Sustainable Living

Eco-Makeover Your Bathroom

Many have the desire to live more sustainably but don’t know where to start. I firmly believe that making small changes to your everyday life can make a big difference. Today we’re talking bathroom, small swaps you can make that will help you produce less waste every year.

1. Toilet Paper

We all need it but some brands are better than others. American’s use 50% more toilet paper than Europeans every year, consuming over 12 billion roles! Try to make conscious choices on how much you use and what brands you buy. The recent report “Issues with Tissues” graded some top toilet paper brands on their sustainability and some passed with flying colors while others failed to meet basic sustainability standards. A few of my go-to brands are Trader Joe’s Bath Tissues and 365 Bath Tissue. toilet-paper-1550692574169-1550692577064

2. Tooth Brush

Americans throw out 1 Billion toothbrushes every year, that is enough to wrap around the earth 4 times! The average tooth brush is made of polypropylene plastic and nylon, which produces greenhouse gases 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and we dump 50 million pounds of plastic toothbrushes in landfills every year! There are a few things you can do to limit the amount of waste you create cleaning your teeth every year: recycle your plastic tooth brush, if you have a plastic tooth brush currently be sure you toss it in the recycle bin instead of the trash, currently only 20% of plastic toothbrushes are recycled every year. When it comes time to buy a new tooth brush my number one recommendation is switching to a bamboo tooth brush there are some great options out there, I like this pack of 4 so you and the whole family can make the switch! Or switch to an electronic toothbrush the ISSA it requires only a 1 hour charge every 6 months, so you will use less electricity and the head only needs to be replaced so you are wasting less.

3. Razors

I am really bad about throwing out my razors I tend to grab a new one and then just toss it on the ledge of the tub with the other used razors. I looked at the pile of razors one day and was disgusted by the amount of single use plastic I was consuming. I go through probably 2-3 razors a month so roughly 36 razors a year! Not to mention shaving cream, the packaging these razors came in etc etc. Looking to make a switch I checked out one of my favorite stores Lush, I love all their naked product options, meaning there is no packaging. They make a D’Fluff shaving soap that is perfect for swapping out the old canister of synthetic, chemical packed shaving creams you get at the drug store. Now the for getting rid of those pesky plastic disposable razors, safety razors are making a come back! Now you might be picturing the razor a barber uses to shave your man’s face. Well fortunately there is an at home, leg shaving friendly option! The upfront cost is more than your standard pack of razors but will last you a lifetime and the replacement blades only cost one dollar! You will save series money over the course of your life!

And there you have it! Three totally doable swaps that will significantly reduce the amount of waste you send to landfills every year. The production of plastic toothbrushes and razors creates a lot of greenhouse gases, when demand goes down so will production, it is simply an economic issue, and you have the answer. How are you striving to make your bathroom more eco-friendly?

Sustainable Living

Beach, Pick that Up

Brant Point is one of my favorite spots on Nantucket, the second you see it on the ferry coming in you know you’ve arrived! When I was on Nantucket last weekend for Daffy, Brant Point was decorated for the occasion with a giant Daffodil wreath. It was my first “beach trip” of the year and a great time to remind everyone about the importance of keeping our beaches clean. So here are my top 3 tips on how you can do your part! IMG_6290

1. Leave nothing behind

Always take your trash with you, straws, plastic bags, soda cans, beer bottles, all these things can cause harm is they end up in our oceans. Bring a bag with you can take everything home and properly dispose or recycle it. Bonus tip, opt for packing everything in a reusable tote instead of using a plastic bag that could potentially blow away and end up in the ocean.

2. Pick up 3 pieces of trash

Before you leave the beach, whether you were there all day or just stopped by to put your feet in the water, take 5 minutes to walk around and pick up at least 3 pieces of trash.

3. Smoking is bad for you and the beach!

Don’t smoke on the beach. For starters you’re not aloud to smoke on public beaches, you are exposing others to second hand smoke, and the cigarette butts left behind are a huge source of pollution. All that poison that you choose to put in your lungs is your business but when it ends up in the ocean, impacting animals, plants, and ecosystems thats everyone’s business. Don’t vape either, just cause its gross and no one wants to smell that or see a big cloud of vape every few minutes when they’re trying to enjoy the beach.

Going to the beach is one of my favorite summer activities and what we do on shore has major effects on what happens under the sea. Be responsible this summer and do your part to save our oceans! Please share these tips with others and post about your sustainability efforts on social media to spread the word.

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Please share how you’re doing your part with me in Instagram @katiefromboston!

Sustainable Living

What you should watch this Earth Day!

I love documentaries and there are so many great ones out there about the environment and ways to be more sustainable. It’s Earth Day, a day to remind us all that climate change is real, it is caused by humans, and it is up to us to change our behaviors before total catastrophe. A little heavy for Monday?

Maybe.

But tonight when you get home from work and you’re sitting down to decide what to watch you should choose one of these amazing documentaries, here are a few of my favorites.

