Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sustainable Shopping: Creative Energy Candles

I love the ritual of lighting candles. Lately we’ve had a very brisk, cold winter in Los Angeles and with the rainfall and overcast skies it makes it all the more beautiful and ideal for lighting candles and unwinding with a book or film on Netflix.

creative energy candles x violet woods

But most candles aren’t really ideal. Conventional candles that are made with paraffin wax is essentially a petroleum waste product that must be treated chemically and then bleached. Artificially scented candles, even when they aren’t lit, can release chemicals like formaldehyde into the air around you because of simple evaporation and what’s worse is that the scents themselves are oils petroleum-based synthetics. Further more The American Lung Association says, “refrain from burning scented or slow burning candles that have additives.”

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Shop owner Kara started her company to create a safer product on the market. Creative Energy Candles are cruelty-free and vegan with a blend of soybean wax, certified organic extra virgin coconut oil and a variety of essential oil blends with organic cotton wicks. They serve a zero waste  multi-purpose use both as a candle and warming lotion – as well as aromatherapy. With various sizes (I prefer the larger ones for less materials used + more product) I no longer have a need to purchase lotion that I would hardly use.

Packaging is very important for the company, or rather reducing packaging. The candles themselves are poured in glass jars or metal tin – both re-suable or you can recycle the glass. An outer sleeve made up of 100% recyclable material is the only cover on the candle

creative energy candles x violet woods

The company also donates 10% of its proceeds to various charities and missions 

Featured here//

Moroccan Teakwood features notes of cedarwood, patchouli, black pepper

Bergmont & Oakmoss is one of my favorites with sage, lavandin and bergamot

Tarocco Orange (my beau’s favorite!) with mango and blood orange

Citrus & Wild Mint is springtime in a candle, channeling Persephone with geranium, lime, and basil

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Secondhand Shopping + Style Guide with thredUp

When going about a zero waste lifestyle others may think that's the end of shopping or expressing oneself. However this is not true: for me zero waste means I go about my life minimizing my trash output while making ethical choices. The fashion and garment industry are one of the top polluters of waste in particular “fast fashion” retailers like H&M, Forever 21, Zara, & GAP.  Because they mass produce clothing and shelve out the smaller batches of goods more frequently by the cycle we have too much clothing items lying around.

There’s a claim that not everyone can afford ethically produced garments but that shouldn't deter you from wanting to choose sustainable actions. What does one do to reduce waste but still participate with fashion? Personally I haven’t bought anything new, save for the occasional gift I receive that happens to be a clothing item (and if I don't genuinely want it, I will donate it). Instead I have been second-hand shopping for the past 6+ years with the focus of selecting pieces that I know I will want a few years from now so I don't continue the cycle of garment waste.

By secondhand shopping you take an action by buying items that already exist while saving them from a future in the landfill. Secondhand shopping is often priced affordably or at discounted costs. You aren’t limited to choices or styles. The great thing is that secondhand shopping is extending itself to an online platform such as thredUp

thredUp serves as an online secondhand store. People can donate their clothing items and accessories through the Clean Out program with the fees gong to charity or in-store credit. This helps prevent clothing from going to landfill. The store features various brands ranging from H&M, Free People, Brandy Melville and designer labels like 7 For All Mankind and Burberry. So basically they cover the bases. In my opinion you’re better off buying from thredUp than dropping full price at a mall or their online stores. All of the items on thredUp ranging from clothing to accessories and kids are at discounted prices and the Basement section that features fixer-uppers for the DIY enthusiasts. Thredup currently offers accessory and clothing items for women and juniors while including maternity wear, plus size options, and kids as well (both girl and boy). They also have a pretty cool blog called thredit (get it?) which includes one of my favorite posts featuring Emily Harteau a mom + wanderer of the blog Our Open Road

In the spirit of February, I think Valentines Day shouldn't be limited to one day. Whether you are dating, or single I recommend setting a day aside to spend time with those you care about, have a Galentine's Day, or even a day/night on your own and be kind. I partnered up with thredUP to create some outfits that feature pieces I received from their shop styled with my own personal thrifted finds! I encourage y’all to check out thredUp support secondhand shopping. You can curate any look from the diverse selection on the thredUp website be it: work, school, social events, or a night in. I also appreciate the company’s efforts toward sustainability by using recyclable packaging for your order!

