Review: Package Free

Hey y’all! For those of you who live in the tri-state area, particularly in NYC, you may have heard that a zero waste shop opened up in Williamsburg. Founders Lauren Singer of Trash is for Tossers and Daniel Silverstein of zero waste daniel are making it easier for curious consumers like us to live a more sustainable, less wasteful life.

As you may have known from my previous post on my public health blog, I’m really fascinated and on board with the zero waste movement, and I follow quite a few bloggers and vloggers talk about their tips and journeys toward a zero waste life.

So going to the store was everything I had hoped it would be. Nothing was out of place. The walls were decorated with decals that resembled rooms of a home, and each table was immaculate with themed zero waste products.

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I’ll be honest with you, the price isn’t the cheapest, but I would argue that it’s an investment towards reducing your environmental footprint and just treating the planet a little bit better by producing less waste (in the form of saying no to plastic and one-time use items, and recycling/reusing/composting items that you can).

I got myself a airtight stainless steel container, a cloth grocery bag for any fine items I may purchase in the future, tea tree and charcoal bar soap, and a little cloth napkin that’s probably softer than a baby’s bottom hah! The best part about my shopping haul was that I didn’t produce ANY trash, and I was able to just recycle the stainless steel container for them to reuse again 🙂

What zero waste products do you own at home? What do you do to live a more sustainable life?

Thanks for reading!!

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Can Cities Become Zero Waste?

I want to hear your thoughts on if you think our cities can become zero waste? Does your city or country have zero waste initiatives? Let’s open a dialogue and talk about it! Check out my post on my thoughts about this opportunity 🙂

Zero Waste: The Compost Bins Have Arrived!

HAPPY TUESDAY, Y’ALL! I’m gonna write a quick post just to share my joy about this morning. We finally received our compost bins and we’re so excited to move forward with the #zerowaste movement at home 🙂

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So what is “zero waste“? Zero waste is a lifestyle where you will produce little to no waste, so none of your trash ends up in landfills or incinerators. People who embrace the zero waste lifestyle usually commit to a plastic-free life, since most plastics never just disappear from earth; they only break down into tiny little microparticles that can be ingested by our sea animals and pollute our lands.

Here are some of my favorite zero waste blogs:

There are some companies that have embraced recycling and repurposing plastic items into other items, such as:

  • Rothy’s: recycling plastic to create durable, stylish, and most importantly sustainable flats. I once saw them in person on a woman at a food fair in Brooklyn, and it looked stunning in person, as well! (Hey Rothy’s, I’d love to test your shoes out and write a review on my blog ^_^)
  • Playback Clothing: uses plastic waste with clothing scraps to make sustainable clothing items
  • Preserve: collects recycled goods and makes toothbrushes and kitchenware

And what about “composting”? Composting is “nature’s process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil known as compost”.

cSome quick stats about waste in America:

  • the average American produces approximately 4.5 pounds of trash PER DAY. I did the math: that’s 1,642.5 pounds PER YEAR! (Source: EPA)
  • Americans only recycle about 34% of their waste (source: Planet Aid)
  • More fun, but alarming trash facts can be found here!

I would love to hear about your zero waste lifestyles wherever you are in the world 🙂

Thanks so much for reading! If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe and comment below so I know to post more on this topic.

DIY Toothpaste & Deodorant (Same Recipe Base!)

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Hey everyone 🙂 A loooong time ago, I wanted to write a review comparing different kinds of deodorant since I wanted to eventually move away from the ones that are filled with aluminum compounds, parabens, triclosan (FDA labeled this as a pesticide) propylene glycol (also known as “non-toxic” anti-freeze, guys!!), and more, many of which can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions, and have potential links to cancer… Not to scare you guys away from reading, but it’s important to be informed what you put on your body, especially since deodorants get absorbed through your skin and goes into your system! There are a whole bunch of lymph nodes that reside in the vicinity of your underarms, and can become inflamed and swollen from the toxic additives that are in your deodorant.

