Naturally Fight Cavities- From a Zero Waste Dental Hygienist

Valentine’s Day the focus can be on sweets! Sugar, sugar and more sugar. Oh yeah and loving the sweetie-pie(s) in your life. Back to chocolate, I love it as much as the next person. My husband and I have a tradition of baking extravagant and completely out of our comfort zone desserts for Valentine’s Day. It’s so fun and yummy (most of the time!). This years bakes are Vegan Fruit Snacks and Vegan Maple Bars. With these tips you can beat cavities all year long, but especially in times of sweet delights.

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Back to our health and teeth health specifically. The average person most likely knows that sugar can cause cavities. But there are a LOT of other factors that go into it; pH, saliva, stress, diet, sugar frequency vs quantity, oral hygiene homecare (i.e brushing, flossing, water-piking, tooth-picking, rinsing), water intake, fluoride exposure as a child, genetics etc.

What is a Cavity and How Do They Form?

In a nutshell, cavities are formed by decaying tooth structure (another term caries) that CAUSE an actual cavitation in the tooth’s enamel and underlying dentin. This process is caused by the acid that is released from the bacteria in our mouth/saliva. These bacteria take in sugar and release acids, therefore changing the pH of that surrounding area, resulting in loss of minerals that make our teeth hard (Source is my BS in Dental Hygiene, I am a Registered Dental Hygienist). I wont go in the details of hydrogen ions and pH but I will say that our saliva acts as a buffer to these acids as well as the fluctuation of acids we consume via food and drink throughout the day.

10 Tips to Avoid Cavities

The little things do add up

  1. Brush your teeth…..and FLOSS for gosh-sakes. I wont go into details, that’s a whole other post but consistent mechanical removal of plaque is one of your best defenses.
  2. Drink lots of water throughout the day, importantly with meals aka sugar and acid.
  3. If your going to have sweets/sugar, do it all in one sitting not slowly throughout the day. This gives your saliva a chance to catch up on its job rather than having sugar assault all day long. Frequency is more vital than quantity. Have a lot of sugar every now and again (like for Valentines Day) but don’t do it often and don’t stretch it throughout the day. Say a 20 minute setting eating cookies with your family rather than taking a bite of a cookies every 20 minutes for a whole day.
  4. Check the pH of your drinks. The lower the number the more acidic by 10 fold each point down. La Croix and most carbonated waters are around 4.5. Soda, energy drinks, juice and coffee is around 3. Water is neutral at 7. Our saliva is around 7.4. When these products have added sugar or your eating sugar or simple, refined carbs, it’s a cavity-causing bacteria hay day! Rule of frequency applies here too, same concept, your saliva needs a chance to buffer out the acids. Have a drink in a 20-60 minute setting, than have water the rest of the day rather than sipping a ‘milking’ a latte for the whole morning.
  5. Watch out for gum and mints. Not all are sugar-free. Like tictacs and small candies they are packed with sugar and are meant to sit in your mouth for long periods of time. OR you chew them up right away, till bad, your jamming the sugar into the small crevices of your teeth and sealing it in with their sticky hard mediums. I highly recommend NOT eating these multiple times a day if any at all. That is up to your personal overall health practices.
  6. Use natural pH buffers in foods or rinses. I like to recommend baking soda mixed in water to rinse with on days that you consume more sugar, acids or after vomiting (add xylitol and peppermint essential oil for a daily rinse). Foods that are high in minerals, especially phosphorus and calcium, are helpful in re-introducing the minerals that are lost with acids. See this list. 
  7. Use Xylitol, a natural alcohol sugar that not only adds sweetness but actually fights cavities from being formed. (Source). I get the crystals (kind of looks like more shiny white sugar) at stores with bulk sections and add it to homemade toothpaste and mouth rinse. I hope to make my own Ice Chips someday.
  8. Use Stevia and Erythritol in moderation, can be a great sweetener alternative. Like the occasional Lilys Vegan Stevia Chocolate. I stay away from artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors.
  9. Do your own asking around and research about fluoride. I wont go into it really because it should be an individual and customized conversation person to person. Ask your dentist, your physician, your naturopath or you can ask me privately if you want an all -natural, zero waste, dental hygienist’s perspective on your specific situation pertaining fluoride.
  10. Consume less DAILY sugar. This includes honey, agave, coconut nectar and maple syrup but do indulge every so often if your diet allows. This ALSO includes simple carbs (that eventually break down to glucose i.e. sugar ) like pretzels, bread, cookies, cakes, muffins, crackers. Check the nutrition label they sneak sugar into a lot of ‘health’ foods like salad dressing, sauces, dips etc. My rule of frequency also applies here. (see tip #4)

