Last year was the first time #PlasticFreeJuly appeared on my radar. Once you become aware of how much plastic we use, and toss, on a daily basis, you'll notice wastefulness everywhere. You might feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem, but it helped when I accepted that it's going to be a process to change my own daily habits and hopefully influence others to do so... and they'll influence others and so on! That month of questioning my daily habits helped me make some important changes in 2018. You can read more about that here.
If you haven't heard of #PlasticFreeJuly yet, no worries! I hope this will be the year you'll consider joining in!
What #PlasticFreeJuly is:
#PlasticFreeJuly is about becoming aware of, and hopefully reducing your plastic use-- especially single-use plastic-- at home, work, even at your favorite, local cafe! It all began with only 40 households in Perth in 2011 as an initiative by the Earth Carers Waste Education Team in Western Australia. From 40 households, it's grown to be a global movement with millions of participants! So small changes can make a difference. For example, last year I learned that there's plastic in some very unexpected places like my teabags. I invested in this $15.95 tea strainer-- (the package actually comes with two, so you can gift the other to a friend or family member!)-- and it has only added another layer of beauty to my nightly ritual of a cup of peppermint tea and a good book or a quiet chance to peruse inspiration photos on Instagram. Basically, as a hectic mommy, it's become my favorite time of day.
How #PlasticFreeJuly works:
Can you identify ways in which you use single-use plastic in your daily life or see it happening around you? I've realized this year that I've gotten so much better about my plastic use as a blogger/ human but have not made as many strides in my role as a mother. What I mean by that: if we were only judging my carbon footprint, it would be minimal. I make very little laundry and wash most of my clothes by hand, drive very few places and prefer to walk, wear mostly thrifted clothes, and eat a mostly vegan and vegetarian diet. So far, so amazing... or it would be but I'm also a mom of two kids and drive them everywhere to their activities and use TONS of plastic to care for them from juice boxes to other food packaging-- not to mention all the disposable diapers, ugh. Not so great.
Here are some simple changes I'm making in my role as both a mom and blogger this #PlasticFreeJuly.
1. No more juiceboxes.
My kids are now old enough to get ice water for themselves, so I realized one simple way I can reduce single-use plastic in my home is to quite buying juice boxes. This #PlasticFreeJuly I plan to experiment with buying glass bottles of apple juice, and seeing if I can teach my kids to fill their reusable cups half with water and half with juice on those occasions when they prefer juice to water. (I also already thrift their clothes, but that's because it just makes sense. You can buy designer children's items for prices cheaper than at Target, and the clothes are often just as brand-new! And much nicer quality!)
2. Purchasing a guppybag to use in the washing machine.
Another change I can make in my role as a mother, is to start washing our blankets and towels and their clothes in a laundry bag. Elizabeth Cline, author of the upcoming sustainable fashion handbook The Conscious Closet calls making a change in how you do laundry your biggest change to make an environmental impact. When washing machines wash our clothes, the motion releases tiny particles of plastic from our largely synthetic clothes. That plastic ends up in the ocean. (Another great point, Elizabeth Cline makes in her book, is that we can conserve a LOT of energy by using cool water to wash our clothes. If tags call for hot water, that actually, only means that is the hottest temperature clothes can stand, NOT what is the necessary setting!)
I just purchased this guppyfriend laundry bag from Patagonia. It's a little pricey, though, so I'll look around for more affordable options. Check back here or on my Instagram @IsabellaDavidVintage.
3. As a beauty blogger, I'm trying to switch my products to glass instead of a bathroom filled up with plastic bottles. All my face and body oils and serums are now in glass! I just switched my body scrub from a plastic tub to this pretty glass jar. It's pricey, though, so I'm still on the hunt for a decent scrub in a glass jar with a nice scent. If you know of one, please let me know in the comments below! One product line that comes in glass bottles and that I really love AND is extremely affordably priced are Ordinary products. I love their hylauronic acid, and use it almost every night. It's available for $6.80 at Sephora here.
4. I'm also planning to contact Fresh Direct. I love ordering our basics from them every other week, and I love that they have started delivering in resubale bags! BUT... our orders are often filled with a lot of extra, pointless plastic packaging. I'd feel better about continuing to order from them if there was less plastic inside as outside our orders. You can make a difference, too: let your favorite cafe or restaurant know you prefer paper to plastic straws. I'm seeing more and more establishments in Philly opting to go for paper over plastic straws, and I can tell popular demand is making the difference!
Are there any ways in your daily life that you can cut back on plastic? It might surprise you how simple the change can be!
