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.


Continue reading Mavens | Sarah McLean + Cait Bourgault of Alpine Women Collective

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. 

Continue reading A Month of Mavens

People | Suyog Mody, Co-Founder of Driftaway Coffee

This interview is a pretty big deal. Rarely do I have the opportunity to talk to the co-founder of a radical coffee company like Driftaway about the heart, soul and game-changing tactics behind their brand. Second, I’m pretty sure that after reading this you’ll have a drastically different view of coffee, climate change and your massive impact as a consumer on the world.

Featured in The Today Show, Good Housekeeping, Esquire and more, Suyog Mody and his wife Anu started their small-batch, coffee roasting subscription company as an effort to help alleviate poverty and bring you a delicious cup of coffee customized to suit your tastebuds. You know, the usual. Coincidentally, my husband and I were gifted a 6 month coffee subscription as a wedding gift (shout out to Scott and Anna) and as coffee lovers, we were hooked.

Now, I don’t want to give too much away but there are so many things that make Driftaway Coffee unique. From their perspective on using Organic certifications (it’s not 100% and they’re fine with that), why farmers deserve a spotlight and the important reason that coffee needs science to survive the effects of climate change.

AnuSuyog_DriftawayCoffee

Hopefully you’ve read the fantastic interview with Bill Ahrens of New Country Organics Farm (if you haven’t go do that, too) and are about to have your mind blown and lens shifted once again by Suyog. His passion for sustainability and supporting others shines through and I hope you leave feeling motivated to take #inspiredaction.

Huge thanks to Suyog of Driftaway Coffee for being so generous with his time and energy. Make sure you get a coffee subscription for yourself and gift at least one more this holiday season. Enjoy, friends!

white bg - 2

Continue reading People | Suyog Mody, Co-Founder of Driftaway Coffee

The Conscious Kitchen | 3 Zero Waste Ways to Use 3 Cups of Almonds

Over coffee one afternoon my friend Melissa Ballone (the girl boss behind Wellness for Makers) and I were chatting about nut milks — I know, I know, things white people say. Her favorite was fresh oat milk and I proudly declared that I couldn’t part with my 3-in-1 homemade almond milk method that left no scrap behind.

As I started rambling on about the bounty that 3 cups of raw, organic almonds can bring to your conscious kitchen, I realized that, doi, this should really be on TBG.  And that’s it! I think that green living is as simple as a conversation with friends trading tips over coffee and, most of all, are simple and earnest. Not everything works perfectly every time but this particular method allows me to turn 3 cups of almonds into so much more and it’s a ritual that I love, so I hope you enjoy this, too!

Got some stellar tips yourself? Leave your comments, thoughts or questions below.

 


3 Zero Waste Ways to Use 3 Cups of Almonds

Continue reading The Conscious Kitchen | 3 Zero Waste Ways to Use 3 Cups of Almonds

A Course in Calm

Hey everyone,  Since I started my newsletter, The Exhale, a year ago, I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to bring together my yoga and writing projects here on The Basic Goods. I’m excited and really proud to share that, A Course in Calm, is exactly that. Don’t let my title as a yoga teacher fool you, I’m also a person who deals with anxiety and a distracted mind like many people do. So I created this totally free course to share what I have learned and teach in studios and schools that help others (and myself!) feel more settled and calm.

I don’t believe that we need to accept this stressed and over-reactive state as the norm. Peaceful bodies and calm minds are our baseline and I know that we are all capable of living from that place. Please feel free to send me a message or sign up a friend/loved one if you like! Read on to find out more about A Course and Calm.

xx Kat

Manage and control your anxiety with mindfulness, yoga and breathwork in this free four week e-course, A Course in Calm.


Continue reading A Course in Calm

Green Living | INSPIRED ACTION

Here at The Basic Goods, I write, share and create all different kinds of content.

Whether it’s an interview, a DIY or a featured shop, each piece underscores the importance of making sustainable and conscious choices. That’s why I’m taking a moment to say that the heart and soul of this blog is all about taking action.

If you’re reading this, you most likely have the ability to make powerful and impactful decisions that affect the environment and other people — seen and unseen. But let’s be real, we can’t assume that homemade bread or buying a reusable water bottle will solve our most crucial problems. The real power of these everyday things lies in shifting our perspective and being willing to change . As Yvonne Chouinard says in his film, 180 degrees South, simple living is more complicated than living fastContinue reading Green Living | INSPIRED ACTION

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

Q + A | How to Make a Feature Film

It’s not everyday that you get the chance to have a conversation with two feature-length filmmakers. Especially when those two filmmakers decided to buck the trend, ditch the industry standards and make their movie the way they want to do it.

While this is a little bit of a departure from our regular content on The Basic Goods, Kate and Daryl inspired me to get outside of my comfort zone and shake things up a little. After all, this blog is dedicated to telling stories of a life well lived and these two devoted filmmakers and hardworking creatives truly embody what it means to make things happen — no matter what.

So, without further ado, here’s my conversation with Kate Forsatz and Daryl Ferrara, filmmakers and producers of the upcoming feature film, Thre3bound!

Check out their website to learn more about Thre3bound, here.

Continue reading Q + A | How to Make a Feature Film

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

Kitchen Composting 101 (Updated!)

Here is an updated version of this post with a few more pieces of advice from what I’ve learned since this article first went live. I hope it helps! Would love to hear from you in the comments below.


Way back when, I used to think everything I didn’t want, need or knew what to do with, went straight into the garbage. That was then and this is now: I have a love for composting like no other. It is super impactful and surprisingly simple.

So, why all the love for composting? To put it simply,  it’s a fantastic way to help reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. When garbage gets taken to landfills, the contents often sit there unable to properly break down due to lack of oxygen. When this happens it goes through a detrimental process called anaerobic decomposition that produces methane (the greenhouse gas we were talking about) and prevents nature from doing the work it needs to do!
Continue reading Kitchen Composting 101 (Updated!)