Redefining Green Home Design

If your perception of eco-friendly homes conjures images of elaborate tree houses, mud huts, or dilapidated cabins in the woods, then you are waaaaay off. The evolution of green home design, both interior and exterior, has become an innovative landscape rich with fresh ideas and beautiful architecture that has sustainability and mindfulness at its very core.

I’ll admit, this style is extremely modern but whether or not it appeals to you in its entirety, there are some pretty genius ideas that challenges the average homeowner to redefine the concept of what is green design. As someone who is more interested in carving out a niche within the crossover of uber-modern sustainability and everyday living I picked a few design ideas from these dreamy digs that could be adapted and applied to your home, too. Continue reading Redefining Green Home Design

The Basic Goods Beauty Edit: Dry Shampoo

Being choosy about beauty products is often times the most direct and effective way to start transitioning towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Admittedly, it’s taken me quite a long time to filter out much of the toxic and chemical-laden products from my shelves (and I’m still going!) not to mention really understanding what I’m looking for and why. *EWG has been my biggest and best resource for this process and I’m constantly running through ingredient lists with a fine tooth comb thanks to them.

All that to say, I’m excited to start sharing The Basic Goods Beauty Edit with you guys to compare, contrast, and share all of those goodies we love to use to pamper and beautify our self. To stay true to The Basic Goods message of slow living in a fast-paced world, the products I’ll be sharing here strike a balance between what we want vs. what we need, and do a seriously good job, like they should. Continue reading The Basic Goods Beauty Edit: Dry Shampoo

5 Kinds of Eco-Friendly Products to Use More of in 2016

This year was the year that I really tried to keep my resolutions. I became much more aware of my role and influence as a consumer and not only that but vowed to be as conscious of one as possible. I won’t lie to you, it wasn’t easy and I failed often; slowly but surely learning along the way that in this product-driven age sometimes there is no right way to do things. You simply have no way of knowing just how effective certain sustainable business practices actually are and how to separate the wheat from chaff. As optimistic and hopeful humans we tend to assume that what large and even small companies try to sell us on is totally true, and easily succumb to the trappings of a product labeled as “ALL NATURAL!” even though we probably have our sneaking suspicions that it isn’t.

In my very humble opinion, what we do need to be is smart and savvy buyers. In an ideal and sustainable world  we would buy less and reuse more, we would know about the latest green technologies and try our best to incorporate them into our lives, and we would be less concerned with instant gratification and possessing things we want rather than having the things we truly need. However, as Americans, and what is an increasingly Westernized global society, we don’t live in a culture that supports the “less is more” philosophy and so there are tens of thousands of new products being manufactured every day that make it around the world and back only to be laid to rest in overflowing landfillsContinue reading 5 Kinds of Eco-Friendly Products to Use More of in 2016

How to Throw a Stylish and Sustainable Holiday Party

No matter which way you spin it, the holidays generate much more waste than any other time of year. The EPA estimates it’s about 25% more which is about an extra 1 million tons per week. YIKES, YOU GUYS. As a lover of get togethers and holiday parties myself, I thought it would be helpful for all of us to consider effective ways to cut back and be more mindful about the waste our festive bash is likely to create.  The good news is that sustainability practices don’t need to sacrifice style — in fact, your décor and materials will likely make it even more beautiful.  So after doing some digging I found some really great tips on how to throw a stylish and sustainable holiday party. Enjoy!

Fotograf: Lina Östling +46 70 405 42 07 Stylist: Mari Strenghielm Nord Jul-Mode-jobb 2015 för bilagan Äntligen jul

Continue reading How to Throw a Stylish and Sustainable Holiday Party

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

DIY Tin Can Candle Votive

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not typically a DIY-er. My fingers are more buttery than they are nimble but the more projects I try the more enjoyable and (I think) the better I get. Case in point, this tin can candle votive is the type of craft that you see in magazines and on blogs all the time, why? Because it’s pretty simple and almost fool-proof — not to mention almost everyone has an empty tin can they can pluck out of the recyclables. So after finding my can and giving it a thorough cleaning (it formerly contained spaghetti sauce) I gave it my best shot and am happy to say it TOTALLY WORKED. This is a great little DIY to do on your own for yourself or to give as a gift.

