When I first went zero waste, I was overwhelmed by all of the changes I had to make: what about my toothbrush? And shampoo/conditioner? Would I have to give up my razor?! Fortunately, I’ve found waste free alternatives for the whole of my bathroom routine, plus I’ve minimised others. Here’s what I’ve got in my toiletry bag:
Colgate toothpaste and bamboo toothbrush: I know I know, I’m using packaged toothpaste. In the past I’ve made it myself and it’s been fine, except that it completely clogged my drain. Plus, my roommate (who also used it) said her dentist told her it wasn’t working and that she had tooth problems as a result. So I’m sticking with what I know. Fortunately the company Terracycle will recycle the tube for free. I’ve been collecting the last few and plan on sending it to their HQ using a recycled cardboard box. The bamboo toothbrush is compostable (except for the bristles, which unfortunately go into the garbage).
Good soap: I use this soap for my face and my body. I am fortunate to have pretty clear skin, so this gets the job done.
Metal razor: I switched over to this metal razor a few months ago and it works so well! I haven’t had to change the blade yet, this baby works like a charm :)
Lush shampoo bar: This shampoo bar will last my boyfriend and I for the next 5-6 months. Plus, it smells beyond amazing! To prop it up, I’ve repurposed a small metal lid from a glass bottle that broke - this prevents it from sticking to the side of the tub and losing some of the product.
Diva Cup: I got this about 2 years ago and have never had an issue with it- would recommend to anyone and everyone!
Body oil: This was a gift from my boyfriend’s mother, and I absolutely love it! It smells amazing, and works really well against the cold Boston winter. My hands get really dry so I just rub this on and it helps rehydrate my skin nicely. Will repurpose or recycle when it’s done!
Deodorant: It took me a while to switch over to homemade deodorant, as I still had my last deodorant stick to finish and I was skeptical…. I won’t lie, the first couple of months were pretty rough. My body was adjusting to the natural deodorant and I was considering changing back to the stick. But I kept using it and it finally starting working properly for me :) I just bought some new essential oils so my next batch will be eucalyptus lemon. Mmmmm!
Coconut oil: I don’t wear any makeup, but if I ever swipe some mascara on (that I’ve had from before going zero waste), I just use coconut oil to remove. I also rub coconut oil on my legs after I shave.
Apple cider vinegar: I’ve returned to using apple cider vinegar instead of conditioner! Plus I made it myself, so I didn’t even have to pay for it.
What products could you never live without? Let me know!
“A Plastic Ocean” + some plastic free tips & tricks
Summer is nearing an end and the month of August really brings the heat. I am sure many of you are enjoying your time outside, but with the sun beating down and the sweat dripping, you are doing your best to stay hydrated. The convenience of the modern world is tempting and I am fairly certain that at least a portion your daily hydration comes from a plastic bottle. Whether it be bottled water, iced tea, or gatorade, they all come packed in plastic. My dad said recently, “I think plastic has got to be on the list of ‘top five WORST things humanity has ever invented.” I can’t help but agree. Earlier this year, whiled cooped up inside my New York City dorm room during one of two blizzards, I watched a documentary called “A Plastic Ocean,” on, you guessed it, Netflix. Circling back to what I said earlier (about consuming a percentage, however small, of our daily hydration from a plastic container), “A Plastic Ocean” forces you to confront the reality that our planet is becoming more plastic than plant. And it plants a seed in your mind, encouraging you to acknowledge all of the possible places that your plastic container might end up: Inside the stomach of a fish, bird, or whale, washed up on the beaches of communities that lack the means to ‘dispose’ of such waste, in a landfill, or at the bottom of the ocean. The reality is, you cannot simply “throw away” plastic. There is no away- just somewhere else. More than half of the plastic produced is NOT recycled. There are countless plastic bags floating around in the wind all over the world, micro-plastics dominate the oceans, and common items like bottles and tooth-brushes are collecting in landfills and on ocean floors. Plastic (more importantly, our dependency on it) is a BIG problem— one that requires a little bit of effort, some out-the-box thinking, and new life-style choices. Which is why I have decided to supplement this film feature post with a few simple tips / ideas to help you reduce your plastic consumption:
Invest in some re-usable straws: I recommend glass or stainless steel. I just recently found a set of stainless steel straws on Amazon that comes with two different sizes & a cleaning utensil. Having a set at home is nice, plus it would be easy to throw an extra straw into your utensil kit! I carry mine with me everywhere I go. You might not think you use plastic utensils and straws very often, or even think they have that great of an impact on the planet, but trust me, they do. The plastic straw you are sipping from right now could be the death of another sea turtle next week ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MPHbpmP6_I ). So use your own straw with your next iced latte and your own spoon for your next summer-time snow cone.
