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How to Apply the “Three Rs” to Your Skincare & Cosmetic Products

We all want to be healthy and feel confident — especially now, as the world is in such a challenging and stressful state of flux and uncertainty. But we can no longer embrace beauty and wellness products that incorporate ingredients, production methods and packaging that take such a massive collective toll on the environment, and on the individuals working throughout supply channels. In this crucial decade for the protection of our planet and the health of its inhabitants, consumers can choose to do better. Reduce   Reduce (or ideally eliminate) your dependency on single-use beauty supplies. Items like ear swabs, cosmetic swabs, cotton rounds/swabs and wipes are all available in washable, reusable formats. You can also cut back on single-use plastics by swapping bottled shampoo, conditioner and body wash for their counterparts in bar-form. Select multi-tasking, long-lasting products that aren’t formulated with wasteful filler ingredients helps reduce vast amounts of transport and packaging waste. Products like Josie Maran’s 100% Pure Argan Oil — a powerful oil that’s packaged in a compact glass bottle—  performs multiple functions. It’s a moisturizer, cuticle oil, lip salve, eye treatment, and hair serum And with each bottle of it sold at Sephora, they’re currently donating $5 towards One Tree Planted. (Additionally, for every purchase of their 100% Pure Argan Oil, customers will have the option of either donating $10 of the purchase towards helping provide resources to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis, or simply taking $10 off the purchase altogether.) You can also curb your intake in general by vetting the origin of a product’s ingredients, as well as the social responsibility policies and supply lines behind the brands you considering supporting with your hard-earned dollars. If a company isn’t in compliance with environmentally-friendly practices and human rights protections, first, don’t buy from them. (Next, make some noise about it.)   Josie Maran Cosmetics sustainably harvests their Argan Oil from a UNESCO-protected region to help prevent deforestation and overharvesting. A single Argan tree can survive for more than 600 years and can give fruit throughout its entire lifecycle (including trees that are 600+ years old). And Josie Maran Cosmetic’s 100% organic, full-spectrum CBD products are sun grown in California using sustainable farming practices. As this decade is paramount in fighting the Climate Crisis (see “The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis” for full details), look to products and brands who have a plan for the future. For example, by 2021, Josie Maran Cosmetics has pledged to: print all product boxes using only 100% recycled materials, recycled material will be both Green e-certified and FSC-certified, meaning it’s always held to the highest social and environmental standards, and shift box printing to a carbon-neutral facility so less waste created during the production process. (Currently, several of their products are already being produced in facilities that utilize 77% renewable energy.) Recycle   Don’t just toss your empties into the bin— they might be fully recyclable, no matter where you live in the US, and can be used to create something new and useful (like office supplies and furnishings, for example). All of Josie Maran’s products are recyclable via TerraCycle. You don’t even have to clean your containers out to do you part. Just box up your empties, print your free shipping label from your account on TerraCycle, and UPS will ship your package for free. (Visit the UPS + TerraCycle websites to verify safest practices during the pandemic.) To date, over 202 million people have helped to collect and recycle enough waste to generate TerraCycle points that have raised raise over 44 million dollars for non-profits around the world. Reuse   Arguably the number one way to tackle the issue of how to minimize landfill and ocean-bound trash is to stop generating so much of it. Products like Josie Maran Argan Sugar Balm Body Scrub are cleverly packaged in beautiful containers that, once used up, can be cleaned to then hold a myriad of things (like reusable cotton rounds). The teardrop shaped bottle that holds Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment (or most of Josie Maran bottles, for that matter,) is the perfect size for a little bedside bud vase for calming lavender clippings to encourage a soothing sleep. Let’s all do our part— we are facing these global challenges together.   (Thank you, as always, for supporting the businesses that help us keep our tiny cottage’s twinkle lights glowing— especially now.)

Free Recycle and Restring Event at Bellamusic

Local musicians are invited to attend a free recycle and restring event at Bellamusic in Bell on April 16, 2020 from 11:00 am to 8:30 pm. Sponsored by D’Addario® and international recycling company TerraCycle®, musicians can bring any old instrument strings for recycling and get their electric or acoustic guitars restrung with D’Addario NYXL or Nickel Bronze Acoustic strings. Old strings collected during the event will be recycled through Playback, D’Addario’s free, national recycling program. image.png


When did we get so fixated on having our soap dispensed to us in liquid form? Yes, it has a luxurious feel compared to a utilitarian bar of or soap and makes less of a mess of your washbasin. But the packaging – for the most part, made of plastic – comes with an environmental cost. It's particularly on our minds right now as soap sales have soared with all the handwashing that we're doing. One brand, Dani Naturals, has reported a spike of 700 per cent in sales in just one week.   Thankfully, we’re learning to love soap bars again – and even embrace shampoo bars. However, for those of us wedded to liquids, there are now more soaps, shampoos and even self-tans available in less impactful ways – via refill pouches and ‘forever’ bottles.   The refillables model works best with items that we use lots of – such as soap and shampoo and that can be easily topped up. It's not so simple for smaller skincare items such as serums, where meticulous cleaning of the bottle would be important so that remnants from your old batch don't contaminate your new one. Skincare brands are for the most part opting for recycled and recyclable packaging for that reason.   However, that could be set to change with TerraCycle’s Loop refill scheme – already available in Paris and parts of the US and set to launch in the UK this year, 2020. It is partnering with brands such as Ren and Nivea to collect your skincare and other domestic item empties from your door, clean them hygienically and give them back to you full.       Refill bars in stores and salons are becoming more common too. At Boots Concept Store in London's Covent Garden, Beauty Kitchen's refill bar encourages you to buy an aluminium 'bottle for life' and (re)fill it with face wash, shampoo, conditioner or body wash. Around the corner at Cara Delevingne's hairdresser Windle London, you receive 30 per cent off if you bring your shampoo and conditioner bottles in to be topped up. While over at Bleach London, bring in your refillable 500ml Pearlescent Shampoo or Conditioner bottle to one of their salons and save £4 on the full price of £14. Faith In Nature shampoos, body washes and conditioners are not only great value (mostly less than a fiver) they are widely refillable in independent health stores around the country.   If you want to minimize your environmental footprint, here are the brands that are leading the charge for refillables – allowing you to save on packaging and on price.       L'Occitane has been doing eco refills since 2008 and this is a chance to buy a raved-about premium skincare product at knock-down price. It's part of L’Occitane’s anti-ageing L’Imortelle range, it gets off every scrap of makeup and smells divine. The refill pouch offers is a significant saving on the original packaging (£22 for 150ml) but you do have to buy the plastic pot once as you need the foaming action of the nozzle to enjoy the product in all its lathery glory.   L’Occitane is committed to recycling and has partnered with recycling organisation TerraCycle to provide recycling station for beauty empties from any brand in its boutiques nationwide. They’ll give you 10 per cent off full-price L’Occitane purchases on the day if you do.     Just launched in the UK, this Australian brand claims to be the first tanning brand to use refill packs. They use 83 per cent less plastic than the original plastic bottle, which you will need to buy once (£15.95 for 200ml) as it's the nozzle that creates the foaming action. What’s great about these new eco brands is that they are setting themselves up from the get-go to be as sustainable as possible in every part of their supply chain. Australian glow uses Ocean Waster Plastic (OWP – you’ll see that label more and more) and each bottle is the equivalent of eight plastic bags removed from the ocean. Ingredients are vegan, cruelty-free and organic, natural nock-sticky and the smell is subtle. The one-hours express tans come in Dark and Extra dark and are for ‘experienced tanners’ (although I’m quite cack-handed and I didn’t have problems) and there’s also a medium which works in four to six hours but doesn’t (yet) have a refill.       For budget eco washing (yourself and your clothes) Faith In Nature can’t be beaten – they’ve been going since 1974 when being eco was considered hippy and fringe. The British brand is passionate about keeping prices affordable so everyone can benefit from their no-nasties approach (they are SLS, SLES and paraben-free). They do an impressive array of soap bars and shampoo bars as well as shampoos, conditioners, body washes and even laundry liquid in 5l bumper refill sizes for around £50 (Holland and Barrett have a £37.50 offer on that the moment on some of them). They come in gorgeous natural botanical scents and there's a fragrance-free body wash too. Pretty much everything comes in a generous 400ml refillable bottle (recycled plastic where possible) and costs less than a fiver.         Now £44 may sound steep for a shampoo, but New York Salon Hairstory want to eliminate the need to buy a shampoo and conditioner separately with one serves-all product. The innovative New Wash comes in three forms: Original, Deep (for oily hair) and Extra Conditioning. It’s free from sulphates, silicones and synthetic fragrance and doesn’t strip the scalp’s protective barrier. This allows you to go longer between washes because your scalp doesn’t overproduce the natural oils that traditional shampooing can strip - so you buy less. Join the New Wash subscription club and they will send you a free aluminium bottle and save you money on regular purchases.       This British sustainable, artisan no-nasties brand has opted for cans instead of pouches as their refill of choice. The rationale? Aluminium has an infinite life as a recyclable - 75 per cent of all aluminium produced is recycled still in use today says Recycle Now. Plastic, on the other hand, can only be recycled two to three times before its quality decreases too much, according to National Geographic. It takes 95 per cent less energy to make a can from recycled materials, says Kan Kan, plus they are light, recyclable everywhere and don't have tricky-to-dispose-of lids.   With the Kan Kan model, you buy the one-time 'forever' bottle, it arrives in cardboard packaging (which you can send back for them to use again, via the returns label), they plant a tree to thank you for your purchase and everyone’s happy. They do three types of wash, Body, Baby and Hand (all £15) and the starter sets – an empty bottle plus one can are £24. Yes, it’s a lot for soap but you are supporting a brand that really wants to change the packaging game.     L’Occitane has an impressive selection of supersize bath, shower and handwash refill pouches ranging from hand soaps - £18 for a large 500ml of Lavender Hand Wash - to a Lavender Foaming Bath Duo for 44.50, which gives you a whole litre of product as 500ml aluminium ‘forever’ bottle and a same-size refill. The pouches use 98 per cent less plastic. I particularly love the Almond Shower Oil Refill Duo. The Almond Oil Shower Refill by itself costs £28 for 500ml.   Buy it now   Got any eco beauty and wellness recommendations we should know about? Let us know in the comments below.

Searching for the Next Amazon: TerraCycle

Hunting for the next Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) doesn’t necessarily mean you’re searching for the next big consumer tech explosion. “The next Amazon” largely means finding the next high-growth stock of the future. And the earlier you invest in these companies, the bigger the gains. Few options can beat privately traded firms in this regard, but private investing has historically held a high barrier to entry.       Does your net worth exceed $1 million (not including your primary residence)? Do you make more than $200,000 per year ($300,000 if you file taxes jointly with your spouse)? If you do, congratulations! You’re an accredited investor and can invest in private businesses.   If not, don’t fret. You can still invest in privately traded companies through equity crowdfunding … but, boy, if there were ever an area of the market that felt as if it were pioneered by the likes of Saul Goodman, it’s regulation crowdfunding.   That’s because regulation crowdfunding stipulates that firms raise no more than $1.07 million … per year. This severely hampers the quality of offerings, as few startups worth investing in need such small amounts of cash. Regulation A+ offerings, though, can raise substantially more. So when looking through offerings, I stuck to swiping through companies in the latter category … and I stumbled on an anomaly in TerraCycle.   Now I’m sure many of you have heard of this company in passing before, but what caught my eye was the amount it’s raised ($12 million) and the revenue it already brings in ($20 million in 2018).   By the end of its funding round, TerraCycle hopes to raise $25 million. Just what is this company that I’ve never heard of and how is it that it’s already profitable. And why does it continue to attract so much cash from everyday people?  

What Is TerraCyle?

