How much do you know about your BCF (Beauty Carbon Footprint)?
Posted by Paul C on September 13, 2019
With the earth’s resources in their current troubled state, it's more important than ever to become conscious of how we consume. The items that we purchase and dispose of have been contributing to the slow erosion of the earth, atmosphere and ocean.
In the past we heard about the oil or manufacturing industries’ carbon footprints, a measurement of the greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human existence and expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). Yet the problem was never a solely corporate one, and as we’ve learned most elements of our lives contribute to these gases that are destructive to the environment.
Most recently, the Amazon rainforest fires have turned our full attention onto our personal contribution to eco-destruction.
What is a Carbon Footprint?
Quite simply, unless you grow your food, sew your own clothing, walk or bike everywhere, and never utilize running water or electricity, you most definitely have a carbon footprint. Obsessing over the elements that contribute to your personal carbon footprint can quickly become overwhelming.
How do greenhouse gases actually affect our daily lives?
As gases like Carbon dioxide (CO2), Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Methane, and Nitrous oxide enter the atmosphere, they block sunlight and create an artificial barrier that keeps toxic elements in our air.
This directly leads to warmer temperatures that cause climate change. The damage to the oceans is most evident to us through melting icebergs, extreme weather patterns, disappearing coral reefs, marine animal extinction, and trash islands.
Nowhere is this more concerning than pulling back the curtain on the Beauty industry to see where we can personally make the largest impact.
What are the biggest contributors to Carbon emissions?
While Manufacturing and Transportation carry enormous responsibility, the products and services they create are ultimately purchased and used by consumers. This means there is a carbon footprint for the food you eat, the clothes you wear, and the health and beauty products you use.
One study tracked carbon emissions during rush hour and found one specific compound called D5 siloxane peculiarly present. This raised many questions because Siloxane is not present in auto emissions. It is however a common additive to that gives shampoos, lotions, and deodorants a smooth, silky texture.
While there are ways to financially offset your personal travel and options like local farmer’s markets that reduce your carbon contribution, when it comes to reducing your Beauty Carbon Footprint (BCF), the cost of your beauty on the environment, the choices can seem very limited.
A quick eco-audit of your lifestyle can provide you some perspective on where to start turning things around.
So what are the everyday ways to reduce your Beauty Carbon Footprint?
A good place to start is by focusing on the micro-moments that compound to make the problem bigger:
- REDUCE ENERGY Showing more restraint with curling iron and hair dryer usage immediately reduces energy consumption
- SAVE WATER Shorter/fewer showers, less frequent shampooing and facial mask applications, and choosing products where water is replaced with oils for nourishing hydration saves water
- RECYCLE Pay attention to packaging; packaging is unavoidable sometimes, so make every effort to get recycled (and recyclable) plastics and reuse any packaging you may not be able to recycle
- HEALTHY HOMES Make your home healthy by refusing to allow any products with chemicals and toxins to enter; this means reading ingredient labels very critically
How can disposable products that are unavoidable still be managed?
You cannot beat yourself up by having to purchase some products meant to be thrown away. You also don’t have to throw in the towel just because you’ve made a necessary exception.
It’s estimated that the beauty industry creates 120 billion units of packaging in a single year.
Here are a few basic ways to handle beauty disposables:
- Purchase bar soaps that use little to no plastic packaging
- Gravitate towards products with less packaging
- Stop using non-biodegradable cotton balls, swabs, and makeup wipes that form #fatberg sewage blockages that ultimately contaminate waterways
- Refrain from single-use items (tiny bottles, individual wrapping), instead buying in bulk where you can refill your own reusable containers
How do we at Teal N Bronze help you address your BCF?
We make every effort to maintain an Ethical Beauty company and keep the shine on the earth. From our ingredients to our packaging and product benefits, we’ve chosen to be conscious producers and limit our Beauty Carbon Footprint on the earth.
We start with what’s inside. Every product is made of only plant-based ingredients that are USDA Certified Organic. That means their production and processing are regulated and approved to keep out pesticides and chemicals and maximize environmental awareness.
Our ingredients and the products we create from them are not tested on animals. We test them on human volunteers and ourselves.
Teal N Bronze products are completely water-free. When we don't use water as an additive to thin out the consistency and we actively minimize our water consumption. The moisturization and nourishment comes from plant oils which pack robust nutrients that benefit skin.
When we began sourcing packaging, we stubbornly chose PET plastic. That’s because it is made from 100% post-consumer content recycled plastic and is itself recyclable.
Glass containers may initially appear recyclable, but they lose that status when they all-too-often break. Also, the most economically valuable plastic to recycle is clear or white. Since Teal N Bronze products are oil-based, we also couldn’t have slippery containers that could potentially injure our Beau-TEAL-fuls.
We also encourage innovative ways to reuse our packaging at home. Our smallest butter containers are as perfect for transporting salad dressing as they are to organize junk drawers or acting as planters for kitchen herbs.
Most importantly, we created Teal N Bronze products to be as multi-purpose as possible. This immediately reduces the number of plastic bottles we consume.
Our Ascension Amour body butter, for example, can be used as a body moisturizer, hair mask, cuticle cream, cleansing balm, eye cream, and massage oil. That’s one jar to replace at least five products. Multi-use/multi-task skin care makes it easy to reduce your Beauty Carbon Footprint.
It's more important than ever to become a conscious consumer. To be aware of the packaging, ingredients, processing and your ultimate environmental impact can seem like a lot to take on. Teal N Bronze is here to help you organize your impact and save the planet, one jar at a time.