Tag Archives: plasticfree

plastic-free gift wrap that’s kind to your wallet and the planet

Nat King Cole plays in the background, as a hot cup of tea sits on your table. Your living room is littered with presents and paper and ribbon and tape, as you begin – wait, where’s the tape?

Sound familiar to anybody? (Yo, I can’t be the only person who loses the tape every. single. time. I set it down. ;))

I actually really enjoy wrapping presents. It’s therapeutic to me. But to some folks, wrapping presents is the worst part of the holidays – need I bring up the tape again?

For the last few years I’ve really tried to limit my waste when wrapping present. Here’s what you’ll likely need to wrap your gifts more sustainably this year…

MATERIALS

I’ve been collecting newspaper, ribbon, tissue paper and gift bags for the last year. Anytime paper was stuffed in one of my packages from Amazon or Earth Hero, I tucked the paper away and recycled the rest. If I got smaller boxes, like ones from RMS Beauty and Elate Cosmetics that contain my makeup, I saved those bad boys, too.

When it comes to reusables, save and save and save.

For example, glass jars. I’ve got a cupboard full of glass jars with lids. I use them for anything from grocery shopping (buying bulk!) to carrying left overs to holding salad dressings to stuffing them with gifts for the holidays!

Same goes for paper. If you get paper in the mail that you could reuse – do it! I have a box brimming with different size boxes and papers and ribbon and all sorts of stuff I’ve gotten over the past year.

If you’re looking for some cute ways to make your gifts more sustainably packaged this year, here’s a few tips.

SUSTAINABLE GIFT WRAP IDEAS

1. Buy twine/string that comes in paper. I got a spool of twine that came in black and white/red and the only packaging it came in was paper! I found this at Target. Also, I found ribbon that was mainly in paper. Clutch!

2. Opt for paper bags! I bought a bunch of brown craft paper bags from a craft store and I’m using them for lots of presents this year. You can jazz them up with some ribbon or greenery and add some tissue paper.

3. Look for tissue paper that doesn’t come wrapped in plastic. It can be hard to find sometimes, but it’s out there! Also, reuse your tissue paper as much as you can. I like to save tissue paper and other items from packages that have been shipped to me. I have a whole bin filled with tissue paper and other packing paper that I use for my Christmas presents!

4. Get creative/go outside. I cut off a few pieces of a pine tree to use as decoration on my boxes and bags. You can use sticks and pine and all sorts of wintery items to dress up your stuff.

5. Opt for paper tape, or use minimal tape. I didn’t use tape in 2019 when wrapping my presents. Instead, I reused boxes and wrapped ribbon or twine around it. The boxes stay shut just fine that way! This year, I invested in paper tape. I got mine from Amazon, but I’d recommend getting some from Etsy. Here’s a link to one I’d recommend. Or, if you want Christmas-y paper take, here’s an option.

6. Use fabric! This year I used an old piece of fabric (it was once a skirt), cut it, and tied a knot around my present. It’s a fun and free way to wrap your presents – and it’s helpful when you are trying to get rid of clothes, or have clothes that aren’t in good enough shape to drop off at the thrift store.

THINGS TO REMEMBER

Less is more. When you’re wrapping something, don’t feel like you have to go overboard. Often, a simple paper bag with some tissue is all you need.

If you see family and friends tossing out tissue paper or boxes, take them with you! Tissue paper can be reused over and over again. Same goes for wrapping paper, boxes, gifts bags, ribbons and anything else.

As far as name tags go, you could write the person name directly on the bag. Or cut a piece of paper into a circle; inside the circle write their name. Then punch a small hole through part of the circle and, using twine, tie it onto my gift. It’s recyclable and simple. Or, use paper tape! That’s what I’ve been doing lately.

How are you wrapping your gifts this holiday season?

don’t scrap your scraps — compost ‘em! here’s how.

When I first started googling how to compost, for whatever reason I got super confused.

Some people said you should compost this, or do that, or put it here, or blah blah blah.

Don’t get overwhelmed with composting –– it’s super easy and simple!

I’ve gotten my info from personal experience, research andddd a lot of help from a dear friend of mine who is a farmer/gardener. (s/o to Dave!)

Here are a few steps in order to successfully compost from your kitchen! (even if you live in an apartment!):

GET A BUCKET AND A LID

There are loads of composting containers online and in stores that’ll use trendy marketing ploys to try and convince you to purchase their containers.

Don’t fall for it, fam! (I did, so if you did, you aren’t alone lol).

In the photo attached to this post, I have my trendy stainless steel composting bin I purchased from Target.

It was $20 and I thought it would look super cute on my counter. It had a charcoal filter on the lid that was supposed to prevent odor. There are holes in the lid that are covered by a charcoal filter.

And at first I loved it! It was pretty, easy to throw lettuce into and I really felt like I found the best bin around.

Buuttt then one day I noticed there were lots of flies near my bin. I didn’t think much about it.

