So there's just a few minutes left until Earth Day 2009 is officially over. What's a gal to do? Luckily, your enthusiasm for our planet's well-being doesn't have to be limited to just one day! I've come up with a few things that are (more or less) unique to women that we can change in our everyday lives to make a difference. Feel free to suggest your own ideas in the comments!
1. Use alternative menstrual products. This one's a biggie, as they say. We have a ton of links on our sidebar, but just in case, here's the lowdown: commercial tampons and pads take up landfill space and have harmful chemicals like dioxin that you shouldn't want anywhere near your garden in the first place, know what I'm sayin'? Besides, why buy a box of tampons every month when you could use a menstrual cup (which fit inside a shotglass, folks, just to give you a size comparison) made of silicone or latex that will last you a year or longer? The most popular options for menstrual cups are the Diva, MoonCup, and disposable Insteads. Other alternative menstrual options include the ever-friendly (although not vegan) sea sponge, and cloth pads. Lunapads offers some great ones, or you can DIY!
2. Not all women wear makeup, but if you do, try re-usable makeup containers. Aveda makes some very pretty ones.
3. There's other things within the realm of beauty you can change while you're at it, by ditching such items such as but not limited to: disposable razors, razors in general (if you're so inclined, I happen to be biased), items with excessive packaging and beauty products containing petrochemicals and carcinogens. And lay off the hairspray.
4. Recycle! In 2009 Origins became the first company to offer recycling for some of their products' containers. Hopefully others will follow suit in time. In the meantime, look to buy products that use recycled materials for their packaging. I know I get a little smile every time I look down at the tube of my trusty Burt's Bees chapstick (that virtually everyone owns, don't even try to pretend like you don't have a tube of this miraculous stuff) which is made from 50% post-industrial recycled plastic.
5. This goes for the dudes too: thrift! Next time you decide to go shopping, whether it's for new clothes or a new couch, check out a secondhand store. There's no good reason to not thift, especially in Austin, where we have a plethora of stores containing perfectly usable items that would otherwise be in a landfill to choose from.