zero waste period guide
Zero Waste Period: A Full Guide to Treating Your Body (and the Environment) Right!

Zero Waste Period: A Full Guide to Figuring Out What Works For YOU!

Welcome back to the blog! If you missed our latest Instagram post where talked all about the magical vulva and vagina, then please check that out on your way out of this blog post. So many of us women do not even know the correct name for our genital area and I find that to be a crucial first step to understanding our beautiful bodies. I have found that loving ourselves is one of the BIGGEST steps we can take in this journey to a healthier, more environmentally friendly and more self-compassionate self.

One of the ways that I show my body and my natural surroundings how much I love them is by choosing all-natural and safe products. This includes my shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and even the products that I use for my monthly cycle. A zero-waste period is so much easier, so much more budget-friendly, and so much prettier than we could have ever imagined. Today, I hope, will be the LAST time you ever place anything toxic or disposable into your precious body. In this blog post we will dive into the magical world of a zero-waste period and just how beautiful (and comfortable!) it can be.

Zero Waste Period

Tampons and Pads have been a part of our lives since most of us received the gift of our cycle around puberty. Commercials, media and good old’ peer pressure lured us into the world of bright-colored plastic-tubed tampons that we somehow figured out how to shove up our vaginas (I’ll never forget that first day, pretty sure that scarred me for a while) or big old disposable pads that never seemed to sit quite right. If one could not afford a tampon or a pad, which is quite common at these high prices for single-use items, then we were forced to roll up some toilet paper into a makeshift pad and hope for the best. Oh, mamas….can I just say…Thank goodness those days are over! Today I am going to educate you all on the much better options. Better options for our bodies, our wallets, our environment, and our future. Let’s do this!

A Zero Waste Period: Why Traditional Tampons and Pads Need to GO

Interestingly enough (but not surprising), the astounding waste that disposable tampons and pads create is pretty hard to track down. Turns out, this plastic waste is deemed “medical waste” and was left unnoticed for years. Rough estimates show that in 2018, women in the U.S. purchased over 5.8 million tampons and ONE woman, in her lifetime, could use anywhere from 5-15 THOUSAND pads and tampons. Guess where those thousands of pads and tampons end up? Yep….in the trash bin.

If you would like to read a ton more on how plastic became such a “norm” in the menstrual world, check out this amazing blog post by National Geographic. It’s a fantastic read!

Toxic Shock Syndrome

I’ll never forget that day in the theatre class when I was just 17 years old. I had finally got up the nerve to try out a tampon for the first time (pads were driving me absolutely nuts) and within hours of inserting, my skin turned pale white and I nearly fainted in front of my teacher. I attended an all-girls high school right outside of Chicago at the time and the very first thing my teacher asked me was, “Are you wearing a tampon?”

Looking back, I cannot even believe it. How many girls had nearly fainted, or fainted, in front of this woman in all her years of teaching at this school? I was sent to the nurse’s office and then the doctor. Turns out, I was one of many young women who got Toxic Shock Syndrome from the use of tampons. TSS is typically caused by an overgrowth of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Each year toxic shock syndrome affects about 1 in 100,000 women but the numbers have been on the rise since the popularity of tampons has increased.

Toxic Shock Syndrome began when the tampon companies introduced artificial fibers into the tampons for better absorbency. These fibers are still used today despite this issue and this is something that we all need to be aware of.

Toxic Chemicals Found in Tampons

Toxic chemicals found in tampons include aluminum, fragrance additives, alcohols, and hydrocarbons. Some tampons also contain dioxin that is leftover from bleaching. Dioxin is a very toxic chemical that has been linked to cancer and is not even legal to use in Europe.

A Zero Waste Period: Making the Switch!

Zero Waste Period

I am going to list all of the zero waste period options from my least favorite to my favorite. It should be noted that I didn’t HATE any of these options, but I do have favorites when it comes to comfort, personal preference, and what works for me. If you love my least favorite, then it’s all good! It’s all about what works for you. I do recommend giving them all a try and even using all of the options – I bounce back and forth between all 4 options depending on how I am feeling that month and also on how heavy or light my period is. Our body is constantly changing.

A Zero Waste Period: The Reusable Period Cups

Reusable Period Cups

While I do believe that these are the most popular (I’m assuming due to the huge social media impact and super busy lives that most of you lead), these are number four on my list of favorite options. If you do choose the cup, I recommend the Lena Brand!

First, let me tell you why these cups rock:

  • Reusable! Just wash them out and you are set to use again and again and again!
  • Compact and come with a little bag for your purse.
  • Very aesthetically pleasing
  • Do not contain any harmful ingredients!
  • The cups move with your body; you can dance, run, swim, jump or, if you are like me, sleep all day haha.
  • Different sizes for different ages and size.
  • SUPER afforadable. I mean…..SUPER DUPER affordable.
  • The cups simply collect the blood without absorbing or drying out your sensitive insides.

Sheesh, these really do sound amazing, huh?! So why am I not a big fan? I guess it’s just my personal preference but I do not like inserting anything into my body. Again, just a personal preference.

A few things I noticed about the cups that I did not like:

  • While this is washable and reusable, if you are not in a certain type of bathroom then it’s a pretty big mess. I was in a public restroom with the sink outside of the bathroom stall and I was in a sort of a period emergency situation haha. Let’s just say…I do not recommend using these if you have a heavy month and will be using public restrooms a lot!
  • Insertion: Again, I do not like anything in my body. The insertion process was just uncomfortable (as are tampons for me) and I never like to do it. I will say though, once the cup is inside, I could not feel a thing!
  • Smell: After about 1 month of use, there was this smell that I could not get off of the cup. Thanks to bloggers like EthicallyKate, I found out that placing the cup in the sun cleared this up right away! This is a really big tip for those of you who want to use the cups. The sun is a great disinfectant and works like magic.

