How To Avoid The Fast Fashion Industry On A College Student Budget

Recently, a well-established women’s clothing store, The Limited, has closed their in-store businesses after 54 years. Why? Because consumers are showing a preference for cheap, fast fashion retailers that can keep up with yearly trends. The Limited was known for making multi-purpose, business casual clothing that never went out of style. This used to be a successful business model, but now a days, consumers prefer to purchase an abundance of clothing at cheap prices and then dispose it, once the trend is deemed unfashionable. While being able to purchase 3 dresses for $30 at Forever 21 might sound like a deal you can’t pass up, the consequences are detrimental for factory workers and unsustainable for the environment.

Factory workers are paid on average 3 dollars a day and given few legal protections. Many of these workers are exploited and forced to work 12+ hours a day. A sector of these factories don’t even given their workers a day off. One would like to think that this is a rarity or an exaggerated statement, but it’s a reality. Only 2% of suppliers pay their workers a living wage and the workers, often female, can barely support their families.  In addition to the fast fashion industry being toxic and dehumanizing for workers, there is currently 11 million tons of textile waste in landfills. This textile waste takes over 200+ years to biodegrade.

While I can’t control the fact that Donald Trump wants to get rid of the EPA, I can control what I choose to buy. I understand that buying from more ethical, sustainable companies is more expensive and difficult when you’re on a tight budget. As a college student, I can’t be the perfect sustainable/ethical fashionista 100% of the time, but I do believe that my awareness of the issue helps.  Here are some things I do to avoid the fast fashion industry when I can on a college student budget, that you can do too!

      1.) Shop at thrift, consignment, or vintage stores: Thrifting is one of the number one things we can do to be sustainable when it comes to clothing. Reusing clothing instead of throwing it into the landfill, is so important, as it extends the life-cycle of an object. It can be hard to sift through the racks, as some of them are filled with grandma sweaters that grandmas wouldn’t even want to wear. However,  you can also find some true gems at thrift/consignment shops. The prices are also extremely compatible with a college student budget, often surpassing discount fast fashion retailers. While the majority of the clothing in these thrift/consignment stores were probably made from conventional clothing stores, you are not supporting their fast fashion practices. Instead, these funds go to the store owners or charitable causes.

Vintage stores are also a wonderful place to shop! Not only are they fun to look at, but back in the day, clothing was made to last for multiple decades.  Even though vintage stores cost a bit more money than thrift/consignment stores, I find everything there to be of high quality . The shop owners, also, often know the story behind the item. For instance, I got this red hat at a vintage store in Providence, Rhode Island.

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The shop owner told me that this beaut’ was made in the 70’s and apparently had never been worn before. It is incredible to me that this stunning item would’ve spent its whole life-cycle never being worn. In today’s fast fashion industry, something like this would’ve been tossed in the landfill, but vintage stores give these items a second chance at life. I, 40 years later, am able to give this hat a story. An upside of wearing vintage clothing, you get a plethora of compliments as what you’re wearing is so unique. Whenever I wear this hat, I get, on average, about 3-5 compliments in a day.

     2.) Etsy: I pancake flipping love Etsy and browsing their website. For those of you who don’t know, Etsy is a website where independent businesses can sell their products, similar to eBay. I can literally spend hours looking at all of the eclectic, unique products on their website. I can’t say that I’ve shopped a lot on Etsy, but what I have gotten from their sellers has been superb. I  once, got an abalone ring that only cost $33 that was handmade by a woman in Florida. It is my favorite ring and I wear it all the time.

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If you’re curious, the hand-chain I got is from Ten Thousand Villages, a fair-trade boutique store.

Best of all, it isn’t some cheap piece of jewelry made of questionable materials and no one’s human rights got violated making it. Since they are made by independent sellers, many of the products can be customized, which you can’t get at your local Forever 21. .If you want something unique and hand-made, but reasonably priced, shop on Etsy!

