For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


Leave a comment

Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

Friday Finds 1.22.16

 

1. When I was younger, I definitely would have loved one of these “normal” looking dolls.

2. A few things to start doing in 2016.

3. A trashcan for the ocean.

4. Rhode Island celebrated a great cause this week for a new holiday called D-Strong Day.


1 Comment

Decluttering 2016: Out with the old

January is the month of resolutions and new beginnings. New year, new you, right? That being said, start of a new year is the perfect time to go through all of your things and decide what you want to bring with you in 2016. Out with the old and in with the new. Start off the year on a conscious note by clearing out and donating the things you don’t need/like/want, so you can focus on the things you love.

Often times once the hype of the New Year dies down, so does our motivation to keep to our goals for the New Year. Here are a few ideas to help you stay motivated in the first few months of 2016 while you clean out, organize, and declutter your life.

1. Read a Book:

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 9.23.49 PM

 

But not just any book… While I have yet to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I have heard WONDERS about it. Japanese cleaning consultant, Marie Kondo, gives you a step-by-step guide to organize, simplify, and store all of your belongings. Many organization methods recommend a room-by-room method, but Kondo explains a new category-by-category system that can help you achieve better results. She urges you to determine which of your possessions “spark joy” and which do not in order to minimize your possessions. The ultimate goal is to come to the realization that you have more processions than you need and it’s cluttering your life. This book will help you take the necessary steps to make a permanent change in your life.

2. Clothes Capsule:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z82_FIkosc4

Clothes capsules and mini wardrobes are a great way to weed out clothes you don’t need and figure out which ones you can and can’t live without. The idea behind a smaller wardrobe is that it saves you time when deciding what to wear, saves money, and simplifies your life. I recently heard about a clothes capsule challenge called 15 for February, which you can read more about here. Basically, you challenge yourself to choose 15 items to wear in the entire month of February. 15 for February is also tied to the charity Contact a Family, which is a British charity that helps families with disabled children. Get your friends involved, get sponsored, and get rid of all the clothes you don’t need!

3. Give Back:

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 1.54.33 PM

Now that you’ve successfully organized, cleaned, and de-cluttered, it is time to give back. Donate all the clothes you cleaned out to charity, which could be a homeless shelter, Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc.. You could even give them to a friend who will appreciate them. Or if you’re looking to make a buck, sell them to a consignment shop. All of these are a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Only discard of things that you KNOW no one in their right mind would want. Those stinky, scuffed up, full of holes, used-to-be-white-but-are-now-pale-yellow sneakers are probably good to go.

I hope these tips will inspire you to take a good look at everything you own and take the time to simplify your life. Happy 2016!


1 Comment

Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

Friday Finds 10.2.15

1. Rescued dogs + a caring man + a tractor + barrels= the cutest dog train you’ll ever see.

2. The Emmys may be well over, but I’m still lovin’ these #AskHerMore red carpet Q&As.

3. Could this creepy crawler be the answer to our plastic waste prayers?

4. Shop for a cause! So many 70’s inspired pieces make up Revolve’s latest collaboration that donates 30% of each sale to Stand Up 2 Cancer.


Leave a comment

Ireland Goes Green

You may have noticed I was completely MIA for the first week or so in July (and if you didn’t notice maybe you should pay a wee bit more attention to my blog *wink wink*). Well, guess what? I was in Ireland (and subsequently  recovering from jet lag)! My friend and I drove around Ireland for a week and stopped at Dublin, Galway and Cork. We saw gorgeous green landscapes, explored castles, and ate one too many potatoes.

50 shades of green

50 shades of green

Green as far as the eye can see...

Green as far as the eye can see

Last year when I went to Iceland, I wrote a post about Icelanders’ socially conscious efforts. When I went to Ireland I was equally inspired by their environmental effort. Here are some of Ireland’s green initiative:

Biking

Public bike rentals were introduced to Dublin in 2009 and since there has been a big push to encourage riding bikes. Last year there was a 14% jump in the number of cyclist in Dublin. In the coming years Dublin hopes to continue to increase bikes use and further reduce their carbon footprint. And while Dublin is no Amsterdam or Copenhagen, one day it could be.