A Zero Waste Period: The Reusable Pads

Period Pads

Third on the list, The amazing and super cute reusable period pads! I have talked about this before, but when the boys first started to cloth diaper, I used the extra bamboo inserts for my periods. I LOVED them! About 4 months later, they needed more inserts for their growing urine needs (hahaha!!) and I decided to purchase some pretty reusable pads for my bathroom. I actually keep these in a pretty golden vase right above the toilet and use them as needed.

Why Reusable Period Pads Rock:

  • No need to insert anything into your vagina; just snap them onto your undies and you are set!
  • Super easy to wash, I wash just like I do my cloth diaper inserts. I use soap nuts (any detergent will work) and when finished, I hang dry in the sun. They are totally dryer safe too.
  • Gorgeous – the prints are so cute and they snap into little squares that fit right into the palm of your hand.
  • Absorption: They absorb surprisingly well and I have yet to have any issues in that department.

So Why Number 3 on the list?

  • As many of you know, I ride my bike at least 3-4 times a week with the boys attached with the bike stroller. Oye. These pads are not meant for cycling at all. The snaps at the bottom of the underwear dig right into my body from the cycling seat and it hurts. Best for doing everything BUT cycling haha.
  • A bit bulky: I am a tight and yoga pant wearing lady who doesn’t pull out the jeans unless I’m feeling fancy. These are just a tiny bit (really not bad at all) bulky and not the best for yoga pants. These are fantastic for jeans, dresses, and skirts!

A Zero Waste Period: Free Bleeding

Zero Waste Period

I’m actually laughing as I type this right now because I am assuming there are a ton of you with faces like, “What the HELL?!”. Yes, I thought the same when I first found out that women do this. Of course, we all know that there were times when women free bled all over the world because tampons and pads were not in existence until pretty recently. However, why would anyone continue to do this today?

It’s actually pretty amazing. I was talking to this woman who told me that she has been free-bleeding for 10 years now and can control her body. Meaning, she can control when the blood was released from her vagina and when it was to stay put. I couldn’t believe it…so you know what I did? I tried it for myself!

For the entire year of 2017, I free bled.

I talked about it a few times but mostly I kept it to myself and just did my thang. I did as the woman said and bought two, thick red towels that I used when I was at home. For the majority of the week, I simply walked around with just the towel wrapped around my waist (no underwear) and had a t-shirt or sweater on top. Anytime that I felt the release of blood coming, I would either walk to the bathroom and sit on the toilet or I would use the red towel to wipe it up. I am not even kidding you, within 3 months I was so confident in my practice that I would walk around town with nothing on. My body and I were completely in-sync.

Now, if you are going to go this route, you have to take the entire menstrual cycle (4-6 days) easy and really be aware of your body. This practice is best for those who can stay at home for the duration of the cycle to get used to it. I would suggest this to stay at home moms, bloggers, or anyone who works from home. It’s amazing how we have lost this natural connection to our bodies through the use of tampons and pads. If you can, give it a whirl!

So, do I still Practice this? Yes! Not all the time, but anytime that I am home, it’s just me and my towel. I did start using option number 1 for whenever I do yoga.

A Zero Waste Period: Period Panties

zero waste period panties

We made it to my number one zero waste period option: The Period Panties! 

I cannot tell you how much I love these period panties. They feel just like regular underwear with just a tad bit of extra padding (which I just call comfort) added to absorb the blood. There are NO leaks. All comfort, no leaks, feels like you are wearing nothing…how can you beat this?!

I have only ever tried the period panties by the Wuka brand. I am sure there are a ton more options out there but I do love this brand.

Why Period Panties Rock:

  • Feels like regular underwear. Yes, I do wear these even when I am not menstruating!
  • Absorbs like a champ: I have never had a leak in all the time that I have used these panties.
  • Holds at least 20ml of blood, which is about 4 tampons worth.
  • Wuka panties are made by MicroModal fabric that is CO2 neutral and 3.5x softer than fine cotton.
  • It can be worn under workouts pants, jeans, skirts, all of it. They are a dream.
  • Vegan approved!
  • Different undies for different days: You can opt for light, medium and heavy flow. I have just the heavy flow ones and I adore them so much.
  • All age approved and different sizes for different ages!
  • Comes in a “first period” pack for our first time period gals! I love this so much. I feel like this makes that day really special instead of scary. The box contains period panties (for her age), a wash bag and a booklet on everything period!
  • Washes like a champ!

In the red tent, the truth is known. In the red tent, where days pass like a gentle stream, as the gift of Innana courses through us, cleansing the body of last month’s death, preparing the body to receive the new month’s life, women give thanks — for repose and restoration, for the knowledge that life comes from between our legs, and that life costs blood.”
Anita Diamant, The Red Tent

That’s all for today, Mamas! I hope this blog post helped and please feel free to leave a comment about your own journey or to ask any questions! Heads up, we did use a few affiliate links (for the cups and the pads I believe) and will receive a small commission if you purchase through them. As always, we truly stand behind the products we link. Thanks for stopping by!

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Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant
Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant Made from Whiskey!

Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant Made from…Whiskey and Vodka??

Welcome back to the blog! Today we are super excited to feature my new favorite non-toxic deodorant company, Pit Liquor by Distilled Bath and Body. I was sent a full set of these amazing alcohol-based deodorant’s and I cannot get over how amazing they work to kill odor, keep me fresh, and do so without any harmful chemicals whatsoever.

