Happiness Has a New Address – Tagged "Life without plastic" – Page 4 – Dulse & Rugosa
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    Easy Tips To Help You Go Plastic Free and Zero Waste

    Easy Tips To Help You Go Plastic Free and Zero Waste

    2017 is the year to begin your plastic free journey.  New Year resolutions can be tough, for me it helps if they are structured for success.  Small steps work best.  I don’t recommend giving up plastic “cold turkey”- that’s guaranteed to be frustrating.  Instead each month or so, give up one type of single use plastic and before you know it you’ll be a Zero Waste Warrior.

    Plastic free is all about limiting your use of plastic to essentials and eliminating single use plastic.  Single use plastic is plastic that is used once and then discarded- straws, coffee cups, drink lids, water bottles, grocery bags……….  Zero waste is a philosophy that focuses on rethinking how we live in order to produce as little waste as possible.

     Here are more than 12 steps that you can take to help you on your plastic free journey.  Mix them up, start with one that is easy for you and save the harder ones for later.  I guarantee by this time next year, you will be proud of your new habits and view purchases entirely differently.

    1. Educate yourself.  The more you know, the more motivated and committed you will be to keep your resolutions to be plastic free and zero waste.
    2. Give up plastic grocery bags.  Bring your own and if you forget only buy enough to carry easily in your hand.  I find it helpful to keep a lightweight bag in my purse.
    3. Reusable bags for ALL purchases.  Once you master reusable grocery bags make it a policy to not use any plastic bags for any purchase.  It's easy once you get started.
    4. Switch to reusable coffee cups.  When my life is routine this is easy, when it gets chaotic it's quite a challenge.  One tip is to buy more than one reusable cup , that way if one is dirty or lost in the car you can still enjoy a coffee.
    5. Stop buying plastic water bottles.  The first thing you have to do is buy a reusable water container and carry it where ever you go- including airports.
    6. Buy in bulk.  This is a critical step in moving towards zero waste.  Instead of buying 6 small yogurt containers for the week, buy one large.  Before you know it you'll be investigating local farms that sell yogurt in reusable jars.
    7. Plastic Free Produce.  Produce does not need to be wrapped in plastic and often produce is over packaged.  I found I needed to support a few stores in order to buy all my produce plastic free and to invest and make some reusable produce/bulk bags.  My habits have changed- and yes it does take a bit longer to make a salad than simply opening a plastic package.
    8. Replace paper napkins and towels with cloth.  Your one time purchase of napkins will last for years.  Using washable cloths for most clean up jobs and saving paper towels for big messes will help you cut down on waste.
    9. Rethink soap, shampoos and other personal care items.  The personal care aisle in a grocery store is loaded with plastic packaging.  Instead of a plastic bottle of liquid soap switch to a bar.  Try a shampoo bar instead of a plastic bottle of shampoo and conditioner.
    10. Invest in reusable food containers.  Pack lunches, picnics and when ordering take away bring your own container.  Sure you might wait a few minutes but it's a great chance to catch up on your social media while you wait.
    11. Switch to bamboo toothbrushes.  Remember plastic never biodegrades because it's not part of Mother Nature's food chain.
    12. Give up disposable razors.  Invest in a razor that will last a life time.
    13. Switch to glass or metal containers for food storage.  When your plastic food storage containers wear out switch to glass or metal.  But wait for them to wear out, it's wasteful to simply throw something away.  Use it up first and then take it to be recycled.
    14. Replace plastic wrap and aluminum foil with beeswax or cloth.  I often wrap a tea towel around my serving bowl before putting in the fridge.  You could also invest in a few glass containers with lids.  Glass really helps keep track of your food 'cause you can see what you're saving. 
    15. Compost.  Composting your food really helps cut down on unnecessary waste.
    16. Pick up trash.  There's nothing like picking up a bit of trash to firm your resolve to be plastic free and to embrace the zero waste philosophy.
    17. Finally, make purchasing decisions based on packaging.  Whenever possible purchase items with less packaging.  Support businesses that are working on reducing waste.  Shop local, shop small.

    Have a Holly, Trash Free Holiday and a Plastic Free New Year

    Have a Holly, Trash Free Holiday and a Plastic Free New Year

    Since World Ocean Day a few years ago I have worked hard to reduce my footprint both in my personal life and in business.  The holiday season brings special challenges.  Part has to do with memories, I was talking with a friend recently about gift wrapping.  She said, "I love to wrap gifts, it's part of my Christmas season."  But- how we choose to wrap makes a big difference.  Elaborate, non biodegradable gift wrap leaves a lasting footprint.  To help you have a trash free holiday I've listed 14 ways to hopefully get that holiday glow without the trash.