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Happy Treat Eating. You’ll be a cavity-beating warrior if you follow these tips! Sadly, and legally,  no guarantees my friends. Consult your dentist and doctor for more information regarding your overall and dental health.

 

Compost Logistics for Beginners

A Quick Rundown of Logistics for Composting as a Beginner, Featuring Vancouver, WA, USA Options.

Hello, I recently have gotten a few people asking me about how I compost. Well its most likely all different for everyone. I am not an expert! I have little experience, but I tried a few of these methods and read into them a bit. Composting is a crucial element for sustainability. It’s a beautiful thing that God created for organic matter to be re-purposed, re-used and honored. It becomes something else in creation that we all need, food for our food made from our food.

Options for in the home and the main compost bin/pile (pick one of each)

In the home/Kitchen: for the initial disposal of scraps/compostables: On kitchen counter, under kitchen sink, right outside kitchen on patio in:Ice bucket with lid (pretty)

  • Ice Bucket with lid
  • Large mason jar, glass jar with lid
  • old tin, coffee, nut, yogurt container with lid (ugly but inexpensive)
  • Any kitchen compost pale or bucket, they come in stainless steel, bamboo, ceramic, wood and more! 

From the kitchen to the compost bin/pile:

  • Live in a place that has curb side pick-up, how awesome Portland, Seattle and more!
  • Have animals that eat food scraps like pigs and chickens
  • Hire a pick-up service. Vancouver, WA: 
  • contact a farm that you can drop off scraps
  • Drop off at your friendly compost-friendly neighbors house
  • if you live near a large forest or ravine, ditch it there, it’ll decompose!
  • Pile- pick a corner or area of your yard to be your designated compost pile, you can set up 3 sides if you want it more container and cleaner looking. They also sell these – just look up Wood composter or something like that. You’ll need a pitch fork or good shovel.
  • Spinner, Rotating, tumbler compost bin
    • or you could DIY your own 
  • Worm composting, I have never tried it, but it sounds like a fun. I believe the process of composting goes faster. Downsides are you must be mindful that the worms don’t freeze, and you order the worms online (kind of weird?)
    • Usually called Worm Factory, or Tray Worm Compost bin, there are DIY versions with plastic tubs, I am not a fan of plastic but at least the Worm Factory ones are recycled plastic, the upside to plastic ones is its light to ship, store, move. here’s one website Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm
  • There are wood box style bins or even tumblers to buy on Esty
  • Youtube to make your own
  • Bury method- no turns needed. You just collect scraps and bury them at least 12 inches in your ground. good for if you are preparing a section for gardening. The slugs and worms will have at it and your soil with be nutrient rich for gardening
  • Aerating method. this person built there own and let nature do its thing with since (like the forest ground) things will compost with oxygen and bacteria- they are everywhere and free. 
  • Electronic (pricey one-time fee) like this. 
    • never tried but seems awesome! for those who aren’t too garden-y/outdoorsy, get-your-hands-dirty people
  • Stacking Terracotta composter like this 
    • Terracotta Solar Composter. This is the one where you bury the bottom, it looks pretty and you don’t really need to mix it, it may fill up depending on how much food scraps you produce,/size of composter.

The smaller tumbler could work with small yards or patios. If you only think in-home will work for you than a small electrical or solar powered. Check the last few out on this list for small in-home ones.

If I were you….

