: Green Chic Life :

: exploring sustainable fashion, the great outdoors, and an eco-friendly lifestyle :

#FreebieFriday with Minimalist Skincare...

Friday, February 28, 2020

It's that time again!  Yep, I've got another fabulous sustainable #FreebieFriday giveaway for you.  I have totally fallen in love with Minimalist Skincare and the way that they were magically able to utilize all-natural/organic/vegan ingredients to make skincare products that smell amazing and totally work!  They are all packaged in biodegradable or easily re-usable containers and are even shipped using plant-based packing peanuts!  

I'm a total lip balm and lotion addict, so their whipped body butters and lip balm (packaged in cardboard... so cool!) have quickly become integral parts of my beauty routine, but for real, their whole line is super decadent and is perfect for my "Self-Care Spa Day Saturday" routine, as well!  Since I love their products so much, I'm giving away a $50 credit to their shop so you can experience the goodness for yourself!  Pick and choose the products that you like best (but for real... TRY THE BODY BUTTERS)!  

To get in on this goodness: 

: like the giveaway post on Instagram
: follow @greenchiclife
: tag at friends in separate comments 
(You get an entry per tag, so feel free to tag lots and lots of pals!)

This giveaway is open to US entrants and will end at 23:59 PST on 6-March-2020.  The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via direct message on Instagram.  This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram.  By entering this contest, you are confirming that you're at least 18 years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram's terms of use. 

Good luck! 


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The best wardrobe pieces are the once that are versatile... and made from fabric that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill... and are put together by artisans working in a fair trade setting... amiright? 

Assuming that y'all agree with me and I AM truly right (which I'm pretty sure I am), I've got to tell you about what I'm wearing.  This sweet little pink piece is actually a really fun knit swing dress from The Bamboo Rack, but since it had just been snowing and I needed jeans and boots, I decided to tie it up and wear it as a top.  It was kind of perfect this way, paired with my favorite thrifted sweater and groovy tassel earrings.  

... AND it has pockets... 

... AND it was made with remnant fabrics... 

... AND it was assembled in a fair trade setting in Cambodia... 

... so basically, it's a pretty awesome garment.  

Everything at The Bamboo Rack is designed with this sort of sustainability and versatility in mind.  All of their clothing is made with natural or reclaimed fibers to give consumers articles of clothing that can easily become wardrobe staples, but that don't contribute to the 16 million tons of textile waste that are sent to the landfill each year.  Their clothing is assembled in factories where workers are never asked to work the 10-12 hours days that many other factory workers are required to put in, but these workers are paid a livable wage for the hours that they do work.  The Bamboo Rack furthers their sustainable practices by utilizing 100% recyclable packaging for shipping and hang tags with water-based inks. They finish closing the loop with a partnership with One Tree Planted to offset carbon emissions incurred while shipping product.  

Grab 15% off of any Bamboo Rack order with code: GREENCHICLIFE! 

What's sustainable about this outfit? 

: the earrings are fair trade and handmade
: the dress (worn as a top) is fair trade and made of reclaimed fabrics
: the sweater was thrifted
: the bracelets are fair trade and handmade
: the booties were thrifted

Who says that old socks are useless?

Monday, February 24, 2020

I'm nearly positive that just about everyone has that one pair of socks sitting in the back of a drawer, or in the corner of the closet that is just about to fall apart, or maybe already has a giant hole in the bottom, but for whatever reason, it's semi impossible to toss them out.  

I know I did!  My favorite pair of socks were these hand-me-downs from my aunt, who wore them once and decided that they were too thick for her.  I loved the colors and varied textures, but the soles were getting pretty darn worn out to the point where I could feel the chilly floor through them.  They found a home at the bottom of my sock pile where, despite wanting to live minimally, I simply could not bear to part with them.  

... and then a friend posted a video about 5-minute sewing crafts on Facebook and I discovered that there is a super easy way to turn socks into trousers for babies.  This truly was a 5-minute project, and while mine didn't turn out perfectly, they still fit the baby and I learned what I'll need to to for the next pair that I make, because yes, there will definitely be a next pair.  

