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My Favorites of December

I’ve seen a few bloggers and YouTubers dedicate a post or video to some of their favorite things from the previous month, and I decided it was time to do it myself. I know January is halfway done and I wish I got this post out earlier in the month but there’s only so much one person can do. For this blog post, I will be talking about some of my favorite things I bought, made, and experience in the month of December, so let’s get into it, shall we…

My Favorites of December

Sseko x Dressember Event

The first week of December, one of the team members from Dressember, Marissa Peden, came to visit Portland and planned an event with Sseko (a fair trade company local to Portland, Oregon). The purpose of the event was to share the story of both Dressember and Sseko and to encourage one another. I’ve talked about both Sseko and Dressember in two separate blog post. Sseko is an ethical company that helps employ women in Uganda so they can earn money for college. Dressember helps bring more awareness about human trafficking through the month-long style challenge of wearing a dress in December. It was nice to meet other women who care both about ethical living and human trafficking (they do go hand-in-hand). I got to meet some Sseko Fellows (women telling the Sseko story by events and selling products) and other Dressember advocates in the Portland area. I felt encouraged to consider becoming a Sseko Fellow myself, to continue on blogging about ethical living, to learn and talk more about human trafficking, and to remember there is something we can do to stop modern-day slavery.

Sseko’s Carryall Travel Bag in Oiled Black

During the Sseko x Dressember event, Sseko was selling their products and donated a portion of their proceeds of the sales they made that night to the Dressember campaign. Before I went to the event, I knew I wanted to buy something from Sseko’s and one item I knew I needed was a weekend bag. I’ve been wanting a travel bag for a long time and thought about making my own. However, I don’t trust my ability in sewing a bag strong enough for how I tend to pack. I knew buying a good bag would be a better idea because it will be more sturdy and will last much longer. I knew a weekend bag from Sseko would last almost forever. When I was at the event, I saw the Carryall travel bag in oiled black and knew that was the bag I had in mind. It was a pricy purchase and I don’t recommend anyone buying it if they are struggling with money. Before I made my purchase, I knew the proceeds were going to a cause I love and I also was supporting women globally with my purchase.

Fuchsia Ballet Flats

Ethically made in a remote town in Pakistan called Sangla Hill, I first learned about the brand from Megan Forbes (YouTuber and ethical fashionista known as Too Cool for Middle School). Each pair of Fuchsia shoes are handmade by artisans in Sangla Hill in the traditional Pakistan way. The shoes are made by locally sources leather and when you purchase a pair of shoes, you will be surprised that there is no left or right shoe. The shoes will mold into the particular shape of your feet after a few wears. I only wore my flats a few times but from some reviews I look up, these shoes will last for a while.

I bought two pairs of ballet flats (classic black and these orange Zinnia design photograph above) on Cyber Monday and I didn’t receive my shoes unlit a month later. Before my shoes arrived, I was afraid they got lost in the mail but I discovered that when you place an order from Fuchsia, unless the shoes you ordered are already in stock, the shoes are made after your order is made. That’s why it took some time for my shoes to arrive. When I was notified my shoes came in on Christmas Eve, I look at it as my own personal gift.

This is the Gospel by She Reads Truth

This children book was one of the first children books to be published by the She Reads Truth community. They are a community that encourages individuals to read scripture through their paperback Bible studies, on their app (which is what I use), or on their website. This is the Gospel study was an overview of the story of creation, the fall, and Jesus coming to save us. The story was designed to help young children understand that. I was excited when they had a special 12 days of Christmas salt so I could buy it for my niece as a Christmas gift.

“Ask Me About My Dress” Button

This button is one of the ways a Dressember advocate can talk about the cause of Dressember. I’ve been wanting this button since last December (2017) but wasn’t able to get it in time. The button was helpful to get some conservations started. Wearing the dress is making a statement and I would talk about Dressember if someone made a comment about my dress but that wasn’t happening too often. Most people thought I was wearing a dress just because I felt like wearing one. The button was needed for me to share why my dress was about something bigger.

Homemade Face Lotion

I’ve been needing face lotion for almost a year now and yes it took me that long to get myself to make my own. I was using beauty oils like jojoba, sweet almond oil, and my homemade sunblock as a lotion. I found this lotion recipe from Pinterest. The original recipe was created by Coco’s Well, who is a mommy blogger who shares her DIYs.