I personally am going to contact the pick-up people! But if I were you and I had the space I would make my own like the very first picture (because it’s the least expensive). If I didn’t have the space and I wanted it to look nicer I would do one similar to the terracotta solar composter. If I didn’t have space and I could spend the money I’d do one of the smaller in-home electric/solar ones. If I had kids and I was trying to teach them about waste and gardening I would do a worm bin. If it was all too overwhelming for me or I didn’t have space (studio apartment) but I wanted to care about the environment I’d do a pick-up service. The Vancouver Landscaping business that does food scrap pick up doesn’t say the price, but they give you a free estimate (maybe neighbors could go in together).

composting for beginngers

What to Compost

  • all food scraps except meat, cheese, highly processed and oily stuff (we don’t eat much of that)
  • cotton (like the top of vitamins, cotton scraps from sewing, ripped up socks, thread, twine, unbleached paper towel/napkins shredded up a bit)
  • coffee grounds with filters, tea bags, plant matter like house plant trimmings or flowers I bought for a vase, plant decor.
  • cardboard (limited dye), paper bags, newspaper, un-glossy paper again with minimal dye (paper stickers only, no plastic coating or foil coated stuff) (just tear it up a bit, or reuse it til it literally falls apart)
  • Compostable cellophane (very little of it), those stupid compostable straws, utensils (this is for my experimentation because some need to be industrial composting but I am annoyed at all of them and want to see if they break down)
  • small wood chips, wood things like chopsticks, toothpicks, skewer sticks

Compost needs some moisture (comes from veggie most likely), turning/stirring (unless stated otherwise with specific bin) and more brown than green material Carbon/nitrogen, browns are (usually brown colored) wood matter, paper, coffee grounds, eggshells, and green is veggie scraps (the colorful wet goopy stuff).

Clear as Compost?

You are encouraged to comment on any advice that I missed or stories you have had with composting. Contact me or comment with questions and how it all goes for you. Thanks!

Conventional Makeup is Poison: Mind, Body and EARTH

The finale of Mind, Body and EARTH mini-blog series on how conventional makeup is poison to the earth. Also my last day of June: A Month of Zero Makeup.

The Cosmetic Industry is Poison to the Earth

Packaging. More specifically Plastic.

Plastic production and consumption is a PANDEMIC. If you know me, you know I hate plastic, and hate is a very strong word. There are multiple facets of which plastic pollutes the earth; air, water, and land, negatively affecting eco-systems, animals and humans alike. We’ll just take a chunk and focus on cosmetics. Zero Waste Week “reports that more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry.” (Stylist Beauty Packaging) Plastic is not just a one-way ticket, it has multiple avenues of where it may end up. Check out 40+ Intriguing Facts about Plastic Pollution.

  • In the Trash. Sold AND unsold products? How many people (at the consumer level) have thrown away unused, partially used or empty cosmetic containers? Unfortunately I know I have, multiple times throughout my life before my zero waste, anti-plastic, all-natural kick (my heart hurts at this, also it’s not a ‘kick’, it’s a bold, intentional, lifetime commitment). But that is why I am dedicated to not only have a neutral impact on the environment but HELP it along with the generation to come as well. We also rarely even think of this, but what DO companies and stores do with unsold, taken-off-the-shelf, or expired product? Well MOST likely they trash them unless they are upfront and clear about proper disposal and/or recycling, donating or reusing. What is proper disposal anyway HA!? People of Racked asked bigger companies what they do with unsold products; Ulta replied with “We properly dispose of our products per manufacturer requests.” BUT, someone they interviewed that worked at Ulta in VANCOUVER, WA said that they sometimes destroy makeup before throwing them away. Why do that? Well because people dumpster dive and sell the product for up to thousands of dollars! (Inside the World of Dumpster-Diving Beauty Scavengers)

 

