As we celebrated Earth Day on 22 April 2022, and with sustainability an important topic over recent years, Australians are increasingly compelled to care for the planet and to reduce their carbon footprint.
However, what many often overlook when it comes to making sustainable choices is the enormous impact simply daily routines such as the use of self-care products have on the environment.
Many may be unaware that making better choices about razors, shampoo and toothpaste can significantly reduce each person’s impact on the environment each year.
In fact, it’s said that product packaging waste accumulated from the personal care industry is estimated to be as much as one-third of the refuse that ends up in landfills – approximately 30 million toothbrushes are thrown away each year in Australia, amounting to approximately 1000 tonnes of landfill each year.
New research commissioned by oral care brand, Grin Natural, has found that over a third of Australians have not made the transition to using any environmentally friendly self-care products, because perceptually, they are too expensive to consider.
Further to this, the research also found:
- Encouragingly, however, the leading reason people have actually made the switch to environmentally friendly self-care products is that they do help reduce the impact on the planet (42%).
- More people want to switch, but simply can’t seem to afford to.
- Gen Z and Millennials are the most likely to use self-care products that are good for the environment.
- Of all major capitals, Perth residents were most concerned about the impact on the environment in terms of using sustainable products.
- Reusable cloth pads (28%) and razors (20%) were the most commonly purchased sustainable self-care products.
Commenting on the research and hesitance Aussies feel about switching to more sustainable options due to affordability Grin spokesperson, Doug Sadler, said: “It’s safe to say we all understand the importance of taking care of our environment and we can clearly achieve this best through actions such as recycling and conserving energy where we can.”
“However, when it comes to understanding the impact of self-care products on the environment, some of which we use multiple times a day, there seems to be a misconception that they are too expensive or might not work as well – which is a narrative that needs to change considering the benefit natural and sustainable products have on our environment,” he said.
“At Grin Natural, we are very passionate about sustainability, which is why all of our products are free from palm oil, are sustainably made wherever possible, including the use of bamboo and corn-starch, and are truly affordable.”
5 easy changes to a more sustainable self-care routine
To help lessen your carbon footprint, without breaking the bank, here are five easy changes you can make to your self-care routine:
- Go natural! Ditch the plastic and opt for products made from natural materials such as bamboo, corn starch and cotton. Easy items to switch include your toothbrush, razor and disposable cotton pads. Leaning towards items such as a corn-starch toothbrush, for example, Grin Natural’s Biodegradable Charcoal-Infused Toothbrushes helps the planet as corn-starch is biodegradable, and when you remove the bristles once you’re finished it becomes compostable, with the bristles easily recyclable with your other household plastics. Or, you can opt to repurpose your toothbrush as a tool to clean the bathroom or clean dust from old electrical items!
- Opt for multi-purpose products and get more for your money while you’re at it. Products such as an all-in-one soap or multi-purpose balms are great – items that have more than one use save on a pile-up of products and excess packaging which isn’t needed!
- Deforestation accounts for 15% of total global warming pollution each year and according to Greenpeace, palm oil can be found in 40% to 50% of household products in Australia because of how cheap it is and the long shelf life it holds. With only 20% of palm oil estimated to be produced sustainably, choosing products that are free from palm oil is an important step for the environment.
- Recycle, recycle, recycle! It’s drilled into us to recycle cardboard, paper and household items but self-care products can often be forgotten about. Recycling items such as an old shampoo bottle or moisturiser tube all contribute to maintaining a healthy environment and should not be forgotten about.
- Buying products made from eco-friendly packaging such as Grin Natural’s Biodegradable Dental Floss Picks is another great way to do your part for the planet. Made from cardboard and paper, the packaging is recyclable. Many self-care products are now made from either biodegradable materials or those that can be easily recycled, helping to reduce the build-up of waste.