My Top Eco Friendly Products

Today is World Environment Day - A UN approved holiday that calls attention to environmental issues. This year's theme is plastic pollution - "Beat Plastic Pollution". In a message, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres urged all people to reject single-use plastic items, and warned that growing levels of plastic waste were becoming unmanageable, saying “every year, more than eight million tons end up in the oceans. I know we can't all be zero waste, but we can take small measures to reduce our plastic pollution by finding alternative for products we use on a daily uses (e.g. coffee mug, bottled water etc.). Down below are just some of my favorite eco friendly products that I use on a daily basis, and I've also created a page where you can find other products that are not included in this list 

1// Frank Green Mug

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This has to be one of my favourite eco friendly product right now! A friend received it as a birthday gift and I knew I had to get it because of how cute and fashionable it is, but most importantly the minimalist design of the mug. Aesthetic aside, Frank Green mug is great eco friendly product you can use on daily basis to help you reduce your own single use waste cups or others. Also, for each product you buy online, frank green donates a portion of the profits to Earthwatch. Since 1971, Earthwatch has helped over 100,000 people join leading scientists on crucial environmental research projects around the world. Earthwatch has invested in around 1,400 conservation research projects in more than 120 countries. And around 4,000 students and 5,000 educators have benefited from Earthwatch fellowships. If this is not enough to convince you to order your own, I don't know what will. 

2// Stasher Reusable Bag

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 If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw my many stores about how I love Stasher bag. Stasher bag is another great way to reduce single use plastic bag. Aside from the minimalist design, Stasher bags are great for everyday use or even traveling - it features innovative air-tight, pinch-press seal to keep food fresh; ideal storage for food, travel, school and more. The bag is 100% pure platinum food-grade silicone is safe for the freezer, microwave, dishwasher and boiling water; and unlike plastic bags, Stasher bags contain no petroleum, no PVC, and no latex.

43/ To-GoWare - Bamboo Utensil Set

Like most people I am no stranger to forgetting my utensil at home when I bring my lunch to work - so having To-GoWare in my backpack always means avoiding having to go to the Cafeteria to get plastic utensil.

4//  S'well water bottle

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I think everyone knows about S'well water bottle, aside from how fashionable it is, it's also Eco-friendly and BPA-free. 

5// bamboo toothbrush

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If you're not sure about the other products, this is the simplest change you can make and must because with 4.7 billion toothbrushes being made annually, which we are advised to change every 3 months, it seems a pretty important item to switch to a more sustainable and eco-friendly option ASAP. Bamboo is a natural plant based material which, at the end of its life, is totally biodegradable and can even be composted. Bamboo is a sustainable material and grows super quick. I think it also looks quite nice, too. Bamboo toothbrushes have a bamboo handle, and typically bristles made from nylon. Some brands out there use nylon4 for their bristles, which are shown in a lab to be biodegradable.

Escape Mental Excess: Memoirs on Meditation

Written/photo by:  Ryan Antooa

Written/photo by: Ryan Antooa

“Minimalism”

Shortly after the word dances fervently off your eardrums and percolates in your mind, you likely envision an all white design space with a Swedish-designed chair in the middle, or someone clad in all black with a turtleneck, carrying a MacBook and a red pencil.

If you’re like me, 

your mind wanders to images from publications like Kinfolk and Montecristo - as well as the idea of minimalism vs. maximalism as a mentality – opposed to only physical notions of clutter.

While most entertain the physical aspects of minimalism, what about minimalism from a mental standpoint?

Decluttering your mind - through devices like meditation - is a quintessential part of the minimalist equation to truly bring freedom from the all-encompassing.

To truly embrace minimalism, there have to be mental paradigm shifts in addition to physical changes in your immediate surroundings. In fact, they work in a feedback loop where mental shifts ripple over to the physical aspects of life, and vice versa.

Something as small as taking 5-10 quiet minutes to yourself each morning, to the other end of the spectrum (say, embracing Buddhism in its totality), can lead to the shift you need to experience clarity. Ready?

Declutter, deconstruct,  and didact: free yourself from the things that distract.

Along the themes of minimalism; meditation isn’t just for self: it strengthens your relationship with people, places, and experiences around you.

“As gold purified in a furnace loses its impurities and achieves its own true nature, the mind gets rid of the impurities of the attributes of delusion, attachment, and purity through meditation and attains Reality.” - Adi Shankara

Escaping the excesses of the world can prove to be a difficult trial, especially in modern times: start with the palace of your mind, reduce excess thoughts, and you may yet achieve the clarity and intentionality you seek.

If you are an acolyte to meditation, here are a few resources to spark your journey:

Headspace

McGill - Audio For Meditation and Relaxation

Mindful Resources

Just Balance

Incense, chakras, and crossed-legs aside - all meditation requires is a few minutes of mindfulness to improve the openness and depth which you perceive the world around you - as well as your relationships.

Breathe deep, settle, and give meditation some time - it will do the same for you.

photo by:  Ryan Antooa

photo by: Ryan Antooa