Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Greenify: What do you own?

Don't fill me!- via thetrashcan.org

Awhile back, I participated in a 3-month spending hiatus in which I vowed to not buy anything unnecessary for 3 solid months. One of the happy side effects of this (besides a fatter wallet) was a much bigger awareness of all the stuff I owned- especially things like makeup and toiletries. I realized that I was stuck in a cycle of buy stuff, use stuff, get bored with stuff before it runs out, move on to new stuff, eventually throw the half-full container of old stuff out. Now that I've made the decision to greenify, I've realized just how outrageously wasteful I've been, not only with my money but with the environment too. After all, every thrown-out item is wasted money, product, and packaging, and that can build up very quickly.

So in an attempt to save money AND be more green I decided to really cut back on the amount of stuff (cosmetics, personal care, etc) I use. And in order to do that, I made a (very big) list of the stuff I currently own. And because nothing is more motivating than a little healthy embarrassment, I thought I'd share some of my list with you.

Skincare- Face
  • 3 Face Washes
  • 3 Facial Masks
  • 3 Face Scrubs
  • 1 Serum
  • 2 Moisturizers
  • 6 Acne Spot Treatments
Total: 18 Facial Skincare Products

Skincare- Body
  • 6 Soaps/Body Washes
  • 22 Moisturizing Lotions/Creams/Oils (so much! *blush*)
  • 4 Sunblocks
  • 5 Body Scrubs
Total: 37 Body Skincare Products

  • 5 Shampoos (3 of which I hate)
  • 4 Conditioners
  • 6 Styling Products (mousse/gel/serum)
Total: 15 Hair Care Products

  • 18 Eyeshadows
  • 7 Eyeliners
  • 3 Blushes
  • 2 Bronzers
  • 4 Foundations
  • 3 Palettes (with eyeshadow, blush, lip glosses mixed)
  • 4 Mascaras
  • 2 Concealers
  • 1 Brow Powder
  • and somewhere around 50 lipsticks/glosses/stains/balms before I stopped counting.
Total: 94 cosmetics

Grand Total: 164 Personal Care Products!

Isn't that nuts? I was shocked at how much stuff I'd accumulated, especially since I tend to weed things out pretty regularly. But years of mindless shopping (and some sharing with friends- I inherited 10 of those eyeshadows this weekend alone) have led to quite a stash, to the point where I'm not sure I can ever get through everything before buying more.

So my current plan of attack is to limit shopping to stuff I am running out of, so I actually use the stuff I own. Easier said than done, right? As for stuff I've bought but really dislike using (not everything agrees with my skin/hair), I'm going to make sure those go to new homes instead of the trash. I know that Goodwill takes toiletries, as do the local women's shelters and most of my friends.

But I'd love to know what you all, awesome readers, do to limit the amount of stuff you accumulate without tossing it all in the trash. And please tell me I'm not the only one with a GIANT stash of personal care items lying around?


  1. WOW. You do have a lot of personal care products! That is actually one thing I'm good at not buying until I'm out of. Right now I only have 2 shampoo's, 2 conditioners and about three eyeshadows! I'm more the kind of person who buys FOOD that I already have!

  2. Right now I'm pretty frugal when it comes to personal care products. I have one shampoo, 2 conditioners, 2 body washes, 1 face wash, 1 moisturizer, 2 lotions, 2 mascaras, maybe 2 eyeliners, and possibly 5 eyeshadows. I love toiletries though, so when my budget is allowed to creep up, I imagine I'll have a few more floating around.

  3. i love the idea of not buying anything you don't need! So much of my spending is sporadic and totally not thought out. i think you are starting a revolution. Day 1 for me. let's see how it goes.

  4. Amanda, I have an award for you at "Keepsakes".


  5. You are soooo lucky! I have 3 compacts of eyeshadow, 1 blush (cream), 1 bronzer, 2 scrubs, a ton of hair products, and 1 acne thing. How do you get so much makeup?! I can't even keep track of the makeup I have! LOL. :D