If you follow our family on Instagram, you will know that I have been looking for my forever deodorant for quite some time. I tried homemade deodorant, I tried coconut oil-based deodorant, I tried the most expensive all-natural brands of deodorant, I tried the deodorant balms, the deodorant sprays, and even the lime juice trick. None of them…not a single one…worked as well as the non-toxic deodorant by pit liquor. As a veteran sailor, I should have known that whiskey and vodka were going to be a part of my forever pit routine haha.

Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant

Before we jump into the who, what, where, when, and how of the Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant company, let’s get one thing clear. This one thing is….this company kicks butt. Don’t believe me? Check out their risk-free guarantee that comes with purchasing from them:

Our risk-free guarantee on your first bottle puts your mind at ease. Don’t love Pit Liquor? Email us and we’ll work out a return with you. We refuse to be like those other natural deodorant companies that tell you it’s your fault you haven’t detoxed enough or some other load of BO. We’ll want to know how we can improve in the future because we believe all feedback is good feedback. Learn more about our guarantee here.

Haha. Welp, if that didn’t make you giggle a bit then I am not so sure we can be friends anymore. Just kidding. You may just need a good rub of whiskey or rum on your pits to lighten up :).

Meet the Makers of Pit Liquor

Jason and Erica

Saddle up your unicorn and join us for a magical armpit journey!

Pit Liquor Creators Erica and Jason

Erica and Jason are the founders of Pit Liquor and the entire Distilled Bath and Body company (pretty amazing in and of itself!). They are loving parents to a little gal named Eve and some very cool cats named Tolkien and Hobbes (pretty sure we just became best friends by the cat names alone). I could go on and on about how cool these two are but let’s jump into the Pit Liquor goodness; How the he-haw-sally did they get into the armpit business??

As like most of us, Erica and Jason were sick and tired of nasty chemicals sneaking their way into their home. They decided to fix the issue themselves and create a truly non-toxic deodorant that not only works but works well.

Here is the very cool Pit Liquor Invention story straight from them:

The story of Pit Liquor began at a most unusual time: During my pregnancy with Eve. Jason was concerned about the carcinogens in our deodorants and we’d been trying various natural alternatives, but none of them worked. One day, he begged me to stop using toxic deodorant for the baby. So I slapped hand sanitizer on my armpits and headed out the door issuing Jason a challenge to find something that actually worked. When I got home, I didn’t stink. Always the inventor, Jason thought plain old hand sanitizer was a boring (and not entirely non-toxic) solution to the underarm stench, but the hand sanitizer illuminated a new idea: high-proof, drinkable alcohol is less toxic than anything unregulated and potentially made from inedible ingredients. So, obviously, we turned to whiskey to solve our quandary. 

Pit Liquor All-Natural and Non-Toxic Ingredients

Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant

The majority of you are here for this huge chunk of information, so let’s just go ahead and start with this:

What is in the Pit Liquor Deodorant??
  • Organic Vodka and Whiskey: Overproof liquor which is amazing at killing unwanted microbes.
  • Organic Arrowroot: You will notice this at the bottom of your bottle – so be sure to shake before use. The arrowroot helps to keep the armpits a bit more dry and, above all, it’s anti-microbial! Bacteria is scared of this stuff.
  • Himalayan Salt: Don’t even think about drinking this stuff because it will taste like salt – yuck! The salt is meant to keep the bottle for armpit use only and also aids in dryness.
  • Organic Tea Extracts: Purchased from Happy Lucky’s Tea House and The Golden Poppy Herbal Apothecary in Fort Collins, CO. For the list of tea extracts, click here!
  • Organic Scent Components: Amazing vanilla beans, lavender flowers, and black peppercorns and cloves are used to give the deodorant a fragrance.
  • Essential Oils
  • Organic Extracts of lavender and vanilla from local spice shops in the area.

Plus, you can feel so good knowing that all of the Pit Liquor selection of deodorants are vegan, cruelty-free, toxin-free, gluten-free, aluminum-free, paraben-free, mining-free, baking-soda-free, pesticide-free, triglyceride-free, and above all, stink-free (which is just spectacular). The products are also fair trade!

Sustainable Production of Pit Liquor Deodorant

The folks behind Pit Liquor put a lot of conscious effort into their sustainable practices. When I received my own package of Pit Liquor, I was extremely satisfied with the packaging (all recyclable), the bottles (beautiful glass bottles), and of course the nature of the deodorant itself.

While the bottles can be easily recycled, Pit Liquor would actually like you to return the bottles to them so that they can give you a sweet discount for your next purchase and so that the bottles can have a second life!

Here’s how to Recycle the Used Bottles:
  1. Wait until you have 5 empty bottles.
  2. Give them a quick rinse.
  3. Send them back to Distilled Bath and Body (you will pay the shipping) and get a sweet discount code for your next purchase! Don’t forget to subscribe to the awards program as well!
The Refill Program

Not a fan of shipping back and forth? Looking to reduce your carbon footprint even more? That’s who this program is for! The refill program allows you to buy in bulk and refill at home for up to a year! Genius.

Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant

I decided to pick three deodorants to talk more about in detail, starting with this epic “Summer in a Bottle” coconut rum one. I swear….as soon as I smelled this bottle it was like I was transported back to my summer holidays, pre-kids of course haha. The smell is so amazing.

One extra perk of the pit liquor deodorant ingredient list is that they will not cause any rashes that can sometimes occur with natural deodorants. This is absolutely a rash free deodorant, and my armpits are extremely happy!

Available in:

  • 3.4 oz, lasts 4-6 months
  • 50 ml, lasts 2-3 months
  • 30 ml, lasts 3-4 weeks
  • reFILL, lasts at least a year
https://distilledbathandbody.com/collections/roller-bottles/products/coconut-rum-with-lime-limited-edition-roller

The Pit Liquor Whiskey Lavender has become my daily go-to bottle. I love applying this in the morning before my yoga session and then getting a whiff when I am in a sweaty downward dog haha – Gosh, I have never spoken so freely about my armpits before and I am loving this blog post lol.

