Tag Archives: zero waste product

The eco-friendly option doesn’t work! Now what?

Hello fellow earthlings.

Have you, like me, ever bought the most eco-friendly version of an item at the store and been super excited about your good choice, only to come home, try it, and realize that this.did.not.work.at.all.?

Let me give you an example. Soap nuts. These are plastic free, all natural nuts, used for laundry. They work ok, I guess. About as well as me hand-washing something in my sink with some regular soap. However, can they handle a sweaty t-shirt: hell no.*

Maybe I didn’t do my laundry “the right way”. Someone might say “Oh you have to first soak the clothes in baking soda and vinegar and then wash with the nuts”.

That’s all fine, but when I say I want an eco-friendly choice, what I mean is I want to go about my day in exactly the same way I was, adding no extra work in order to make a product work. If I have to, it isn’t working.

Am I crazy?

This goes for lots of cleaning products. We just switched back to big-brand-duo-something pods for our dishwasher after using an eco-friendly pod for years. I just got tired of our glassware never looking 100% clean.

When we were expecting our first kid, I also bought an ethically, locally made stroller that ended up having lots of issues. It drove horribly, was heavy, baby grew out of it super fast. It was expensive so I thought it was super well made. I was excited – only to soon be very not-excited to take baby for walks. Now we have a China-made one that works. AAGH. It’s not fun to admit these things, but they happen.

stroller

There are of course lots of items that work just as well as their chemical peers. Like lip balm – who’d ever buy something shady again when there are so many organic ones?

And there are eco-friendly things that work better than the not-so-sustainable option – like electric cars. EV’s are so much better (and not filling gas is essentially streaming vs going to the store to rent).

I would never want to encourage anyone to not go eco, but sometimes I think it leads to more waste. If you buy something that doesn’t work, you end up tossing it, or it sits in your cabinet only to create space-noise, which is not cool.

We make the most impact when we change BIG things; infrastructure, energy, food systems. So vote and get involved… and focus your efforts.

Now, I want to hear the honest truth: which eco-friendly choices have you made that made you miss the easier days of unawareness? You can leave an anonymous comment – just in case you run a green blog too ;)

*Notice how I wrote this review before we had kids (2016) and said it works for “normal loads”. LOL. All normal loads now have clothes with major stains. Thank u, next.

 

Wipe that stuff off your face – organically and reusably

I don’t know about you, but mascara and eyeliner make my life a little bit more beautiful. On average, I use eye make-up six days a week, typically skipping it on either Saturday or Sunday, depending on our plans.

With a bit of make-up, comes a bit of make-up remover and, naturally, quite a few cotton rounds. All bought, used once and discarded in the process. As I have been looking into simple ways to reduce my waste lately, I decided to target cotton rounds – there must be reusable ones somewhere to be found!

By chance, when reading another sustainability blog, I stumbled across exactly what I was looking for. The solution to my waste problem: organic cotton, reusable eye make-up remover pads by Skin Deep Naturals. Where’s the purchase button?

As I am on a mission to shop local, I asked the company about origin, and I can confirm that these pads are American-made of fabric milled in the USA!

Now, let’s look at some of the benefits of the reusable rounds (I’ll be using acronym SDN), compared to conventional ones (like what you’d pick up at Target or ULTA).

IMG_7348
Reusable make-up remover wipes: Soft, fluffy & eco

SDN are made of organic cotton, where conventional ones are normally not. Organic cotton means fewer pesticides, fertilizers, happier soil and happier farmers. Overall, a better choice.

SDN don’t create any landfill waste, which means less methane emissions.

SDN saves energy. I’m not going to estimate how much energy it takes to wash the rounds in the washing machine. I mean, I just throw them in with the rest of the load. I’ve been washing them warm, hot, or in sanitize mode, depending on what else I am washing. The conventional rounds take a lot of energy to produce as the cotton is grown, harvested, formed and packaged for use in a disposable product.

