I think I have finally found the makeup that I would be happy to add to my zero-waste mornings...as desired. :) Elate Clean Cosmetics address every detail ::
-reusable green certified, fair-trade bamboo compacts that magnetically hold the cakes of color...choose from larger palettes that can hold everything in one compact or individual compacts
-cakes of eyeshadow, blush, pressed powder + highlighter come in seed paper envelopes + recyclable metal
-mascara container is recyclable...break the bamboo outer layer off + compost...recycle the plastic inner portion
-cosmetics are about 90% organic...they will chose fair-trade over organic when both can not be had
-cosmetics are vegan, cruelty free, toxin free, gluten free + made in Canada
-while the price point is not cheap, it is less than a lot of similar products
-the products are shipped in paper mailers
Most of this information is available on the website, but I asked a few questions about the recycle-ability of packaging and received a prompt + thorough response. I'm excited about sharing this one + hope it's inspiring! Zero-waste options are growing!! So exciting!!
All photos via Elate Clean Cosmetics.
The following is Julia's(!) book review of Thoreau at Walden, a graphic novel by John Porcellino ::
"My greatest skill has been to want but little."
I love that quote by Henry David Thoreau. It reminds me to find enjoyment in the small things and to think more about the simple things I really need rather than everything I think I have to have.
Thoreau was a smart and educated man who was unhappy working in business or teaching before he became a writer. He eventually built a small cabin in the woods on the shore of Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau planned on living alone in his cabin as an experiment. He would write full time with only a large vegetable garden to support him. During his time living in the woods, Thoreau took hikes and observed the beauty of nature around him. Every once in a while, Thoreau would visit the village a mile away to visit family or to buy something. Thoreau loved waking up to birds singing and spending long hours in the sun. He finally found happiness living a life in nature's glory with little need for money.
Thoreau wrote beautiful ideas about discovering joy in simple living and nature's beauty that still inspire people up to this day.
P.S. From Jane: I too enjoy this lighter take on Thoreau's Walden...lots of the great quotes + concepts without all of the dense language. :) Though graphic novels aren't our usual mode of education, it can be nice to throw a little variety into the mix on occasion. Graphic novels are never substitutes for primary sources, but can lend a little perspective to the spirit of some of these literary giants + historical periods. My girls + I move through history + literature from ancient to modern times three times from kindergarten through twelfth grade. One time we'll read the novel itself, and one time we might read a graphic novel as an introduction or review. A few more educational graphic novels we've included in our mix along the way:
-Lies in the Dust: A Tale of Remorse from the Salem Witch Trials by Jakob Crane
-Poe: Stories and Poems by Gareth Hinds
-(Gareth Hinds has also written graphic novels on ancient literature + Shakespeare plays.)
-In the younger years, we found the Shakespeare Can be Fun books helpful.
We love the library!
This weekend I came across The New Blak again. It's a brand made predominately from biodegradable bamboo + organic cotton by Amanda + her team in Louisville, Kentucky. Sustainability is even considered in the shipping materials (no plastic!). The pieces are available in a range of sizes + this photo alone makes me want to support whatever they are doing! Gorgeous, inspiring, sustainable + comfortable too!
While making the grocery list last week, it was noted that we had some cornmeal...so polenta went on the menu. I wasn't so sure how these ingredients would come together, but thought it was worth a try. It turned into something a little different than what I had envisioned...in a delicious way. I don't want to forget this combination, so here it is. :)
Zero-waste Polenta Dumplings + Chickpea Stew
part of a red onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped not peeled
tomato sauce or chopped tomato
polenta (1/2 cup cornmeal + 1 Tbsp. butter + 2 cups water)
Saute chopped onion in olive oil over medium heat. Add tomato sauce (or chopped tomato), chickpeas, carrots + spices. Add water to almost cover the ingredients + simmer (with the lid on) for around 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, make polenta by boiling water + butter. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium, pour in cornmeal + whisk until bubbling up...remove from heat. Whisk to make sure there are no lumps, cover + set aside. Assemble + top with a bit of grated cheese (because cheese always makes Julia smile). :) Enjoy!
I'm trying to embrace my natural-ness as much as my comfort allows. :) For me...right now, this means that I don't wear makeup most days. I spent years battling acne, so it feels quite liberating to go without makeup. That being said, I appreciate that make-up can be helpful. This is just a personal story...not any sort of prescription.
History :: I started wearing face powder when I was in sixth grade by (well-meaning) suggestion. I'm assuming that my acne started then. As the years went on, I wore heavier foundation under that powder along with blush, lipstick, mascara + eyeshadow...every day. Big hair + nail polish was part of the look of the day as well. I started to be afraid of swimming with friends (we lived in a town on the shores of Lake Michigan), for fear of being caught without my "face" + hairstyle. I received the (unwelcomed) nickname of "glamour girl" at my hospital job as a teenager. All the while, I dreamed of having clear enough skin + thick enough hair to just leave all of the makeup + hairspray behind.