Disclaimer: I did not follow the recipe a 100%. I was not going to buy aloe vera juice just for one project. I did replace the juice for argan oil because I actually use that oil in most my homemade beauty products.

Here’s how I made the lotion: http://cocoswell.com/homemade-face-lotion/

4 tablespoons of shea butter

1 tablespoon of jojoba oil

1 tablespoon of argan oil

1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil

A few drops of lavender essential oils

I melted all the ingredients but the essential oil in a melting pot. I let it chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Once chilled, I whip it with a hand-mixer as I was adding essential oils to it and it was ready to go 🙂

CauseBox Siizu Winter Poncho in Cream

Every season I receive a box filled with eco-friendly and ethical goodies from Cause Box. Similarly to FitFabFun, you recieve the box every season and you get to enjoy some items that helps promote your self-style, looking good, and feeling good. Every item in the Cause Box is from a company with a story that wants to give back to their community and to help the world to become a better place. One of the favorite items I got this season was the Siizu winter poncho in cream. The company’s founder wanted to start a company that would help people realize that sustainable and fair fashion can be stylish. The poncho proves it can be true. The poncho is made of renewable source wood and is biodegradable when ready to be discarded- no landfill needed! Also according to Siizu Instagram, when you make purchase, 10% of proceeds goes into planting trees. So much good this company is doing. Cause Box was giving away three different colors: charcoal, careberry, and cream. I was hoping get the cream color because I would be able to pair it with many colors and outfits. I was happy to open my box this season to see I got my preferred color.

Donuts from Doe’s

One fine day, I was really anxious with my Do-List. It was 5 days before Christmas and my anxiety was getting high. I ask my friend to go get me Doe Donuts because I needed a pick-me-up. Doe Donuts is an all vegan donut shop in Portland. They are known for their unique and delicious favors. My friend got both a sweet and savory donut. The savory one was the Buffalo Bleu and Cheese. If you are into meat and cheese alternatives like me, this is a great small meal to have. It’s similar to eating a HotPocket because of the cheese, meat taste, and texture. I felt like I was eating a slice of pizza and the donut hit me in the right spot. The sweet donut is probably one of my favorite’s and would get again before they discard them. I was a fan of the thin layers the covers the middle part of the donut and the pistachio nuts sprinkled on top the sweet almond glaze. I hope my description makes you want to try it 😉

Vanilla Body Butter from 100% Pure

I’m in-love with a lot of the 100% Pure products. I discovered them when I was curious about clean makeup and beauty products and they do live up to their name. I’ve brought their vanilla scented hand-lotion two times and I enjoy the nice warm smell. I decided when they had a special sale for the holiday’s, I wanted to buy myself some items. I was close to buying the lotion in the squeezy tube container because it was cheaper but I was thinking about the environmental impact. The body butter is packaged in a plastic tube but I can reuse the tube for a DIY project and decided the body butter was the better option. I tend to put this body butter on any chance I get, especially if I’m getting ready to go out- I do want to smell like vanilla.

My Dressember team raising over $1,000!

This was my 4th year of participating in Dressmeber and this was the first time I was apart of a team, in general. I ended up co-starting my team with a friend who was doing it also. We named our team Beauty For Change and we set our fundraising goal at $500. Seven ladies joined our team.  Within 5 days we were less than $6 away from your $500. I was amazed and extended the amount to $850. By Christmas Eve, you were at $934. I was blown away but did not extend the amount right away. After a few days, the amount we raised was above $1,000. I extended the amount to $1,400 and I’m happy to that my is team less than $100 away from our recent goal. If you want to donate, I’ll leave the link below 🙂

https://dressember-2018.funraise.org/team/beauty-for-change

There you have it folks, my favorites of the month of December. With Christmas, Advent, Dressember and other gatherings, there was a lot to choose from. We’ll see what ends up being my favorite in January.

Miss. Jackie

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2019: My Goals, Hopes, and What I’m Letting Go

It’s the second week of 2019, and I know a mix of people are either going strong with their New Year’s Resolution or slowly giving up on them. For 2019 I have a few things I want to improve on for the year ahead. Instead of doing the traditional New Year’s Resolutions, I set goals to become more mindful of certain practices I want to do in the coming year. I use to make clique resolutions such as, “I want to lose weight.  Be a better Christian” (whatever that means. Insist eye-roll emoji here). Making New Year’s Resolutions was setting me up to not succeed, but thinking through what I want to improve on has been something I’ve been able to do more successfully.

