Ladies, I want to let you in on a little secret: I actually don’t mind getting my period. I know, it sounds kinda crazy but let me explain why. My feelings around that time of the month shifted drastically in 2009 when I began using a menstrual cup instead of disposable tampons and pads. Though it took some getting used to, within a cycle or two of using a cup I practically forgot I was on my period! I say “practically” because I still have the usual day or two of cramps, bloating and mood shifts, but the flow part of the cycle became a breeze. And bonus: it’s really nice not having to buy and throw out tampons and pads every month, which saves money and the environment.
I'm always on the hunt for non-toxic, eco-friendly products that aren't packaged in plastic, so I was thrilled to discover Eco Nuts. These dried berries are a very natural (and fun) way to wash laundry. They are organic, fragrence-free, hypo allergenic, biodegradable and reusable (use them up to 10 times!), plus they come in entirely plastic-free packaging! I've used them several times in my apartment building's standard washing machine (they work in HE/front loading machines too) and the results continue to amaze me. "You'd be nuts to use any other soap!"
I'm working on going eco-friendly/fair trade/organic and I was wondering what you thought about reusable menstrual pads. I've been thinking about maybe trying them but what about when you're out all day or not able to get home?
By now, most people at least know that they should bring their own reusable shopping bag to the grocery store. This prevents waste from plastic and paper shopping bags, which get at best a few uses after returning from the store. However, one eco trend that hasn't quite caught on yet is reusable produce and bulk bags - every day thousands of shoppers use the provided small, thin plastic or biodegradable bags at the market without even realizing there's an alternative, and they usually end up in the landfills. Good thing there's a fantastic option: reusable produce bags made from cotton, canvas, or related plastic! Skip to the bottom for the video.
Yesterday I went to Whole Foods (Venice) fully prepared to do some eco-vegan shopping: I brought a reusable shopping bag, reusable produce bags, and a glass jar that once contained apple sauce. When I walked in the door my first stop was the customer service desk to inquire if they would allow me to put their freshly ground organic peanut butter in my glass jar (instead of their plastic containers). At first, the manager was a little hesitant because the jar weighed a lot (.60 lbs), but when I explained that I was trying to avoid plastic she helped me out. She weighed my jar then multiplied that by the cost of a pound of bulk organic peanut butter ($3.99), and then asked me to return to her when I filled it. At checkout, the cashier was a little unsure, but when she called over the manager the process was very smooth. I walked out of the store without buying anything prepackaged and I saved some money too (the peanut butter was only $2.50 - organic peanut butter can be up to $5)
- A few months ago I found some beautiful paper by PapOrganics/Perennial Paper, but they don't have any information about how to buy it on their website.
- The Green Life now carries paper by Fish Lips, but it's not quite what I'm looking for
- Whole Foods in Venice carries pretty paper by Soolip but it's not holiday themed
- Bloomin' is cool because you can plant all their products when you're done with them (but they don't have a huge selection of wrapping paper).
- Natural Elements has really cool paper, and I've seen it at a few stores (though I don't see any for the holidays)
- Of The Earth has plant-able paper too, and some for the holidays!
- Peaceful Valley has a good selection, but not much for the holidays.
- Seltzer has really fun products, but not much for the holidays.
- Pre-used gift bags
We drink at lot of fresh veggie juice at my job, which is wonderful, but I noticed we were using a lot of plastic straws (read, bad for the earth). Sure, we could not use straws at all, but you gotta admit that it's more pleasant to use them. So, I researched reusable straws and found a fantastic product.
They are great for hot or cold drinks, since they're microwave and dishwasher safe