The Zero Waste Pedicure

Saving the planet starts at home with small changes to your routine. This is how to reduce our impact on the environment with our pedis.

The answer’s yes if you aim for a zero waste pedicure – and it’s easier than you think.

Zero waste means only using products or materials that can be reused, recycled or composted, instead of being thrown away in the trash. This might seem impossible for your pedi but it can be done in four easy steps.

1. Only Buy What You Need

The easiest way to avoid creating waste is not to buy more of anything than you really need. If you have a full box of nail polishes, this could be tricky. But be honest, how many different shades of nude nail polish will you ever actually use?

It’s tough because there are so many amazing beauty products out there, but try to get out of the habit of buying on impulse.

If you decide you don’t like a particular foot cream, give it to one of your girlfriends instead of chucking it in the garbage. Do your research before buying something for your home pedi by reading reviews in beauty magazines and blogs to reduce the chance of it not being right for you.

Also, check your drawers and closet to find all your half-used pedi-related products. Remember to use them up before buying new ones.

If you’re looking for creative ways to use nail polish you don’t want, we love this video on Youtube. So simple yet so effective!

2. Look For Reusable Materials

To get anywhere close to a zero waste pedicure, you’ll want to avoid products that are just single-use (sorry, foot peels). Luckily, most of the key elements of a pedi are all reusable. For example, the bowl or foot spa you soak your feet in and the nail clippers for trimming your nails are designed for years of use.

One of the most important tools for a good pedi is a high-quality foot file. If you invest in a professional foot file, it will last for years to come; some will even last a lifetime! Look for foot files with a solid metal or wooden handle with removable abrasive pads that can be replaced after three months or so.

Instead of cotton wool or wipes to clean up nail polish, go for reusable pads made of bamboo. These are fantastic as they can go in the washer with the rest of your laundry. Bamboo make-up remover pads are usually sold in sets of 12 or more and come with a cotton bag to put the pads in so they’ll be safe in the washing machine.

3. Go For Recyclable Packaging

When you go shopping or buy products online for your home pedi, look carefully at the packaging. Think to yourself: can I recycle it, compost it or reuse it in some way?

It’s packaging made of single-use plastic that’s the main baddy in the beauty industry. This is often made of a type of plastic that’s difficult to recycle, so there’s no choice but to throw it away.

But now, many beauty brands have set up recycling programs for their plastic packaging, so search online to see if your product is covered and if there’s a collection point near you. Other companies have moved towards creating pots and lids from bamboo, a fast-growing and completely sustainable plant that’s the perfect alternative to single-use plastic.

Find out what your favorite beauty brand is doing to make their products more sustainable, eco-friendly and zero waste. Look for bath salts in paper sachets for your foot soaks, creams and lotions in glass jars or bottles, and nail polish with lids made from bamboo.

4. Make Your Own Foot Soak

To completely avoid waste altogether, you could try a home-made foot soak using natural ingredients you already have at home.

Epsom salt is a fantastic natural exfoliant that works really well as a foot soak when dissolved in warm water. Use half a cup with an essential oil such as peppermint or lavender.

Apple cider vinegar is great to detox your feet because it has anti-fungal properties. Add half a cup to a foot soak with your favorite scented essential oils so you don’t have to smell of vinegar!

For a moisturizing foot soak, try dissolving a cup of honey and a cup of coconut milk in boiling water. Then slowly add it to your bowl of water, making sure it’s not too hot before soaking your feet.

So, the next time you do a home pedi, aim for zero waste!

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