Sustainable Shopping: How to Reduce Your Fashion Footprint

 

Image source: Unsplash

 

Fashionistas across the globe spend their lives in search of trademark, on-trend pieces that they can welcome into their wardrobe. The unfortunate truth, though, is that seasons come and go – and with them, trends are left behind (creating unnecessary waste from the remnants of once-loved garments).

 

As environmental consciousness continues to make its way into the fore, becoming the universal concern it should always have been, we’re breaking down some simple and effective ways you can change how you shop in order to make eco-friendly decisions when it comes to your wardrobe. Earth-loving fashionistas unite: it’s time to reduce the world’s fashion footprint.

 

Shop local

 

In your quest for greener shopping habits, the first crucial step is to forego high-street giants in favour of smaller independent stores. Finding a local shop that sells sustainably sourced or vintage clothing – or, better still, donates a portion of its proceeds to a relevant charity or conservation project – means doing your bit for the little guy, and for the planet.

 

Supporting your local community is a truly noble endeavour, but the same ethos can also be applied online – with smaller businesses (selling their own goods or curating those of other brands) needing your custom and valuing your loyalty more than major outlets and international market leaders.

 

Shop for quality

 

One simple and powerful way to not only reduce the ecological footprint of your shopping behaviour, but also allow you to budget effectively is to shop less frequently, but focus your spending on high-quality items that have longevity on their side.

 

For example, rather than paying the bare minimum for a serviceable but ultimately poor quality pair of shoes or pants, instead invest in a pair of hard-wearing women’s boots or some designer men’s jeans – items that mean paying more up-front but offer dependable quality for years to come. This way, you can lower your fashion footprint and the associated price tag in the long run.

Image source: Unsplash

 

Shop vintage

 

Naturally, one of the most popular sustainable shopping habits is buying secondhand rather than brand new. As such, rummaging through vintage clothing outlets and thrift stores in search of preloved gems provides a fun, budget-friendly and environmentally conscious alternative to the norm.

 

Searching these treasure troves for statement garments made from quality fabrics gives you a chance to save money and enjoy the satisfaction of striking gold when you find a unique retro item that has ‘you’ written all over it. Complete the cycle by donating your own vintage favourites to your local thrift store once you’re ready to release them back into the wild.

Shop for a lifetime

 

Being a sustainably-minded fashionista means never saying goodbye to a garment unless absolutely necessary. It’s important to know that an item which has temporarily lost its sparkle doesn’t necessarily have nothing more to give. In the face of holes, scuffs, worn fabric and outdated designs, crack open your craft kit, pick up your needle and thread and get to work!

 

Whether you’re embellishing an uninspiring dress, patching up an old jacket or adding a whole new layer to a once-loved item (such as a new lace collar or hem), the options are practically endless when it comes to upcycling your clothing. There’s also the option to repurpose the fabric for an interior DIY project and create a stylish new home accessory from the remains of the piece in question.

 

Shop mindfully

 

Finally, to create a long-term habit out of your newfound quest for sustainable shopping options, the key is to have your passion for ethical and eco-friendly brands permeate your online browsing behaviour. It’s fair to say that you may struggle to simply stumble upon green clothing companies by chance – making it important to do your research, and it’s online that this research will be most rewarding.

 

From brands that source materials sustainably to those that swear by plastic-free packaging and guarantee their staff fair wages and working conditions, there are a diverse range of factors which contribute to an ‘ethical’ brand – but the information is out there and, by making this your deal-breaker as a consumer, you can take one big step towards reducing your fashion footprint forever.

Image source: Unsplash

Must Try Essential Oils Recipes For Summer

The use of essential oils and the ways to use it during the summer.

We use our essential oils all summer to keep us balanced and in control of our body, mind, and soul. When summer rolls around, we change the oils to help us through the changing season. This is a magical time. Spring and summer are when a lot of essential oils are made from the fresh plants that are coming in. While the oils work well year-round, there is something about using a summer oil that sparks us to life.

Summer challenges

The summer days are longer, and the warm sun beacons us to the outdoors. As our schedule fills with fun things to do with friends and family, we must address common issues that cause us problems. Here are a few of them:

  • Allergies
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Insects
  • Sunlight
  • High-energy activities
  • Change in diet

How Do they work?

One of the most common uses for essential oils in the summer is the oils that promote energy. Essential oils are steam-distilled or pressed in the process that extracts the oils from plants. These oils are concentrated and have proven to have amazing benefits medically and even emotionally. These properties date back centuries.

Note: Essential oils are safe but, they are powerful. It is important that you treat them with respect.

When trying a new essential oil, only try one new addition at a time. The reason for this is if you have an allergic reaction to an oil, you will be able to identify it and eliminate it.