    #1   Buy Well- Choose Less  When shopping for gifts, resist the impulse to buy a cute but useless item that will not linger after the holiday.  Check out how items are packaged.  My daughter loves gummy bears- I can buy a cute plastic package of bears, a reusable bear mason jar filled with gummies or take a cloth bag to the candy shop on Main Street.  What's important to remember is you have choices.

    #2   Shop small, shop local.  Supporting small, indies businesses lets your money continue to work long after you've spent it.  You can find companies that support your values and are working hard to reduce their business footprint.  

    #3   Even if you have decided to limit your holiday purchases or to make donations to worthy causes help out indie business by supporting them in other ways- especially on social media. Our blog post Make Your Money Count and Use Less Plastic  gives practical tips.

    #4   Purchase lasting gifts that help reduce everyday waste.  Reusable coffee mugs, bamboo straws, shopping bags, produce bags, shampoo bars and bamboo toothbrushes.

    #5   Wrap your gifts in cloth, brown paper lunch bags, newspaper or tissue paper made from recycled paper.  Easy to recycle or compost.

    #6   Give the gifts of plants.  Paperwhite bulbs are especially lovely during the winter months.

    Plants are lasting gifts

    Amaryllis bulbs create a splash of color and I plant mine out in the garden every summer so many of my bulbs are 4 years old and going strong.  A seed sprouting jar is a low waste way to have fresh tasty greens in salads and sandwiches all winter long. 

    #7   Gift certificates make in possible for folks to get just what they need or want and if they are from small, indie businesses the good keeps going.

    #8   Donations are a great way to spread the love.  Choose your favorite organizations and let them start the New Year ready to get important work done.

    #9   Give the gift of an experience.  Every year I treat my family to New Year's Day brunch at our local farm to table restaurant.  I love starting the New Year in a bustling restaurant with a Passionfruit Margarita, a basket of home baked breads and the lively conversations of my loved ones.

    #10 Look around the house for items to regift.  Sometimes regifting has a tacky connotation but it's a perfect way to reduce and reuse.  While cleaning recently I found a huge stash of yarn bits.  Someone will be happily knitting all winter long.

    #11  While you are rummaging for regifts, clean out the closets and pass useful used items to the appropriate charities.

    #12  Give the gift of clean and get outside and pick up some trash.  Believe me- it's everywhere.  Check out the organization Just Grab Bits .  I especially love their Instagram page- it's a bittersweet trashy tour around the world.

    Give the gift of clean- get outside and pick up litter.

    #13  Decorate with natural materials including evergreen, pine cones and berries.  If you are buying decorations make sure they are well made and will be used and loved for many years.  Completely avoid balloons, "they kill wildlife, pollute the earth and waste helium".  Check out Balloons Blow- Don't Let Them Go for more information.

    #14  Give a subscription.  Fact checking is expensive and subscriptions show support and help attract advertisers.  

    My final tip is the one I've had the most fun with.  I want to help people make the transition to plastic free as easy as possible.  Two areas I struggle with are single use coffee cups and plastic free produce.  I have started "Random Acts of Awareness". I purchase reusable mugs from my favorite coffee shops (helping to keep it local) and then leave them on the counter for someone ordering a take away coffee in a single use cup.

    Give the gift of reusable.

     

     I'm almost ready to do the same thing with some homemade produce bags.  Over the Thanksgiving holiday I cut up an old sheet and put together a bunch of cloth produce bags.  They are almost ready to be donated to shoppers reaching for a plastic bag in the produce department.  Learn more about the plastic free produce movement by visiting Australian Anita Horn's Facebook page.   

    Happy Trash Free Holidays!

     

     

    Seaweed Shampoo Bars- Great Hair, Clean Oceans

    Seaweed Shampoo Bars- Great Hair, Clean Oceans

    "What would happen if 10,000 people decided to reduce their trash impact for one month? We could reduce the trash on Earth by over 1 million pounds." 

    If you are looking for a way to reduce your plastic consumption our Maine seaweed rich shampoo bars are the way to go. Our shampoo bars are a natural way to clean and condition your hair.  

    Great hair, clean oceans, no plastic

    Both Carly and I have super curly, easy to frizz hair. In the past, we were hair product junkies. A large bottle of conditioner might last a week. I shampooed everyday due to my tendency to look like a deranged cartoon character with severe bed head.