When applied, the whiskey and lavender mesh together so beautifully. Once applied, the alcohol kills the bacteria and I am left with this dry powdery lavender smell. It’s magnificent. I highly recommend trying this one first if you want to take the plunge.

https://distilledbathandbody.com/collections/roller-bottles/products/whiskey-lavender-lg-roller-bottle

While I love the roll-on, Martin is obsessed with these spray bottles. I am honestly thinking that each one of these can last for like…4 months or more? The website says that you only need to apply every 24-48 hours and Martin is applying around 36-48 hours. He smells amazing! I love him in the whiskey black pepper…super sexy smell on his skin.

Each one of these bottles in 100ml! Snag 3 of them for a bit of a discount.

FYI: The website states that each bottle should last 3-4 months. Woohoo!

https://distilledbathandbody.com/products/whiskey-triple-shot-set?pr_prod_strat=copurchase&pr_rec_pid=389670109195&pr_ref_pid=2552669995091&pr_seq=uniform
Pit Liquor Non-Toxic Deodorant

I think I am going to finish this post off with a quote from my beloved, Martin. Eh hem…

“Baby, this (pronounced “dis” in his German accent) is the BEST deodorant. I did not smell you once in the car today after yoga – it is a miracle!”

Hahahaha. Oh, my life. 

Big Thanks to Pit Liquor!

The folks behind Pit Liquor were kind enough to gift our family a HUGE box of all the goodies from the deodorant selection. We will be set for well over a year and I can promise you all, we will 100% be purchasing another huge box after these are finished (in the recycle program, of course). I am hooked. I have finally found my and Martin’s forever pit spray! If you have any questions, comments, concerns, please just leave them in the comment section or message me directly. As always, thanks for stopping by!

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An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide for the Holidays (Budget Friendly & Beginner Friendly)

**This is part two of a two part zero waste gift guide series for The Best Zero Waste Holiday Gift Ideas. Part one includes items for purchase and part two is ALL handmade/DIY**

An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide

An Amazing DIY Gift Guide for a Sustainable Holiday

1. Hanging Herbs/Plants. My favorite? These hanging eucalyptus leaves for the shower!

I was scrolling through Etsy a few weeks ago, looking for some inspiration on my new craft obsession of macrame wall hangings, when I saw this idea. Hanging eucalyptus leaves, hung from a branch, and then hung in the shower or just in the bathroom. Every time steam hits the leaves, the entire room smells like a rainforest dream! Is that not a gorgeous idea?!

All you need are some eucalyptus leaves, a stick and some string. Take a look at the Etsy shop here to check out the final product.

An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide

2. DIY Macrame Wall Hangings

An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide

Speaking of macrame wall hanging addictions! One of these wall hangings would make a gorgeous gift for anyone. You can purchase a macrame wall-hanging kit OR you can simply head to your local craft store and load up on macrame cord. From there, just head to youtube and look through the hundreds of tutorials! I have made three off of youtube so far and love every single one. This is really a beautiful gift.

3. DIY Brown Sugar Body Scrub

An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide

Walk into any beauty shop and you will most likely see containers of body scrub for sale for anywhere from 10 bucks to 25 bucks. The ingredient list is long and a tad confusing. But guess what?! You can make your very own sugar scrub with just 3 ingredients!

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweet almond oil
  • 5 vitamin E capsules
  • A couple drops of essential oils if you wish

Simply add all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. For the capsules, simply open and squeeze into the mixture. Pour the body scrub into small glass jars and gift away!

4. DIY Vegan Lip Balm

An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide

Another fantastic DIY beauty gift! Simply follow the directions and then use adorable zero-waste lip gloss containers like these. 

Melt all of the ingredients (except essential oils) together in a double boiler on low heat. Mix well with a spoon and then add in the essential oils. Immediately pour the lip balm into the containers. If the balm begins to harden too soon, just melt again on low. Let cool for a few hours until fully solidified.

These will last about 1 year. Enjoy!

5. DIY Plant Paintings

An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide

What I love most about this gift is that no matter how it turns out, it is still a beautiful work of art. I am absolutely NOT a good painter but the very first painting that I ever did of a monstera plant is now hanging on my wall right behind my head as I write this (and thus, is the muse for numero 5 on this list) and I love her! I think I love her more because of how awful (yet beautiful) she is!

What do you need? Paint, sturdy paper, 1-2 paint brushed and a muse. I like to paint the plants around my house but feel free to use google!

p.s. This is the paint set that I have (I have had it for years now and have made well over 20 different gifts from it!)

6. DIY Plant!!

What? How the hee-haw-sally does this work!?

Did you know that if you snip off a leaf from a big plant and then add that cutting to water it will (usually) grow roots?!

Here’s how it works: 

  • Find the plant you wish to cut from. PLEASE, I beg of you…do not cut from a plant that does not belong to you. If you would like a cutting from a special plant, you must ask permission. Us plant mamas and papas truly do love our plants!
  • Find the root node on your plant or vine. If you are unsure, ask someone to help you!
  • Carefully cut just below the node with a clean sharp knife or scissors.  About 1/4″ below the node.
  • Place the cutting in a clean glass of room temperature water.
  • Switch the water every 3-5 days.
  • Watch the roots grow. This can take weeks or even months.
  • Once the roots have reached 5 inches, add to soil!

7. DIY Bohemian Rope Basket

This is SUCH a cool tutorial. No need to spend more than a few bucks on some rope and grab an old box. Check out the full youtube video here!

