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      Plastic Free Friday- BYOB

      Everyone knows the 3R’s- reduce, reuse and recycle but did you know the order of the R’s is important?  Reduce is the most planet friendly way to help our world and recycling is the least effective. One of the easiest ways to cut down on your plastic use is to BYOB- Bring Your Own Bags.

      BYOB- Bring Your Own Bags to reduce your plastic consumption.

      It’s easiest to start with your groceries and takes just a bit of organization.  Keep your weekly grocery bags handy in the car, that way they are easy to get.  One of the hardest parts for me was the quick trip for just a few items.  Now, I always have a few bags in my purse.  To keep the bulk of the bags down I love Baggu bags.  Their standard shopping bag comes in tons of cute, bright prints.  Super sturdy- they can hold a lot of groceries but have snaps and a pouch for some true space savings.  For regular grocery trips I prefer flat bottomed canvas bags- this allows for bottles and jars to stay upright.  Almost everyone knows about the importance of BYOB- find the bags you like and make a pledge to yourself to give up single use plastic grocery bags.

      Once you’ve made the BYOB grocery bag commitment you will start to notice how abundant plastic is in grocery stores.  Remember, the first R is the most important- reduce.   Avoid products that are over packaged.  Once I was debating over which mix of peppers to buy.  I bought the brand I usually buy only to get home to find they had changed their packaging and added an extra plastic bit.  That was the last time I purchased that particular brand.

      Shopping at Farmer’s Markets is one way to help cut down your plastic.  In general, farmers don’t over package- they want you to see and smell their wonderful offerings.  Buying from bulk bins also helps.  When you have a choice between plastic or glass- choose glass.  Find wines that still use natural corks instead of plastic corks.  Make how a product is packaged one of your buying decisions.  

      It’s important to take a step- however tentative or small.  You’re going to forget and mess but once you begin your personal plastic free journey there will be no going back.  It’s worth the effort.  

      Here are some resources

      Chef Jude Blereau tips and thoughts

      Lather Up With Shampoo Bars

      Lather Up With Shampoo Bars

      Shampoo bars- good for you and the environment.

      Shampoo bars are a fabulous way to wash your hair and eliminate plastic bathroom clutter at the same time.  It's not just bathroom clutter we need to think about- it's also all the plastic we use, that keeps coming back to clog up our beautiful Earth.

      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 very “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. Now, I had weird scalp and horrible looking hair. By chance and desperation I picked up a shampoo with seaweed as an ingredient. Viola, my itchy scalp improved.

      This experience got us thinking, researching and finally experimenting. Shampoo bars are super luxurious soap concoctions. We blend together oils with properties to benefit hair and scalp. Castor oil is super conditioning and makes a rich lather. Coconut oil penetrates, protects and adds shine. Sweet Almond oil works as a sealant and locks in moisture.. Olive oil packs a power punch and is not just for salads. Olive oil moisturizes, conditions, helps fight dandruff and improves hair strength.

      Another very 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.

      Shampoo bars work differently than conventional shampoos and conditioners. Be aware that it might take a week or two for your hair to adjust. You need to detox from product build up. I was a bit reluctant to try our shampoo bars, even though Carly had been using them and frankly raving about the results. Her hair was looking gorgeous but mine is a bit curlier. I was afraid to give up all my conditioners. Instead of conditioning after shampooing I spritz with a 1/2 cider vinegar to 1/2 water mix. This mildly acidic solution helps balance the Ph as shampoo bars tend to be more alkaline and helps make the hair follicle shine and lay flatter.

      Seaweeds can help an itchy scalp.

      I’ve been using shampoo bars for a few years now. I am super happy with my hair. A long time ago, I made peace with my curls. I decided I would stop trying to have straight hair. Now, I don’t even use conditioners. Plus, I’ve saved tons of money and we've reduced our plastic consumption. Shampoo bars are the way to go.

      Plastic Free Friday

      Plastic Free Friday

      World Ocean Day was June 8th and this year the theme was plastic.  “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planets” encourages individuals and organizations across the planet to take action for preventing plastic pollution in our ocean.

