For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


1 Comment

Where to Donate: Nepal Earthquake

I wasn’t planning on writing a post this week. I felt I needed to take a week off and didn’t want to force an uninspired post. But inspiration can hit at any time. And this time it hit me hard.

Nepal Map

I’m sure by now you have heard about the earthquake in Nepal. 80 kilometers northwest of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook the region Saturday morning. Since then the death count has climbed over 5,000 and the number of people injured exceeds 10,000. Both numbers are expected to keep climbing. Monsoon like rains are hindering rescue effort and causing landslides. Many people in Nepal are forced to sleep outside, searching for their families, cut off from remote villages, and struggling to recover makeshift hospitals. The people in Nepal need all of the help they can get. I have put together a list of groups that are accepting donations for the Nepal relief efforts.

Project Hope

Unicef

Habitat for Humanity International

Red Cross

International Relief Teams

United Nations World Food Programme

This is just a few groups that are aiding Nepal, but there are many more. If there is a group you are passionate about and would like to share, please leave it in the comments below.


Leave a comment

Green Your Routine

Happy Earth Day, everyone! Although Earth Day is a great reminder of the beautiful planet we live on, I think Earth Day is something that should be celebrated everyday. So I have complied a list of three everyday items that you can incorporate into your daily routine to decrease your environmental footprint. It’s that simple. Let’s get started.

Phone RoutinePhone Earth Day

Solar energy is responsible for creating approximately .5% of U.S electricity. So why not replace .5% of your electricity usage by charging your cell phone with a solar powered charger. Simple enough, right? There are quite a few on the market if you google “solar power phone charger”, but I personally love this ultra fashionable Henri Bendel one. Now I know exactly what some of you are thinking: “but Annie, I charge my phone at night”. I can totally understand that. I’m one of those people too. Instead you can use this hand-powered charger and get a little bicep workout in while you charge your phone. Depending on how often you use your phone, these items may not fully replace your current phone charging routine, but they’re a start. Also I think either of these would come in handy while traveling because 1) You don’t have to fight at the airport for an outlet and 2) Traveling to a foreign country and forgot a converter? No problemo, muchacho.

Bag RoutineBags Earth Day

Snack bag. Grocery bags. Dog poop bags… Disposable bags are used in daily situations and while they may be super convenient, they’re not super great for the environment. So in order to green your bag routine, try swapping disposable bags for more eco-friendly options. For instance did you know that 20 million sandwich bags end up in our landfills… a day!!! Bleh! Check out these reusable sandwich/snack/anything bags and you will no longer be part of the 20 million. Other bags you can switch out are plastic grocery bags for these super cool market bags. Make grocery shopping chic. And lastly dog poop bags.  It’s a sin these days if you don’t pick up after your dog. But instead of using just any old bag, use these instead. It won’t make picking up poop any easier, but it’ll be better for the environment.

Beauty RoutineEarth Day Zoya

And lastly, green your beauty routine. I wrote about Zoya in a post last week. Zoya is very passionate about keeping harmful chemicals out of their nail polishes and it’s no surprise that they are also very passionate about keeping chemicals out of the environment.  In honor of Earth Day and for a limited time only, Zoya is offering to give you free nail polish! Sounds too good to be true, right? But it is true! All you have to do is send in old bottles of nail polish (from any brand) and they will send you new bottles of Zoya. For free. Zoya will dispose of your old polishes in an environmentally friendly way. Definitely beats throwing them in the trash. You can check out more details here.

How do you plan to green you routine? Leave your tips and tricks in the comments below! And if you still need some more inspiration, check out last year’s post: 7 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day.


Leave a comment

Monday Motivation

Because Mondays are hard and sometimes we need a little inspiration…

mosquitoI believe a lot of the time we think taking action and making a difference comes from some grand gesture. I  don’t think that should be the case. Make it your goal to make a difference today. No matter how small. Smile at a stranger. Pick up a piece of litter. Donate a few dollars. Discuss ideas and current events. Reflect on your place in the world. If everyone did one small thing each day, it would be like a room full of mosquitoes! This post is starting to making me itchy… Happy Monday!


Leave a comment

Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out…

Friday Finds 4.17.15

1. Incredibly inspiring and brilliantly beautiful paintings done by an unlikely artist. 

2. I may be a little bias on this one because I had so much fun on my trip to Iceland, but I found this article incredibly inspiring. The writer really enunciates the therapeutic element that comes from traveling.

3. Nike nails it with their “Better for it” campaign. We’ve all had these thoughts. Some days a workout feels so good and others its just blah. But either way, getting out and doing something is a great accomplishment. Be proud of yourself.

4. Would you post a bathing suit pic online? I know most women would pass… And many would consider posting one brave, but not this woman. She helps remind us what bravery really is.


4 Comments

Zoya Oh Boya!

