How NOAP Changed My Hair and My Life(style)...
A big part of our brand is engaging with our customers and really listening to what they are about. As a new brand we know that listening is just as important as being bold and carving our own lane.
Chelsea, our guest blogger for today, is not only one of our favorite customers but she is also a constant reminder why we started NOAP in the first place. She's crazy smart, lives with passion and takes her hair pretty seriously :)
It's no wonder she won our #plasticfreejuly contest July 20th with the caption: "If you give your hair more attention than your husband, you might be a hair snob!"
Take it away Chelsea!
A few months ago, I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook (you know what I’m talking about) when I came across an article on Allure that caught my attention.
After clicking it, I learned about a new brand whose launch was postponed by COVID-19. NOAP; a beauty brand that focuses on high quality ingredients, real salon level hair and personal care AND sustainability?! WHAT?!
I immediately sent a message to Kate, the founder of NOAP, congratulating her on the new brand and striking up a conversation. I wanted to cheer her on and learn more about her company. Given that the world is so small, we quickly realized that we attended the same gym and alma mater. A random Facebook message quickly turned into a friendship...and if you keep on reading, you’ll get to the good stuff!
Before this, I will be honest, I never really dedicated that much time or energy on how to live a more sustainable life.
I didn’t recycle. Typing that out - it sounds selfish.
I feel embarrassed and angry with myself. But you know what? It’s never too late to make a change in your life...and this was the change that I wanted to make. I wanted to adapt a lifestyle with awareness on how my family and I could help save the planet and reduce the plastic footprint that we were selfishly leaving behind.
Kate and I talked in depth about the terrible impact that plastic has on the environment. I learned that the most common way plastic gets recycled is by “downcycling”, which ultimately is the process of converting plastic waste materials, like a water bottle, into a new product of lesser quality. Unfortunately, a lot of plastic items are not as versatile and cannot get downcycled - so they are sent to a landfill, end up in oceans which disrupts marine life, and will take hundreds of years to break down.
I learned a lot. I researched a lot. My once shut eyes were now as open as ever. I had to do something.
During this time, I took a road trip to Florida with my Dad to move my sister back to New Jersey. We cut the drive in half by staying at hotels in states along the way. With my new awareness of plastic, I noticed two things during this trip: one hotel’s bathroom was filled with plastic mini toiletries and one hotel’s bathroom was not. Instead, there was a permanent rack nailed to the shower wall with refillable shampoo, conditioner and body wash. AHA! Finally! A positive switch to sustainability on a huge scale within the hospitality industry.
It made me wonder; how many pounds of plastic were saved each year by converting to this sustainable option?
I graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with my B.A. in Hospitality and Tourism Management. In June, I combined my background in hospitality with my new understanding of the terrible impact plastic has on the environment and decided to look into a more pinpointed area: Plastic in the Hospitality Industry.
Here’s what I found…
- Major moves within big hospitality corporations to combat plastic include cutting back on single-use plastic: ie: plastic cutlery, plastic straws, plastic cups, plastic stirrers, etc.
- In 2018, Hilton removed plastic water bottles and straws from their conference rooms - saving 5 million straws and 20 million bottles annually.
- Six Senses, which operates 11 resorts and 21 spas in over 20 countries bottle their own water to eliminate plastic water bottles. Their alternative to plastic straws include: bamboo, paper and lemongrass straws.
- They rolled out a new sustainable initiative: “Zero Waste Policy” which gives all materials that would be thrown away, a new purpose
- Alaska and American Airlines eliminated plastic straws which will cut down on 71,000 pounds of plastic annually.
- Generally speaking, 91% of plastic is not recycled - 73% of beach litter is plastic - and approximately 1 million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute
- The world produces over 300 million tons of plastic a year
- Unfortunately, travelers relate sealed plastic items with being sanitary. They feel safer with single-use plastic in bathrooms and hotel rooms
- There are a ton of companies worldwide that are making the switch to a more sustainable way of running their business, however, there are even more companies that view this sustainable switch with no proper financial benefit beyond the good image ((sigh…))
I was consciously trying to unlearn my plastic habits, and switch to alternative options that were plastic-free. I do not live a life that is 100 percent plastic free - and to be real - I don’t think that anyone can live that life...but, we can try our best and make minimal changes. All of our efforts, together, can result in a healthier planet (hopefully one day, free of plastic -or, close to it!)
A few things that I did…
- I invested in a ton of cotton mesh reusable produce and shopping bags (ordered on Amazon - there are a ton of options!)
- If I go to the store and forget my reusable bags (which has happened on occasion) I will ask for paper, or I will carry the items to my car without a bag. It is not that inconvenient, and you will survive. Look at those multiple trips to and from your car as a workout!
- I invested in NOAP Shampoo and Conditioner Bar (OBVIOUSLY!) Did you know that when you make the switch to the conditioner bar, you are saving 6 plastic bottles of conditioner that you would have needed to purchase?
- My favorite conditioner bar fragrance is Amber & Mimosa...YUM.
- I have learned to give the plastic items that I do have in my home a second life: my once coffee creamer bottle now has the full time job of a watering can for my vegetables and flowers. It works like a charm!
- I have found sustainable stores to purchase products such as: plastic free deodorant, eco-friendly beauty goods (wash cloths + facial wipes)
- I shop local (when possible) for vegetables, eggs and fruits. The market that I go to even accepts my egg cartons back for reuse!
- We no longer purchase plastic water bottles. Instead, we opt for sustainable and eco-friendly refillable bottles!
I am not perfect and I know that I have a long way to go regarding my personal plastic footprint on the environment...but, everyday I am trying my best to be aware and mindful. Oh, and I also have amazing hair while doing so ((hair toss))
When I have children, I want to make sure that I am leaving behind a clean world for them to play in. So I ask you...how will you make a change? Take the leap. Skip the bag. I promise it will be worth it.
Chelsea would love to hear from you! COVID-19 stole her job but not her talent so if you are looking for someone bright and reliable and easy to work with please contact her directly (you won't regret it!):