    I also suffered from itchy scalp. I’ve battled flakey head since high school. At one point, it got really bad. I hoped my hairdresser wouldn’t notice- fat chance. He thought it was “unusual”. I dreaded my next appointment. He suggested seeing a doctor. I knew exactly what the doctor would prescribe- a highly medicated/toxic/unnatural shampoo. I was right. The chemical laden shampoo didn't help my scalp and gave me super horrible looking hair. By chance and desperation I began experimenting with different natural ingredients. Adding seaweed to my hair care routine brought me natural and lasting relief.

    The most important ingredient in our shampoo bars is seaweed. Seaweeds are the powerhouses of our shampoo bars. Kelp in particular contains essential nutrients to help hair grow. Seaweeds are super gentle cleaners and naturally hydrate. Plus seaweeds help control flaky scalps and can help promote hair growth.

    Dulse & Rugosa's Maine Seaweed Shampoo Bars

    We make three shampoo bars blends.  All are seaweed rich, the difference is the blends of oils.  

    Lovely Rita Super Conditioning:  Some hair needs more moisture and we should know since we both have SUPER curly hair. Our Lovely Rita Bar contains coconut and castor oil which help creating  superior thick lather but also condition those pesky locks. Olive oil and rose hip oil leave your hair shiny and soft.

    Sweet Melissa Gentle and Mild: If your hair is straight and needs less moisture our Sweet Melissa bar is for you.  Your hair needs protein and a blend of oils that moisturize without being too heavy.  Our shampoo bars harness the power of sugar kelp to pump up the protein which is what your hair craves.  

    Men's Shampoo Bar:  Our Seaweed Shampoo Bar specially packaged just for men.  The power of seaweed can help tame an itchy scalp or full beard and designed to be used anywhere including rivers and streams. 

    Thanks to the ocean conservancy for the opening quote.  Check them out.

    Make Your Money Count and Use Less Plastic

    Make Your Money Count and Use Less Plastic

    Last year, I took a business development course and the guru wanted us to find our customer's pain points.  I talked about our Maine Seaweed shampoo bars and how I believed they would appeal to anyone who loved the ocean and is concerned about the plague of plastic.  Our shampoo bars are a plastic free alternative to hair products packed in plastic bottles.  I got a gigantic "pshaw".  

    Shampoo bars for great hair with no plastic.

    About a week later I was in the grocery debating which peppers to buy.  I wasn't looking at the price as much as the packaging.  I bought my usual only to discover at home that an extra plastic nest had been added.  I thought to myself, "Won't buy these again" and made a purchasing decision based on plastic packaging".  And remember- this was a year ago, I've come a long way and now don't purchase produce wrapped in plastic.

    This quick vignette is to illustrate how your hard earned dollars can make a difference.  You can still eat great food, have lovely hair and enjoy an afternoon latte without creating a mountain of waste.  It does take a bit more organization and thought.  And be prepared to move two steps forward and one step back but stay on the plastic free  journey.  Choose an area to go plastic free every month or so.  Master one and pick a new goal.  Buy a few reusable grocery and produce totes. Try a shampoo bars.  Carry around a coffee cup for your afternoon fix.  Head outside to your favorite nature spot and pick up the trash.

    Think about packaging when making purchases.

    Even if you never become completely zero-waste you'll be amazed at how far you can go! 

     

     

    Plastic Free Journey- Doing Your Little Bit of Good

    Plastic Free Journey- Doing Your Little Bit of Good

    Do your little bit of good quote by Desmond Tutu

    At Dulse & Rugosa, our little bit of good is to switch our packaging to be as plastic free as possible.  Some of our products have always been there.  Our Maine Seaweed Shampoo bars are simply packaged in tissue paper that is made from recycled paper products.  The "plastic" bags we use for other products are actually biodegradable cellophane bags made from wood cellulose fibers sourced exclusively with sustainable forestry principles.  Our Shower Shots are packaged in these cool non-plastic bags.  They truly are a happy hour for your shower and the happy continues with compostable packaging.   

    Dulse & Rugosa is moving towards plastic free packaging.

    But the truth is a lot of our packaging has been cheap plastic jars.  There's a reason for this- cheap.  When you're a small business starting out your focus is on getting people to try your products.  There is a BIG difference between eco packaging and plastic in terms of price per container.  Plastic is so much cheaper- I know this because as a consumer I find myself standing in the grocery store comparing the price of items based on their packaging.   We've been going through the same process as a business.

    One of the biggest changes we've made is with our popular Island Face Scrub.  Our $5.00 trial packs were packaged in a plastic/foil pouch.  Now they are repackaged in a kraft/plastic pouch combo.
     There still is some plastic but it's a lot less.  The same is true for our larger size.  We've replace the plastic jar and lid with the kraft/plastic pouch.  It's much less packaging and that's good for the environment.

    We're using less plastic in our Island Face Scrub. That's our little bit of good.  What's your's?