April 22 marks Earth Day’s 45th anniversary. The traditional gift to mark a 45th anniversary is sapphire, which while lovely, is not as thematically appropriate as emeralds, but I guess you can’t win ’em all. And love Dear Mother Earth as I do, I’m not about to spring for some gems to celebrate the occasion. Instead, I’ve got something better in mind: A whole host of ways to make your beauty routine more eco-friendly.

  1. Forget the face wipes.
    Those pre-moistened face cleansing wipes are convenient, to be sure, but they create a huge amount of waste. After all, it’s not just the wipes themselves but the outer plastic container and inner foil wrapper they come in.
  2. And while you’re at it, turn off the water!
    It’s so easy to forget to turn off the water while we’re washing our face or brushing our teeth, but it’s a hugely impactful habit to adopt in terms of water conservation. With all the drought news coming out of California, this is a good time to take a more mindful approach to our use of water.
  3. Speaking of brushing your teeth …
    Product waste is something we’re probably all guilty of, but making a conscious effort to use every last drop of your toothpaste, lotions and makeup is a great choice for both your wallet and our great green Earth. To get the most out of your bottles and tubes, invest in items designed to help you eke out every last drop. Check out these adorable froggy toothpaste squeezers, this set of multi-size beauty tube squeezers and these great makeup spatulas from Makeup Miser. Bonus! Those spatulas are Martha Stewart’s favorite. If they’re good enough for Martha, they’re good enough for me!
  4. While we’re on the subject of usage …
    Use less (or no!) shampoo. That may mean washing less frequently, or just using less product when you do wash—your hair will probably thank you for it! We all have the tendency to overdose with our shampoo, which leaves the hair less clean because soap residue remains even after rinsing. If you’re feeling really bold, you could go full throttle and join the no-poo movement!
  5. Some other ways to use less in the shower.
    Ditch your plastic razors, both disposable and refillable, in favor of a metal razor, as the cartridges for metal razors create much less packaging waste. Another great way to cut back on packaging waste is to skip body washes in favor of bar soap, which are generally wrapped in paper and therefore are much gentler on our landfills than are those large plastic bottles of body wash.
  6. Choose natural makeup.
    This is kind of a duh, Jolie suggestion, but worth making nonetheless: Switching to makeup made from natural ingredients, and supporting companies that put an emphasis on cleaner manufacturing, is as good for your skin as it is for our planet. Some popular brands that offer more natural ingredients are Burt’s Bees, Origins, LUSH, Tarte, Aveda, The Body Shop and my old hippie favorite, Dr. Bronner’s.
  7. Always recycle packaging.
    Recycling paper and plastic makeup is a total no-brainer, but do you know that many companies have incentive programs that reward you for bringing your empty bottles in for recycling? MAC, for example, will give you a free lipstick if you return six empty tubes. LUSH, Origins, Khiel’s and Aveda all offer similar programs.
  8. Get crafty and DIY it!
    YouBeauty has loads of ideas for DIY beauty projects, ranging from making your own pore strips to a DIY sea salt hair spray. There’s even a helpful primer on what not to DIY when it comes to your beauty products. So before you head to the mall to spend more money and create more waste, consider making your own products yourself!

What ways do you go green with your beauty choices? Tell us in the comments!