By Michele Gough-Baril
CEO & Founder of Iris&Romeo
By Michele Gough-Baril
It's earth Day. Here's what you can do to helP.
Two years ago I got married and we went to Thailand for our honeymoon. Traveling around the stunning emerald islands of Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Lanta by boat was like being in a dream, except for one thing. Every beach was covered in washed up plastic waste – from water bottles, to tampon applicators, to tubes of sunscreen and plastic bags. It broke my heart.
According to Zero Waste Week the beauty industry generates more than 120 billion units of packaging globally every year, most of which can’t be recycled and ends up in landfills or the ocean. If plastic pollution isn’t curtailed, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.
After seeing the devastating effects of plastic in Thailand, I made a commitment that Iris&Romeo would do everything we could to not add to the environmental crisis on our planet. We have a ways to go, AND I’m proud of all we’ve done so far.
Our big picture solution to less waste is to design fewer but harder working products. We thoughtfully approach everything we create. If it doesn’t simplify modern life AND deliver the best performance possible, then we don’t need it.
We use glass jars that are recyclable, and our outer packaging is made from paper waste and is FSC certified. We love our forests as much as our oceans.
It can feel overwhelming to put sustainable practices into your life in one big swoop. I’ve put together a few tips that can help you start.
- Simplify your routine -- a less is more approach to beauty impacts the planet (and you!) in so many positive ways -- less waste, less pollution, less time spent getting ready, more cash in your wallet.
- Buy fewer but harder working products - invest in daily Go-to's that are multi-functional and contain high levels of proven concentrated ingredients like SPF, Vitamin C, or Blue Light Protection.
- Make the one thing you use the most a clean/eco-friendly formula.
- Use non-nano mineral sunscreen vs. chemical sunscreen, which is killing our coral reefs and the habitat that depends upon a healthy ocean ecosystem (that would be all of us).
- Buy products housed in glass or reusable plastic (made from plastic waste that is also recyclable) over single-use plastic packaging.
- 18 million acres of forest are cut down every year to create the cardboard to package beauty products. Educate yourself on forest-friendly packaging. Look for FSC Certified symbols (shown below) so you can buy wisely.