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Eco-Friendly Living

Eco-Friendly Living

Lifelong learning, zero waste month, and how I became a garbage picker

Once upon a time I was a Literacy Outreach Coordinator. It was a brief period of time, but I gained a lot from that position, the most important lesson being the vital importance of a concept called lifelong learning.

Lifelong learning is the idea that learning doesn’t stop when you graduate high school or university, it’s a process that continues your entire life, through taking classes, mastering new skills, and yes, reading. Basically, it means continually challenging yourself to learn new things and pushing yourself to grow as a person.

I have been thinking a lot about lifelong learning because for a while now, it’s felt like I have been sort of set in my Eco-friendly ways.

I make my cleaners and lotions, I bring my bags to the grocery store, I recycle and compost and shop secondhand. I’m proud of the choices I’ve made and how I’ve managed to continue with them for so long, but it also doesn’t feel challenging anymore. In some this is great, I’m used to not buying paper towels and using a drying rack, it feels second-nature , but although I’m constantly making little tweaks or changes it also really didn’t feel like I was progressing in any significant way.

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Eco-Friendly Living, Natural Living

Natural Skin and Body Care 101

It’s been ages since I wrote about what’s filling my medicine cabinet and my makeup bag so I thought I’d do a giant post summarizing the products I’m using these days.

When you’re trying to make the switch to natural products, knowing what to buy and where to buy it is often the hardest part. Hopefully, this post will make things a bit easier!

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All You Need Is Less, Eco-Friendly Living

Guilt Free & Green

One of the best things I’ve experienced since my book was published and I began writing my Guardian column is the way this community of environmental activists, authors, bloggers, and experts come together to enlighten, teach, and support each other.

Blogger, author, TED-talker and internationally renowned zero waste activist Bea Johnson wrote a review for my book, despite the fact that I was a total nobody from Canada she’d never met. Author and environmentalist Billee Sharp wrote the foreword for my book, because she fundamentally believed in the message I was spreading and the way I was doing it. They both lent their support and her name to my book and I was incredibly grateful that they did.

I was recently approached by a publisher who asked me to do for another writer what Billee and Bea did for me two years ago. I am so happy to be sharing it with you now!

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All You Need Is Less, Eco-Friendly Living

The ugly truth about fast fashion

Lately, I’ve found myself talking a lot about fast fashion – the cheaply made clothing that looks great on the rack, costs less than a meal out, and unfortunately often lasts less than a few seasons.

I touched on the subject in my book, recently wrote this article for Earth911 about H&M’s clothing recycling initiative, and last week I was interview by a Canadian news network called CBC to get my take on the issue, and why it can be problematic to rely on corporations to guide our environmental decisions.

(!!!)

I KNOW.
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All You Need Is Less, Feminism/Gender, Musings

Ms. Somerville

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I’ve been a big fan of the internet for more almost two decades now. Ever since I can remember I’ve been absolutely blown away by the sheer volume of information it contains – even in its earliest days.

I was an early adopter of blogs, too – I had a GeoCities page back in the day, complete with sparkling jellybean background and gif overloads. Over the years I transitioned first to Blogger, then Tumblr, then WordPress, then the self-hosted site you’re reading now. I enthusiastically embraced Facebook and Twitter and Instagram as they emerged onto the scene.

Although I’m quite social and outgoing, too much social interaction drains me. I need to recharge by retreating and having a few days to myself. As I grew up and realized this about myself, online interaction became a way to continue communicating and interacting during these down times without getting that overwhelmed “too much” feeling. It also became an amazing tool for a fledgling writer who desperately craved an outlet (and an audience) for all her dramatic prose and overwrought poetry.

The poetry has gone (thank god) but the blogging has remained, and since September I’ve been fortunate enough to share my words on a larger platform via my column at The Guardian.

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