Categories
Doing Good Giving Back Sustainability

Support These 10 Black-Owned and Mission-Driven Businesses

Want to support the #blacklivesmatter movement by shopping from a #blackownedbusiness today? Me too! If only there were a “black-owned” Amazon filter… So we searched high and low to bring you our top ten favorite black-owned businesses that are mission-driven.

Let us know your faves so we can add to the list!

The Eco Baby Co

The Eco Baby Co. is a plastic-free and allergen-sensitive baby and toddler toy brand. They believe if a product is truly natural, non-toxic, and safe – it’s packaging should be as well.

Sonshine Bath

Sonshine Bath’s skincare includes handmade soaps, body butters and more designed to make you feel good about what you’re putting on your body. Sonshine proudly donates a portion of their profits to other small businesses in the form of micro loans through kiva.org. 

Pretty Please Teethers

Pretty Please Teethers’ mission is to provide you and your teething littles’ with some much-needed relief while with natural, modern, and minimalist handmade items. Plus, 100% of their Be Kind || Collection proceeds are donated to NAACP Salt Lake Branch and Youthlinc.

Your Sustainable Home

Your Sustainable Home partners with artisan entrepreneurs to sustain jobs in their communities both globally and locally, as well as creating the potential for new ones.

Goodee World

Goodee

Goodee empowers creators, makers and consumers to make a social impact through a global marketplace that fosters transparent sourcing, upcycling, ethical treatment of its employees and more. 

Expedition SubSahara

Expedition Subsahara’s mission is to build and maintain a STEAM school for young girls in Senegal.  20% of each handmade African basket, bag or jewelry item goes towards an education fund for the school.

Black Pepper Paperie

Black Pepper Paperie creates globally-inspired, one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces that include wearable ceramic art, home decor, paper goods, and apparel.

Royal Jelly Harlem

Royal Jelly Harlem is an African-inspired clothing and home decorating line. By purchasing many of their materials from African-born vendors living here in the US, they are contributing to the growth and prosperity of Africa’s beautiful cultures. And all of their items are made in NYC.

Custom Collaborative

Custom Collaborative is a New York City-based entrepreneurship and workforce development program that trains and supports women from low-income and immigrant communities to launch fashion careers and businesses.

Update: exciting news! Target has released a filter so you can shop for Black-owner brands easily from their website. Check this article from RedTri.com for more details.

Did we miss any great mission-driven black-owned brands? Please let us know so we can add to the list!

Categories
Sustainability

Pandemic Silver Linings: May Ethical Brand Sales

Another wonderful thing about ethical brands: transparency. In a letter from ABLE, they explained the challenge many brands are currently facing due to the impact from the pandemic:

“Typically, our manufacturing partners make our products, we pay them when the products ship, and the sale of those products creates money to buy more product. Then — we repeat. When the pandemic hit, the REPEAT was interrupted as sales dried up almost overnight, leaving most manufacturers with burdensome amounts of product that had not been paid for, including ours. We are now bringing in 100% of finished product and putting it immediately on sale. Why? Because with your help, we’ll be able to soon REPEAT and get everyone back to work.”

While we certainly want every ethical and eco-friendly brand to succeed and grow their influence so more brands follow their lead, at the same time we can also enjoy a good sale when it comes around. And with the pandemic disrupting supply chains due to erratic consumer shopping behavior and reduced spending on non-essential goods, many brands are offering sales to make up the difference.

Here are a few ethical brands passing on great deals as they attempt to ride this wild tide caused by COVID-19. We’ll continue to update throughout May as deals come out:

ABLE

ABLE is an ethical fashion brand focused on providing opportunities for impoverished women in developing countries. Through midnight on May 14th, ABLE is offering 50% off of many of their best sellers, along with free shipping. No code needed.

Everlane

Everlane partners with the highest quality ethical factories around the world and source only the finest materials so your clothing can last for years. Everlane is offering a Choose What You Pay event for May with products discounted up to 55% until they sell out. All profits from their 100% Human line are going to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

Alternative Apparel

Alternative Apparel produces soft and cozy quality casual wear with sustainable materials and processes, low-impact dyes, eco-friendly packaging and a commitment to fair trade. Alternative Apparel is now offering 40% Off Site-wide with code 40FRIEND through 5/25.

