Let's be honest here: I actually like wearing face masks. It was a bit of a pain during hot summer days but aside from that, they're great! It allows me to do my part to protect those around me. When I'm feeling a bit self-conscious of my skin due to breakouts, I don't have to worry about others seeing it. It saves me time in the mornings if I go out as I won't have to spend time applying makeup because no one is going to see the bottom half of my face. Also, SUN PROTECTION! SPF is still extremely important but the mask provides an extra layer of protection.
While the mask has its pros, there's also one major issue with them: the lack of proper disposal. I understand that COVID-19 has put a damper on the ability to be as sustainable and zero-waste as possible, but it never dampened our ability to properly throw away waste. Unfortunately, on top of the usual waste such as wrappers, food containers, bottles, etc, on the streets and beaches, we're now seeing used masks tossed on our streets and beaches.
So while I understand face masks are absolutely necessary, it's important to remember that we need to do our part to make sure we're properly disposing of them, especially if they're single-use. Aside from ensuring that we're properly disposing of single-use masks, there is another way to promote sustainability when it comes to masks: use a reusable face mask! Not only does it limit the amount of single-use masks on the streets, landfills, etc, but it's also more cost-effective! Initially, they are a small investment but since they're reusable, you won't have to constantly purchase new ones. Here are some sustainable masks that I recommend:
Price Range: $$
Looking for a sustainable option for your little one? Alex + Nova has you covered! Alex + Nova is a mom-owned company committed to creating products for children and adults using eco-friendly materials. This mask was ethically made in South Korea using 100% GOTS - Certified organic cotton. The mask comes in three different colors and is specifically designed for children ages 4 - 8 years old.
Price Range: $$
Cotopaxi makes the most of your purchase by selling face masks that are not only reusable but also reversible. Essentially, you'd be getting two masks for the price of one! These masks are made with two layers of 100% repurposed fabric leftover from other companies. Cotopaxi is a Certified B-Corporation. Additionally, Cotopaxi donates 1% of its annual revenue to non-profits committed to aiding poverty relief efforts and humanitarian efforts.
Price Range: $ - $$
Natural Home makes a large variety of masks in a variety of sizes. Perfect if you're trying to find one for everyone in your family without having to visit multiple sites! Natural Home's masks are GOTS Certified and made with a tightly bound weave. This tight weave allows the spaces to be under 3.5 microns. Additionally, Natural Home also sells masks infused with copper, which is known to stop and kill bacteria and pathogens.