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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How to Recycle Plastic Makeup Tubes and Containers

I’ve been making one small environmentally friendly change each month from January to Earth Day as part of the One Small Green Change Challenge. So far I have:

All of the changes were easy to implement and have stuck, with the exception of the humidifier because we aren’t running the furnace anymore. That’s a seasonal change.

I have to admit, after doing my 20% Energy Reduction Challenge and tackling some of the more common green changes like switching to reusable shopping bags and resuable water bottles  (well not really switching, more like trying to use them more often), and using cloth table cloths and napkins. I didn’t think there were a lot of changes I could make other than the big, expensive ones like buying a hybrid car.

The One Small Green Change Challenge changed my thinking because I started to look at those little things that I knew I should switch out like that flaking Teflon griddle but didn’t because it’s easier to not use it and stick in back into the cupboard.

Now I really doubt that I’m going to save the world by doing such little things as making my own granola, but as I learned at the end of the 20% Energy Reduction Challenge all of those little changes and home improvements I made in the name of saving electricity and natural gas made me not only meet - but beat - my energy reduction goal by an additional 12%!

So bit by bit through these small changes I’m making my family’s personal world a better place to be. If I can lead by example that’s just gravy. I don’t think it’s helpful or right for me to yell at someone for not following my own personal green way of doing things. Chances are they are doing something that is what’s best for their family that doesn’t necessarily work for mine. Case in point: Cloth wipes instead of paper TP. I just can’t go there – sorry.

Hip Mountain Mama’s challenge was supposed to end on Earth Day but I’m going to stick with making One Small Change each month for the rest of the year. My One Small Green Change for May is to recycle plastic makeup tubes and containers.

I’ve been spring cleaning and using up my extra travel toiletries and items from the backs of cupboards and drawers. I’ve been dropping off the hard plastic caps to my local Aveda store for recycling. Unfortunately, the plastic tubes were going into the household trash. Lisa from Retro Housewife Goes Green gave me the tip that Origins will take plastic tubes and makeup containers for recycling.

I had a couple of empty tubes of product I found were laying around in a drawer just empty. Why? I have no idea. While I was organizing the drawer around I found some expired product too. How I could tell it was expired? Because instead of white the stuff inside the bliss tube was tan – ew!

I wasn’t sure if Origins would accept tubes from products other than their own. I decided to take them to the Origins store at my local mall as a test run. If they didn’t take them it wouldn’t be a total loss because the mall has a Graeter’s - a locally made ice cream that uses chocolate chunks in their ice cream as big as your thumb – yum!

I found that Origins store at my mall closed but there is an Origins makeup counter at Macys. I asked if they would take my makeup tubes for recycling at the makeup counter and they said they would! As a thank you they gave me two sample containers of product. Which if they work for me (not all products do), will help me towards my New Year’s Resolution of greening the rest of my health and beauty aids. A double win! Of course once I use the samples, the hard plastic caps will go to Aveda for recycling and I’ll take the empty tubes back to the Origins counter for recycling.

Have you made any small changes lately? How have they worked for you?

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BTW FTC: None of the companies mentioned in this post paid me to include them. I'd rather not disclose that I probably eat too much ice cream in the summer because I have no willpower when it comes to passing up the opportunity to buy and eat ice cream.