     3.) The Sales Section of Sustainable/Ethical Fashion Websites: There are so many great sustainable/ethical fashion brands out there, but the prices are usually not friendly for the college student wallet. Look at the sales section of these websites and you’ll see lots of reasonably priced, beautiful clothing. For instance, I’ve had my eyes on this beautiful, eggplant, stripe skirt from Synergy Organic Clothing  for only $37 and this gorgeous bamboo aubergine colored tank top from Thought Clothing  for only $12.21 US Dollars. Also, if you can’t afford to shop for main pieces on Sustainable/Ethical Fashion Websites, buy items that tend to be less expensive like socks, scarves, hats, or underwear. For instance, you can get these adorable thigh high bamboo socks from Thought Clothing  for only $9.76 US Dollar or this beyond cute, hand-made panda hat from People Tree  for only $18.24. While you are still probably going to pay more for sustainable/ethical clothing on sale, what you will be getting will be of much higher quality and last you for years, while helping the Earth/your fellow citizens.

     4.) Buy Less: It is of my opinion, that it is better to buy less and instead, buy versatile items that won’t fall apart by the time the trend is over (items are usually designed to only be worn 7x). If you think about, the $100 dollars that you spend at Forever 21 for disposable clothing, that you’ll hate later on, you can also spend on a hand-made wool coat that will last you a lifetime. I am very picky in what I buy, and even if I do shop at a conventional store at the mall, I have to **love** and be head over heels for the item before I buy it. This year alone, I can count on one hand how many things I’ve purchased (albeit, I do have a wardrobe that I’ve built up over the years that is mostly from conventional retailers). Through selective shopping, most of what I’ve gotten has been under $100 dollars. A part of becoming more sustainable is adopting an attitude where if the object doesn’t add any lasting value to your life, you shouldn’t get it. It is easy to forget that stuff is just stuff. That is why I think it is so important to feel a positive connection to the stories behind these objects. I, personally, feel a lot more connected to a scarf from a company who supports women by paying them a living wage, while also giving them other benefits (education, healthcare, etc.), than a scarf that was made in a sweatshop by an abused worker. That is why I’d rather shop less, but more sustainably, rather than having a new outfit to wear everyday.

I get that it is isn’t always possible to shop sustainably/ethically 100% of the time, especially if you’re a college student or are struggling to make ends meet. It is hard when you want to do the right thing, but don’t always have the funds to do so.  In my opinion, though, it is most important to be aware of the problems with the clothes we wear, and to help if you can. Even if only 20% of your wardrobe is sustainable and ethical, that is certainly something. Every little bit helps and matters, and it is vital to keep that in mind.

I’m curious, what do you guys do to shop sustainably/ethically in an affordable way? Let me know in the comments down below!

Interesting Articles/Sources: 

The Limited is closing all of its 250 stores

The True Cost of Fast Fashion

Analysis: Fast fashion comes at a steep price for the environment

 

Best,

Alexandra 

 

 

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara Review

Hello lovelies!

Mascara is not my go to product, as I naturally already have really long, dark eyelashes. However,  it has lately become my favorite feature accentuating product, since finding this mascara.

My journey with Physicians Formula mascara did not start out as love at first site relationship. They have several different types of organic mascaras and the one I got did nothing and it took me forever to figure out that it was a poopy mascara. Here’s why.

1.) It defined but could not volumize: My lashes already are pretty defined, so it accentuated the definition of my lashes, which I liked, but however, it could not volumize to save its life. I thought that the amount of volume I got from the mascara was normal, until I started to see in pictures that my lashes looked really no different on camera with mascara on than without mascara. Speaking of that,

2.) It looked weird in pictures: It’s amazing flaws you discover about yourself when you start putting on makeup. Apparently, the eyelashes on my right eye curl more than the left. Yay for uneven eyelashes! The mascara made this 10x more noticeable, especially in pictures. It looked like I put mascara on one eye but forgot the other, yikes!