I went away for a couple days and came back to find MAGGOTS IN MY COMPOST AND THE CHARCOAL LID.

Flies got through the holes / charcoal filter in the lid!

Bugs don’t typically bother me. But having maggots chill on my kitchen counter wasn’t really up my alley.

So we switched things up. We tried out a bucket instead.

We bought a 5 gallon bucket and lid (you can get these from The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or some other store where you can buy paint). Or honestly, ya might even have a bucket and lid in your garage!

Mike and I kept ours under our sink and every time it got filled with food waste, we’d drop it off at our friend’s house because he has a compost bin (another s/o to Dave!).

It’s a great route to go! But we noticed we still occasionally got gnats around our bin and the smell was a little rough sometimes.

Our new method? Remember that cute stainless steel bucket I talked about?

Now, we’re opting to toss our food scraps in there, but keep the bucket in our freezer!

You don’t need a cute bucket. In fact, you can just use a big bowl! Keep your container in the freezer and toss your banana peels and apple cores and egg shells in there!

You get zero smell — because it’s frozen!

WHAT GOES IN MY BIN?

Basically anything that would grow naturally…

Like fruits and veggies, egg shells and paper products.

Here’s a list of items you CAN compost:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds and (most) filters
  • (Some) tea bags (not all… many tea bags actually contain plastic. Best to opt for loose-leaf tea!)
  • Nut shells
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Yard trimmings
  • Grass clippings
  • Houseplants
  • Hay and straw
  • Leaves
  • Sawdust
  • Wood chips
  • Cotton and wool rags
  • Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
  • Hair and fur
  • Fireplace ashes

Here are things you shouldn’t compost:

  • Black walnut tree leaves or twigs
  • Coal or charcoal ash
  • Dairy products (like butter, milk, sour cream, yogurt…) and eggs
  • Diseased or insect-ridden plants
  • Fats, grease, lard, or oils
  • Meat or fish bones/scraps
  • Pet wastes, such as feces and litter
  • Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides

For an even larger list, check out this post here. Also this post just gives some super helpful info in general!

WHAT IF MY BIN GETS MOLDY?

It’s most likely going to grow a little bit mold. And that’s fine!

Don’t be alarmed when you see some green fuzzy stuff growing in your compost bin. That’s totally normal.

A way to help avoid that, though, is to add more paper products — like newspapers — into your bin. If you put a bunch of crinkled up newspapers as the bottom layer in your compost bin, the compost won’t become as wet, which won’t produce as much mold.

WHAT DO I DO WHEN MY COMPOST BIN IS FULL?

So, technically your bin isn’t compost. It’s basically like a holding cell until you can transfer your food scraps to become real soil.

Ask around to see if anyone you know has a compost pile. If not, contact a few farms — I’d almost guarantee they have a compost pile. Go to a farmer’s market and see if they’ll let you drop off your compost with them.

If none of that works, consider creating your own compost area somewhere outside. You can purchase a large container to hold your compost, or you can essentially dig a hole in the ground to keep your compost in. It’s called the trench method and it’s simple and easy to do. But for people who live in apartments — like Mike and me! — that’s probably not the best option. There’s a great article about composting / different options here. Also, Happy DIY Home recently wrote an article about composting. It’s super helpful, check it out here.

I don’t have a lot of experience with having a real compost pile myself… but I’d be happy to do further research if you’re interested in trying it yourself!

Another way to compost on your own is to buy red wigglers — you can typically find those wormies at a local bait shop. I haven’t tried using worms, but I’ve heard great things! Wormies are amazing at creating compost!

HAPPY COMPOSTING! 🙂

Resources

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

deo update: fat and the moon keeps on slaying

I wrote a post several months ago comparing two of the best zero waste deodorants on the market — Meow Meow Tweet and Schmidt’s. And I still standby the fact that they are two great brands, with pros and cons to both of their deodorants. Check out that article here.

But, I’ve come to find my favorite deodorant. Dudes. It’s perfect.

I don’t smell, it’s all-natural with incredible ingredients, and the company is wonderful.

No surprise, the deodorant is made by Fat and the Moon — my favorite company.

Before I delve into why I’m freaking out over this dope deodorant, this is REALLY important to understand about natural deodorants…

you can’t switch overnight

Here’s why.

For years you’ve been bathing your pits in antiperspirant garbage. Your underarms have grown accustomed to what you’ve been lathering under there. You’ve gotta give your pits some breathing room. They’ve gotta detox.

People detox in several different ways. PureAndRadiant.org has an incredible explanation of why and how to detox your pits. Check out the blog post here.

Buuutttt, I didn’t do it their way. They tell you to make a spray (using essential oils *check out why I choose Young Living here* + apple cider vinegar) that you spritz on your armpits morning and night. And that’s a great idea and something I’d recommend, honestly!

What did I do? I simply didn’t wear deodorant for a few days.