VETTA

<a href="https://www.pjtra.com/t/SkNJSU9OSktDR05OSU5JQ0dNSUxNRg"><img src="//www.pjtra.com/b/SkNJSU9OSktDR05OSU5JQ0dNSUxNRg" border="0" width="1000" height="1000" title="VETTA | Capsule Wardrobes | Sustainable Fashion" alt="VETTA | Capsule Wardrobes | Sustainable Fashion"></a>

With thoughtful wardrobe choices made in responsible factories with sustainable fabrics. Get 20% off with EVERYTHING20

Categories
Eco-Friendly Good Buys Sustainability

5 Sustainable Subscriptions to Keep You Stocked During the Coronavirus Quarantine

We’re living through unprecedented times right now. No matter how this Coronavirus pandemic shelter-in-place concludes, this will be a time our kids will look back on and tell their kids about. What the story will be isn’t entirely clear right now, but one thing is for certain: if we all do our part to reduce the Covid-19 spread, hopefully the story will be much less tragic than the recent projections propose.

But that doesn’t make the emotions we’re all grappling with any less real. For many, this is the first time disappointment, uncertainty and fear is becoming part of our everyday lives. And through all of this tragedy and stress, there are some beautiful silver linings to be found. We’re learning to be grateful for what we have, conserve our resources and reduce excess consumption, and for non-essential employees and those working from home, embracing the opportunity to spend valuable time together with our families (those of us who don’t currently live alone anyway).

Running a quick errand has become a huge undertaking, with many stores closed due to not being an “essential” service, and those that are open have a line that extends outside and around the building. Once you finally get inside, you’re likely to discover there’s no toilet paper, Clorox wipes or hand sanitizer remaining.

While many are scrambling to adjust daily routines to this new isolated reality, I feel very grateful for the luxury of subscription deliveries that have enabled me to reasonably comfortably remain home. Huge shoutout to the delivery workers who have allowed me to avoid the germs and crazies at the store while keeping my families and community safe.

But let’s face it – it was hard enough to be a conscious consumer before receiving the dreaded COVID-19 shelter-in-place notice. Now, we’ve shifted into survival mode – so it’s understandable if reducing single-use plastic waste and shopping for only eco-friendly and sustainable goods has become less of a priority than simply ensuring your family has their needs met during these stressful and trying times.

Fortunately, there are some fantastic brands out there that can not only simplify your life when you’re trying to minimize leaving the house, but also allow you to be a more conscious consumer.

So here are my top recommendations for sustainable subscriptions that will help you maintain a little bit of your sanity through the Coronavirus quarantine season:

Who Gives a Crap 48-Pack of Bamboo Toilet Paper

Keep your bathroom stocked with a Who Gives a Crap toilet paper subscription

Who Gives a Crap offers tree-free paper products including 100% recycled or 100% bamboo toilet paper and tissues, and bamboo/sugarcane-based paper towels.

  • The sustainable benefit: In addition to being tree-free, Who Gives a Crap donates 50% of profits to help build toilets in impoverished areas across the world.
  • The quarantine benefit: I never knew how valuable this subscription would be until I saw all my friends scrambling to find toilet paper in the stores while I still have cabinets full and my next delivery scheduled for next month.
  • How to sign up: Schedule your first Who Gives a Crap delivery and have your TP delivered right to your door. Though they used to be a little-known secret, this toilet paper scurry has them sold out, but hopefully they will be replenished soon!
Imperfect Produce Box

Skip the dreaded grocery store run with an Imperfect Produce subscription

Imperfect Produce offers weekly, bi-weekly or monthly box deliveries of fresh produce from your staple apples and carrots to pantry items, meats and seafoods, various unusual drink options and seasonal fruits and veggies that you may not always find at the grocery store.

  • The sustainable benefit: Imperfect Produce is committed to reducing food waste by buying up surplus, cosmetically imperfect, or otherwise unsellable produce and grocery items. All of their items are sustainably sourced and they donate thousands of pounds of food each week to nonprofits across the country.
  • The quarantine benefit: Our unusual family favorites are the romanesque broccoli and shiitaki mushrooms – but during this crazy quarantine, we’ve developed a new fondness for the staples they offer as it’s allowed us to avoid having to go to the grocery store at all for the past two weeks.
  • How to sign up: Head over to ImperfectFoods.com and sign up for your first box. You get to customize your box in advance, and it’s always a fun surprise to sift through the different options each time.
Dropps

Keep the laundry going with a Dropps eco-friendly laundry detergent subscription

Dropps is a subscription laundry detergent service that provides zero waste laundry pods with no unnecessary fillers or dyes, shipped in eco-responsible packaging with carbon neutral shipping.