3.) Everyone else who was wearing mascara’s eyelashes looked better than me: When girls with naturally short lashes who I follow on Instagram, were looking better with mascara than me, I knew I had a problem. Did I have to swipe the wand 100x until I cry to get good lashes?

So yeah, it took me like a year to figure out that this was a crappy product, oh well.

Introducing Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara 2.0:

So I found this new updated mascara that claimed that it could volumize and define up to 5x. I don’t know if it’s actually 5x (at least for me) but the results are amazing! I cannot rave enough about it! The wand is very lightweight and applies easily. You get so much volume within the first two swipes and you feel like an eyelash queen afterwards! On me, they are like falsies. I like having the falsie effect without having to buy falsies because I do not trust myself with glue and my eyeballs. Best part is that it’s only $10 and as a poor, soon to be college student, this is great!

Here’s the proof:

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Hat from Forever 21, dress from J.C. Penney

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Wearing nothing but mascara and some rouge, lip color (Vapour Organic Beauty Lip and Cheek Stain in Lure for those who are interested)

Have you tried this product before? Have you tried it against other Physicians Formula organic wear mascaras? What’s your take on it?

 

xoxo
Alex

 

How To Make Food You Don’t Like Yummy

I love chia pudding. It is my belief that the Dairy-Free and Soy-Free Gods and Goddesses came together and concocted this amazing pudding for those who have allergies. It’s genius if you think about it. Seeds chilled overnight and bam, you have something of a pudding like texture! Yup, chia pudding is my jam and I’m not ashamed. However, I do not like mango chia pudding. I enjoy mango just as much as the next person, but pureed mango flavor and chia seeds just don’t mix.

To make a long story short, everyone in my family was really sick and I decided to pick out some chia pudding to soothe everyone’s throat. However, all they had left was the mango flavor, so I picked some up for my mother, who likes the mango. However, once I brought it home, she said it was a big no-no food for digestive tract at the time, so there it sat in the fridge. Fast forward to a week later and the fridge is empty, the only breakfast food there being mango chia pudding. Instead of starving or relying on potato chips to give me energy to start my day, I decided to make it work and turn this food that I didn’t like into some sort of delicacy that would make the French jealous. Okay, maybe we shouldn’t go that far, but you get the point.

Drum roll please…….

I made a fruit and nut filled mango chia pudding instead. Here’s a magazine worthy picture!

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Nature’s Candy That I Used: Mango chunks (yes I’m aware that this an ironic ingredient, but it tasted great), cantaloupe, pecans, dried figs, and a handful of golden raisins. I also put about a teaspoon of coconut sugar in (a natural sugar-free substitute that doesn’t give you that crash. It taste a lot like brown sugar and your mind/body will thank you for using it later).

This turned out to be one of the best meals that I had in weeks and I started to not mind the mango flavor at all because it was melded in with other stuff. Sometimes, you just have to take what’s in your kitchen and make something out of nothing, get my drift? A little bit of creativity can go a long way!

How do you get creative in the kitchen? Is there an instance where you took a food you didn’t really like and made it into something delicious or at least palatable?

 

 

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Shadow Palette and Acure Organics Lip Lush in Daaang Review

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Clean makeup is awesome. However, it is not awesome when it is unaffordable and/or doesn’t work to save its life. I have been reading green beauty blogs for years now and find a lot of value in learning about the pros and cons of these types of makeup products. Through the green beauty community, I have learned that a.) makeup free of harmful chemicals doesn’t have to stay on for just two minutes., b.) anything that you can find in the drugstore you can almost always find a natural dupe online., and most importantly c.) that green makeup doesn’t have to break the bank. Recently, I found two very affordable products, but whether or not they work you’ll have to read in my review to find out :). Here’s my honest review of an eye shadow palette and lip tint/gloss.