  TerraCycle’s main concept is “recycle everything.” With that, you can tell it’s not your ordinary recycling business. TerraCycle springboards off of the sustainability trend, making #RecycleEverything a creed to live by, and not simply a corporate motto.   The firm wants to eliminate the idea of waste, which it does by recycling things that were previously un-recyclable. It can recycle waste such as your red wine-stained corks, crooked cigarette butts, dirty diapers and even your acid-leaking batteries.   By this measure alone, TerraCyle’s claim is a godsend if it actually does what it says.   Per-capita solid waste generation has grown tremendously in the decades since 1960, until it trended sideways nearing the early aughts. In the 1960s, the average individual produced 2.68 pounds of waste per day. But by the 1990s, a person could expect to create 4.57 pounds of trash each day.     Household waste consists of (typically) paper and other paper-made materials, such as packaging (think of all those Amazon packages you discard each week). Sure, paper is recyclable, but tell that to the landfills that play host to 17.6 million tons of paper in a year. With that kind of waste, it’s no surprise the global waste management market is expected to increase 60% by 2025.   Its mission to erase waste and transform previously land-filled goods into new materials is a value proposition both consumers and corporations can get behind. But TerraCycle still has to do the legwork of winning over consumers with its promise of sustainability.  

What Does TerraCycle Do?

  TerraCycle works by offering free recycling programs across the globe and in partnership with many large companies. Some of its partner brands include Arm & Hammer, Barilla, Bausch + Lomb, Brita, Colgate and Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS). Here’s how it works:   Customers simply search for a recycling program that match their lifestyle, and those of their community members, and sign up. Say you sign up for its Brita recycling program (free of charge). You can start collecting Brita filters, pitchers, bottles and more in your home, school or office. Some brands even provide reward points for participating.   Once you’ve collected at least 5 pounds (the amount necessary to keep down greenhouse gas emissions), you ship your package to TerraCycle. The company then separates the products by composition and makes new recycled products out of them.   TerraCycle’s unique methods yield some fantastic results. Through upcycling, the company has sewn juice pouches together to create book bags. It’s even able to make casual shoes out of used chip bags. When it comes to good ol’ fashioned recycling, the company claims to recycle more than 97% of the waste that comes through its doors. Through programs like its cigarette waste program, TerraCycle is able to collect tobacco from used cigarettes for future composting.   Further, the company’s Zero Waste Box platform skips the landfill and the incinerator to free communities of their single-use lifestyles. Through this program, participants can recycle pretty much anything with TerraCycle’s highly specific Waste Boxes. These are great for businesses, who can even house their Zero Waste platform inside a “permanent collection unit” right on their property.   It’s hard to believe this company started by selling a sustainable fertilizer made from worm poop.  

TerraCycle Loop

  Loop is the part of TerraCycle’s business that excites me the most. With Loop, consumers pay a small, refundable deposit for a Loop tote. This tote is chock-full of whatever brands’ items the consumer chooses, featuring things like Tide laundry detergent, Pantene shampoos, Gillette razors, Febreze and more, all made from sustainable materials.   Once you’ve finished using your items, simply leave the tote outside your door and schedule a free pickup. TerraCycle will clean, refill and return your desired products back to you in the same Loop tote. Talk about service.   The big challenge TerraCycle’s Loop faces is in getting people to buy into its vision for a sustainable future. Single-use materials are ingrained in society, and the worldwide history of plastic production and use shows the trend.   In the 1950s, plastic production worldwide was just 2 billion metric tons. By 2017, it soared 315% to 8.3 billion metric tons. And by 2050, it’s projected to hit 34 billion metric tons.   The amount of plastic waste, however, will fall out of step with production as wasted plastics are projected to rise from 6.3 billion metric tons in 2015 to 12 billion metric tons in 2050. The ratio of produced plastics to wasted plastics being far, far less in 2050 than presently.   But does this mean TerraCycle is a good investment?  

Is TerraCycle ‘The Next Amazon’?

  The world is changing its tune on climate risks, which portends good things for TerraCycle’s stock offering on StartEngine. A 2019 study found that 19% of respondents are “passionately” attempting to limit their use of one-time plastics and convince others. Another 32% are actively changing their daily plastic habits. Only 16% are unsure of, or don’t care about, single-use plastics.   While climate risk awareness isn’t growing at the pace most would like, it is growing. The 2020 election will be a huge determiner of whether that growth picks up in a meaningful way or stalls. President Donald Trump’s perspective on climate change is non-existent, but a President Bernie Sanders would do wonders for institutional policies on climate change.   Still, it’s not unusual to see other sustainability-first companies rocket into the headlines. Take Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) and its plant-based meat. BYND shares have popped some 50% in the past year, and that’s in spite of a steep drop from the late-July high.   Consumers are making it known that they want their companies to be more climate-minded, and now even investors aren’t afraid to vote with their wallets. In our InvestorPlace Q&A, Legal & General’s chief executive Nigel Wilson talked about L&G’s Climate Impact Pledge. This initiative aims to set more companies on a sustainable path by divesting from stocks whose leaders have not met L&G’s base guidelines for sustainability. Even companies like McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) have made climate-friendly bids to rid their restaurants of plastic straws and cups.   For TerraCycle to become the next great stock to invest in, it has to become the sustainable waste management company. Right now, it certainly has no peer.   John Kilhefner is the managing editor of InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, Kilhefner did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned companies. If you have questions about the site or suggestions about our content, email us at editor@investorplace.com. Want to pitch us an article? Send your ideas and tips to investorplacestories@gmail.com, and if we like it, you’ll hear back from us!  

Los envases rellenables cobran fuerza en la lucha contra la contaminación por plástico

Empresas como Coca Cola solían recuperar el 98 por ciento de sus botellas de vidrio. Los nuevos emprendedores aprenden de sus tácticas.

