Living Green

DIY: Toxic Free Cleaning Products for a Healthy Home

When we think of leading healthy lifestyles, most of us have a base view of eating nutritious meals, exercising daily and getting adequate rest.

But despite how well we fuel our bodies or how many reps we do at the gym, many of us are negatively impacting our bodies’ well being by bringing toxic products into our immediate environments.

The sad truth is, the most common and familiar household cleaning brands are bringing hazardous ingredients into our homes with a great cost to our health. The sure way to eliminate the risk to experiencing the negative side effects of exposure from such poisonous, synthetic cleaning products is to refuse to use them.

Even products marked as “natural” or “green” still contain some of the worst offending chemicals, making these so-called “alternative” items threatening to your healthy home haven.

By rejecting these products, you ensure a safe and healthy home environment for you and your families.

Thankfully, there are ample tested and effective natural methods to clean your home that you can make yourself with ease!

Let’s empower ourselves to eliminate household pollutants with ingredients that are likely already in your cupboards!

Read on to learn how to make your own cleaners that are not only toxic free, but also smart for your wallet and the environmentally friendly too.

All Purpose Cleaner

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oils (I enjoy the freshness of peppermint or lemon balm)
  • 1 tsp borax
  • Spray bottle
DIRECTIONS:

1. Add all ingredients to a spray bottle, screw on top and shake well.

2. Apply to whatever surface you are cleaning and wipe!

Disinfectant

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
  • ½ cup high-proof vodka or rubbing alcohol
  • ½ cup white distilled vinegar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 50-60 drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil
  • Spray bottle
DIRECTIONS:

1. Add all ingredients to a spray bottle, screw on top and shake well.

2. Apply to whatever surface you are cleaning and wipe!

Liquid Toilet Cleaner

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup castile soap
  • 15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • Sealable bottle
DIRECTIONS:

1. Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Using a funnel, transfer mixture to a sealable bottle.

3. Pour ¼ cup into your toilet bowl.

4. Use a toilet scrub or sponge to spread throughout bowl, beneath toilet seat and entire inside of bowl.

5. Flush the toilet to rinse.

Air Freshener

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
  • 1 cup water
  • 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oils. Lavender, peppermint, tea tree, lemon and rosemary are all great deodorizing oils to pick from.
  • Sealable spraybottle
DIRECTIONS:

1. Add ingredients to spray bottle, screw on top and mix well.

2. Spray in rooms of your liking and enjoy!

Furniture Polish

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
  • ½ teaspoon oil, such as olive, almond, jojoba, or liquid wax
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice or vinegar
  • Glass jar
DIRECTIONS:

1. Mix ingredients in a glass jar.

2. Dab a soft rag into the mixture and wipe onto wood surfaces.

3. Keep glass jar covered and store.

Mold and Mildew Spray

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • Spray bottle
DIRECTIONS:

1. Mix vinegar and essentials oils in spray bottle.

2. Screw on top and mix well.

3. Spray onto surface you wish to clean.

3. Let solution sit for at least 1 hour.

4. Wipe clean.

5. Allow surface to air dry.

6. Multiple treatments maybe necessary.

9 Ideas to Reduce Your Waste

With the current state of the environment, from ocean water temperatures rising, freakish and dangerous weather patterns becoming the norm and the widespread devastation of natural habitats, just to name a few circumstances of this heartbreaking situation, there’s no doubt that the Earth is rejoicing at the ever growing trend of low/zero waste.

As choosing green trends, culturally, we are beginning to wake up and take responsibility for the ways in which our daily choices are contributing to the issues.

Sadly, the United States has its work cut out for itself. As the leading nation of annual trash production at the staggering rate of 4.4 pounds of municipal waste per person each day, the time is ripe for us to adjust our practices and reduce our waste.

Because caring for our planet is love.

