What is ocean plastic pollution, the reasons for it and how we can solve it with environmentalist, David Evans.
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Green Living | My Collection of Zero Waste Writings

I should rephrase the title slightly to say, “My collection of zero waste writings so far” because that’s a much more honest depiction of this tiny but mighty archive. As a contributing writer for The Good Trade, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to take a deep dive into the ways in which we can make a big difference with small actions every day. Disposable single-use plastic has become the center of attention recently and while that’s exciting it can also be a little paralyzing.

We set out on a mission to help you stop freaking out and feeling depressed about all the things you can’t control and focus on what you can do, which, fortunately is a lot. This brief list is chock full of resources, tools and really important sustainable swaps that’s attainable for recovering plastic addicts (me!). Since this blog is all about taking #inspiredaction everyday I’m confident this article embodies that ethos. So, read, share and most importantly keep up your amazing work! Stay tuned for more writing on zero waste and plastic-less tips.

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5 Ways to Wrap Christmas Gifts Using Recycled Brown Paper and Greens

Top photo courtesy of Pure Green Magazine 

Trying to avoid creating waste during the Christmas season is almost as difficult as avoiding those holiday sugar cookies (re: near impossible). It’s especially tricky to avoid when it comes to wrapping paper; it gets ripped, torn, and crumpled then tossed into a pile of brightly-colored scraps that just continues to accumulate.

Purchasing bundles of wrapping paper can be an expensive hassle but the good news is it isn’t the only way to wrap a gift. Some of the most charming and creatively wrapped gifts are handmade and often very simple. So as I found myself wondering how to make this happen without setting unrealistic expectations for myself that would only get replaced by the one thing I wanted not to happen, I sought out a little inspiration from some crafty folks and bloggers who seem to be born for the job. Read More

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Get the Yogi’s Guide to Winter Wellness for $9

Hey friends!

As the winter season begins to wind down, I wanted to offer you the chance to download this at-home practice, A Yogi’s Guide to Winter Wellness for $9! Originally, the cost went for a cool $15, the price of one yoga class. However, as a we begin to make this transition into a new season, I’ll be working on more downloadable and inspiring content for you to establish a deeper connection with yourself, others and our natural world. So, here’s a sale for ya!

Not familiar with the guide? Here’s a quick rundown…

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Mavens | Sarah McLean + Cait Bourgault of Alpine Women Collective

If you were to ask my husband, Brian and I, what made us decide to pull the trigger and move to Portland, Maine we’d have to say, the creative/outdoor community and the people behind it. Not only that, but the close proximity to New Hampshire’s stunning White Mountain range, Acadia National Park and Baxter State Park allows us to stay outside and connected to nature. Plus, all the food and beer — just being honest.

The Alpine Women Collective was one of those organizations that made me feel excited and inspired to explore this place and meet the amazing people who call it home. Run by Sarah McLean and Cait Borgault, AWC is an all-women’s hiking group for like-minded ladies to sponge up the benefits of being outside together. That in and of itself is special but to hear more about their love for this project is something else entirely. So, I’m thrilled to share that with you here. If you’re someone who has always wanted to spend more time hiking, backpacking or adventuring outdoors but don’t know how or where to start, make sure you read all the way through for some wisdom on breaking through that barrier. It’s real good, I promise.


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Mavens | Emily Rathmanner of Made by Minga

“We’re on a mission to create a more connected and environmentally-conscious world”

One of the coolest things about The Basic Goods is having a platform that makes it easy to meet other like-minded people. So, it’s fitting to have Emily Rathmanner, globetrotting gal behind Made by Minga , as our second Maven to be featured this month.

Emily’s mission is inspiring to say the least and her brand is a testament to what true connection, heart and a desire to make a difference can do for the world. My biggest take away from this passion project turned-successful-small-biz is how committed Emily was to seeing her vision through carte blanche — which is something I’m sure so many others dream of doing.

So, before you continue reading, make sure to watch Emily’s own videos with more background on how she got started, here and here. Enjoy the interview!

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Green Living | Resources for Understanding Climate Change

Climate change is a complex, ever-changing topic. For those of us who are trying our best to stay informed and contribute positively to the environment and our communities, it’s certainly not an easy task to do solo. If you’re getting your news online, it’s so easy to get swept up in the emotional frenzy of social media; in this realm we don’t have to think before we speak and sometimes use the platforms cathartically (which, hey I’m SO guilty of doing) which, studies have shown makes us more distressed.

Let’s all breathe for a second. Participation is sometimes a much more effective tactic than protest. If we only have one mode when addressing these issues we’ll burn out quick and lose our perspective. For me, staying centered, keeping my calm and reading up on the solutions to these ominous problems is what prevents me from being sent into a tailspin.

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Mavens | Missy Graff Ballone of Wellness for Makers

This is the first post in a month-long series called A Month of Mavens. Read the intro, here!

If you follow The Basic Goods on Instagram you might already be familiar with my good friend Missy, founder of Wellness for Makers. She is a gifted artist, licensed massage therapist, entrepreneur and 500 HR yoga teacher. We met while teaching at Yoga Mechanics and quickly bonded over our shared passion for wellness, community and well, we both have a really goofy sense of humor. There’s just nothing like someone who gets your weird jokes, guys. Treasure them. I sure do.

Fast forward to nearly a year later and Missy has become one of my biggest supporters and champions of The Basic Goods; always encouraging me to dream bigger and work smarter, not just harder. She is one of the most genuine and kindhearted people I know, who doesn’t see others as a threat or competition but invests in their growth and wellbeing. For that reason, I’ve experienced a shift in myself and had the guts to bring big projects to life such as, A Course in Calm and A Yogi’s Guide to Winter Wellness (thanks to her equally talented hubby, Jonathan at Scratch Work Labs) Not to mention, she and I have a retreat planned for this summer!