I’ve been following many zero waste vloggers and bloggers, and quite a few of them have switched to more natural, zero waste alternatives for deodorant, such as making their own! The tubes that your deodorant and toothpaste are packaged in are often made from plastic that can’t be recycled, so if you want to make a more conscious decision to produce less waste, you can consider making your own deodorant and toothpaste! I’ve just made my first mini-batch of both deodorant and toothpaste, and wanted to share my experience with you.

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Ingredients:

  • baking soda
  • coconut oil
  • essential oils (for scent) – the brand I use is Calily
  • Stevia (for toothpaste)

Steps:

  1. Mix 1 part baking soda, 1 part coconut oil into a container. **I had done 1/2 cup of each, but I would recommend using less coconut oil since it just sits at the top and doesn’t mix very well!**
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  2. Add an appropriate amount of essential oil (the scent of your choice) to the baking soda/coconut oil mix.
  3. Since I was making both toothpaste and deodorant, I separated them into two containers since I wanted different scents for each.
  4. I added peppermint essential oil into the toothpaste mix, and tea tree oil into the deodorant mix. **I put in about 6 drops in each set, but if you want to add more or less, that’s up to you! I’m not a fan of mixing scents, but if you’re adventurous, go for it ;)**
  5. (So I didn’t have Stevia…BUT I highly recommend you invest in some for your toothpaste)

When I tried using my toothpaste sans Stevia, I have to admit, my mouth just felt really greasy from the coconut oil, and salty from that strong baking soda flavor! If you can handle that overwhelming taste, then there’s no need to get Stevia, but I am going to hold off on using my mix for brushing my teeth until I get some… 🙂

For the deodorant, many bloggers have mentioned that your body will take some time to detox and get used to not having chemicals block your sweat glands from producing sweat, so I’m being patient and waiting for the magic to happen! It’s important to mention that sweat should not smell bad; it is the bacteria that would cause an unpleasant odor, so make sure you wash your underarms thoroughly and pat dry after you shower, before you put on the deodorant! Another important tip is if you’re going to transition to your own DIY deodorant, it’s best to do it during the fall going into winter, or in the spring before the summer, that way it’s still cool enough that you won’t produce much sweat, and your body gets enough time to adjust!

There are some people who say that baking soda can be really irritating for their skin, but so far I’ve been okay (maybe it’s the coconut oil that protects my skin!)

Be sure to create only small batches since there’s really no sure-fire way of keeping out random bacteria from creeping into your products, and you don’t want to create a whole vat of this mix only for it to be unusable–coconut oil ain’t cheap, y’all!

Hope you all enjoyed reading 🙂

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As Seen on TV: Nohbo

I am guilty of watching and keeping up with too many television shows, including Shark Tank, a show where entrepreneurs young and old try to get Sharks to invest in their companies! It’s been eye-opening to see some of the inventions and ideas that people come up with, and how creative some people can be.

Lately, I’ve been more environmentally conscious and have been following Zero Waste Home and other YouTube vloggers who started this sort of lifestyle. I’m not sure I’ll ever get to that level, but I’m certainly an avid recycler and I always carry my trash with me until I find a proper trash can! According to the EPA, Americans produced over 250 million TONS of trash, and recycled and composted 87 tons from this trash (about a 34% recycling rate); and on average, we produce over 4 pounds of waste per day–pretty crazy, huh?

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When I leave for grad school, I’m  hoping to continue my habit of recycling, and maybe even take up composting if my school has composting bins for food waste 😮  We only have one earth to live on, and we should take better care of it. I’ve heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch from the documentary called Plastic Paradise, and see too often people in NYC littering in the streets when there are recycling bins on the corner of the block 😦

shampoo

So, back to my original reason I wanted to write this post. There was a teenaged boy featured on Shark Tank who created an ingenious invention called Nohbo, which is an eco-friendly shampoo ball. After watching Plastic Paradise, I thought this was a brilliant idea! We all need to wash our hair a couple of times a week at a minimum, so we’ll always need shampoo or some kind of alternative, but with all the plastic the world is producing, where does it all go? Nohbo is great because it is eliminating the plastic bottle packaging by wrapping these single-use shampoo balls in a biodegradable material that can be composted later. It’s available on their website for pre-ordering right now, and I think it’s a step in the right direction for people who want to actively take care of our planet and consciously buy more environmentally friendly products 🙂

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