 

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The Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Shadow Palette for only $14 is a true gem amongst natural makeup. 100% vegan and cruelty-free,  it is clean, green, pressed, and you can create glowing, brightening looks within minutes on the fly. These shadows are super easy to apply and blend like a charm! I don’t even need a brush to do it, my fingers/an applicator work just as well. The only downside to these shadows is that they are not richly pigmented. Therefore, you will need to apply more than you might usually in order to get color payoff. However, I personally prefer subtle eye looks as apposed to bold ones, so this works okay for me. There are some wonderful ingredients in this palette such as coconut oil, brown kelp extract, and ginseng root. The Pacifica website does a great job describing the colors so I quoted them below:

Urchin- An iridescent jeweled purple with gold tones.  Use dry as a shadow, wet as a liner.  Perfect for smudging and a great substitute for black.
​Golden- A perfect gold with just the right amount of shimmer.  Use on the lids or line the eyes.
Coral Sand- A satin lid base or highlighter.
Skinny Dip- Matte nude base, a universal brightener.  Perfect for using on the inner eye to add brightness

Urchin, I think, is my most favorite purple eyeshadow ever. A lot of purples make me look like I have a black eye, but not this one. Because the Pacifica eye-shadows aren’t as richly pigmented, it wears more like a neutral brown with purple tones on me. It is thee PERFECT crease color and I especially love combining it with the golden shade. Also, might I add that the coral sand is an awesome coral/peachy color especially for my brown eyes. I learned somewhere along the way that peach is a great color for brown eyes and I totally think it’s true :).

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this eye palette. The shadows stays on all day, doesn’t crease, has little fallout when putting it on, blends well, and the colors are stunning. These are thee best powdered eyeshadows I’ve ever tried next to the Jane Iredale pressed eyeshadow and A LOT less expensive. I cannot stop raving about these eyeshadows and in my opinion, this palette puts a lot of conventional makeup brands to shame!

Now onto the next review. Here’s a picture of the Acure Organics Lip Lush in Daaang!:

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I’m not as enthusiastic about this product as the last one, but I still really, really like it. The ingredients in this first off, let me say, are SUPERB. The creme de la creme of makeup ingredients and online, it is only $5.99 (I paid $8 in the store I got it). It is packed with some fanfreakingtastic stuff such as argan oil, echinacea, and edelweiss stem cells, and cocoa seed butter. Now wonder this gloss taste like chocolate flowers (literally, I’m not even exaggerating in the slightest)!!!! The color in this tube is very deceptive and goes on a lot lighter than it looks. The true color is a sheer plum that is perfect for everyday wear and that you can even wear without any other makeup. Only downside to this gloss is that it does not last very long on the lips and you have to reapply it constantly like a lip balm. However, this gloss makes my lips feel as moisturized as when I put on a lip balm, so I don’t really mind it. Additionally, when you apply it, the color does get on your teeth, so make sure you have some floss handy. Overall though, would recommend!

Here is a picture of me wearing the makeup:

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On the eyes: Urchin on the crease and Golden on the lid. Currently, my new favorite eyeshadow look.

Lip Note: I am wearing this lip lush over a nude-ish colored lipstick, so it’s not an exact representation of the color. But this does show how beautifully it pairs with other colors.

Do you own any of these products?

xoxo

Alex

 

 

 

 

Your Gluten-Free Bagel Doesn’t Have To Be Boring

I am a huge fan of bagels, lox, and cream cheese don’t get my wrong. However, I can’t eat cream cheese anymore because of my dairy allergy. Therefore, you have to get creative!

