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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Lifestyle | Shop + Give The Basic Goods

It’s easy to paint consumerism as wholly negative. But I’d argue that in today’s society, a sensitivity to the issue of thoughtless buying and selling has inspired a movement of purchasing with a purpose—conscious consumerism. So maybe now isn’t such a bad time to be a consumer after all especially when the driving force behind it means making a positive impact socially and environmentally.

So in the spirit of the holidays and Giving Tuesday, I’m really excited to bring you not one but two ways to do good with your dollar this year. The Basic Goods Shop is now open! This makeshift online boutique has been consciously curated with a handful of essentials to help you live a more zero-waste lifestyle. Check back for occasional updates! 

For Giving Tuesday I’ve handpicked some of my favorite brands and businesses that do good, specifically by providing the basic goods and necessities to those people, places and things that truly need them. What could be better than getting to give the basic goods and a meaningful gift all at once? Nada!

So, friends, conscious consumers and gift-giving extraordinaires here you go!

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Continue reading Lifestyle | Shop + Give The Basic Goods

Events | Fall Equinox Hike + Yoga

If you are new to The Basic Goods or need a refresher on what’s at the heart of this blog, it’s dedicated to slowing down and simplifying our lives through a deep appreciation of the little things — the basic goods of life. Finding a connection to the beauty of our natural world, ourselves and one another in ways both large and small is paramount to living out this idea. So, when I can find a way to do one or two of those things at once I’m pretty happy. But doing all three? Well, that’s a moment to soak in for sure.

For the Fall Equinox we did exactly that. As a yoga teacher and someone who loves to be outside, a morning hike and outdoor yoga class bring together the best of both worlds — oh, and of course it’d be followed with a locally-brewed beer or cider, it’s only right, people.

When I reached out to my good friend and yoga teacher, Erica Spirko, she suggested turning it into a celebration of the Fall Equinox at a quiet spot in Warwick, New York.  From there all of the pieces somehow came together.

Continue reading Events | Fall Equinox Hike + Yoga

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.


Continue reading Green Living | 5 of the Best Reusable Plastic Alternatives

Lifestyle | The Best Sustainability Podcasts

Having sustainable habits and living an eco-friendly lifestyle is, like any endeavor, hard to do if you aren’t constantly learning new things. To stay updated, I have a roster of sustainability podcasts that focus on nearly every aspect of green living so that I’m always feeling inspired and motivated to keep going even when it gets hard.

Let’s be honest friends, sometimes you feel pretty alone in this thing (re: the girl in the corner freaking out over the styrofoam plates at a family dinner) and it helps to have likeminded people who are just as enthusiastic and passionate about these topics as you are. So, podcasts? Yeah, that’s a huge part of green living for me.

To get you started, I’ve rounded up the best sustainability podcasts with everything from story-driven narratives, interviews, to lighthearted conversations and advice, to the downright nerdy science that you need to know (my favorite).

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Vintage Holiday Gift Guide | Sojourn

Can I be totally honest with you? I have some really cool friends.

The kind of friends who have an impeccable eye for style and design and carry around vintage shopping secrets so good that they can’t even tell you. They are the kind of friends who oh-so casually run an amazing vintage and handcrafted shop with products that people at Urban Outfitters would die to get their hands on, plus, they are just the loveliest humans on the planet. Sigh.

So, you can only imagine how delighted I am to have Amanda and Stephanie of Sojourn sharing their holiday picks on The Basic Goods (very) and before I give them the floor, a note about vintage.

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Continue reading Vintage Holiday Gift Guide | Sojourn

Lifestyle | 5 Holiday Looks That Do (and Look) Good

In a talk on why he decided to start a Fair Trade coffee company,  Jonathon Golden eloquently made a complex idea incredibly simple, “I just don’t see why someone needs to suffer for my morning cup”.

It’s true. In our world of creature comforts, we can spend a lot of time fretting over  how “inconvenient” all our many conveniences have become: the price of our coffee, the long lines, the Amazon order that’s taking foooreeeverrr. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to say we aren’t allowed to enjoy what we’ve been given, I only argue that we can — and should — always aim to be more thoughtful and responsible citizens of the world.  Continue reading Lifestyle | 5 Holiday Looks That Do (and Look) Good

Impact | Gifts that Give Back: Jabonarte Soaps

What I love to do most on The Basic Goods is share with you all the talents, missions and big hearts of people I am lucky to call my friends. This one especially strikes a chord with me because Nia Salas, founder of the Costa Rican-based social enterprise Jabonarte, was my fearless leader on a volunteer trip to Costa Rica years back. The kindness, warmth and pride of the Costa Rican people who welcomed me and my father into their community made such an impression and today I’m deeply honored to have an opportunity to give back again.

Jabonarte is a social enterprise in San José, Costa Rica that designs, creates and sells artisanal soaps. By employing women who have survived domestic violence every purchase helps to ensure permanent jobs and safe futures for the makers and their families.  Continue reading Impact | Gifts that Give Back: Jabonarte Soaps

The Clean Tee

Today, I would love to introduce you guys to the seriously innovative trailblazers of Nomadix and their latest campaign for change, Clean Apparel: The Most Sustainable T-Shirt on the Planet.

The. Planet.

No, really.

You may remember co-founder, Chace from a previous post in which I interviewed him for Pure Green Magazine and I’m really thrilled to share his next venture with you here on the blog. The Clean Apparel campaign is striving to break ground in the apparel industry by producing “the most sustainable t-shirt on the planet”. Through a powerful closed-loop manufacturing system, Nomadix recycles textile scraps to create new material that uses way less water and energy, plus, is free from the harmful pesticides or dyes that are found in so many articles of clothing. The end result is a siiiiiickkk tee (my words and maybe their’s too) that has you thinking, well, why doesn’t everybody do this? And that, friends is the key point. With apparel being the second most polluting industry (oil is first) and something that we consume almost mindlessly it’s important to realize that industry standards are low and damaging to the health of people and planet, to say the very least.  Continue reading The Clean Tee