Do you order our skincare and have some of our empty bottles laying around? This blog post is for you!
Reuse is almost a nonexistent term in the beauty business. Skincare companies often promote single-use beauty products that are exclusively for customers convenience, with little to know understanding or consideration for the environmental impacts these products have once they have been made, used and tossed in the trash. Some companies have a program where they take back their skincare packaging and recycle it, fewer companies allow returns for reuse. As environmental watchdog organizations and consumer reports indicate, even fewer actually one of these two things, due to labor costs and health department impacts and effort. The beauty industry is a huge contributor to environmental degradation, even with organic companies doing their best. Luckily, my background isn't in the beauty industry - in fact, my dirty little secret is I kind of hate the beauty industry. My background started in agriculture, with a wheel barrow, some seeds and a few hand tools, and not much else. As a small farmer, you get used to reusing items over and over - for years. Even the most simple item gets transformed into something useful. Take for example hay bales - hay bales come tied up with strong nylon twine that you need to cut through in order to open the flakes of hay. This twine is like gold on a farm! Slice through it, wind it up in your hand, and you have endless opportunities to fix part of a fence, keep a gate closed, hold up your jeans if you forget your belt, leash your dog, lead a horse, wrap up bundles of flowers, hang a water bucket, etc. Honestly, I get excited for buying bales of hay just for this twine!
Garden Apothecary is a manifestation of my love for agriculture and growing flowers and herbs - and we are constantly thinking of our own negative imprint on the environment we love. Organic registrations, green certifications, awards with industries - it's all great (we are becoming a B corp soon) but it doesn't really matter if our day-to-day practices are not aligned with sustainability, environmental justice and reuse. Why don't we just refill and sell them ourselves? Because at this time, we cannot afford the labor and health dept. fees and protocol to do so. Hopefully in the future we can - but for now, the most sustainable thing would be for our customers to reuse them (instead of throwing out or even recycling).
More on this another time - but for now, here is a list of my top five favorite ways to reuse our 3 skincare bottles.
Skincare Bottles Reuse
1. Flowers! I simply adore the serum and toner bottles used for small flower arrangements. In fact, the more bottles you have the better, because you can group them together for a tablescape of flowers and foliage floating on the obsidian colored glass. The cleanser bottle is shallow, so you might use it to float a camellia or gardenia flower for the nightstand.
2. Tinctures! Make your own herbal tinctures and use them in the serum and toner bottles.
3. Homemade skincare! Let's face it, skincare gets expensive. Mark your calendar to purchase one month, and make your own the next. This is especially great using the cleanser bottle and cap. Research a few simple skincare recipes that your skin may love. Taking a break from a traditional skincare routine is always helpful for the PH of your skin.
4. Gifts! Make an herbal olive oil, flower essence, honey poultice and gift to family and friends for the holidays or birthdays. If you order our skincare often (thank you!) and have a large collection of glass, this is the perfect excuse to take a day or a weekend to explore recipes and make gifts for loved ones.
5. Teas & spices! Use the cleanser jar to store herbs you have foraged and dried from your own garden. Sage, oregano, thyme, saffron - all rest perfectly in this jar.