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.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

Gem is living her best life.

If you've ever dreamed of spontaneously walking out the door and treating yourself a day of pampering at a spa without even telling anyone, you'll love this doggo who is living your best life.

According to CTV News, a 5-year-old shepherd-cross named Gem escaped from her fenced backyard in Winnipeg early Saturday morning and ended up at the door of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Spa, five blocks away. An employee at the spa saw Gem at the gate around 6:30 a.m. and was surprised when they noticed her owners were nowhere to be seen.

"They were looking in the parking lot and saying, 'Where's your parents?'" said Shawn Bennett, one of the co-owners of the business.

The employee opened the door and Gem hopped right on in, ready and raring to go for her day of fun and relaxation.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."