I started to slowly set goals I knew I could manage and reach. I started off with a reading list for 2015. I didn’t reach my goal for that year so I didn’t allow myself to buy new books for 2016 unlit I read those books. It did work for the most part. Bought a few books here and there but I got through my 2015 reading list a year later.

For the next year, 2017, I decided to do something I was already doing but do it more often, and that was to make more of own stuff. That included beauty products, nut milk, and food in general. I’m always inspired to create my own stuff for the fact of knowing what’s in my items and just for the fun and creative aspect of it.  The next year (2018), I told myself to create less waste. I was more mindful of not buying single-use items and stop buying produces in plastic unless there were no other places I could buy it without plastic (cauliflower for example). I also started this blog in 2018 and still going strong! 🙂

For this coming year, I have decided to set a few goals and hopes in my life to improve myself by being more creative and more “adult.”

My goals for 2019 are:

  • To buy no books this year. If I want to read a book I don’t have, I must to go to the library or borrow it from someone else.
  • Create clothing I know I have the ability to make. If I’m shopping around for clothes and think, “that looks like something I can make…”  then I’ll make it. I want to be a better seamstress and that only way to be better is to keep practicing.
  • Write once a week. 2018 was the year I wrote the most since leaving college. I’m counting all the blog post I wrote in 2018. So for 2019, I want to write more. I’ll write a personal essay, short story, blog post, anything. Doesn’t have to be shared if I don’t want to share it. I just have to write once a week.
  • Buy less plastic. Last year I focus on reducing my waste and for this year I will try to buy as many items as possible without being stored in plastic. I know it’s not realistic to be 100% plastic free but before buying something I will think, “Can I buy this item without plastic? Can I reuse the plastic if I buy it? Can I recycle the plastic?”
  • Understand what it means to invest and do it. I’m not a money wizard and want to understand how to manage money better.
  • Experiment with lotion recipes to find a good one to sell. I love lotions and been more of a lotion enthusiast within the last few months. I always wanted to own an Esty shop and selling lotion through that platform seems like a good fit.

Hopes for 2019

When I talk about my hopes, they are not as focused on my goals. I don’t have a strong desire to create a plan to achieve my hopes, but it is something I want to be more mindful of. So if that being said, my hope for 2019 is:

  • Read from a book once a day. Doesn’t have to be much. Just any book.
  • Learn to go to bed at a decent time and wake up earlier. For Lent season, I want to wake up early and have a quiet/devotional time and I need to build myself up to do that now. I’m terrible at waking up and struggle with falling asleep. Wish me luck.
  • Continue to add more ethically source items in my closest. I would love everything to be ethically made and I budget allows I will look shop at an ethical store first.

One thing I’m giving up

One thing for 2019 I decided to give up is my personal expectation of baking more. Here’s the thing with my relationship with baking. I love to bake but I rarely do it. I’m usually telling myself I should bake more because I had ingredients I got just to bake. If I bake, I want to give my baked goods away but I tend to fail to find the right place and time do it. I’ve discarded many ingredients I collected over time (may I add they were needed to thrown awhile back). I had to throw away the different types of ingredients I collected in the compost. I would have felt bad if I did that a few years ago but I felt freer letting go of those ingredients and thinking, “I don’t have to plan a baking session that still hasn’t happened any longer.” I  freed myself from my guilt of collecting ingredient for baking and not baking enough. And honestly, I would rather have a donut or ice cream if I want something sweet. Fewer food items will be collected that will not be eaten and I will have one less thing to worry about.

There you have folks, my 2019 goals, hopes, and what I’m letting go. I’m looking forward to seeing how the year turns out and what I end up finding to be an important commitment to keep. Happy New Year’s everyone!

Goodies With Miss. Jackie

 

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Nashville: The Trip I Didn’t Expect

On November 1st, I headed out on a solo adventure to Nashville. Some questions I know people are going to ask “Why Nashville? Why a solo trip? Was it Worth it? Recommendations?”

(This is in the Country Music Hall of Fame. I didn’t go in, however. I just needed this photo to happen)

Why Nashville?

