Eco-friendly doesn’t mean losing out on style.
Think Eco-friendly doesn’t equal aesthetically pleasing? Think again. Something as simple as stylish reusable shopping bags can be a fashion statement, not a fashion fail.
Here’s my outfit from Tech Fashion Week (reader selected by you!) plus a farmer’s market friendly tote bag. It shows that fashionable and Eco-friendly can coexist.
Non-ugly reusable shopping bags
California has a plastic bag ban, which makes sense because the Pacific Ocean doesn’t need any more plastic bags floating in it.
When I think of reusable shopping bags, I think of the free scratchy-fabric promotional totes given out at conferences and vendor fairs. Luckily, they’re not all like that. See why.
Cute reusable shopping bags
My roommate got the Marks and Spencer tote pictured above while she was living in London. I like to keep a packable nylon tote in my purse like these from Kate Spade so I’ll never be stuck without a bag when I need one. The are washable and the nylon holds up well. It makes a good lunch bag, too.
Thrifted white tulle and lace skirt
I found the white skirt at Goodwill of Silicon Valley for $8! I linked to some similar skirts at the end of this post so you don’t have to scour your local thrift shops. Like reusable shopping totes, secondhand shopping is good for the environment because it keeps clothing out of landfills. I do a mix of secondhand and new clothes. Like going green with your pet and gardening to save the bees, it’s all about small, doable actions to be more Eco-friendly.
Small ways to be stylishly green
Borrowing clothes is great too — just check out these gorgeous shoes that are definitely not mine but I loved wearing them!
White Skirt – Jealous Tomato. Scored at Goodwill of Silicon Valley for $8!
Jacket – Anthropologie – newest style here
Shoes – Betsey Johnson
Eco-Friendly Wrapping Options
I love wrapping paper. Each year I love finding artistic paper options that aren’t typical Christmas designs (like the ones below!). But I definitely do not love throwing away the packaging after the gifts have been opened. For a few years now I’ve worked on my collection of pre-wrapped boxes that can be used year after year. There is a downside to those, and that’s storage space. This year, I experimented with the trend of minimalist, nature-inspired wrapping techniques. Here are my Eco-friendly gift wrap solutions to try.
Brown paper Packages, twine and greenery
They look elegant and well-designed, but these packages are covered with things you probably already have in the kitchen! All you need is brown paper, twine and greenery sprigs and you’re golden!
“But where do you get these sprigs, Abbie?” You may be asking. Mine are taken floral arrangements. Greenery usually lasts longer than the blooms themselves, so you can re-purpose it on your gifts. If you have a real Christmas tree you could also take a piece off of that in a place that’s not very noticeable…just throwing out ideas here!
For the paper, I used a brown grocery bag, but you could also try newspaper or the beige paper than comes in shipping boxes. Eco-friendly twine and re-purposed ribbon tied them off. There’s something very personal about the appearance of these packages, don’t you think, like they’re designed with the recipient in mind.
Another option I discovered this year for re-usable gift wrap is a reusable shopping tote. They’re no more expensive than paper gift bags, and the recipient can use it again and again. I found a Minnesota-themed tote at Trader Joe’s this year and it was perfect for large gifts.
Want even more ideas? Another blogger has some for you – I especially like her idea of using last year’s Christmas cards to make tags!
What are you wrapping your gifts with this year?
Taking steps to be more environmentally conscious is probably something you think about in your life. But what about your pet? Have you thought about the impact your pet is making on the environment too? There are a few simple ways to be an Eco-friendly pet owner. Get ready to go green with your pet!
Eco-Friendly Cat Litter
Clay litter is the least Eco-friendly of all the litter options. It doesn’t decompose and is often sourced from destructive strip mines. Luckily there are plenty of environmentally friendly cat litter options available. After being disappointed in the corn and wheat options available, I finally found an Eco-friendly option that I’ll continue to buy. The Blue Buffalo Co. Naturally Fresh is made from crushed walnut shells. Chewy.com provided me with litter samples to review, and this was by far my favorite.
Pros – Environmentally friendly, it clumps, and has great odor control. Virtually dust-free.
Con – The clumps break apart easily while scooping and it makes a bit of a mess. Other litters are simpler to scoop, but the pros outweigh the cons for me and I’ll continue to get this one.
If you have a favorite litter, let me know in the comments.
Ditch Plastic Poop Bags
Or at least re-use old plastic bags for cleaning up after the pup. I try to minimize my use of plastic bags, but the ones I do have I collect and use for dog walks. I’ve also heard you can use paper bags but I’d rather not do that when we’re on a long walk! The Environmental Protection Agency advises flushing as the best way to get rid of dog waste. You can also compost dog waste in soil that isn’t going to be used for growing food. I don’t do either of those things – for now I’m happy to use plastic bags that aren’t bought new. We all need to start somewhere.
Buy High Quality Pet Food
I pay a lot of attention to what I eat and how and where it’s grown. What about what our pets eat? Support responsible pet food companies that aren’t contributing to pollution, treat animals humanely and don’t use animal byproducts. This usually means paying more, but your pet is getting a better product. Raw and grain free diet options are usually good places to start.
Support Animal Rescues
Lastly, the best way to be an Eco-friendly pet person is to support the work of animal shelters and get your pets from them!
What are some ways you try to be Eco-friendly in your daily life?