Almond Blossoms by Vincent Van Gogh
During Earth Week at TFS and Earth Day on April 22, were were reminded that, while taking care of oneself is immensely important, it is equally important to consider one’s role in preserving the environment.
Many personal hygiene products are not as environmentally friendly as we would hope. Take makeup wipes: they are used once, then thrown out. An alternative is the MakeUp Eraser, which is reusable, machine washable, and just as effective as single-use wipes. Also, think about the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash we use. Most are sold in plastic bottles, which is not great, but arguably not as harmful to the environment as the chemicals with which the products are made. Luckily, several brands have adopted a low-waste and plastic-free approach and, even better, some make these everyday necessities with sustainably sourced ingredients. Probably the most popular brand is Lush, a company known for their multi-colored bath bombs, face masks, and body scrubs that are made from 100% vegetarian, fresh and natural ingredients, explaining why their products have expiry dates. Lush also believes that ‘less is more’ when it comes to packaging, with shampoo bars, solid conditioners and, yes, bath bombs. 35% of their products are packaging-free. In addition, packaging for the rest of their products is said to be recyclable, reusable, or compostable. Other brands that make their products with eco-friendly ingredients include Acure, Love Beauty and Planet and Live Clean. I remember the popularity of the last brand, Live Clean, at my overnight summer camp a couple years ago, because it was a requirement for us to use all-natural and eco-friendly products!
Now, let’s talk about some ways you can wind down, while being attentive to the health of our environment. Homemade face masks are a great way to pamper yourself using natural ingredients rather than single-use sheet masks. Below are some ingredients for DIY face masks; simply mix them together, spread onto your face, leave on for about 15 minutes, and rinse (Elle Magazine).
For hydration and nourishment: 1/2 an avocado, 1 tablespoon of honey and handful of oats or oat bran.
For smooth skin: 1 tablespoon of natural, plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder.
For combating oily skin: 1/2 an avocado and 1/4 cucumber (blended)
Since we’re entering warmer spring months, spending time outdoors and absorbing the beauty of our planet can also be extremely relaxing. If you’re overwhelmed with work and have been cooped up in your house for over 24 hours, consider taking a walk around the block and getting some fresh air. And now that you’re outside, why not help our planet at the same time? Gardening is said to be good for our mental health and since bees, crucial for the functioning of our ecosystem, are now an endangered species, here are some plants that can help keep them alive: lavender, mint, oregano, rosemary, and sunflowers. Take an afternoon, bring your friends and family, soak up the sun, and spend time tending to your garden.
As you can see, making small changes to everyday routines and practicing self-care in certain ways can actually help us move towards a more sustainable planet. After all, we benefit from this beautiful ecosystem, and in order to continue loving ourselves, we must also show love to our planet.