Maybe you have purchased a more fuel-efficient car and now you carpool to work or take public transportation. You’ve recycled your plastic, glass and aluminum as long as you can remember, but your morning get up and get out the door routine may not be an area of your life you would think of as having an impact on the planet. While it may not make as visible an environmental impact as, say, adopting a highway, if we all make some little changes, the results can be big.
Be water smart
Water is a resource we take for granted – it’s naturally occurring and when it rains, we get more of it… Well, if you remember elementary school earth science, there’s a cycle to it, but as far as our consumption is concerned, there is a good deal of energy used to treat water for human use. On top of that, unless you have a well, you’re paying someone for it.
A five minute shower is your most water-conscious option for your morning routine. It gives you ample time for shampoo, conditioning and shaving while still staying water smart. Linger in the shower for 10 to 15 minutes and you’re starting to use as much water as a fully drawn bath.
Other ways to keep your morning hygiene and beauty regimen from having a negative impact on the planet are:
Don’t let the water run while you brush your teeth. Depending on how long you brush, gallons of water can simply go down the drain as you brush. Instead turn the water on to wet your tooth brush and then turn it off until you need to rinse.
Buy a low-flow shower head. When it comes to water smart shower heads, there are many choices. The trade off is between pressure and volume. When it comes to a shower, the relaxing feel of the water is what we are after (pressure) not just the amount of water running over us. With an low-flow shower head you may end up with a double bonus: a more luxurious shower and a more efficient one.
Limit plastic wherever possible
Do you have a vinyl shower curtain? Get rid of it (and by get rid of it, of course we mean recycle it). Not only can vinyl (also known as PVC) sit around forever in a landfill, it releases dioxins during manufacture and disposal – dioxins are nasty cancer-causing compounds that, frankly no one wants or needs more of. So recycle that old shower curtain and get a cotton one. If you take care of the cotton ones, they can last a lot longer and they aren’t nearly so harmful to the environment to produce.
Other ways to cut down on plastic usage:
If you use disposable razors, STOP! Just the name itself should be enough of a deterrent. In the disposable world we live in, everything is made to be thrown away. At least with a conventional razor, the only part you need to replace often is the cartridge. Disposable razors can add unneeded excess waste to your local landfill – plus they’re just plain tacky.
Recycle, recycle, recycle. Recycle your shampoo and conditioner bottles, your lotion dispensers and even the box that ill-fated home hair dye came in.