepiece, bookshelf or bedside table. Currently, I have a jar of La Mer’s Creme de la Mer and The Eye Concentrate stacked on the window sill in my bathroom. I finished both a year ago, FYI. Also FYI, La Mer advocate for ocean conservation with their Blue Heart Oceans Fund (as if I needed another reason to love them more).