I’ve been poisoning fish with my face scrub for years! Millions of you are doing the same thing every day. Fortunately, finding a new skin cleanser is one easy step we can take in greening our lives in 2015. Here’s the short version of this story (for the long version, click to The Guardian’s story here):
Microbeads are tiny plastic beads that are often mixed into skin cleansers to help scrub your skin. Water treatment plants don’t catch these particles after you wash them down the drain, and they end up in rivers and oceans. Recent studies show that the Great Lakes, for example, are chock full of microbeads. Fish can’t distinguish them from food and consume them … not good! Ingested plastic interferes with fish metabolism and buoyancy in the water, and can accumulate up the food chain. The beads can also absorb dangerous chemicals as they pass through wastewater treatment plants, making them doubly damaging to the fish that consume them.
The good news: This is one of those things we can change for the greener very easily! Eco-friendly alternatives exist – we just need to know what to look for.
So here’s my Skin Cleanser To Do List:
- Download the “Beat the Microbead” app from any smartphone’s app store. Use it to scan the barcode on any package and it will tell you if the product contains microbeads.
- Choose a skin cleanser based on fruit enzymes (citrus, papaya, pineapple) or finely ground peach stones or almonds. Burt’s Bees offers several good options that should be readily available in retail stores (or order here).
- Research the eco-friendly alternatives and post updates here as I learn more.
Check in regularly for updates.
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