My travel history is pretty light compared to some people I know. I did travel to Europe as a child but my memory is vague and I didn’t appreciate it as much as I would if I went there now. I wanted to visit a city that was different from the culture of my hometown (Portland Oregon) but still had a similar vibe. Nashville sounded like the ideal place to visit.

(South Nashville)

Why a Solo Trip?

I felt like being on a solo trip would be the best option for a few reasons. One of them was not having to wait for someone to go on this trip with me. I don’t usually wait for others. I also thought a solo vacation would be fun because I don’t have to make decisions around someone else. Also, I’m a strong introvert and thought I would enjoy the long solitude.

Was it Worth It?

Yes, but that was not a quick answer.

There were some good moments. I got to go to the Capital State Museum, went to a free art show, learned the history of Nashville and a little bit of Tennessee itself. I was amazed by the beauty of the state of Tennessee and I did get to check out a few local shops and restaurants. However, with Nashville being known as a music city, there was a bar/party scene I was not aware of until my first night. My hope for the trip was to find the Portland inside Nashville, and there were parts of it that reminded me of home- not their coffee, however (I’m spoiled with good coffee in Portland). I will say that the party and bar scene made me feel out of place and I did question whether or not the trip was a mistake.

(Pieces I found at the art show)

The Loneliness of a Solo Trip

Before leaving for my trip my mom asked, “why do you want to go alone? You have no one to talk to.” I did hope that a solo trip would be refreshing and give me the recharge I needed to come back but I was mistaken. Being by myself for five days was making me feel lonely. I was not expecting to feel that way. On my second to last day of the trip was when that lonely feeling was creeping in.

By my last day, I was sitting alone at a restaurant wanting to talk to someone I know in person. I’m not one to start a conversation with strangers and question how some people feel so comfortable doing that right away. I didn’t want to bother strangers. I notice a sign across from me saying, “Enter as strangers, leave as friends.” After reading that sign I felt an overwhelming amount of loneliness. I was questioning my motivation for doing this trip solo and allowed myself to think no one wanted to go on this trip with me in the first place, which is why I went on the trip by myself. I know that’s not true, however at that moment it felt like the truth and those thoughts took some time to go away when I got back to Portland.

The Portland Inside Nashville

After I left that restaurant I went to a donut shop and was asking the employees about the city of Nashville. To my surprise, they were not happy with the amount of tourist and party animals Nashville brings in. I learned that Nashville was not the greatest with safety and didn’t use to be as trendy as it is now. It surprised the employees how people would hang out and visit certain parts of Nashville (East Nashville) which was known to be an unsafe area when they were growing up. That was the Portland inside Nashville, becoming more of a cool place to visit and live at the cost of the goodwill of some (or most… maybe all) locals. I was informed of some local coffee shops that do live music but I remember being told some of them were outside of Nashville. I knew there had to be a Portland vibe but not having a specific location made it challenging to find unless I was a local.

Would I Go Back?

Tennessee itself is a beautiful state and many locals told me about other cities such as Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Franklin. I would go back to Nashville but I don’t want to limit myself to that city.

Recommendation

Of course, if someone I know wants to go visit Nashville, I will pass along some of my favorite spots.

  • Thistle Farms- an ethical cafe and boutique employing women who were survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence. (The yellow mustard scarf is from Thistle Farm)
  • Wild Cow & Sunflower Cafe- two vegan restaurants that have a plant-based twist on southern favorites. (Sunflower Cafe’s veggie wrap and chickpea salad 😋)(This was the Wild Cow special for that day I went)
  • The Well Coffee House- a coffee shop providing clean drinking water with every purchase of coffee you buy.
  • The Five Daughters Bakery- a Nashville local donut shop that makes their own unique donuts and they even have donuts for special diets (vegan and paleo donuts!!!).
  • Mikes- I went there twice! It’s an ice cream shop that makes their own ice cream and they have multiple flavors.(Firework show outside of Mikes)
  • The Americano Lounge- This was the last coffee I went to in Nashville. I sadly miss a chance to watch a live jazz concert but they do give tourist and maybe some locals a break from the loud party sense of Nashville and just enjoy some coffee, food, and jazz music.
  • Tennessee State Museum- it’s a free museum so no excuse in not go. It’s a good way to learn about the history of Tennessee
  • Old Town Trolley- the trolley bus is designed for tourist but it’s a good way to know downtown and be inner-city Nashville. Also, you discover a little about some local shops and eaters.

(Downtown Nashville. This is a historical building that’s also a hotel)

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A Day To Remember To Always Be Thankful

We remember to be thankfully for one day a year,

often we forget to be thankfully throughout the year.

This year really is no different I will admit,

however, I’m reminded of the things I have forgotten.

I’ve taken for granted of my security,

forgetting of those who live in fear for their safety and dignity.

I’ve taken for granted of my basic needs,

forgetting those who worked hard to create them for me.

I’ve taken for granted of my freedom,

forgetting of those who fought the good fight.

I’ve taken for granted of those of showed me care and kindness,

forgetting those moments when I feel forgotten.

This year, I remember those who live in fear,

being thankful for my security and praying for theirs.

This year I remember those who created my goodies,

being thankful for their hard work for my needs and wants.

This year I remember those before me,

being thankful for their hard work for my freedom today.

This year I remember those who showed me kindness,

being thankful that I am never forgotten.

This year I remember these things and remember to be thankful every day.

Slow Fashion, Uncategorized

First Month of No New Clothes Challenge.

My thoughts, research, and one minor new item in my closet. 

One thing I personally like to do is participate in a challenge. I challenge myself to eat plant-based and avoid sugar for a period of time (normally a month). I’ve also given up listening to music and social media for spiritual reasons. Giving up certain things and learning to live without them can bring some clarity and helps you to refocus on some things. For three months starting June 2018, I decided to not purchase any new clothing items.

This challenge was started by Fashion for Good, a company that is using their platform to promote good fashion practices. On their website they talk about the 5 Goods: Good Materials, Good Economy, Good Energy, Good Water and Good Lives. For the summer months, they challenge consumers to not pay new clothing items. No new first-hand clothing; use up what you have, borrow, swap, thrift, and refashion.

This challenge was not the hardest to participant in because it’s easy to not buy new clothes. The times I was upset about participating in this challenge was when some of my favorite Fair Trade clothing companies were having a special holiday sale. I did buy one new item from Susi Studio. Susi Studio is a vegan shoe company that makes their shoes from recycled water bottles and their shoes retail for $115-$135. They had a rare sale were a few items were only $24 and let me repeat that.

$135 PAIRS OF SHOES FOR $24!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(These shoes were $135)

It was a no-brainer I had to get these pair of shoes. I only own one other pair and I got them for around $40 because it was a one-day sale for Cyber Monday.

Some reading and research: 

During this no new clothes challenge, I promise myself to study more on fast fashion and the impact it has by reading Overdress: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline. In Cline’s book, she travels to the Dominican Republic to check out Alta Gracia, a garment factory owned and operated by an American company called Knights Apparel a producer of college logo clothing sold at universities. I did look up Knight Apparel and to see if they have references to their ethics and the website wasn’t allowing me to go anywhere but the homepage. Cline did say that “Knight supports the factory’s labor union and Worker Rights Consortium” (pg. 140).

  • Side note: I look up Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) and discovered it’s an independent labor rights monitoring organization to combat sweatshops and protect workers who work in garment factories and produce others goods. The organization was founded in 2000 when university administrators, students, and international labor rights experts discovered the truth of overseas factory workers. They wanted something better for clothing items that bear any university logo. WRC had 44 universities supports since starting and now they work 190 universities and are still growing! 🙂

Cline asks the production manager, Gemma Castro if huge brands such as Gap, Old Navy, American Eagle, and Calvin Klein would order from Alta Gracia’s. Castro said, “I don’t think so. This is a very different factory” (pg. 141). Castro said that big brands are strict about health and safety codes, local labor, and wage laws but these brands do not pay more than the legal minimum for the country they are in. “And most countries minimum wage is not enough for people to live decently.” (pg. 141).  This fact I knew for a while now. I knew big brands were using sweatshops and factories overseas because they want to pay the factory workers the legal but lowest cost possible. Sadly these companies are not held responsible for the conditions of the workers because they are far removed from the factory workers.

Big brand companies do send auditors to monitor the working condition of overseas factories but I personally believe it’s to help the individual company look like they are trying and from more research, I’m not totally wrong. According to Dara O’ Rourke (global supply chain expert at the University of California, Berkeley) said little has improved in monitoring factories overseas within the past 20 years. It’s an auditors job to check the safety of the factories and know the reports of employees being harassed.  Due to the pressures of monitoring many factories, auditors are checking off the boxes and ensuring the building is safe but are not fully aware of what is happening to the employees.

Conclusion

As I continue with my second month of this no new clothing challenge, I want to explode on my knowledge on understanding how factory workers are being treated, the harm fast fashion has on the environment, and also do some refashion projects to freshen up my wardrobe. Also, I will be sending some old clothing pieces to ThredUp and be looking into Postmark. Will I try to find some new second-hand goodies from a thrift store? Maybe… for now I will be wearing what I have, give away what I don’t want, and refashion what I want to keep. Here’s to a new month!

References:

Overdress: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline

Fashion For Good: What Is Good? https://fashionforgood.com/who-we-are/what-is-good/

Workers Rights Consortium https://www.workersrights.org/

Fast and Flawed Inspections of Factories Abroad by By Stephanie Clifford and Steven Greenhouse.

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My Faith and Living Sustainably

How my faith has inspired me to live a sustainable and eco-caution life.

Growing up in a conservative faith-based home, caring for the environment was not a focus or really a thing. I knew the importance of keeping trash out of the highway because it’s gross and I knew from school to recycle paper but that was it. I was not too worried about environmental care but something happened in my late teens/early adulthood- I was realizing caring for the environment was caring for God’s creation. My thought was always, “you go into someone’s home, you don’t make a mess because that’s rude. We shouldn’t make a mess of God’s creation and damage it because He created it and that’s rude.” I started to recycle more, brought my own coffee cup to coffee shops, learned about the environmental impact food has and stayed a vegetarian for that reason, and I slowly transitioned myself to consume less waste.

Why do Christians not care about environmental issues? At least Conservative Evangelicals? Most would say “Because the earth will end so why bother?” I’ve also heard from others that said, “People are more important than environmental issues.” However, Scripture talks about God’s love for His creations and commands His people to be stewards of this earth and God gave us enough means to live off of. In Genesis 1, God calls His creation good seven times and in Genesis 2:15, God commands Adam in the Garden of Eden to take care of it. Within the first two chapters of the Bible, it was God’s original plan to care for His creation.

God even commanded the Israelites to care for land in Leviticus 25 by sowing the field, pruning the vineyards, and letting the land rest for a year. The Psalms are also filled with God’s love for the environment. All of Psalms 104 is about His love for the foundation of the earth, the process of the grass growing, the trees being flourishing, and so much more.

There are many more verses about God’s love for the environment and I believe God loves His land as much as His people because He created both. Sadly, with the rise of trash and chemicals being used, we as a culture have not been mindful of the environmental impact. This has caused the air to become more toxic, water has become unclean, the soil is becoming less healthy, and individuals are becoming sick because of these results. Do I believe the earth will end? Yes. Is caring for the environment still important? Yes. Like issues such feeding the hungry, caring for the widow and orphan, care for the environment is caring for God’s people. If you want to give your neighbor food or water, shouldn’t it be clean? Shouldn’t your neighbor have clean air to beath?

Living sustainably is living with less waste and it includes using natural material from the earth (the goodies God created). It is also living within our means like the Israelites were doing in Exodus 16:4, “”I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.” I know I am not living 100% sustainable and “zero waste” lifestyle and I do not believe that lifestyle is always possible. However, I know I can reduce my waste and carbon footprint by using the items I have, using natural materials and products, and choosing to buy less stuff that will be thrown away later. I can also produce less carbon emission by driving less, turning off the water faucet, and knowing the environmental impact of my daily items.

Some of the ways I live sustainably:

  • Bringing my own reusable cup and bottle
  • Skipping the plastic bag (I use paper bags and reuse them, I bring my own, or just go without a bag at all)
  • Bring a cloth towel as a napkin
  • Bring my own silverware into the staff room
  • Reuse plastic baggies (I do clean it and I don’t have to use as many plastic bags, therefore, the plastic bag will go in the landfill slower)
  • Walk or bus if possible
  • Creating my own products with little waste as possible
  • Reuse containers from food or beauty products (I clean them and I reuse food containers with food and beauty containers with beauty products)
  • If I want a food order to-go, I’ll work to order the food for “here” and transfer my food into my own Tupperware or containers
  • Buy upcycle
  • Buy second-hand
  • Buy clothing that is ethically sourced (the materials they use have to use energy used to make it).

