Cosmetic plastic surgery is on the rise. In the current job market, it seems tattoo removal–much like eyelid surgery in Asia–is becoming a new path to employment. From botox injections to breast augmentations, revamping the human body is a desire shared by earth-conscious individuals and unconcerned beauty seekers alike.
But is it possible to be eco-friendly and still partake in an elective surgical alteration of the body? Can tattoo removal be considered any more or less drastic a process than getting a tattoo in the first place? Is there a limit to which procedures are environmentally friendly “enough” to be acceptable to the green community?
Procedures should be weighed individually. An earth-conscious surgery seeker could consider his or her options by analyzing the type and source of the chemicals or fillers used in a given procedure, the source and ethical origins of the equipment used to laser the tattoo or slice the skin, the end location of surgery waste products, and even the fumes or particles put into the air that the practitioners have to inhale during the surgery.
Setting aside the controversy over self-esteem issues and the ideal of aging gracefully, cosmetic surgery is not likely to disappear from the radar any time soon. Those with an eye on a future procedure for themselves might do well to encourage the industry to green itself up.
Bottom Line is: The short (but not so satisfying) answer to the possibility of green plastic surgery is, “Maybe.”
In some ways, the cosmetic surgery industry is already moving in a greener direction. Breast implant material is likely to eventually be human tissue, and the source and type of chemicals used in some procedures (such as chemical peels and lip injections) boast more ethical and sustainable ingredients and sources every year. Although these are steps in the vein of improving and protecting human and environmental well-being, even natural or ethically produced ingredients may be unhealthy for human use or damaging to the environment.
If you are considering a cosmetic surgery procedure, just think about doing your due diligence. There are many ways to achieve health and beauty without harm to the environment. If you do opt for a surgical or chemical alteration, ask your surgeon about the issues that are important to you. Inquire about the origin of products and surgical materials before consenting to a procedure if the sustainability and ecological impact of your choice is likely to affect your decision. The more frequently clients request eco-friendly practices, the greener the future of plastic surgery is likely to become.More