To experience some of that Missy magic for yourself, read on to hear all about this maven’s ongoing journey to bring wellness to the makers and the masses.

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A Month of Mavens

It dawned on me one day that so many of the most influential figures in my life have been strong-willed, talented and intelligent women who are business owners and industry leaders in their own right.

In fact, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to work for many of them. For instance, my time as Web Editor at Pure Green Magazine and right-hand gal to Editor-in-Chief Celine MacKay, was enlightening to say the very least. To this day, Celine still has one of the best eyes for style and beauty and an innate sensibility towards environmentalism that changed the way I saw my role as an everyday eco-activist. I have her to thank for so much of my work today.

My yoga teacher and friend Omni Kitts-Ferrara, CEO of YogaMechanics in Montclair, New Jersey is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is Omni one of the most creative people I know, she’s also a gifted movement expert and excels in teaching others about the human body. She has a voice in the yoga world that has transformed many, many lives for the better and continues to push everyone to be the best version of themselves purely through leading by example. My favorite question to ask her is, “so what are you up lately, Om?”

I could keep going because there are so many awesome women out there whose accomplishments are worth celebrating. What I decided to do instead was feature a handful of them here all throughout February in a series I’m calling, A Month of Mavens. 

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The Best Essential Oils for Cold Season

THIS IS PART TWO OF A YOGI’S GUIDE TO WINTER WELLNESS SERIES.
DOWNLOAD THE FULL GUIDE ON THE BASIC GOODS, HERE!

We are currently in the thick of cold and flu season and my husband Brian and I are hygge-ing away here in Maine. Aside from staying active and keeping gentle movement apart of our routine to stay well, I’ve made sure to incorporate Young Living Essential Oils into our lives.

I’ve been using essential oils for several years now — admittedly in a somewhat clueless manner — but finally made the switch to Young Living about five months ago and I have to say, they are truly worth it. As the purest and most highly-regarded essential oils on the market, YL’s pedigree (and high standards) assures me that I made the right decision, as not all oils are created equal.

If you are new to EOs (essential oils) an easy way to think about them is as highly potent, steam-distilled plant, herb or seed used for therapeutic benefits. They are complex and beautiful. Which is why so many brands on the shelves simply can’t be taken for face value the way Young Living can. I promise to talk more about EOs in an introductory article but let’s get to the icky winter cold remedy stuff. ‘Cause you probably can’t breathe right now and I get that. Moving on.

Aside from getting physically sick, it’s also easy to get seasonal depression during the winter and yes, if you were wondering, there’s totally an oil for that. Sort of…
So, if you’re in the thick of it this winter, here are my four favorite essential oils for cold and flu season.

To get your hands on Young Living Essential Oils, go to this page where you can get a starter kit complete with a diffuser, guide to oils and all the EOs I mention here!

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How to use yoga, breathwork and mindfulness during the winter season to stay healthy naturally.
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A Yogi’s Guide to Winter Wellness

I’ve always been a winter lover. The soft and beautiful colors of a winter landscape are inspiring and there’s nothing cozier than the warm glow of holiday lights and blazing fires in a cabin. As an avid skier and outdoorsy person in general, I want to stay outside and I’ll take any opportunity to get some cold, fresh air in my lungs when I can no matter the temps. It’s fun and exciting! Unless you’re sick.

For years, every winter season I was catapulted into a weeks-long cold or infection (for me personally, a nasty sinus infection) that brought everything to a screeching halt. In addition to being sick physically, I would also find myself with a tinge or maybe more, of seasonal depression. I’m sure many of you can relate. 

Years of studying, practicing and teaching yoga has dramatically changed my experience during the winter season and as a result I’ve seen a huge improvement in the health of my body-mind. It made me realize just how important staying connected to your body truly is and the ripple effect it has on every aspect of your life.  

The longer I continue on this journey of self-care and wellness the more I see that it is simply a practice of attuning and attending — taking care of what is yours. I believe this encapsulates physical, mental and emotional health because who else in the world has as much knowledge, experience and understanding of your body, heart and mind than you?

I’m excited to share the Yogi’s Guide to Winter Wellness with you all. This is a course that will give you valuable tools to stay in touch with your body-mind from a holistic perspective. Although I am an advanced yoga instructor, I’m not a doctor! Much of this info has been cobbled together with the help of doctors, yoga therapists and other medical professionals that I’m excited to introduce you to. Here’s how it will work:

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Art + Design | Inspiration for the New Year

Happy New Year, guys!

I’m excited for 2019 for so many reasons, many of which have to do with the fact that we moved up to Portland, Maine and it is amazing.

There are endless opportunities to play outside, go skiing, be in the mountains, get out on the water, eat incredible food, make new friends—gah! It’s all so good. Brian and I both have some incredible ski trips planned for the winter and I think one of the best things about traveling is coming home to a place you love with fresh eyes.

I’ve also chosen a word for this year: follow-through. While it may technically be two, it’s hyphenated, so it still counts. Semantics aside, I think so many of us can relate to the idea of setting out to finishing what you’ve started. It’s such a good feeling to dive in, put your head down and work hard at something you’re passionate about. I’m trying hard to have a posture of gratitude for the process rather than the finished product— the value is always found in the work and I look forward to seeing what that brings this year. What are your goals, friends?

To get started, I’m sharing some inspiring art/print/photography/design and creativity from tastemakers I admire. It’s sort of a mood or vision board that’s helping to shape my vision for the new year, so I hope it gives you a fresh take, too! I love to follow folks along on Instagram, so these are some of the posts I’ve loved so far. Share yours in the comments if you’ve got a good one.

Here’s to the New Year!

-Kat

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