  • The sustainable benefit: Dropps makes it easy to do your part in reducing single use plastic waste by doing away with the heavy plastic jugs that are piling up in our landfills in favor of biodegradable laundry pods. Plus, their plant-based ingredients ensure your laundry isn’t adding to water contamination, they don’t test on animals, and their packaging is all recyclable and compostable.
  • The quarantine benefit: No need to hit the store when you’re running low on laundry detergent. Just adjust your Dropps shipment date accordingly and the package arrives at your doorstep with a few days.
  • How to sign up: Set your laundry detergent preferences and subscription frequency at Dropps.com and you’ll get your carbon neutral Dropps shipment within a few days!
Butcher Box

Step up your dinner menu with a ButcherBox subscription

Somehow my husband and I have fallen into the traditional “man brings home the meat, woman harvests the produce” roles. I’ve been stocking up our weekly Imperfect Produce deliveries, and my husband added a Butcher Box subscription to round out our meal-cooking options. We’re big on home-cooked meals even when we’re not SIP (sheltering in place), so having a variety of quality meat options available allows us to maintain some sense of normalcy throughout all of this with tasty home-cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  • The sustainable benefit: Their tagline is “the neighborhood butcher for modern America”, as they sustainably source high-quality, humanely raised 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef and organic free-range chicken with no antibiotics or added hormones.
  • The quarantine benefit: Our new Butcher Box subscription allows us to stay away from stores by delivering to our door high-quality sustainable meat so we can maintain our regular delicious meal-cooking routine (though I can’t really take this credit – hubby works magic in the kitchen).
  • How to sign up: Visit ButcherBox.com and join the waitlist to get in the queue for a monthly subscription. As with most online subscription grocery services right now, they’re a bit backed up on orders but even after joining the waitlist, our box arrived just two weeks later.
CAUSEBOX Items

Treat yourself with a CAUSEBOX subscription

CAUSEBOX is a seasonal box subscription that delivers 6-8 curated items from socially conscious brands to your door once a season.

  • The sustainable benefit: With a tagline like “Better products for a better world”, CAUSEBOX is raising the bar for socially conscious brands while also increasing exposure for these small brands that deserve to be coveted for their noble causes and environmental attentiveness.
  • The quarantine benefit: While getting out and shopping is certainly not an option right now, these beautiful sustainable, eco-friendly and fair trade goods are lovely and you can feel great knowing you supported a brand that deserves your patronage.
  • How to sign up: Visit CAUSEBOX.com to sign up for your first box,. And FYI they really aren’t exaggerating about the $200+ value for only $49.95 – I’ve been stunned at the quality of the goods I have received every box so far.

What brands or services are helping you weather this wild Covid-19 quarantine?

Categories
Eco-Friendly Good Buys Sustainability

Top Picks for The Socially Conscious VSCO Girl

I admittedly learned what a VSCO Girl is from a 9-year old this week.

I looked it up, and what do you know, apparently I’m nearly one. I wasnt sure how to feel about it at first but hey – minus the scrunchies and random phrases (Tik Tok isn’t my thing) – being connected to nature and wanting to save the turtles is something to be proud of! 

So here’s to the VSCO Girls – and here are our favorite picks from socially conscious and ethical brands to build your own VSCO Girl uniform.

(Not up with the VSCO Girl trend yet? Like I said, I just learned this week so here’s a quick read to get you all caught up.)

 

1. Reusable Water Bottles

Every VSCO Girl is committed to sustainability and reducing plastic waste with a stylish and sustainable reusable water bottle. A popular choice is the Hydroflask, complete with stickers that represent your traveling and earth-loving spirit, but they can come at a hefty price tag. Instead, we recommend:

Kleen Kanteen Stainless Bottle – $15.95

The Kleen Kanteen water bottle is made of 100% recyclable, high-quality, food-grade, stainless steel.

27oz (800ml) Klean Kanteen Water Bottle (Orig. $17.95 - $19.95, On Sale $15.95 - $17.95)

 

Glass Bottles from Faucet  Face – $12

Faucet Face glass and stainless steel water bottles reduce plastic water bottle waste, plus Faucet Face donates 2.5% of all sales to the clean drinking water charity Third Millennium Awakening (TMA),

 

2. Pura Vida Bracelets & Wave Rings

Accessories that harken back to the free-spirited flower headband 60s, but with a minimalist and modern twist, Pura Vida jewelry is a popular pick for VSCO Girls. 