  • In the Recycling. Tubes, pumps, brushes, bottles, aerosol sprayers, pencils, compacts, the list goes on for the different packaging. They are all different, meaning that it is VERY confusing to know what is recyclable or not. Even one company’s products hugely vary in packaging. In the US, every state or even county (depending on waste treatment centers) have different guidelines to what can be put in the curbside recycling, making it exponentially more confusing to figure out what cosmetic packaging can be recycled.  Let’s say they do end up properly in the recycling, what now? Will it be made into another plastic item that cannot be recycled? Probably. Will it be sent to China with half of the worlds plastic waste? Oh wait, they just passed a bill as of January 2018 in which the country no longer accepts incoming plastic waste. (National Public Radio China Refuse’s to Recycle the West’s plastics. ) “‘Even if consumer participation in recycling were 100 percent, we wouldn’t be close to recycling 100 percent of the material.’, said chemical engineer Megan Robertson, who co-wrote a piece in Science last November on the future of plastics recycling. Much consumer waste is simply not recyclable, often because it combines materials.” (Bloomberg The Recycling Game Is Rigged Against You.) So yes, recycling properly is helpful and can be very useful and beautiful BUT it is not the answer.

 

  • In the Air. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are leaking into the atmosphere from cosmetic products as well. Fumes from our cosmetics are contributing to air pollution. (Your Beauty Products May Contribute to Rush-Hour Pollution Just As Much as Car Exhaust). Factories and the industrial aspect of cosmetics are also contributing to pollution-transportation exhausts, production pollution, raw material and chemical processing  OH MY. There is no way for a consumer to really know what all entails in the production of a product and how much air pollution is emitted, especially in cosmetics which usually have a long list of ingredients. It’s a hard number to quantify and there are VERY smart people out there doing their part to solve these issues BUT we can also help by being aware.

 

  • In the Water.  If you only get one thing from this post, my wish is that it is this: AVOID microbeads, don’t use them, don’t support companies that use them or have them. JUST DON’T DO IT. Microbeads are a form of microplastics, which are tiny bits of plastic. Bigger plastic that gets into the waterways and break into smaller pieces of plastic but never really ‘break down’. Small enough plastics could be absorbed through our skin causing health concerns. This takes a toll on the environment as well. Wildlife, especially marine life, mistake them for food. This is bad (duh). Microbeads are intentional microplastics used in cosmetics, toothpastes, soaps, scrubs, etc. as an exfoliate. They are ‘pretty’ and ‘bursting’ and ‘deep cleaning’, says the companies that DON’T GIVE A BUTT ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT (Aveeno, Clean ‘n Clear, Johnson & Johnson, Clearasil, Olay, L’Oriel, Garnier, Dove, Softsoap, Neutrogena, St. Ives, Colgate, Crest, Aquafresh, Covergirl, Clinique, Maybelline, Revlon, Almay, Wet ‘n Wild, Aussie, BedHead AND MORE, excuse the rant).  Microbeads are small plastic beads that are listed as polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene/acrylates copolymer, Polyacrylate, Polyethylene-Glycol, Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and Nylon (PA). These are slowly being banned. Join the movement. In the US, they are currently banned from rinse-off products but that still leaves stay-on, long-wear products, which are definitely not exempt in finding their way to the water. Sisters gotta wash that stuff off eventually. And any fan of Pixar will know that…Related image(for more info see resources: microbeads at the end of post)

“91 percent of potentially recyclable plastic in the U.S. ended up in landfills – or worse, in the oceans.” (Bloomberg Recycling.) SO we talked about the plastic aspect, which is a HUGE one. What about the ‘other’ considerations?

Well, in my Conventional Makeup is Poison (mind, body and earth) BODY post I talked about phthalates, synthetic fragrances, petroleum-based compounds, icky preservatives (BHA and BHT) and more being terrible for our bodies. Well, you are guessed it, they are just as bad for the earth. Wastewater treatment centers can’t filter these substances out, releasing them into the sewage and therefore waterways. The marine life is negatively affected by these chemicals causing mutations in different species and disrupting development in some microorganisms. Most of these ingredients can accumulate in tissues so they are building up the more we use them in more and more marine life (CVS Skin Labs 7 Cosmetic Ingredients That are Bad for the Environment). Other things to look out for are siloxanes (Silicones), Diethanolamine or DEA, Triclocan, Dioxane and chemical sunscreens. These chemicals bio-accumulate and pose a threat to the well-being of fish, shellfish, amphibians, coral reef, nematodes (how can you not love that word), crustaceans, animal and plant-plankton. (simpleluxeliving The Environmental Damages Of Cosmetics)