This recipe is based on a breakfast I had in a restaurant at a ski resort I went to at age 10.  Unfortunately, the ski vacation was terrible because it was too bitter cold to ski (below zero most days) and the accommodations were atrocious. It is somewhat depressing to say that discovering this unique bagel concoction was the highlight of our trip. We loved this bagel so much that we continued to make it at home and modified it throughout the years to both our liking and allergy needs. Without further adieu, here’s how to make “Your Gluten-Free Bagel Doesn’t Have To Be Boring”

Bagel

Ingredients:

Your gluten-free everything bagel of choice (or non-gluten-free bagel if you aren’t gf)

Hummus

Lox

Pea shoots or sprouts of choice

Lox

Cayenne Pepper

This recipe is so easy that you don’t really need step by step instructions on how to do it, it’s pretty self-explanatory :P. My only suggestion is that you put a dab of hummus on your plate and then mix in the cayenne pepper before putting it on the bagel. I also have really enjoyed this recipe with a few red onions in it; however, I did not have any hand.

What’s your favorite way to eat your bagel? Also, let me know if you decided to try this bagel recipe and what the outcome was :).

xoxo

Alex

Green Beauty Makeup Looks

As a part of living a healthy lifestyle, I like to use as many green beauty products as I can. “Why is that?” you might ask, “How much damage can a little bit of lipstick do?” Well, it turns out my friends that our skin is our biggest organ and 70% of what we put on gets absorbed into our bloodstream. So yeah folks, it’s a big deal. Additionally, I’m one of thee most sensitive people in the world out there and react to the chemicals in mainstream makeup, even the ‘hypoallergenic’ stuff. Plus, why would I want to put things like parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrance, petroleum, FD and C colors, as well as countless other chemical names that I cannot pronounce nor we know that much about near my skin?  I’ll pass on the chemical cocktail, thanks. If you want to learn more about what you’re putting into your skin, here’s a good link from Organic Beauty Talk.

Lucky for me, there are tons of green beauty brands out there, literally so many, it’s sort of shocking. I didn’t start realizing how big of demand there was for green beauty products until I looked more into it on the web. I can’t say that I’m the biggest makeup wearer of all time, most days I like going barefaced. However, a few times a week when I’m going out it can be fun. Plus the process of putting on makeup is sort of stress relieving in an odd sort of way, ha-ha!

Now here are some green beauty looks I created this past week. Hope you enjoy them!

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Green Beauty Look #1:
Eyes: Most people I know start out by putting on their face makeup and do the eyes last, but I always like to do the eyes first. Why? Because I absolutley hate getting eye shadow on my already done blushed cheeks and then having to wipe some of it off and reapply again. I like dealing with fallout from eye products first so the rest of the process is easy peasy lemon squeezy :). For this look, I knew ahead of time that I was going to be doing a bold lip, so I wanted a very simple eye look to balance it out. It’s kind of like the yin and yang of makeup, ya know?! Anyways, I decided to forgo the eye-shadow and just put on eyeliner. I used the \Honeybee Gardens JobaColors Pencil Eye Liner in Jet Set and made it thicker along the beginning of my lash-line, actually starting a little bit beyond that, and then going smaller and smaller as I went down my lash-line. I then put  on a like 1/4 of eyeliner at the beginning of my lower lash line to widen my eyes a little bit. This eyeliner does smudge and make you look like a raccoon at the end of the day, but I have yet to find a pencil eyeliner that doesn’t do this. Overall though, it’s a pretty good product that is easy to apply and doesn’t smudge all over the place when you first put it on, a problem I’ve had with eyeliners in the past. After applying my eyeliner, I put on some mascara to really make my eyes pop. I used the Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Fakeout Mascara and I really love this product. You can easily purchase it at your local drugstore, it’s very inexpensive for natural makeup, and the ingredients are decent. There isn’t a lot of fallout from this product, especially at the end of the day, which I’m impressed with and it doesn’t make my eyelashes look spider webby, particularly on the bottom lashes. Overall, I’d totally recommend these products! :).

