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.

Continue reading Green Living | My Collection of Zero Waste Writings

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.

Continue reading Green Living | Resources for Understanding Climate Change

Green Living | My Plastic and Zero Waste Holiday Fails

Sustainable living is as much a mindset as it is a way of life. Walking this out in your daily life is nowhere near as simple as we’d like it to be but it’s worth the effort. And in my book, an earnest effort, even if when it comes along with failure, is still valuable, but man, is it a doozy sometimes.

I learned this the hard way as I thoughtlessly grabbed a plastic-wrapped bag of holiday cookies to bring over to a friend’s house. I was on autopilot, zipping around from party to party, not giving enough thought, if any, to the trail of waste accumulating behind me.

Let’s be real: Avoiding plastic and waste is hard when you’re traveling. I’m not going to write articles on the topic and act like I’ve got it down or don’t make mistakes when, in actuality, I do. The Basic Goods exists for me and many others, as a sounding board to share our real-life experiences living consciously and mindfully in a fast-paced world. It’s here to encourage all of us (myself included) to pause, lean in and pay attention to the task at hand. Sometimes, many times, we fail. This Christmas, I did—pretty miserably, actually. So, I’m sharing that here along with a few sustainable solutions that will hopefully help you and me for the next time! Continue reading Green Living | My Plastic and Zero Waste Holiday Fails

Green Living | The Best Books on Sustainable + Conscious Living

There’s a whole lot of misinformation and fear-based news with over-exaggerated claims dominating headlines and social media feeds that it can make it hard to get your facts straight. For me, one of the best (and let’s be honest, less stressful) ways to cut through the noise is with a book. Plus, without the zombifying-effects of staring at a glowing screen with a hundred distractions, it’s somewhat easier to digest the hard truths we may discover in a sustainable and eco-friendly book.

What, you mean you don’t also turn into a sad, computer zombie after an hour of Google-searching global warming too? Just me? In any case, to help you live a more eco-friendly and conscious lifestyle, here are some of the best books on sustainable living.

Check out these 7 books on sustainable living for a conscious lifestyle.

Continue reading Green Living | The Best Books on Sustainable + Conscious Living

People | An Environmentalist Helps Us Break Down Ocean Plastic Pollution

Hey, friends! As you may already know, I, Katherine, am the sole writer and content creator here at The Basic Goods. Whether it’s green living tips, products that help you to be more eco-friendly, or general thoughts on treading lightly, it all stems from my personal experience and what I have learned as a sustainability writer.

What you may not know is that scientific data is my go-to source for all things eco. I rely heavily on this to make sure the facts I provide here are correct. I try to be an educated consumer and expert on the topics as much as possible but there are some things that I just don’t know! So, you can imagine how excited I was to connect with a real-life environmentalist. David Evans is founder of prch, a resource of eco-minded consumers and has a degree in environmental studies from UCLA plus years of experience working to raise awareness about marine conservation.

What is ocean plastic pollution, the reasons for it and how we can solve it with environmentalist, David Evans.

 

On TBG, Evans helps us break down the complex topic of ocean plastic pollution, an environmental issue that I personally am passionate and hopeful about solving in my lifetime. I’ll be talking even more about ocean plastic pollution in the future, in the meantime enjoy this guest post from environmentalist, David Evans who is sharing some crucial ways to take Inspired Action today.

Thanks, Dave! Continue reading People | An Environmentalist Helps Us Break Down Ocean Plastic Pollution

Green Living | The 3 C’s of Sustainability

Sometimes the internet brings you wonderful connections with inspiring and likeminded people that you might have never met otherwise. Kim Klassen, a Canadian sustainability consultant and passionate environmental advocate is exactly that person. I scrolled through her Instagram account and was totally intrigued by her label and positive messages. So, as curiosity got the best of me I reached out to learn more about Kim’s mission and was certainly not disappointed.

We had a long conversation — her in Canada and me in New Jersey — about her past work as an environmental scientist for oil and gas companies in Calgary and what she’s learned about conservation by way of her career and personal commitment to green living.