Pura Vida Wave Ring – $12

Through their Charity collection, Pura Vida Bracelets has partnered with charities around the world to donate over $1.7 million to worthy causes. Check out their Charity Collection to Save the Dolphins, Fight Breast Cancer, and more. 

Pura Via Wave Ring

 

Pura Vida  Key West Bracelet Pack – $45

Key West Pack

 

3. High-Waisted Jeans

The true VSCO girl is active, health-conscious, and typically physically fit – preferring to show off that small waist and cute behind with high-waisted jeans for the fall and winter, and shorts in the summer.

The Ileana High Rise from ABLE – $148

ABLE is an ethical fashion brand focused on providing opportunities for impoverished women in Ethiopia, Mexico and Peru. By creating opportunities where these women can earn fair wages

The Ileana High Rise

 

4. Oversized Tees

Any comfy loose tee will do. The VSCO Girl strives for comfort and ease, while maintaining a look of blissful self-care through careful accessorizing and skincare routines.

Elephant Tee from Rice Love – $28

Help feed a starving family in India with a tee from Rice Live, whose mission is to do good for people and the planet by giving a kilo of rice to a family in need for every item made.

Tee - Premium Tri-Blend - Elephant

100% Human Tee from Everlane – $22

For every limited-edition pink 100% Human product sold, Everlane donates $5 to Equality Now—which has been fighting to promote equal rights for women.

5. Canvas Backpacks

The most popular VSCO girl unicorn includes a Fjällräven backpack, but they tend to retail for $80 and I can’t vouch for their socially conscious reputation. But these are similar and produced by ethical brands.

Packable Backpack by Everlane – $35

 

6. Metal or Glass Reusable Straws

For the VSCO Girl with a passion for saving the sea turtles, traveling with a reusable straw is a must to ensure you never have to grab a plastic straw on the go.

Glass Straw from Ecolunchbox – $34

ECOlunchbox Accessories Glass Drinking Straws (Set of 4 + cleaning brush)

What are YOUR favorite socially conscious VSCO Girl?l favorites? Share with us in the comments below!

Categories
Doing Good Good Buys Sustainability

Hot July Deals & New Releases for Our Conscious Consumer Friends

Shopping ethically doesn’t have to mean you always pay more. While ethical production and environmental responsibility can mean more incurred costs to the business, there are a lot of great brands with fair and reasonable prices for quality items – and they offer great sales like everyone else!

We’ve rounded up all the hot deals from our favorite fair trade, ethical and charitable brands to make shopping easier on our conscious consumer friends to save a few bucks this July. We’ll be sure to update again next month!

Plus, in case you haven’t visited for a while, we’ve also added some great new brands to the shop!

  • ECOlunchbox – get your food prep on in classic style with ECOLunchBox metal tins.
  • Accompany – artisan made, fair trade and philanthropic ethical fashion, from bags and wallets to jumpsuits and shoes.
  • Elemental Recycled Products – it’s all in the name. A Nashville eco-start-up, they sell 100% recycled toilet paper with free delivery, and a percentage of all profits are donated to youth education and land preservation. Check them out! >>
  • naked + thriving, llc. – shop sustainably sourced and packaged facial oils, plus they’ve partnered with OneTreePlanted to plant 1 tree for every bottle they sell .spend $50 and get a free travel size body oil + free shipping
  • The Ultimate Green Store – with everything from t-shirts to sofas, The Ultimate Green Store is an incredible resource for environmentally friendly products.
  • More Rothy’s Styles – made from recycled water bottles and super on-trend!
  • More Girlfriend Collective Styles – leggings, bras and shorts ranging from $38 to $78, all made from recycled water bottles!
Categories
Giving Back Good Buys

5 Mutually Beneficial Ways You Can Give Back

If you’re one of those people who always wants to help but is paralyzed by the number of organizations asking for donations, welcome to the club! Tack on the fact that not all organizations are as charitable as they claim to be, and bring on a case of decision paralysis. Nobody wins.