Cheeks: My cheeks I believe are one of my strongest features. I have high cheekbones, so I like showing them off with blush, especially since I’m pretty pale. My favorite, and pretty much the only blush I’ll ever use is the Vapour Organic Beauty Multi-Use Blush Stain in Lure which Vapour describes as a ‘plummy berry’. The thing that I love the most about this blush is that it looks more like a natural flesh on the cheeks rather than someone caking on a bunch of blush. It will give you rosy cheeks in the most beautiful way that does not look over done at all. This color is especially good for people with wicked fair skin with neutral undertones, like me. It looks a lot darker in the tube than it does in real life, but be careful not to apply to much, or otherwise you’ll look like a clown. I always put on jojoba oil on my cheeks before putting it on, because otherwise it will not blend well. However, I do not think that this is a fault of the product as I have very dry skin already. Then I put the color along the highest points/sides of my cheekbones and then rub it along the cheekbone to the apples of cheeks. I like putting more blush towards the sides of my cheeks rather than the apple to create a gradient effect. This prevents you from having clownish cheeks and instead gives you the most gorgeous flesh. For this look, however, I did put a bit more on the apples of my cheeks, as I really wanted that ‘rosy cheek’ look and I wasn’t putting a lot on my eyes.

Lips; For the lips I used the Vapour Lure Multi-Use Stain on my lips as well and I don’t like it as much on my lips as my cheeks, but the color is a good one for me. On my lips, it’s a unique blend of a warm mauve with hints of berry. It’s great to wear alone, but for this look, I wanted a bolder lip, so I used a chemically laden NYC lipstick that I only use for theatrical productions, to give it more of a fire engine berry look. The only reason I’d use something as bad as an NYC lipstick is because I don’t have a non-toxic red lipstick yet. Suggestions ladies? I know that fire engine berry sounds like an odd color combination, but it looks cool on the lips. I think this combo is wicked pretty and really brightens up the face, especially if you’re pale like me :).

Green Beauty Look 2:

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I absolutley love this look; love, love, love it. I think it’s perfect for any season, fall, spring, winter, you name it and it really highlights your best features.

Eyes: For the eyes, I started off by putting on a Jane Iredale pressed eye shadow that is a beautiful, neutral shade called walnut that they sadly no longer carry. Jane Iredale pressed eye shadows stay on all day, don’t diminish in color easily, does not crease all that much, and is easy to blend. They also don’t really irritate my eyes, which is awesome, because everything irritates my eyes, especially when I first put it on, ha-ha. I’m literally the world’s most sensitive person I think. I wish that they still carried this color as it’s the perfect neutral for me. I want to buy more Jane Iredale pressed eye shadows, but now they make them with fd and c dyes,which I don’t like. There is absolutley  no way to tell which ones have it or not because it has that may contain +- at the bottom, which applies to all of the eyeshadows, grrrfff.  Maybe I should just go and choose the least colorful ones? Haha, I don’t know, it’s super duper confusuling and frustrating. Even if with pretty respectable companies, like Jane Iredale, I wish that they’d let us know which ones had dyes in them, so people like me who do not like dyes can avoid them. I don’t see why it’s so hard to list which individual ones have it. *Sigh*.  Anyways, after I put on my lovely eye shadow, I put on my Gabriel Eyeliner in Navy. The color of this eyeliner is a bit deceptive, because the further away you put it on from the lash line, it’s going to look more like a bright blue. However, when you get close to the lash line, it does look like a true navy. I love using this navy color because it’s less harsh than black and I think it looks really unique with a neutral brown color. I wish that I would’ve gotten a more closeup picture, so you could see more of the blue color. However, I think that this picture is proof that you can wear a bold blue color and do it in a more subtle way that is not shocking to the system, ha-ha. For this look, I stayed really close to my lash line on the top, so that it’d look more like a navy color. On my lower lash line though,  I put a light coat on to let some of the true bright blue ‘pop’. I also finished the eyes off with the Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara.

Cheeks: Did the same thing as the first green beauty look, with the same exact blush. I never switch up my blush, ha-ha.