      In a nutshell, here is what's happening- we as humans are simply becoming far too dependent on plastic.  Plastic is everywhere.  And as our lives get busier and busier, convenience is what we want and plastic is often the solution.

      Single use plastic is plastic used only one time.

      The problem is plastic is a material that is made to be durable.  Yet so much of the plastic we use is single use- think water bottles, grocery bags, coffee cups, lids and straws.  Single use plastic is the term used to describe this type of plastic.  It’s often used only one time.  And let’s be honest- this type of plastic has the least chance of actually being recycled.  For example, after a great movie, it’s easy to toss your popcorn, soda cup and straw right into the trash.  The result, in America we use about 30 million tons of plastic per year and only 8% gets recycled.  The rest is incinerated or simply allowed to settle on the Ear

      Plastic is made from oil.  17 million barrels of oil are used to make water bottles that are used only once.  It’s not healthy to reuse many plastic containers because you have no idea what chemicals have been added.  Chemicals like BPA can seriously affect our bodies.

      When plastic settles into the Earth it simply keeps breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces.  These pieces end up in the water system and finally dumped into our oceans.

      The reason World Ocean Day focused on plastic this year is because our oceans make our Earth livable for all creatures big and small, land or water.  We need healthy oceans for a healthy Earth no matter where one chooses to live.   And sadly, much of our single use plastic ends up floating in our oceans.  Sea creatures mistake plastic for food and this leads to all sorts of serious issues.

      Plastic is a common sight on beaches.

      Dulse and Rugosa is an island based business.  We harvest seaweeds from our shores.  We want clean oceans now and for future generations.  And if that is a bit inconvenient- tough.   

      Here are some great resources- 

      Drinking with Seaweed- An Umami Adventure

      Drinking with Seaweed- An Umami Adventure

      If you are looking to add a bit of fun and adventure into your next happy hour- try seaweed.  Seaweed is gaining popularity in all sorts of dishes mainly for it's high nutritional content and earthy umami flavor but seaweed can also be found in alcohol.

      I heard about Marshall Wharf's seaweed beer a few years ago and got very excited-  the idea of seaweed and beer!  Honestly, I'm not a big beer drink but their Sea Belt Scotch Ale is yummy.  It's a dark beer with some lovely ocean notes.


      Have a umami happy hour with Maine seaweed.

      Whiskey is another way to try seaweed.  Celp from Scotland has a piece of seaweed floating in the bottle.  It's the Scottish version of a good tequila.  

      And how about changing your Bloody Mary to  an Ocean Mary by adding a rim of seaweed flakes around the glass.  Seaweed salt is easy to make- mix equal parts of your favorite seaweed flakes with a nice sea salt.  For a spicy, slightly celery mix add a bit of Old Bay Seasoning.

      Mix equal parts salt and Maine seaweed flakes for a wicked Bloody Mary


      To get your happy hour and the weekend started right- join our Plastic Free Friday Giveaway on FaceBook


      Plastic Free friday Giveaways

      Use Good Soap- It's Good for You and the Environment

      Use Good Soap- It's Good for You and the Environment

      .Hand crafted soap is good for your body and the environment. 

      I've been using handcrafted soap for years.  I still remember my first bar, Carly gave as a gift.  It was so magical especially as I used a commercial bar full of chemicals.

      Here's a list of ingredients found in my commercial soap-

      Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate or Sodium Palmitate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Chloride,Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Maltol, Titanium Dioxide

      But to my surprise the ingredients are only part of the problem.  I was surprised and saddened by the amount of plastic packaging found in the soap aisle of my local grocery store.  First, liquid soaps have taken over from bar soaps.  There may be times when liquid makes practical sense but it's not good for our environment.  Bottle after bottle of plastic to keep us clean while our world gets more polluted.

      Liquid soaps have taken over from the traditional bars of soap and this means a lot more plastic.

      Even bar soaps packaged in cardboard boxes were wrapped in plastic.  It's really tough to reduce your plastic consumption and one easy way is to use a hand crafted, low packaged bar of soap.

      Commercial soaps are packaged in plastic, hand crafted soaps tend to use minimal packaging.