Half of Americans don't recycle their beauty products. Here's how you can change that.
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Garnier Beauty Responsibly

Growing up, actress and singer Mandy Moore recycled everything she knew how to, which wasn't that much.

She separated glass, plastic, and cans from the regular trash — which was actually pretty revolutionary in the 1980s, even though it's more commonplace today. Since recycling was only just becoming a regular practice, that was the extent of her know-how.

"I didn't grow up with the education that kids today have, in terms of their global footprint," Moore explains.


All photos via Garnier.

While that may be the case, her eco-friendly practices in the 1980s actually outshine the majority of Americans' recycling practices today.

According to the EPA's most recent report on national recycling rates, only 34.6% of garbage is recycled in this country. What's more, beauty and personal care products make up approximately one-third of the trash in landfills.

Considering how many beauty products come in recyclable bottles and packaging now, there's so much recycling that could be taking place but simply isn't.

So Moore stepped up as Garnier's spokesperson and got behind an endeavor to remind people they can do better by their beauty products.

The campaign is called Rinse, Recycle, Repeat, and it's a recycling program that essentially teaches people how to recycle beauty products.

According to Moore, when it comes to beauty products, a lot of people don't know what can and can't be recycled, so they either throw it all in the trash or try to recycle things that can't be collected along with recyclables like glass jars, cans, and paper.

So Garnier teamed up with TerraCycle and DoSomething.org to help take the guesswork out of bathroom recycling by encouraging people to collect their beauty product empties and send them to Garnier for free recycling.

All you have to do is start collecting empty bottles. Once you've accumulated 10 pounds, mail them to TerraCycle.

This attempt to shift consumer behavior has worked beautifully so far. Since 2011, Garnier has successfully kept over 10 million empties out of landfills.

In addition to shifting behavior, it's also about reminding the next generation that even little acts like this can go along way.

That's one of the main reasons Moore's standing behind the movement — so that simple lifestyle changes like this become points of pride for the children of the future.

"I hope that they see something as simple as recycling just a shampoo bottle or a face lotion bottle can really make a difference," Moore says.

After all, changing our — and our children's — recycling habits starts with one bottle and a little mindfulness.

Once you're on the path to a more eco-friendly lifestyle, it's easier to keep going. Just keep reminding yourself that your actions can (and will) change the world.

Thankfully, we live in a time when information is always at our fingertips, so we're even more capable of staying on top of eco-friendly trends.

"I think it's our responsibility to stay informed and to figure out new and sort of innovative ways that we can contribute because we are all connected," Moore says.

And since the younger generations are all about taking action in the face of uncertainty, research will no doubt quickly turn into noticeable change. It's important to keep encouraging that activism as much as we can.

But making changes isn't just on their shoulders. We need to be much more conscious of where our waste ends up. It's not just about our children's future. Climate change is in out midst, but our efforts today have the power to positively impact our future.

To learn more about the Rinse, Recycle, Repeat campaign, check out this video:

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.