+ enjoy 50% off first-time purchases of cocktail dresses with the code: COCKTAIL50 - only active by visiting this code

thredUp x cristina rose

Crop top by Brandy Melville c/o thredUp shop the brand here, thrifted denim jacket by GAP shop the brand here, and bag by Calvin Klein shop the brand here

thredUp x cristina rose

Caramel polka dot dress by Mink Pink c/o thredUp shop brand here, caramel jacket by NY&CO shop brand here

thredUp x cristina rose

Baby blue top by Glamorous co thredUP shop the brand here, thrifted bag by NY & CO shop the brand here

Final thoughts: My hope for fast fashion retailers is that: instead of incinerating or trashing their unbought items, they will donate it to companies like thredUp who can list the items for sale and find them new homes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

LOAM + Slow Living

Recently I had the pleasure of having my piece on Slow Living published on the LOAM website. As I mentioned in the New Year I wanted to shift my habits into a more mindful and gentler approach. Oftentimes I believe people perceive the term “slow living” as a means of perfection of idealism but I disagree. I genuinely believe it’s about cultivating honesty and going about our lives with a measured perspective. Its about taking a step back when need be allowing yourself to taken in stations no matter their magnitude. Of course I will always get credit when its due and a principle source I had for slow living is Beth Kirby of Local Milk.

Here is a segment of my piece and if you would like to continue reading follow here: Living consciously isn’t lackluster; it’s meant to be meditative and reflective. It’s taking your actions into consideration. Sometimes I look back and can’t recall what I did a few days before unless I really take the time to reflect. I don't want to miss experiences.

You can preorder the upcoming copy of LOAM: Permaculture in Practice that will be released in March (my birthday month!).

This issue with feature:  “A celebration of sustainable living and a call to radical action. Searching for strategies to embody hope? Consider this luscious issue of Loam a vital resource in your pursuit of love-filled and world-building experiences.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Minimalist & Zero Waste Guide To Home Cleaning With Full Circle

Full Circle is a B-Corp that provides effective, sustainably made products that range from cleaning, home composting, and travel. They pride themselves on using plant-based materials to make their designs. These include bamboo, cellulose, and nuts. Full Circle only uses recycled plastic in a few of their products but for the most part the recycled plastic that they did use on products that are meant to last – like a brush compartment or a tumbler stopper. Why does this matter? Consider how much plastic trash currently sits in landfills. Because it does not biodegrade and some of course can be recycled, this is a way of salvaging what would go to landfill.

While I believe we should minimize or eliminate virgin plastic products it doesn't promote sustainability by any means it doesn't change the fact we still have a plastic problem. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, "Plastics do not biodegrade, although, under the influence of solar UV radiations, plastics do degrade and fragment into small particles, termed microplastics." These microplastics end up in much of our environment and largely, the ocean. Greenpeace states that Around 110 million tons of plastic are produced each year, of which about 11 million tons ends in the sea. And while you can recycle some plastics, its lifespan isn’t ideal by any means: most get downcycled to lesser quality products, which ultimately can no longer be recycled.

A Minimalist & Zero Waste Guide To Home Cleaning

full circle review

Cleaning our spaces is absolutely important. For most of us its not perceived as the most enjoyable activity but whether you live in an apartment, a dorm, or even at home its necessary to get into the groove of cleaning. Want some facts? Here ya go & another one for added measure. I make my own all-purpose spray which I will post the recipe to very soon! 

Laid Back 2.0 Sponge & Brush Be Good Brush | Most generic sponges made from petrochemical plastics. Full Circle offers these cellulose-based sponges as a sustainable solution that will completely break down when thrown away. In the meantime if you have a dishwater these sponge heads are safe to place in there for cleaning and maintenance.

The brush is made of bamboo and contains a non-toxic coating. The company uses recycled BPA free plastic bristles. The bamboo brush is re-useable with proper care and maintenance. All you need to do it replace the brush head. My favorite go-to are the sponges because they biodegrade!

Natural latex Cleaning Gloves | Prettiest environmentally safe gloves I ever did see. The inside of these gloves are made out of of nylon & rayon comprised of plant fibers. The outer is a natural latex exterior and the cuffs are made of cotton. No need to throw them out, with proper care they will last you a long time.

Modern Kitchen Towel | A 100% organic cotton towel for whatever you need: drying dishes, wiping down counters, even home d├ęcor. Of course its machine washable and durable.

Tough Stuff: All Purpose Scrub Brush | A sturdy replacement for scour pads this brush is ideal for tubs/showers, tiles, and wall surfaces. The head and its bristles are made of recycled plastic and bamboo making this ideal for vegans. Proper care includes washing in warm soapy water.

Walnut Scrubber Sponge | Only two materials made up these effective little scrub sponges: walnut & cellulose. The darker layer acts as a scour scrubber and the lighter option is a sponge. These were my first intro to Full Circle’s shop when I was trying to find solutions to plastic sponges. To disinfect and re-use you can place them in your dishwasher or place in boiling water for a few minutes and allow drying. Guaranteed to break down even in the landfill when it’s reached the end of its use.