SDN saves plastic! The store-bought rounds come in a plastic tube, whereas SDN came in a recycled cardboard envelope without any additional packaging. If you, like me, use make-up an average of six days a week, amounting to 312 cotton rounds used per year. 312 rounds not bought, means at least three plastic tubes saved, as they are packaged 100 rounds per tube normally. Every time you say no to one-time-use plastic you are helping the environment and making oil-moguls miss out on making another buck. This is a GREAT cause folks.

By buying SDN you are supporting a local, small, eco-friendly business.

SDN saves you money! Conventional cotton rounds cost between $1.50 and 4 dollars for a tube of 100, depending on the brand and quality. Let’s use $2.50 as the price for this comparison. SDN cost me $12 for eight rounds – that’s more than enough to sustain me between washes – versus a yearly cost of $7.80 for regular ones. Now, if you keep your SDN rounds longer than a year and half (which seems VERY likely), you’re starting to save money every time you wipe that junk off your face. Keep them for five years; you’ve saved almost 30 dollars. Ok, that’s not a fortune, but it proves a point that eco-friendly products can benefit both the environment and your wallet.

I do have one tip: wash them before your first use, as they tend to lint a little bit before they’ve had their first go-around in the machine.

Sold on this product yet, ladies? Maybe you want some organic facial cloths or reusable diaper wipes too? This is the time to wipe disposable wipes off the table!

Buy it ALL at SkinDeepNaturals.com

(You might be wondering how this purchase fits in with my 2016 shopping challenge? Well, these rounds were my only purchase in February! So far, I have spent $36 this year on two eco-friendly items, one per month, as planned. Yay.)

I first read about these at SustainableDaisy.com

Now that’s what I call an eco-friendly ballet flat!

I need to write some more about the navy blue ballerina flats I added to the LookBook last week. Why? Because they are quite special!

okabporchThe reason I got new shoes in the first place, is that I finally came to terms with the fact that my old, navy blue Keds really had to be demoted to yard shoes & CVS runs (sob, sob), and with that leaving an opening in the hallway for new, blue shoes. I wear a lot of blue to the office, navy and dark blues are my favorites and I love pairing dark blue jeans with blue flats.

I saw a picture on twitter of an Oka-B Lilly ballet flat and thought, “Wow, how can those cute, made in USA, ballerinas only be 45 dollars?” I had to investigate.

As it turns out, there’s more to this brand than meets the eye. First, all the shoes are actually made of plastic, which is fully recyclable. If you are not comfortable putting your shoes in the recycling bin when you’ve worn them out; send them back to Oka-B and they’ll recycle them for you. Second, they’re all made in Georgia by a team that stands by their product enough to offer a two year warranty. Warranty on shoes? That’s awesome! There are women’s flats, wedges and sandals in a variety of styles and colors to choose from.

Five minutes into surfing their website, I found that Oka-B is the daughter company of Okabashi shoes, who go by the same concept of made right here, vegan, recyclable, ergonomic, easy clean shoes, but offers another set of styles; including flip flops, sandals and clogs for men and women. Both Oka-B’s and Okabashi’s manufacturing process is virtually waste-free since scrap material is recycled into new products. It’s local manufacturing combined with zero waste; made in USA at its finest!

Now, last, but most definitely, not least; let’s talk about the box in which my “Sapphire with Navy Knit Flower” ballet flats came.

OKa-B new

Oh, goodness. It is quite possibly the most beautiful shoe box I have ever seen! I paid 35 dollars for my shoes (I found a 10 dollar coupon code on okabashi.com – yay) and that included this magnificent box.

Shoes fit true to size and they are comfy! The fact that they’re plastic happens to be a great bonus for someone living in monsoon land, also known as Houston, Texas.

In a few years, after I have reused, reused and enjoyed, should they get worn out; I will definitely recycle them! The box on the other hand, is staying with me. For EVER.

[LINK to Oka-B]