1. A Plastic Ocean

From island shores, the ocean floor, to instead animals. Plastic is plaguing it oceans. This documentary takes a deep look at how the plastic build up is harming people, animals, and the overall health of our environment. Hopefully this documentary will inspire you to actually use that reusable water bottle in your kitchen, bring a reusable mug to the coffee shop in the morning, and stop buying single use plastic.

2. Chasing Coral

I love this one! See the beauty that is our deep ocean and learn how global warming is threatening the coral reefs. If you’ve never heard the term coral bleaching then you have to watch this one, it will break your heart! After watching this documentary you should look into your cities carbon neutral goals, or lack their of, and get involved! Write to your local representatives and ask them what they are doing to reduce carbon emissions in your home!

3. The True Cost

This is one of the first documentaries that really inspired me to make a change. Fast fashion is one of the biggest polluters on earth. Not only so many fast fashion brands pollute water and the air, they participate in dangerous and in humane labor practices. Think before you shop!

4. Our Planet

A Netflix 8 part series that covers our jungles, coral reefs, frozen tundras, and all the other ecosystems that make up our planet. I’ve been watching this one and it is gut wrenching to see the destruction we as a human race have caused. I wouldn’t recommend binging this one, it is a lot to take in.

Happy Earth Day everyone, let me know in the comments what you’ve don’t recently to love more sustainably!

Sustainable Living

Sustainable Bathroom Hacks

Trying to live more sustainably can be intimidating. Where do you start? I think one of the easiest swaps to make can be in your bathroom! The best thing is that you can stagger the swaps, as you run out of your current products replace them with a more sustainable option. This way your not dropping a ton of money all at once and can slowly transition to a sustainable bathroom!

1. Shampoo Bars

Recently I have been using Lush Naked shampoo! They have tons of different scents and shampoos for different hair types. Naked products just means that it doesn’t come in a bottle. I have long hair and used to go through probably 3 shampoo bottles every year. I know it seems small to eliminate three plastic bottles a year but if everyone made this change it would make a huge difference, next time you run out of shampoo opt for a bar instead of a bottle. Just work the bar up to a lather then run it through your hair! I love this scent from Lush, but you can find shampoo bars and conditioner bars at tons of places.

2. Bamboo Tooth Brush

Every year over a billion plastic tooth brushes end up in landfills in North America alone! I go through a lot of tooth brushes, every time I travel I forget my tooth brush and end up buying a new one. Anytime you get sick, especially with something like strep throat or the flu, you should get a new tooth brush. Its no wonder so many tooth brushes end up in landfills and the remain there indefinitely because they take hundreds of years to decompose. Getting a bamboo tooth brush is such an easy swap. I ordered this 4 Pack off amazon so I can have back ups for when I inevitably loose one at a hotel!

3. Tampons, Pads, and Condoms

I could do an entire post just on this one. Not only are most feminine care products and sexual health products terrible for the environment, most of them are really bad for you! Think about it, you are putting these items inside of you but most products are made from synthetic products filled with harmful chemicals. Do you really want to put that in one of the most absorbent parts of your body? Sustain Natural is a female owned company that create sustainable tampons, pads, condoms, and more! These products are better for you and the earth, and SUPER BONUS they give 10% of their profits to women’s healthcare organizations. I made the switch to Sustain Natural tampons and am really happy with them.

The bathroom is one of the easier rooms to make more sustainable, we use so many different products and it can really add up if you don’t pay attention. Making a few swaps can cut down on the amount of waste you create every year significantly. These are the three swaps I have made recently, have you made any sustainable swaps recently?

Sustainable Living

Halloween Pumpkin

Growing up my elementary school had an annual pumpkin carving contest. I always wanted to win scariest pumpkin, I tried carving scary faces, a Halloween cat, monsters etc. As it turns out the scariest thing about our Jack-o-lanterns is what happens to them after Halloween.

Let’s look at some facts:

-Every year 1.3 Billion pounds of pumpkins grown in the US end up in landfills

-Organic waste (like pumpkins) left in landfills release methane gas, which has 20 times the warming effect of other common greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

So this year I challenge you to use your pumpkin in a sustainable way!

I am no cook but anyone can bake pumpkin seeds. While you’re carving set the seeds aside and bake them at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes. Then you’ll have a tasty and healthy snack. All October long people are crazy for pumpkin flavored everything! Use your pumpkin to make soup, bread, or pie. Couple of tips: hold off on carving until the day before or day of Halloween, and don’t let your pumpkin sit around for days and rot.

If pumpkin baked goods are not your thing you can still compost it or feed it to wild life. Growing up we always tossed our pumpkins in the far corner of the yard for the squirrels. Live in the city and don’t have a yard? Check out composting programs for city dwellers. Here is my favorite in Boston but there a tons of different programs that help you compost in your apartment or community gardens often have composts! There are so many alternatives to throwing your pumpkin in the trash. Living sustainably is about making all those small choices that add up to big change. I hope everyone has a Happy and Sustainable Halloween!