<a href="https://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Your cosmetics challenge

So how did you go with this challenge? I’ve still got some petroleum-based products in my bathroom, but once they’re used up I know I won’t have to touch any un-eco-friendly stuff like that again. I’ve found some great home recipes and reliable organic brands to use in future.

If you’re particularly attached to a specific brand that uses petroleum ingredients - and I know how it is when only one product will do for your specific needs - then all isn’t lost. You can use your status as a loyal customer to persuade the company to change their ways.

Write a letter to your favourite cosmetics companies. In it, tell them you’re a big fan of their products and that you’re concerned about the environment and your health. Let them know you noticed they use petroleum-based ingredients in your favourite product. You could also mention their packaging, if you think it could be improved by being made from recycled materials or simplified to use less plastic.

You don’t have to get angry in the letter, or plead for change. That kind of tone is easy to ignore from a customer anyway. Simply ask what they’re doing to reduce their impact on the environment. This means that they almost have to give you a reply in order to answer your question.

I’ve tried this lots of times with businesses. Sometimes I only get a bland “thanks for your input” form letter. But more often I get a real reply, where the representative tells me of their environmental program, or that they were unaware of the problem but will bring it to their production department’s attention.

It might not seem like much, just one letter. But if we all did it, it’d have a huge impact. And anyway, as the old Indian saying goes... If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.