Plastic is terrible for the Earth. We know that now. However, we're still learning about the effects of plastic as it breaks down on our soil and in our oceans. We do know that, unfortunately, as plastic breaks down it releases toxic chemicals. More worryingly, you might have heard plastic breaks down into tiny bits called microplastics. Microplastics are tiny bits of any kind of plastic that pollute the environment and which are consumed by fish and end up affecting the food chain, up to and including our own consumption of fish. Read more about why plastic is bad for our Earth here.
Or learn more about taking the #PlasticFreeJuly challenge this July here!
In what ways do you think you might be able to cut plastic out of your life this July? I'd love to hear about it!
I love coincidences, don't you? Whether they're actually signs from the cosmos is debatable. (I guess. I vote yes!!) However, superstition aside, I've always found that paying attention to recurring themes that pique my curiosity always lead to equally intriguing discoveries. About two weeks ago, I happened to order Biossance's squalane and vitamin c rose oil at the same time as a friend of mine sent me samples of rosehip oil from her new green beauty company Dowey Laugh based out of Portland, Oregon. At the same time as all of that, I was suddenly seeing rosehip oil all over my Instagram feed, touted by my favorite beauty bloggers. Why are rose and rosehip oils suddenly so popular, I wondered? Was it just another blogger trend or something deeper and more magical to do with roses themselves?
I'm happy to report the latter is the case! I've always loved the scent of roses. One of my husband's first gifts to me when he was courting me-- aside: marry the one who woos you-- was a tiny bottle of rose scent he ordered from Bulgaria. (Another aside: did you know Bulgaria is called the Land of Roses? How romantic, right? I still have the little bottle. It came sealed with a wax rose, and I swear I can still kind of smell it, and it takes me back to 2009 when we met.) Another, less personal plus to the new rose oil craze: I know you all are probably super saturated with green beauty bloggers pushing coconut oil. Well, I am sooo excited to report I have found the remedy for that oversaturation (pun semi-intended) and for many other skin issues: rosehip oil!
1. What is Rosehip Oil?
First of all, keep in mind rosehip oil is not an essential oil and is in fact different from rose oil! Rose essential oil is made from rose petals while rosehip oil, also called rose hip seed oil, comes from the seeds of rose hips. Rose hips are the fruit left behind after a rose has flowered and dropped its petals.
For facial skin care, rosehip oil like coconut oil is a non-greasy oil that offers several benefits when applied externally. It protects the skin and increases cell turnover because it contains beta carotene (a form of vitamin A), vitamin C and vitamin E which are all antioxidants that help fight free radicals-- aka a fancy phrase for the aging process.
2. Why Is Rosehip Oil Anti-Aging?
It's a very rich source of vitamin c for one! One of the richest plant sources, actually! Vitamin C stimulates collagen production, and the oils are able to penetrate deep into the skin's layers to repair damage, improve moisture, and reduce signs of aging. In fact, it's so effective some doctors are calling it a "natural alternative to Botox". Sign me up! Needles terrify me, so Botox sounds particularly unappetizing. I haven't used the rosehip oil long enough to comment on longterm benefits, but I have noticed, after applying it, my skin has a nice glow!
3. What Are Some Other Benefits of Using Rosehip Oil?
If anti-aging isn't your concern, using rosehip oil probably can probably still benefit you. Its many applications are astonishing. In fact, it was made into a rationed syrup in World War 2 and used to help children fight infection. Applied externally, it can also protect from sunspots, help with stretch marks and reduce acne-scarring, boost the immune system, help with osteoarthritis, and help with eczema among a myriad of other benefits.
4. How Much Does Rosehip Oil Cost?
As I mentioned above, I'm beginning to see rosehip oil from a variety of brands from pretty pricey $68 bottles in high-end brands like Biossance to Kora or this bottle of plain, unvarnished rosehip oil from The Ordinary for only $9.80. (I have their $6 glass bottle of hylauronic acid, which I use every night before I put on my moisturizer, and it's amazing.) If you want a more affordable but still pretty mixture, Dowey Laugh offers a gorgeous, all natural option for only $38. Half the price of similar oils at Sephora!
5. Tips on Applying Rosehip Oil
Keep it cool. Rosehip oil is a natural ingredient, so it can go rancid, eek! And if you are investing in a pricier bottle, that would be heartbreaking! The best kind is cold-pressed, although it's more expensive and might explain the difference in price points. It retains the most nutrients. To see the most benefits, use it twice a day on your skin and neck. The good news (as far as priciness goes) is you only need a couple drops at a time! If you're using it to combat acne scars, keep in mind it is an oil and shouldn't be used on active acne as it might clog pores. Consider adding a few drops to your bathwater. There isn't a lot of science on this yet, but there's a chance rosehip oil can help with arthritis and inflammation. Either way, it can't hurt!
Here's a link to another post listing a few more benefits of using rosehip oil, including the cool fact that Kate Middleton and Miranda Kerr number among its fans! Do you plan to try rosehip oil? Here's a coupon to my friends shop if you do. (I don't personally benefit btw, other than the satisfaction of helping a friend succeed at something that clearly has benefits for us all!)