1. Hop On the Reusable Bags Train

The Ugly
  • Americans use 100 billion plastic bags per year, the majority of which
  • Wind up in landfills and
  • Sorrowfully are consumed by wildlife, commonly seabirds and turtles, leading to their premature deaths and great decline in population size.
The Good
  • Thankfully, city governments throughout the country are banning single-use plastic bags.
  • Even if your city hasn’t yet reached this verdict, there’s no reason to wait. You can make the choose to plan ahead and bring reusable bags with you wherever you go. I like to leave one in the back of my car so that I’m never without!
  • There are tons of options, but I like the reusable shopping bag by Chico Bag.

2. Bring Your Own

The Ugly
  • One of the greatest sources of waste creation in our lives is due to our food purchases that come in packaging.

The Good

  • Choosing to skip the pre-wrapped products will not only reduce the amount of trash you create, but may lead to healthier food choices as well.
  • Instead of purchasing pre-made and processed foods wrapped in plastic and cardboard, make your food pickings from the produce and bulk aisles instead.
  • By bringing your own mason jars, mesh bulk bags, and reusable produce bags you can skip the plastic bags provided by stores and instead set a shining example on how to refuse and instead reuse.

3. “No Straw Please”

The Ugly
  • Over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States.
  • After its single use, we toss straws to the trash with no thought, turning them into an instant source of plastic pollution.
The Good
  • We only started using straws to this extent in the past twenty years. We are not yet so indoctrinated that we can’t turn things around.
  • Consider requesting your drink orders without the straw or bring a reusable one of your own!
  • Reusable straws come in acrylic, stainless steel, glass, and even bamboo.

4. Switch Your Wraps

The Ugly
  • 30% of all waste in the U.S. is from packaging. So while you maybe in the habit of using plastic wrap to preserve your food, it’s not the most considerate choice for the planet.
The Good

5. Bye, Bye Plastic Bottles

The Ugly
  • In 2016, 334 million metric tons of plastic was produced, half of which was used for single-use products like plastic bottles.
  • Less than 10% of that plastic will ever be recycled.
  • Statistics like this are absolutely unacceptable with the choices available to us today.
The Good
  • One of the easiest things we can do to reduce our waste is to choose to hydrate ourselves with reusable water bottles.
  • If you have a reusable bottle already, I encourage you to use it. But if you’re looking for a product you can feel good about supporting, consider purchasing a Hydro Flask.
  • Not only do they create a high quality product, Hydro Flask also funds Parks for All, which “provides grants to non-profit organizations focused on building, maintaining, restoring, or providing better access to parks,” which makes your investment in their products an investment in our park’s wilderness too.

6. Say “No” to Disposables

The Ugly
  • To-go meals are super convenient, but they come in single-use styrofoam, often the kind that can’t be recycled. Some, luckily, do come in recyclable plastic, but this is still a product that creates more waste than it saves.
The Good
  • Something is better than nothing. Even if you can’t get zero-waste take-out, you can ask them to please not put any plastic forks or condiments that you won’t use. Instead, bring your own.
  • To-Go Ware is a company I feel really proud to support, as we share similar visions and dreams for a transformed “to-go” culture that has lead us to creating excessive plastic waste.\
  • Their travel bamboo utensil sets are reusable and made with a commitment to being environmentally responsible, making these transportable utensil sets super eco-friendly.
  • Don’t feel called to invest in an additional product? Then simply travel with a set of utensils from your home in your purse or backpack.
  • Toss out the “throw away” approach and commit to reuse today!

7. Brush With Biodegradables

The Ugly
  • Nearly 5 billion plastic toothbrushes are made annually, and it takes each brush 400 years to decompose.
  • This overwhelming statistics makes me think of how many plastic toothbrushes I have used throughout my life thus far, sitting in a landfill somewhere, destined to never biodegrade.
  • Multiply that reality by the number of people purchasing plastic toothbrushes in the world and that visual becomes that much more alarming.
The Good
  • As I educated myself more on the reality of today’s plastic pollution, I started to investigate and switch my purchasing habits to reusable or biodegradable products. Toothbrushes are no exception, and this is what led me to discover the people behind the Mable bamboo toothbrush.
  • The folks at Mable are on a mission to inspire others to make a difference by making small, sustainable choices, one toothbrush and classroom at a time. Not only have they made a chic, eco-friendly, 100% biodegradable toothbrush, but they also visit schools in their local community through their Buy Give Teach program, empowering youth to utilize the power they have to affect change.
  • In order for our changes to have the greatest impact, they need to reach others. Let’s come together to stop adding to the problem, cut our plastic use and be part of the solution.