The cosmetic industry ALSO has many effects on the environment during the very beginning stages of production, like raw material mining. Mica powder, a mineral that is used as a filler in asphalts and rubber, is also ground up and becomes the ingredient for shimmery cosmetics. There are multiple factors that go into this field and also the building blocks of cosmetics (and I wont get that into all that now) BUT one to focus on is getting sustainably-sourced and fair trade certified cosmetics that contain Mica. Its use has low consumer risk but high occupational risks due to inhalation concerns. Some suppliers from India have been known to use children as cheap laborers and also strip mine the land. (Ethical Consumer MICA)


I know this is overwhelming. Trust me. I’m wide-eyed (occasionally teary-eyed) just writing this mess. What can you do? Educate yourself, use what you have and properly dispose of them the environmentally-friendly way by being up-to-date on your local recycling center or different recycling companies like Terracycle and others (post coming soon on companies that are zero waste or reuse and/or recycle- CAN’T WAIT). Don’t just throw away cosmetics. Can it be recycled? Does the company take back packaging to sterilize and reuse? How do I properly dispose of the product, is it environmentally friendly to dump out in the sink and what does this mean it’s doing to my body if it’s toxic to the earth? Buy more sustainable packaged cosmetics. Is the company concerned with the environment and your health and are they taking steps to show it, not just say it? Do I overly obsess over my looks or cosmetics? Is the cosmetic industry marketing and media getting in my mind? How do I change this to be a healthy relationship? Reduce, refuse, rethink, reflect. Yes, you should be more mindful about what you buy. Yes, it’s annoying. Yes it shouldn’t be like this. We shouldn’t have to worry about our cosmetics polluting the water but it most likely is, so we try to change.

Happy Last Day of June and my last day to not wear makeup, wow a whole month flew by. It was a fun roller coaster of a journey. I learned A LOT and am so glad I embarked on this adventure. See all this month’s posts at: June: A Month of Zero Makeup

Resources: Microbeads

https://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/en/2018/05/beat-the-microbead-campaign-demands-restriction-of-all-intentionally-added-microplastics/

https://basmati.com/2018/06/11/microplastics-monster-our-seas

http://www.beatthemicrobead.org/ProductTable.php?colour=2&country=US&language=EN 

http://www.ehn.org/plastic-environmental-impact-2501923191.html

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/microplastics.html

http://www.ijc.org/en_/blog/2016/02/25/consumer_decisions_can_curb_microbead_pollution_story3/

Photos by Diana Kadreva on Unsplash further edited by yours truly!

Outlive the Test of Time with the Most Rewarding (and free) Father’s Day Gift

Go outside.

Hike. Walk. Camp. Kayak. Backpack. Rollerblade. Skateboard. Go to a dog park (with or without a dog ha!). Being outside is nice and it seems like I don’t appreciate the sky and fresh air ever enough. Might as well share that with our dads while spending time together and creating comfortable places and fun memories?!? And most simple activity of walking outside. Free. A win-win to me.

Those who don’t have a special father-figure to spend the day with?

Go outside.

Spend time with your Father our God. The most powerful, loving and perfect father. To chat, grieve, vent, cry, breath, rest, exercise, have fun and just plain ol share life with.

Enjoy.

Dad, if your reading this, can’t wait for our backpacking adventures! Thanks for being you. Love you lots.

Conventional Makeup is Poison: MIND, Body, and Earth.