Entre la avalancha de soluciones innovadoras que han aparecido en los últimos años para salvar al mundo de la contaminación por plástico, puede que la de Tom Szaky sea una de las más audaces. No lo malinterpretes. No ha intentado averiguar otra fórmula para hacer que el plástico se biodegrade por arte de magia como las hojas en la tierra, una meta que muchos emprendedores siguen sin poder alcanzar. Tampoco ha diseñado métodos nuevos para convertir envases de plástico desechables en envases nuevos.

Giant brands love Loop’s zero-waste packaging—and now it’s coming to a store near you

A year ago, a coalition of some of the world’s biggest brands embarked on an experiment: If they started selling everyday products like shampoo in reusable, returnable packaging instead of single-use plastic, would customers buy it? Could a modern version of the milkman model—where customers shop online, and then return empty containers via UPS to be cleaned and refilled for a new customer—make business sense? For brands, the new platform, called Loop, was a radical step to test fundamental changes to how they package and deliver products, driven by consumer pressure to deal with the problem of plastic pollution. The first pilots started in May 2019. The tests have been successful enough that the system is now rapidly expanding and will soon launch in retail stores. [Photo: courtesy Loop] “Companies are looking for new ways to address packaging and reduce waste, and consumers are demanding it,” says Steve Yeh, a project manager at Häagen-Dazs, the Nestlé-owned ice cream brand. The brand committed major resources to developing new packaging for the pilot: a novel stainless steel ice cream canister that’s designed to keep ice cream cold longer. It then can be sent back, sterilized in a state-of-the-art cleaning system, and reused. (It also looks a lot nicer on your counter.) The system is designed to be simple for consumers—in theory, nearly as easy as buying something in a disposable package and throwing that package in the trash. Online orders are delivered in a reusable tote, and when a customer has an empty container, it goes back in the tote, the customer schedules a pickup, the packages are returned for reuse, and the customer gets back a deposit that they paid for the package (or, if they’ve reordered the product, the deposit stays in an account and they don’t pay it again). Despite using heavier packages, more transportation, and cleaning, it has a lower carbon footprint than single-use packaging. And it keeps packages out of landfills and the ocean. “We all know that recycling alone will not be enough,” says Sara Wingstrand, who leads the innovation team at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an organization focused on the circular economy. “This is a whole new way to actually think about how you can bring products to people.” [Photo: courtesy Loop] In Nestlé’s case, an internal team went through 15 iterations to reach the final design of the ice cream container, which has benefits beyond reducing waste. The package has a double metal lining, so it’s comfortable to hold, but keeps the ice cream inside from melting; it’s also designed to melt a little more quickly at the top, so it’s easier to scoop than it otherwise would be. Rounded edges mean that ice cream doesn’t get stuck in the bottom corners. And it looks better than a disposable package. The aesthetics, surprisingly, have been a bigger driver in the pilot’s success than the environmental benefits. “People actually are attracted to Loop first for design, second for reuse,” says Tom Szaky, CEO of Terracycle, the recycling company that first helped create the coalition of brands to test the platform, who is now also CEO of Loop. “The design is so important to consumers—more than I ever thought it would be.” It’s proof, he says, of what’s possible when the economics of packaging change. “If you go back 100 years and look at what your cookies came in or what your beer came in, it was a significantly greater investment in the package. As we make packaging lighter and cheaper, it becomes less recyclable, essentially growing the garbage crisis. And as we spend less money, [packages] clearly become less exciting and less desirable. The response to Loop is a simple one: Let’s shift ownership of the package in the end back to the manufacturer. And as such, they treat it as an asset and they can start investing in the pack again.” [Photo: courtesy Loop] The investment in the packages means that for the system to work, consumers have to put down a deposit for each container. In the pilot, Loop says that customers haven’t been sensitive to the price. “It’s not money out of your pocket,” says Donna Liu, a customer in New Jersey who has been using the system for several months. After the initial deposit, customers don’t have to pay again as they continue reordering the same products, and they can ultimately get the money back. But the deposits are steep, and would likely deter lower-income customers. In one review, a Huffington Post writer noted that she paid $32 in deposits for only six items (in addition to $20 in shipping, and the cost of the products themselves). Loop says it plans to have the costs come down as the system scales up. “Today, in small scale, it makes no economic sense because everything is inefficient in small scale,” says Szaky. “But a lot of our retail partners and our brand partners have modeled this in large scale. And it’s come out very exciting—it’s going to be able to be executed at scale and not cost the consumer more.” Wingstrand, who is not involved with Loop, notes that some other reusable models are already economically viable at scale, such as reusable water jugs delivered to offices. The e-commerce pilot has faced some challenges. Some customers complained about the small selection of products. Those who live in small apartments don’t like the bulky size of the reusable tote, which has enough padding inside to accommodate 16 wine bottles; one reviewer said that she was forced to use it as an ottoman until she was ready to send packages back. But moving to retail stores could help alleviate these issues. [Photo: courtesy Loop] Today, the online store has more than 150 products, including Tide detergent and Pantene shampoo in stainless steel containers, Nature’s Path granola in glass jars, and products from smaller brands like Reinberger Nut Butter. But that’s a tiny fraction of the hundreds of products online at, say, Walgreens, and one of the biggest questions from customers in the pilot has been when more products will be available. Szaky says that Loop is adding a new brand roughly every two days—but there’s a long development process for new packaging after a company joins. “This is not an overnight thing,” he says. “It takes maybe a year to get a product up and running.” In retail stores, though, customers can pick and choose which Loop products to use. “By the retailer listing in-store, the benefit to the consumer is they can go shop the Loop section, which will grow every day and get bigger and bigger, but whatever they don’t find in the Loop section they can still buy traditionally,” says Szaky. Customers can also avoid the hassle of shipping empty containers back and the size of the reusable tote; for retail returns, customers will toss containers in a reusable garbage bag and then bring them back to the store. It’s still designed to be simpler than traditional refill systems in stores—rather than cleaning and refilling your own container, you bring back dirty containers, drop them off, and buy already-packaged products on the shelf. As with online orders, you’ll pay a deposit on the container and then get it back when the container is returned. [Photo: courtesy Loop] The online pilot launched last May in and around Paris, New York City, and a few nearby areas; the startup has since added Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Vermont, and Rhode Island. It will soon expand to California as well as the U.K., Canada, Germany, and Japan, and will launch in Australia next year. Retail sales will begin later this year with Walgreens and Kroger in the U.S., Carrefour in France, Tesco in the U.K., and Loblaws in Canada. Loop won’t share specific numbers, but says that it’s seeing high numbers of repeat orders from its initial customers. The size of the pilot was limited, but more than 100,000 people applied. The startup envisions the model growing like organic food. “Every store started having a small section dedicated to organic products, but not all products had an organic alternative,” Szaky says. “That’s how it began, then it got bigger and bigger. And some stores like Costco have moved everything over to organic.” He notes that organic food still represents only about 5% of the market, and that has taken decades, but it’s a reasonable comparison. [Photo: courtesy Loop] The number of options will continue to grow. In a recent report, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimated that converting just 20% of plastic packaging to reusable models is now a $10 billion business opportunity. But Szazky sees it not as an opportunity, but an imperative. As he told Harvard Business Review in a recent interview: “I think that we’re going to see some organizations die because of this. Others will pivot. . . . Some organizations, like Nestlé, Unilever, and P&G, are taking these issues seriously and making the difficult decisions that may negatively impact the short term but lay the foundation to be relevant in the long term. Inversely, organizations—like many big food companies in the U.S.—are blind to what’s coming and will likely be overtaken by startups that are building their business models around the new reality that is emerging.” [Photo: courtesy Loop] For the brands that are pivoting, Loop is helping push them to experiment with reusable packaging. Häagen-Dazs is already using the container it designed for the system in stores in New York City, where customers bring it back an average of 62% of the time. (At the ice cream shops, customers don’t pay a deposit, but buy the container outright and then get discounts on ice cream each time they bring it back.) It now plans to roll out the container in 200 of its other stores. Unilever—which has products from brands like Love Beauty and Planet on the platform and is preparing to launch more products from Seventh Generation, Hellman’s, Dove deodorant, and others this year—is also experimenting with in-store refill systems and partnering with startups like Algramo, a Chile-based company that offers a mobile refill system on electric tricycles. “I think Loop provides a really good platform to start testing reusable packaging without setting everything up yourself,” says Wingstrand. “But I do think it’s very important to go very broad and make sure that not only are you putting and testing new packaging formats on the Loop platform, but you’re also trying to understand how the user might interact with a refill system, or how you might supply things in a compact format, or how you might even completely design out the packaging.”