8. Cups Over Trash

The Ugly
  • In her lifetime, a woman will dispose 300 pounds of waste through menstrual products alone. Holy guacamole.
The Good
  • In the past, we may have turned to disposable menstrual products, because we were led to believe they were our only choice.
  • Thankfully, today, we have a wide variety of reusable products, from menstrual cups to reusable pads, that are not only kind to the Earth, but better honor our bodies too. Consider these recommendations below:
  • Natural sea sponge tampons
  • Diva Cups
  • Created by a mother and daughter duo committed to making periods a more positive experience for all women.
  • Thinx Panties
  • A company committed to female empowerment, smashing through the period taboo culture.
  • DIY Cloth Pads
  • For a fraction of the cost of the above mentioned products, you can empower yourself to make your own reusable cloth pads… extra “Go Green!” points if you up-cycle clothing that you are no longer using to make them with.

9. Choose Paperless

The Ugly
  • From junk mail to credit card bills, it doesn’t take long for our mailboxes to overflow with envelopes and fliers. Now imagine how many forest and trees had to be clear cut in the production of their paper?
The Good
  • One of the simplest steps we can take to reduce our waste while minimizing our clutter is by switching over to paperless. It’s as easy as logging into your accounts and clicking a button.
  • Also, if you’re a lover of books, magazines or newspapers, consider switching over to their digital forms and reading them on the electronic reader of your choice.
  • Prefer the smell and feel of books, then commit to purchasing used books or host book swaps with your neighbors, colleagues and friends. Gifting books when you’re done is another great option.

Living Our Values

As consumers, we have tremendous power to influence the greater, flawed systems of our societies. Our current system reaps resources from our planet as if they will infinitely be abundant.

But the truth is, our modern way of living is depleting a very finite natural world that will seize to provide if we do not change our ways.

We can strive to send nothing to the landfill. We can shift our expectations of what we need, reuse as much as we can, send minimally to be recycled and compost what we cannot.

Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Rot. Recycle.

It’s not about perfection, but about making better choices.

Want to see more of my Zero Waste alternative product picks? Click here.

Sincerely,

Alyse

My Body, Hair, + Dental Care Routine

After many requests, I am so excited to be sharing with you my body care routine.

You could call this a natural body care routine or a minimalist body care routine, if you wish, but this is just what I use on a daily or weekly basis to keep my body feeling, smelling and looking good and healthy.

I have linked all the products I use daily to help your easily transition into a natural body, hair, + dental care routine.

Body Care

1. Dr. Bronner’s
  • When: on a daily basis, especially after the gym.
  • Where: in the shower, on my whole body.
  • Why:

– I prefer Dr. Bronner’s un-scented soap just because I don’t like to smell a specific way. I just want to get the job done!

– This soap is bio-degradable and a small amount goes a long way.

2. Coconut Oil
  • When: when I find my skin feeling on the drier side after my shower.
  • Where: I’ll use this on my whole body or just on places that get dry, which tends to be my elbows, shins and face.
  • Why:

– It smells absolutely amazing (I’m currently using Thrive Market’s brand I’m in love).

– It moisturizes my skin really well (not everyone reacts this well to using coconut oil as a lotion. Test out a small, non-sensitve area of your body before applying all over)

3. Hippy Pits deodorant
  • When: on days that I eat cooked food or onions or garlic, when my body odor tends to be a little stronger. I’m currently using their lavender scent.
  • Where: under my arm pits 🙂
  • Why:

– I really love this product a lot, because its super easy to use. You just put your finger in the paste and apply it to your armpit.