Not too long ago I was interested in a more healthy, holistic, natural lifestyle. I took the ground running. Following Jesus has played a monumental role it that decision. It has opened my eyes to so much more of this world than I even imagined, good and bad. But before that, I was deeply involved with the average consumerism of today’s cosmetic industry; name brands, department store, designer, you name it, I wanted to try it all. Why? I have no idea…probably to have ‘self-made beauty’ or to have “perfection”. EW BLEH NO MORE NOT HERE, and not to future generations if I have a say in it. To put my (once) words into a picture: This is what I saw after being at Walgreens for less than 5 minutes and it broke my heart…

Say NO to Conventional Pharmacy, Grocery, Department Store and name brand Makeup. Its poisoning our MIND, body and earth.

A few things in my life have pushed this issue right in front of my face. First of all, I think of my own perception of beauty and am dissecting the roots in which it comes from with this June: A Month of Zero Makeup. Second, I spend time with infant girls, wonderful, beautiful, precious souls and I think of what I want for them (especially my own children eventually). What do I want them to know about themselves? I don’t want them to have distorted, shallow definitions of beautiful. I want them to be confident and radiate self-esteem. I want them to makes friends and care deeply for others beyond physicalities.  Thirdly, I want to bring attention to and reject negative media portrayals of beauty and body image. This is everywhere, in magazines, commercials, newspapers, blogposts, social media, the INTERNET. I grew up reading magazines and watching TV (they aren’t inherently bad) but they do need to be filtered, from ourselves, from parents, from suppliers and lastly and mostly the companies pumping them out. I watch television and read articles now and notice negative undertones that are represented in marketing schemes, slowly building incorrect perceptions of beauty. We need to DRASTICALLY change the way we view ourselves and others so that we can prepare the next generations to come. They will face difficulties and challenges, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try to tackle this one, NOW. The most genuine children I’ve been around are those who are visually impaired. It brings tears to my eyes of the honest, true and natural kindness they show to others. They do not have the boundaries of eyesight. They want to see people, for WHO they are not what they look like. I do not believe this is a coincidence. God created and intended on a perfect relationship between man/woman and Himself and women and men together. Those whose eyes were not open.

Ask yourself, what do you want for yourself and other women? For your children? How do we do this? I can’t really tell you exactly. For me, I am begining with a month of Zero Makeup. Realize what we purchase and use, and therefore support. What are they portraying? We look within ourselves. We reflect. We have conversations. We take action. So, I will actively oppose, discourage, and disapprove of toxic makeup and their media. Are you with me? Comment “I will, I do, or Yes” below to pledge to be a part of this. To stand together.

THIS. IS. WHY. WE. CHANGE

Resources

Pretty as a picture: The Truth about Airbrushing Pictures

The Bible

ZERO WASTE: Makeup vs Beauty. It Takes Years. Advice, Triumphs and Fails

img_8163.jpgBefore we dive in (warning: this is a long one), let’s clear this up. Lets change the way we look at Beauty. I just welcomed another baby girl to my extended family. I don’t want her or any little girl growing up unsettled about her looks, insecure about flaws, and worried about makeup. I do NOT like that the word Beauty has taken over in the makeup/skincare industry. The term ‘beauty products’ now means the same to almost everyone, me included, until I realized it. Literally, I just posted a week of Zero Waste DIY Challenge: beauty edition. Ha! This is a societal or even a worldly NO-NO. The crap we smear on our face is NOT a ‘beauty product’. It’s a cosmetic, makeup, blemish hider, balancing product, foundation, mascara I really don’t care what it’s called, just as long as it’s not Beauty product. This stuff covers, uncovers (whatever you want to call it) only about 1/16th IF THAT of our actual beauty. I’m into women empowerment. So let’s start by changing our verbiage to do just that?

ZERO WASTE: Makeup vs Beauty. It Takes Years. Advice, Triumphs and Fails.

BONUS: 4 practical steps to reduce your waste and rethink beauty and 3 all natural product reviews below.

If you are like me, zero waste kind of hit you over the head, and you fell into it full on. I had a platinum membership plan with ULTA (really?) and was buried in half used, unopened, free samples. I was always searching for the best products, the prettiest, the easiest, the cheapest, but it was all an empty cover up and distraction of what really mattered to me. Inner beauty. Inner beauty that I was trying to portray outwardly in all the wrong ways.