Now to a U.S citizen, bikers in Ireland seem nuts. These bikers are literally risking their lives for the environment. With the combination of narrow roads and fast drivers, willingly biking on the street seemed downright crazy to a foreign tourist. In the US people slow down and go around bikers. Even if they’re riding on the shoulder, we normally make an effort to avoid them. Not the case is Ireland! Bikers are given about 3 inches of space and no courtesy slow down. I can imagine that almost getting hit is just a regular old day over there. In the name of the environment I guess?

_MG_1943

This road shouldn’t be able to fit two cars and a biker, yet somehow it does.

ATMs

One of the more surprising Irish eco-friendly initiative were the ATMs. After you take out money the ATM makes you think long and hard about whether or not you really need a receipt. Apparently receipt litter became a big enough problem that in 2007 a protocol was developed to reduce the amount of ATM receipts that ended up on streets and sidewalks. The protocol includes:

  • receipts are only available when customers request one
  • an on screen message helps create awareness of receipts’ environmental impact
  • under each ATM there is a trashcan to throw unwanted receipts in

It may seem like a small step, but I’ll admit I didn’t see any receipts on the street. _MG_1857

Wind Turbines

It is Ireland’s goal to generate 40% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020. In 2013 47% of Ireland’s renewable energy came from wind. The biggest issue that surrounds wind turbines is the impact they have on the visual landscape and consequently tourism. Although I thought it was cool to see the turbines, I can understand the concern.While it may not be feasible to power the entire island with wind, it’s a step in the right direction. So whether or not more wind turbines pop up, Ireland is committed to decreasing their carbon footprint.

_MG_2111


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

What To Do When Spring Hasn’t Quite Sprung

We’re still buried in snow up here in the Northeast and apparently there is more snow on the way. You could say I am less than pleased. And even though the days are definitely getting warmer (hallelujah!), it’s still well below freezing when I leave for work in the morning. Nothing is worse than starting your day with freezing fingers from a freezing steering wheel. Luckily I came across Jack and Mary Designs to get me through the last few weeks of cold weather.

IMG_1499

At least a foot of snow still lingers in Maine. It’s hard to believe it is all going to melt soon (at least I hope!).

Jack and Mary Designs sells winter accessories that are handmade out of recycled sweaters. Since each item is made with a different combination of sweaters and buttons, they are all unique, one of a kind pieces. All the accessories are made in Maine and believe me, we Mainers know cold weather so you can imagine we know how to make wicked good hats and mittens.

IMG_1515

Functional and stylish? Yes please!

Although Jack and Mary is all about winter accessories these days, that wasn’t always the case. The designer and founder, Marilyn Robertson, started out as an interior designer. She focused on finding ways work with and reinvent what people already had, rather than buying all new products. The same philosophy gave her the idea to start making handbags out of old sweaters. She then used the sleeves of the sweaters to make mittens and the rest is history.

IMG_1522

“Winter can be such a somber season,” Robertson says. “So I keep the line, colorful, happy…The pieces are functional with a zippy pop of color that always makes people smile.” I know I smiled when I got my pair of mittens.

As you can see, upcycling has always played a huge roll at Jack and Mary Designs. The fact that they use recycled materials and create new value for materials that may have gone to waste has a positive impact on the environment because it helps to eliminate waste.  Upcycling is also said to create 84% less CO2 than other mass-produced items.

Want to learn more about upcycling? Head over to the Jack and Mary Designs Facebook page for tons of inspiration. Every Tuesday they post about ways to upcycle and help you find new uses for old treasures. Turning an old scarf into a camera strap and using an old muffin tin as a jewelry organizer are two of my favorite tips. And there are so many more!IMG_1512

You can check out all of their products on their website. And by some chance if you don’t see anything you like, Jack and Mary Designs can also make custom orders using your old sweaters.  Custom orders are the perfect way to upcycle the old sweaters you don’t wear anymore, but still have sentimental value. You can call (207-337-0521) or send an email (hello@jackandmarydesigns.com) to set up custom orders. Jack and Mary also make fingerless gloves and headbands, which are great for transitioning into spring… which hopefully isn’t too far away!


Leave a comment

Friday Finds

Check you what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

Friday Finds 2.27.15

1. A reminder to always always always be kind to one another. 

2. “Marvel Comics made a movie about a talking tree and raccoon awesome, but you haven’t made a movie with Wonder Woman.” This little girl has a very good point.

3. Possibly the coolest toothbrush ever.

4. Check out which four celebrities wore eco-fashion to the Oscars.