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Zero Waste Alternatives for Plastic Free July

Tips from Tree Chic & other bloggers on reducing plastic!

Plastic Free July is a movement that’s getting more people reducing their plastic use, and talking about it! That’s something I’m excited about.

So I’ve gathered up some awesome tips from bloggers, and some of my favourite zero waste alternatives. If you’d like to join the challenge and try to reduce your plastic use, sign up here.

Almost all the plastic, that has EVER been produced, still exists today. And that’s a lot of plastic. It’s in the oceans, it’s in the earth, it’s even in the air. Yes, you read that right.

Plastic pollution is so widespread that fibres are even found in household dust and the air we breathe

By VICTORIA ALLEN FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Plastic Free July is a month long challenge.

You can even try it for just a week though, see how it goes, or try to extend it longer. The focus is on quitting single use plastics. That’s a good starting point.

My family is trying to go plastic free this month, and beyond. It isn’t easy, so I wanted to share some ideas here, please share your best tips in the comments. And let me know if you’re taking the challenge!

Whether you’re up for the challenge of Plastic Free July, or you’re just looking for more zero waste alternatives for everyday items, this should give you some inspiration!

First, the big offenders: bags, straws, coffee cups, and bottles!

Here at Tree Chic we make hemp and organic cotton tote bags to replace your plastic shopping bags with style. These are handmade in our Parry Sound studio and can be screen printed manually or taken to your local print shop. Contact us for a quote to have your own simple design created. Another awesome alternative to plastic bags is to make your own bags from old t-shirts!

Ok, I doubt you’re going to carry a pottery mug with you everywhere (but you could if you want to!). You can carry straws though, it’s nice to be able to refuse a plastic straw when you’re out. Our set of 4 stainless steel straws comes with a cleaning brush and handy canvas bag. It’s perfect for carrying in your purse or keeping in the car.

Some of my family’s favourite plastic free solutions include:

  • Silicon popsicle molds instead of freezies.
  • Making our own bread, cereal and waffles.
  • More bulk foods from shops that let you bring your own glass containers. The most difficult part of trying to go plastic free has been noticing all the little things that come wrapped in plastic.
  • We always try to remember to bring reusable waters bottles and shopping bags everywhere we go.
  • And of course, a travel coffee cup, or a reusable tea infuser bottle (a must for any coffee or tea lover.)

I feel I should note: the solution to all this plastic mess can’t come from individual action alone, at this point. It helps to get people talking, and shows businesses that we are demanding alternatives. We are going to need industrial level production of biodegradable plastics to really tackle the problem.

Here’s what some of the bloggers in our network are saying about reducing plastic:

Malorey Matson-Bates: I began making simple swaps here and there about a year ago and I love finding new ones! Can’t wait to see what people have to say about changes they’ve made😊 I recently wrote an article about my favorite ways to reduce waste, especially plastic.
https://beautifullymediocre.com/simple-ways-to-be-more-kind-to-mother-earth/

Megan Beaver: Our planet needs us to chill out on the waste. Reuseable menstrual products are another way to cut back. This helps the environment and your health. As you know tampon applicator and wrappers are plastic. Sanitary napkins use plastics for the bottom and the wrapper.
https://www.practicallyperfectmeg.com/home/2018/4/11/what-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-pads

Sandra Tanner (from The Advantage (And Disadvantage) Of Drinking So Much Water…): The issue is we are still looking for the convenient and most economical option. We are buying cases and cases of the cheapest water we can find. Recent study shows only 1 out of 6 people will recycle their bottle when they are done. When ONE bottle goes to the landfill, it takes 1000 years to decompose.