It is also important to research the oils you are using and educate yourself in using them properly. You will be able to make recipes that give you energy and help you stay calm. But you may have to adjust the ingredients to ensure you do not use oils that naturally sedate you or help you sleep. This would render your daytime and nighttime oils less effective.

Essential oils for energy

Citrus

Generations of people have used lemon as an energy booster. You can use a mixture of lemon oil and orange oil for an instant boost. Rub a little on your wrists or the bend of your elbow to release the scent throughout the day. If you want to adjust the smell try a few drops of grapefruit in your mix. All of these are great for energy and a clear mind.

Bonus: put lemon oil, olive oil, and orange oil in a spray bottle of water and use it to clean your home. It gives your home a great smell, repels insects, and makes cleaning a breeze.

Herb oils for energy

French or exotic basil oils can be used to stimulate the human adrenal glands. This helps relieve mental tiredness. Add a few drops of rosemary to enhance your focus and concentration levels.

Summer sun

Sun worshippers understand the dangers of the summer sun on our skin, lips, and hair. A sunburn can be anything from a minor issue to a life-threatening problem. It is important that we protect our skin from the sun either with organic sunscreen or not.

Some people make their own sunscreen and natural deodorant with oils and add scents from essential oils for insect protection and a feeling of well-being. You can get a list of SPF protection ratings from some essential oils here.

You will notice that there are natural SPF protections in the oils. However, many people do not feel they get enough sun protection with the oils alone. It is a personal choice. You can buy an over the counter sunscreen and boost its powers by adding these all natural products. You may also combine various oils until you find the mixture that works well for your skin type.

Here are some basic oils that you should consider.

  • Peppermint essential oil – SPF 7
  • Holy basil essential oil – SPF 7
  • Lavender essential oil – SPF 6
  • Sweet orange essential oil – SPF 4
  • Eucalyptus essential oil – SPF 3
  • Tea tree essential oil – SPF 2
  • Rose essential oil – SPF 1

 

Essential oils for sunburn and dry lips

Here is a list of essential oils that work well for dry, burned, and cracked lips. These same oils work to heal skin that has been burned. For the lips, you can simply rub a drop of the oil of your choice directly on the lips. To use it for skin care, you can dilute the oils with water or add them to an aloe vera base (or use the aloe vera alone).

  • Citrus Peel Oil (Orange Peel Oil)
  • Coriander Oil
  • Jasmine Oil
  • Chamomile Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Blue Tansy Essential Oils
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Jasmine Oil
  • Aloe Vera Oil
  • Rosehip Seed Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Mustard Oil
  • Almond Oil
Coconut essential oil

Finally, it is important that you stay well and healthy during your summer months. Nothing is worse than going on vacation and catching someone’s bug in the plane or car.

The summer months are full of little problems that can ruin your day. Itching bug bites, foot fungus, stings, rashes, eye infection and other annoyances are easily taken care of with your travel kit. Here is a “must have” list. Set up a kit and throw it in your overnight bag, You will be ready for anything that comes your way.

Stress

  • Orange and Lavender
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Frankincense

Stay Awake

  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary

Bug bites, stings, and rashes

  • Lavender
  • Frankincense
  • Tea tree
  • Calendula
  • Roman chamomile

Germ protection

  • Clove
  • Cinnamon
  • Tea tree oil
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemongrass

You can use these oils by rubbing them on the skin while in the plane or hotel. But, if you keep them in a diffuser in your home, they will help keep you well. Everyone knows it is easier to stay well than to get well.

There is no question that essential oils are your summertime friend. Be cautious when using citrus oils in the sun. Be aware of how long you have used it and how long you are expecting to be in the sun. Common sense goes a long way with any preventative. So grab your oils and hit the beach. Summer is waiting.

Here are some of the best essential oils recipes to try this summer:

1. How to Make Putty – The Best Stress Putty Recipe

2. What are the Best Essential Oils for Bruises?

3. Homemade Lip Balm

4. Green for Beauty – All Natural Cosmetics to Try This Spring

5. DIY Natural Deodorant with Coconut Oil

6. DIY Vegan Lip Gloss Recipe

7. 3 Aloe Vera Cream Home Remedies

8. 6 DIY Essential Oil Beauty Recipes for Glowing Skin

9. DIY After Sun Skin Care Spray for Under$5

 

Do you have anything to add to the list? Do you use essential oils and what for?

I’d love to hear from you so make sure to drop me a line!

Staying Healthy Throughout The Season

Young gymnasts always aspire for perfection. Staying healthy is key in helping achieve this goal. Here are some tips that will help to keep you healthy all through the gymnastics season:  

Good Flexibility is necessary

Though you need to be flexible to succeed as a gymnast, the average gymnast is more flexible on one side. For instance, your left side might be split down all the way but your right side is not. If you are only flexible in one part of the body but not all, you might end up suffering from back pain or joint pain.

