Day 139 / 365
Adding to the list of things I never thought too deeply about until this journey towards sustainability and wasting not commenced, is my use of cotton balls and cotton rounds.
The more I continue on this path, the more I realise how illogical our logic is in when it comes to the way we think about products, and also how we use them.
We consciously create dispensable relationships with objects, especially if we know they can be recycled into other objects. We consider the full story of an object as it pertains to us alone: from the shelves to our hands, from our hands to our usage of it, from our usage to our disposal of it, and back again. What we don’t usually consider, is all that came before, nor all that will come after.
When it comes to super disposable objects, especially a small object (like a cotton ball) we don’t think about the implications its existence truly holds in terms of how the cradle-to-grave story and how that tale impacts the planet or its inhabitants.
Cotton requires a shit ton of water to grow. For every 200 grams of cotton it takes about 7.5 bathtubs of water to produce it. And that water comes from the fresh water sources of the local community. With non-organic cotton, of that 200 grams, an additional 150 grams of hazardous pesticides are used and that 7.5 bathtubs of water used to grow the non-organic cotton, becomes tainted by the chemicals in the pesticides. That fresh water (now waste water) then runs back into the land and water, poisoning wildlife, crops, and the people who live in the community. Causing malnutrition, birth defects, cancers, and DNA mutation to current and future generations.
All so we can have a product to wipe off our makeup before we throw it away. We’re causing ludicrous pain for an even more ludicrous cause. This is why these simple sustainable switches are so important, and why they must be made en mass.
In this case, the switch one ought to make is to begin using reusable makeup rounds. They come in sets of 8-10 and once you’ve used them, you just tie them up in the little laundry bag that comes with them and toss them in the wash … then use them again.
I bought a brand that was available at my local eco shop, but there are tons of brands to choose from on Etsy, Amazon and your local eco store and if you’re a user of cotton balls or cotton rounds I wholeheartedly recommend you lay those evil little cotton balls down and give something good a try. A simple facecloth with coconut oil or soap and water does the trick too, but if you like having a designated object for your makeup removal I’ve linked in some options below.
photos: Shane Woodward