I’ve outlined the project in a few simple steps  below, so give it a try and let me know how it goes!  Continue reading DIY Tin Can Candle Votive

How to Wear Vintage with VAUX Shop

VAUX SHOP wants to change the way we view fashion. Armed with a visually stunning arsenal of vintage clothes to make their point, Aly and Lou, the ladies at the helm of this Denver-based shop, are making the old new again. When I was first introduced to them and their work a few years ago they had already become trailblazers in the fashion industry by offering beautifully minimal, stylish, and livable pieces . Now, they are forging ahead with more gusto than ever — fully capable of changing the way you shop and think about your clothes.
At the heart of their brand is the desire to cultivate a mindful approach towards our role as a consumer and an appreciation for decade-old clothing that is still loved and worn today. I am so excited and honored to have them on TBG today to share their perspective on why you should wear vintage. And to convince you to jump on this wagon even more, I’m sharing some images of the classic 1980s denim jacket I bought from them, too! Enjoy their interview below!  Continue reading How to Wear Vintage with VAUX Shop

TBG Sustainable Living Guide: Disposable Plastics Pt. II

Read part one, here.

I am such a firm believer that the biggest and best way to implement change is to start small. When I interviewed Nomadix co-founder Chace Petersen, a fledgling business from Southern California creating sustainable gear for avid travelers and adventurers, in a piece for Pure Green Magazine, he talked about his strong, ethical conviction that in these modern times, we should be using alternative and moreover, sustainable materials to make our products:

We don’t see any other option for any product or business that’s starting these days. Why would you ever use virgin materials?”

What is cool about Nomadix (and many other companies) is that they used strictly renewable resources that are made out of, you guessed it, plastic. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates that only 34.3% of recycled and/or compostable materials are disposed of properly while a staggering 52.8% is simply tossed in the can. So, it’s pretty mind blowing to consider the amount of plastic products we use on the whole that provides enough materials for companies to create new items out of just the 34% of what is recycled.  Continue reading TBG Sustainable Living Guide: Disposable Plastics Pt. II

TBG Sustainable Living Guide: Skin Care + SKRUB360

One of the most radical changes I’ve ever made in my quest to become more eco-conscious has also led me to become more conscious of the care and keeping of myself. The word sustainability means to keep up, or keep going, as an action or a process, which applies not just for our planet’s ecosystem but for our personal ecosystem as well. Every living thing (including yourself) is designed to survive, to thrive, and for success in such a way that it can maintain and sustain its own wellbeing. There are specific actions and a process that occurs to allow you to keep going day in and day out — that is, until something disrupts that process and forces the ecosystem to rearrange itself and its actions in order to survive. Continue reading TBG Sustainable Living Guide: Skin Care + SKRUB360

DIY | Recycled Party Banner

Previously published on Pure Green Magazine

When I was little my mother would sew me dresses. Cute, right? I’m talking full-on sun dresses, with pale-yellow pansies as far as the eye could see. Sometimes, but only if she had the time, she would make herself a matching vest. That was the ‘90s. This is now.

While sorting through our craft closet one day, I happened upon a bag full of old fabric strips that were clearly intended to be used for something. For what I didn’t know—so I asked my mother what the contents of this overflowing canvas tote-bag were for, and she wistfully replied, they were for a quilt she had once wanted to make but had abandoned quite some time ago. With excitement I jumped up and down and asked if I could have it, regretfully, she complied. And as she left these memories behind, I walked away with my very first DIY project on the horizon. Continue reading DIY | Recycled Party Banner