My New Year's resolution? Adopt a zero-waste beauty routine

cid:image002.png@01D5C498.5DA4C450 What is “clean beauty”? And for that matter, green beauty, eco-friendly beauty, and natural beauty? In this monthly column, clean beauty expert Jessica Yarbrough explores the ins and out of no-waste and low-waste beauty, reports on the products and ingredients to look out for, and answers all the most pressing questions surrounding this topic.     There are perks to being a beauty editor, and one of them is free beauty products. So many free beauty products. More free beauty products than one person could want or need or even use. When the product-filled packages first appeared on my doorstep—about a year and a half ago, just after “Beauty Editor” appeared in my email signature—I felt like I had it all: I had found my passion, was being paid to write about it, and was getting dozens (upon dozens) of mists, masks, and more to test on a weekly basis.   But that perk soon presented a problem. The boxes and bubble wrap and bottles piled up, first on my bathroom counter, then in a hallway closet, then in a permanent donation bin by the front door.  I had it all, sure—but it was all too much.   As that pile grew, it changed the way I saw the beauty industry. Every article I read (“17 Amazon Beauty Products You Need Right Now!”) or Instagram shelfie I “liked” made me wonder: How much waste came from this piece of content? And not just from the editors and influencers creating said content, either—but from those consuming it?   I had found a new passion.   Over the past year, I’ve stopped focusing so much on beauty products and started focusing on the beauty industry—particularly its impact on the planet, which is very big, to say the least. Did you know that beauty brands produce about 77 billion units of plastic packaging per year, and over 70 percent of that ends up in landfills? Or that packaging accounts for 40 percent of the world’s plastic waste? In major cities, it’s estimated that 38 percent of the VOC emissions in air pollution comes from the spritzing and slathering of hairspray and serum and perfume. 7.6 billion pounds of makeup wipes are sent to landfills every year—and that’s just makeup wipes. I mean, imagine the environmental impact of our collective skin care, hair care, body care, and makeup routines!   I couldn’t justify adding to that garbage patch of products anymore, so I made a conscious effort to reduce my own environmental impact: I gave all those gently used lipsticks and lotions to friends and family who would use them, donated the unopened boxes to my local women’s shelter, and pared back my daily regimen to just the basics. (Oh, and I stopped accepting free press samples—which has been the most freeing experience of my adult life.)   This year, I’m resolving to take it one step further by adopting a zero-waste beauty routine.  

Zero-waste means producing zero trash. Nothing gets tossed in the garbage can, nothing goes to a landfill. Everything gets recycled or composted.

  That’s a pretty tough standard to meet, especially in the world of plastic palettes and squeezy shampoo bottles.   “Beauty was and continues to be one of the hardest areas for me,” Lauren Singer, the founder and CEO of Package Free and blogger behind Trash Is For Tossers, tells HelloGiggles of starting her zero waste journey. “My personal care products—toothpaste, face wash, moisturizer—were packaged in and then sold in huge amounts of plastic. Not only that, their ingredients were composed of synthetic materials of petrochemical origin. I was swimming in plastic.”   That said, Singer’s doing pretty well these days: All of the trash she’s generated over the past five years fits inside one 16-ounce mason jar. Yup, seriously. This is why I hit her up for advice on the whole not-contributing-to-the-demise-of-the-planet thing.  

The first step: Use less.