Here is what you need to make this old sock transformation happen: 

: a pair of old socks
: scissors
: a sewing machine or a needle and thread 

Here is how to do it: 

Step 1: Lay out your socks

Step 2: Snip off the toes

Step 3: Cut off the bottoms.  This is where mine got a bit wonky because I cut off a bit too much.  If you happen to cut off too much, the waist of your trousers will be tiny.  Luckily, Stellan is skinny, so these worked out, but if your kiddo is a little chunk, you'll need to trim the bottom of your socks pretty sparingly. 

Step 4: Put one sock into the other one with right sides together.  Pin them where you cut off the bottoms.  Then, hand sew or machine sew this bit.  It will become the inseam of your trousers. 

Step 5: I chose to run a quick hem through the unfinished edge (from where the toes got cut off).  If your socks look like they will fray a bit, I'd highly recommend putting this hem in, but if they just curl a bit and don't fray, you can totally skip this step. 

Step 6: Get baby dressed up and marvel at what an up-cycling genius you are!  Oh, and don't forget to love on the baby! 

#SustainableSunday with Minimalist Skincare...

Sunday, February 23, 2020

If you set out to create a line of vegan, organic, preservative-free, eco-friendly products in re-usable/non-plastic containers, you might be crazy and you might be a genius... or perhaps you're both!  In any of the aforementioned cases, I was overjoyed to have been contacted by Minimalist Skincare and sent a number of their handmade products.  I truly wish that smell-o-graphs existed or that I'd made an unboxing video when I opened the package that everything came in, because WOW! Everything smelled amazing.  

I was lucky enough to test out the whole range, from whipped (seriously, truly whipped) body butters in three different scents to lip balm, to eco-friendly deodorant, to the rose facial line, I'm totally in love.  Oh, and don't get me started on the shower steamers, which arrived two days before I got slammed with the gnarly cold that's been going around.  They were a wonderful help for opening up my nasal passages and allowing me to breathe freely (and without the use of lots of chemical-y pills and such).  

Everything is made using organic ingredients.  There are absolutely no ingredients that are tested on animals or that come from animals, so they are also bee-free.  Even the packaging is eco-friendly!  The lip balms and deodorant come in cardboard tubes that are lined with a plant-based wax, the facial products are packaged in glass, and when they are empty, I'll wash them out and use them for baby food!  This stuff was even shipped using biodegradable cornstarch peanuts!  

If you know me in person, you'll know that I'm slightly addicted to hydration within my body and on my skin, so the lip balms (made with coffee essential oils!!!) and whipped body butters were my clear favorites, but as I've already said, the shower steamers arrived at the perfect time.  The facial care line was also much appreciated since after having Stellan, my skin kind of freaked out and I haven't wanted to use lots of chemicals to get it to it's new normal. 

Everything in this line is a truly wonderful self-indulgence and would also be great to give as a gift for someone who wants to live more sustainably!  Be sure to pop over to their online shop and check everything out! 

WinItWednesday with Wooden Journey...

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Do you care about the rainforest?  Want to click a few buttons and help said rainforest?  Well, Green Bees, this week you can!  I've teamed up again with my pals at Wooden Journey to give away one of their new wooden necklaces, but to up the ante a bit, for every new follower they get through this giveaway, they will plant 1 tree in the Amazon and/or in Australia (up to 100 trees)... so by entering, you'll be helping the planet and will have a chance to win a little something! 

This sweet little pendant features a unisex design, is lightweight, and is totally biodegradable.  It's also pretty versatile.  If you don't want to wear it as a necklace, use it as a keychain, turn it into a wrap bracelet, or even add it to a pet's collar!  

To enter: 

: like the giveaway post on Instagram
: follow @woodenjourney
: follow @greenchiclife
: tag at friends in separate comments 
(You get an entry per tag, so feel free to tag lots and lots of pals!)

This giveaway is open to US entrants and will end at 23:59 PST on 26-February-2020.  The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via direct message on Instagram.  This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram.  By entering this contest, you are confirming that you're at least 18 years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram's terms of use. 

Good luck! 

Sustainable diapering with Dyper...

Monday, February 17, 2020

So... diapers... super necessary for tiny humans, but finding the right kind can often feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.  While disposable diapers are incredibly convenient and easy to use, they are often filled with all sorts of gunk, like pesticide residue, in addition to a whole host of chemicals that I cannot pronounce and don't totally understand the purpose of.  Oh, and some studies have stated that the average diaper takes something like 500 years to decompose.  

