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  http://violet-woods.blogspot.com

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 décor. 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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

An All Around Zero-Waste Guide


Many other people have their own zero-waste kits or guides, and I am no exception. Whether I’m gone for a few days, school/work, or going to run some errands I try my best to be prepared and it’s truly quite simple.

Its been well into the year I started taking re-usuables with me everywhere and at first I used to be quite shy: (will they accept my coffee cup? Will my company think I’m being far-fetched?). But kindness is everything and when I hit up my favorite joints, shoutout to DRNK in East Hollywood, Mugshot Coffeehouse in Santa Clarita, and of course Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf cafes throughout the city, I’m often remembered by the baristas for being the gal who whips out her Kleen Kanteen or UKonserve up upon ordering her drink and have struck up friendly conversations and smiles. Pro-tip: the cafes mentioned above offer in house cups to drink out of, just bring your own straw if needed.

As much as I want major companies to be the leaders in reducing waste and making environmental issues the forefront of their priorities, we as consumers have a voice in making that a reality. From taking re-usables, saying no to single-use items, and choosing farmers markets or bulk-buys we can make a difference with our actions.

These are simple and affordable switches that will save you money, minimize waste, and let’s be honest are quite appealing. I wholeheartedly support the companies mentioned here for their dedication to sustainability and helping our beautiful earth while minimizing waste.

zero waste guide at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com

Kleen Kanteen Insulated Tumbler | This company is one of my favorites. They create products that are durable and great for anyone to use. You can use this cup for anything: coffee, kombucha, water, etc. and since it’s made out of stainless steel it wont leech any The cup will keep hot liquids warm for 4 hours and cold liquids for up to 15+ although they must be covered but that these do come with a press-fit Simple Lid, just in mind this lid is not leakproof.

Klean Kanteen Insulated Food Canister 8oz | These are multi purpose stainless steel canisters that you can use for food storage, buying in bulk, or takeout. It is also
insulated so it will keep your items hot or cold!

Catspring Yaupon Tea | Catspring is a Texas based company that produces sustainable tea free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers in cultivating. What is Yaupon? It's a US native plant that produces a green or black tea, depending on how you roast it. Edible Austin describes it as yaupon’s berries as toxic but the small oval leaves of the plant had been used for centuries by Native Americans to brew in ceremony. The tealeaves can be composted and the company offers bulk looseleaf options.

Guayaki Loose Leaf Yerba Mate | c/o When it comes to efforts in sustainability and environmental integrity, Guayaki raises the bar. The company Sustainably sources the tea from preserved rainforests and devotes effort to reforestation projects. The bag it comes in can be composted in home composts or landfill in 180 days so yes, it is possible to create packaging.  So what is yerba mate? It's a South American herbal tea that some use as an alternative to coffee or for energy. It contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, 11 polyphenols, and of course caffeine. Guayaki’s yerba mate is organic & fair trade and the used tealeaves can also be composted.

Fat & The Moon All Salve | The plant based alternative to petroleum jelly, skin & lip balm, and healing salve for cuts and burns. This is a great multipurpose product that soothes and heals with organic ingredients like calendula, st john’s wort, & oregon grape leaf (but note: it does contain beeswax). This company is considerate about minimizing excess packaging and using re-usable solutions like this metal tin. 

Organic Unbleached Un paper Towels/Cloths  & Produce Bags | From the store Natural Linens, these are organic, unbleached, GOTS certified, and Fair Trade certified these are the perfect alternative to paper towels or face cloths. Of course you can wash them and use them as often as you need. These come with polyester threading but if you pay a small fee, you can request cotton threading instead.

Full Circle Glass Travel Bottle | If you or someone you know prefers tea this is a good gift or them.  It comes with an infuser so they can go a zero waste route and add loose leaf tea and let it steep to their content (compost it) but you can also add bagged tea bags, lemon, sugar + etc. The body is made out of borosilicate glass and cork sleeve. The cap and bottom are made out of recycled plastic that's BPA free. This is a great cup for on the go + travel ready.

Toockies Natural Jute Flower Trivet | These are beautiful handmade organic jute trivets that have so many uses. Toockies recommends this for holding casserole or roasting dishes but I like to use them as candle/drink coasters or wall décor. These are compostable & biodegradable and come in a set of two. Toockies uses a fair trade system to give a voice and financial opportunities to women in India who are able o making a living through this company. Learn more about Toockies devotion to helping these women-artisans here.

EcoInstinct Handmade Laundry Soap | When I was searching for laundry soap that was zero waste and palm oil free I found that you cant always get what you want.  But my search paid off when I came across Eco Instinct. This company started by Folk Herbalist Megan Donovan creates palm oil free, vegan, and Non-GMO laundry soaps that are plant based and free of borax . Thoughtfully packaged in post-consumer or recycled material that you can reuse when repurchasing. You can request a bulk purchase as well or get soapberries if those are your preferred choice.