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Green Alternative to Cotton Balls

I go through a lot of cotton balls. I use them to remove eye makeup in the evening, and to apply toner. I use them for removing nail polish, sometimes I use them for cleaning or household chores. For several years now, it’s irked me how quickly I go through them, and how they end up in a landfill. It’s such a waste. So when I stumbled upon a post by blogger Allison from Wardrobe Oxygen where she recommended¬†GreenLittleNest reusable facial rounds, I thought, no more excuses.

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These rounds work much the same way cotton balls do–apply product to the rounds, let it soak in for a few seconds, rub gently over your face. Same exact result, with better repercussions for your wallet and the planet. I bought the set of 20 cotton flannel rounds that comes with a mesh bag. You put the dirty rounds in the mesh bag and when you’re ready to wash them, you throw the whole thing in the washing machine, and that way the rounds get clean but don’t get lost among the other much larger items.

Green Facial Rounds on

Just from poking around on Etsy, there are a lot of other options too. If you prefer organic, CurlyMonkey makes a set of 10; these cotton velour wipes from WeeEssentials might be even softer than flannel; and for the romantic in you, these pads from SpringVelvet are heart-shaped.¬†If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you could easily make these for even cheaper. It looks like all of the wipes are simply two pieces of fabric sewn together with a simple stitch. Pick a really soft fabric (like flannel or velour) so that it’s gentle on your eyes.

Since purchasing these facial rounds, I’ve been thinking about other ways to go green with my makeup routine. MAC makeup encourages consumers to collect their empties and return them to the store. For every 6 containers you bring back, MAC will give you a free lipstick of your choice. Even more impressive is Origins recycling program which I just recently learned about. You can bring in ANY empty cosmetic container from ANY brand and they will take care of the recycling for you. There’s really no excuse not to do this, since it comes at zero cost to the consumer. I’m going to place a box under my sink specifically to begin collecting my empty mascara tubes and lip balm pots so that I can take advantage of this. If you don’t live near an Origins store, TerraCycle is a company that will take all those cosmetics empties (again for free) and works with other manufacturers to turn that plastic into upcycled items like park benches. Even better–they take many more items than just cosmetics–pens, scotch tape containers, etc.

What else can we be doing to be more responsible consumers? How do you reduce, reuse, and recycle when it comes to beauty or home products?

Author: Beth

Writer, blogger, basset-hound walker. Beth is a connoisseur of nachos and holiday films. She loves books, sidecars, costume jewelry, and people with a quirky sense of humor.

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