Over a year and a half ago I started to become very interested in reducing my waste and plastic consumption as well as the health concerns about toxic chemicals used in every day consumer products. ESPECIALLY cosmetics. As well as my journey with animal cruelty! So whoever you are and wherever you are on the spectrum of zero waste and healthy home, mind, body and spirit, I urge you to take a look at your goals in life. To be freed from consumerism and poisonous self rituals. To be a part of the greater good for the environment, our children’s, children’s children and so on for physical and mental security and nourishment from this earth. Embracing the lighthearted adventure and pure beauty of nature. Most of all, make time for the things that really matter to you, things that are actually life; chasing your passions, volunteering, raising a family, creating art, making things, fixing things, nourishing relationships.

I’ve been wanting to BE zero waste at home and ideally out and about as well. I have learned many things but this one thing may be the most useful; You don’t just become zero waste. It’s not in an instant, I would even argue that to do so would be extremely wasteful. You don’t just BE zero waste. Not in a day, a week or even a year. You can’t, not really. You research and you take baby steps, and you try, and you fail, and you try again, and keep trying until you’ve reached your goals, then you make new ones, and you try all over again. It takes years. Beauty in creation and progress is outstanding. I pray we all strive to do that in all aspects of our life, but with most things, it takes time.

What are the practical steps I can take?

  1. Use what you have. Its definitely a personal battle of what you want to ditch right away and what you want to use till the end. Using what you have is most likely less overwhelming and more frugal, this I like. I had two eyebrow pencils when this all started. I decided to use them to the very nubbin. I still have one for VERY special occasions. Still trying to figure out a zero waste alternative (not all of them are this hard). Check out my DIY eyebrow/mascara fail. Another example is that I gave a friend my Q-tips, she uses them all the time and was grateful. I didn’t want to partake in that trash but I also recognized that wasn’t the perfect solution since she most likely will throw them away. Is anything really a perfect solution, except in math equations?
  2. Make better future choices/purchases. In my attempt of semi- minimalism, I take a month or two to buy something. I like to do research and narrow down if I really need it. In a perfect world all makeup would be; carbon neutral, zero waste, cruelty free, all natural, organic, fair trade, give back for charity, plant a tree, (you get the picture). This doesn’t exist, yet. In the meantime, you search and keep eyes and ears open. You try DIYs and email a lot of companies if you can’t find information on packaging, production, ingredients, shipping etc. That’s the useful part of the internet most Americans have access to. Try Think Dirty app. It rates products 0-10 by their toxicity.
  3. Less is more. Simplify your routine. Spend less money. Do less. Say no to subscription boxes that send you samples every month. Ask yourself; Do I really need 3 different face primers, eye highlighter, cheek highlighter, lip liner, lip stick, lip gloss, on top of lip exfoliating daily? No. Change your priorities and seek after the top ones. Everyone’s routine will be different and THAT’S OKAY. My old makeup face routine used to be WILD, 20 steps minimum. Now its my DIY’d powder, liquid foundation, powder again, blush, eyelash curler and mascara. Still looking and trying different eyebrow, mascara and lip color options. That’s the journey though!
  4. Oh Baby You Should Go And Love Yourself. With being more simple, sustainable and eco-friendly I advise to take time reflecting on your self perceptions of your appearance, I’m not going to pretend like they don’t matter at all because it all does (to a certain point). I’m also not a psychiatrist, but I do know that everyone could benefit from revealing what they think about themselves. And get the negative ones OUT, recognize them, acknowledge them, process through. Can you change it? Great, maybe start eating healthier, IDK? So you can’t change it without surgery? Well than embrace the heck out of it, come to terms with that amazingly long nose, that lopsided smile, that awkward seeming chin. You’re probably not a model for Vogue (sorry to break the news, but you probably wouldn’t want to anyway!) and to be honest most people probably don’t notice it at all or care, they love you and if they do seem to notice or care you say (mentally) screw you or BYE BYE BYE. You should strive to have positive influences and healthy relationships in your life. It builds an armor of confidence and self worth. Priceless things. Inner beauty and YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL.

