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Week 4: Consumption

November 23 – 29

Challenge A: Use only five cosmetics and care products this week

Take a look in your bathroom and pick out 5 products that you can get by with for the this next week. These include toothpaste, shampoos, creams, make-up, hair gels, cures, masks, conditioners, sprays, deodorants, etc.

Cleaning products for the apartment as well as tools like toothbrush, dental floss, razors, etc. are not included.

But don’t stress yourself too much. If you limit to 6 or 7 products, that is absolutely fine too. The main thing is to take a closer look at your consumption of care and cosmetic products and see what you could possibly deal without in the future. For things that you don’t want to leave out, you might be able to find a more sustainable alternative without packaging or microplastics. Zero-waste stores or sustainable online stores can be a good place to start.

Important: medical products (e.g. for neurodermatitis) of any kind as well as hand soap and disinfectants are excluded from the challenge and do not belong to your 5 products. Especially in the current situation you should definitely not go without these!

What you can do:

  • Basically, the same applies to care and cosmetic products as to any other type of consumption: By avoiding them, you can save the most CO2 and plastic. Because no matter how sustainable a product is manufactured, it consumes resources. And often we as consumers cannot know which substances and processes were previously used in the production of products. Therefore, when making a new purchase, it makes sense to first ask yourself whether you will really use the product.
  • With things like toothpaste or shampoo, you will probably answer this question with yes. Therefore, you will find here in the list the most typical ingredients in cosmetics that are made of plastic. With this list you can check your cosmetic and care products yourself in the future and you are not dependent on the manufacturers of the articles advertising on their packaging that they do not use microplastics
  • In addition, there is a list of articles containing microplastics among others from the BUND. The list includes manufacturers, brands and their products containing microplastics. You can find this list here: BUND shopping guide.

Fact Sheet for you to download:

Challenge B: Repair or change a piece of your clothing so you will wear it again

Like all of us, you probably have some clothes in your closet that are broken or you don’t like them anymore. Think about one of these gold pieces and see if you can change it, so that you would wear it again.

For example, you sew a hole yourself or take it to the tailor. But you could also cut the garment off or cut around it if you don’t like the fitting anymore. A good possibility is to dye the garment if you don’t prefer the color anymore or if there is a stain on the garment that won’t come out. There are no limits to your imagination!

What you can do:

  • Buy second-hand clothes: From second-hand stores to flea markets, online stores (e.g. “Kleiderkreisel”) and clothes swapping parties – there are many places where you can second-hand but high-quality clothes for little money. The emissions of these second-hand clothes are around 0 and often you can also find more unusual pieces that you might like very much.
  • Organic cotton: In the production of organic cotton, only very specific pesticides may be used in fixed quantities. This allows you to reduce the footprint of your cotton clothing.
  • Repair broken clothing: Often it is not that difficult to sew a small hole in your trousers or T-shirt. On Youtube there are many tutorials on how to repair clothes. Otherwise you can often get a new zipper or something similar at the tailor’s.
  • Buy regional and fair clothing: The label of each garment shows where it was produced. There you can make sure to buy more clothes from Europe. This will shorten transport distances and comply with European environmental regulations. Numerous fair-fashion labels also pay attention to this. Depending on the brand, you can do something good for the environment as well as for the working conditions of the people in the clothing production.
  • If you enjoy fashion, you can also try a so-called “capsule wardrobe”. You think about which style you like, and which colors, which cuts and which patterns you like to wear and then put together a well thought-out closet with clothes that can be combined well with each other and that exactly match your style. This way you can significantly reduce the amount of clothes you “need”.

Fact Sheet for you to download: