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Spring Capsule | 10 Items 10 Ways for the Spring 10x10 Challenge

April 09, 2018

As I packed up for a trip to London to see my family pre-Easter, I saw a message shared on the EWC's messenger board from my blogger buddy Verena (the creator of the incredibly successful blog/vlog, My Green Closet) asking if anyone would be partaking in the Spring #10x10Challenge, a movement created a few years back by Canadian blogger, Style Bee.

I had seen loads of bloggers participate in previous years, but hadn't yet done it myself as part of the grander group. I finished packing and surveyed the core items I had dropped into my carry on: second-hand jeans, organic cotton leggings, a sweatshirt, a sweater, a button-up shirt, some veja's. I threw on my coat over the linen trousers and valour top I was wearing and slid on my mules, realizing as I set off that I had unconsciously gotten my 10 items sorted. As I sat on the bus to the station checked the '#10x10Challenge 'rules' over on Style Bee's blog to see if what I'd brought would make the cut, or not. Turns out I was close to eh ok.

MY CAPSULE STORY

I'm no stranger to the capsule closet and had been working on transitioning myself to living with less before I started blogging. It was one of the many transitions in life I owe some healing to, as it helped me to face the silly societal scars of growing up in the Canadian welfare system. It taught me that owning less doesn't mean what it used to to me; it doesn't fill me with fear and longing or make me feel insecure and incomplete. In fact, it does quite the opposite.

The clothing items I now keep are pieces I feel are a true reflection of me and the life I lead, they ignore trends and embody instead what looks and feels good on my body, each telling their own an ethical and sustainable story. I get ready faster, question myself less, and feel a sense of belonging wherever I go regardless of what I’m wearing. It’s weird to think that something as simple as curating my wardrobe consciously could give me such freedom.

I've shared a few stories on my transition to a capsule wardrobe here on the blog before. Currently, my summer wardrobe consists of 21 items I can style 49 ways, and my Spring Capsule Wardrobe is about the same - then when I travel I try to stick to under 15 items no matter how many days I'm going away, something I tried for the first time on a trip which covered two seasons with only 11 items for 21 days away.


10x10 FRIENDS

This way of dressing has helped connect me to my clothing and myself, transforming a formerly meaningless set of 'things' to items I adore which have quietly encouraged internal change. Below is my #10x10Challenge outfits, there are tons of other sources of inspiration in this way of wearing, including My Green Closet, Life + Style + Justice, Sustainable Edit, The Curious Button, Andrea Hartman, Caroline Joy, and Style Bee herself.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE 10x10?

Core closet items make up the 10x10 selection. Things like tops, sweaters, pants, dresses and shoes. I chose ethical, sustainable, second-hand or vintage items from my closet for this challenge (and for life), gathering some of my most versatile items from my favourite conscious companies.

1. COSMOS STUDIO Button Up
about the brand | This easy to style, ethically produced, unisex shirt was made by Cosmos Studio, a company with a transparent supply chain. The button up was produced with fibres and processes which meet STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® all the way down the chain, a standard which ensures that the chemicals used in the textile processing won’t carry harmful substances. Cosmos Studio shirts are 95% more Eco-Friendly than most shirts because of a dyeing technology they have created, a process called GiDelave™, avoids the waste and toxins created through most dyes while significantly reducing water consumption and effluent production by 95%.

2. ASQUITH LONDON Leggings
about the brand created with the best quality bamboo and organic cotton, Asquith London creates a wide selection of organic womens activewear. Both fabrics which are produced both ethically and sustainably, allow your skin to breath naturally, and the entire collection is produced by a family-run factory in southern Turkey where employees work from 9 am to 5 pm and are given paid holiday.

3. THOUGHT CLOTHING Cardigan Jacket
about the brandThought Clothing, as the name suggests, is a collection of thoughtfully made items which are both ethical and sustainable, for women and men. They use naturally grown bamboo, cotton, wool, tencel, modal and hemp, all free of harmful pesticides and chemicals and sourced responsibly. 

4. SECOND-HAND Jeans
why second-hand? | Shopping second hand is the best and most budget-friendly way to update your wardrobe with something spectacular while intercepting clothing on its way to the landfill.

5. PEOPLE OF LEISURE Spotted Sweatshirt
about the brandA purveyor of responsibly made garments, People of Leisure has created a beautiful bohemian collection, ethically sourced and manufactured in Los Angeles, California. 

6. OFKT Mules
about the brand | made with upcycled leather, OFKT is amongst this extraordinary elite who create with reverent and venerable pace, offering shoes made traditionally by hand in a small Yorkshire factory, designed with a thoughtful and transparent circular story in mind and sustainability and artistry at the core of its brand. The shoes are spendy, but I've worn mine for two years straight and they're still going strong, so they're worth every penny.

7. JOSE AWAY FROM PARIS Sweater
about the brandJosé is a travelling brand that aims to develop collections around the world with different craftsmen though ethical trade and ethical treatment of animals. Their first collection was developed in La Paz in Bolivia, and is handmade from 100% alpaca wool.

8. VEJA Trainers
about the brand | An exemplary brand in terms of transparency, VEJA creates their shoes ethically and sustainably finding the greenest and greatest ways to produce their shoes along the way.

9. AUROREI Trousers
about the brand | Ethical, affordable, impeccably made, biodegradable products in a tight capsule collection which you can mix and match to your heart's content.

10. PEOPLE OF LEISURE Velour Top
about the brand | see #5

    WHAT CAN YOU ADD ON?

    On top of your 10 core items, you're allowed to accessorize yourself with an unlimited number of accessories. For this challenge, I wore at least one of these ethically and sustainably made items daily to style up the look:


    1. ABORIST Canada Toque
    2. SONYA KASHMIRI Alicia Bag
    3. VINTAGE Collar Necklace
    4. EDGE OF EMBER Statement Ring
    5. ARTISAN & FOX Moonstone Ring
    6. VINTAGE Wool Hat
    7. PATAGONIA H2no Raincoat 
    8. HUNTER Wellies
    9. SECOND-HAND Wool Scarf
    10. DAVEK Lifetime Guarantee Umbrella 
    * the raincoat, wellies and umbrella aren't pictured but I did wear them for half the challenge. Technically the boots and raincoat should be counted as part of the 10, but I wore them out of necessity rather than style ... and had already shot the outfits pre rainstorm ;)

      THE 10 WAYS I WORE IT


      Asquith London’s Sustainable Solutions To The Toxic Chemicals Lurking In Your Workout Gear

      March 30, 2018
      You are what you eat they say. A truth sparking such a shift in our food consumption that the demand for organic food has transformed toxin free grub into the fastest growing sector of the food industry. A sector which has been increasing sales by double digests annually, outstripping the growth rate of the overall food market with ease.

      Despite our increased understanding as a society on the effects toxin-filled food has on our bodies, we often forget about the digestion done by the sliest taster in the anatomy of our species; The five million pores stretched out across our body, which act as a series of tiny little mouths drawing 60% of the substances we lay on it into our bloodstream through our skin. 
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      PICKLED IN PESTICIDES
      Natural fabrics start their lives as seeds just like all our foods do treated - unless organic - with pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides. Whatever the final product of any crop, the health harms these toxins cause are extensive. Affecting all living things negatively from cradle to grave without discrimination. From the farmers in the fields inhaling toxic chemicals and tainting their soil and freshwater, to those processing the crop in the factories breathing the chemicals in, then finally to the consumer who adorns themselves in it, and the landfills most garments end up in. 

      According to the World Health Organization, the use of crop chemicals results in over 25 million deaths yearly in developing countries and more than 10,000 deaths in the US.Beyond the cancers, asthma, development disorders and Parkinson's disease which result from long-term exposure, skin irritations, rashes, headaches, nausea, extreme weakness, seizures and dizziness can be caused by the single exposure or continued contact with small amounts of the chemical residue trapped in things like the threads of clothes. The portion of fabric to pesticide ratio is greater than the slight spritzes we imagine it to be. For every 200 gram piece of fabric, about 150 grams of pesticides are used, pickling non-organic cotton in chemicals to the point that it’s nearly more parts pesticides than crop in the end, adding up to 360,000,00 kilograms of health and planet harming pesticides dumped into the environment per year.
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      On top of the chemicals used in natural fabrics causing issues in all types of apparel, sportswear presents a particular problem due to the fact that sweat and friction prompt a more rapid absorption of toxins into the body. Greenpeace recently analysed the chemical content in popular sportswear fabrics both natural and man made and found hazardous chemicals like Phalates (linked to certain cancers, adult obesity and reduced testosterone in men and women), PFC’s (classified by EWG as toxic to humans), Dimethylformamide (which can cause liver damage), Nanoparticle silver (endocrine and DNA disruptor), Nonylphenol exoylates (associated with reproductive issues), Triscolan (linked to liver toxicity). 

      SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION
      It’s easy to avoid these issues altogether by buying natural organically farmed fabrics. The gear I’m pictured wearing in this piece is by ASQUITH LONDON and was created with the best quality bamboo and organic cotton with a wide selection of organic womens activewear.

      Both fabrics which are produced both ethically and sustainably, allowing your skin to breath naturally while internal morals are met with the entire collection produced in a family-run factory in southern Turkey where employees work from 9 am to 5 pm and are given paid holiday.
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      The quality of the fabric and form is exemplary, each piece tightly woven and built for longevity. Maintaining shape while neither fading nor pilling, it sets across you like a second skin, soft to the touch yet stylish enough to spend hours wrapped in its wonderful weave. I recently enjoyed a 10hr bus ride in the outfit pictured (plus a t-shirt and sweatshirt), it was comfier than PJs yet I felt like an athleisure style queen. 

      Most importantly, ASQUITH LONDON’s collection is perfect for any sort of athletic activity, In the two months I’ve owned their gear, I’ve worn it for running, yoga, weight workouts, walks, bike rides, hikes, and climbs and been accompanied by it with both form and fluidity. Stretchy yet structured in a true sign of consciously created quality.
      -->
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      ITEMS MENTIONED / PICTURED IN THIS PIECE

      High waisted, formed and super stylish, organic yoga pants and organic yoga leggings are breathable, chemical free, four-way stretch, durable, responsibly made and sustainable, these leggings are made of 60% bamboo, 30% organic cotton and 10% elastine.

      Super supportive of the breasts while fitted to follow the form of the female body, this organic yoga crop top is made up of the same fabric as the leggings making it also breathable, chemical free, four-way stretch, durable, responsibly made and sustainable, these leggings are made of 60% bamboo, 30% organic cotton and 10% elastine.
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      SPONSORED POST: This post was sponsored by ASQUITH LONDON. As per usual, all opinions, facts, content, tone, images, flow and rhetoric are my own direction and creation. 
      PHOTOS: Shane Woodward


      Cape Town Is Running Out Of Water, The Planet Is Too

      March 21, 2018
      As a species, we take for granted most things. As a western culture, even more. It’s a symptom of the ‘haves’ having that makes it so. Our culture has built itself around the false comforts of certain privileges, freedom, safety; resulting in waste, pollution and consumption that quite literally cannot be sustained. The reality is we’re running out of all the natural resources we rely on, one of which we cannot create and cannot survive without.

      As of June 9, 2018, what seemed like a future issue for future generations or the ‘have-nots’ to solve, will become the harsh reality for one city not so different from ‘our own’. Cape Town's apocalyptically named DAY ZERO has been slowly slithering forward elongating the inevitable. Created by over-consumption (of the haves), global warming and a one-in-384 year drought, the city's biggest reservoir system which once looked like a raging sea, has now all but evaporated or been sucked dry. Leading 75% of the city to have their taps turned off, cutting citizen’s access to water. 
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      BRANDS PICTURED WHICH SUPPORT PROGRAMS THAT WORK TOWARD SOLVING THE WORLD WATER CRISIS: Numi Tea // Mud Love 

      In a country where, according to Oxfam, the total net wealth of just three billionaires is equivalent to that of the bottom 50% of country’s population, this could be seen as a bit of karma coming to kick the privileged in the butt. But in some of Cape Town’s poorer townships conserving water by using washing water to flush the toilet, using a bucket to shower, or collecting drinking water from a communal tap, has been part of the daily routine for years. It’s is now the privileged who will join in the suffering, a fact considered by many residents to unite the two groups for the first time in the shared realities of humanity. 

      Unfortunately, the current situation in Cape Town is only gaining such notice in Western media because it is a problem of the privileged. Currently, 844 million people around the world lack access to clean, safe drinking water. Last year when I wrote about world water day that number was 663 million. According to the United Nations, the cost of bringing clean water and sanitation to every person in the world would be $10 billion dollars. Just for a point of comparison, the US lone plans to spend $686 billion on military this year, $80 billion more than the year previous … 
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      BRANDS PICTURED WHICH SUPPORT PROGRAMS THAT WORK TOWARD SOLVING THE WORLD WATER CRISIS: Jeremiah's Pick Coffee

      TOGETHER FOR H2OPE
      For most, obtaining clean water consists of multi-kilometre treks numerous times per day. It’s a problem that has been faced by those in the rural areas of developing nations for centuries, and while most westerners have not taken notice, one conscious company has.

      Numi Organic Tea created Together for H2OPE, a nonprofit initiative created to assure water access to all who are sheltered by their umbrella of intention, by building or repairing water and sewage infrastructure and administering community-led education in farming communities around the world.

      To encourage empathy and understanding, Numi and its partners put it to me and 15 other influencers to attempt to live on a similar amount of water residents of Cape Town, South Africa are limited to, a total freshwater use of 7 gallons per day. I made a diary of my efforts on my Instagram stories throughout the day (which I'll gather up into one video on youtube later) to create a visual of the efforts made.  
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      BRANDS PICTURED WHICH SUPPORT PROGRAMS THAT WORK TOWARD SOLVING THE WORLD WATER CRISIS:: Hand In Hand

      MY MEASURE OF PRIVILEGE 

      TOILET USE | If it’s yellow, we let it mellow. Our toilet has two flushers, the one for number 1 uses 1.6 gallons of water per flush, the one for number 2 uses 3.5 gallons of water per flush. So just two #2 flushes would be all the water this challenge allots. Though I’m usually to thoughtless and lazy to do this, for the challenge I used our cleaning bucket to gather shower water and flushed the toilet at the end of the day with the captured water instead of flushing throughout the day. Had my husband been home we would have likely used the 2 flusher multiple times and at least 7 gallons of water would have disappeared in a matter of seconds.
      ESTIMATED USUAL USE | 7-23 Gallons
      AMOUNT USED DURING THIS CHALLENGE | 0 Gallons

      TOOTH BRUSHING / HANDWASHING | Having the tap running while brushing our teeth/washing our faces wastes about 6 litres of water per precious minute. Because of my conscious mother, I’ve never been one to let the tap run while brushing, but at the moment we’re using charcoal toothpaste and I use a tongue scraper, both of which require extra water to clean. I put the rinse water from the tap in a measuring cup as I had never measured just how much I use, it turns out I manage to waste 2 cups of water per brush (I brush twice a day) rinsing both apparatus out. 
      ESTIMATED USUAL USE | 8 cups per day = 0.60 Gallons
      AMOUNT USED DURING THIS CHALLENGE | 4 cups per day = 0.30 Gallons
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      BRANDS PICTURED WHICH SUPPORT PROGRAMS THAT WORK TOWARD SOLVING THE WORLD WATER CRISIS:: Stashers Reusable Bags

      SHOWER |  A long hot shower (for which I am guilty of often taking) can use 5 - 10 gallons of water every minute, which is more than the daily allowance set itself. I had been brought up by a mama who put our showers on 5 minute timers, so I already knew of the importance of keeping showers short and turning the water off while I soap up and shave down, but as a Canadian, there’s nothing I hate more than being cold. While my husband and I usually shower together in an effort to conserve water, I admittedly let it run just as long when I’m in there alone . Our landlord installed a “low-flow” shower on our spray shower head, but it still uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute. For this challenge, I timed my shower at 60 seconds of total water flow, it was quick and got the job done, but it wasn’t the luxurious waste of water I usually treat myelf to. I used a bucket to capture the water I used in the 60 second shower, it was nearly one full gallon of water and my hair still smells like apple cider vinegar. We don’t have a bath, but a bath uses 35-80 gallons of water alone … meaning one wouldn’t have been possible on this challenge at all. 
      ESTIMATED USUAL USE | 75 Gallons 
      AMOUNT USED DURING THIS CHALLENGE | 1 Gallon

      HYDRATION |  I kept track of how much water and tea I drink throughout the day, today I used the 10 oz MUD LOVE mug I was sent as part of this project (pictured) to measure each drop. From morning to night I drank a total of 80 oz of water and tea which equals 10 cups of water in total. When I make tea / coffee I try to measure out exactly how much water I need to heat so that I don’t waste any water or energy in heating.
      ESTIMATED USUAL USE | 10 Cups = 0.75 Gallons
      AMOUNT USED DURING THIS CHALLENGE |  10 Cups = 0.75 Gallons
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      BRANDS PICTURED WHICH SUPPORT PROGRAMS THAT WORK TOWARD SOLVING THE WORLD WATER CRISIS: RanJanJi Hat

      FOOD PREP / COOKING / HAND WASHING | I had only random foods left in the fridge so I made apple crumble for breakfast, tofu spinach soup and sandwich for lunch and had the same thing for dinner as well. I washed all the veggies and fruit I ate throughout the day in another 3 quarts of water making it a total of 4 quarts used for food throughout the day. I captured the veggie / fruit washing water with the dish cleaning water for reuse. Even though we use biodegradable dish soap, because of the food I cooked the water was mega murky, so it could only be used for a toilet flush. Normally I let all that water just wash down the drain without a thought. 
      ESTIMATED USUAL USE | 8 Quarts = 2 Gallons
      AMOUNT USED DURING THIS CHALLENGE | 4 Quarts = 1 Gallon

      DISHES / CLEANING | We have an energy saving dish washer, which depending on the number of dishes being washed can use less water overall. But as I was home alone all day, I washed it all myself. but I don’t often use it, instead, I wet our dishcloth, add some biodegradable soap, and scrub the dishes without water. I usually do this at the end of the day all at once (letting the dishes pile up, which is easy if you’re working from home alone or with one other human, less simplistic if you have a large family). Once everything is soaped up, I rinse, starting with the larger items and then pouring the rinse water from the larger items on the smaller items, gathering all the rinse water in a bucket. Because our soap is biodegradable and non-toxic, and working my way to the smaller items catching the rinse water which I then use to wipe down the counter tops and other surfaces around the house. I used the excess water for toilet flushing.
      ESTIMATED USUAL USE | 5 Gallons
      AMOUNT USED DURING THIS CHALLENGE | 3 Gallons
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      BRANDS PICTURED WHICH SUPPORT PROGRAMS THAT WORK TOWARD SOLVING THE WORLD WATER CRISIS: Life Straw

      REALITY STRIKES AGAIN
      I used 6.05 GALLONS OF WATER with every conscious effort concentrated on conserving it, and I was at home, alone. If I had tried to do laundry, or was cooking or cleaning up after more people than myself, this would have been impossible to do with such little water. For laundry, according to Energy Star, older top-loading machines use around 40 gallons of water to wash a full load of clothes. Newer standard models use as little as 27 gallons, and Energy-Star washers use around 14 gallons of water per wash. You would have to use two days water allowance to do one load if you had the most cutting edge water saving washer. 

      The reality is that the issues Cape Town is facing could happen anywhere, including your own city of majority white privilege. While creating access for the large part of the world’s population that lacks water would be a huge step forward, we, the citizens of developed nations also have a responsibility to fight climate change simultaneously. As populations and temperatures rise, fresh water is running out faster than it is being replenished, and in our lifetime, each one of us will likely be asked (or forced) by our governments to reduce our consumption significantly.
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      BRANDS PICTURED WHICH SUPPORT PROGRAMS THAT WORK TOWARD SOLVING THE WORLD WATER CRISIS: Numi Tea // Mud Love 

      THE WATERY TRUTH
      Between 2000 and 2050 global demand on water is projected to increase by 55%. The majority of that demand is driven by agriculture which currently accounts for 70% of global freshwater use, an industry which projected to increase by 69% by 2035

      At the moment, we have no sweeping solutions, but there is hope. 

      97.5% is seawater is unfit for human consumption so that strikes DESALINATION as a worldwide solution out. As it is, desalination is a problematic and energy-sucking technology which turns seawater into potable drinking water, while wreaking havoc on local marine life where the salt sucked is shoved back into the sea. But it can help in places of very little rain, so in a selfish sapien emergency, it can be used to save.

      RECYCLING EFFLUENT WATER (sewage) for agricultural use has helped Tel Aviv supply over 40% of their agricultural water needs, the waste of which is then sent on to an anaerobic digestion plant which uses the methane as fuel to produce renewable energy. Israel also recaptures 86% of the water that goes down the drain (recycling more water than any other country in the world). 

      Similarly, HARVESTING STORMWATER has helped Singapore meets up to 30% of its water needs through rainwater capture, a solution requiring very little investment on single citizen or government level.

      There are also systems like SOLAR MICROGRID-POWERED WATER PLANTS which use reverse osmosis and ultraviolet (UV) filtration technologies which can convert hard water into clean drinkable water, a system which has created systematic change in the village of Ugalan, India.
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      BRANDS PICTURED WHICH SUPPORT PROGRAMS THAT WORK TOWARD SOLVING THE WORLD WATER CRISIS: Jeremiah's Pick Coffee

      HOW YOU CAN HELP
      We may not each personally have the power in our hands to transform the regulations and policies which help reduce water scarcity, but we have the choice to recognize our privilege and not abuse it. We need to teach our children, and ourselves, to be mindful about water consumption to prolong the fresh water we currently have access to. 

      We can also vote for politicians who care about water reuse, water resource management, water rights, industrial water use, wetland restoration, domestic water supplies, water pollution and water management too. 

      And we can support not for profits like Together for H2ope which aim to provide solutions to those forgotten by the apathy our privilege creates.
      SPONSORED POST: This post was sponsored by Numi Organic Tea. As per usual, all opinions, facts, content, tone, images, flow and rhetoric are my own direction and creation. 

      7 Simple Sustainable Switches You Can Make In Less Than An Hour for #EarthHour

      March 14, 2018
      ** this post is NOT sponsored. Kate, Nataly and I have volunteered our time for WWF





      I recently joined forces with two of my blogger pals, Kate Arnell of Eco Boost and Nataly Elbaz Björklund from Literally Nataly in collaboration with WWF, to help promote #EartHour.

      Now in its 11th year, WWF’s Earth Hour is a global movement calling for international action in tackling climate change and wildlife loss. The event itself acts, in a way, as a moment
      of silence for the planet by shutting the lights off for an hour on March 24th at 8PM G.M.T. This year that call to action will be enhanced as WWF asks each of us as individuals to publically make promises to the planet.

      Kate had the brilliant idea of showing just how easy these promises could be by having each of us  (myself, Nataly and Kate) put together as many unique sustainable switches as we can think of (without repeating each other's suggestions) which were easy enough to complete in a single hour.

      The idea is, that you and yours choose something that fits in your lifestyle, and edit your habits, purchases or actions for the greener good by taking on what you feel you can commit to. Whether that is switching to green energy, eating less meat, ditching plastic bags, or buying a reusable coffee cup, it might seem like each move is a small switch, but that switch is made significant when we team up as a species and start shifting our culture through these promises towards conscious actions and habits.

      Below are my 7 selects and beneath them are links to both Kate and Nataly's. Be sure to share your promise to the planet along with the hashtags #EarthHour / #PromiseForThePlanet and tagging @WWF when you do.

      INSTALL ECOSIA | 5 MINUTES
      Ecosia is a browser, just like Google, but instead of hoarding all its profits, it does good with the ad revenue it generates through clicks by donating 80% of its profits to planting trees. To date, over 17 million trees have been planted, last November when I wrote my first post about the browser they had planted 5,595,881 trees, now they're at 22, 854, 513. Ecosia's ambition is to plant one billion trees by 2020 in a bid to fight climate change, and with your help, they just might reach their goal, saving millions of acres of rainforest through search engines alone. Trees absorb CO2 (which is emitted by fossil fuels) and at the moment, we’re omitting and as of September 2017, we were at 403.38 parts per million, which is an increase of more than 40% since the start of the Industrial Revolution. The reforestation Ecosia devotes itself to will bring positive change to the planet.
      ⟠ HOW TO INSTALL THE BROWSER? ⟠
      Ecosia is one of the easiest sustainable switches to make, all you have to do is change your search engine by clicking THIS LINK and press the 'add to (browser)' button and then get on with your day in the usual way. Sometimes it doesn't come up with as good results as Google, but 90% of the time it's good and you know you're doing good while you're at it!


      ORDER REUSABLES | 20 MINUTES
      60 years ago, things like disposable razors, plastic water bottles, disposable coffee cups, and plastic bags weren’t a part of human culture. If you shaved, you did it with a safety razor or at the barber. If you were thirsty, you’d visit an eatery, use a water fountain, or wait until you got home. If you wanted a coffee, you’d go sit at a café. Today, our society is filled with thoughtlessly created consumer products which cause more harms to human, wildlife, and planet health than consumers and creators are likely even aware of. Every manufactured object us humans use comes with some consequence to the planet and her inhabitants. The only way to reduce those harms is by buying less, buying smarter, and using your purchases more and for longer. The beauty of making sustainable switches towards a zero waste lifestyle is the power bestowed upon you to put the circle of your own personal waste to an end.
      ⟠ HOW TO GO ZERO WASTE? ⟠
      Simple, start replacing disposables with reusables. It would be an expensive feat to take every single change on at once, but start with the items you dispose of most often and work your way through the list at your own pace:
      1. Replace your daily disposable coffee mugs with a reusable KEEP CUP 
      2. Replace your daily disposable water bottles with a reusable KLEAN KANTEEN 
      3. Replace your daily disposable razor with a reusable SAFETY RAZOR
      4. Replace your disposable toothbrush with a biodegradable BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH 
      5. Replace your disposable dental floss with biodegradable SILK DENTAL FLOSS
      6. Replace your disposable tampons and pads with a reusable PADS / MOON CUP / SEA SPONGE 
      7. Replace disposable cutlery with a reusable SPORK 
      8. Replace disposable produce bags with reusable PRODUCE BAGS
      9. Replace plastic bags with reusable TOTE BAGS
      10. Replace zip lock bags with STASHER BAGS
      11. Replace saran wrap with BEE'S WRAP
      12. Replace disposable straws with a REUSABLE STRAW
      13. Replace your tube toothpaste with a ZERO WASTE TOOTHPASTE 
      14. Replace your disposable sponge with a REUSABLE SPONGE
      15. Replace your body wash with UNWRAPPED SOAP
      16. Replace your shampoo with a SHAMPOO BAR
      17. Replace disposable tissues with a reusable HANDKERCHIEF 
      18. Replace paper towels with reusable TEA TOWELS
      19. Replace bleached virgin toilet paper with RECYCLED TOILET PAPER
      20. If you don't already have some, get some TUPPERWARE


