In a world that’s freaking out there seems only to be bad news at the moment.
Whilst Covid-19 currently remains the most urgent crisis, it is important to remember that climate change is still a problem and environmental efforts should not be completely abandoned. In her Ted Talk, leading global expert Alanna Shaikh explains how pandemics like coronavirus are not going anywhere no matter how well prepared we are for them.
Our warming climate is making the world increasingly susceptible to viruses and bacteria. As well as this, deforestation and the pursuit of natural resources means that humans are pushing into the planet’s last remote places, bringing us into contact with new wildlife and diseases that we are not equipped to deal with.
In light of this I wanted to look at the positive sustainable change we have already made. More and more companies are trying to do their bit in helping the planet, which makes natural and sustainable products fairly easy to come by.
So far in my pledge to use only sustainable personal care and beauty products this year I have made a lot of progress in reforming the type of products I use, in particular the ingredients they are made of and sourced from.
However, it has not always been that easy to keep to the pledge. Finding sustainable packaging has been the most difficult challenge I have faced and I have yet to come across a perfect solution for everything.
But there is not necessarily time to wait for perfect solutions and it is better for us to do something rather than nothing. Luckily, a lot of brands are doing something.
Weleda is one of the most successfully innovative brands when it comes to new packaging concepts. It was the first ‘Look for the Zero’ certified brand - an easy to spot logo designed by Beat The Microbead to guarantee that a product is entirely free from microplastic ingredients - and the company ensures that its packaging is manufactured from sustainable materials and is recyclable once its packaging life is over.
Weleda are looking to improve even further by using low environmental-impact plastic which is easier to recycle and cheaper to ship due to its lower package weight. Neal’s Yard Remedies, another Look For The Zero brand, uses glass as its main packaging material.
Lush is taking it even further and trying to abolish packaging altogether. About half their products can be taken home “completely naked” and when packaging is unavoidable they use only recycled materials. Returning five of their black pots in store can also earn you a free face mask.
This week I tested Aldi’s new line of vegan products, including a face scrub and a hand cream. The range of good quality products uses 100% naturally derived ingredients, is cruelty free and comes in fully recyclable packaging - all at a very reasonable price.
Buying consciously is not something that 21st century consumerism is used to - convenience often takes priority. But perhaps coronavirus will wake us up to how our inconsideration of the environment has greater impacts than we realise and give us even more reason to keep on progressing in our quest for sustainability.