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As I mentioned, Kim is also a sustainability consultant where she works with folks on an individual level by coming into their home and helping them assess their lifestyle and habits, so they can leave the smallest environment footprint possible. It’s from that work that Kim shared with me what she called, the “3 C’s of Sustainability”, which is an inspiring ethos that she uses when working with clients and in her own life as well. Continue reading Green Living | The 3 C’s of Sustainability

Recap | One Day Without Plastic + My Earth Day Plastic Fails

To start, I want to say thank you to everyone who pledged to go plastic-free on Earth Day 2018 and gave it their best shot at living One Day Without Plastic. If you are anything like me, you probably noticed that it is everywhere and struggled to avoid the single-use, disposable plastics that litter our world. As consumers, it seems as though the marketing world has has us convinced that we need them to happily live a life of ease and convenience. My takeaway this Earth Day was that cleaning up our plastics isn’t necessarily the hardest part, it’s changing people’s hearts and minds that may prove to be the greatest challenge for our generation.

Plastic is truly all around us — it’s even inside of many of us, as studies have shown that some of the smallest marine life at the bottom of the food chain, like krill and microscopic plankton, eat the micro plastics that break-up (plastic doesn’t break down or biodegrade) and inhabit our oceans. They are eaten by bigger fish that we consume and thus plastic becomes a part of our lives in more ways than we can imagine.

I don’t say this to scare you or make you feel hopeless but I think we all do ourselves a disservice if we simply comply to living a life of ignorance as bliss instead of taking inspired and empowered actionContinue reading Recap | One Day Without Plastic + My Earth Day Plastic Fails

Green Living | 5 of the Best Reusable Plastic Alternatives

Our world is full of disposable, single-use plastics. From the oceans and waterways, to the side of the road, to our local stores and even in our home it can often feel impossible to try and kick the plastic habit. However, there are a ton of reusable plastic alternatives that can help you weave this into your lifestyle one step at a time. Speaking from experience, I can personally attest to the fact that awareness is key and simple actions truly add up, but like so many things, the first step is often the hardest and biggest obstacle to overcome.

So, if you are looking to cut back, here are 5 of the best reusable plastic alternatives to single-use, disposable plastics used in your everyday life.


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One Day Without Plastic | Earth Day 2018

ONE DAY WITHOUT PLASTIC
SUNDAY APRIL 22, 2018

#PLASTICSUCKS

*GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED* THANK YOU!

This Earth Day 2018 on Sunday, April 22nd join me and many others by going entirely plastic-free. Grab your reusable bags, mason jars, coffee tumblers and ditch the disposables, people! Plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to our environment and a problem that we absolutely have the power to solve. The number one thing to do? Stop using single-use plastics. I can’t think of a better time to start your new habit than on Earth Day.

To get you into the spirit and help you kick the habit, I’ve rounded up five plastic alternatives that you can start using right now. As a bonus, when you pledge you can be one of *TWO* lucky winners to snag a hat and tee from Recover or a backpack from Parkland.  These two incredible brands are transforming recycled plastics into everyday products like apparel, bags and accessories. Check out this video from Parkland to learn more:

BAGS FROM BOTTLES from Parkland Design & Manufacturing on Vimeo.
Continue reading One Day Without Plastic | Earth Day 2018

Green Living | Everyday Ways to Be an Ocean Activist

Here’s an important reminder: We live in an aquatic world.

About 71% of the earth is covered in water and 96.5% of that water is held by the oceans. That means more water than there is land — shocker, right? In this watery world, our health is intimately linked to the health of our oceans. The ocean and its inhabitants do a vital task of absorbing most of the CO2 in the atmosphere that we and other lifeforms can’t take in and turns it into oxygen, spreading around excess heat that would otherwise kill off most of the ecosystem and allow disease to spread.

As the atmosphere gets warmer (ahem, global warming) it’s more difficult for the ocean and marine life like coral and other plants to photosynthesize CO2. Thus, the ocean’s acidity levels rise and upsets an already fragile ecosystem that’s more necessary to the health and stability of the entire planet than we humans care to admit or even know. Continue reading Green Living | Everyday Ways to Be an Ocean Activist