– Its vegan, aluminum free (which is AWESOME), and I like to support small companies. This company is just starting off, and they provide incredible products, so I really encourage giving them your support.

On days that I’m not eating those types of foods, I don’t use any deodorant at all. I’d say 99% of my past year, I haven’t used any deodorant. But when I do, this is my go to product.

Hair Care

1. Arbonne Shampoo + Arbonne Conditioner
  • When: daily
  • Where: in the shower
  • Why: I love using Arbonne’s hair products, because they are

– Vegan + cruelty free

– pH balanced

– safe for all types of hair

– contain no phosphates or sulfates

– and leave my hair feeling wonderful!

Dental Care

1. Bamboo Toothbrush
  • When: daily
  • Why: I choose to use a bamboo toothbrush because

– I prefer this alternative material to more wasteful materials.

– It’s much more eco-friendly than using plastic.

If you’ve never seen the documentary “Plastic Paradise,” I couldn’t recommend it more. It really changed my thoughts on a lot of things, and I’m still trying to align all of my actions with my beliefs. I know having items like this ARE aligned with my beliefs, as opposed to purchasing products that are not reusable and contribute to more waste on the planet. I’m still discovering alternative products as well as ways to make my own products to reduce and eliminate the ways I contribute to waste.

2. doTERRA On Guard Natural Whitening Toothpaste
  • When: daily
  • Why:

– It smells sooo good! My mom gifted it to me when I first came to Hawaii, and I’ve been using it ever since.

– It’s fluoride-free and provides the protective benefits of therapeutic-grade On Guard essential oils, while also reducing plaque, and whitening teeth with gentle polishing agents.

3. Eco-Dent Gentle Floss
  • When: daily
  • Why:

– It’s extremely gentle on your gums

– It’s cruelty free

Did you know that most floss is coated in processed bees wax? Neither did I until about 6 months ago! If you want to switch to a new floss, give Gentle Floss a try!

4. Tongue Scraper
  • When: daily
  • Why:

– Tongue scraping is a natural hygiene practice that removes bacteria, toxins, and dead cells from your tongue.

– Combined with other dental care, scraping your tongue daily helps your breath stay fresh!

I truly hope this simplifies your daily care routine 🙂

With love,

Alyse

4 Ways To Travel The World On A Budget

For many, travel is considered the deepest and
most expansive education you can give yourself.

Changing your scenery to unfamiliar territories, whether within your own nation or foreign lands,

  • provides ample opportunity to learn from others
  • forms friendships that will last a lifetime
  • Teaches you more about yourself by crossing the line of your comfort zone into something exciting and new.

One of the biggest questions I receive regarding travel is cost. Explore these options to consider a few of the many ways to travel on a budget!

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” –Andre Gide

1. WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms)

WWOOFing is a fantastic route to budget travel, as your expenses can be as minimal as the cost of airfare to your farm destination.

The details:

  • WWOOF links volunteers with organic farmers and growers and can take you all over the world,

– from fruit farms in Hawaii and coffee growers in Nicaragua to vineyards in the French country side and apple orchards in New Zealand… the possibilities are endless!

  • Each farm has its own expectations and needs for their volunteers

– in exchange for accommodation and food.

  • Accommodations vary

– Lodging can range from rustic camping to bamboo huts to established houses

– Some or all meals may be provided.

This is how I moved to Hawaii in the first place, volunteering on Kaniki Farm. You’ll know all the details of your specific far before committing to that property. WWOOFing is a fantastic way to unplug from everyday modern living, learn extensively about food growing practices, and drop in with the rhythms and flows of nature.

For more information visit http://www.wwoof.net/

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” –Anonymous

2. Volunteer in a residential program at a spiritual center or retreat

Many ashrams, monasteries or spiritual retreat centers offer volunteer opportunities to support the spiritual work of residential and lay practitioners alike.

These can be found worldwide, such as the Karma Yoga program at the Sivananda Ashram and Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas.

