Self-care is an essential practice that many have started to integrate into their daily routines. You take care of yourself to become less stressed and tired and more mindful of your own needs and wants. In the process, you become more capable of supporting and caring for the people around you. However, self-care isn’t just all positives. The practice of self-care does not just affect you and those around you. Some practices can negatively affect our environment and hurt our planet, from that late-night car ride you take to clear your head to the products you buy to keep fresh.
The Impact of Self-Care Products and Activities on the Environment
The beauty industry alone, which is one of the biggest providers of self-care products, produces more than 120 billion units of packaging globally every year. This has resulted in waste, which contributes greatly to the loss of 18 million acres of forest annually. The sudden rise in demand for natural products in self-care doesn’t help either. The added botanical ingredients and minerals might look great on the packaging and feel amazing on your skin, but going “natural” doesn’t equate to going green. Big companies want these ingredients cheap and fast to cash in on the craze, which has resulted in many consequences.
It is not only the products we use in self-care that harm the environment; it is also the activities and hobbies we like to partake in for fun. Do you remember the simple car ride we mentioned earlier that you take to clear your head? It contributes to the fuel consumption and emissions of air pollution and greenhouse gases that climate scientists say cause global warming. Other enjoyable activities that can also harm the environment include going on Netflix marathons and reading with your lamp. These can increase your carbon footprint due to the increasing use of electricity.
All things considered, knowing all this might make you question your self-care routines and if you actually should keep doing them. You don’t have to neglect your self-care. Instead, you make your routine much but more sustainable. Caring for the environment is also caring for yourself (yes, more self-care!), as some studies show how sustainable living can positively impact your mental health.
Practicing Self Care While Going Green
There are many ways to go green while practicing self-care. You can consider investing in residential solar electricity if you like indulging in activities that require electricity, such as reading and knitting that need light or movie marathons, music streaming that need electricity for devices. Solar panels absorb energy from the sun and convert it to electric power. It is good for the environment and self-care since using solar energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide and dangerous pollutants such as sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides. You get these benefits, all while getting the light and electricity you need to do the activities you love. A bonus is how solar energy lowers your monthly utility bills, saving you the stress of additional expenses.
If your self-care routine includes skincare and beauty, you can start buying your products from smaller businesses. These smaller businesses, unlike those bigger corporations, produce less waste in packaging. They are also often less exploitative of farmers, workers, and nature as they only take what they need when they need it. In fact, many skincare companies are going green through zero-waste processes that involve reusable packaging such as bamboo and other biodegradable materials. A few notable examples are FarmHouse Fresh, Kinship, and Lulu’s Holistics, all of which produce holistic, organic, and sustainable products.
Another simple change you can make is switching out that car ride for a bike ride or even a walk. You not only reduce your carbon footprint, but you also get a bit of exercise out of it. In turn, you get to improve your overall health since biking and/or walking helps blood circulation, reduces your risk of heart disease, and adds support to your joints.
With all that being said, we can see that self-care is vital since it helps us and others around us. However, in caring for ourselves and others, we should also consider the care of our environment. Without our planet, we wouldn’t have a place to do such self-care routines, and most importantly, we wouldn’t have a place to live and thrive. We can change by shifting to more sustainable self-care to take care of ourselves without harming the environment.