What comes to mind when you hear ‘zero waste’?
Are you thinking of exciting new ways to fill your zero waste makeup drawer with wooden jars and cardboard tubes of product refills? How about stocking your pantry with minimally packaged glass containers and cloth bags? What about the momentum of waste free challenges? These are some wonderful low waste options, but we’ve skipped a few key steps.
Low waste vs Zero Waste
The truth is, we’re not quite at a place of ‘zero waste’, yet. Even with the rise of low waste packaging and low waste makeup brands, we are still contributing to waste production. This is because products have to go somewhere at the end of their use. Until post consumer products can close the loop of returning materials back to the earth, we cannot wholeheartedly make zero waste claims.
Although we are on a perfectly imperfect journey that will get us there in the future, there is still so much work to be done - by companies and individuals alike. This is a global, all hands on deck type of commitment.
This is not meant to discourage you, dear friend. Rather, we want to empower you to create habits and make decisions today that will create meaningful change tomorrow. We really do believe that the small efforts we make every day will make a big impact on the world.
It starts with acknowledging that zero waste cannot exist while we still have so many wasteful practices. In the cosmetics industry alone, billions of units of packaging are produced every year. Our hope is that we can work together to bring this amount down a little bit each day, each month, each year.
We've started work on reducing the amount of packaging we produce with our low waste makeup. The products you buy from Elate can be composted, or used again to be kept out of going to the landfill.
We can move closer to zero waste in a few key ways:
Reduce consumption. Yes, we’re asking you to limit what you buy. Take care of the things you have so that they last a little bit longer. Use what you have first instead of throwing something away. When you’re ready to add something new, buy with intention and purpose. Buy what you need and what adds meaning to your rituals.
Reuse. Find new ways to reuse what you already have. Create storage solutions from empty jars. Upcycle old containers into new art or decor pieces. Pass it on to someone who might find ways to give it another chance for more life.
Finally, once something has truly been loved and re-loved, recycle it responsibly. Depending on your location, you may have access to places like TerraCycle, that recycle hard to recycle items.
We don’t have to change everything all at once. Just a few small, consistent changes are what it takes to build the habits we need to care for our planet. Remember, the goal here is progress, not perfection.