 

Often times, gymnasts think that their backs are very flexible, but this might not be entirely true. Tight shoulders will strain your lower back when performing back walkovers and bridges, so you should stretch your shoulders before you start any routine. Just remember that not all gymnasts are born flexible and you have to work on your flexibility.

Take Conditioning Seriously

Gymnastics is an activity that requires a lot of strength, so you need to condition to ensure that you get stronger. Conditioning will help you to reduce the number of injuries that you sustain, which allows you to perform harder and improve your skills drastically. Doing home exercises daily might help you a lot to improve your flexibility and muscles strength. In gymnastics, you will perform many repetitive movements and this will have an impact on your body.

 

Conditioning helps you to protect your joints: ankles, wrists, and knees. To keep your body strong, you should listen to your coach and do the right number of repetitions. No matter how tired you feel at the end of the day, you should take the time to do some conditioning exercises.

Stay Balanced

Gymnasts are some of the strongest athletes, but their strength does not come overnight. They spend many hours conditioning and training to strengthen their muscles enough so that they can support their joints. However, this does not mean that every muscle in your body is strong because you are a gymnast.

 

Strength training has many health benefits and it’s highly recommended around the world. Most gymnasts have weak hip muscles, which can lead to knee, lower back, and hip injuries. You might favor one side of your body but you need to use both sides equally to develop strength and maintain good balance. Using both sides also helps your body to develop a sense of where it is in a space. Therefore, you should ensure that you do turns, jumps, and leaps on both sides to improve your body symmetry.

Fuel the Body

You need to pay attention to your nutrition if you want to keep your body well fueled and strong. Make sure that you plan for snacks every 3 to 4 hours and start drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Before practice, you should avoid fried foods and eat high-carbohydrate foods. Drink or eat foods with calcium every day to keep your bones strong.

 

You should balance your meals with 2/3 carbohydrates and 1/3 protein. Look for foods that are high in good fats, such as olive oil, peanut butter, and soy nuts. Do not forget to give your diet top priority if you want to achieve your gymnastic goals.

Be Good Communicators

Pain is the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. If you are unable to practice because of pain, you should tell your coach and he will recommend the best course of action. If you feel sharp stabs and cramping in your body, you should seek medical help. Waiting to seek help might result in serious injuries that could end your career.

 

If you manage your pain properly, you will be able to stay in the gym and adjust your routines to allow the injured parts to heal while working out the rest of your body. When returning to practice after healing, you should keep the lines of communications open and report any fears to your coach. He will help you to make a gradual transition back into practice as you regain your confidence.

 

If you are looking for t-shirts to wear as you practice, you should consider custom ones such as personalized t-shirts to ward off the chill.

How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Mattress (Without Destroying the Earth)

So your mattress has reached the end of its life…

Find the next destination of your old, unwanted mattress and avoid the landfill at all costs. Based on the condition of your mattress, we will help you decide if it should be recycled or donated – never dumped.

Twenty-million mattresses are improperly disposed of every year in the United States – meaning they end up in a landfill. To put this into perspective, the number of mattresses dumped in a landfill could circle the earth. What a shame considering 85% of the materials in a mattress can be recycled!

This information might sound shocking, but think about how many unwanted mattresses you’ve come across in your own neighborhood. You’ve probably seen many a mattress dumped on the curb for the trash collectors.

Have you ever thought about what you would do with your old mattress? Probably not. After all, the average lifetime of a mattress is 7 to 10 years – so it’s not a regular habit to get rid of your mattress like it would be to take out the trash. That’s why no one really knows what to do with their old mattress.

We are here to tell you that there are options! Contrary to popular belief, there are responsible ways to dispose of your mattress.

Before you ask yourself, “Why to bother?”, consider these consequences:

  1. You could be fined for illegally dumping your mattress
  2. Mattresses take a decade to decompose
  3. Some materials in mattresses are non-biodegradable chemicals that can seep into drinking water
  4. Mattress springs get caught in equipment, causing damage and imposing costs
  5. They can create flammable air pockets

Here’s how to get rid of your mattress without getting fined or destroying the earth:

Option 1: Donate Your Mattress

Before tossing your old mattress, consider giving it to someone in need!

Keep in mind, this is a more conditional option. For a mattress to be donated, it must be free of any rips or stains. (If that’s the case, check out option two below about recycling your mattress.)

For those of you still with us, you should know there are many laws about donating and reselling mattresses. So even if your old bed is in decent condition, there may not be any place to donate it in your area.

Donating your mattress is easy. All you have to do is call your local charity and ask if they accept mattress donations. If they do, most of the time they will come pick it up at your house for free! If not, load it up in the car and drop it off.

Almost all donated mattresses are taken to be sanitized before they are offered to someone in need. For more information, check out Mattress Advisor’s guide to donating your mattress.

