Friday, April 3, 2009

The Origins of Good

Everyone who knows me knows that I'm kind of crazy about saving the world. I actually yelled at my roommate the other day for throwing a candy wrapper out of her car window (well, she was littering!), and it physically hurts me when I see people walking out of grocery stores with a cart full of plastic bags. It also physically hurts me when I don't recycle, and I'm only slightly consoled by the fact that I recently read an article about the book Land of the Lost Souls: My Life on the Streets on how many homeless survive and maybe find meaning from finding empty plastic bottles to recycle. But that's a whole other debate and I'll save this from sounding like an after-school special/Lifetime Original Movie (don't deny it, sometimes they really tug at your heartstrings)

But one area I haven't really gone green with is cosmetics. I'm guilty of throwing out empty plastic bottles, containers, even nail polish bottles when I don't need them for frankening. It's terrible, really, but also hard when you don't even know what you're supposed to recycle

Luckily, one company has really stepped it up. Origins now has a great program aptly called "Back to Origins" where you bring in empty cosmetics packaging of any brand to any one of their retail stores or department store counters and it will be sent to a central location where the bottles, tubes, etc. will be either recycled or used for energy recovery. In return, Origins will reward you with a free sample of any skincare item of your choice. It's really a win-win situation.

Here's what Origins has to say: "We believe that the more we collect from consumers, the more we can keep cosmetic packaging out of landfills. And we hope this program will encourage other companies into following our example."

I sincerely hope that this program becomes more widely adopted by other countries and companies as well! Sadly this program is so far only for the United States, as it mentions that it excludes Canada and Puerto Rico (which kind of technically is also US terriroty, but who am I to argue with semantics?). Even sadder, this also excludes Origins counters in the US located in Nordstrom's, which I don't understand....hopefully this will change.

To check out the whole program details and more abut Origins and the environment, click here.

Happy Recycling!


Marie said...

"[...]and it will be sent to a central location where the bottles, tubes, etc. will be either recycled or used for energy recovery. In return, Origins will reward you with a free sample of any skincare item of your choice."
How much energy will be wasted on transportation back and forth? Isn't there any recycle options available in your community so you can recycle based on material?
Where I live we recycle a lot: plastic, glass, paper, carton, batteries, metal, organic waste... All communities has to have a recycle station for these things. I actually think it's Swedish law to have a recycle station nearby!

N. said...

No idea about energy in transportation but unfortunately many places in the US have very thorough recycling centers, the one nearest my university only has recycling for aluminum and plastic and my university campus has limited options as well. There are also some states in the US where the majority don't even recycle at all! It's sad, but true. I wish we had a more intensive recycling program like Sweden!

Polish Earthgirl said...

Wow thats awesome! I am so doing that!!!

clowncrying said...

the temptation of uniforms-""-bring together single members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Police Force, and Firefighters, as well as civilians, veterans for friendship, love, romance, marriage and even more.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this will work out in some fashion for Origins. When I was in high school, Bath and Body Works used to take their OWN bottles in and give a credit (10 cents per bottle), but they no longer do so. Fortunately for ME, I can throw any plastic, glass, or metal item in my recycling bin. Don't even have to rinse them! Our municipality sorts and cleans everything. I don't have an Origins within an hour's drive anyway, so wouldn't be able to take advantage.

One thought though ... what kind of packaging do the samples come in? If I recall correctly from past orders, smaller plastic containers? Seems rather counter productive, no?

BTW, found your blog through Scrangie ... ;) Very nice. You can check me out as a contributor to and my personal greenish blog at

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