Real vs Artificial Christmas Trees

December 10, 2017

Real vs Artificial Christmas Trees - which are more eco-friendly?

Real vs artificial Christmas trees – which are more environmentally friendly? As a kid, I grew up with the joy of real cut Christmas trees every December. I have vivid memories of helping Mom decorate, Dad lifting me and my brother (we alternated years) to put the angel on top, and even playing with my Barbies in the branches (#imagination).

Years later, I moved out of the house and learned just how much of mess a cut tree can create! I was constantly watering and vacuuming up after my little apartment tree, not to mention trying to figure out the best option for recycling in a big city… acquiring, maintaining, and recycling a Christmas tree can be a real chore!

Once I graduated college, I started to become more interested in the environment and how my purchasing decisions can have either a positive or negative impact (this was the year I went vegan – I’ll save that story for another post). It was around this time during the holidays that I started paying attention to the pros and cons of Christmas tree options.

I hadn’t passively heard any convincing research that made me develop a strong opinion one way or the other until recently when I consciously chose to dive deep into researching real vs artificial Christmas trees. Read on to find out what I learned and what we are choosing to decorate with this year (you might be surprised!). Continue Reading…

Sustainable Gift Ideas

December 1, 2017

Who doesn’t love a good gift idea? I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t get joy out of finding the perfect gift for a friend or loved one. With that said, gift giving doesn’t have to be waste-generating! What I mean is there are plenty of thoughtful gifts that friends and family would be thrilled to receive that don’t require the purchase of “stuff.”

I encourage all of us to think twice before buying a “thing” for a friend or family member and maybe consider an alternative. Perhaps your mom loves having nice nails – get her a gift card to the fanciest nail salon in town so she can treat herself! Dad loves golf? Buy him a credit to play at the course he has been talking about so much!

Below you will find a quick gift guide of zero waste and sustainable gift ideas worth considering. Lastly, don’t forget to package present(s) with¬†recycled gift wrap!

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Thanksgiving Checklist – Prepare Your Kitchen for the Holiday Season

November 9, 2017

Thanksgiving Checklist - Prepare Your Kitchen for the Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving just a few short weeks away, now is the perfect time to make sure your kitchen is in perfect shape before hosting a big dinner party! Below I put together a simple Thanksgiving checklist to use as your guide when prepping your kitchen for the holidays. From cleaning, to repairs, to organization – complete the items on this list and you’ll be ready to host!

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Eco Friendly Halloween

October 4, 2017

Eco friendly halloween ideas for candy, treats, decorations, and costumes

After renting apartments in big cities for the past 10+ years, my husband and I bought our first house and are about to officially move to the ‘burbs… which most likely means that for the first time in our adult lives we might get trick-or-treaters!

The idea of meeting new neighbors and passing out treats to costumed kids makes me super excited, but also a little bit conflicted.

My first conflict is the candy – and to be clear, this is mostly for selfish reasons. Candy ruins teeth, spikes blood sugar, and there are all kinds of crazy hidden ingredients in those mass produced candies that are simply best to avoid. While I’m sure kids are not benefiting from consuming boatloads of candy on Halloween – the decision to let them eat it is really up to their parents. The problem for me is that I personally don’t have a lot of self control when it comes to sweets so I’d prefer to not have any tempting extras of that stuff lingering around in our home…

My second conflict is the waste – ridiculous fun-sized wrappers, plastic decorations, store-bought cheap costumes that you only wear once, it’s crazy!

With all of that in mind, I did a little bit of research and compiled a list of the most sustainable treats, decorations, and a few costume ideas for an eco friendly Halloween. Read on for inspiration! Continue Reading…

How to Clean a Hairbrush

September 20, 2017

How to clean a hairbrush

Think for a minute about how many times you have used your current hairbrush over the course of its lifetime. Now compare that to the amount of times you have cleaned it.

If you’re like me then that ratio is probably a little scary. Now think about all of the oil, dry skin, and loose hair that has built up in your unwashed hairbrush that you have been brushing BACK into your clean hair each time you use it. Don’t want to think about that? Ok… I’ll stop.