I first heard about Zoya from my friend and nail enthusiast extraordinaire, Becky. Before she came across Zoya on Instagram, Becky was a die-hard Essie girl. She has accumulated 40 bottles of Essie polish, but it only took one bottle of Zoya to convert her. So when she told me it was the best polish she’s ever used AND they’re made without harmful chemicals, I knew I had to see for myself if this was too good to be true. IMG_1574
Zoya began in 1986 and revolutionized the nail industry by creating polishes that were free of toxin ingredients. All of their polishes are “five free”, which means that are made without: toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP. So what’s so bad about these chemicals? I’ll give you the rundown.

Toluene: When breathed in, this chemical can be harmful to your nervous system and can cause light-headedness and nausea. I already struggle to paint with my left hand so I don’t need any light-headedness to make it that much harder.

Camphor: In high doses this chemical can cause seizures. It also acts as a seal on your nails that deprives them of nutrients and can cause yellow staining. Definitely not something you want in your nail polish.

Formaldehyde- This is the stuff that’s used to preserve and embalm dead animals and humans. If that hasn’t turned you off, formaldehyde is also a carcinogen.

Formaldehyde Resin- This is derived from formaldehyde, and although it isn’t as toxic, it can trigger skin allergies and irritation.

DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate)- In 2006, companies began eliminating DBP from nail polishes because it is a suspected teratogen (causes birth defects). It is banned from children’s toys and should probably be left out of nail polish too!

IMG_1562

So after doing some research about Zoya, I bought a few (ok a lot of) bottles to try out. A couple weeks ago there was a buy one get one free sale and I took FULL advantage of it. They have a huge color selection so picking out a few favorites was definitely a challenge. A tip Becky taught me for buying nail polish online is to do an image search of the polish to see what it looks like painted on someone’s nails. When my products arrived, the first color I tried out is called Pinta and it is a so-dark-it’s-almost-black-purple. I love it. The color is super pigmented and the consistency thick enough to keep it from being runny and thin enough to make applying it manageable. IMG_1549 I’ve mentioned in other posts that I’m trying really hard to avoid harmful chemicals that can linger in beauty products. So I’m definitely trying to incorporate “five free” polishes into my arsenal. Of all the “five free” nail polished I’ve tried, I really think Zoya is my favorite. Other “five free” polishes I’ve used chip easily or never fully dry. That’s not the case with these. Zoya is definitely proof that you don’t need these chemicals to make a good polish.


Leave a comment

Splurge or Save: Spring Scarves

Although the calendar says “spring”, the weather in Maine is still screaming “winter”.  It snowed last night. And not just a dusting. We got a few inches. Yes, inches. Did I miss the memo that spring has been canceled this year? I’m losing hope! Holdin’ on by a string! Warm weather better come soon or I might just lose it!

So with spring in my mind and winter still sitting in front of me, I decided to write about scarves. I think scarves are a great transition piece from winter to spring (or in my case from spring back to winter). As the weather gets warmer you no longer need thick, bulky scarves to keep in body heat for survival and instead you can focus on wearing light, airy scarves as accessories. So for today’s Splurge or Save, I’ve picked out two purpley scarves that are great pieces for transitioning into warmer weather. There is just something about purple that always reminds me of spring. Maybe it’s the thought blooming flowers or maybe it’s the purple Easter candy I just ate…

Anyway, in the last Splurge or Save, I wrote about two companies that are doing great things in two completely different ways. Today I chose two companies that have a similar mission. Both companies aim to empower artisans and entrepreneurs in developing countries.

On Purpose Purple.jpg (2)

The first scarf is from Kate Spade’s On Purpose collection. I wrote a post about the collection when it first came out. I was super excited when Kate Spade came out with a socially conscious line. I love that her products all have a little pizzazz and this scarf is no different. The small details are really what make this scarf unique. I think the faint purple mixes well with the playful pom poms.

All the pieces in this collection are hand made by women artisans in Rwanda. The employees are paid monthly salaries that are 40% above international guidelines for fair living wages. And unlike many other jobs available to them, the women are offered: paid vacation days, health benefits, maternity leave, and social security. The On Purpose collection is constantly adding new products, but most of them are a bit pricey. This scarf comes in at $158.

Marquet Free Weave Scarf

The second option is a more affordable scarf from Marquet, which is another company I have written about. Their goal is to empower entrepreneurs in developing countries and help them reach a global audience. Marquet imports scarves from artisans in Thailand and Vietnam. The company takes the time to build personal relationships with all of their artisans and follows all the guidelines set out by the Fair Trade Federation. The scarves come in all the colors of the rainbow, but this two toned purple scarf is definitely a great color for spring. The mixture of purples is subtle, but it makes the scarf unique. And the best part is this scarf will only set you back $22.

So which scarf do you chose? Will you splurge or save?


2 Comments

Monday Motivation

Because Mondays are hard and sometimes we need a little inspiration…

learning

It’s easy to think that if you aren’t constantly working towards a goal, you’re wasting your time. Remember this isn’t true. Remember that every experience, good or bad, is shaping you into who you are. And even if things don’t go exactly how you planned, you learned something new and are a different person because of it. Keep trying. Keep learning.