It's very clear that we're all in a similar place right now, our homes. And if we aren't in our homes, chances are we are heading to a grocery store or drugstore in search of products that we may not find.
While it's very easy to get off-track during times like these, it's important to maintain some sort of consistency to keep ourselves from spinning completely in the opposite direction. But how can we stay conscious and avoid waste during a time when single use products feel like the most safe option? How can we stay conscious when the items we "need" are nowhere to be found? I have a few tips for you:
1. Keep. Drinking. Water. This one is huge. Dehydration leads to many things that affect our body, mind, and spirit. I found it easy to drink water while in a regular work routine and find myself too distracted with other thoughts now that my schedule has changed. If you need to set an alarm on your phone for a water reminder, do it. It's worth it.
2. Less still is more. When you are at the grocery store, while being mindful of your self isolation, keep your time short by going with a shopping list and not leaving with excess items. When we see empty shelves, we can find ourselves in a panic and start grabbing a bunch of items we really don't want or need. Try your best to avoid doing this.
3. Think of more substitutions BEFORE going to the store. As someone that drinks oat milk instead of regular milk, I'm finding myself to be quite lucky because those milks seem to still be fully stocked. So if you're a regular milk drinker, but the milk is out, take a chance on a nut based milk. They are often packaged in glass or paper containers which is a nice bonus!
4. Take stock of what you have before buying new. Want to avoid the stores all together? If you've run out of hand soap, look around your cabinets to see what items you do have that can create a DIY recipe. If you've run out of paper towels, now would be a great time to utilize the cloth napkins you often save for special occasions. You may be doing a bit more laundry, but if you're stuck at home, you've got extra time. (PSA: Check out Dropps for eco-friendly, plant-based laundry and dish detergent. This referral link will get you $20 off your first subscription!)
5. Less scrolling, more reading. This one has been hard for me. I've found myself trapped in the Instagram rabbit hole quite often during this time, but try to be mindful about what you're consuming via social media. While it's very helpful in staying in touch with friends and family, it can also definitely take a toll on you.
6. Spend some time in nature while keeping your distance from others. As of right now in Philadelphia, I can still take my dog for a walk. This is HUGE for me. Being able to breathe fresh air is something that I do not take for granted. If you are able to get outside, please do so. Remind yourself exactly why you're reading this blog in the first place, to make the world a greener place. If you can't get outside, open up the windows and enjoy a bit of fresh air that way.
I could go on and on with this list, but for now I'll leave it here. I hope you are all doing well! Sending you all virtual hugs and hopeful that we can see each other (in person) again soon. <3 Let me know what you're doing to stay conscious during this time of chaos on our Facebook page.
P.S. Have kids in the house? Chances are you'll have a LOT of toilet paper rolls lying around. Save them and use them for art projects!
We all know what's going on in the world right now and while much of what we're hearing is scary and negative, we can always turn to something more positive in these moments. For example, doctors around the world helping other countries, fitness instructors leading classes on rooftops, music being shared from window to window...all truly beautiful things.
So how does Conscious Living play a role in all of this? The lifestyle changes that I've been making over the last few years has really helped in times like these when items that we are in need of (NOT items that we are hoarding) are flying off the shelves.
I've heard women talking about their need for menstrual products, but the shelves being out of stock. I've heard people in need of hand sanitizer, but unaware that they probably have many of the ingredients in their home already to make their own. I've heard people worried about cleaning supplies, shampoo, mouthwash, you name it, it's all hard to come by in stores and online. BUT! So many of these items are items that can be made from ingredients you already have in your home.
So, for those of you interested in a little DIY while you're distancing yourself from the public, I've rounded up a few past blog posts that you can try out AND a new hand sanitizing recipe.
For women who are having trouble finding pads, tampons, etc. PLEASE take this time as an opportunity to get more familiar with the menstrual cup. It saves so much time, money, and worry to know you're taken care of each time your cycle arrives. I've shared a discount code below for $10 off your first Grove Collaborative order which sells Sustain Natural's menstrual cup (the one I use every month!).
$10 OFF YOUR MENSTRUAL CUP! (Bonus: FREE 5-piece gift set with this referral link!)
Many of these recipes can use substitutions to fit your needs, so please, feel free to reach out with any additional questions.
