Saturday, June 24, 2017

How I Went Cruelty-Free... and it was easier than I expected!

I don't specifically remember what I saw that gave me my "a-ha" moment, but I remember it was a pin on Pinterest. This was about a year ago and after I read the entire article associated with the pin, I was in shock.
I have always been an animal lover, I've always stood up for those who couldn't stand up for themselves and I've always been conscious of my choices and how they impact the world. But for some reason, I never paid attention to whether the products I used were cruelty-free. This Pinterest pin brought me into the light.

Honestly, at first, I was a little pissed at myself. I could've made changes in my purchases YEARS and YEARS ago! But I had to let that go and make better choices moving forward.
Cruelty-free means that cosmetics and other household products were designed and manufactured without harming animals. I'm not here to convince you to go cruelty-free. I do believe that is a personal decision (much like veganism), but if you are interested in more info about what companies often do to animals, you can Google it.

If you have made the decision to go cruelty-free, like myself, but aren't sure where to start then I am going to tell you what I did after my "a-ha" moment.

First, I panicked. I suddenly felt like I didn't know enough to make any cruelty-free purchase decisions. So I researched. Pinterest has a lot of great pins! You can check out my Cruelty-Free board here. I also really like the Cruelty-Free Kitty website. This lady is the bomb! I still visit the website often for info about products. Plus, Cruelty-Free Kitty has a Cruelty-Free 101 guide for newbies.
Believe me, after you research you will start to feel like you have a better grip on what's to come.
Next, I started going through my cabinets, drawers, and closets. In the research stage, you learn a lot of great (and popular) cruelty-free brands. So I started identifying what was NOT cruelty-free. I wrote these items down on a list (we will come back to this list in a moment). I literally went through my whole house, because it's not just cosmetics, even household products (like cleaners) can be cruelty-free.

What I did next was my personal choice and you can decide to do something different. I reviewed my list and decided what needed to be replaced first. I did this because I don't have the money to go out and replace everything at once. And it seemed wasteful to throw out a perfectly good product that was only half used. Again, you can choose to throw it all out and start with a clean slate, but I chose to go about it more gently. Because I like order, I rewrote my list in order of importance, for example, the items that were almost empty (and needed to be replaced soon) were put at the top of the list. I then used this as a sort of wish list.
Then I started researching what products I wanted to try when replacing. I wrote these suggestions on my list.

Lastly, and very importantly, I warned my husband that I was going to mess with all his stuff, LOL. I got a few funny looks, but he is just like me and very much was surprised we hadn't already used cruelty-free products.

As I ran out of things, I slowly replaced them with cruelty-free products. I'm happy to say that it's been about a year and I am only using two items that are NOT cruelty-free... and that's because I had bought so many backups that it is taking me a while to finish them out.

One thing I was worried about initially was the cost. I saw quite a few cruelty-free brands that were high-end and out of my budget. That is why I highly recommend research. It made a big difference in choosing new brands. Plus, shopping around helps. Some places just plain out charge less. I've order things on Amazon, purchased things in my local grocery store, Ulta and even my pharmacy. And my budget for beauty products, hair products or household products has not needed to increase.

I may have initially panicked after deciding to go cruelty-free, but after a little research and list making, the transition has been easy. Much easier than I expected! And it's been easy for my family! The toddler doesn't care one bit and my husband has barely noticed the change in products I've purchased for his personal care.

Soon I will post a list of my favorite cruelty-free products! Subscribe to my mailing list to get notifications of my new posts!

Are you wanting to go cruelty-free? I'd love to hear from you and I'm happy to help with any questions you might have!

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