Eco-friendly, Natural Products I’ve used

(and I don’t even like to promote brands)

RMS Beauty “un” cover up. If you get it from their website directly and select no free sample than there won’t be any plastic. I’ve ordered from DermStore one time and they sent me free sample of other products in non-recyclable pouches, I was quite mad. So I will be going through RMS directly. It lasts from 1-3 months, depending on how much and how often you’re using the product. It comes in a glass pot with metal top. I re-use the empty ones for things like my DIY Lip Balm. I really love this product. My skin felt better using this than other icky chemical foundations like Born This Way. It’s not greasy and is long lasting. I have acne and it ‘un’ covers it very well. The “best seller” shade 22 is perfect for my skin color/tone and 33 for tanned-skin Kelly, welcome summer.

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Pot Rouge Blush. I have a store locally in the mall. It was interesting going to the mall because it had been so long but I will only go to this store like once a year, their makeup lasts so long- a little goes a long way, at least the blush pot does. It comes in a glass little pot with plastic lid, within a circular cardboard container. They have a recycling program that you can return empty containers of their makeup or even other brands to recycle. After ten times of doing this you get a percentage off your next purchase. I also re-used the cardboard container for my DIY’d powder.

Zao Organic Makeup Organic Pencils: EYES, LIPS, EYEBROWS – dark brown. Downsides are it has a plastic BPA-free lid that’s recyclable and comes in a Kraft Paper Bubble Mailer (info about Recycling them here). Not the best, but better than most. The dark brown is too warm/redish tint for my eyebrows but I will use for eyeliner or what not and maybe get a different color. The good thing is its texture, goes on smooth and easy! And the nature of their company is wholesome and has great customer service with questions.


Eating this up and want more?

In June, I will be doing a month of ZERO Makeup Challenge. Like literally not wearing makeup for a month. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. Stay tuned for more about DIYs, zero Waste tips, shopping, reviews, and more! Wanna join me or interested for more info? Contact me to dive into the challenge. Follow me via WordPress, Pinterest or email to join the community. Thanks!

A Week of Zero Waste DIY Challenge: Beauty Edition. Sunday, Day 7: Rest, Celebrate and Mourn Earth Day

Do It Yourself, DIY. I couldn’t think of a more perfect ending for A Week of Zero Waste DIY Challenge. Day 7, Rest, Celebrate and Mourn Earth Day. I think in todays American society, the Average Joe (just saw Dodgeball last night) wants everyone else to fix the world problems. In all reality they won’t be done unless you…

DO IT YOURSELF

I could make an aesthetically pleasing and call to action list about the 10 best things to do for Earth day, but I’m not going to. I’m telling you to DIY. Do your part in enlightening yourself and others with worldly issues. One, particularly on this day; the environment. Don’t just plant a tree today and call it good. Start a practice, take action, switch out a routine, have continual growth of knowledge and awareness, especially for the environment. But also…Rest, Celebrate and Mourn.

A Week of Zero Waste DIY Challenge. That’s awesome. That is something you can say you accomplished. I can say I accomplished. Give yourself a pat on the back for trying and moving towards a better way of life. Give your body, mind and soul a rest of the chaos of life and pursuit of perfection in your own eyes. Enjoy this earth, celebrate it, take it in, honor it’s beauty. Mourn what you need to for the sake of the earth: plastic littered, destroyed glaciers, deforestation, air pollution, TRASH. But know that Jesus will renew everything and there is hope in that. Enjoy the day, I’m going to.

Day 1- DIY Soothing Detox Face Mask

Day 2- DIY Lip Balm

Day 3- DIY Anti-Dandruff, Moisturizing Hair Mask

Day 4- DIY Healing Lotion Bar

Day 5- DIY Daily Sunscreen Face Moisturizer

Day 6-  DIY Eyebrows and Eyelashes FAIL; lessons learned