But thanks to technology and innovative thinking, these five organizations are flipping the traditional “please donate your money so we can go do good things” model on it’s head by offering savvy and creative donation generation opportunities while also creating a mutually beneficial arrangement, either through increasing transparency so you get to see the good you’ve done, making the nebulous more tangible, or creating mutually beneficial arrangements.

Its a win-win: they’re able to  generate the funds required to help propel their noble mission forward, and you can feel great about your investment.

1. Swell Investing

Does the idea of making money by investing in positive progress excite you? It sure peaked my interest! Swell Investing is a unique investment platform that allows you to buy portions of shares of public companies that are committed to renewable energy, clean water, green tech, zero waste or global health. You choose your preferred focus, such as “Zero Waste”, and it sets you up with an investment portfolio, improving the financial strength of the company while you profit from their growth. Have a little  Pretty cool way to pitch in and do good!

  • Investment Level: As little as $50, with a .75% annual investment fee. Or as they put it: If you invest $500, Swell will cost you $3.75 per year. That’s less than a fancy coffee.
  • Effort Level: It took me 5 minutes to configure a portfolio and transfer funds from my bank account.
  • What You Get: A stock investment that hopefully grows significantly over time as long as the world keeps getting better!
  • What They Get: Continued investment so they can grow their impact.

Check out Swell Investing >>

Heifer International

2. Heifer Foundation

Have you ever wanted to buy a cow or goat? Ok well even if you haven’t, wouldn’t it be cool if you could buy one for a community that needs help creating a stable food source and economic boost? $10 allows you to buy a portion of a goat, cow or water buffalo for a community that will be transformed by the ability to create a food source and economic opportunities.

  • Investment Level: As little as $10
  • Effort Level: Select your ‘gift’ and checkout
  • What you get: Anything from a full heart to a stuffed animal, depending on your gift type
  • What they get: Economic stability for the lives of communities that are struggling to survive

Browse gifts at Heifer International >>

Karma Candle Club

3. Karma Candle Club

Who doesn’t love candles? Now you can bask in that peaceful glow feeling great about your contribution to a charity of your choice, with a monthly ambiance replenishment to look forward to

  • Investment Level: Starting at $10 per month
  • Effort Level: Add to card and checkout
  • What you get: A lovely monthly delivery of lovely scents and a bracelet representing your charity of choice
  • What they get: For each purchase, Karma Candle Club donates to a charity of your choosing

Browse Karma Candle Club >>

Lotto Love

4. Lotto Love

Looking for a fun gift for that philanthropic or “they already have everything” loved one? Give them the gift of luck – with fun lottery tickets that add a little surprise and delight to the concept of gifting a donation on someone’s behalf.

  • Investment Level: As little as $20 for two lotto cards and a greeting card
  • Effort Level: Add to card and checkout
  • What you get: A clever and meaningful gift for your philanthropic loved one
  • What they get: The fun of a scratcher with the joy of a charitable donation being made on their behalf

Get your Lotto Love scratchers >>

Sevenly Logo

5. Sevenly

Sevenly launches seven day campaigns that promote awareness and generate funds for noble causes. With incredible artists creating inspired custom designs to promote each campaign, their products are a wonderful gift for yourself or any tender hearted soul.

  • Investment Level: As little as $10
  • Effort Level: Add to card and checkout
  • What you get: A lovely item that will always reflect the cause you chose to support
  • What they get: A donation to the cause you chose to support

Check out Sevenly’s stylish apparel >>

Want to more do good inspiration? Check out our article on easy ways to give without spending more >>

Categories
Sustainability

3 Ways You Can Reduce Water Waste as a Conscious Consumer

Looking for some quick tips on how to be a conscious consumer when it comes to reducing global water waste? Here are a couple easy ways you can identify products that are being produced more sustainably:

1. Look for Organic or Sustainable Cotton

According to Wold Wildlife Fund, cotton production provides income for more than 250 million people worldwide and employs almost 7% of all labor in developing countries. But it also requires 713 gallons of water to produce a single cotton t-shirt! The Better Cotton Initiative set out to improve these statistics by partnering with farmers to producing organic cotton more sustainably, with less pesticide, fertilizer and water overruns.

Shop Organic & Sustainable Cotton >>

2. Choose Bamboo-based Paper & Fabric Products

According to Purple Planet Club, Bamboo uses less water, generates more oxygen and removes more carbon dioxide from the air than trees, making it the most renewable source of plant-based material available for manufacturing products.