Instead, let’s all learn how to clean a hairbrush, shall we?
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Microfiber Cloths

September 14, 2017

How to use, clean, and recycle microfiber cloths

I have always been under the impression that using a quality set (or sets) of microfiber cloths is a must for quality cleaning – I mean the facts are pretty convincing… microfiber cloths can absorb up to 8 times their own weight in liquid, are excellent at picking up dirt and grime – even without using traditional cleaners (just water!), and they eliminate paper towel waste.

Considering all of this, purchasing a few microfiber cleaning cloths seems like a no brainer, right? I thought so too until I did some microfiber research and was surprised by what I learned. Continue Reading…

Paper File Organization

August 23, 2017

Organize files and folders and minimize paper clutter with these tips

I had no idea how controversial paper file organization could be until I moved in with my husband. He is of the belief that because we live in a digital age, keeping paper files is antiquated and unnecessary… but I have ALWAYS kept a tidy filing box full of important documents, which has served me very well over the years! Hard copies of tax returns, medical records and receipts, car repair records – all of these have come in handy and each time I thank myself for keeping them so well organized.

With that said, my file box had become a dumping ground for a bunch of other items that really weren’t worth keeping: old magazine clippings, photocopies of old IDs and credit cards I had used during travel, old wedding business cards and pamphlets, old generic birthday cards, and other items that I didn’t have any practical or true sentimental reason for storing. So I got rid of those and downsized from my old file box to one that’s half the size (and more attractive TBH).

If you’ve also fallen into a paper hoarding trap, then maybe this system will benefit you as well. Read on to see how I downsized and organized my paper files.

Here are the products I used:

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How to Clean a Hair Dryer Filter

August 9, 2017

How to clean a hair dryer filter

Add this to your list of things that you never think about cleaning but probably should. It’s time to learn how to clean a hair dryer filter!

Have you ever noticed bundles of dust collecting around the back side of your hair dryer? That is your hair dryer filter, and it is getting clogged.

I know it sounds ignorant, but in high school I just thought that dust collection was a normal sign of hair dryer aging. I ignored the dust until eventually the hair dryer started to smell funny (because the filter was completely clogged!) and instead of cleaning it, I threw it out.

Now I have a nicer (slightly more expensive) hair dryer and as I was drying my hair the other morning I took a second look at the lint collection at the back in the filter and realized that (duh!) the filter is REMOVABLE and very easy to clean.

Go check yours right now, I bet your hair dryer filter is also removable, also full of lint, and also very easy to clean. Here’s how…

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DIY All Natural Polish-Free Manicure

August 2, 2017

Learn how to give yourself a chic polish-free manicure

I have officially adopted the polish-free manicure.

For years I envied friends, family, and colleagues who were great at maintaining beautifully manicured nails (how on earth did they find the time/energy?!). Sure, there were short spurts where I tried committing to weekly manicures but I always grew irritated by the amount of time and money I was spending on something that barely lasted 6 days (if I was lucky!).

Then I read about recent studies showing that many mainstream nail polish brands contain dangerous chemicals that seep into our bodies via polish application. For instance, triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) might cause negative impacts on our reproductive and developmental health (source: EWG) and formaldehyde has been classified as a probable human carcinogen (source: cancer.gov). As someone who hopes to start trying for babies in the near-ish future and hopes to live a long, healthy, and cancer-free life, this information makes me nervous!

But even with all of that said, my true lightbulb moment happened when I met a coworker who was SUPER chic – great haircut, awesome style, always looked put together. She was the type of girl who you would expect to sport perfectly polished nails, but no! She never wore polish. She was able to pull it off and still appear professional because her bare nails were so naturally well kept (nicely shaped, buffed, and clean cuticles).

Her example + my laziness + my desire to remove as many hormone-disrupting chemicals from my life as possible inspired me to master the polish-free manicure, and you can too! Here are the tools you will need:

  1. Nail Clipper
  2. File
  3. Orange Stick
  4. Buffer
  5. Cuticle Trimmer
  6. Olive Oil
  7. Sugar
  8. Small Towel

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