Sara Marino: I highly recommend Planetbox lunch boxes. They last forever. Also lunchskins lunch bags are a great “ziploc” alternative.
http://www.thetreehuggerinheels.com/

Regina Young: I moved away from plastic as much as possible when I started researching fertility. I also have a daughter and don’t want her exposure to plastic to effect her ability to have children in the future as well. I found it easier to get her plastic free to start- since we were buying new things anyway. Jar coconut oil for lotion, Tin lunch box for preschool , no plastic. Cups – only metal , no plastic. Straws – only paper or metal.
https://www.mamaneedsacocktail.com/

Justina Murphy: I love our kids’ Bentgo boxes, which aren’t plastic free but they are reusable and have lasted us well over 3 years and are still going strong. We also switched out all plastic Tupperware style bowls for glass, plastic straws with silicone straws, reusable mesh produce bags, and most recently silicone snack bags to replace ziplock style baggies. We also use stainless steel water bottles for each person in the family.
https://knottonest.com

Vbac Mama: Once I found out about plastic being linked to estrogen we stopped using it in all forms. We use glass for just about everything, and we like to save the glass jars that our pasta sauces and other sauces come in for flower vases and other uses around the home 
http://www.vbacmama.com/

Eva Martin: When I breastfed, I used washable bamboo nursing pads – awesome product! Also I love using disposable wooden cutlery for parties and bbq’s. They are all-natural and compostable, which is great! 
https://fit4motherhood.com

Now it’s your turn! Tell me in the comments how you reduce plastic in your home ↓

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Natural Deodorant Recipe DIY

Natural deodorant DIY recipe

My natural deodorant recipe is the result of lots of testing, and easy to make with only 5 ingredients!

Summer is just starting to really start, and the weather in Parry Sound is pretty much perfect. Here on Bay Street we almost always have a nice breeze, so it never gets muggy or buggy.

Deodorant is becoming a necessity as I spend more time doing things like biking, hiking, running up and down the stairs to the store… even just sitting too long in direct sunlight! So I wanted to share my favourite all-natural deodorant recipe. It’s easy, all-natural and smells great!

Full disclosure: this isn’t what my husband uses. It’s based on the natural deodorant I used to carry in my store though, which he did use. If you’re looking for a strong-enough-for-a-man deodorant, then this might not cut it.

We tried at least 4 other brands before coming across one that actually worked for both me and my husband. Essential Relaxation is the brand that makes the one we like. {not an affiliate link, we just like it!} It’s a small, mom run company. I do still get this deodorant, and other products from her, in the store occasionally. Check here from time to time or send me a message.

Although I love her products, it’s expensive to ship heavy boxes of natural body care! Since I don’t always have this natural deodorant in stock, I decided to try making it as a backup! I had to experiment a bit, but I finally got it to a point where I feel ready to share it. This is now what I’ve been using personally for about 2 years.

Natural Deodorant easy simple recipe DIY

Why natural deodorant?

Did you know that most commercial deodorants contain aluminum, and aluminum can enter the body through your sweat glands and build up to higher than normal levels? This is why it’s much healthier to use a natural brand. If you can’t find one you love, or you just enjoy a good natural DIY recipe, here’s what I use:

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Arrowroot Powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • 9-14 drops Clove Essential Oil
  • 9-14 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil

Natural Deodorant Instructions

The main thing is for the 3 base ingredients to be equal, remember that and you’ll always be able to make this deodorant recipe. Remember that Clove is a strong scent: you shouldn’t use more than 3 drops per Tbsp of carrier oil/powder (3 drops per Tbsp = 1%).

The amount of EOs that you use can vary depending on your preferences, this might take some playing around with to perfect. You can also add other oils to create your own scent. Clove and Lemongrass are both naturally deodorizing. Some people find other scents work for them, but these two are the best on average for most people.

Have you made natural deodorant before? Let me know in the comments what essential oils you use!

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Planet Friendly Father’s Day Gifts

fathers day gifts

Are you over 55? Check out My Dad’s Petition: Elders in Support of Youth Climate Action

Tree Chic might be your favourite store, or his; either way, a planet friendly Father’s Day gift will let him know how much you care!

Chances are if conscious shopping is your jam, it’s his jam too. If he’s concerned about the ethics of trade, that’s probably played a role in how you make buying choices.

You want to give dad something special this Father’s Day. Your dad, adopted, step or other father figure is someone to celebrate! Not everyone gets the chance to play an important role in the life of a child, and not every child gets an amazing, supportive and loving father.