Green beauty and vegetarian eating are areas I began to explore simultaneously, which made my recent discovery of a brand like Edible Beauty feel extra serendipitous. A little over a year ago, my husband and I made a switch to a mostly vegetarian diet. Ryan had just had a physical, and his cholesterol and blood pressure were both high. Along with a change in our diet, I also began to be more conscious about what I was putting on my skin. It made sense, especially when I noticed how eating more veggies and fruits and fewer processed foods made my skin look brighter and my eyes more awake.
I'm happy to report that these changes are not in my head! Ryan just had his yearly physical, and, after a year of making an effort to eat healthier, his blood pressure is now perfect! And his cholesterol is actually too low! We're now eating more eggs as a way to raise his "good" cholesterol levels. (See our last post in our foodie section for an easy, delicious dinnertime egg dish). I'm also happy to share that I like my skin for the first time in my entire life! Yes, fine lines are on the horizon, but, in the meantime, I'm just going to enjoy this period of my life in which acne is no longer an issue. Of course, I also know prevention is key. While I wear sunblock every day (or...er... pretty much every day!), I have actually grown to love pampering my skin every night. At first I found a nightly routine overwhelming, but I noticed my skin looked so much better when I managed to dash on even one treatment. And so, like so many things in my life, I broke a routine down into a few easy steps, and now I enjoy it! I thought my simple approach might be appealing to others who feel overwhelmed by all the options out there or who are too tired come night to get into more complicated beauty treatments.
I'm currently really enjoying Goop's Luminous Melting Cleanser, which you can purchase here . It's made of all natural ingredients like almond and coconut oil and leaves your skin feeling moisturized after cleansing. It's pretty pricey, but I also actually really like good old Pond's in the winter when my skin is very dry. I find Pond's too greasy the rest of the year, though. While the Goop cleanser is a bit pricier, I don't use it year round, so I'm hoping it balances out. If my makeup is really being stubborn, I'll also wash my face again with Bliss's Melting Jelly Cleanser. I love Bliss as they're not only cruelty-free but all the products are high quality and super affordable. The cleanser is only $12 and so far it's lasted a really long time, even though I use it nightly!
2. Serum Time
You should apply your thinnest products first. I read that somewhere at any rate, so that's what I do! I am madly in love with Edible Beauty's cruelty free line and particularly their Ageless Godless Beauty serum. But so is the whole world! It was actually sold out at Sephora yesterday, but it's back in stock today. There's only one bottle left on Amazon... at double the price! So check it out at Sephora here. For the price point, I think it's magic. Similarly effective serums cost double. I also love Edible Beauty for their choice of using glass bottles instead of plastic, which would have probably helped them drive down costs but filled our oceans with more garbage, and, then of course, there's also their cruelty-free and edible ingredients! Not to mention, this stuff is MAGIC, you guys. One of my mommy friends I talked into trying it said she thought she must be imagining things, it was that effective that quickly. I told her I had the same thought. I cannot wait for you guys to try it. Let me know if you do, please!
3. Nighttime Cream
I also like Edible Beauty's Coco Intensive Repair night cream if my skin is looking really dry. (I still dab on petroleum jelly as well, so I am by no means a perfect green beauty or a perfect anything, haha). Edible Beauty's cream smells amazing to me, and I've learned that making my nighttime routine not only simplified but also pleasurable helps me stick to it, and I really look forward to the scent of this cream. If my skin looks really tired and dull, though, I'll also use Bliss's honey mask and sleep with a mask on. I always wake up looking much more refreshed! If you like eye cream, I think adding it after a serum is better. It sometimes gets into my eyes, so I'm not a huge fan of employing this step every night. If my eyes do look very tired, I love both Edible Beauty's gold rush eye balm available here or the Honest Company's Younger Eye cream available at Target or Amazon.
4. Turn on Your Humidifier!!
I use mine year round. I think it makes a big difference, and it's so easy to use. I'm in love with this humidifier by InnoGear. It looks pretty on my night table, and it's easy to use and clean!
5. Dab on Any Extras
I keep extra creams and serums in my nighttable drawer. If I'm feeling really yucky and tired, I'll add them before I go to sleep. For example, sometimes I'll dab on lip plumper right before bed. I don't know if it actually plumps my lips, but when I wake up they're nice and soft and hydrated.
Overall, I've learned that keeping my nigthtime routine simple and centered on a few favorite products with scents that I really love, means I'm more likely to keep up with it! What's essential to your nighttime routine?
P.S. Here are a few of my coin necklaces from my collection. Mine are from Edge of Ember, Shashi, and Bluefly, but there are SO MANY options on Etsy now. Here are a few faves...