8. An Old School Mixed Tape…or…Spotify Playlist?

In today’s fast paced world, there is nothing better to slow down than some good ol’ music. Surprise your loved one by spending some time gathering your favourite songs (or some memorable ones??) in a playlist to share with them. You can use a bunch of free services like Spotify, Soundcloud or even youtube!

9. Morning Ritual Kit

A small jar of matcha green tea, some non-toxic soy candles, your favourite essential oil blend, a list of beautiful affirmations and a small gratitude journal all wrapped up nicely in a vintage scarf to fend off the early morning chills. How lovely does this sound?! I just thought of it. Woohoo!

p.s. An extra perk would be a nice note in the journal telling your friend why he/she means so much to you!

10. DIY Calendar of Love

Did I ever tell you how amazing my best friend from Hawaii is? We were roommates and every year she would blow me away with the gift ideas that she came up for her brothers, father and other family members. Once she found old letters from her grandfather who was in the war and made the most gorgeous book for the family to cherish forever. Another year she made a love calendar….

You can do this anyway that you want…it really depends on the person. Either purchase a calendar with their favourite things (i.e., cats, dogs, babies…who knows haha) or create your own calendar at your local photo shop. Once you have the calendar, start to fill in the days. This can be as simple as adding birthdays, memories that you share (don’t forget that FB memories can help SO much with this!!), future plans OR….this beautiful idea…

Listen to your heart and tell the future. Add love notes to days where you think your friend may need an extra pick me up. Tell him or her how much you love them, how they are deserving of love and light….how you miss them when you are not around.

This is wonderful for those friendships that are long distance!

If you liked this blog post on An Amazing DIY Sustainable Gift Guide, then check these other amazing posts outs!

An Amazing DIY Gift Guide for a Sustainable Holiday

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The best zero waste holiday gift guide
The Best Zero Waste Holiday Gift Ideas (Part 1)

**This is part one of a two part zero waste gift guide series for The Best Zero Waste Holiday Gift Ideas. Part one includes items for purchase and part two is ALL handmade/DIY**

“Zero Waste” may just seem like another buzzword right now, but it is so much more than another trend. Choosing to lead a more zero waste lifestyle opens up our minds and hearts to so much more than we ever imagined. When our family made the switch to a zero waste lifestyle and home, everything in our lives changed for the better. We became more conscious of our consumer decisions, we reduced our waste by well over 70% (that’s huge!) and we slowly but surely began to live more intentionally.

This Christmas, you have the opportunity to give the gift of so more than a “material good”. These gifts are INSPIRING. Who would you like to inspire this year?

Read more

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7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday
7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

Here’s 7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday!

Black Friday Sucks….but these 7 Brands Do Not.

Black Friday. Ohhhhhh Black Friday. This day is one that I dread more than “Massacre a Turkey” day and for good reason; it’s a day that is bad for our mental health, our budget, our savings, the environment, the economy and so much more. The endless discounts, the ridiculously (already) low prices that seem to magically slash in half as if by a miracle and horribly distasteful marketing schemes to make you THINK that you need these things in order to be happy.

Well, we have had enough. For those of you who choose to completely NOT shop on this day? I applaud you. It’s a great stand to take and one that is admirable in every sense of the way. However…I do understand that Christmas is less than 4 weeks away and having a bit of a discount on your gifting helps.

SO, I went ahead and gathered 7 of our favorite sustainable, ethical and fair trade brands that not only offer very appropriate discounts (meaning it’s small because they are honest and true companies), but they also GIVE back. By supporting these folks, you are supporting amazing charities, projects or donations.

7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

Noctu Organic has some of the softest and gorgeous pajama sets I have ever laid my eyes on. Their pieces are organic, sustainable, fair trade and perfect for gift giving.

“For every single purchase made this weekend we are doubling our donation to the World Land Trust and saving 20 square meters of endangered wildlife across the globe in the most endangered areas. That’s 20 square meters for ★ Every ★ Single ★ Purchase.”

7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

I own several of Organic Basics Bralettes, undies and they are also my go-to for activewear. I could not recommend them enough!! Check out my full blog post on OB here.

“Our Black Friday sale starts NOW. Save up to 30% on everything and we’ll plant 50m2 of wildflowers for every order placed — helping to restore habitat for bees and other pollinators.”

7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

Patagonia needs no introduction but let me just say, this is the NUMBER one company in my book. Did you hear that they just opened up a second-hand store?!

“Patagonia is making it easier for concerned citizens to double their positive impact on the planet. Make a donation to a grassroots environmental NGO fighting to protect our home planet. Patagonia will match it, pound for pound and dollar for dollar.

That is why this holiday season, Patagonia is matching all donations made in support of grassroots environmental organizations through Patagonia Action Works from 29 November (Black Friday) until 31 December 2019. Additionally, we are providing a platform for you to give the gift of giving and donate to an environmental protector in the name of a loved one.”

7 Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Give Back on Black Friday

Nomad’s Clothing is one of my all-time favorite brands for women. The pieces are unique, one of a kind, made to last and gorgeous. Check out my full blog post on them here! 

“We’re not running any ‘Black Friday’ offers – instead, once again we are donating 50% of all sales on Friday 29th November to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children – a charity that is changing the lives of disabled and terminally ill children across the UK.

50% of all orders placed on www.nomadsclothing.com on Friday 29th November will go directly to Newlife.”

Home Goods that are sustainable, fair trade, FAIRLY PRICED, and offer a lifetime warranty? I mean….come on. Check out our full blog post on this home good favorite brand of mine here.

