Happy Earth Day! At Birchbox, we’re committed to helping you discover products while minimizing waste. All our Birchboxes are 100 percent recyclable and made with recycled and sustainably sourced materials. We also offset all the carbon emissions from our shipping through Carbonfund.org. In honor of Earth Day, we’re pledging to plant one tree for every “like” we get on this picture (birch trees, what else?) on our Facebook wall. Take a minute to click!
Earth Month is a great time to recommit to the environment, but I’m more in awe of companies that illustrate that year-round. One of our newest brand partners, Yes To, has been making philanthropy a priority since they launched the company in 2006. (Fun fact: in the short time since they started, they’ve become the second biggest natural beauty company in the United States.) This month, they’re launching their most ambitious campaign to date, the Yes to Hope project. It takes their Yes to Seed fund, which works to plant gardens in schools across the United States, and extends it to schools in Africa. Beyond helping feed and educate children, the initiative also pairs each African school with an American one. Watch their inspiring video to see the kids in action. I spoke to co-founder Ido Leffler about the project and what it means to him and the company.
We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun.
Did you know that Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22? In addition to contributing to one of the many green organizations taking part in this vital eco-friendly holiday, I’ll also incorporate more organic products into my beauty routine. Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite ecologically-inclined brands to date.
1. Josie Maran Cosmetics: Actress and model Josie Maran is ridiculously gorgeous, wildly talented, and cares deeply about her environment. (In other words, she’s perfect.) Her sophisticated range of beauty products contain pure and gentle formulas that are free of parabens, toxins, and animal testing. To remedy split ends, I’m loving her 100% Pure Argan Oil ($48) that is organically grown in Morrocco.
2. Pangea Organics: I’m obsessed with all things Pangea Organics. Not only has the brand’s arsenal of skincare savers made a major impact on my complexion, but they stay true to their formula mantra: “Always beneficial, never artificial.” All of their products are free of harmful ingredients like petrochemicals, paraben, and GMOs and are sourced using fair trade practices whenever possible. Their Facial Cleanser for Oily to Combination Skin ($28) is sublime.
We love Earth Day because it inspires us to make green resolutions that we can keep year-round. This year, we’re taking a look at our daily routines and making small changes that we can stick to.
What’s one small change you are making in order to be more green? What new organic or natural product you’ve added to your routine?
Hayley: “Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit Body Wash and using my Baggu! I know i’m boring, but it’s the truth!”
Mollie: “I’ve overhauled all my cleaning supplies. I’m in love with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day geranium dish washing soap — I actually *want* to do the dishes, which is a miracle. I also copied Hayley and bough the Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit Body Wash - adore the smell.”
Molly: “Using my Birchbox Baggu when I go grocery shopping — no more plastic bags! I also carry my Sigg water canteen with me everywhere I go, I’ll never buy another plastic water bottle!”
Elizabeth: “No more water bottles for me, either. love Ginseng Eye Cream from Origins.”
Loren: “Does using a lot of Zoya nail polish count?”
Eric: “I’m greenifying my apartment move as much as possible by using recycled boxes from Birchbox office and using biodegradable bubble wrap.”
Meredith: After chatting with Juice Beauty founder Karen Behnke for a recent article, I am officially obsessed with their Stem Cellular Repair line. Not only is everything they produce USDA certified organic (a.k.a. uber green and healthy), but their clinical results for these particular products is really impressive.
Read about more easy ways to go green here.
Ditch the plastic bags and use a Birchbox Baggu instead — get one with every $50 full-size order in the Birchbox Shop. Use code “Baggu4me”!
Everywhere we look this April, we’re bombarded with messages about the importance of being more environmentally friendly. We think it’s just as important to make sustainable choices that we can stick with all year round. We’re not ready to completely overhaul our makeup drawer (although more power to you if you’re able to!), but we are integrating our favorite organic products into our routine and making smarter choices while we shop.
You probably noticed that all the samples in your April Birchbox were Earth-friendly, but what you might not know is that all our boxes and the materials inside them (tissue, cards) are recyclable as well. Instead of tossing out your box every month, why not repurpose or “upcycle” (a term we’re borrowing from one of our subscribers, Anna of My Thread of Thought) them into something fun or useful?