  You’re probably familiar with the motto “reduce, reuse, recycle”—but there’s another “R” word that belongs at the top of that list, and it’s “refuse.” In other words: Don’t buy things you don’t need.   “I think marketing does a really good job at making us feel ugly, like we need a million products to look and feel our best,” Singer says. “I realized, I don’t need a million products to look and feel my best—I found two that actually work really well.” Her zero-waste skin care routine consists of a Tea Tree Charcoal Facial Bar Soap (“I use a washcloth with that instead of an exfoliant”) and Juniper Carrot Seed Face Oil, both from sustainable beauty brand Meow Meow Tweet.          cid:image003.png@01D5C498.5DA4C450 Unexpected bonus: Fewer products mean less stress for your skin barrier and healthier skin. Singer’s almost-unreal radiance can attest to that, but so can some of the year’s biggest skin care trends: “skin fasting,” “skip-care,” and the fall of exfoliation.   Multitasking makeup products fit into this less-is-more model, too. “Rose-Marie Swift’s RMS Beauty was the first brand to tackle multi-use with its Lip2Cheek,” Singer says. “She was pioneering in that, I’d say.” RMS Beauty still stands out in the space thanks to its glass (read: not plastic!) packaging, but today, there are plenty of other two-in-ones to choose from, including versions from Tata HarperAlleyoop, and (M)anasi7.  

Swapping out single-use products can make a major impact.

  The easiest way to lower your environmental impact is to replace your single-use beauty products—things you use once and throw away, like makeup wipes, exfoliating pads, sheets masks, and cotton swabs—with sustainable alternatives. Like, you know, a washcloth (the OG makeup wipe).   I love Silvon’s face towels, which are threaded with antimicrobial silver to keep bacteria from building up. Face masks that come in glass jars, like OSEA’s White Algae Mask, are considerably more eco-friendly than one-and-done sheet masks; and Singer even sells reusable “cotton swabs” at Package Free. (They come in cases made from biodegradable corn, naturally.)  

It’s all about the packaging.

  Remember those 77 billion units of plastic packaging per year, which help make up 40 percent of the world’s total waste? Yeah, the goal of zero waste beauty is to avoid them completely.   “The best thing is no packaging,” Singer says, which sounds obvious and also impossible. There are ways to side-step all that pesky plastic, though. Package Free’s physical locations in New York City offer bulk “fill stations” for oils, deodorants, dry shampoo, and toothpaste, among other things. Customers simply bring their own containers to fill and voila! Package-free beauty. Clean beauty brand Follain, Los Angeles’ Wild Terra, and Savannah’s Salacia Salts all offer similar BYOMJ (Bring Your Own Mason Jar) stations.   “After that, the best option would be paper packaging—but making sure the paper is 100 percent recyclable,” Singer says. “Even a post-consumer recycled paper would be talking that once step further.” Check out Meow Meow Tweet’s shampoo and conditioner bars or Aether Beauty’s eyeshadow palettes to get in on that paper-packaged goodness. cid:image004.png@01D5C498.5DA4C450     “Then there’s aluminum or steel, which would be the next best option,” according to Singer.  Glass falls into this category as well. These materials are infinitely recyclable, so “they usually contain a huge percentage of recycled material already.” (Recycled plastic degrades in quality over time, and eventually can’t be recycled anymore, which is partly why it’s so darn damaging to the earth.) Plain Products and True Botanicals have your hair care needs covered; both sell shampoo and conditioner in aluminum bottles. For body care, look no further than C & The Moon and Bathing Culture, which package their products in good-for-the-environment glass.   Refillable packaging is another eco-option. “I wear a bronzer and blush from Kjaer Weis,” shares Singer, since the (gorgeous) metal cases are refillable—although, at $58 and $56 a piece, they’re also pretty costly. Over time, however, “it’s actually cheaper to refill, because you’re not paying a premium for packaging every time,” explains the zero waste advocate. (Each Kjaer Weiss refill costs $32.) Alas, refillable options, including Singer’s go-to concealer from Alma Pure, don’t quite count as “zero-waste” yet because the product refills themselves are typically housed in plastic. “This is the one area I think there’s so much room for improvement,” she says. “I haven’t found one brand that seems perfect.”   “Biodegradable” or “compostable” materials are great, too… but only if you actually, well, compost them.   “If there’s anything to be reiterated over and over and over again, it’s this: Don’t send anything that can break down or is biodegradable to a landfill,” Singer says. Many, many studies have shown that biodegradable materials very rarely biodegrade in landfills; they don’t offer enough oxygen, light, or soil to break down plant-based fibers. Instead, these materials should be composted. And if you don’t compost? “Don’t consume biodegradable products,” states Singer. (Sadly, this means Almay’s well-intentioned Biodegradable Longwear Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes are a no-go. The directions inexplicably instruct users to “dispose of wipes in trash bin” after use, negating that buzzy “biodegradable” label.)  

Are your ingredients eco-friendly?

  A lot of focus is (rightfully) placed on packaging, but flip that package over and you’ll spy the sneakiest waste products of all: petrochemicals.   Petrochemicals are substances derived from petroleum and natural gas, just like plastics and diesel fuel—and cosmetics are full of ‘em. To name a few: paraffin wax, mineral oil, toluene, benzene, and any ingredient preceded by butyl-, PEG-, or propyl- (like propylene glycol). These are typically low-cost byproducts of the petroleum industry, so while they don’t actively generate waste, zero-waste proponents like Singer avoid them on principle. Most are associated with health risks as well (reports suggest they may be contaminated with carcinogens like 1,4 dioxane in the production process), so there’s that.   A true zero-waste beauty routine would also eliminate “bioaccumulative” ingredients—substances that build up in the environment and never break down. Examples are triclosan, triclocarban, and silicone. Silicone is the most widely-used; it could be hiding out in ingredient lists under the names dimethicone, cyclomethicone, cyclohexasiloxane, cetearyl methicone, and cyclopentasiloxane.   Singer prefers 100 percent natural and organic ingredients, which can be hard to find in conventional beauty products. So why not buy organic herbs and oils in bulk and DIY? I personally make most of my zero-waste skincare products—including cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and masks—this way, using my own (reusable!)  glass jars and bottles.   “A box of baking soda and a jar of coconut oil can pretty much cover your beauty routine,” Singer adds. She combines the two to make toothpaste and uses baking soda “as my deodorant, facial exfoliant, and spot treatment.” And coconut oil, as everyone knows by now, is the ultimate multitasker: Use it as a makeup remover, oil cleanser, body moisturizer, and shaving cream.  