The details:

  • Daily asana practices
  • Lectures from international scholars and teachers
  • The serenity and beauty of white sand-beach front property.
  • Three vegetarian meals daily (with ample vegan options),
  • Simple tent camping,
  • Access to all programs and daily activities in exchange for supporting the daily needs of the retreat center.
  • Service projects range from include things like cooking and supporting kitchen staff.

Daily meditation, yoga practice and delighting in the beauty of the Caribbean will leave you feeling relaxed, inspired and aligned with a deeper purpose.

For more information visit: https://www.sivanandabahamas.org/visiting-the-ashram/residential-study_karma_yoga/

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” –Ray Bradbury

3. Volunteer with Workaway

Workaway is a database connecting volunteers with local hosts with a need for your support, much like WWOOF. There is a great need for volunteers throughout the world to aid in solutions of the many challenges faced by various communities.

The details:

  • Workaway does not ask for volunteers to pay fees, which has become more common for other volunteer agencies to do.
  • You can find yourself at surf camps in Costa Rica, kangaroo sanctuaries in Australia or maintaining trails in the Swiss Alps, just to name a few destinations.
  • Workawayers work a few hours a day in exchange for food and accommodation.
  • Visits can last just a few days or many months.
  • You’ll be immersed in the raw culture of the area you’re visiting.
  • “Travel cheaply and stay for free, whilst making a difference to the communities you visit.”

For more information visit: https://www.workaway.info/

“Not all those who wonder are lost.” –J.R.R Tolkien

4. Teach English abroad

With the expanding influence of English as a second language comes the growing demand for native English speakers to teach. You can find teaching opportunities worldwide, though the exchange and prerequisites will vary. Many nonprofits seek native speakers to contribute to their English learning programs for disadvantaged youth.

For example, The Root Institute in Bodh Gaya, India, the sight where the Buddha attained enlightenment under the bodhi tree, seeks English speakers to work with the children in their school in exchange for accommodation, three meals a day and a wealth of satisfaction and merit from benefitting many people.

The opportunities are plentiful, from teaching monks in Nepal to schoolchildren in Ghana; this means to budget traveling carries a promise of deep life-purpose and service. Depending your experience and background, teaching English can easily lead to well paid work, further funding your travel and explorations abroad.

For more information visit: http://www.rootinstitute.ngo/volunteer

So ask yourself…
What destinations paper the walls of your daydreams?

What mountains and natural landscapes call to you in your sleep?

You are the grand architect of your life.

What will you build and create?

There are an infinite number of ways to arrive.

Which will you choose to begin the grand adventure of your life?

Love and blessings from a fellow wanderer,

With love,

Alyse

The Truth of Where Our Clothes Come From

Today I want to share with you a topic that may potentially be new to you. Like many injustices of the world, those who benefit from these practices know it’s within their interest to keep the realities of their industry secret. They understand that if the public and those driving their business financially through consumption were aware of the truth of their industry, their profits would dwindle and suffer.

I’m sure as you were growing up your parents, teachers, coaches and mentors in life probably didn’t share this information with you. Not necessarily to keep you in ignorance, but likely because they themselves were not aware.

With any new understanding of a harsh and saddening truth, I encourage you to receive what I’m about to share with you with an open heart and mind.

The truth of this reality dawned on me when I watched the documentary “The True Cost.”

“The True Cost” is a documentary film about the clothing and fashion industry and explores the many repercussions and conditions that exist due to our demand for fast, affordable fashion.

Watching this film completely rocked my world, transformed my life and changed the way I look at certain things in the world. I want to share this film’s important message with you, because I think it’s absolutely necessary that you too know what’s going on.

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “Where do my clothes come from?” Consider the outfit you are wearing now. Whether you are reading this blog post over a cup of tea in your pajamas or at your office in a tailored suit, stop to reflect on the countless processes the textiles that rest on your body at this moment had to go through before composing your stylish attire.

Behind every article of clothing we own are countless individuals.