Option 2: Recycle Your Mattress

Okay, so your mattress has reached the end of its life – or so you thought! Although it’s life as a bed is over, consider all the ways it can be repurposed. For example, as carpet underlay, yarn, mulch, clothing and much more!

Source: mattressadvisor.com

If recycling sounds like a good option for your situation, check out this guide to recycling your mattress. It will tell you everything you need to know about how, why and where to recycle your mattress.

Once again, the process of recycling a mattress varies from state to state and sometimes city to city. To get you started, find places to recycle your mattress near you:

  1. Earth 911
  2. Bye Bye Mattress – for those of you in California, Rhode Island and Connecticut
  3. Sleep on Latex – 100 recycling facilities nationwide that accept mattresses
  4. Keep America Beautiful

A word of caution

There is the option to call a junk removal service such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK and College Hunks Hauling Junk. Just make sure to call and ask where they take the mattresses in your area. Oftentimes, they take them to the landfill – which we are trying to avoid! However, sometimes they DO recycle. Just make sure you know where your bed is going, and try to avoid the landfill at all costs!

How To Create An Eco-Friendly Budget Travel Package List

Central America is a beautiful place to visit and a huge draw for tourist annually. If you are on a budget, the best destination in this part of the world is Honduras.

 

Honduras gives you the beauty of the tropical Caribbean, the rich Garifuna culture of the area, and it will not break the bank. There are actually some very reasonable ways to travel to Honduras.

Research before you go

As with any country, there are a few places you would not want to travel in Honduras. Just as the United States has areas that are troubled with gangs and unsavory activities, Central America has it’s troubled spots.

 

However, for the most part, Honduras is a tropical paradise. As long as you know where to travel, you will have no worries.

Photo credit/site https://pixabay.com/en/pyramids-mayan-ruins-chichen-itza-2803447/

 

Beautiful and affordable

The Northern coast is famous for natural beauty. La Ceiba is a destination that many people flock to. This area is very affordable, and there are many options to allow you to customize your trip. For example, you may opt to stay in a hostel which is considerably less money than a hotel. You may also choose to rent a cabin. If you are traveling in a group, a cabin with up to 4 bunks may be just what you are looking for. Travel light and have your luggage delivered to you. This allows you more options for getting to your destination. You can even arrange to have it shipped back home at the end of your trip.

Embrace the culture

When Americans go on vacation, we seem to have a preconceived notion that we have to eat, sleep, and live as we do at home. When you are traveling to Central America, you will find their lifestyle is different from yours. This is their home, and they are accustomed to making the most of it. To save money and enjoy a true Central American experience, live as they do. Instead, be open to trying new things. For example, instead of eating at a restaurant, try a local cafeteria. Enjoy low prices and traditional foods like “pastelitos” and “baleadas” from famous Cobel’s Cafeteria. Cobel’s is well known for their breakfasts.

 

In the evening, it is not unusual to find food vendors on the beach. They serve their authentic meals such as baleadas which is (warm wheat flour tortillas) topped with refried beans, cheeses, avocado, chicken, pork or a local favorite “chorizo”.

Getting around

In Honduras, you do not have to spend a fortune renting a car or taking a cab. The most popular form of transportation is walking. However, using a taxi is very inexpensive. The charge is per person, and it usually equals less than $2.00 per trip. The taxi can pick up a total of four people while in route. This is a great way to meet the locals, see the sights, and save a bundle. There are also shuttle services available between popular destinations.

Money saving tips

  • Check your bill carefully. Some establishments add the tip directly to your bill. If you are not watching, you could tip your server twice.
  • Use cash. The credit card and debit card fees in Honduras are costly.
  • Take care of your currency exchange before you go. There are money changers at the borders, but they charge hefty fees.
  • Download apps to help you with the currency and the language. Take your time and be sure you know what you are paying for and how much it costs.
  • Consider backpacking and camping while you are there. The weather is great, and there is no better way to enjoy the tropics.
  • Shop for travel packages before you go. Make your purchases online and compare the adventures.

Most popular attractions in Honduras

Honduras is popular for many things. When you are planning your travels, learn which attractions are where. Then shop that area for the best deals on food, lodging, and fun. Here are some popular things to do on your Central American trip:

 

  • Visit the Mayan ruins
  • Go on a zipline adventure in the wilds of Honduras
  • Visit the world’s second largest coral reef
  • See a wide variety of wildlife in the rainforests, pristine lagoons, and sea
  • Go scuba diving in Roatan. See shipwrecks, seawalls, and marine life.
  • Go whitewater rafting or kayaking at Pico Bonito.

 

No matter what your idea of fun it, you will find it in Central America. No where else can you experience this natural beauty at such an affordable price. Once you go, you will return again and again.