Bring your own bags to the grocery store or market: I know you have heard this one before, so I am going to take it one step further. The grocery store isn’t the only place you can #byob (bring your own bag), the drug store, the mall, the gas station, restaurants, the list goes on!! I always keep one of those fold-up re-useable bags in my purse or backpack, but make sure to grab extra bags when I go to the farmer’s market or the grocery store.
Keep a re-useable water-bottle & coffee cup handy: I never leave the house without a full bottle of water. I am fortunate to have several different bottles that are each suited for different occasions, but brands like Swell, Happy Human Life, and Hydro Flask all offer a variety of high-quality insulated bottles that are perfect for water, tea, coffee, smoothies, or whatever you desire!
Buy less packaged foods: Think about all of the packed food you buy. How many of them are wrapped in plastic?? Pretty much all of them right? Every jar of peanut butter, bag of popcorn, cup of yogurt, granola bar, box of cereal, bag of trail mix, carton of milk or eggs, and package of meat all come in some form of packaging, most of which contain plastic. Carving out a little bit of time each week to prepare your own food will save YOU a lot of unnecessary sugar, salt, and calories and will save the planet a lot of waste! I am not trying to push a zero waste lifestyle onto anyone because, lets be honest, taking a huge leap like that is likely to fail. Start small by buying whole fruits and vegetables instead of the pre-washed and cut ones that come in plastic tubs. Buy nut butters that come in glass jars instead of plastic. Make your own trail mix by utilizing the bulk bins. Just cutting out animal products in general will not only drastically cut down on the amount of packaging you consume but will also save you lots of mullah at the checkout.
(this one’s for the ladies) Use cardboard tampons: Periods, ew - touchy subject, but very important. There are more women on the planet than men (GRL PWR) and most of those women menstruate once a month. Ladies, think about how many tampons you go through in a single period … now multiply that by the billions of women on this planet. That’s a lot of little plastic tubes finding their way into landfills across the globe. Cardboard tampons, unlike plastic, decompose MUCH faster.
Rethink your toothbrush: Most plastic has a life span that reaches far beyond the humans that used it. Most people replace their toothbrush every few months. But once you toss that little plastic stick into the waste basket it ends up laying in a landfill or floating through the oceans for years after only being used for a few months. Luckily, just like tampons, there is a more environmentally friendly alternative: bamboo or wooden toothbrushes. Returning nature to nature. What a concept ;) ( https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bamboo+toothbrush+ )
Make conscious purchases: Adopting this rule will help you adapt to all of the others as well. Next time you make a purchase think first: could I make this myself? Is there a plastic free alternative? Do I have my reusable containers and / or bags with me? Do I really need a straw? Just asking yourself these simple questions will help you to become more aware of the amount of waste, particularly plastic waste, that you as an individual contribute to the world. In doing so, you will then hopefully be motivate to reduce your impact.
Make your own food : I kind of already covered this one in number 6, but making your own food wildly helps to reduce the amount of waste you produce. For example, I make my own dairy free milks by purchasing nuts and seeds from the bulk section of my local Whole Foods or Sprouts grocery stores. I also bring my own reusable bags to fill at the bulk bins. I blend up the nuts or seeds in my @vitamix blender and keep the milk in glass jugs that I purchased from @amazon. [ let me know if you guys want me to post a tutorial on how to make your own milk :) ]
I am in no way an expert on zero-waste. I am just starting out on the journey myself. I simply wanted to share some tips and methods that I have discovered so far. Give them a try and let me know what you think! Feedback is greatly appreciated. :) The road to a greater world is one that we must all walk down together!
really old spanish flashcards from last year! this was back when i barely knew fifty vocab words lol :’).
here’s a quick tip for anyone wanting to be more environmentally friendly: cut up flashcards (especially if they’re vocab) into fourths! it’s really quick and easy. this way, you won’t have to purchase as many index cards, they take up less space (you can fit a bunch into a pencil pouch or something for quick studying), are super portable, and you’re saving the trees!! and tbh full-sized index cards are really large; if i don’t cut them into fourths, i barely take up any space with my writing anyway haha.
Without moving a slack muscle, you lifted your dazed eyes off the bland book in front of you to the speaker arriving into your small, shared apartment. Said speaker had short (though getting longer) relaxed onyx hair and big, circular glasses that served as a magnifying glass over his adorableness. Said speaker that shuffled over the floor in thick socks, slightly oversized jeans, and a black sweater was also your boyfriend for a little over a year now.
“you look beautiful.” He finished with a monotone voice- and was that sarcasm? He then placed a paper cup of something steaming onto the table in front of you with both hands before he took a look around the living room. Littering almost the floor around you was papers and your books, empty cups that Kyungsoo could only imagine had held a mixture of everything caffeine and then some, and several empty bags of different candies. A mess, for short.
You didn’t bother asking what he had gotten you before you were grasping for the paper cup and lifting it up to your lips. Before sipping, you paused and stared up at your slightly older boyfriend. Red light.