“Our Get One Gift One is live from 6am and will run until midnight on Monday. You get 20% off everything using code GOGO20 when you checkout and for each order placed we will gift a peshtemal to homeless charity Knight Support.”

This zero-waste makeup company has been on my radar for quite some time. I love this offer, I adore that they are taking this initiative and I want to hear all your reviews on them!

“With sustainability at the forefront of everything we do at Elate, we are eliminating waste by embracing minor flaws and giving these Perfectly Imperfect Bamboo Capsule Palettes a new chance to thrive. ⁠

💚#GreenFriday is tomorrow, and we’re thrilled to share our sustainable promos:⁠

🌲One tree will be planted for every Elate product ordered Nov 29th- Dec 2nd through our initiative with @OneTreePlanted.⁠”

Another great company that has blown up over the years is TenTree. They are a very giving company, black Friday or not, and I highly recommend them for my fellow outdoor lovers.

“At this point, pretty much everyone knows what Black Friday is. It’s an unofficial shopping holiday that takes place the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. Black Friday has built for itself a reputation for overconsumption and bad human behaviors, but for many businesses, it’s an important day. Black Friday helps businesses get in the black – turning a profit for the year. Unfortunately, the mentality around black Friday now focuses mainly on consumerism without much thought for the planet or its people.

We’re not perfect either, but we’re doing our best. Planting trees is our biggest priority – we plant ten trees for each item purchased. That’s why here at the center, we don’t do Black Friday. We do Green Friday. Our goal for the week of Green Friday 2019 is to plant 1,000,000 trees! Making a profit is important for any brand, but for us, giving some greenback to the planet is even more important.”

There you have it! Happy Donating!

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sustainable fashion for children
Sustainable Shopping for Children’s Clothes: A Full Guide!

A Full Guide to Sustainable Shopping for Children’s Clothes

For the past 365 days, our followers and friends have witnessed our family go through the beautiful transition to a sustainable, mindful and minimal way of living. This transition started with one crazy and chaotic place: MY CLOSET. Before having children, and maybe even that first year while dealing with postpartum depression, I had a serious shopping addiction.

Mix a shopping addiction with zero knowledge into the horrific conditions of the fast fashion industry, and you got yourself a pretty ugly situation.

The research into sustainable, fair trade and mindful consumerism started about 18 months ago, and I have been absolutely hooked ever since. As a result, I took my time learning and understanding how much of the system works and took these tips and tricks to my own closet.

I swear…once I tackled that monster, everything else seemed to fall into place. Our kitchen, pantry, and even living room followed suit. One particular place that I have really come to love is the bedroom of my twin toddlers which features an open closet. Their closet is exactly what a child’s closet should look like:

Sweet, Simple and Easy to Work With.

By choosing each piece carefully and mindfully, I was able to create a sort of capsule wardrobe for my children without much work. It’s interesting how taking our time with selection, taking into account how many times the child will wear each piece, and sizing up for longer use can really transform any closet into a fully “usable” sustainable closet. So many times, we forget that clothes are meant to be worn over and over again until their life cycle has ended and not just a trend to toss away. Choosing wisely can mean the difference between a closet that works for you or against you.

If you are ready to explore the magical world of sustainable, second hand, fair trade (and more!) fashion for kids, look no further than this Full Guide to Sustainable Shopping for Children’s Clothes!

Saving Money While Saving the World!

First Up: Help Clothes to Reach The End of Their Lifecycle #30Wears and Beyond

Sustainable Shopping for Children's Clothes

Second-Hand Finds: From their heads to their toes!

First of all, what some of you may (or may not) know about our family is that we shop primarily second hand. Our sons clothes are 100% from my grandmother and mother’s garage sale finds since birth, and we did not start to introduce “new” clothing until every single last piece of their amazing finds had reached the end of their cycle with the boys. This simply means that my sons grew out of them all quite fast – as most children do.

This is something that we all need to keep in mind as parents. Children grow quickly.

Too quickly for new clothes to have any chance of sustainability in a child’s closet. 

The most sustainable and eco-friendly thing that you can do as a consumer of children’s fashion is to shop second hand, vintage, rentals or any other means to help the clothes reach the end of their life cycles. Our goal here is to use and wear these materials as many times as possible before recycling or upcycling. We are talking about sustainability here and this is the facts: Nothing is more sustainable than what has already been made.

I am in no way saying that you shouldn’t feel free to support the many fair trade, ethical, eco-friendly and even upcycled brands out there. Just keep in mind that adding second-hand items to your children’s closets will genuinely help a pretty big crisis that we are facing in the world today.

Second Hand Shopping

Second Hand Online Shops

  • ThredUP: The Largest Kids‘ Consignment and Thrift Store Online

  • Kid’s Dress Smart: Where 60% of proceeds of every sale sent directly to Children’s Charities

  • Kidizen: Kidizen is your resale marketplace to buy, sell, and swap your kid’s clothing, gear, toys, decor and more.

  • Little Luxuries: Gently worn, preloved, secondhand designer children and baby clothing brands

  • Baby Outfitter: Everything listed on Baby Outfitter is “like new” and they are very picky about selections and what they will sell!

  • Loopster UK: Where quality kid’s clothes live on

  • Facebook MarketPlace: A gem that has saved us a ton of money on everything from wooden toys to emergency shoes when our kids both shot up 2 sizes in under a month!

Second Hand Shops Nearest You (Physical Stores)

  • The Thrift Shopper Website: Simply type in your zip code and a huge directory of nearest consignment shops, goodwill shops and so forth will come up for you to check out!

  • Thriftigo APP: Download this app to keep second-hand store information readily available on your phone wherever you are!

  • Thrift Store Listings: Another helpful directory of local thrift stores based on your location.