We’ve seen a few ideas but we know there are more out there. Whether you’re using them to create custom gift boxes for your friends, store your makeup brushes, or create something totally awesome that we haven’t even thought of yet, we want to know! Send a picture of the ways you’re reusing your birchboxes to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Recycle.” We’ll feature our favorites here on the blog. Happy Earth Month!
Shop Birchbox’s eco-friendly selection of beauty products in our shop.
Outstanding in the Field puts on amazing dinners - their NY-based ones are especially cool because some take place in the middle of the city. Sign up for a local CSA too!
Earth Day is this Friday, April 22nd. To celebrate, we’ll be posting easy, earth-friendly tips all week long to help you be just a little bit more green.
Today’s tip is a simple one. Eat locally. Why eat local? Besides the selfish reasons (locally grown produce is fresher and generally tastes better,) it’s easier on the environment. (A 2005 study by the journal Food Policy found that the miles organic food travels to our plate creates environmental damage that actually outweighs the benefits of buying organic!)
Check out Eat Local Challenge and FoodRoutes to get started. Use LocalHarvest as a reference to help you find local farmers markets’ and grocery stores that carry locally grown food.
Another (fancier!) way to eat local is to check out Outstanding in the Field, which organizes large-scale group dinners across the country. Dine with a huge group in a field – everything you eat and drink is grown locally.
One of our latest natural beauty crushes, Lavanila, is going above and beyond this Earth Day. They’ve teamed up with the Nature Conservancy and are helping the organization reach its goal of planting a billion trees—yes, a billion. Not only will they plant a tree for every order in their online shop, but they’re also pledging to add a new sapling for every Facebook ‘Like’ they get on April 21st and 22nd. Now there’s a reason for Facebook procrastination.
For April’s Birchbox, we teamed up with the well-respected green chic site, Ecofabulous. Their experts helped us garner several of the environmentally-friendly goodies featured in this month’s box and founder, Zem Joaquin, even generously served as our latest Birchbox Crush. This week we’re hearing from another one of the site’s savvy blogger, Caitlin Bristol, the creative director. She’ll be sharing details on her favorite brands, her go-to oil remover, and a handy-dandy yoga guide. Up today? A behind-the-scenes look at Weleda’s super-cool biodynamic gardens.
This past summer, ecofabulous was invited to visit Weleda Naturals Biodynamic Gardens just outside of Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany. With our love of Weleda products (we’re constant fans of the Almond facial line and have been obsessed with the Pomegranate Firming Facial Line since it came out earlier this year) we jumped at the chance to visit the site where it all goes down. The garden’s 135 acres make it Europe’s largest biodynamic medicinal garden – and to think Weleda has more gardens in Switzerland, France, the U.K., the Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil and New Zealand! At that scale, witnessing first hand the cultivation of plants and herbs for Weleda’s product collection stood as witness to the company’s belief that beauty should be grown right from the earth rather than in a lab.
Top left: The hike from Schwäbisch Gmünd to the gardens; top right: Entrance to Weleda Naturals; Botom left: A field of calendula before harvest; Bottom right: calendula heads right after harvest.
I was lucky enough to witness the calendula harvest, one of the 250 medicinal plants grown at Weleda Naturals, and learned that every year the calendula is planted on a different field in order to ensure the most rich, rested soil – one of the many Biodynamic principles that the gardens use. Much of the calendula is used for Weleda’s Baby Calendula Care line because of the plant’s powerful healing and anti-inflammatory properties. A haven for birds, bees, and bugs (see the insect hotel below!), Weleda Naturals is the legacy of Dr. Rudolph Steiner, seen as the father of Biodynamic agriculture. By viewing soil as a live organism, keeping it in balance with natural resources (no chemicals or growth hormones allowed!) and taking guidance on planting, crop rotation, and harvesting from the natural rhythms of the sun, moon and planets, crops are harvested with incredible purity and potency.