DIY Hand Sanitizer
doTERRA makes a really great sanitizing mist that contains 64% alcohol which by the CDC rules, makes it effective hand sanitizer. Unfortunately, it comes in plastic and is current sold out. That said, I've started making my own sanitizer and refilling this bottle which has been great for the current state of the world.
The products I had in my home aren't perfect, but will do for now. This recipe makes a larger batch than necessary for the spray bottle so I store it in a glass jar and refill the bottle when needed.
5 tablespoons Aloe Vera Gel
4 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon Jojoba Oil
12-15 drops of On Guard
Mix in with witch hazel or 60% ethyl alcohol (CDC requirement)
Combine in a bowl and pour for a spray sanitizer. Reduce water for a thick gel-like sanitizer.
*Note, these recipes are not approved by the FDA. The CDC requires hand sanitizers to have a minimum of 60% alcohol to be considered effective.
Let me know if you've tried any of these recipes/what recipes I should give a go over on our Facebook page!
I’ll admit, I’ve never been the best at skincare. I wash my face in the shower, but I never really stuck with a routine that involved moisturizer or exfoliators or serums. I finally ordered a full skincare set that I can’t wait to receive (more details about that to come), but in the meantime, I thought I’d share with you the nightly “serum” I’ve been using that keeps my skin hydrated during these cold to warm winter days.
Each one of the items listed below comes in glass containers (with plastic caps) that can be reused to make new serums, diffuser blends, etc. If you’re interested in reading about more up-cycling for these small glass containers, let me know!
You can multiply this recipe by X amount of days and store it in a separate bottle to avoid having to mix it every night. Simplifying your routine often makes it easier to stick to it!
For a full breakdown of each ingredient, read on.
Baja Basics Rosehip Seed Oil: Organic oil high in Vitamin A which moisturizes while promoting skin regeneration. Helps in reducing acne marks and scars due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Prickly Pear Cactus Seed Oil: Organic and undiluted, non-greasy and good for all skin types. Natural antioxidants such as Vitamins E and K, Omega 6, Omega 9, and Amino Acids. No parabens, preservatives, sulfates, synthetic perfumes, or chemical fillers. Bottled in the USA and cruelty free.
Collagen Boosting Facial Serum: Helps build natural collagen, full of Vitamins C, E, B, and A. Super hydrating, helps fight free radicals, signs of aging, dark spots, sun spots, and uneven skin tones. Includes ingredients such as: Pineapple Extract, Lemon Extract, Orange Extract, Pomegranate Extract, Papaya Extract, Horse Chestnut Extract, Apple Extract, Comfrey Root, Aloe Vera and Glycerin.
Copaiba: Promotes clear, smooth skin, and reduces the appearance of blemishes. (I personally use Copaiba frequently for it's aid calming the nervous system! Approximately 150 drops/15ml)
Turmeric: Supports healthy-looking skin while reducing the appearance of blemishes. Can be used as a spot treatment. (Approximately 150 drops/15ml)
Order both Copaiba and Turmeric with this link!
What nightly routine do you stick with for your skincare? I would love to know! Leave a comment or head over to our Facebook page to discuss.
These ingredient breakdowns have been taken directly from Baja Basics, Amazon, and the doTERRA websites. As with any skin care products, these are merely suggestions based on what I use. Please research further before deciding if this is right for you! I do not suggest the use of any products that I don't personally use on a daily basis.
Baja Basics items can be purchased via the Baja Basics website or via Amazon.com.
As a doTERRA Wellness Advocate, I may receive a small commission for any items purchased using my links.
It’s amazing what paying a little more attention can show you. For example, when I paid more attention to my oral hygiene routine, I started to notice just how much plastic was involved in my every. day. activities.
First it was a plastic toothpaste container, then the toothbrush, then the mouthwash, the floss container, the SINGLE USE flossers. I found that plastic was aaaall over my bathroom.
If you’re looking to reduce the plastic use in your oral hygiene, read on for the current items found in my routine.
What changes have you made to your everyday routine to reduce the single use in your home? Where do you find yourself with single use items most frequently? Is it at work, while you travel, when you have less free time? I'd love to hear where you're in need of some ideas/assistance and we can formulate the perfect plan together. Let me know on our Facebook page.
...to a future that stays green.
