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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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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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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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 | 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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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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DIY | Eco All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

Of all the tips, tricks and life hacks that make living an eco-friendly lifestyle accessible, 3 ingredient recipes are by far my favorite ones. Why? Because it’s not hard to memorize such a short list and it keeps Brian and I from becoming dependent on store-bought cleaners. For me, that second part is a such a huge win. There’s nothing more paralyzing and discouraging than wanting to do better but feeling overwhelmed by the process. So, it’s empowering to find something like this that really works.  Continue reading DIY | Eco All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

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

Wellness | Homemade Eucalyptus Tea

Happy Autumn, everybody! Autumn is a time of year that both thrills and terrifies me. On the one hand, it’s a breathtakingly beautiful season (my favorite of them all), is the perfect weather for camping, hiking and being out of doors — and of course, is just the beginning of a very long and very wonderful string of holidays.

Oh, right, the terrifying part. The chillier weather also signals the start of sinus, cold and flu season! If you’re anything like me you fall prey to these things all. the. time. For this reason, I am willing to try most remedies that promise healing and a hope for a less congested future.

I recently got knocked off my feet by a virus-turned-sinus infection and ran to the store to pick up some essentials when I decided to grab myself some eucalyptus leaves to brighten things up — you know, as one does. As I got a whiff of this potent flora I wondered how they would fare as a tea? Luckily, intuition served me right. Not only was my homemade eucalyptus tea delicious and easy to make it was also totally WORKING!!! To my delight, I also discovered it works great as an inhalant if you are suffering from those nasty dry and itchy symptoms.  Continue reading Wellness | Homemade Eucalyptus Tea