Shop Bamboo Products >>

3. Buy Second Hand

With so much water going into growing the materials that are used to create fabric, and the production to process such fabric, buying second-hand is a great way to ensure your purchase doesn’t pose any added strain on our planet’s resources. What’s great is this trend has really picked up steam, with brands like ThredUp and actors like making popular

Shop Second Hand from bands like ThredUp >>

Categories
Sustainability

Top 20 Eco-Friendly Shopper Trends

This Earth Day, we’re especially excited to be rallying around brands and goods that are better for our environment!

My journey towards more eco-friendly living, and commitment to sharing my discoveries with the Good Everything community, is so rewarding because I get to constantly discover inspiring brands and new and exciting approaches to reducing our impact on the planet. There are some incredible brands out there that are really raising the bar for the ethical and environmental accountability we should be demanding from businesses.

Since we’ve started following the rapidly growing landscape of eco-friendly, sustainable and recycled goods brands and product lines, we’ve noticed some trends that are starting to really pick up steam.

Here are the top 20 eco-friendly trends hitting the streets:

Wear Pact Men's Clothing

1. 100% Organic Cotton Clothing

Gone are the days when we had no idea how harmful clothing production was on our environment. Fast fashion is under pressure to offer more sustainable alternatives, and 100% cotton is rising in popularity because of its significantly reduced environmental impact. Brands like Pact are bringing the 100% organic trend to the mainstream, with reasonable prices and a great selection of options for men, women and kids.


2. Bamboo-based Clothing

Bamboo is a highly sustainable crop due to its rapid growth rate and ability to flourish without chemicals or irrigation. Many brands are finding ways to create textiles from bamboo as a more sustainable alternative, like the comfortable and soft bamboo-based clothing from Free Fly Apparel.


3. Recycled Plastic Leggings & Shoes

With seemingly endless plastic waste available, many brands are coming up with inventive ways to incorporate plastic waste like water bottles into their fabric production process. Girlfriend Collective was the first brand I discovered that was doing this some years ago, and I assure you the fabric quality is fantastic! Rothy’s is hitting its stride with its recycled water bottle shoes.


4. Bamboo-based Paper Products

Who Gives a Crap is my new favorite brand playing in this space. Producing toilet paper, tissues and paper towels from bamboo and recycled paper, this is an easy way to make a dent in the resources your household requested.

5. Upcycled & Second-Hand Clothing

The secondhand clothing market is becoming a popular way to refresh your wardrobe, and some brands are leaning into this. Olivia Wilde just launched her “Choose Used” clothing line with ThredUP through her sustainability campaign company Conscious Commerce, and people seem to be moving past looking down their noses at the idea of shopping at a thrift store.

tides water bottle

6. Glass & Insulated Water Bottles

A simple swap, and possibly one of the best for your health as you’re almost guaranteed to hydrate more – bringing a reusable water bottle with you everywhere can help greatly reduce the volume of plastic water bottles we collectively consume. And as more and more refill stations are being put in at gyms, schools and other high traffic areas, we can together make a real impact with this one swap alone.

7. Reusable Metal, Glass & Bamboo Straws

Another easy swap is just saying no to plastic straws, whether that means you travel with a reusable straw, look for compostable straws or just get used to sipping out of a cup, with more hitting the marketplace daily. If you have to choose, paper straws are also a better option than plastic, though they are single-use so investing a few bucks in reusables will go a lot further at home. I do appreciate restaurants that serve with paper straws though!

8. Reusable Zip-Loc Replacements

Stasher Bags first caught my attention, but since I’ve noted many other brands offering comparable products that ensure we never need to use a single-use zip-loc again.

9. Metal Lunch Tins

With a Pinterest feed full of wonderful lunch prep ideas, all one needs is some handy containers and they’re on track with a healthier lifestyle and significant cost savings. If only it were so easy to stay motivated… but fun and simple lunch containers can help be one more reason to remember to pack that lunch, like these non-toxic, stainless steel tins from Eco Lunch Box.

Who Gives a Crap Recycled Toilet Paper

10. 100% Recycled Paper Products

Who Gives a Crap tops my list here, but it’s fantastic to see 100% recycled paper towels and toilet paper options also hitting nearly every shopping store shelf. I was even able to find some 100% recycled paper plates from Amazon the other day (fingers crossed they ship without any plastic packaging!)