And it’s time we begin considering how our purchases impact their lives.

So how did we arrive to this point? While America once produced the majority of its own clothing goods, within the past 50 years the amount of domestic production has dwindled with the era of “Fast Fashion.” “Fast Fashion” evolved from fashion retailers manufacturing clothing rapidly that captured designs of the catwalk to the hands of average consumers at prices they could afford.

The True Cost

But how could retailers afford to push the consistently evolving fashion trends at prices the public could stomach? The answer: by paying unlivable wages to garment workers.

The industry is saturated with clothing brands and companies that are doing all that they can to have their line produced in 3rd world countries, places like Cambodia and Bangladesh, for as cheap as they possibly can. This allows them to sell clothes at cheaper or reduced prices compared to their competitors, while still profiting in the trillions on the backs and hardships of outsourced, cheap labor in foreign nations.

“Fast Fashion” is created at the expense of workers who are not treated fairly. Workers are not paid livable wages, making it difficult to impossible to cover some of the most basic needs we may take for granted daily, such as feeding themselves and their children or having a safe place to lay their heads at night.

We are increasingly disconnected from the people who make our goods as companies outsource to nations where workers do not have the same rights and protections as those in the West do, intentionally exploiting their vulnerability. Garment workers are some of the poorest paid people in the world, a factor we can no longer ignore as consumers.

Conditions

The conditions of garment factories are appalling.

Take a walk in another’s shoes for a moment…

You are a poor, uneducated woman in a developing nation. Garment work is the only livelihood available to you, therefore, despite the trying circumstances, you’re left with little choice to feed and support yourself and your family. You are forced to work 14 to 16 hour days, seven days a week. You receive inadequate rest between shifts and are denied adequate breaks throughout the day. You are not compensated for working over time. The factory you work in is cramped, hot and unsafe, hazardous circumstances that lead to work related injuries and factory fires.

Over the past three decades, 50 major factory fires have resulted in hundreds of workers’ deaths and thousands injured. (Source: Waronwant.org)

Workers succumb to such pressures because they live in an economic climate that provides them with little to no alternative options of livelihood. For many, this is the best paying job available to them in their country so the need to compile with inhumane and unjust practices is high.

Factory building collapses, unsafe working conditions and their immense consequences are a result of us consumers wanting to look good by keeping up with the newest trends and fashion.

Now that we know what’s on the other end of this supply chain, we can refuse to stand by and support it.

Environmental Impact

With clothes available in rapidly changing trends at record low costs, as a culture, we are now relating to the clothes we wear as disposable. The times where clothes were individually made and tailored and sold at prices accurately reflecting the resources and workforce behind a garment may seem far behind us. This shift in our perception of clothing’s worth and value has resulted in the average American tossing out 82 pounds of textile waste each year. Pair this with the 400% increase in apparel consumption in the past two decades alone and we’re left with a dangerous formula for speedy textile waste creation. (Source: TheTrueCost.org)

The fashion industry’s footprint is tremendous, ranking as the second largest polluter after the oil industry.

Hands Red With Exploited Labor

The culprits of the fast fashion industry are familiar names. Companies such as Forever 21, H&M, Nike, Adidas, JcPenny, Walmart, Gap, Zara, Victoria’s Secret, Sears, Urban Outfitters and SO many more are amongst those engaging these practices.

You may potentially be swimming in a pool of guilt as you pull at your Forever 21 crop top and H&M joggers.

But please, do not beat yourself up for past actions.

There is no sense or justice in tormenting yourself for past purchases. I encourage you to empower yourself with this knowledge to make more sound and conscious shopping choices moving forward.

I too was shocked when I learned of these realities. I knew I had to share this knowledge with as many people as possible, because when I became aware of the implication of what I once perceived as innocent shopping hauls, I knew I had a responsibility to no longer support the unsafe and basic human right violations of other people’s lives.

Much like when I learned of the plight of animals in factory farms, I knew I had the power to vote with my dollar, and I wanted to vote with integrity and compassion.

