Written by: Charlie Fletcher
Self-care has seen an impressive rise in popularity over the last few years – especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Self-care routines are wonderful for maintaining positive physical and mental health.
But, self-care can also become wasteful if you’re not mindful of what you’re doing. While it’s tempting to “treat yourself” and splurge on trips, expensive products, and even simple spa days at home (for self-care on a budget), your self-care practices could be doing more harm to the environment than you realize.
So, how can you reduce waste in your self-care routine while still enjoying the benefits like stress management and improved mental health? Let’s take a look at some sustainable self-care solutions.
Pick Your Products Wisely
One of the first steps you should take to reduce waste in your self-care routine is to look at the products you use each day. The best thing you can do is take a more minimalistic approach to those products. That includes cutting out things you don’t need or don’t use very often. Minimalism is becoming more popular for several reasons:
- It makes more room for important things
- It can increase productivity
- It helps you spend less
- It can improve mental health
Minimalism is also beneficial to the environment since it causes you to produce less waste. When it comes to makeup, skincare, or other beauty or wellness products, choose wisely.
If you absolutely have to have a certain product, take a look at the ingredients and the company producing it. What is their mission, and what kind of commitment do they have to sustainability? There are many brands out there today producing more eco-friendly products in every industry. With a little bit of research, you can feel better about the things you select.
Another option is to make your own products. There are plenty of DIY solutions online for everything from lotions and creams to makeup and other skincare products. When you use natural, safe ingredients, you can feel good about knowing exactly what you’re putting on your body. And, you won’t be contributing to the emissions it takes to mass-produced manufactured self-care products. After you get the hang of it, you can even start to create your own “custom blends” to better fit your needs and wants.
Create Sustainable Spa Days
Water waste is a huge problem across the globe. In the U.S. alone, 1.7 trillion gallons of water are wasted each year. Around the home, showering and bathing account for 27% of water use. So, while a long, relaxing bath or shower can practically melt stress away, it’s important to think about how you can cut down on water and energy waste in the process.
First, switch to showers. Yes, the bath bomb market is huge, and you might love unwinding in a tub with some candles, oils, and other additions. But, showering uses much less water than filling up a bathtub, especially if you take shorter showers each day. If you really want to cut back on the water you waste, try some of the following solutions:
- Install a low-flow showerhead
- Invest in a low-flush toilet
- Fix any leaks within your home
- Only run dishwashers and washing machines when they have full loads
- Switch out old appliances for new, energy-efficient models
It’s also important to think about your water heater. There’s nothing quite like a hot shower, but most people don’t think about the energy they could be wasting with an old water heater. One of the best things you can do is to upgrade to an energy-efficient model. But, if that isn’t in your budget right now, try wrapping a water heater blanket around it. This will keep it from having to constantly burn energy to keep your water warm.
Discover New No-Waste Options
Self-care is different for everyone. It’s about doing something each day that improves your overall well-being. That doesn’t have to mean sticking to a specific skincare routine or drawing a hot bath each day. There are plenty of self-care options that create little-to-no waste. You can experience the same relaxing benefits without harming the environment. Not sure what might work for you? Try some of the following ideas:
- Spending time in nature
- Going to a farmer’s market for local ingredients
- Cooking your favorite meal
Living a no-waste lifestyle can be difficult, and it requires a lot of discipline. You don’t have to dive in head-first. Rather, try making small habitual changes around your home and to your routine. Avoid fast fashion when you’re treating yourself to a new option. Cut down on single-use plastic by bringing your own cup to your favorite coffee shop. Use recyclable products as much as possible.
When you develop these new habits, you’ll start to see that living without waste isn’t as restrictive as you might think. Plus, you can feel even better and less stressed knowing you’re doing something beneficial for yourself and the planet, all at once.