Yeah…. I know… I’m foul. But I’m telling you, it worked well for me.

I didn’t wear deodorant for about a week and during that time, I would really exfoliate my underarms while I was in the shower (just using gentle, natural soap, like Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap, and a wash cloth).

Typically within a week — though it can take shorter or longer depending on how your body feels — you’ll be able to use your natural deodorant.

That’s a big issue people run into with natural deodorants — they either get rashes or irritation or they think they just simply don’t work because they never gave their pits some time to breathe.

natural deodorants don’t have antiperspirant

I’m a big sweater. I’m one of those people who spend 20 minutes outside and get red-faced, dripping in sweat and smelling less than desirable.

In middle and high school, as well as college, I was super self-conscious about it. I remember when I would literally put paper towels underneath my clothes before going to school in the morning because I was petrified of having sweat stains.

Now, I look back and laugh. I was so self-conscious (about my weight, my skin, my sweating, my voice — everything!) and it kept me self-consumed and self-destructive. I was unhealthy in so many ways back then — especially mentally.

But now I don’t feel worried about sweating. I don’t care that I get pit stains when it’s warm. I don’t feel restricted to just wear baggy clothes all of the time because my BMI is less than ideal.

Sweating is healthy. It’s our body’s way of cooling itself down. Deodorants that clog your pores and claim to stop you from sweating aren’t actually doing your body any favors! They’re just fulfilling a false standard of beauty that our society has thrown onto us.

Sweating is good, not bad or ugly!

Natural deodorants may not stop you from sweating because they lack antiperspirant. Antiperspirant may be linked to hormonal issues…. so you’re better off without it!

But if you find the right natural deo, they should tame your B.O. and keep you feeling fresh, even when it’s hot as heck out and you’re sweating bullets.

fat and the moon’s deodorant cream to the rescue

Fat and the Moon sent me this deodorant to try and let me tell you what, I was so surprised at how good it worked I almost didn’t believe it. I actually had my husband smell me to make sure it wasn’t in my head.

I put some on before work and was impressed I didn’t smell bad all day. It wasn’t hot outside, so I was thinking maybe it was a fluke…

So then I put it to the REAL test. Hot yoga.

If you’re not familiar with hot yoga, it’s a yoga class in a room that’s jacked up to 80-90 degrees. You’re essentially doing a vinyasa flow in a sauna. And it’s HOT. So hot that everybody sweats in places they never knew they could sweat.

Knee caps sweat? Well they sure do at hot yoga.

I was driving home after my yoga class and thought, I wonder if this little cream worked at all?

I smelled my pits and… smelled… nothing.

I laughed. There’s no way this all-natural, zero waste deodorant actually held up during hot freaking yoga.

I got home and asked Mike if he smelled anything. He didn’t.

I was immediately sold. This is the best deodorant — not just “natural, zero waste” deo, but deodorant in general — that I’ve ever used.

let’s take a closer look at this deo

The cream comes in a glass jar with a metal lid (sustainable A.F.!). I reuse these containers constantly for diys. They’re the BEST.

Here are the ingredients:

coconut oil*
baking soda (aluminum free)
arrowroot starch*
beeswax
essential oils of black pepper*
clary sage*
bergamot*
tea tree*
grapefruit*
(*Organic)

You take a little bit of the cream onto your finger (about a pea-size) and rub it on your pits. If you haven’t used a cream deodorant like this before, it may feel a little weird at first, but within a couple uses you totally get used to it. I don’t even think about it anymore!

Something important to note: some folks notice redness and irritation when they use products with baking soda. I haven’t noticed that with this.

They also have a sensitive pit cream option, but the normal version works a lot better for me!

Also, my friend used this deodorant cream and got a little red under her arms. She kept using it and about a week later her body was used to it!

Go with your body and what works for you. If you’re experiencing irritation, you may be allergic to baking soda. Or, there’s a chance your body hasn’t detoxed enough from traditional products.

When in doubt, play it safe and trust what your body is telling you!

it may be a bit pricey for some folks

So… this deodorant isn’t cheap. But you get what you pay for!

With this product, there are three sizes: 0.5 ounces, 2 ounces and 6 ounces.

This stuff lasts months because a little goes a long way!

And the 6 ounce jar is really big. (It’s the one I have in my pictures.)

My suggestion? Try out the little 0.5 ounce tin and see if you like it! If you do, keep it for when you travel and purchase a larger size! And once you’re done with the little tin, you can reuse it or refill it with deo from your larger jar! :]

The majority of the ingredients in this deodorant are organic. Each product is handmade. Fat and the Moon is sustainable, ethical, eco-friendly, inclusive, body-positive, and female owned.

I’m in love with every single product I’ve used from them. Right now, their aloe lotion is doubling as a moisturizer and primer for me before I put my makeup on, and it’s THE BEST.

Check out my review of their brand to find out why I’m so obsessed with their stuff! You can read that review here.

what deo do you use? :]