11. Plastic-Free Shipping

This growing trend just makes me so happy. Pulling back on my oh-so-convenient Amazon Prime orders due to overly wasteful packaging was tough, but Of late, I’m pleased to say many of the ethical and eco-friendly brands I’ve ordered from have been really focused on this. Top of mind for me based on my most recent eco-friendly orders include CAUSEBOX, Who Gives a Crap, and Imperfect Produce.

Imperfect Produce Box

12. Eco-Friendly Subscription Boxes

CAUSEBOX, Imperfect Produce and Who Gives a Crap again top this list as great ethical brands offering subscription services with a focus on eco-friendly solutions. (sorry for the repeats, I’m totally showing my hand on my current favorite eco-friendly brands!)

13. Shampoo & Conditioner Bars

Reducing plastic waste is a major trend amongst conscious consumers, and companies are being founded to deliver on this mission. These bars are a great start to reduce your plastic waste in the bathroom.

14. Toothpaste Tabs & Powder

Another great way to reduce plastic waste in the bathroom, these tooth powders even purport to do a better job than traditional toothpaste. Less mess too! I haven’t found one yet that tastes as good, but I’m sure they’re out there!

15. Bamboo Toothbrushes

Every household goes through at lease a few plastic toothbrushes annually (on the conservative side), and this plastic waste remains in landfills or worse, our oceans, forever. Switching to bamboo toothbrushes like these from Thrive Market is another easy waste reduction change anyone can easily make.

16. Konjac Face Scrubs

My recent CAUSEBOX delivery came with a cognac scrub, and I’m in LOVE. I don’t know if it’s the combination of the rose water spray, or the medication I’ve been taking finally kicking in, but for possibly the first time in my life my skin feels great without makeup! Here is one from Grove that’s similar.

17. Laundry Detergent Alternatives

We instinctively know that household cleaning products like laundry soap are having a negative impact on the planet, but mainstream eco-friendly options have been significantly lacking until recently, with brands like The Ultimate Green Store, Method, Mrs. Meyers, and Seventh Generation becoming easier to find and releasing biodegradable alternatives. Even more exciting, you have to check out the eco egg which uses naturally derived cleansing pellets to lift away dirt and grime- good for 720 loads! After five loads, my only complaint is that it took way too long for me to learn about this miracle egg!

18. Biodegradable Kitchen & Bath Sponges

The kitchen sponge is a seemingly innocuous everyday item, but it contains plastics and non-biodegradable materials – and we use a LOT of them. Naturally derived scrubbing materials are hitting their stride, reducing the amount of waste being added to landfills.

Wild Dill Baby Toy

19. Throwback Wooden Kid’s Toys

Tired of seeing plastic toys hit the market and then the trashcan just as fast, brands like Wild Dill are brining back classic wooden kids’ toys for a more sustainable and unnecessarily overcomplicated play experience.


Pela Case

20. Biodegradable Plastic Alternatives

With items like plastic phone cases piling up in our landfill at rapid rates, brands like Pela is tackling this issue with their innovative plastic alternative material. Derived from flax seed and strong yet flexible, these phone cases will biodegrade naturally into the environment once disposed of.


Anything super trendy eco-friendly items I totally overlooked? Let’s hear it in the comments, happy to go beyond the top 20 with your help!

Categories
Eco-Friendly Sustainability

Moving to Sustainable Living: A Beginner’s Journey

I’m not sure where this whole sustainable living this actually started for me; though California banning single use plastic bags at grocery stores was likely part of the impetus.

Or maybe it was all the fires in California increasing my awareness of the reality of poor air quality prompting me to research air-cleaning indoor plants and attempting to grow some (so far so good, surprisingly!).

Definitely learning about the great garbage patch and the ocean-cleaning efforts attempting to clean it all up made me stop and take notice.

Or maybe I’m just hitting a mid-life crisis and realizing I don’t want to leave a burden for my children and grandchildren to be stuck trying to fix (is 33 too early for that?!).

Whatever the case, the result has been a slow transition towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle over the past year. I’ve become much more aware of the volume of waste my household produces, my family’s impact on the environment, and the fact that there’s a lot we could be doing differently – and so began our sustainable journey towards becoming more conscious consumers. Which looks like a combination of major mental shifts and incremental changes.

