- Return them - And be sure to tell the store why. Most don't track reasons for returns anymore, but I think it's still important to tell them. And, even if it never goes past the returns clerk, you might just influence them.
- Donate them to a shelter - I always feel conflicted about this one. On the one hand, I want to help those who need it. On the other hand, don't the poor deserve safe products as much or more than we do? Decide for yourself if this is a good option for you.
- Trash them - This is the option of last resort. When you dump them down the drain you put the chemicals into the water supply and they aren't always removed during processing. You might also try your county's hazardous chemicals disposal and see if they'll take them. Afterall, that's how the chemical manufacturers must dispose of them in their pure form...so why not when added to a lotion? If you do dump them, be sure to recycle the containers.
Want to make sure you don't get these types of products next year, but don't want to hurt your friends or family's feelings? Make a production of removing chemicals from your home. Talk a lot about how excited you are, about the safe new products you're replacing everything with. Post on Facebook. Next year, send out a family christmas letter early in the season, and include a discussion of this process in the letter.
Not only will you be able to tell your loved ones you don't want anything with toxic chemicals in it without insulting their present, you might just bring awareness to the isse and inspire those you love to start removing chemicals from their lives, too.
Later this week I'll post an article about how to start switching out your toxic beauty products in 2012 without breaking the bank.
Need help replacing your toxic beauty products with safer alternatives? Send me a message through Greenwala telling me what you have and I'll post an article listing the safer alternatives.