Conclusion

God wants us to live off His land and care for His creation (Genesis 2:15 reference again). If you encounter comments like, “God can destroy the earth if He wants” or “People are more important than the environment.” don’t get into a debate but turn the conversations to wanting clean air and water for everyone. We all want clean air, water, soil, and a healthy earth. That is a basic human right that everyone deserves and I don’t believe most people will disagree.

Educate yourself and take action to reduces carbon emission, reduce waste, and find ways you can help the environment as one person and as a community. There are a lot of ways to go about this issue. Ride your bike, drive less, bring a reusable cup, buy second-hand, buy eco-friendly/natural products, have your church plant trees, etc. There are more things I can list off but I will let you decide how you want to go about this issue.

Lastly do not feel shameful about past waste and carbon emission you produced. I was not aware and caring about my waste and living sustainably for most of my life. Know that the small things can make a difference and it can help inspire others in your community to do the same.

We have done our damage to this earth that God has given us but does not mean the damage can’t be reversed and we should just give up and not think to care. Jesus said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you,” (Matthew 7:12). I will interpret that to also mean caring for the environment is caring for your brothers and sisters health and well being. If you want clean air, water, and food, why shouldn’t others have the same thing?

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Natural DIY Shampoo Tutorial

Making my own goodies is a joy for me and I’m excited to present my first tutorial on this blog: DIY shampoo! Why make your own shampoo? Of course, it is more natural and sustainable than buying over-the-counter shampoo. In most commercial shampoos there are ingredients such as surfactants and detergent. Those ingredients cause the shampoo to foam up and helps remove the mess, dirt, and oils from your hair and makes it feel clean. However, your hair is being stripped of natural oils and the shampoo is drying out your hair and it is causing you to use more products than needed to make up for the lack of moisture.

There are a lot of healthy and clean shampoos on the market and I’m not against using them and testing them out. However, DIY’s is my way my way of living a healthy life and some of the ingredients I used are Fair Trade certified (Dr. Bronner’s Castile oil soap I got at the buck session!). This DIY shampoo only has 6 ingredients. These ingredients can be bought at Target, natural grocery stores, Amazon, and really anywhere.

There is a downside to using DIY shampoo and it will take some time for your hair to get used to it. If  DIY shampoo is something you want to be committed to using, try a hair rinse with water and lemon (1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon with eight ounces of water. Shake in a spray bottle and use after shampooing). Your hair will feel different but it is detoxing from on the chemicals its been observing for years. Give it time, your hair will get used to it.

This tutorial is my own spin on a recipe I got from a DIY book I got as a gift: The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty by Sunny Subramanian and Chrystle Fiedler.  My first time trying out the recipe I did follow it step-by-step. It did work well for my hair but I was annoyed the shampoo was watery and thought of different ways to make it more thick and gel-like so I decided to change a few things.

This is the original version down below from the book! They called it Peppermint Pow! Stimulating Shampoo.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Oil Liquid Soap (I get the mild baby soap because it’s gentle and I can add scents to it later)
  • 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil (got mine from Trader Joe’s but most natural grocery stores it)
  • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
  • 60 drops of peppermint essential oils
  • 20 drops of lavender essential oils
  • Water to match your preferred consistency

In a measuring cup, I mix in the aloe vera gel and jojoba oil and I added enough to the 1/4 cup line.

After mixing the oil and gel, I mix in the liquid soap

I put in the essential oils

I mix a little water to make it a whole eight ounces

With my small funnel, I poured the shampoo into my glass bottle

Did I reach my goal of creating a thicker, gel-like shampoo? No. It is still watery and I realize liquid soap is like that and the shampoo is half liquid soap. My hair however felt clean and soft and I didn’t feel the need to use conditioner the first time using it. I’m also realizing we live in a society where foam means cleans and that is not actually true. Like I said earlier, some of the ingredients in commercial shampoo foams up and is over drying your hair. I’m getting us to the new way I am washing hair and what works for me 🙂