In honor of #PlasticFreeJuly, we caught up with 6 women from around the country who are all moving towards a conscious-consuming lifestyle. Read on as we dive deeper into easy-to-use tips, DIY recipes, projects and inspiration to shop more thoughtfully.
Katie is the wellness blogger behind Cuisine by Katie. This overall conscious living chica has so many tips to offer; Today she focuses on buying in bulk.
Buying in bulk will cut down on plastic packaging and even save you money. "I buy bulk (especially nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes), say “no” to straws, and, bring my own reusable bag to the grocery store," she says.
Katie modestly states, "This is just a glimpse into my journey towards zero waste so far. Of course, I am not perfect. There are still times I will forget to bring my own thermos to the coffee shop or leave my reusable shopping bag at home. The key for me has been to make little improvements every day towards reducing my overall consumption."
Katies' other tips include ditching disposable razors for a safety razor and recently she transitioned from using tampons to using a menstrual cup.
Catch Katie on Instagram here.
Our dear June is an avid aventuring gal from the state of Virginia. Her tips focus all around tackling food and packaging waste. She suggests bring your own grocery bags (she uses the drawstring bags your pillow cases come in!) and those trusty reusable jam jars.
"The world is all about excess-we don't value what we have and we consume way too much. Grocery stores knowingly buy more food that will end up being thrown away because it brings in more profit than buying less- the appearance of 'abundance' results in more impulse purchases."
Junes go-to is whole foods bulk section. There she buys her rice/grains, granola, nuts, nutritional yeast, shredded coconut, and peanut butter. She told me that at first, it can seem overwhelming, but implementing conscious shopping habits kicks in fast and the overall experience just feels right.
"I am nowhere near perfect and sometimes it does get frustrating but it's more about choosing to make better choices one day at a time. I think the biggest thing I've learned (and am still learning) is how to become a more conscious and conservative consumer as a co-habitant on this planet."
After spending two months of #vanlife last year, Kayla has reconsidered how much she really needs in her day-to-day.
"When you live out of a car," she says, "Every item has to be used on a regular basis in order to justify it's space. Many tools become multi-purpose and that helps you limit down your gear." Kayla has taken these skills she learned from the road and tries to re-use or re-purpose as much as she can in her day to day life.
"I'm very lucky to live in a state that values recycling efforts. California has a ban on plastic so we bring reusable bags every time we grocery shop (otherwise stores charge 0.10 per bag). We also try to shop local when we can at the weekly farmer's market."
One thing we thought was awesome was that Kayla has started her own home garden to grow her own veggies and herbs. Lucky for us, she shares how she repurposes egg cartons into mini herb gardens. Thanks, Kayla!
"I planted a carton full of cilantro seeds in under 10 minutes this morning. All you need is an egg carton, knife or scissors, soil, seeds, water, and a rag."
Kayla's Steps for an DIY Mini-Garden
1) Poke tiny holes in the bottoms of an empty egg carton.
2) Set on a rag. Add soil so each crater is 3/4 full. Add seeds or baby starters.
3) Press seeds into soil until covered. Mist with water.
4) Set your herb garden in a sunny spot (4+ hrs a day).
5) Water according to the directions on your seeds.
Check on Kayla on Instagram here.
Our friend, Danielle, is a shining star inside and out. This designer/cycle instructor/cat mom has recently started striding towards a waste conscious lifestyle.
"I’ve been trying to reduce waste by making things instead of buying them whenever possible," she says. "If you’re a milk drinker, almond milk is an easy one!"
Danielle, tell us more about this recipe!
"By making your own, you save the often not-completely-recyclable Tetra-Pak packaging, the pollution created in the mass manufacturing process, and even the food waste of not using all of what you buy. Be sure to bring a reusable bag to a grocer to avoid buying plastic-packaged almonds, store your milk in a reusable jar, make frequent but smaller quantities to avoid waste, and even use the leftover almond meal in baking or smoothies!" She added that if you want to be even more environmentally aware, choose oat milk over almond since it uses less water.
OH and we can't forget that Danielle has recently blessed the world with these eye popping #PlasticFreeJuly slides for your Insta story. Download them here and help spread the message regarding plastic pollution.
Follow along Danielle's journey on Insta here.
Meet Rachel, a recent graduate school grad from South Carolina. This lady introduced us to the make your own matcha routine and rides her bike everywhere she goes.
We caught up with Rach and she said this:
"The main thing for me is making sure I vote. That’s one of the most important things people can do to have a community-wide impact. It’s so important to vote for representatives who will favor the environment and non-plastic industry! This also goes into volunteering and / or just support organizations that help promote environmental conservation!"
Rachel also stresses how important it is to make your own food and drinks at home. "That way you can avoid plastic wrapped pre-made things as well as single use takeaway containers in general."
Find Rachel on Instagram here.
Steph lives in Rhode Island with her sweet husband and pup while working for a NGO. This lady is all about staying fit and being smart about which restaurants she supports.
"Use your voice by supporting restaurants and/or businesses that recognize their environmental impact and do what they can to minimize it. Plastic and styrofoam are detrimental to the environment and to humans. Our food, especially when hot, shouldn't be sitting in these materials. Many restaurants have made the switch to environmentally-friendly take-out containers; support those guys!"
Check out Steph on Instagram here.
Thanks to all of these lovely ladies for their time and suggestions.
If you'd like to start your journey towards a conscious-consuming lifestyle, start by buying our Maria Market Bag - A reusable bag handmade by women in Ecuador.