Aveda: Earth Day? Try Earth Month. In addition to all of Aveda's year-round earth-saving initiatives, they've been spearheading targeted April Earth Month campaigns since the '90s. This year their goal is to raise $3.5 million for clean water projects around the world, because one in seven people worldwide lack access to clean water. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the Light The Way Candle goes towards the Earth Month campaign. Also visit their Facebook page to calculate your water footprint -- for every footprint calculated Aveda donates $1 to Global Greengrants.
Soleo Organics: Sad but true: Most sunscreens are loaded with chemicals that damage coral reefs. Think about it -- when you slather on your sunscreen and hit the waves, some of it slides off and disappears into the ocean. Common sunscreen chemicals can then trigger beautiful coral to bleach out and die. If you're heading to the ocean, we recommend looking for sunscreens that are "reef-safe." One of our favorites is Soleo Organics, which, besides providing broad-spectrum sun protection, is an all-natural, biodegradable sunscreen that has been recognized by National Geographic Green Guide as being safe for sea life.
CleanWell: You know all those antibacterial hand sanitizers and liquid soaps on which we rely to kill flu germs? Yeah, they're terrible for the environment. Most of them contain the antibacterial ingredient Triclosan, which is a chemical that pollutes our waterways, wreaks havoc on wildlife, eventually ends up in our drinking water and then builds up in our bodies where it can mess up our endocrine systems. Yikes! CleanWell uses revolutionary green technology to kill germs without the use of toxic chemicals. Check out their selection of hand wipes, sprays and soaps at Target and Whole Foods, and say no to Triclosan.
Lush: Do you ever feel like you're surrounded by endless amounts of packaging? It seems like everything we buy comes with multiple layers of plastic and cardboard, much of which ends up in landfills. Lush is a big believer in minimal -- or zero -- packaging, so 70% of their products can be purchased "naked," and the packaging they do use is done as sustainably as possible. In fact, if one in five people switched from liquid shampoo to a Lush Solid Shampoo Bar, it would eliminate about 22 million plastic bottles. They've also done away with wasteful paper gift wrapping in favor of brightly-colored, reusable scarves made from vintage material. Love that!
Wembé: Soap. It looks so innocent, right? Sadly, many common soaps use palm oil sourced from the forests of Malaysia and Indonesia, where over-harvesting is leading to rampant deforestation that is endangering the world's last wild orangutans. (Soaps from companies on this Earth Day list use palm alternatives or sustainable sources from other parts of the world.) We're fond of Wembé soaps, which are handmade from sustainably-harvested, native ingredients from the rain forests of Paraguay. Instead of palm, the soap base is made primarily from coconut oil, which is pressed from coconuts that fall from the trees and are then collected by indigenous people and brought to a local processing facility.
The Body Shop: Time to stock up on planet-saving products at The Body Shop, one of the original eco-friendly beauty pioneers. Through April 25 thebodyshop-usa.com is running an extra 20% off special, and all Body Shop stores are offering 20% off any purchase on April 22 if you bring your own reusable shopping bag. While you're there, take a look at their recycled makeup bags, cruelty-free makeup brushes, and new Coconut bath and body range, which supports sustainable and fair-pay coconut oil trade in Samoa. The Body Shop has also joined with the online energy tracker Earth Aid to offer rewards to consumers who save energy.
Pangea Organics: Calling all animal lovers! During the month of April, 5% of sales on pangeaorganics.com goes to the Jane Goodall Institute, a global leader in protecting chimpanzees and their habitats. And since they're also offering 25% off all products for the entire month, now's the time to try out their excellent, earth-friendly skin and body care.
SpaRitual: Nail polish is another one of those things that looks innocent, but there's a good chance it's chock full of nasty toxins. SpaRitual polishes have vegan ingredients that are wildcrafted or organic, free of synthetic dyes, and free of typical nail polish chemicals like DBP (which is banned in Europe for being linked to birth defects), toluene (a dangerous inhalant) and formaldehyde. We love Hope Springs Eternal, a vibrant pink shade from their Spring 2010 collection.
Josie Maran Cosmetics: A lot of makeup companies will be like: "Oh look! We have a 'green' collection," and it's often just a few ho-hum mineral products. Josie Maran's entire line, which includes skincare as well as makeup, is formulated to be nontoxic and eco-friendly with sustainable packaging. We love her new Magic Marker Lip and Cheek Stain for cool, summer color.
Preserve: Toothbrushes and plastic razors -- think about how many billions of those are sitting in landfills right now. (Scary!) Preserve handles are made from 100% recycled materials. And when you're done you can send your stuff back to them in a pre-paid mailer, and they'll turn it all into park benches, picnic tables and boardwalks. Get Preserve at amazon.com