But have you thought about shipping?

  Overwhelmed yet? No? Then consider the environmental cost of packing and shipping your online purchases: the boxes, the bubble wrap, the paper inserts, and the stickers. Ahhh!   It’s always preferable to shop in-person, but if you can’t, look for online retailers who ship in recyclable containers without excess packaging. Package Free, Saie Beauty, and LOLI Beauty are safe bets. cid:image005.png@01D5C498.5DA4C450  

If the thought of your plastic- and petrochemical-filled bathroom cabinet makes you want to get rid of it all and start fresh… don’t.

  “If you want to reduce your waste, don’t just throw away all your shit and buy new stuff,” Singer says. “I always suggest using up what you already have before getting something new.” This makes for a smoother transition, anyway. Once you finish your current tube of toothpaste, try a sustainable Tooth Powder. After that, who knows? Maybe you’ll feel more comfortable trading in your silicone-soaked shampoo for package-free shampoo bar.  

Now, recycle those empties.

  Don’t forget the first rule of zero waste: Nothing gets thrown away. If your products come in recyclable paper, compost it. For plastic, aluminum, steel, or glass options, it’s all about recycling.   Here’s the catch: Recycling can be confusing. Some say it’s a scam. Most municipal services provide very limited recycling, or sometimes no recycling at all. Thankfully, there are plenty of programs that will take your empty beauty products and properly recycle them for you.   Package Free and Beauty Heroes have TerraCycle bins in-store, where they accept almost any packaging material you can imagine. You can also order your own TerraCycle box and ship your recyclables to the company directly. More and more eco-minded beauty brands now offer similar mail-in programs. At lilah b., for instance, customers can send back used products (even if they’re not originally from lilah b.) and the company will process them for recycling. Credo Beauty and Ayond do the same.  

Yes, I know, it’s a lot.

  But you know what else is a lot? The money I used to spend on skincare I didn’t need. The effort I put into breaking down the boxes that appeared on my porch. The sheer amount of bubble wrap I hoarded in the hopes of reusing it; enough to cover my California King. Twice. The climate change anxiety that would tighten in my chest at night. The guilt I felt for not doing anything about it.   I used to think the biggest perk of being a beauty editor was the free products—now, I realize it’s the platform. If every single person who reads this article commits to just one low-waste product swap this month, we can make a difference. “You don’t have to change your habits all at once,” Singer acknowledges. “You can make one different choice now, and gradually, over time, it adds up.”   Who’s with me?

20+ Sustainable & Ethical Gifts For Everyone On Your List

Welcome to the GZW gift guide of 2019! Creating gift guides every year is one of my favorite blog posts to write.   Both my mother and I have the love language of gifts. And, I’ve worked to reconcile that with adopting a more minimal and low-waste lifestyle to the point that my love language has probably shifted to acts of service.   But, the fact remains, I still love gifting and receiving physical gifts. I love gifting experiences and consumable gifts, but I also love giving physical things too.         Gifting physical gifts is a rare opportunity to spread the sustainable living message in a kind way. I have gifted small reusable items like straws or beeswax wraps and watched my non-eco parents and friends love the products SO much that they started adopting more zero waste habits.   If you’ve ever gifted a zero-waste swap, then you know what I’m talking about!   I’ve divided this blog post into a few separate categories so you can easily find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.  
  1. gifts for the adventurer
  2. gifts for the home
  3. gifts for the budding environmentalist
  4. gifts for the fashionista
  5. gifts for the foodie
  There will also be a stocking stuffer post coming out this Friday for smaller gifts so be on the lookout!  

gifts for the foodie

  I LOVE good food. I mean who doesn’t? I love simple pleasures like my homemade morning latte traditions which are always made with tea instead of coffee as well as getting to whip up a feast and entertain a crowd. I mean, I think you’d have to, to have hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the last five years. So, here are a few of my favorite kitchen items.    


    reVessel Adventure Kit This adventure kit is designed as a completely modular system so all of the pieces can be used together or separate making this perfect for packing up leftovers, getting take away, bringing lunch to work or school, and even for meal prepping.   The kit is also leakproof and oven safe making it a foodies best friend. ReVessel also gives back a portion of each sale to Farmer’s Footprint and Changing Tides.   Check out the reVessel Adventure Kit  


  Bestselling Bundle The best thing about the Further Food blends is that they’ve already mixed the adaptogens in!   While Further Food is packaged in plastic, they use 100% post-consumer recycled plastic #2.   Using recycled plastic reduces the carbon footprint by 78%, drastically improves the carbon footprint for travel due to it being lighter than glass, it consumes 90% less energy, and it’s a pure plastic (not a mix!) so it can be recycled again and again.   Check out Further Food’s Bestselling Bundle and get 15% off with the code ‘GOINGZEROWASTE’    


  Homestead Turkey & Chicken Let’s be honest, Nala is probably a bigger foodie than me. And, that girl is picky! She’s a food snob and has been known to turn her nose up at A LOT of good food.   However, she LOVES Open Farm! And, I love Open Farm because they have amazing traceability, and they source from Certified Humane farms. They’ve also partnered with TerraCycle so all of their packaging can be taken back for recycling.   Check out Nala’s Fav Homestead Turkey & Chicken    


  Loose Leaf Tea Gift Set Wize Monkey has made an award-winning delicious tea from coffee leaves. Yes - coffee leaves! Sounds crazy, but when you taste it, you'll know why it's critically acclaimed.   Coffee leaves normally get discarded during the 9 month off season when most most farmers are out of work so Wize Monkey is helping by offering employment during that time! My personal favorite is the loose leaf Earl Gray.   Check out the build your own loose leaf gift set and get 20% off with the code ‘gwf20’   I really hope you enjoyed my gift guide this year! I’m going to link to a few more holiday posts below, and stay tuned for my Stocking Stuffer guide that’s coming out on Friday!

