The Dilemma of Old Cosmetics

By | September 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm | One comment

Photo by Jo Corall

Since my life took a “green turn” I’ve started buying all natural (or almost all natural) products and generally being a bloody good shower-time environmentalist. This has produced a new problem, though: what do I do ¬†with my old, unfinished cosmetics that I no longer want and those bottles of green shampoos that just didn’t do it for my hair?

I have tried to use up as much old stuff as possible but my excitement at using the new products gradually took over. The few bottles that are less than half full I will keep for emergencies (of the hair kind, I don’t expect to use conditioner on minor cuts and burns) and also in replacement of shaving foam. The mostly full bottles proved to be a bit of a dilemma. I have had them too long to take them back and I have used a bit too much of some to give away as gifts. One such product was The Body Shop’s Rainforest Moisture conditioner. I love The Body Shop and I love that this is a very eco-friendly product. It can even be refilled in some stores. But my hair hated it. I emailed them saying I didn’t want to cause a fuss (do to my “no-fuss-Britishness”) and I wasn’t looking for money back but was wondering if they had a product recycling system that didn’t involve someone squirting it all down a sink. Unfortunately the confused answer came back saying they would offer me a refund if I could show my receipt. In all fairness, I’m not sure what I was expecting them to offer. So I did a little internet research and I discovered that I had two options:

1. Squeeze all the contents into a bag and then recycle the bottles. The bag of goo then goes off to the landfill and avoids contaminating our water system. But this doesn’t exactly fill me with happiness for the landfill.

2. Give them to homeless shelters. A much better solution. If I don’t want it, someone else might. I sent off a few emails to various charities and got several responses and consequently my old cosmetics and products are now going off to Mungos.

I’m glad I actually got ’round to researching this. I always have bottles of something that I no longer like or have turned on (very naughty of me, I know) and never get round to doing anything with them. Well now I know what to do, my unwanted products will forever more always become the property of Mungos.

One Comment

  1. cat (6 years ago)

    Someone who works at the homeless shelter said do not give used cosmetics because they will end up in the trash.


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