He nodded. Yellow light. “It’s not too hot, go ahead.”
Green light. You tipped the cup and took slurped down the beverage which after a few seconds you recognized as a caramel latte. The caramel caffeine was safely inside of you in only seconds, and once you placed the empty cup beside you on the floor with a satisfied sigh, you caught the disturbed eyes of your boyfriend.
“What?” You snapped before gesturing to the circle of papers, trash and books around you. “I’m dying, Kyungsoo, this isn’t the time to give me that face.”
Kyungsoo chuckled, supporting himself with a hand against the surface of the coffee table as he sat down beside you, firmly placing his butt over a closed book. “You’re not dying.”
“Oh but I am. The words are starting to blur, babe, I can’t read anymore. I honestly feel a little lightheaded.”
“You’ve just lost motivation, and I don’t blame you by the way, you’ve been sitting here since, like, 8 am or something when I left for work, right?”
You nodded weakly.
Kyungsoo smiled, placing his soft palm against your cheek. “Let’s stop here.”
You tried to sigh away your frustrated tears, cuddling your cheek further into his warm hand. “But I need to continue, babe. The final is only a few days away and I don’t feel like I know anything! I try to remember anything and it just- I just can’t remember anything.”
He hummed, scooting closer. Without words, he scanned the books and papers around you, picking up the textbook before you and throwing a look over the page that met his eyes. “This one is easy; what is a gene?”
You furrowed your eyebrows, closing your eyes as you contemplated your answer. Not even a second later -
“A gene is the basic physical and functional unit of heredity.”
You were supposed to open your eyes again, only to feel the wonderful, familiar sensastion of Kyungsoo’s plump lips against yours. With a pleased hum, you moved your own against his, hoping so badly that you could just stay like this forever. Forget finals, you have Kyungsoo and his glorious lips, you don’t need an education. Unfortunately, the intoxicating, plump lips that you just wanted drown in were pulled away from yours along with the appearence of Kyungsoo’s soft baritone voice.
“Good job, baby.”
You pouted, cheeks burnning as you opening your eyes only to see Kyungsoo looking down in your book, searching for another question to ask you. “We’re gonna do it like that?” You asked, a little less angry and stressed. Without looking up from the page he was on, he hummed, smiling shyly into the black letters.
“If you want to and if you feel like it’ll help.”
“Hell yeah, I want to.” You grinned, scooting even closer to your boyfriend, resting your head upon his shoulder. “Hurry up, ask another one.”
“Okay, okay. Only for you, baby girl.”
A/N: ahh I’m the worst, I took so long on the two last requests that I just had to make them into drabbles to not completely lose the motivation to actually do them ;; I need me a Kyungsoo right now tbh but I still hope you all enjoy these, the chanyeol one might come tonight or tomorrow,, I’m really not sure ahahah ;; wow miaa
Hi kids~!! Today I will be explaining how to put in an invisible zipper into a side seam. ((Or whatever seam, I mean its into a seam… it doesn’t matter where the seam is… okay I’ll stop…)) Zippers come with these instructions, but sometimes I find it easier to have someone else explain it.
Here is our final outcome~
Things that we will need: Fabric, zipper, pins,iron, needle and thread for hand sewing, sewing machine with a zipper foot and seam ripper.
First step is to pin the right sides of our fabric together.
Next we are going to bast stitch the seam that we are going to put the zipper on closed. It is important to note that if your zipper is not going to take up the entire seam, you should stitch the ends that are not to open with the zipper like normal. Only bast stitch the parts of the seam that are going to open with the zipper.
We are then going to iron the basted seam open like we would a normal seam.
Now, we lay the zipper into the seam and pin it into place. The key is to keep the teeth of the zipper right on top of the basted seam.
Next, take your needle and thread and hand bast the zipper into place. I’ve heard some people use masking tape instead but that seems hella weird to me and leaves sticky on my seam… so yeah, no thanks.
Now that the zipper is held into place with our hand stitching, we can remove the pins so that our sewing machine doesn’t run into more problems than we need.
Make sure that your sewing machine is outfitted with a zipper foot. This way we make sure we can sew as close to the zipper teeth as possible and make it look neat. ((The foot on the left is the regular foot on my sewing machine, the one on the right is my zipper foot.))
Now it’s time to stitch in our zipper. Stitch from the top ((right side up)) about ¼ inch away from the seam that was basted ((and that is the teeth of the zipper)).
Remove the hand basting…
… and the basting between the seams.
Now we have our zipper stitched into place~
To finish the top and bottom seams just turn over and stitch like normal.
I live in an area where public transportation isn’t the most efficient option, so I took the plunge last month. It will be delivered late 2018, which will give me a chance to figure out a payment plan and charging station logistics. Let’s do it!