Cruelty Free Guide to life

Issys cruelty free guide

Last year (2018) I wanted to further delve into being a full fledged environmentalist  activist and really pursue bettering my impact that I leave on the earth.

I grew up in the inner suburbs of Melbourne where being environmentally conscious was very accessible and surrounded me.We had environmental studies starting from primary school, not to mention I was a kid when the drought hit Australia. Making changes and swaps has been something already ingrained and practically  a no brainer.

Additionally being in hospitality  all my life I have been exposed to the production of food . I have always been conscious of the process of how the food got on the plate (plant produce and live stock) . From a young age I was taken to exposed at Vic Market seeing carcass of animals,  warehouses or farms and parents would openly answer questions and would sit down myself and sister to watch documentaries such as Food Inc., Blood, Sweat and T-shirts, Jamie Oliver Food revolution.

2018 I got my first retail job, oh boy dis that ignite my interest in consumerism , Working for a cosmetic company opened my eyes to the sheer amount of waste produced in everyday and the industry.

For me being cruelty free goes beyond animal cruelty, it extends to the earth including not just makeup but clothes, the production/ how it is made, resources , if the workers are are good conditions (wages, factory conditions, fair treatment) and of course plastic. With so many elements of being sustainable/ earth friendly, to take into consideration it can be pretty overwhelming.

Here are a few swaps I have adopted in my lil 22 years of life to better my impact.


People are often hesitant to go the eco friendly option because things ‘don’t last’.

See that’s the positive and negative of plastic , the aim of it is to be cheap to mass produce and it’s suppose to last forever….. But that’s also the negative of plastic it is cheaper to create. not to mention the average piece of plastic takes 500 years to break down.

The goal is to use and create the least plastic and waste as possible

Reusable water bottle.

Plastic single use water bottles often have BPA and can’t properly be recycled if you don’t take off the sticker and caps, and cost money every time you purchase a bottle. *note* Living in Australia i’m fortunate enough to have clean running water as the bathroom and toilet water is cleaner and more drinkable than a local river in a third world country. Still what do you do if you are out and you don’t have a water bottle. Opt for a glass bottle or cartoned water ( VOSS or Carton JUST CARTONED) find which are the recyclable bottles and only using plastic when it is no other option. Then see how it can be properly disposed or how you can give it a another life and repurpose.


Plastic shopping bags.

You can use tote bags, backpacks. People think you need fancy bags , use what you’ve already got. You can always reuse your plastic bags every time you go shopping until you can get cotton, cloth bags.


Ditch the flimsy and non-breathable plastic produce bags and use organic cotton mesh bags when you shop for fruits and veggies. Similarly You can always reuse the same plastic produce bag until you find a suitable breathable one.

Straws …

I have a personal gripe with these buggers! Unless you have a disability or condition where you need a drinking straw, there isn’t a need for them.(love to hear your thoughts) Jessica Kellgren-Fozard does an incredibly informative video , watch Jessica’s video here.

However there are so many alternatives such as metal, glass, bamboo and paper.


Your first toothbrush you owned as a kid is still somewhat in tact on this earth! Bamboo toothbrush You can reduce plastic waste by opting instead for bamboo toothbrushes, a much more sustainable option that takes plastics out of the equation, they wont splinter and they can be thrown in the garden.

Reusable cup

If you are a take way beverage kinda person, this one is for you ! Billions of coffee cups get thrown away each year and most have plastic lining so they can’t be properly recycled or break down bringing your own cup can also get you up to 50cents of your coffee at tour local cafe.

Reusable containers

If you are a take way food kinda person, this one is for you too ! Again billions of takeaway containers are singularly used and thrown out . You can buy your own tupperware like containers to reuse as many times as you need. Go a step further and free yourself of BPA and other chemicals that might leach into your food, opt for glass food storage containers are so much longer lived and healthier than their plastic tupperware  and other counterparts. Airtight and leak-proof, Glass containers are safe for use in the oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher.

Garbage bags bin liners

Swap them out for compostable and bio degradable liners.
The question is what do you put in your bin that actually needs protecting? The average household just has wrappers and scraps … it’s nothing toxic or harmful or actually un-hygienic that causes a actual necessity to have a liner. Alternatively don’t use a bin liner, wash out the bin container on an as needs basis. If it’s the smell you are concerned about, you can add your favourite smelling oils or air out the bin.

Cotton rounds & makeup wipes

Firstly single use makeup wipes don’t properly remove your makeup or cleanse the skin often leaving makeup residue. Some contain harsh ingredients that can be worse off for your skin.

Cotton rounds; These are are so incredibly resource intense, yes they being made from cotton , they do break down but the footprint it takes to farm and create and produce a cotton round is hefty.  Instead makeup cloth, Konjac Sponge or reusable makeup pad. For greener and less resource intense you can find pads made from bamboo and linen, or DIY from your own from old t-shirts. All which are will remove makeup, assist with skin cleansing but gentle enough for your skin.

Wax Wraps

instead of using plastic wrap to store food, opt for Bee/ Soy wax wraps, stretch lids, containers, reusable lock bags and packs. All store food just as freshly.

Naked Kitchen & Bathroom

Anything we use in the bathroom goes down the drain and ends up in the water ways.  Start out with using ‘natural ingredients’ that are reef safe and less harmful to the water ways.
For detergent, soap , shampoo and conditioner opt for naked product or refillable. When you can go for a glass or recyclable bottles and only using plastic when it is no other option. Then see how it can be disposed . For 10 points to Gryffindor check if the company you are using is local to your geography, what ingredients are being used, how they are sourced grown , derived, and how they treat all aspects of their workers .

Menstrual products

Many mainstream menstrual products contain synthetic fibres and chemicals, that can be harmful for yourself increasing the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome . Where possible opt for cotton, biodegradable or compostable pads and tampons. After years of myself using more eco friendly menstrual products, I went the step further to by using a menstrual cup and cloth pads.

Just like tampons and pads, cups come in different shapes, sizes and firmness, it can be a learning curve but it is a swap for the better.

there are also Period Undies, Cloth Pads, Sponges and many more. PUT A CUP IN IT has a fantastic article of alternative menstrual products


Where to waste?

Educate yourself and others how to Compost,  recycling and knowing where to properly dispose rubbish.

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