May 21, 2015

5 Ways To Reduce Your Waste TODAY.

Zero waste. Don't know where to start? Well - here are five simple changes that you can make today to reduce your waste:
  1. Switch to reusable bags.​This is an easy one. Not only do they help the environment by cutting down on single use bags that will basically just float around all American Beauty​ style for the next thousand years and pollute the oceans, but they are also a lot cuter than plastic bags.

  2. Refill.​The US consumes 1500 water bottles per second. Sad face. So whether you keep a water filter at your desk to fill up a glass to drink from, or you carry a stainless steel water bottle with you, you are preventing a lot of trash.

  3. BYO.​If you are a daily coffee drinker, (let’s face it, you probably are— Americans consume 146 billion cups of coffee per day)​, then chances are you are buying coffee from a coffee shop in a to­go cup. Most of those will end up in a landfill. There is a simple solution, bringing your own reusable cup or mason jar to a coffee shop. As an added bonus, most places will give you a discount on your beverage if you do bring your own container.

  4. Brush Better.​ Over 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes are used each year. Because they are not recyclable, they end up floating in a landfill forever. By making one simple change from plastic toothbrushes to compostable bamboo ones you are not only doing yourself a favor (bamboo is naturally antimicrobial), but you are also doing the environment a solid because when you are done with the brush you can compost it. Not an ounce of trash is produced.

  5. Embrace secondhand. T​extile waste is a huge problem. We consume so much clothing that we are constantly throwing away our old​ duds. On top of that, every garment produced creates textile waste that winds up in the trash. In 2013 in the US alone over 13 million tons of textiles went into landfills. An easy way to cut down on your textile trash is to shop secondhand. Don’t let that word scare you; not all secondhand is created equal. At the top of the pyramid is upscale consignment. Consignment stores are more selective, therefore it is likely that you will find high­quality and gently­worn designer pieces for a fraction of the price. Next up is vintage which, like consignment, is selective and typically high­ quality. There is also clothing that people sell for fast cash, and if you play your cards right you can find one­ of ­a ­kind designer outfits for next to nothing. Finally comes donated clothing which is a toss up; you can find some serious gems, but you could also find skid marks. So it’s important to be patient and shop wisely.
The big picture is that we are producing way too much trash unnecessarily, and we all have the capacity to cut down. These simple changes aren’t just beneficial for the environment, they also mean that you don’t have to take out the trash as frequently. So even if you are not into mamma nature, going waste­free creates more free time in your schedule. 

April 16, 2015

DIY Organic Whipped Body Lotion - Bye, Bye Store Bought Stuff!

I have been making my own lotion for over three years. I'd melt down the ingredients, put them in a a jar and call it a day. But then... I whipped... and my mind was blown. It took a regular hard moisturizer and turned it into a fluffy amazing mound of goodness. You have to try it. Your skin will feel amazing, you can feel good because you are using only natural organic ingredients to moisturize as opposed to toxic chemicals, it is package free, and it smells SO DAMN GOOD! Check out this video to learn how to make it!

Additional Information:
This lotion will last for months (but it won't, because you will use it up before then). Also, just combine equal parts of the ingredients, in this video I used 1/4 cup of each, but you can use more or less depending on how much you need.

April 9, 2015

How to be Zero Waste at Music Festivals!

It’s festival season and from my experience, music festivals and trash go hand in hand. Don’t get me wrong, the people that organize music festivals are definitely working towards making them more sustainable (there are now water refill stations, compostable dishware and flatware for food, composting to name a few innovations)… but whenever you gather thousands of people somewhere, there will probably be trash. The good news, you don’t need to contribute to that. You have a choice.  

Here are a few simple supplies you can bring along to enjoy a music festival without producing waste. 

Mason Jar: This is great for those new water refill stations as well as for putting your alcoholic beverages in. The other added benefit of having a mason jar is that if you want to move around, you can put the lid on your mason jar and put it in your bag to enjoy your drink later. 

Organic cotton drawstring bag: I always have one of these when I am traveling because I like to fill it with snacks for when I am on the go. When I am at a music festival I usually take one with me full of nuts and dried fruit because festival food is expensive, lines are long, and I get hungry! 

Bandana or reusable napkin: This is great to bring along for multiple reasons. You can wear it during a dust storm, use it to blow your nose, wipe yo sweat, or I suppose you could just use it as a napkin... boorrrinngggg

Foldable stainless steel spork: Even if the flatware is compostable, it still takes energy to grow and extract the materials that make it, actually make the product, and ship it to wherever it’s going. I like to avoid that completely by just bringing my own stainless steel foldable spork like this one.

On top of having adequate provisions, there is the issue of what you pack. As a friend of mine said, "I’ve been packing for Coachella all year.” This is serious. 

My two cents on how to have a sustainable and Zero Waste festival experience when it comes to your wardrobe... 

1) The best option, wear what you already own. Sure, it is a scene, but chances are you probably have something that you can wear. I know I do. 

2) I know it might seem tempting to go to some fast fashion store and get some trendy festival garb on the cheap, but there’s a better option that is equally as cost effective: secondhand. Not only will you be saving money on the clothing that you are wearing, you will not be adding new items into the waste stream. Also, it is much more unlikely that you will have someone with the same outfit as you and you'll be unique and fashion fotog ready. Win, win, win. 

The one source of trash that is tricky... a plastic wristband. However, if your wristband is paper, recycle or compost it. If it is made of cotton or fabric, put it into textile recycling!  

April 8, 2015

A Giveaway: GladRags!

I have posted about using menstrual cups before here. They are amazing since the average menstruating person will use 12,000 to 16,000 disposable pads, tampons, and pantyliners in their lifetime. That is A LOT of trash.

While menstrual cups are awesome (I'm a devoted fan), what happens if you are a person who wants a waste free alternative to disposable tampons and pads but don't want to, you know... stick somethin' up there?

I have a solution. Reusable organic cotton pads.
They are amazing and super comfortable. Unlike conventional disposable pads that contain various unfavorable ingredients and toxic chemicals like wood pulp, adhesives, artificial fragrances, and chemical gels, they are made from Organic cotton and are totally washable and reusable.

Besides being great for the environment, you can also save a lot of money by making the switch from disposable pads to reusable ones.

Disposable Pads: $10/month x 12 months = $120/year or $600 for 5 years
Reusable Pads:    $150/ one time cost or $150 for 5 years

Savings: $450.00 

That alone makes the switch worth it, but then you have the added benefits of not making trash, not exposing your body to toxic chemicals, and less wasted energy from the manufacturing, packaging, and transportation waste of producing and shipping these products.

I'm teaming up with GladRags to give a lucky winner a starter kit containing an organic day pad and night pad! You'll love them! a Rafflecopter giveaway