Tag Archives: shop small

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?

Meet B-CORPS: A business model for good

Business models for good. That’s what B-Corporations are all about.

Over the past two years, I’ve grown an appreciation for B-Corps. And recently I’ve decided to switch up my buying habits to support more B-Corporations.

WHAT IS A B-CORP?

That “balance” of purpose and profit is the same idea I’ve mentioned previously – “voting with your wallet.”

Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good. (Taken from the B-Corp website.)

Companies and corporations deemed “B-Corporations” go through an intense vetting process. Each corporation is graded using the B Impact Assessment (BIA), which is a free, confidential platform. The BIA measures a company’s positive impact on its workers, community, customers and the environment.

The BIA looks at day-to-day activities of a business as well as its business model. There are 200 questions in total, and questions are determined based on a company’s size, sector and market. B-Corp certification requires a minimum verified score of 80 across all impact areas. An independent Standards Advisory Council oversees the assessment.

Essentially, anytime you see a product with a B-Corp certification, you can rest assured it’s quality. Or at the very least that the business itself is doing a whole lot to better its employees and the planet.

The current fast fashion industry – which can be also viewed as the materialistic industry – constantly sells the newest item, marketing it to folks as an essential in their beauty routine, or a staple in their closet, or a must-have piece of technology. B-Corps are devoted to transparency and making products with a purpose.

Now don’t misunderstand me. Buying an item because you like it isn’t wrong.

But what if when we swiped our credit card, it was actually benefiting someone other than ourselves?

I recently wrote a instagram story post about voting.

Essentially I talked about voting with your neighbor in mind.

Instead of voting for one or two issues that we hold dear, I wonder what our political climate would look like if we voted on behalf of our neighbors – friends and strangers! – who are gripped by poverty, who lack equitable resources, who can’t vote themselves… etc.

But I think that idea goes beyond Nov. 3. If we say we give a heck about other people, that we value the planet and everything living on it, what if even our purchases were evidence of that?

This can’t be the case for everybody – I’m well aware of that. And even for more affluent folks who can afford to buy premium fair trade items, there will obviously be times where buying from Amazon or Walmart or Dollar Tree just make the most sense.

It is completely reasonable to make cheap purchases because that is what you can afford. We must give ourselves and each other grace. No one knows where someone is financially, or what sorts of resources are available to them.

But my encouragement to as many people as are able is to consider buying from B-Corporations.

There are many available at places like Walmart and Target.

One of my favorite B-Corporations is Uncommon Goods. It’s where I buy most of my Christmas gifts now. I’ll write a post later on about holiday gift ideas.

Below are a few B-Corps you may already know, and below that are B-Corps I personally love. Obviously there are plenty that I left out, but I thought these were ones most folks would know.

Next time you’re at Walmart or Target, look for the B on the back of the bottle. Who knows, perhaps you’ve been supporting a B-Corp all along and had no idea! 🙂

Until next time, my friends, peace.

A few B-Corps you may already know…

  • Aesop (cosmetics)
  • Thrive Market
  • Patagonia
  • Danone
  • Dr. Bronner’s
  • Beautycounter (cosmetics)
  • Arbonne
  • Tom’s of Maine (personal care)
  • TOMS (shoes)
  • Pela (phone case)
  • Prose (hair care)
  • The Body Shop
  • Seventh Generation
  • Shea Moisture
  • Numi Organic Tea
  • Yogi Tea

A few of my favorites…

  • Earth Hero
  • Pela
  • Ethique
  • Dr. Bronner’s
  • Uncommon Goods
  • Plaine Products
  • Shea Moisture

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? :]