Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lush Goes Naked

Several employees at Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics stores around the country went naked last week to get the message out: packaging is a waste. Staff wore white aprons with the words "Ask me why I'm naked" as part of a promotion to draw attention to the fact that the store's bath and beauty products largely come free of packaging. Lush has many products formulated into bars, cakes or balls which can be sold without packaging. Some products are cut from a large cake and sold by weight. Lush sells solid shampoos, solid bubble bath, soap without packaging, and even massage oil bars. According to literature from Lush, packaging contributed to 2 percent of overall greenhouse gases and plastic uses 8 percent of the world's oil resources. The U.S. consumes 79.6 million tons of packaging a year, with more than half sitting in landfills.

So do you need to shop naked to help the Earth? No, but remember the naked idea when shopping.

1. Don't buy produce on foam trays wrapped in plastic wrap, instead buy bulk produce that you put in a reusable produce bag.

2. Try to buy more bulk items - this can reduce the amount of packaging.

3. Look for products that have more than one job, especially cleaning products, this will eliminate excess bottles or better yet make your own cleaning products.

4. Eliminate plastic water bottles from your house - switch to a reusable bottle.

5. When packing your child's lunch, avoid single serving packs which generate a lot of waste - instead buy a large package and put food in a reusable container in your child's lunch.

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