Why I stopped using cotton pads and what I use instead
Whether for the removal of the eyes of mascara or for the thorough cleaning of the skin – I used to utilize cotton pads for years and in large quantities. Although I always bought organic cotton pads, with the good feeling that I had done something for the environment, it was not really environmentally conscious either. And it took me a long time to think about it.
256 cubic kilometers of water
Did you know that growing cotton (yes, even organic cotton) consumes an incredible amount of water? On average, about 11,000 liters of water are needed for the production of 1 kg of cotton, and in India even 23,000 liters. In addition, cotton is often grown in regions where water is already scarce. China, India, USA, Pakistan, Brazil, Usbekistan, Turkey and Egypt are among the most important producing countries. Around 256 cubic kilometers of water are needed worldwide per year just to produce cotton. If you convert that to the world population, then with this huge amount of water every person could consume 120 liters of fresh water every day!
A waste of resources and money
Seen in this light it seems somehow silly to use such a high-quality resource as cotton for something that lands after 30 seconds of use straight in the garbage, right?
In general, disposable items are often an unnecessary waste of resources and money. Don’t you agree?
Zero waste alternatives
So I looked around to find alternatives and which I personally can handle best. So I came across makeup remover pads made of bamboo. They are totally soft, reusable and usually come with a small laundry bag, so you can easily clean them in the washing machine. I always give them to my towels in the machine and then even throw them in the dryer. It has not defected them yet.
More options on disposable cotton pads, that you can buy:
– Reusable organic cotton pads
– Make-up removal sponges that you can wash out under
running water after each use (unfortunately these are made of synthetic
material and will not last long, so I would not recommend this alternative)
– Reusable small towels made of organic cotton, if you like larger towels instead of small pads to clean your face
Another possibility is to sew your make-up removal pads from unbleached Fairtrade organic cotton flannel yourself, if you have a knack for it.
I personally like it very much to have a few of those little pads in stock so that I do not suddenly stand in front of the mirror without them. That’s why I bought two packs at the same time – and besides, they do look nicely, too, if you drape them on a small tray in your bathroom.
A lot more to do
Even with cotton swabs and detergents and cleaning agents, we can still change a lot to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. But that will be subject of another post in my blog.
What tips do you have to live more environmentally friendly in
the bathroom? You can share your tips in the comments.