A Sustainability Update — March 2020

Honey — Lemon Facemask

At the beginning of December 2019, I wrote an article about my sustainability goals. After a couple of months, I wanted to do a quick update on what I’ve been doing, and what has worked for me.

These were my main ideas/goals:

  1. Think twice before buying anything.
  2. Buy items that will last longer.
  3. Take care of my stuff.

Overall, I think I’ve been doing pretty job at keeping these three goals in mind. I’ve found that having these three ideas in my head has kept me from buying unnecessary items, and also forcing me to really think about the possessions I have and ways to make them last longer. In the past three months, I haven’t purchased a single item of clothing, and I don’t really have the urge to buy anything either. This could also be due to the fact that I won’t be going outside much and don’t need a lot of clothing in my day to day life because of COVID-19.

Another small thing I have noticed is that I consciously try to reduce my plastic waste as much as possible. I carry a tote bag, and produce bags almost everywhere I go. If I am at an event that is handing out a lot of free stuff, I try to only take what I need, and that reduces clutter that might need to be thrown out eventually.

The most difficult point in the past few months happened a couple of weeks ago when I had to move out of my college dorm in a period of three days. With limited room in my car, I had to throw out a lot of stuff I owned. However, it was very freeing to throw away items that I’ve owned throughout college that got a lot of use. It made me consider my next move and how I want to purchase items for my future apartments.

As I reflect, I would like to add another pretty large sustainability/health goal to my list.

4. Switch to an all natural, chemical free beauty routine

I’ve found that a lot of the products I use are not only unsustainable for the environment, but also contain harmful chemicals that I don’t know enough about. In 2020, I’ve switched to an aluminum free deodorant, a new organic shampoo, conditioner and body wash that does not contain fragrance or other chemicals, and lastly, a new skincare regimen that is more natural.

To be honest, I’ve found it pretty difficult to switch to this new beauty routine. I find myself constantly trying to find articles about the best products to use, but am not sure if those products are actually what they claim to be. In the next few months, I would like to investigate the products I’m using in more detail, and also figure out if they work! I struggle with oily, acne-prone skin, and have been using benzoyl peroxide cleansers since early high school. I hope to wean myself off of harsh chemicals, and hopefully resolve some of my skin problems.

So yeah, look out for an update on how some of these products are working out for me. I’m looking for different suggestions on skin care regimens, face masks, shampoos and conditioners that are healthy and sustainable, so let me know!

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