Is there an alternative to disposable cotton balls for applying things like facial toner and nail polish remover? I try to use only half a ball when needed, and select organic when possible, but I know cotton is an inherently un-green thing due to water use and other production excesses. I don’t want to use non-cotton balls because I think they are made of petroleum… Christy K.
Un-green indeed. Did you know that cotton accounts for only 2.5% of the world’s agriculture, but it uses more than 25% of the world’s insecticides? Oh, and the top nine pesticides used are classified by the EPA as the most dangerous – and five of those are known cancer causing chemicals. Bleh.
So, yes, choosing organic – from q-tips to cute tops – is important. You can typically find organic cotton balls at your favorite health food or big box store. But…less than one percent of the world’s cotton production is actually grown organically. Here are a few thoughts for you:
- I save the cotton poofs that come stuffed in the top of vitamins, supplements and pain relievers. They tend to be pretty substantial – at least enough to remove polish a few times.
- This is also a great use for that t-shirt, sweatshirt or fleece that is on its last leg and has been worn way beyond the Goodwill box. Cut it into small pieces to use as makeshift cotton balls. You can even wash and reuse if you’re so inclined.
- You might also try looking for a spritz-on facial toner, eliminating the need for cotton balls altogether.
Knowing that there are people like you who want to take care of our environment makes me feel all soft and fuzzy – kind of like a cotton ball.
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