July 26, 2015

Days 5-10: Yellowstone National Park

It took 5 days to change the way I think about what I need.

Over the past few days I have been in Yellowstone National Park, which is INSANELY idyllic, think buffalo roaming next to your car.
I have been camping, something that I have only done once before, and it was wonderful. Waking up next to a brook, the cool morning breeze running through the tent, waking up and meditating as the sun rises, it has been truly fantastic.

One of my favorite parts of this experience has been eating organic vegetables from a farmers market in Montana, cooking over an open fire, and foraging for and identifying edible plants. Things like pineapple weed, mint, and sage are everywhere. All of my compost has been contained in an airtight stainless steel container. I have used all stainless steel eating utensils and have  washed them using boiling water over a fire and at a local gas station.
On top of that I have been doing a few things that I have never done before:
I have not showered in a week. This is crazy for me. I shower every day and wash my hair every 2-3 days. It is just something I have adopted from living in a city, I never truly felt clean. But in the fresh air, despite being covered in dirt, I felt clean. I washed myself two times, once in a gas station bathroom where I refreshed mah pits, and once when I took a dip in a river where I also used river mud to exfoliate.

I have worn the same 5 items of clothing over and over. This is also crazy for me. In NYC I walk around so much that sometimes I feel that I have to change my clothes just to feel like I am not caked in exhaust. With the fresh air, my clothes smell clean and have a hint of campfire scent, that's it.
I have not worn makeup for 2 weeks. Hold. The. Phone. Yes, two weeks. I am a daily makeup wearer. Every day I put on some RMS concealer if I need it on a blemish, and some RMS blush. However, I've noticed in two week of not wearing makeup, my skin has changed. I don't need any concealer and I don't need any blush. I don't know if it is the fresh air or being out of the city or not showering as much or a combination of everything plus witchcraft, but my skin has never been so great. All I have done is splash my face with water and moisturized with the same oils I normally use, argan and calendula. I'm going to continue on this makeupless journey and see what happens.

This experience has truly helped me to re-evaluate how I live and what I need. Upon my return to NYC I have a feeling that I will be selling a lot of what I have and downsizing even more than I have in the past.



July 16, 2015

Day 4: Chicago

Chicago has always been one of my favorite cities. I think it's because it most closely resembles New York (tall buildings), Brooklyn (old buildings and janky streets), and Paris (the river). When in a city like Chicago, I'm not going to be cooking much as there is so much food to try, so instead, I eat out at sustainable restaurants.

For breakfast I went to a diner serving local and organic food. I had a good, typical meal and got a tea. Now tea is a complicated beast. This tea was fair trade, biodynamic, and organic which was really great. But my questioning didn't stop there. If I order tea, which I rarely do because I am a coffee person, I only want it if it comes loose. Why? A lot of tea bags are actually made of plastic and are therefore not biodegradable. Additionally the wrappers, which seem like they are paper, are actually lined with plastic, so also not biodegradable or recyclable. I'm not sacrificing sustainability for a cup or tea, so I like to be sure that the restaurant or care serves it loose. Plus, it tastes better. 
After breakfast I skated around and then checked out Wicker Park. It got warm and so I grabbed a drink to go in my mason jar.
I had a nice dinner out at a sustainable restaurant around Fulton Market and then headed back to my awesome AirBnb (in LOVE with it). Tomorrow I'll grab a bunch of snacks for the road and for camping and will arrive at my next city stop early next week. 

For clothing I wore my black tank, black sweater, boyfriend jeans, and converse.  


Next stop: Seattle, Washington 

July 15, 2015

Day 3: Grand Rapids Michigan

My last day in Grand Rapids was filled with preparing for the next leg of the road trip so this is just a quick update. Using the rest of my products from the farmers market we made blueberry jam and some cucumber, cabbage, and beet pickles! I used some canning jars and packed excess veggies in my stainless steel containers for the road. I also picked up a coffee along the way in my mason jar. Next stop, Chicago!
 



July 14, 2015

Simple Swap: Plastic Bags

I'm starting a new series called Simple Swaps where I will share videos on easy ways to transition away from disposables and towards a more sustainable lifestyle. My first one: plastic bags.

With an estimated 2 million plastic bags being used and discarded every minute worldwide, we've got a serious problemo on our hands. But there's an easy way you can eliminate your daily use of plastic bags...


Video shot by: Jesse Green & Anthony Marchesi
Editing: Anthony Marchesi