Your empty beauty products can do a lot more than sit in a landfill.
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Garnier Beauty Responsibly

You know that feeling when you step into a hot shower after a long, hard day?

Between the blast of steam, the sensation of suds on your scalp, and the incredible acoustics that nearly convince you to drop everything and audition for The Voice, it’s undoubtedly one of the best routines out there.

The thing about routines is — you don’t have to think that much about them. (I mean, when’s the last time you really CONSIDERED your toothbrush?) But what if we zoomed out for a second and gave some thought to the everyday items we reach for that keep us looking and feeling our best?


Like, did you know that something as basic as your shampoo bottle could achieve greatness? No joke.

All gifs via Upworthy/Garnier.

And no, we’re not just talking about its impact on your luscious locks.  

We’re talking about the bottles themselves.

After the last lather, your colorful bottle has the potential to get repurposed into something awesome. But many bottles never get the chance and, instead, end up in the landfill.

The fact is, nearly 50% of Americans don’t recycle their used beauty products. That’s a huge burden on our environment, and it has to stop.

Fortunately, some major beauty product companies are taking significant steps towards change. For example, Garnier is implementing some seriously impressive sustainability practices to help provide a comprehensive solution to beauty packaging waste.

So, instead of ending up in a landfill, shampoo bottles like yours can take on a whole other life.

It all starts at the factory.

You see, back when your bottle was just a glimmer in a manufacturer’s eye, some brands were thinking of the big picture and adopted sustainable practices at the ground level.

Garnier, for one, has reduced emissions at their plants and distribution centers, decreased the amount of packaging, and is using recycled materials in their products. Many of their hair care offerings incorporate PET plastic into their packaging, one of the more environmentally friendly plastics like the kind used in soda bottles.

Additionally, some of Garnier’s packaging also uses 50% post-consumer recycled material (PCR) — which means it’s already served one purpose and has now been remade into a different product.

All images via Upworthy/Garnier.

So, before it found its way into your shower stall, your shampoo bottle could’ve already lived another life. Just think — it may have been part of the tennis ball used to win Roger Federer his eighth straight men’s singles title at Wimbledon.

And its journey doesn’t have to end just yet — as long as you know where to send it.

A lot of people don’t know how to recycle their shampoo bottles. Many of these bottles are actually unable to be grouped with regular recycling, so more often than not, they just get thrown in the trash.

That’s where Garnier is stepping in. In an effort to educate consumers on better recycling practices, they’ve partnered with TerraCycle — a company focused on recycling commonly non-recyclable materials.

They’re calling it their Personal Care and Beauty Recycling Program, which they hope will provide an easy solution for consumers to make a real impact.

Here’s how it works:

When it’s time to throw out your personal care products, spare them from the landfill and send them to TerraCycle instead. It’s entirely free and totally possible to do from your own home. It’s a small effort, but trust us, these bottles can add up to make a big difference.

Once you've collected 10 pounds or more, mail them in, and Garnier will donate two cents for every personal care product to the charity of your choice. There’s never been a better reason to shower twice a day. (Unless maybe if you’re a long-distance runner in Death Valley… Then, you do you.)

However, if you’re not literally planting a tree and watching it grow or picking up trash on your street — both awesome things you should totally do, by the way — it can be hard to see the positive impact your actions have on the environment.

So, when you mail in a box full of your used bottles, it might leave you wondering what exactly they will be used for.

Rest easy: Those bottles could end up doing amazing things for a community in need.

After TerraCycle collects your bottles and many others like yours, they repurpose them into something entirely new and awesome, like park benches. That’s right, someone might be enjoying a lovely afternoon in the park sitting on your favorite hair sudser.  

And that’s just the beginning.

Thanks to Garnier, some of these bottles also go towards the creation of awesome eco-friendly projects, like this community garden in Harlem, which is made up of 1,500 pounds of recycled personal care waste. Just imagine, your bottle might be living out its destiny helping to grow fresh and sustainable nutrition for an entire community.

Some recycled bottles even get turned into recycling bins, inspiring others to follow your lead in saving the planet.

That’s a lot of impact for something that regularly goes overlooked. But your little bottle can’t do all that on its own.

The commitment to living sustainably, limiting landfill waste, and ultimately saving the planet is very much a group effort.

Change happens on all levels — from the factory floor to your shower. And while companies like Garnier and TerraCycle are making a major effort, it’s up to us as individuals to keep the green trend going and make sure beauty products stay out of landfills.

So far, the group effort seems to be working —more than 10 million bottles have already been diverted.