Rental Companies for Sustainable Children’s Clothes

Renting clothes is such a fantastic way to stay sustainable but also have fun! From birthday parties to photoshoots, you can have exactly what you want and return back to the company for the item to make another child (and parent) happy!

  • Rainey’s Closet: Just one look at this gorgeous website and you will know that you can find just about any precious and gorgeous piece for any occasion. From fairy dresses, formal dresses and adorable bow and ties….you cannot go wrong with this rental service for any special occasion.

  • The Borrowed Boutique: Another gorgeous rental service that has a bit more clothing for boys as I noticed. I even saw a top hat!

  • Sylette Co: Another great rental company located in sunny Los Angelos!

  • Magical Clothing Rental Canada: A gorgeous rental store for our Canadian friends! Thousands to choose from and easy return service.

  • Bundlee UK: A very cool and more laid back version of the rental service for our UK friends. You can find pretty much everything on this rental site!

  • Circos Rental for Kids and Maternity: This rental is for kids up to 2 years old and new mamas in Europe!

Sustainable Shopping for Children's Clothes

Guide to Sustainable Shopping for Children’s Clothes

Shopping For New Clothes: Tips & Tricks

While second hand will forever have a special place in my heart, I will say that there is something quite special about finding that *perfect* piece of clothing that just meets every single one of your needs without having to go through countless shops and racks. Sometimes, no matter how long you look, you will not find that particular item that you need second hand. Do not fear; these tips will help you to keep your sustainable goals in check while also saving money and a few headaches along the way.

Sustainable Shopping for Children's Clothes

Alessandro in a brand new Petit Tembo sweatshirt that just exceeded all of our expectations. 

Go For the Basics

While the flashing shoes and tasselled shirts may intrigue your child at the shop, I urge you to get the basics down first before thinking of going with any trends. Basics include solid and durable t-shirts, long sleeves, sweaters, zip-ups, leggings, thermals, dungarees, rain suits/all-weather suits, rain boots, barefoot shoes, all-weather breathable hats, gloves, circular scarves, durable and warm socks, and any imperative weather gear for where you are living.
Each one of these basics should come in a solid or easy to clean print. While I always recommend going second hand with most of any child’s closet, some superb brands offer these basics. One brand that I always check out sale season (late summer and late winter) is Patagonia. They have, by far, the best layering pieces that I have encountered. I stock up during sale season, and I always keep on eye out for them when second-hand shopping.

Size Up 1-2 Sizes

One of the easiest things that you can do to help your child’s clothes have a longer (and happier!) life is to have them worn as much as possible!

One easy way to do this is by sizing up 1-2 sizes, depending on your child. I personally size up 2 sizes for the boys and it has worked beautifully. This year we’ve only had to purchase 2 pairs of pants and 2 extra sweatshirts for the chilly weather. By sizing up, I saved a significant amount of money!
While my sons currently fit in a size 2T, I only search for 4T and even have all of our collaborations send over the larger sizes. Any parent can easily roll up or hem the clothes to fit the child at the time and let them out over the years. You do not have to be any sort of professional tailor here, I promise you! I do the simple roll-up method, and it works like a charm.

Sustainable Shopping for Children's Clothes

Guide to Sustainable Shopping for Children’s Clothes

Ask The Question: How Many Times Will This Be Worn?

While we will be asking many questions along the way, this first question will help you to steer clear of any items that you should save for the RENTAL category. If you hold up an item and cannot guarantee that your child will hit at least 30 wears, then simply put it down and step away from the item (this is a wonderful trick to work for parents too!).
If you can guarantee that the item will be work 30+ times, then you can move on to the following questions…

Two Key Follow Up Questions

Here are two key questions to ask before adding the item to your little one’s closet for the most sustainable and ethical approach:

  • Who made this and under what conditions? A simple question that should be asked before purchasing any item. Most importantly, a sustainable company will have this information readily available to you without any trouble whatsoever. In fact, the good guys want to share this information with you more than anything!
  • What is this made of? Take a look at the tag and check out the fabrics. Is it organic? Synthetic? Does it contain flame retardants? All very good questions to answer before allowing the item into your home and opening your wallet to support the brand.
a child picks his mother a flower

Guide to Sustainable Shopping for Children’s Clothes

Always Choose Natural Fibers over Synthetic

Linen, Cotton (organic is best) and hemp are some of the best materials for children’s clothing. Synthetic materials do have a place in fashion for durable swimsuits and even winter jackets, but try your best to keep these purchases for the second-hand category. We want to aim to decrease the use of plastic in the fashion industry and your money truly does make a huge difference.

Natural fibers are best for the environment and your children for so many reasons:

  • Natural fibers cause much less (or zero) irritation to skin.
  • Natura fibers are much less resource-intensive to produce and manufacture.
  • Synthetic materials “shed” microplastics that have been found sneaking their way into our very own drinking water.
  • Many synthetic materials use toxic production processes that are harmful to the waterways, the garment workers and the person who wears the item.

Learn How to Mend, Repair and Upcycle

One of the best ways to help to reduce waste your very own home is to learn just a few simple tricks of the trade. This can be as simple as learning how to sew, hem, patch and upcycle old clothes and broken items around the house. Like we always say, there is nothing more sustainable than what you already own!

You can find a local sewing class, take a few online lessons via youtube or even host a little “trade” party! I have actually been to a few fun coffee dates where my friend’s mother and grandmother would come and they would teach us something fun like knitting, baking an epic cake or even tips & tricks to help with the little ones. These are marvelous gifts to learn from the hand of an expert and I cannot tell you how much I cherished learning these skills from these amazing women.