Baseball cap ponytails were a favorite hairstyle during my sleep deprived college days. I stopped wearing lipstick when I couldn't resist kissing my babies all the time + didn't want to leave my lips all over them. I stopped wearing eye make-up quite so much when I started wearing glasses. I feel like the glasses add some definition there + sometimes feel like my mascara-ed lashes look a little odd magnified behind glasses. As my skin cleared, I wore less + less make-up.
Less waste :: Zero-waste makeup options do exist, but can be quite pricey + involve packages in the mail (which are not without waste + transport impacts). As I move toward zero-waste, I realize that one of the best ways to reduce my waste is simply to use fewer products where possible. Last summer, while I had my summer glow + as I did my zero-waste check-in...I realized that I was hardly wearing make-up at all. I decided to just put it away + see how it went. I kept my blush, eye shadow + mascara...just not in the top drawer. I haven't really looked back. Most days, I just apply some face cream (in the cold months) + lip balm...done.
Acclimating :: I found that there was a bit of an adjustment to "seeing" + accepting myself without (or even with less) makeup. When we see a friend that we are used to seeing only with makeup...without makeup...we notice. The same goes for when we see someone who usually doesn't wear much makeup...and seeing them fully made up. We just notice. It's mostly about being used to a look. I'm now used to seeing myself without makeup...and I'm good with it, because it is me. :) Today, my most likely (but not at all usual) additions would be a little bronzy blush + a little brownish eye-shadow. (I tried bulk cocoa + cinnamon, but neither seemed to show up at all.)
Eye training :: Another help for me is admiring confident, intelligent, beautiful, inspiring, talented, empowering women who (at least sometimes) embrace the natural look. I've always been most attracted to this look + tried to emulate it with make-up too. As I peel away another layer, I especially notice photos of beauties without eye make-up. I love a good smokey eye, but there is also so much beauty, confidence, acceptance, generosity + joy that shines through a bare face. :) I am so grateful to all of these women for sharing theirs with me. I came across these beautiful words...and since I had just written this...reading it brought tears: "It feels good to truly love yourself the way you are. Where you are. As you are." Thank you, LaTonya. I'm trying to let that sink down deep.
Values :: What do I want to communicate with my appearance? What do I really want to do? I'd like to communicate that I am approachable, kind, compassionate, loving, friendly, down-to-earth, + yes, have a sense of my own style. I'd like to be ready for a walk or a picnic or a smooch or a squeeze or a laugh so hard + long that it makes tears stream. Not saying that any of this can't be done while wearing make-up...just that none of them are make-up dependent. :)
We women are unique beauties + every freckle, scar, + wrinkle is part of that. We are our own + each other's harshest critics, but we can choose to celebrate one another (+ our own skin too) instead. Wear makeup, if you like. Don't, if you don't want to. We all deserve to feel good in our skin.
Loads of love to all of you beautiful friends,
This is a controversial topic, and I'm pretty sure that my opinion will not line up with popular thought. :) We wash all of our dishes by hand. A few reasons:
-We don't have a lot of dishes.
-Pots + pans + collander + wooden spoons + my grandma's milk glass mixing bowl have to be hand-washed anyway.
-Pre-washing dishes + then having to inspect + scrub them after they come out of the dishwasher uses time + water (+ is annoying).
-Might as well just wipe a washcloth over it + be done, if pre-washing/rinsing food off of it anyway.
-Each one in our tribe washes her/his own plate + utensil + one pot or bowl directly after eating + it's all done...quickly + painlessly.
-Washing dishes right away takes less water than waiting until the food is dried on.
We've been doing dishes this way since Julia, our younger daughter, was seven...and only waited that long, because that's when the idea came to us. Jo encountered this method at a friend's house + we've done it the same way ever since! Thank you, Anushka! :)
In pursuit of a zero-waste soap option, I've tried making my own liquid soap (with poor results). I've tried castile soap as well (which also comes in plastic bottles- whether bought in bulk or not), but don't like it because it's oily, expensive + doesn't lather. I don't like it for my hair (same reasons), and I find no need for it in my cleaning solution.
I buy the biggest jug of dish soap that I can find at the grocery store + consider it bulk. I then refill a smaller soap dispenser about 1/4 full at a time, because I find that a full bottle dispenses too much soap + we go through it faster. This one bottle of soap works for dishes, hands, and hand washing intimates too. One drop is all it takes.
Just a bit of window shopping for spring...and oh, there are some achingly beautiful creations out there! These female makers are hitting all the right notes. Cue the soundtrack + bring on the sunshine!
All lovely photos via links.
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time