New Vail Valley business Fill & Refill offers refillable daily-use, organic products

Capture 439.png Fill and refill — it’s a simple concept. For Eagle County residents, Fill & Refill is a new business in Edwards, taking away the cost of packaging and plastic-waste contribution by offering refillable daily-use, organic products — from body washes, shampoos and conditioners to hand soap, body lotion, menstrual hygiene products, toothpaste tablets and more. With paper, glass and metal refillable packaging for organic, biodegradable products, Fill & Refill is a business cutting into the county’s carbon footprint. “They all work really well,” owner Allison Burgund said of the products vetted at her family of four’s home in Edwards. “They all smell really great and feel really great. Most importantly, they don’t have toxins for your body — or my kids — and the environment.”
Brands in Fill & Refill include Bee’s Wrap, Smartliners, Dr. Bronner’s All-One, EO Products, Sapadilla, Wildland Organics and more. The cost of refills ranges from 30 cents per ounce to 70 cents per ounce. Burgund has refillable jars available for purchase, as well as rent. A starter kit features a tote bag, two glass bottles and pumps as well as fills on each bottle for $27.
After 20 years in the business of graphic design, Burgund is starting a new chapter with Fill & Refill. “I found a new passion,” she said from her small shop in Edwards, where smells are free. “It’s a small space, but hopefully I’ll make an impact.” In addition to offering refillable daily-use products, Burgund is focused on educational outreach, including adding a box for snack wrappers at Edwards Elementary School, collaborating with Walking Mountains Science Center and working with Knapp Ranch and rental units to provide sustainable amenity kits.

‘I like the concept of refilling’

Capture 440.png After a trip to the recycling center near Wolcott with her daughter’s second-grade class two years ago, Burgund decided to collect her family of four’s plastic trash for a month to see how they were contributing. “It was much bigger than I thought,” she said, adding that plastic recycling is essentially trash, citing National Geographic’s report that 91% doesn’t get recycled. She reached out to grocery stores in Eagle and Summit counties asking them to offer refillable products, with no luck. So she started researching and testing products herself, looking at other zero-waste stores that sell products used on a daily basis — hand soap, laundry soap, shampoo, deodorant, etc. One of the first products she tested with her two children was having them make their own bubble baths starting with unscented, organic essential oils and adding scents like lime, orange and grapefruit. Capture 441.png Products at Fill & Refill are initially packaged in paper, glass and metal and can be re-used. “I really like local companies because that’s the best support of reducing a carbon footprint — less travel, less gas and less packaging,” she said. Just before Halloween, Burgund teamed up with recycling company TerraCycle to put a Zero Waste Box in Edwards Elementary School, where candy and snack wrappers will go. When the box is full, it gets shipped back to TerraCycle, which turns them into recycled new products, such as benches, bike racks, shipping pallets and more. The school’s Green Team is helping manage the box. “That’s a nice, tidy little way to handle some of that stuff, and I feel like it teaches kids that they can make a difference,” said Burgund, mother of a 7-year-old and 9-year-old herself. With Fill & Refill, Burgund is currently a team of one, but she is looking to expand — with both the product line as well as satellite locations in Vail and Eagle. “I like the concept of refilling,” Burgund said. “I think eventually it should not just be limited to the healthiest products, although that’s what I believe in.”

Pot packaging 'too much

It has now been more than a year since cannabis has been legal in Canada, and the cannabis business has seen its ups and downs. One Exchange Traded Fund, Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF, is down 50 per cent since the end of March.   In spite of market fluctuations, Canadian licensed cannabis producers are expected to sell approximately $1.1 billion worth of legal pot in the first full year of legalization, according to an analysis of retail sales data by Cannabis Benchmarks.   Competing with black market cannabis is still the number one challenge for legal providers, both on cost and packaging.   One area that consumers aren't very happy with is all the packaging that surrounds even small quantities of legal pot. Unlike the black market, where a single-use plastic baggie is still typical, most government-approved packaging is often multi-layered and all plastic.   Cannabis packaging is the purview of the federal government, and local dispensaries, including B.C. government operations, have no say.   Castanet reached out to the B.C. Ministry of the Attorney General for comment on excessive cannabis packaging and was told rules regarding the packaging of cannabis products are established by the federal government.   "We want to minimize waste from cannabis packaging and encourage both consumers and retailers to recycle packaging... Cannabis regulations allow retailers to set up in-store cannabis packaging recycling programs, and we encourage them to do so," the ministry said.   Customers can also recycle cannabis packaging at home using the blue bin residential recycling program.   The global packaging market for cannabis products is expected to reach $25 billion by 2025, according to a report from Zion Market Research.   For now, Health Canada requirements call for cannabis packaging to be large enough to display labelling information, including warnings. It also has to be child-resistant, prevent contamination and keep the product dry.   B.C. retailers, including Hobo Cannabis Dispensary in Kelowna, say it's the number one complaint they receive from customers. "A little too much, absolutely," says manager Cole McCrea. "It's definitely the most frequent complaint that we hear – the size and scale of all the packaging being used as being unnecessary."   As the legal cannabis market matures, presumably there will be adjustments and greener packaging options down the road. For now, Tweed has partnered with Terracycle to launch Canada's first and largest cannabis packaging recycling program.   "When Tweed launched the partnership with TerraCycle, it was the first recycling program of its kind for cannabis packaging. Reaching this incredible milestone of over 1,000,000 pieces collected in less than one year demonstrates the value of the program," says Mark Zekulin, CEO, Canopy Growth Corporation, Tweed's parent company.   "Anybody can bring in any cannabis container to any (participating) store, we take it in here and ship out weekly."   The TerraCycle recycling program transforms the plastic pot containers into plastic pellets.