... but disposables truly tend to be much easier to use, especially when you're on the go.  

So what is a sustainably minded new mum to do? 

So far, in all of my experimenting and researching of more eco-friendly diaper options, I've found that Dyper is a favorite.  These diapers are made of bamboo, are super soft, and were made without prints, so they don't have all sorts of gnarly inks in them.  They do; however, still have that wonderful and insanely helpful little yellow line that turns blue when wet (see several of these snaps... Stellan is a bit of a whiz monster).  We've also found them to be just as absorbent as those mainstream gnarly brand diapers, which I've found often tends to be a concern when switching to a product that is considered to be more eco-friendly. 

Dyper diapers also come packaged in oxo-biodegradable plastic, which breaks down similarly to the way that things naturally compost.  Oh, and speaking of composting, if you do it properly, you can compost Dyper diapers at home.  You can also utilize commercial composting facilities or subscribe to Dyper's ReDyper program, where you send them back in and they'll compost them for you! 

Something else that is kind of awesome about Dyper is that you can subscribe for regular deliveries, but can always adjust your delivery date if you are partially cloth diapering or are working on potty training, etc.  You can even select a future start date for delivery if you're thinking that you'd like to try them, but aren't quite ready.  As you can see, even though Stellan is 10 weeks old, he's super skinny and the small size is a wee bit too big for him, so we got to try them out but will put our delivery on hold until he grows into them a bit more.  Standard Dyper deliveries include 260 diapers for $68 (compare with 2 boxes of Pampers, which is around 190-200 diapers, for $50) with free shipping... and the peace of mind that your baby's bum will be protected in soft bamboo diapers that will not take 500 years to decompose! 


Diapers c/o Dyper
Blanket made by a friend

#SustainableSunday with Maika Goods...

Sunday, February 16, 2020

I don't often take photos inside, but for this week's #SustainableSunday post, I absolutely had to.  You see, I was sent this adorable new lunch tote from Maika Goods, so naturally, photographing it in my windowless classroom seemed like a natural fit.  Mmm hmmm... aside from writing here and connecting y'all to the best sustainable and ethical brands I can find, I am a full-time middle school special education teacher. 

In school, I'm big on promoting awareness of self and awareness of the world, and I like to think that instead of teaching the curriculum, I'm teaching the student.  I spend a lot of time challenging my students to think about the planet and their roles within it.  My "Be the Change" wall is a tool that I use to do just this.  Periodically as a warm up activity, I ask my students thought-provoking questions (i.e. "If I could teach someone else something that I'm really good at, what would I teach?", "What is the biggest issue you think society is facing today?", etc.) and have them answer these questions on scrap paper.  This often turns into some truly wonderful organic discussion about what is going on in the world and the little steps that each individual can take to solve big problems. 

 The biggest issues that students see the planet faced with are bullying, suicide, and littering.  While the fact that they have awareness of these issues in a world where the youth of today is often sucked into mindless Snapchats and TikToks is wonderful, I've found that these kids struggle to dig more deeply into them to have a positive impact on the world around them.  It is with this in mind that I am often extra proud to wear and own products that help people and leave a minimal footprint on the earth's resources.  My female students, especially, will  comment on the clothes and accessories that I wear to work each day, and I love to talk to them about how they are made, who makes them, and why these garments are kinder for the planet than, say, things that come from a place like Wal-Mart. 

All of that being said, this week I've branched out a bit from simply having sustainable clothing and jewelry to wear to school.  I've got a new and sustainable lunch tote from Maika Goods! This super happy floral print was hand-drawn in their California studio and was then transferred onto recycled canvas.  It was made sustainably and 1% of quarterly profits are donated back to worthy charitable causes.  I love this little lunch tote because it is absolutely delightful to look at, easily fits everything that I'd need to bring to school for lunch with me, it is simple to clean, and it was made from fabric that has been given a new life, thereby decreasing the need for the production of a ton of new fabric.  

When I go back to work in 2 weeks, I will happily show off my new Maika bag with the hope that it will create more awareness that what we choose to own can make the world a better place! 

What's sustainable about this outfit? 

: the earrings are fair trade and handmade
: the bracelet is fair trade and handmade
: the sweater was thrifted
: the lunch tote was sustainably made