If you do a lot of Internet shopping for your beauty and skin care products, you've probably gotten your fair share of packing materials as well.
I'd collect a large amount of bubble wrap and those annoying peanuts--the stupid Styrofoam packing material shaped like peanuts that would spill onto the floor and through static would stick to everything--clothing, fingers, the cat's tail. Then at strategic times (Christmas, Mother's Day, etc.) I'd put them in a bag and place them outside with a big note: Please Take: Makes Excellent Packing Material for Mailing Gifts, hoping that neighbors or passersby would take them. I like to think that I was doing my part to keep them in circulation and out of the landfills.
Fortunately, eco-friendly companies like Christopher Drummond Beauty use natural 100% biodegradable peanuts made of FDA approved, organic cornstarch. Those packing peanuts are recyclable and reusable and can be dissolved with water.
Last year as we approached Earth Day, I gathered all of my nail strengtheners that were formulated with the toxic trio (read What's In Your Nail Polish for more about this) for safe disposal by the NYC Sanitation Department at one of their NYC SAFE Disposal Events.
I still feel a little guilty about throwing out product (especially if it's not even half empty). NYC SAFE suggests using non-toxic products whenever possible and when purchasing harmful household products, buy just the amount that you need so you don't have excess materials to discard. It's a bit scary that nail polish and nail polish removers are listed (under personal care products) along with such items as medications, mercury thermometers and syringes.
Those nail products didn't even work and the smell was enough to knock me out. But I feel a little like Kermit the Frog. It's not easy being green. I'm still working on it!
For more tips, check out the Go Green Beauty Tips.
Piggy Paint Nail Polishes for little girls are water-based, non-toxic, odorless and hypo-allergenic. These polishes arrived surrounded and protected by biodegradable packing peanuts.
Photo: © Gerrie Summers