Lips: I used the Vapour Organic Beauty Multi-Use Stain in Lure for my lips as well, as well as put a coat of an Aubrey Organic Lip Tint (they sadly no longer make lip tints, anymore) on top. This lip tint is a beautiful pink, strawberry color that really moisturizes and makes your lips shine. It also smells absolutley delectable and does not have that awful lipsticky taste. Too bad they don’t make them anymore :(.

Oh and for those of you who are interested in where my hat came from it is from Forever 21. It is a huge statement hat, but surprisingly looks good one me even though it is wicked big. Big hats usually don’t look that great on me because I have a small head, ha-ha.

Those are my green beauty looks of the week! Do any of you guys use these products? Which look is your favorite, 1 or 2?

-Alex

My Green Resolutions

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I thought that I was as green as they come. I eat wicked healthy (mostly organic), use almost all green beauty products, always make sure that I recycle, never litter, and as ludicrous as this might sound, I believed in the cause, so therefore that’s enough right? If you believe that global warming is not some made up cause that worthless amounts of dollars are being poured into, that should be enough right? If you want the world to move away from fossil fuels and utilize green energy, that makes you a green guru, shouldn’t it? If you are a supporter and wish hard enough, others, such as the government and automobile companies will start making more green strides, right?  Wrong. Wanting does not = Action. While it is my greatest hope that we steer into a more positive, green direction as a country, I realized that I can no longer just sit around and wait for it to happen, while I be a green minimalist. I’m currently taking a green design and technology course this semester and it has made me realize that I can be doing a lot better. Here are some of the resolutions, some of which I’ve already been working, that I came up with to be a better, greener person.

1.) Unplug appliances when using them: I have a habit of never turning off electronics that I’m not using. Back when I used my family’s  desktop computer, I knew that I should have been turning it off when nobody was using it, but instead, I was too lazy to turn it off and then waiting some time for everything to reload and start it back up. Looking back, it was absolutley supremely silly to not do something that would have probably of taken 10 minutes out of my day to deal with. As of right now, I have a laptop computer and have decided that instead of leaving it in the charger all the time, I would simply shut it down when I’m not using it to save energy. I also have changed my laptop’s setting to be in eco mode for when I am charging it. Same thing goes with my cell phone. I always leave my cell phone in the charger or lying around somewhere when not using it. However, like my laptop, I am being more conscious about shutting it down because the less you use the charger, the less energy you’re using.

2.) Be more conscious of clothing purchases: My green design and technology course taught me that one of the biggest zappers of energy is the making and purchasing of products. The mass consumption of this country is absolute insanity and what is probably the worst part is that almost none of it is made in the United States anymore. This makes the carbon footprint on each product crazy high and a lot of the countries where these clothes are made have poor environmental regulations. I will say, I’m don’t really buy a lot of products unless I really want/need it, but I could use more discretion when it comes to purchasing clothes. Often times, I will buy clothes that I like, but not love, because it fits decently, is at a low price, or sadly on impulse, because it looks cool in the moment. Therefore, I notice that a good amount of my clothes doesn’t really get fair usage and that high carbon footprint got me very little in return. As a result, I have decided to create a pseudo capsule wardrobe. Fashion is very important to me because I feel that it is a form of self-expression that gives me confidence, so I’m not going to stop being fashionable. Realistically, I’m not about to donate everything and only buy solid colored tee shirts (my green design and technology teacher actually does this; doesn’t wear anything besides solid colored tee shirts…and pants obviously, haha!) After seeing Cloudy Apples (one of my favorite youtubers) capsule wardrobe video, I have noticed that I could use some more basics in my wardrobe. I have a habit of clinging to the shiny/sparkly/hippie/printy aisles of clothing stores, so I guess you can say this video came at a good time :). When I go out to the clothing store the next time, I’m going to continue my hunt for awesome, well made basics and other essentials that are missing in my closet (rain boots, ear muffs, a new pair of fall boots so I don’t wear out the ones I wear religiously lol, I don’t know why but I always have this problem with shoes), However, I am still going to be on the lookout for unique fashions, but only purchase them if I have that “love it, gotta have it!” feeling and know that I will wear it over and over again. I also plan on trying to use more accessories with my basics, such as scarves, hats, and jewelry. Question for my readers; would the carbon footprint be lower on scarves, hats, and gloves because there is less fabric that is used, therefore there is less processing? I would love to know :).