He’s someone who cared for you, loved watching you grow, spent time learning with you about the things that excited you… and you want to say ‘Thank you’.

Other than my own unique papa, I’m lucky enough to be celebrating the father of my two girls.

They couldn’t have asked for a better dad. He makes the meals, watches Wild Kratts with them while I sew, and takes them to Bearly Used Books on weekends. He does most of the school prep too, since he’s a morning person and I’m DEFINITELY not. And these are just some his super hero qualities.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me who you’re celebrating and how this June 16th?

Here are some Planet Friendly gift ideas to make him feel great!

Father’s Day Gifts for Coffee Lovers

Coffee from Black Stone Coffee roasted in Parry Sound.

Planet Friendly Father’s Day Gifts for Yoga Dads

Gifts for Ethical Gentlemen

  • Fair Trade Mens T-Shirt Mandala Yellow

    Fair Trade Men’s T-Shirt | Mandala on Yellow

    $40.00
    Select options
    $40.00
    Large Medium Small XL
    *
  • Hemp Tie-On Bracelet / Anklet with coloured beads

    $5.99
    Add to cart
  • Mexican baja shorts

    Mexican Baja Shorts Size Small

    $29.00
    Select options
  • straw fedora sun hat

    Natural Straw Fedora

    $35.00
    Add to cart

Planet Friendly Father's Day Gifts For Ethical Gentlemen

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Mother’s Day gifts for all the mothers in your life

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12th. Shop in store or treat your mama to some eco-friendly treats with our fast shipping. We’ll package it up and get it out to your mom pronto. Get the kids involved and use some recycled paper and crayons to create unique wrapping paper for nana’s gift.

Spouses! We know you help the kids shop for that busy on-the-go mom. Stop in and we’ll help you pick out some fair trade finds that will make her feel as special as she is!

Yoga Mom Gifts

Ethical gifts for mom

Eco gifts for mom

Business mom gifts

Gifts to help mom relax

Spiritual gifts for mom

Eco Mothers Day Gifts

 

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5 Fall Eco Fashion Favourites

fall eco fashion vintage sweaters

Fall is such a beautiful, inspiring time. We reflect on the year so far, and we get very, very cozy, as we ask ourselves what’s needed this season.

I wrote the following list of my top 10 priorities this fall:

1. Time with loved ones  2. Intentional movement  3. Time outdoors  4. Healthy food  5. Water  6. Conversation  7. Learning  8. Creativity  9. Warmth  10. Comfort

Here are my 5 Fall Eco Fashion Favourites… for warmth and comfort

1. WARM SWEATERSFall Eco Fashion Favourites
One of my favourite thing about fall is getting all my cozy sweaters out. Warm Woven Sweaters, Cozy Hemp Sweaters, Vintage Sweaters, Funky Fair Trade Sweaters

2. COOL WEATHER ACCESSORIES
Nothing makes fashion more fun than accessories, and fall offers lots of opportunities! Scarves, hats, mittens or wristlets, arm and leg warmers, cozy socks.

3. FUN & COMFORTABLE FOOTWEAR
Fall is a time when we make a point of getting out for walks and other adventures before winter. As the youngest of three sisters I’ve inherited most of my footwear. That’s what I call sustainable fashion! Do you have a favourite sustainable or vegan shoe company? Please let me know in the comments!

4. LEGGINGS
On cool mornings you can wear warm socks, a hat and sweater with leggings. They aren’t too warm in the afternoon and their more comfortable than most other pants. I like to wear a long shirt/tunic, short dress or mini skirt with leggings.

5. LONG SKIRTS
Always a favourite item in my store, long skirts are so elegant and classy. When it gets really cold I like to wear a long skirt over top of leggings. I have a few in stock and I will be making more, if you have a colour request please let me know.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Our New Name

A completely new name might seem like a big change for a business to go through. It is, but it’s also true that change is constant. In fact it’s the only constant truth. There have been many big and small transitions in my life and business over the years. I’ve managed to stay aligned and flow through them fairly well, at times. At other times it’s been a less enjoyable challenge.