What Can We Do?

We’re really in control as consumerism.

We get to decide whether we want to support these unethical practices or not. There are so many alternative ways to purchase your clothing. I want to share some of those options with you now.

  1. Buy Fair Trade: There is an abundance of companies committed to providing fair wages and safe working conditions while supporting local sustainability and empowering workers and farmers in the production line. Companies such as Patagonia, American Apparel and PACT Wear are brands you can feel proud to support. You can find a more extensive list of fair trade apparel lines here.
  1. Boycott Fast Fashion and Buy Second Hand: Purchasing used, lightly worn garments is not only an ethical and environmental choice, but a financial one too. You can find unique, second hand clothing at a fraction of the cost compared to purchasing them new. This is a great way to still wear recent fashion trends without directly supporting unethical brands. You can also shop secondhand online. I purchase most of my clothes on Poshmark, where individuals sell stylish used clothing at fair prices.
  1. Host Clothing Swaps: Hold a clothing exchange with your friends! Not only is this a great way to trade valued clothing that you no longer wear for articles that you will, but it’s also a great excuse to gather good company. That dress you’ve only worn once that’s been idling in your closet for months may look better on your best friend. Don’t worry, she probably has something that vibes better with you too!
  1. Slow Down Your Cycle: The current culture of “Fast Fashion” suggests that trends rotate multiple seasons per year, deeming our clothing items “outdated” and “disposable.” Can you commit to wearing purchased items at least 30 times? Slow down and break this wasteful cycle.

I encourage you to really think about this.

Where are you putting your money? Do you agree with what you’re supporting? If not, why are you contributing to them?

There are so many other options. Please do not turn your head to what is happening. Your consumer choices make a difference.

Fashion can be a joyous and creative art form and means to express ourselves. We can display our playful, fun side with explosions of bright colors and whacky patterns or share mysterious or calm aspects of our personalities with cool earthy tones and flowing, dancing material. We can still do this all, without supporting the cruel and inhumane practices and conditions of the fast fashion industry.

Let’s commit to living a more connected life.

Just as we strive to be responsible with our food, bodies and mind, it’s vital that we do the same for the individuals who make our clothes. By shifting our practices, we inform brands that the lives of these workers matter to us, as do their voices.

Show them that you care.

I know I do.

Mahalo,

Alyse

“I hope people open their eyes and hearts to the simple truth that there are people behind the clothes that we wear.”
–Andrew Morgan, Director of “The True Cost”

6 Holiday Gift Ideas » Things I Use Daily

As a minimalist and conscious consumer, I find great value in investing in quality products that meet multiple needs in their versatility, grant me the ability to avoid purchasing or using unnecessary products, and gives me the opportunity to support companies with ethics that I stand by.

Many of you have seen these products worn or used by me in my videos, and I’m fairly consistently receiving questions and inquiries about them. Now, I’m picking up the hint and present you with an overview of my 5 most used material belongings.

1. Bamboo Utensils by To-Go Ware


If you’ve watched a “What I Eat in A Day Video” or any of my Vlogs, chances are, you’ve caught a glimpse of my bamboo utensils in action along side overflowing bowls of sliced mangoes or massive green salads. Whether dining at home, or grabbing a bite to eat out during your lunch break, the feel of bamboo will always rein superior over silverware for a more pleasing eating experience, at least in my opinion. I highly recommend this product if purchasing “take-out” food is a common practice for you. Ditch the single use plastic utensils and use your own!

They’re reusable and made with a commitment to being environmentally responsible, making these transportable utensil sets super eco-friendly. Their travel cases come in a variety of colors with carabineer attachments to easily clip to your bags.

And they even offer children’s sizes! If you know my love for small cute things, you won’t be surprised to know I have a children’s set 😉

To-Go Ware is a company I feel really proud to support, as we share similar visions and dreams for a transformed “to-go” culture that has lead us to creating excessive plastic waste. Toss out the “throw away” approach and commit to reuse today!