In terms of where I purchase the clothing, I’d like to shop more at consignment stores and/or look around Goodwill or Savers (Savers briefly because they try to push you out of the store by only letting you take in a maximum of 6 pieces of clothing into the dressing room and then you have to get in the back of line. They also move clothes if they overhear that you want to buy something and then walk away to look around but plan to come back for it. It’s madness, haha). Getting used clothing isn’t something that I do often, but I should, because reusing is essential for helping our environment. I also want to stop more on etsy because a lot of their sellers are based in the USA, which will make for a much smaller carbon footprint then getting something from let’s say China. Also, since they are small business owners, they are much more likely to utilize sound environmental practices and not use workshop labor. What’s not to love?

3.) Convince My Family To Be Locavores: While I eat a very healthy diet (organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, free of other stuff, etc.), most of what we buy is produce that has the potential to come from far away. I never really thought of this as a problem until I realized that once again, the carbon footprint of the packaging and purchasing of the food is way too high. Buying local helps with this carbon footprint. We are especially lucky to live in an area of New England where there are lots of farms around us, so I’d say that it is much easier for us than most to get high quality farm fresh produce. Right now, I have to get my family on board with this idea and get all of us to go to farmers markets more often than we do, but when I’m out on my own at college next year, I’m going to try and see if there are local farms/farmers markets around and purchase as much as I can locally. Apparently, the town of one of the colleges that I’m going to be applying to has one of the best farmers markets in the country, so I’ll be sure to take advantage if I go there :).

Also, it is important to point out in this blog post that the processing of meat takes up a good piece of energy in this country and perhaps the world. Due to health issues and the various dietary restrictions that I have, going vegetarian/vegan would not make the most sense nor be the best for my body. However, I do still want to help with this problem and have decided that in addition to getting more vegetables/fruit from farms, I want to convince my family that we should aspire to purchase more meat that we do consume locally, as the carbon footprint won’t be as large due to there being significantly less processing and shipping.

4.) Shorter Showers: Now this one will be a toughie. I ❤ ❤ ❤ long hot showers. In a way, it is kind of cathartic for my soul, ha-ha. But taking 20-25 minute showers multiple times a week is way too much time! I don’t think I’m ever going to get down to taking 5 minute showers, but I’d say that trying to reduce (the most vital of the three R’s) my showers to 12-15 minutes would be a good start. However, I will reward myself by giving myself one long shower a week :). It’s all about balance people!

5.) Less Trash: I have a habit of taking more food than I can handle and then throwing it away in the trash can. This excess waste creates methane in landfills, which is toxic in large amounts to the environment. When it is dinner time, I will start out by taking just a little bit and then getting up and taking more if I want it. Also, if I do have leftovers, I will see if anyone else wants it or if I can, put it back on the plate/bowl/whatever you put food on, haha.

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These are my green resolutions for now and I’m sure that they’ll increase as time goes on. However, I want to start out small as a little bit goes a long way. No, I cannot just give up all technology, live in the woods somewhere with candlelight, and walk around naked, but I can do much better than what I’ve be doing. I’m looking forward to seeing my progress and to  helping this planet be greener for the next generation.

Do you guys have any suggestions to add on to my green resolution list? What are some of your green resolutions?

xoxo
Alex

Lovely Links:

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/buying-stuff-wont-make-you-happy/ (9 Reasons Why Buying Stuff Won’t Make You Happy Article)

http://storyofstuff.org/movies/black-friday-video/ (Tis The Season To Get Trampled Video)

P.S. All of the photos in the blog post are mine. If you would like to use them, please ask and then give me credit. Thank you :D.