      GO PALM-OIL  FREE | 5 MIN
      The eco and ethical issues of palm-oil are vast and happening throughout the world. Though Indonesia isn't the only country burning down forests to make way for plantations, their rate of deforestation surpasses that of any other country. Thus far, they've cleared an area of rainforest as large as Germany. And as if the ecological issues and damage to wildlife aren't enough, oil-palm workers are clubbing orangutangs to death in exchange for this product. Most large companies we get our beauty products from ignore these issues and most consumers aren't aware they're even supporting this level of mistreatment. It's estimated palm oil is found in half the manufactured goods in any supermarket or drug store, from chocolate to beauty products. You can look up the names Palm-Oil is often disguised as on this Palm Oil List, and help influence reduction in production as well as aid in policy change by involving yourself in educating your friends and other members of the public. Learn more about Palm Oil free living on Selva Beat HERE.
      ⟠ HOW TO GO PALM-OIL FREE? ⟠
      It will take 5 minutes to copy and paste this Palm Oil List, and from there, you can keep it on your phone as a reference. Every time you go to purchase a new beauty product or food item, double check the ingredients are free of palm oil and its derivatives. You can also use the list to check your cupboards now and see which products you'll need to find new producers for when it comes time to replace.

      SIGN UP TO PAY VOLUNTARY CARBON TAX | 10 MIN
      Though it is an imperfect system, as we can never really right the wrongs caused by our actions, the idea of a carbon tax is the ‘polluter pays principle' which was incorporated into international law at the 1992 Rio Summit, but not really put into effect. It's like the tax on cigarettes, in which those who smoke are charged a higher tax to encourage a drop in consumption and cover the associated costs caused by the negative side effects on people and society.
      ⟠ HOW TO PAY YOUR CARBON TAXES? ⟠
      Head to carbotax.org and fill our their 2min questionnaire, the system will provide you with how much your household 'owes' monthly and you can set up automatic payments from there. 

      DONATE TO SOMETHING GREAT | 5 MIN
      While you're dealing with the realities of everyday life and unable to fight the good fight, there are not-for-profit organisations researching and lobbying on the planet's behalf. By supporting them, you're supporting the causes they stand for which provide aid and voices to the various issues this planet faces.
      ⟠ HOW TO DONATE TO ECO WARRIORS? ⟠
      Shane and I currently have recurring monthly donations to GREENPEACE, EARTH JUSTICE and THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP. You can see a list of what my fellow ETHICAL WRITERS donate to HERE.

      BREAK UP WITH FAST FASHION | 10 MIN
      While the minimalist movement may not be for all, there are ways to adjust your lifestyle so you just consume less. Buying items second-hand, vintage, renting swapping, buying investment pieces (stuff that's well made) and just avoiding the industry of overconsumption is a good skill to be made. 
      ⟠ HOW TO CUT FAST FASHION OFF? ⟠
      UNROLL YOURSELF  (click HERE for the program that does it for you) from quick click consumerism by mass unsubscribing from newsletters which urge you to buy things you don't need. Install the DONE GOOD PLUGIN into your browser to be alerted when you're on a dodgy site (they also provide you with ethical options and have their own shop where you can search for what you're looking for through their affiliates).  

      TURN IT OFF | 5MIN
      Our home gadgets and appliances suck power even when we're not using them, jacking up your energy bill and pulling life from the planet. Devices on 'sleep' or 'standby mode consume nearly one-fourth of a home's power use, which according to a study released by the Natural Resource Defense Council is about $19 billion worth of energy wasted in America alone, which equals the output of 50 large power plants.
      ⟠ HOW TO WASTE LESS POWER? ⟠
      Before you go to bed at night, unplug everything from the wall or turn it off completely. During the day, do the same thing, if you're not using an electronic device, make sure it is off, not just 'on standby' or 'sleeping'.

      ☾⟠ WANT SOME MORE IDEAS? ⟠☽
      KATE from ECO BOOST has put up her suggested sustainable switches on her VLOG and NATALY from LITERALLY NATALY has shared hers as well on her BLOG. Be sure to share your promise to the planet along with the hashtag #EarthHour tagging @WWF when you do. 

      Photo 1, 2, 3 by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
      Photo 4 by Jordan Jensen on Unsplash

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