Thoughts on Sustainable Design

IMG_8074

Today I had a long long long meeting at the design center with a little time for sourcing afterwards. I popped into one of my favorite showrooms Holland & Sherry and stumbled upon these gorgeous green chairs. Thinking they would be perfect for client I asked for the details only to be pleasantly surprised to find they were vintage and upholstered with the company’s line of responsible wool fabrics. I swooned, took a bunch of pics, and then went on my way. As I walked from showroom to showroom I really got lost in the idea of sustainable and responsible design. What does it truly mean? Why does it seem so sterile? Is it really unattainable? There seems almost to be a negative view of “green design”. They (meaning the companies pushing it) seem to push a very modern, simple, aesthetic that can read somewhat granola-esque. The problem is that this aesthetic is not for everyone, in fact it includes very few people. Most people want a warm inviting home and that definition looks very different to everyone. From ornate to minimalist sustainable design should reach us all and there is no reason it can’t.  Continue reading

How to Wash Dishes Palm Oil Free

FullSizeRender 2How to wash dishes you say? Get real, who doesn’t have their own method? Well my friends if you try your old method with dish soap sans palm-oil you may be unpleasantly surprised and give up. I know, this has almost happened in our kitchen several times this year. In fact how to do dishes correctly has been a hot topic of debate in our house lately, especially since I am not the dish fairy, but I suddenly need to tell the fairy how to do his job….yikes. He is the dish guy, he’s been doing them for so long, and he is not too keen on change, but the new method really works. It provides sudsy goodness, cleans, and uses less water, win win win! We’ve saved about $100 on our water bill so far! Reason enough. Continue reading

How to Make Zero Waste Pudding Cups

For Marilyn’s 4th birthday she was adamant about having a camping birthday before she was even 3 1/2. As the time got closer she did not waiver on her choice so we planned a wonderful weekend of camping with friends including a big fireside party. While we were flipping through some of my old Martha Stewart magazines for summer inspiration she came across an ad with pudding cups and asked if she could have those, she’s a huge chocolate fan. I fondly remember pudding cups as a kid. Pulling back the plastic-y foil tops and using my spoon to attack every nook for the chocolatey goodness. Looking back the pudding was really not that great, and I hang my head in shame thinking of all the waste they created. So it got me thinking, how could I recreate that childhood favorite for my own child without leaving a huge footprint?

IMG_7631 Continue reading

Where to Start….

IMG_7646
Paper straw on a kid friendly cup at Sotola

We just returned home from a 10 day vacation in my old stomping grounds. It was great to be “home” amongst friends and family and to drag along some “new” friends for the ride. How I just love the weather, the ocean, and being surrounded by the familiar. It is my fantasy to get back there, but the logistics are a bit challenging right now. During a park playdate with one of my nearest and dearest we got on the subject of this new lifestyle I have been exploring. I try not to be too excited or overbearing when the topic approaches so I often take the quiet road in hopes not to scare people off. She had wonderful words of praise to say, and warmed my heart when she said “I think about you all the time”, like “how do buy toilet paper?” I love it, one of the first things my mom said was “I am not visiting if you give up toilet paper”. Later I got a text saying she would like to get started but wasn’t sure how and requested this post. Its true that my list of goals can seem intimidating, and with a new baby like she has, the thought of turning your routine upside down can be more than overwhelming. So here is my go T, I know you can do it! Continue reading

Pregnant & Conscience

IMG_6952.JPG

It seems that if you look through Instagram or do a Google search you will find that most Zero Wasters are either in their early 20s or older adults with kids that are almost grown. You rarely find families with babies and toddlers lugging jars to the store or refusing unidentifiable goo from a squeeze tube. We started this challenge hoping to be pregnant but not there yet. We’ve finally been blessed and now I’m reflecting on how this bump has influenced and enhanced our New Year’s resolution.  Continue reading

Looking Forward

I’ve been quiet. Not absent just quiet.

IMG_7484
Our trash can the night before garbage day last week.

Our garbage is empty. My bag is loaded with jars. Our medicine cabinet is becoming lighter. I’ve finished both seasons of Years of Living Dangerously. We’re voting with our dollars. We’re certainly not perfect, but we have progressed. But I am struggling. What more can we do? How do I spread the word without passing judgement? How do I argue respectfully with the people who claim that it is too late to make change? How can I gently notate an opportunity for improvement without offending? How will we look our babies in the eyes when they realize what is being left to them is not what we enjoyed? Is it the pregnancy hormones that cause me to feel anxiety every time I see someone drink out of a straw? Those crazy dreams that most expectant mothers experience are full of floods, melting ice caps, and fleeing neighbors. I am worried. But how do I use that fear to motivate others to make the same changes that we have? Changes that have enriched our lives and filled our hearts and tummies with life.  On my desk I carry the quote by Fabienne Fredrickson ‘The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling”. I used to think that was related to interior design and my obsession with making everything beautiful. In reality my passions are moral; do the right thing. My calling is stemmed in being sustainable, responsible, which inevitably makes everything more beautiful. Now how do I bottle that calling and share it? Because what is the point of having something that cannot be shared? Especially at a time like this? I have changed my home, but how do I help you change yours?

The Art of Gift Giving

IMG_6299
Children’s birthday gift wrapped in left over fabric and scrap yarn pom pom.

With Mother’s Day approaching I have been reflecting a lot about giving gifts. As we move more and more towards a life with less things its hard to justify giving “things” to others. However I do feel there is something special about giving something to someone you care about and experiencing the joy it brings them. There has to be a responsible way to do this. I find that living “zero waste” or adopting our principles isn’t necessarily limiting, though it takes more research in the beginning and certainly more creativity I don’t feel limited. My outlook towards gifts is not necessarily the same. It seems ridiculous when a person who is taking trunk fulls for donation pops in to buy something for someone just because a holiday. How can we keep the “art of gift giving” without depleting the earth of it precious resources? Continue reading

Urge to Purge

Do you sometimes get the feeling you are drowning in stuff? Do you spend a good amount of time organizing? Dusting? Or shuffling stuff from one spot to another? I do. I sometimes feel like I can never find an end in sight. Lately its as if a little birdie has been whispering in my ear urging me to purge. Is it the pregnancy (yes I am)? Is it spring? Or is this new outlook on life this challenge has given me?  Continue reading

Three Things You Can Do Today – In the Garden!

IMG_6758
My pollinator garden is taking off this year with all the rain!

Spring has sprung! In between this rainy winter and spring I find myself itching to get my hands dirty. Even enjoying a good weed pull every now and then, which if you saw my front yard you’d think I’d need to do more of. With all this time spent amongst the buzzing bees and lush plants it has me reflecting how not so green the garden is, well how not so green some gardens can be. Here I thought I would direct three things you can do today over to your garden for a a very appropriate change.  Continue reading