*May contain an affiliate link meaning I may receive a small commission if you purchase using this link. This post, however, is not a sponsored post.
In the sustainability world there are SO many things that can replace every day household items and it can be quite overwhelming to sort through them all. Today I'm going to chat with you a bit about TWO items that I wish I had invested in sooner which save both money and the environment all at the same time.
The Safety Razor
If you're anything like me, the idea of using a safety razor for your bikini line looks like a horror movie in your shower. At least that's what I initially thought. I spent YEARS not jumping on the safety razor train because I was too afraid of what using one would look like. For a while I was using Harry's razors that came with a replaceable razor head and while that did save on the plastic use in my shower, it wasn't the best long term option.
When I found a pivoting safety razor, the game completely changed for me. Thanks to Leaf Shave and Package Free Shop (where I first found the razor, $10 off advocate discount link), I will never need a razor again!
Best part? No horror movie in my shower...it was all in my head.
The Period Cup
Often referred to as the "menstrual cup" or just "the cup". I went for a LONG time (I'm talking over a year, maybe over two) going back and forth with the idea of a period cup. I heard so many people talk about how much of a life changer it was (hi, Busy Philipps!), but for some reason, I couldn't get behind it. It wasn't until my favorite tampon company, Sustain Natural, released their period cup that I joined the "trend" and OMG I'm so grateful I did.
To this day, the period cup is my go-to cycle product. It's incredibly satisfying to look at the bathroom bin during my cycle and see a significant decrease in trash. This isn't to say that I don't still have Sustain's tampons at my house and stashed in my car for emergency situations (both for myself and for friends/family), but I don't see myself switching back to tampons for regular use any time soon.
While these items may not seem like a big deal, they create a HUGE decrease in your personal footprint as well as save room in your bathroom cabinets. Less boxes, less trips to the store (or online orders), less harm on the environment, more money in your pocket or wallet or bank account or wherever it is you stash your dough.
It's a win-win.
What items are you investing in that change your lifestyle for the better? Let me know over on our Facebook page!
After taking some time to process the craziness of the holidays and the new year, being back in my everyday routine has given me time to really reflect on the last year and all of the changes that it brought me in this Conscious living world. Here's a bit of a recap as to what my 2019 year looked like:
Throughout the year I did a few monthly challenges (Ditch the Straw, Ditch the Plastic Bag, Ditch the Hot Coffee Cup), I got some family to join me on personal cleanups, attended a few United By Blue cleanups, started making my own hand soap, etc. But I had a few "fails" too. I switched over to more natural shampoo, but after not finding what I loved, went back to the typical shampoo I used. I caught myself taking ibuprofen once or twice since last April instead of going with essential oils only, I occasionally grabbed an iced tea from Dunkin Donuts early last year when I was too hungover to think straight.
The important thing to remember is this. Change doesn't happen overnight. As you can see above, it happens over many nights and many days. It happens when we make time for it to happen. It happens when we make mistakes, acknowledge them, and continue to move forward. It happens when we make conscious decisions to keep the change that we want to see on our minds. It takes practice, it takes dedication, it takes CONSCIOUS. LIVING.
Cheers to 2020 and all the happiness and love it brings.
What are some changes you're making in your world? Let me know over on our Facebook page!
I know what you're thinking, "For real? Plastic in tea bags?" The short answer to that is, yes.
It's highly likely that the tea bags you use on a regular basis are releasing microplastics into that beautiful cup of tea that's bringing a smile to your face and caffeine to your bloodstream. Often we don't realize this because our tea bags seem to be made of paper, stored in individual paper bags, and come in cardboard boxes. However, many of those "paper" tea bags are sealed with plastic to keep them from opening. After adding the boiling water, this released microplastics, unable to be seen by the naked eye, to our cup of tea. Those cute little pyramid, silky tea bags? Typically made from nylon. More money, more plastic, more health concerns.
The easiest way to ensure that the tea you're drinking is free of plastic is to opt for loose leaf. While it may be less convenient for on the go use, it actually ends up taking less time than you'd expect to brew a cup of loose leaf tea at home. Once you get down to your regular routine, knowing how much tea to use for one cup, having all the necessary parts clean and ready to go, it's much easier than I used to think.
