Buying a home is a serious, important and personal decision and I think it's critical that when it comes to making this decision that you really keep in mind your needs, not your wants and not the influence of others. Societal conventions will push you to get more, but more doesn't also mean better. There are many advantages to having a smaller home. Along with the cost, the second is the environmental footprint.Read More
Coffee, then adulting.
I don't describe myself as a coffee addict. I can make it through many days without drinking coffee. Most days, I only drink half a cup, but regardless coffee remains a staple in our household. My husband drinks it everyday and my husband and I go on coffee dates often. We've tried all kinds of ways to drink coffee: pour over, French press, espresso machine, and instant (occasionally) so I thought I would break down what each one takes and how you can reduce your waste.Read More
Every summer has a story.
Part of the hallmarks of living a sustainable life is to live frugally. This doesn't mean being cheap, but learning to be self-sufficient, learning to share with the community, and appreciating what nature has to offer. There's a large correlation with caring for your wallet and the planet. This summer, I encourage you to do the things that make you happy, that bring you joy. Remember that living doesn’t have to cost too much. It's your memories, your life! Create a summer story and a summer memory that is sustainable for your money and for the planet.
As with other seasons, here's a list of 100 things to save money, make memories and have a more sustainable and eco-friendly summer.Read More
With that, I thought I would do a quick round up of items I've found at TJMaxx that are eco-friendly. For me, there's a TJMaxx, Homegoods or Marshalls within a 1 mile proximity of where I live and I know it's a common store so hopefully this will be helpful for those that don't want to buy online and those that don't want to have to go to a specialty store. Big caveat here too that you do not need to buy anything new to start living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Use what you have. Wear it out and then invest in products that last a long time. Second caveat here too is that places like TJMaxx can get you to spend on things that are unnecessary.Read More
I had the opportunity to sit down with Barbara Lee of Trashy Beauty Co and her podcast Trash Talking with Eco Warriors. If you knew me a few years ago, the word "sustainability" was not in my vocabulary. I was your typical consumer. Caught up in wanting the next best thing. It wasn't until a car accident made me re-think the way I consumed. I share this story and how I started the path of minimalism and low waste. I hope you'll get a chance to listen in and listen in to the other interviews Barbara has done with other women (and men) in the conservation, sustainability and green business space. So much inspiration and so many people doing good in the world. Please support them.Read More
Ethical wealth creation is possible.
Initially, I didn’t want to monetize my site because it was just my personal projects, but over time, I started putting in a lot of work into it. I wrote a few articles a week. Those articles improved in quality and content. I started getting traction. People left comments. I was wrestling with the idea of how to be true to the spirit of sustainability and zero waste, but get paid for my time and my passion. I value what I do and I hope if you are reading this, value the content I create as well. I decided then to run ads on my site and this is how I make money as a sustainability blogger.Read More
"Men are forced to labour now because they are a slave to their own wants."
It took me some time to finish this book, but after several renewals from the library, I finally finished Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers by Frank Trentmann. It's a fascinating read! It reads a little bit like a history textbook. It runs through a range of histories of multiple countries to see show how goods traveled from one place to another. It should be noted that consumption isn't a new idea, but it has rapidly grown thanks to the Industrial Age and post Second World War.Read More
When we finally settled, my own habits started to clash a little bit with my parents. Of course, if you've been following a few of the articles in this blog, you know I like to do a bunch of crazy projects (hence the blog name) so it wasn't a surprise when the friction started to happen. My parents have been very supported of my new minimalist, eco-friendly, low sugar lifestyle and part of my secret goal was to also try to convert them into my ways. So we didn't end up moving to the West Coast for many reasons, but here's what I've learned about trying to influence my parents to follow a more eco-friendly lifestyle.Read More
Frugality is learning to share, to see the world as "ours.
Frugality has gotten a bad rap in certain context. People think being frugal is about being cheap, almost to a point that one cannot enjoy life. At the word "frugal", people think deprivation, but if we look back, frugal was a way to live intentionally keeping in mind the resources around us. Frugal living is sustainable living.
