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!

Sustainable Living

Fairmont Copley X World Food Day

October 16th marks World Food Day, this year’s theme is “Our Actions are Our Future”. Did you know, about 150,000 tons of food are thrown away by American households EVERY DAY! World Food Day strives to educate people about food waste and actions they can take to achieve a Zero Hunger World by 2030!

Recently I have been researching sustainability efforts by local hotels. I was happy to learn that the Fairmont Copley is participating in World Food Day as part of their sustainability efforts. Today a ‘Zero Waste’ meal will be offered in OAK Long Bar + Kitchen and on the room-service menu, limiting the amount of waste created today! The best part? 100% of sales from the ‘Zero Waste’ dish will be donated to Boston Rescue Mission. Tonight, after work swing by OAK for dinner and try the ‘Zero Waste’ meal!

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Halibut Cakes $15, with brussels sprouts, butternut squash, pickled shallot and Mache.

Today The Fairmont Copley celebrates World Food Day, but they are striving to be more sustainable everyday. Hotels historically have been responsible for creating large amounts of waste, on average hotels create 2 pounds of waste per guest per night! To curb this The Fairmont Copley participates in the sustainability program Planet 21. Some of their on-going ‘eco-gestures’ include:

-Energy efficient lighting
-Le Labo bath products in guest rooms are paraben-free, cruelty-free, and use organic extracts. The biodegradable containers are made from recycled water and soft drink bottles.
-The hotel partners with BRITA Vivreau to supply reusable glass bottles for water service during all meetings hosted inside the hotel in an effort to reduce water wastage
– ~10,000 bees arrived to the hotel’s beehives in April and will be maintained by Best Bees to help with honey harvesting for various food and beverage offerings and to help pollinate the city. (This is the one I am most excited about!)

Having on-going programs like this help hotels limit the amount of waste the create and become more sustainable. The Fairmont Copley has been a part of the Boston community since 1912. Similarly my family has long roots in Boston, when my dad was in college he worked at the Fairmont Copley as a bellhop and a valet. I am happy to see them leading the way on sustainability. Happy World Food Day!

 

Sustainable Living

Denim Recycling

Did you know those classic blue jeans you love are actually one of the biggest polluters in the textile industry? I am a fan of jeans, I buy probably one new pair every year and tend to keep them for years. But those jeans come at a heft environmental cost, the process of making and dying denim is a major environmental problem.

Lets look at some facts:

-Nearly 2 billion jeans are produced annually world wide.

-Up to 2,000 gallons of water are used to make an average pair of jeans

-Over a pairs life time up to 300 gallons are used to keep them clean

-Garment dying is the second largest source of water pollution in the world

I am never going to stop wearing jeans, they are a staple for my wardrobe every season. There are several really great eco-initiatives to limit the environmental impact of the denim industry.

Some of my favorites include the Madewell Denim Recycling program. Did you know you can bring any used pair of jeans into a Madewell store and they will recycling them through a program Blue Jeans Go Green, your old jeans will then get turning into housing insulation. Any denim product is eligible and Madewell will even give you $20 off your next pair of jeans. So far 191 Tons of waste have been recycled through Madewell’s partnership with Blue Jean Go Green. Thats 191 tons of denim that did not end up in a landfill!

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Last year after Mike’s dad passed he took his old jeans that were too worn to be donated to our local Madewell store, the sales associate was surprised and told him that people never bring their jeans in. Why not? I am a big fan of donating but when clothes that are to worn get donated they risk being thrown out. Madewell is a great option! In Boston there are store locations on Newbury St and the Prudential Center, but no matter where you are there is probably a Madewell near by.

Sustainable fashion is often tied to minimalism. If you identify as a minimalist more power to you, I do not. But no matter what your personal style is you can make more eco-friendly fashion choices. Look for brans that use organic cotton and eco-friendly dying processes, and you can make eco-friendly choices even when it comes to how you dispose of your clothes..

Stay tuned for my list of favorite sustainable clothing brands, best eco-friendly hotels, and much much more.

Repair – Recycling – Donate

Sustainable Living

Sustainable Living

Today’s blog post I am launching a new section of Katie From Boston, “Sustainable Living”.  I got my degree in Public Policy and 9-5 I work in professional politics. This blog has always been my creative outlet, it has been a place to talk about my favorite brands, best weekend trips etc.

But recently I have been struggling to keep my 9-5 out of this blog. The political discourse in the country is upsetting to say the least. I want to provide more value than just posting cute outfits. I want to talk about why I shop where I do, and why I steer clear of the brands I do. I want to raise the level of conversation surrounding fashion and lifestyle blogs. You shouldn’t just buy something because its cute (all though we have all been there). I for a long time have preached quality of quantity, today I want to talk about sustainability over fast fashion.

Lets look at some facts:

-Garment dying is the second largest source of water pollution in the world

-Textile recycling rates are extremely low

-The Average American generates 8 pounds of textile waste each year (that 11 million tons of textile waste from the US alone EVERY YEAR!)

People are consuming more clothes than every before. Today Town and Country published an article about Kate Middleton’s boots, that she has had for 10 years! This is shocking because no one keeps things for more than a season anymore it seems. Now Kate’s boots are $400+ but the point stands. There are brands out there that are producing quality, ethical, and sustainable textiles.

This is something I have been trying to be more conscious of over the past 9 months. Its not going to happen over night, I’m not saying you need to run out and buy a new wardrobe tomorrow. But lets start making better choices moving forward. When you go to buy something new, ask yourself if there is something in your closet that you can make work. Take your leather boots to the cobbler for repair instead of buying a new pair every fall. The market goes where consumers tell it to. This is just an introduction to this new section of Katie From Boston, stay tuned for guides to shopping sustainable, where to donate your old clothes, quick fixes and repairs, most sustainable hotels, and much much more! Lets raise the conversation in the fashion blogger community. And remember-

Repair – Recycling – Donate