2. Bare Foot Sandals by Xero Shoes


Ever since discovering these shoes in the fall of 2015, I have literally worn them every single day. Xero Shoes slogan of “Feel the World” couldn’t have been more appropriately claimed for their wide selection of barefoot, minimalist sandals, boots and everyday shoes. You can actually feel the ground beneath your feet, which enables me to feel more rooted and connected to the Earth.

Their products are remarkably comfortable and are designed with adequate security to dive into action, unlike your average flip-flop. Their versatility can lead you on hikes through the wilderness, jogging through city streets, walking on your day-to-day errands or paired with a more casual outfit for a lunch date.

They’re travel savvy too as they are light weight and can be rolled up to fit the size of the palm of your hand, making them easily stowed in side pockets of your back pack or carry on.

Xero Shoes creates their shoes with a commitment to empowering more people to walk the “natural way,” with a philosophy and emphasis on promoting a line that supports easeful, healthy and pain free movement.

3. Bamboo Toothbrush by Mabel


The folks at Mable are on a mission to inspire others to make a difference by making small, sustainable choices, one toothbrush and classroom at a time. Not only have they made a chic, eco-friendly, 100% bio-degradable tooth brush to replace the nearly 5 billion plastic tooth brushes made annually (and one day will find themselves sitting in landfills), but they also visit schools in their local community through their Buy Give Teach program, empowering youth to utilize the power they have to affect change.

Mabel toothbrushes come in various bristle types (I like the medium), are offered in kid sizes and can even stand up on their own! I know, pretty cool, right?

So not only can you keep your pearly whites looking fresh, you can do it while also supporting the remarkable team at Mabel in their mission to make small, sustainable changes trendy. In order for our changes to have the greatest impact, they need to reach others.

Let’s come together to stop adding to the problem, cut our plastic use and be part of the solution.

4. Mantra Bracelet by Mantraband


Sleek, delicate and never in the way, my mantra bracelets from Mantraband carry self-love proclamations to remind me of my greatness throughout the day. Not only are they a constant reminder to the wearer, but can give moments of appreciation and inspiration to all who see them with their wide offering of peace warrior slogans, positive affirmations and optimism provoking words.

Their bracelets (and necklaces too!) are another expressive tool and adornment to surround yourself with loving kindness as you weave a life of positivity and radical self love.

The ones I wear say, “Love yourself,” and “Though She Be But Little, She Is Fierce.”

Gift yourself or a friend today with a Mantraband.

5. Reusable Water Bottle by Hydro Flask

Say goodbye to lukewarm water! Whether you’re lounging in the sun on the beach or have been hiking for hours, despite the scorcher you maybe experiencing on the outside, you can have faith your ice cubes are still intact on the inside. You can trust in the same guarantee for hot beverages warming your bones on chilly, wintery slopes too. The Hydro Flask keeps its contents cool or hot, regardless of the environment’s temperature. Wherever your adventure takes you, you can have faith that Hydro Flasks’ insulated products will provide.

Like most of the products on this list, the Hydro Flask is reusable, helping us make a positive impact on the environment and our health by not investing in single use plastic water bottles.

I have a 21-ounce aqua-color bottle that conveniently fits in my car’s cup holders and inspires me to stay hydrated.

Due to its ability to keep liquid ice cold or hot, it feels like a step up from my previously used mason jar.

Hydro Flask also funds Parks for All, which “provides grants to non-profit organizations focused on building, maintaining, restoring, or providing better access to parks,” which makes your investment in their products an investment in our park’s wilderness too.

Hydro Flask is a bottle you can feel good about.

6. Coloring Book by Raw Alignment


Two years ago I began hand crafting a positive affirmation coloring book. Over 200 hours of drawing, with love and passion fueling each and every pen stroke, and 50 drawings later… it is finally ready for you.

This coloring book includes includes 50 pages to color in and 50 inspiring quotes, positive affirmations and self growth activities.

I have never been more proud of something than I am of  this book.

Mahalo,

Alyse