This name change (from Hemp Tent to TREE CHIC) is definitely a big moment for me. This is the year I was finally able to make this big change happen and it’s been very exciting and energizing. And to be very honest, I’ve been feeling rather sentimental about it too. Yesterday, another major moment occurred, which was my daughter’s 5th birthday. My reaction to that was similarly sentimental. Let’s just say that these past few weeks I’ve been very focused on being present, and watching the unfolding of time.

The New Sign

We have been so fortunately to work with a local artist who has such talent and initiative that along with organizing a Studio Tour, working full time, selling DoTerra and going to arts festivals on weekends to promote her wonderful paintings she has made this vibrant new sign for our storefront! The logo design, which always warrants a mention, is by Mirabai <3

The principles of environmental and social responsibility that I founded this company on will stay the same. Design, including web design, is something that I’ve been finding a lot of beauty and joy in lately. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with three incredible yoga instructor friends with this fall. Their support and appreciation has reawaken my love for coding.

My hope for the next chapter in this business is to find more fun ways to collaborate with other passionate and imaginative people. To give more back to social and environmental organizations. And also to make more connections locally and globally.

If you want to express your unique style and creativity with sustainable, ethical fashion or get help with a web project from knowledgeable and sincere designers who have been building websites for over 20 years, come talk to us at Tree Chic!

What do you think of our new name? What big changes have happened in your life this year and where do you hope they will take you? Leave us a comment below.

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3 Steps to Baby Soft Skin Immediately

Baby Soft Skin Secrets

I have a confession, I’ve been thinking about those lines on my face again… I recently tried a free sample of a cleanser/toner/serum/eye cream/night cream combo and felt disappointed that it didn’t live up to the promise of results in less than 24 hours. If you’re like me and get tempted by promises of immediate results and dramatically younger skin I have good news: there is one easy way to enjoy baby soft skin today. I mean, right now.

The simple, guaranteed results steps go like this: have or borrow a baby, touch baby’s skin, be reminded that you are not a baby and that’s a good thing! Borrowing a baby is easy by the way. As someone who is lucky enough to have my own I can assure you there is a foolproof way to earn access to those chubby soft cheeks today. You can probably think of someone like a niece, brother-in-law, friend, cousin etc. with a young family who would be ever so grateful if you offer to read to, tickle or play in the yard with their kids while they load the dishwasher, have a shower, grocery shop (alone, hallelujah!), write a blog post… you get the point.

Celebrate Aging

Aging with grace and joy

So why is it so good that you yourself are no longer as young as you once were? Well, can you imagine being an actual baby? Having so little control and such poor motor skills? Also, I distinctly remember not enjoying my ‘youth’ as much as I now suppose I should have. It’s so easy to get caught up in striving and focus on the negative but as we grow, face challenges and learn new skills it generally gets easier to live with awareness in the moment. Personally, in spite of my episodes of self-conscious uncertainty, I’ve been leaning into my creativity, intuition and joy (helped exponentially by my adorable, little balls of sunshine). The best thing is remembering that those fine lines come from the smiles and laughter of all the silly years and the deliriously happy times that have befallen us.

Disclaimer: promotional/product links follow. Tree Chic is my own company, so if you buy anything here my family will eat more organic vegetables.

Just in case anyone actually thought this post would contain skincare tips for baby soft skin: use natural soap or cleanser morning and night, make your own toner or try witch hazel, and finally moisturize.

Toner Recipes to try

Toner for oily or acne prone skin:

  • 3/4 cup steeped green tea
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (store in refrigerator upto 10 days)

or

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 5-10 drops of lavender or frankincense essential oil

Toner for Sensitive Skin

  • 1/2 cup dried rose buds
  • hot filtered water (steep 1-2 hours, store in refrigerator 1 week)

Toner for dry skin

  • add a few drops of geranium essential oil to the rose water, shake before spritzing.

 

Do you use any homemade natural skin care? Share your recipes below! Thanks for reading.