That’s a huge impact, but it’s only the beginning. More and more companies are prioritizing sustainability and more consumers are adopting these impactful recycling practices.

When it comes to the environment, we can only afford to move forward.

Turns out this amazing planet and a single shampoo bottle have something in common — they are both just too precious to waste.

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Judy Vaughan has spent most of her life helping other women, first as the director of House of Ruth, a safe haven for homeless families in East Los Angeles, and later as the Project Coordinator for Women for Guatemala, a solidarity organization committed to raising awareness about human rights abuses.

But in 1996, she decided to take things a step further. A house became available in the mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles and she was offered the opportunity to use it to help other women and children. So, in partnership with a group of 13 people who she knew from her years of activism, she decided to make it a transitional residence program for homeless women and their children. They called the program Alexandria House.

"I had learned from House of Ruth that families who are homeless are often isolated from the surrounding community," Judy says. "So we decided that as part of our mission, we would also be a neighborhood center and offer a number of resources and programs, including an after-school program and ESL classes."

She also decided that, unlike many other shelters in Los Angeles, she would accept mothers with their teenage boys.

"There are very few in Los Angeles [that do] due to what are considered liability issues," Judy explains. "Given the fact that there are (conservatively) 56,000 homeless people and only about 11,000 shelter beds on any one night, agencies can be selective on who they take."

Their Board of Directors had already determined that they should take families that would have difficulties finding a place. Some of these challenges include families with more than two children, immigrant families without legal documents, moms who are pregnant with other small children, families with a member who has a disability [and] families with service dogs.

"Being separated from your son or sons, especially in the early teen years, just adds to the stress that moms who are unhoused are already experiencing," Judy says.

"We were determined to offer women with teenage boys another choice."

Courtesy of Judy Vaughan

Alexandria House also doesn't kick boys out when they turn 18. For example, Judy says they currently have a mom with two daughters (21 and 2) and a son who just turned 18. The family had struggled to find a shelter that would take them all together, and once they found Alexandria House, they worried the boy would be kicked out on his 18th birthday. But, says Judy, "we were not going to ask him to leave because of his age."

Homelessness is a big issue in Los Angeles. "[It] is considered the homeless capital of the United States," Judy says. "The numbers have not changed significantly since 1984 when I was working at the House of Ruth." The COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded the problem. According to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), over 66,000 people in the greater Los Angeles area were experiencing homelessness in 2020, representing a rise of 12.7% compared with the year before.

Each woman who comes to Alexandria House has her own unique story, but some common reasons for ending up homeless include fleeing from a domestic violence or human trafficking situation, aging out of foster care and having no place to go, being priced out of an apartment, losing a job, or experiencing a family emergency with no 'cushion' to pay the rent.

"Homelessness is not a definition; it is a situation that a person finds themselves in, and in fact, it can happen to almost anyone. There are many practices and policies that make it almost impossible to break out of poverty and move out of homelessness."

And that's why Alexandria House exists: to help them move out of it. How long that takes depends on the woman, but according to Judy, families stay an average of 10 months. During that time, the women meet with support staff to identify needs and goals and put a plan of action in place.

A number of services are provided, including free childcare, programs and mentoring for school-age children, free mental health counseling, financial literacy classes and a savings program. They have also started Step Up Sisterhood LA, an entrepreneurial program to support women's dreams of starting their own businesses. "We serve as a support system for as long as a family would like," Judy says, even after they have moved on.

And so far, the program is a resounding success.

92 percent of the 200 families who stayed at Alexandria House have found financial stability and permanent housing — not becoming homeless again.

Since founding Alexandria House 25 years ago, Judy has never lost sight of her mission to join with others and create a vision of a more just society and community. That is why she is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year — and the donation she receives as a nominee will go to Alexandria House and will help grow the new Start-up Sisterhood LA program.

"Alexandria House is such an important part of my life," says Judy. "It has been amazing to watch the children grow up and the moms recreate their lives for themselves and for their families. I have witnessed resiliency, courage, and heroic acts of generosity."

via The BC Cancer Foundation

Testicular cancer typically affects men between the ages of 16 and 44 and is the most common solid tumor to occur in men of this age group. These tumors grow rapidly and can double in size in just 10 to 30 days.

The disease is potentially fatal if not discovered early and accounts for about 11%-13% of all cancer deaths of men between the ages of 15-35. An estimated 9,60 people were diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2020, resulting in around 440 deaths.

So it's incredibly important for people with testicles to check themselves regularly.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.