Guide to Shopping Sustainably for Kids

Guide to Sustainable Shopping for Children’s Clothes

There you have it! Just a few helpful ways to shop with a more mindful and sustainable approach. I promise you; once you start you will be absolutely amazed at how GREAT it feels to be part of the sustainable movement. We need you. The World needs us to be much more mindful and conscious of our consumer decisions. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and I would love to hear your own tips and tricks to sustainable living!

p.s. Check out our top 5 sustainable and ethical children’s brands here!

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homemade turmeric Playdoh
Homemade Playdoh with Turmeric Powder

Homemade Playdoh with Turmeric Powder

Spoiler Alert: The Video (below) of our family making playdoh was our FIRST ever attempt!! It was so much easier than I had anticipated and I am thrilled to share this extremely easy homemade recipe with you all today. Homemade playdoh with turmeric powder….it’s genius.

I first heard about this recipe while researching Waldorf and Montessori ideas for toddlers and then it just seemed to follow me around everywhere. Just a few days ago I had one of my favorite Instagram Zero Waste Gals @PlantedInTheWoods post photos of her making playdoh with beetroot and turmeric powder and I thought to myself…ok…It’s time we do this!!

I do hope you all enjoy this recipe; it was so much fun!

Homemade Turmeric Playdoh

We like to keep our waste low by using things that we already have around the house to play with the playdoh. The boys love to use their knives, forks, and spoons from the kitchen as well as various seeds, dried fruit, rocks, sticks and even feathers from their nature table.

With just 20 minutes set aside (and enough food coloring or powders to go around), you can very well make an entire rainbow of playdoh for your children to enjoy! The dough will last about 3 months if stored properly.

Homemade Turmeric Playdoh

What are the Benefits of Playdoh??

  • Enhances Fine Motor Skills! The constant rolling, squishing, flattening and molding of the playdoh strengthens and develops the child’s hands.
  • Improves Pre-Writing Skills by improving the pincer grip.
  • Imagination and Creativity with the unlimited possibilities that await them!
  • Soothes and Calms the child; Allows for concentration and a new way to express emotions.
  • Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Increases Curiosity; by blending colors and building whatever their heart desires!
Homemade Playdoh with Turmeric

Homemade Turmeric Powder Playdoh

This is such a short and sweet treat for your kiddos; just mix together the ingredients, knead and you have your very own homemade (and natural!) playdoh 🙂
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: how to
Keyword: all natural, homemade playdoh, toxic free, zero waste parenting
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 large ball
Cost: A few dollars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 tbsp citric acid
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder Less or more; depending on the color you want
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

Instructions

  • Start by combining the flour, salt, citric acid, oil and turmeric powder. Mix well and adjust the turmeric powder as needed for your color choice. Feel free to swap the powder out for some food coloring; just use as much as you wish for the color of choice.
  • Once well mixed, add in the 3/4 cup of boiling water. The water will take right to the mixture and seem like not enough but it is perfect; just begin to mix together until dough forms. I like to use my hands in the bowl and then transfer the playdoh to the countertop to knead.
  • Knead and knead until the dough is nice and smooth. Store in a wax wrap or an airtight container to keep. It will last about 3 months if properly taken care of!

Notes

**Do not dispose of the playdoh when it has reached the end of its life. Instead, check out these awesome tips from WonderBrains for old playdoh!

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Yuhme Water Bottle
The Most Sustainable Water Bottle in the World by Yuhme

The Most Sustainable Water Bottle In the World by Yuhme

Our family has been on such an amazing sustainable and zero waste journey and sharing what we have learned through first-hand experiences is one of my favorite things to do on this blog. Today I wanted to chat about one of the most basic beginnings of a zero waste journey: the water bottle. Not JUST the water bottle itself, but the water inside as well.

Do you ever stop and think about how lucky you are to have the privilege of one of the most important and basic necessities of life? Do you ever stop and think about how easy it is to turn on a faucet and have what some children consider to be gold?

How lucky the majority of us on social media are to have clean water flowing through our fountains, taps, and streams?

Do you ever stop, at all, to take this in?

Right now, 785 million people lack a basic drinking water service, including 144 million people who are dependent on surface water. Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source that is contaminated with feces. Contaminated water can transmit many diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio. This contaminated water is accountable for over 485,000 deaths each year. By 2025, half of the World’s population will be living in water-stressed areas.

These problems almost seem too big….just too intense for most people.

Yuhme Water Bottle

How can we solve this problem? How can we help? Is there a way???

And that’s why, when I heard of this amazing sustainable and zero waste company who not only created the worlds most sustainable water bottle in the world but also gives 6 months of clean water for each one sold, I had to jump on board.

Yuhme is a company that has created waterbottles out of pure sugar cane. These bottles are just as light as plastic with the fantastic ability to biodegrade back to the Earth after their life has come to an end. Not only are they sustainable, but they provide 6 months of clean drinking water to folks in the Central African Republic.

We need more companies like this. The ones who step up.

We need to support those who are fighting the good fight against the denial of basic human rights to our fellow, and equal, human beings.
https://yuhme.se/products/the-change

Each bottle provides at least 3 months of clean water to one person in the Central African Republic via Yuhme’s partner “Water for Good”.

  • Made from sugarcane
  • Is CO2 negative
  • BPA free & toxin-free
  • 100% recyclable
  • Holds 750ml
  • Dishwasher safe
  • One-handed design
  • Designed & produced in Sweden
  • Fits in standard cup holders.
  • Shipping WORLDWIDE
  • Includes a flip-top lid

Climate Change, by the time it takes effect, will rob us of nothing. We will likely be dead or very old waiting for that final nail in the proverbial coffin but this isn’t about us. It’s about what we leave behind, the only thing of any real worth that we leave, the next generation, our children.

p.s. If you dig this, check out our other zero-waste/sustainable posts!

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