If you're in need of an actual tea bag, do a little deeper research before re-purchasing your go to brand. I was DEVASTATED when I found out that my beloved Barry's tea hasn't yet transitioned to fully plastic-free bags. This week, I found a replacement (though I'm hopeful that Barry's will step it up in the near future!), Clippers. If you're a strong tea drinker, this is a great option for you! The bags are plastic-free, unbleached, and the flavor is similar to that of a Barry's Irish tea.
Check out this article on Because Health for some more information about plastics in tea. They list some plastic-free brands and common brands that unfortunately, are not as great as we may have thought they were.
Have you found plastic-free teas that you love? Let me know in the comment over on our Facebook page!
*Some information from this article was taken from becausehealth.org and usatoday.com.
The first time I walked into a food store to attempt bulk shopping/BYO containers, it didn't go over too well. I got a few eye rolls at Whole Foods after bringing my already filled containers to check out. The location I was at didn't allow BYO containers because of some past claim that Whole Foods got someone sick. Lesson. Learned.
Soon after that is when I found MOMs. I hadn't seen MOMs anywhere before, but ever since I discovered it, I hear about it more and more. I've since been able to purchase some items in Whole Foods that I can get plastic free such as Bread, produce, etc., but if I want to bring my own glass or steel containers, MOMs is the place to go.
Here's a list that I currently bring to the grocery store when I'm doing my regular food shopping. Each item here is an item that I can purchase by bringing my own containers.
TIP: Make sure you have the tare weight of your container BEFORE you fill it up. This is the best way to save you $. Plus, if you're bringing a container that isn't for sale at the store, there's no real way to estimate the weight of your container. Make sure you also pay close attention to the price/weight of the items you are getting to avoid a jaw drop at checkout.
What are your favorite bulk shopping stores? Any secret spots in Philadelphia or Jersey that I should know of?! I'd love to read your tips and tricks. Let me know over on our Facebook page!
At this point, you've probably heard a LOT about plastic pollution, plastic being detrimental to our environment, our health, etc. but you may not really know the history of plastics and why it's as problematic as it is. So let's take it waaaay back to the good old days and bring it up to speed!
A Brief History
In 1869, John Wesley Hyatt, invented the world's first synthetic polymer. The initial invention was inspired by creating a substitution for natural substances, like ivory, tortoiseshell, etc. which was a win for animals and in turn, a win for humans. Having a man-made product also made things more accessible to people of a lower social status, also giving more equality to people.
In 1907, Leo Baekeland, invented what would be the world's first FULLY synthetic plastic, having not a single material derived from nature involved.
World War II was the biggest push for continued use of plastics. Everything from nylon to plexiglass was used in the military. After the war ended, the plastic use continued giving people a convenient, sanitary, and relatively cheap material to make just about whatever was desired.
In the 1960s, the first observation of plastic debris in our ocean was observed. As people grew more concerned about caring for our environment, plastic was beginning to be looked at as cheap or fake.
After taking a beating in sales, the plastic industry decided to create a solution: recycling. Recycling became popular in the 1980s, though we know in today's world, most of our recycling isn't actually properly recycled or reused. This can clearly be seen when taking a look at our ocean. Maybe you've heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but did you know there are FIVE great garbage patches around the world? Five! As if one wasn't bad enough...
As the world is becoming more and more aware of the need to stop single use plastics and to rely on more sustainable solutions, there are a few ways we can help to protect both our environment and our health.
While this post may be a short, condensed discussion about plastics, it's one that I find very important. What are your biggest concerns with plastic and plastic pollution? What are some ways your making changes to reduce your plastic use? Let me know in the comments here or over on our Facebook page!
Saying "I'm so busy, I didn't have any time" is an excuse I use on the reg. It's a terrible excuse. In fact, I find it hard to even call it an excuse, it's really just a choice. I understand that we all have to work. We have bills to pay, things we want to do that cost money, food to eat, etc. but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say no-one reading this blog post works 24 hours a day. This alone is proof that we. have. time. Saying we don't have time is saying that we don't care enough to find time.
So here's a little breakdown of small windows of time that we can choose to create to care for our environment:
Do any of you already implement some of these? What pockets of time do you find yourself more likely to commit to? Let me know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page!
Jamie is a musician, avid lover of nature, and a dog momma living a more sustainable life each and every day.