Kermit the frog famously once sang “it’s not easy being green” and if you were to glance on over at any newspaper laying nearby you might be tempted to agree. Turtles entangling themselves in shrink-wrap, litter in the streets and mountains of food going to waste. The list goes on… and on… and on.
Staying clean and hygienic without contributing to this problem is a modern day paradox. In medieval times no-one cared. They’d simply go out, work the field, sleep next to their pigs then die at the ripe old age of thirty-five. Scrubbing up simply wasn’t a priority. However, as time wore on people became more and more aware of this “staying clean” craze sweeping the nation. Eventually becoming the norm. Nowadays if you rock up on the tube, mud on your face and chicken under each arm, you’ll more than likely earn a couple of disgruntled glances and a handful of tuts. So what’s a person to do? How can we reduce our impact on our wonderful planet without stinking it out? Fortunately, there are a few clever ways, old and new. So read on and help yourself help everyone. The muppets would approve.
Much Shampoo about Nothing
A famous, and remarkably prevalent, urban legend is that after a few weeks hair begins to clean itself; sounds too good to be true right? Unfortunately, evidence varies wildly and is largely anecdotal, with some people reporting their hair feeling fluffy as a kitten and others turning into a human greaseball. If you don’t want to wait around to find out, there are a range of all natural shampoos widely available. Meaning you can forgo harsh detergents and artificial scents. All the while maintaining your style.
When buying shampoo, or any wash product for that matter, watch out for “the big three” - the ingredients you really want to avoid. These are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and parabens. Not only are these harsh on sensitive skin, they’re harsh on the marine environment too. Luckily there’s a whole world of alternatives out there, using all natural products such as coconut, almond and even seaweed. If you want to go a step further, try an organic solid shampoo or soap. These normally come in reusable packaging, perfect for zero impact freshness.
Microbeads? No more need.
Remember the days where you’d crack open a product and within it you’d see hundreds of tiny blue specks? It didn’t seem to matter what it was either: face-scrub, check. Body wash, check. Toothpaste, yep. Those were the heady glory days of the microbead, thankfully banned in the UK since January 2018. But what if you still need a deep exfoliating fix - are there organic replacements available?
The short answer is yes, loads! Scrubs with coarse sugar or salt can help to scrape away those layers of dirt and unsightly dead skin, dissolving away when done. Try brown sugar or Himalayan salt as good starting points or, if you really want to help the environment, consider a coffee scrub - made from the leftover grounds of your favourite midday pick-me-up!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
This one should go without saying. Although there are lots of natural products out there, most still come in non-biodegradable packaging. This is often a compromise to keep the ingredients inside as fresh as possible. After all, they don’t have any nasty artificial preservatives inside. However, making a note of the kind of plastic used can help you recycle products effectively, completing the circle of (plastic) life. Hakuna Matata.
Every little helps and taking less time in the shower certainly does that. You don’t have to swap your relaxing morning routine out for a bucket of rainwater though. Ten minutes is plenty of time to turn yourself from bed-headed zombie to pristine superhero. A helpful tip is to play a couple of tunes while you shower. As songs are typically 3-5 minutes long you’ll know when it’s time to rinse off, plus you’re allowed to belt out your fave bangers. Feel free to join in with the classic showerhead mic. Don’t worry, we won’t judge.
Let's Get Ethical (Ethical)
What if you want to go above and beyond? It’s all well having zero impact, but really we should all be aiming to make a positive contribution to the world we share. Some ethical employers will often go the extra mile and try to actively help the environment. Whether that’s through supporting social change, reclaiming ingredients that would otherwise be thrown out, or implementing giving back programmes. Whatever their approach, the greenest products will always be cruelty-free, handmade and make use of local resources.
To tie this up, it’s now easier than ever to take care of yourself as well as the planet. Not only are companies becoming more and more aware of their responsibility but, by and large, society is too. By taking these simple tips and applying them to your daily routine you can maintain a clear conscience and clear skin, sustainable and in the knowledge you’re doing your part.
Although we’d never advocate the muppets as the poets of our generation, it’s a fitting note to end on. It’s not often you’ll find deeper meaning in the words of our furry friend Kermit - but for the final lines of the song (and this post) he rather petinently croons;
“I'm green and it'll do fine
It's beautiful. And I think it's what I want to be”
We couldn’t agree more.