Waste-less Shopping Goals

I love shopping. However not the shopping you are probably thinking about. I love grocery shopping. I lay the blame for my shopping addiction partially at the door of the Trader Joe’s store that just moved in down the road from me and partially on my love of good food. But my need for dark chocolate peanut butter cups aside I find the whole exercise of planning my meals, getting my shopping list and strolling around the store (ignoring my shopping list) quite relaxing.
As Rachael and I discussed this month’s theme of zero waste and being more environmentally friendly I realized that my approach to shopping is far from earth friendly. I tend to shop last minute or when the urge grabs me and my lack of planning can lead to buying things I don’t need. So in an attempt to avoid the pitfalls of impulse grocery shopping (for some people its shoes for me its random cheeses) I have decided to focus on five specific goals to help me move toward a zero-waste lifestyle when it comes to shopping:

1) ALWAYS bring my reusable bag. I have a few bags I can use instead of paper or plastic at the store, but I always seem to forget them at home. My solution to that is I will keep one in my car and then even if I forget my preferred giant bag I will have it. Additionally, if I get to the store and I don’t have it I can just tell them to forgo the bags and I will load directly in to my car.

2692C1E0-3914-4203-8BBE-B08EBD8F316ABA0E01B7-86A1-4C95-B823-E2B1FB48BC06

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) Along the same lines as number 1 I have purchased several canvas bags to deal with all my produce and bulk bin buys. They just came yesterday so I am excited to try them out. I just explored a few options on Amazon until I found some from “Organic Cotton Mart” what would work for me.
3) Make a shopping list and stick to it. This for me is about limiting food waste, I often come home with too much and then I end up throwing out food.
4) Try to buy glass containers or easily recyclable ones where possible. There are often choices between plastic and glass-I am going to be more mindful of this and go for what can be recycled.
5) Finally, I am going to try to consolidate my shopping trips so that I am not over buying (see number 3) and am saving gas in the process.
So, these are my goals. I would love to hear any other suggestions that people have for more mindful shopping and if you want to follow along with this month’s challenge let us know how it goes!

Start with a Small Space

Everyone has those places in their house. Where you think “if I could JUST get this space organized everything in my life would fall in to place”, that one small area that is holding you back from success! 🙂 For me, that area was under my sink. It seemed to mock me with its lack of organization and reminded me of all the goals I had yet to accomplish-for example my desire to rid my house of as many chemicals as I could. A fine goal to be sure but with the number of hazardous materials still under my sink, it should have come with its own safety video.

img_2131-1

 

In an attempt to rid myself of this impediment to my potential awesomeness and to continue to implement the principles we learned in February about minimalism I decided it needed to be dealt with. I was SO lucky in that Hannah Hearin from Home Refreshment (www.homerefreshment.com) reached out and offered her assistance to put me on the right track for success. Working with her was easy, and just the right amount of kick in the butt accountability I needed. I sent pictures of my problem area (not without a little shame) and she created a plan based on my budget and aesthetics. So simple!

I decided that anything that did not fit in the two containers I bought would just have to go. Side note: Thanks to Hannah I took my first trip to The Container Store-a magical place that I could probably blow an entire paycheck in! I also made some natural all-purpose cleaner to replace what I had discarded (if you want the recipe let me know-I love it!).

img_2251

A well-organized space is a beautiful thing to behold, isn’t it?

So now as you can see I am free to win my Oscar, climb Mount Everest, and bring about world peace-I just needed to get to that silly sink first!

Vegan Menu Plan

F8944DE4-80A9-47CD-AD17-A7FC44166185

Going from paleo last week right in to vegan is an adjustment. But we think it’s important to try different food lifestyles, to get a good idea of what you like and don’t like; what works and doesn’t work for you.

Most people are familiar with the vegan rules of eating-no animal products. No dairy, meat, or eggs, and some vegans avoid honey, silk, products with beeswax, etc.

So there is the list of “no”, but a great list of “yes” too- yes vegetables, yes fruits, yes grains and legumes, beans and herbs, nuts and seeds. So many yummy “yes” foods 🙂

If you want to try it out, check out our week of Vegan Menu plans and shopping list here.

Our Pinterest page has a board with all the recipes we use, divided by week.

We are excited to delve into vegan eating, and hope we can learn some new principles that we adapt into our eating lifestyles. Dive in and join us! Try it out for a week and see what you feel and think.

{Past food weeks include Mediterranean and Paleo.}

Our Favorite Eco-Friendly {affordable} Clothing Lines

I have had a shift in my clothing mentality over the past few years. I never bought too many clothes, but I would try and get the cheapest, easiest things I could. As I have learned more, and changed some of my lifestyle habits, I have switched to buying better quality (and still small amounts), and more environmentally friendly. It really does make sense to me to spend a little more on higher quality, and buying from an eco-friendly company is very important to me. The effect of “fast fashion” on the earth, and it’s implications on human working conditions in different countries, has led me to strive to support companies with responsible business models and practices.

I’ve rounded up a few of our favorite companies to buy clothes from. I know “affordable” is a relitive term, but trust me, I’m pretty cheap financially responsible, so me saying these are affordable is saying something. Are they big box store cheap? Nope (well, expect for thrift stores!). But they are better quality, and way better for our beautiful earth.

Do you have any favorites stores that are not on our list? We would love to hear your reccomendations!

Everlane

We shop here for comfortable basics. They have really great prices, and the quality has been good. They are very transparent with pricing, the conditions of factories, and how they fulfill their mission to have “green fashion”.  They also have cool shoes.

Patagonia

Their business model is one-of-a-kind (listen to this podcast with an interview with the creator-it’s great!). Their pieces are investment pieces, and will last forever. They are also big into repairing, and you can take a piece in and they will fix it. Sport/outdoor centered style.

Amour Vert

Made in the US, sustainable, feminine pieces. Social responsibility is an their forefront, and they have lovely fabrics, some of which are recycled.

Grana

They have really nice fabrics like silk, and don’t inflate prices. A good place for some basics with great fabrics.

Tonlé

This is a zero waste company out of Cambodia, and they do some amazing things! They take remnant materials (which are plentiful and usually go to landfills), and create brand new pieces of clothing. Clothes are handmade by workers in Cambodia, who are paid fairly for their craft, and they sign each piece they make; it’s really lovely.

Thrift or Consignment Stores

One of the most Eco friendly of all is to reuse and recycle clothes! It can take some time to sift through so much, but it can pay off, and you can feel good about avoiding more consumerism and landfill waste. There are gems to be found!

 

Some of my current favorites from each company:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.