Let's re-think what frugal living means.Read More
I just finished the book "Your Money or Your Life" by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominquez. I love personal finance and am an avid personal finance book reader. Of all of the books I've read, this is one of the few books that talk about the relationship and impact of our spending on both our wallets and on our one planet. “Financial Integrity is achieved by learning the true impact of your earning and spending both on your family and on the planet.”Read More
For my birthday a few weeks ago, I convinced my husband to try out Tiny House Living for a weekend. We rented a place on Airbnb that someone just built. To be fully transparent, it was brand new and luxury meaning it had a nice, large bathroom, a brand new, well-equipped kitchen and lots of space for us to move around. It was also fully connected with internet. It wasn't off the grid living, it was luxury tiny house living for a weekend.Read More
One of the things that eventually comes up with someone who lives or attempts to live a zero waste life or blogs about it is the hypocrisy that comes with it. No matter how you slice or dice it, we all generate waste. Zero waste is not all or nothing. Zero waste is currently not possible in the current system that we have, but it doesn't mean we can't try to have a low impact and reduce the amount of waste that we all produce.
Perhaps, the biggest thing that is definitely not zero waste is the use of the internet.Read More
Things to do in Charlotte for the responsible tourist. Lots of sustainable activities that allow you to explore the Queen City without generating a lot of waste and reduce your impact.Read More
I recently had a chance to attend the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, North Carolina. It was my first every fair of it's kind. I was surprised at how much there was.
For those not familiar, "The Mother Earth News Fair is your passport to money-saving hacks, health-boosting remedies, and environmental strategies from leading experts and entrepreneurs around the country." It's very informative, fun and hands-on event with plenty to do, learn, and check out.Read More
For many years, I did not own a car after mine was completely totaled in a freak accident. So for years, I used car sharing companies like Zipcar and with the introduction of Uber a few years back, I was a faithful Uber user. One day, I came across this article about an Uber engineer by the name of Susan Fowler who detailed her strange year at Uber. Read the text here. It was an account of a male dominated work place with unprofessional business practices, harassment and lack of accountability by HR and the company overall. This hit close to home and I vowed to vote with my money and my conscience and deleted my Uber account.
Today I am an occasional Lyft user and am happy to see the news that they are committing to carbon offsets.Read More
The truth is for majority people in the world, MINIMALISM is just a fact of life. There is no word to describe the day to day of most people as they work to meet basic needs. There is no such thing as disposable income. No such thing as extra money at the end of the week. So for those lucky and yes privileged enough to grow up and live in a part of the world where all of their needs are taken care of without much issue and wants were easily taken for granted, I believe minimalism or in this case, the art of slowing down and living with less is needed in society right now.Read More
Did you know that most workout gear is made out of synthetic materials that sheds in the wash releasing small particles of plastic into the water system and eventually into our rivers and oceans? These are called microplastics or microfibers that have a diameter smaller than a human hair. Sadly, these are everywhere and have been found in bottled water.Read More
What did you do when you learned the truth about eating animals?
This is going to be a tough post to write, but I am going to attempt to do so as I believe it will help me understand all of the views around eating meat and where I stand. It's not that I've been avoiding the topic. It's just that this is a complex topic and I have been trying to wrap my brain around it. You see, I don't have a problem eating meat. Growing up in the Philippines, I've seen animals get butchered for food. I've witnessed chickens and pigs being raised only to be killed for a special event, mostly for a fiesta celebration. When this happened, we would be eating parts of that animal for days on end.Read More
Growing up in the Philippines, we weren't necessarily poor. My parents worked for a multi-national corporation, we had a nice house and we went to private Catholic school. From what I remember, Sundays were usually market days and part of market day is "ukay ukay". Ukay ukay is secondhand clothing from the Western world that make its way to the Philippines. Originally, they were meant as donation from first world to third world countries. At some point, it became a business and clothes. Secondhand clothing is a large part of the economy in third world countries. It has its pluses and minuses. First it supports the creation of micro businesses, second it provides affordable clothing and three it supports reuse. The downsides are it hurts local business sometimes especially those that want to produce and create their own clothing. It also leads to waste as this can sometimes be the last resort for textiles. If no one wants them at this point, it's very rare that they are shipped to another country to be recycled.Read More
Online shopping is growing, and so is the waste it generates. In 2013, the EPA estimated that 27% of landfill mas was paper and paperboard. The increase is cardboard waste is causing waste management companies to alter their processes to meet the growing flow of cardboard from online shopping.
My goal with Unburied co. is to reuse as many items as possible before they are upcycled and then recycled. I hope that this process will decrease the demand for new materials and pave the way for more sustainable options. The first arm of this is collecting cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper and tissue paper. These are all items that we save up in our homes because want to reuse them but end up throwing them away when they pile becomes unmanageable. I want people to sign up for my service before it gets to that. The second arm of Unburied co. is to develop a network of businesses that will reuse these products. Reused materials from Unburied co. are cheaper, allowing for decreased shipping costs, are just as capable, and their use will help bring awareness to the Zero Waste movement.Read More