Surviving a Pandemic- the Earth-friendly Way

Everywhere you look, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and soap are missing from shelves. Clorox wipes are nowhere to be found, and everything is cancelled!

The Coronavirus has been in the news for 2 months straight. Now that schools are closed and many people are working from home, the effects of this virus are being felt by everyone. If you are like me and want to be prepared (not panicked) in this time of dwindling resources and supplies, here are a few things to help you get through this time.

Take Care of Yourself

Dr. Jolene Brighten shared on her Instagram account:

  • Minimize stress, including stressing about the coronavirus.”
  • Get quality sleep. Rest when you need it. Don’t be ashamed to nap!”
  • Exercise. You don’t need to kick up the intensity but moving your body while you are well can benefit your health overall.”
  • Nourish your body. Eat nutrient dense foods. Now is a good time to avoid alcohol.”

Look to Reusable Options

If you’re having a hard time tracking down toilet paper, tissue, or paper towels, you’re not alone! For some reason panic leads to TP shortage. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  But now is a great time to move away from single-use.

The challenge with single-use options is that you have to buy it again and again. Re-usable options are great because they are just that- re-usable!

When you’re tired of buying them again and again…
Unpaper Towels and Cloth Napkins

Here are a few Etsy shops with great options:

Cutest patterns: The Tailored Home

Most multi-functional: 20-24 Unpaper Towels

Most economical: Reilly’s Reusables

When people are hoarding and you run out of tissues…
Handkerchiefs

For on-the-go: TheLastTissue

Organic Flannel: My Eco World

Sampler Pack: Joy in the Home

Pretty Prints: Artichautcreations

When you’re desperate…
Reusable Toilet Paper

To keep on the roll with snaps: Green and Happy Shop

2-ply prints: Organic Craft Store

Cloths that do the job: Eco Collective

Make It Yourself

I have made so many of One Essential Community’s recipes, and they all have turned out so well.

So this week, when I couldn’t find any hand soap or sanitizers in the stores, I went here first and was not disappointed.

Hand Soap:

I follow the rest of the recipe, but for the essential oils I added 25 drops of Thieves oil blend. This blend has great germ-kicking power!

9 drops clove, 6 drops lemon, 4 drops cinnamon bark, 3 drops eucalyptus, 2 drops rosemary

Hand Sanitizer:

Save your old hand sanitizer to-go bottles to re-fill! Also if you can’t find any rubbing alcohol, just pick up some cheap vodka instead.

Disinfecting Spray:

You can still find these in stores, but I prefer to clean my house without all the chemicals!

Skincare That Loves You Back

If you are anything like me, you might have a love-hate relationship with your skin. Overall, I am pretty lucky with the skin I’m in, but it can be sensitive and moody at times. I was also blessed to have relatively clear skin during puberty, but now I’m struggling with minor acne in my 20’s. Great!

My search for excellent products that check all “Three Loves boxes” (Good for You, Good for the Earth, and Good for Others) is not over, but I wanted to share with you a few brands and products that I have found and tried, AND they work!

In the next few blog posts, I will be highlighting my daily facial routine, body soaps and lotions, and even deodorant! But before I get into that I wanted to share about what I look for in products and a few awesome resources!

Just Say No!

What we put on our skin is just as important as what we put in our body. While your body does not absorb EVERYTHING that it comes in contact with (thankfully!), I just don’t like the idea of putting potentially harmful chemicals on or in my body when there are healthy alternatives!

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Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

freewaters 1

Out of everything, finding ethically-made shoes has been the hardest for me. I am slowly finding more and more companies that are sustainably and ethically producing shoes. I also prefer not to buy shoes second-hand because I have heard that it’s not the best for your feet.

Check out these four companies that have given me great results.

Stylish boots, cute sandals, and great shoe options for the workplace. Very classic, quality leather, and ethically made in Peru. The ethics of their company is very important to them, and they make their shoes to last.

I have made several purchases from this company, and a few didn’t work out. Their customer service is excellent, and they even gave me a discount code to put towards my next purchase when they made an error. I definitely recommend this brand for quality shoes you’ll keep for years.

For the longest time, I struggled to find an ethically-made tennis shoe that fit my style. Then one day, I came across Allbirds, and I was sold! They are made from trees, and they are sustainable, eco-friendly, and ethically-made.

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Your Ethically-Made Clothing Guide

Image result for ethically made clothes symbolMy first ever consciously ethical clothing purchase was a pair of running shorts and a maroon sweater from my friend and fellow heptathlete, Becky. She and her friends had decided to sell all of their unethically made clothes and use the money to purchase only ethically-made clothes. It was their own social experiment called the Lighten Project (which I mentioned in my ‘Clothing’ introduction post). Becky’s decision inspired me to know who made my clothes and were they treated fairly.

I learned that there are over 40 million slaves globally. That’s more than there ever has been before, even during the days of the Atlantic slave trade! “Human trafficking generates $150B annually.”* And much of human trafficking is in the supply chains and factories where our clothes are made. While I never purposely contributed to human trafficking, I quickly realized that my purchases were supporting these companies and the enslavement of people. How could I support that?

So I started looking for brands and clothes that were ethically-conscious. I quickly learned that they tend to be more expensive, but I knew that the people who made them were being treated and paid fairly. To me, it’s worth it. I also quickly learned to buy less!

Check out my clothing guide for some of my favorite brands:

1. Jeans and Pants

One of the hardest things for me to switch over has been jeans, but I really love Prana’s London Jeans. They have the same slim fit that I was used to with American Eagle’s jeans. Their jeans also come in short, regular, and long! The material is very comfortable and stretchy.

I also bought a couple pairs of their other pants for work. I’m a kindergarten teacher so I need to be able to move around, be comfortable, but also look cute and professional. I tried Prana’s Brenna Pant and their Carlotta Crop. I LOVE them both!

Some of their pants are very “outdoorsy,” but many of them are perfect for every day AND you could wear them on your next hiking adventure.

What’s more??? Their clothes are bluesign®Certified (good for the earth), Fair Trade Certified, and they use organic cotton, recycled wool, and recycled down in their products.

Continue reading “Your Ethically-Made Clothing Guide”

Ethical, Sustainable Brands

I know that shopping ethical and sustainable brands can be daunting. And the price tags scare many people away. I know that shopping this way isn’t for everyone, but I challenge those who are willing to shop at Anthropologie, Lululemon, Nike, Free People, the Gap, etc. These brands cost the same (if not less). Why not use your money to support fair wages and a better environment? My first step was to say “no” to fast fashion. The average American throws away 81 pounds of clothes per year! By buying clothes that are made to last and by buying less, I now see my clothes as an investment rather than a fad. I’m off on a trip to Tahiti with my family so I wanted to share with you my go-to ethical and sustainable brands that I made sure to pack!

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Home

“Who makes my sheets?”
“How much plastic do I use and waste in my kitchen?”
“Are these cleaning products actually healthy?”

These are some of the most recent questions I have been asking myself. Let me be clear: becoming a conscious consumer is a process! I have been exploring this lifestyle for a few years, and I am just starting to get to this category.

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Clothing

In 2016, a few friends from Westmont College started a blog called Lighten Project, and I was inspired to think about where my clothes, shoes, necklace, and purse came from. How many people were enslaved in the supply chain to make my shirt? I decided that in order to love others, I needed to not support the companies that were creating unsafe working conditions and paying unfair wages.

Continue reading “Clothing”