Next time you step into your washroom, you might find a range of products which you use on daily basis and feel good about are actually sullying the environment. You will be surprised to know that most of the products which we use every day to stay healthy and clean are in reality damaging the environment, harming animal life and –eventually- humans, too.
Our daily facial cleanser or facewash containing micro-beads which help in cleaning your pores are actually made of plastic. They clog the waterways. Sunscreen which is like a must-have product in our kits may be resulting to coral bleaching. And how can we forget palm oil in our shampoo, conditioner, soaps, creams, foundations, moisturizer etc which keep our skin healthy is actually contributing to climate change. In fact, the pace at which our endless needs and demands are growing these days, the damage to our environment is happening at the same pace.
Let’s have a look at the 6 everyday products that are ruining our environment:
Facial cleansers containing microbeads
Many facial cleansers, cosmetics, toothpaste and other hygiene products contain plastic microbeads that help in exfoliation. In reality, these microbeads are not so skin friendly if used too roughly and are harmful to the environment as they contribute to plastic pollution in waterways. And unfortunately, the marine life such as fish may mistake them for food. In Illinois products with microbeads were banned in 2014.
Sulfate based shampoos and soaps
Several soaps, shampoos, and other hygiene products have Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) (a chemical compound) in them that acts as a forming agent. Such products might give you a good feel on your skin but chances are SLES can be contaminated with traces of 1, 4-Dioxane which the EPA has labeled a probable human carcinogen. This chemical is not readily biodegradable. We should try to use sulphate free products.
Disposable single-use razors
Disposable razors made for single-use have blades which are crafted from inexpensive steel and handles made of cheap plastic. And most of them and their plastic packaging material can’t be recycled and ultimately get into landfills. It is advisable to use an electric shaver and refillable razor.
Found almost in everyone’s kit, sunscreen which we use to protect our skin contain chemicals such as paraben, cinnamate, benzophenone and camphor derivatives. These chemicals contribute to coral bleaching resulting in increased vulnerability of corals to viral infections and diseases. Try to use eco-friendly chemical sunscreens or organic ones.
Deodorants with triclosan
Many deodorants, soaps, and cleaning products contain triclosan, an antibacterial agent which is harmful to the environment. This chemical has been found in places like soil, surface waters, and fish tissue. There are reports according to which triclosan is proven toxic to aquatic organisms. We should avoid products with triclosan and instead buy products with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as the antibacterial agent.
Lip balm derived from petroleum
Most of the ingredients used in a lip balm are derived from petroleum, such as petrolatum (also called petroleum jelly). Petrolatum is highly susceptible to getting contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHS) which are toxic to wildlife and the environment. We should use balms which are made from natural ingredients.
Let’s do our bit to save our environment by trying our best to use organic and environment-friendly products.