If you’re looking to begin your own eco-friendly journey, here’s a running list of the changes and purchases we’ve made thus far that has allowed us to embark upon this sustainable journey in a manageable fashion:

Eco-Friendly Swaps We’ve Made

Reducing plastic waste became a very obvious starting place, such as eliminating zip locs, plastic wrap, plasticware and plastic straws and replacing them with reusable alternatives, as well as reducing our overall waste and composting food waste (a topic for another day, but so far so good!).

Here are some of the items that we purchased to get the ball rolling:

  • Wax-coated fabric bowl covers. I got mine at Trader Joes, but these are similar – $12.10 (3-pack)
  • Reusable snack bags, like this Stasher bag I finally shelled out for a LOVE – $11.99
  • Muslin Produce bags – $16.97 (pack of 12 5″x7″ bags)
  • A flatware set for the office – $9.58
  • Kitchen compost pail – $16.99
  • Stainless steel straws – $5.99 (4-pack + cleaning brush)
  • Stocked up on reusable water bottles. Thanks to vendor swag from various conferences, a Yeti cup from an end of season coach gift for my hubby, and finally shelling out for one nice Hydroflask tumbler (which my family has dubbed “the million dollar water bottle”), we’re pretty solid here now. Reusable water bottles everywhere, with no plastic ones in sight!
  • Stocked up on reusable shopping bags, ensuring we have plenty in both my car and my husband’s. We love the Trader Joes bags, they’re insulated, cheap and hold up well.
  • Toilet paper, paper towels and tissue made from bamboo. While recycled paper is certainly better than paper harvested from virgin trees, bamboo TP is actually more eco-friendly and doesn’t contain bisphenol as recycled toilet paper typically has (think about all the ink that’s on the papers we recycle). I’m in love with Who Gives a Crap’s subscription delivery service which is affordable, 100% from bamboo, and donates 50% of profits to building toilets in disadvantaged communities. But starting with recycled toilet paper would be a good first step if bamboo isn’t an option for you.

On the horizon: upgrading our sandwich containers nice steel ones like this cutie, and probably a bigger thermos while we’re at it so I’m more likely to bring food to work instead of grabbing something from the local cafe and all the waste that comes with that choice (at least I’m using my own flatware now though!).

“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

We’re not a zero waste household, and are imperfectly riding this sustainability wave – trying to forgive ourselves for slipping up and not judgmental of those around us who haven’t yet had the awakening we have. But we’re trying to be better every day, and continue to make changes to move us in the right direction. And as much as I am inspired by those who are much more deeply committed in making major eco-friendly changes to treat the earth better, just striving to do a little better each day is a reasonable proposition that I encourage everyone to embrace!

What does your conscious consumer journey look like? Given I’m admittedly still a newby all things considered, got any tips for me?!

Categories
Eco-Friendly Sustainability

On That Tidying Up Bandwagon? Quick Tips on Discarding Responsibly

Who hasn’t caught wind of “Tidying Up” with Marie Kondo yet? It’s alarming that there are enough of us struggling with excess, but also nice to know I’m not the only one overwhelmed by the over consumption and trying to find ways to minimize the excess-both short and long term.

So you’re primed and ready to dig in – congrats! Nothing feels better than freeing up precious space and having less stuff to deal with and leaving only that which “sparks joy”.

But as we transition from excess to conscious consumption, an important piece is conscious waste management. We all intuitively know it’s just not right to throw reusable items away where they’ll up up in a landfill or get incinerated. But it can be challenging to line up the right solution to discard these old items in a conscious manner. And if you’ve got the momentum, the last thing you want is another barrier to getting the job done.

So if creating a plan for what to do with your discarded items is what’s holding you up, here are a couple quick tips:

Donate It ALL!

I’m sure you’ve already got this on your radar–but unless you have tons of time to host garage sales and/or post items on swap sites, donating is the way to go.

I suggest scheduling a pick-up from Salvation Army. No trip required to transport your goods and drop off within business hours, and you can feel good knowing the items are truly going to land in the hands of someone who needs them.

But what about ripped or stained items?

Don’t trash them! By all, we mean ALL – ripped and stained clothing and other textiles can actually be donated too. Only about 20% of the clothing donated to shops like Goodwill and Salvation Army actually gets sold in their stores – the rest gets sold to textile recyclers.

So that Salvation Army pick-up you’re about to schedule – throw all those items in with it.

Happy tidying up!

Have you been in purge mode since Tidying Up game out? What changes have made the biggest impact on your environment? Share with us in the comments!