Green Your Routine

With Earth Day coming up this weekend, consider a few ways to make your daily getting-ready regimen a little more eco-friendly. Just a few small changes can go a long way toward reducing your carbon footprint. –Moira Lawler

Decrease drying time. For many of us, it’s part of our daily routine, but blow drying uses about 1,500 watts of energy an hour—that’s as much as air conditioning! You don’t want to rub a towel against your just washed hair—this leads to breakage and unwanted frizz—but you can still cut back by letting your hair air dry until it’s nearly dry before turning on the heat. After all, according to Oribe Creative Director Ronnie Stam, most styling happens when hair is already 80 percent dry. Can’t wait around? Royal Blowout speeds up drying time.

Embrace double-duty beauty. Dual-purpose beauty products, like a stain to use on both your lips and cheeks or any of Oribe’s multi-use products (for example, Rock Hard Gel, which creates both slicked-back styles and super-smooth blowouts) cut down on packaging waste, which accounts for one-third of waste in landfills. By grabbing a double-punch item, you’re keeping unnecessary trash from the garbage—and freeing up some essential real estate in your purse.

Finish what you start. Keep even more waste from landfills by ensuring you use every last bit of product. For example, when you get to the bottom of your lipstick, grab a lip brush to dig out the hard-to-reach color before reaching for a new one, or use a cotton swab to dig out remaining creams and gels.

Towel off. Using cleansing pads to wash your face and remove makeup at the end of the day may seem convenient, but it creates excess trash. Try using a bamboo washcloth instead—the microfibers in the fabric gently exfoliate your skin.

Shop smarter. Nowadays, it’s easy to come across great vintage finds at high-end consignment shops (you can also “recycle” your own clothes—and make some money doing it). Eco-friendly clothing has also come a long way, and brands like Nau and Alternative Earth offer earth-conscious casual pieces that look fashion-forward.

Beat the heat. With heat-styling technology constantly changing, many people buy the hot new hairdryers, flat irons and curling irons every year. Instead of just tossing them in the trash, recycle your old tools to be used as scrap metal. Electric toothbrushes and shavers can also be sent to your local recycling center.

Think outside the box. When you’re done with a high-end face cream or hair mask with beautiful packaging, wash out the tubs and use them to hold things like bobby pins, elastic bands, extra buttons and more. Finished with your lipstick? Clean out the tube and fill it with Advil to create an easy medicine holder for your purse. Or, recycle old magazines by placing one in each of the boots stored in your closet. They’ll help keep shape and prevent the leather from creasing. It’s amazing how many uses items can have when you just use your imagination.
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