You all know a big part of green living for me is lessening my exposure to unnecessary ingredients and toxins whenever possible and sharing with you what I find. This is why I’ve been enjoying getting into green beauty. The more I research, the more I’m shocked by the lack of regulations, the number of harmful ingredients in everyday products, the amount of animal testing and how confusing the marketing around “all natural” products is.
I’ve been testing all natural sunscreens all summer, I’m determined to find one I like. I wanted to share with you the ones that I think are great and the ones I think you should not bother spending your money on.
Before we get to the review lets talk about the two main categories of sunscreens; physical, a.k.a. mineral sunscreens and chemical sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens work by blocking harmful UV rays as a physical barrier reflecting them away from your skin. In contrast the chemical sunscreens absorb the harmful UV rays into the layer of sunscreen itself.
This time of year I always start hearing the back to school buzz. I use to love when my mom would take my sister and I shopping for all our back to school supplies. We would load up with paper, colored pencils and of course Lisa Frank folders. It was always so exciting, the new things, all the potential that the new school year had ahead and getting to see friends that you didn’t see during the summer. Now as an adult I can’t help but feel that same getting back to business energy. I love to use that getting back to work vibe at my job and here on the blog to help be more productive.
There are so many options when you go to shop for your school/office supplies and best of all it only takes a little extra effort to make sure the items you buy are as sustainable as possible. These green living back to school tips totally apply to your work desk as well. Why not get inspired by the back to school vibe and update your desk at work with some awesome green products?
I’m super excited to share these items with you, they are some of my favorites. If you’re sending little ones off to school I’d love to see photos, please tag me, little kids with big backpacks on is one of my favorite things. :)
Green Living Back to School Must Haves
- When you head out shopping make sure to buy post-consumer recycled paper. It’s awesome that recycled paper is so easy to come by (why all paper is not made from recycled paper I will never understand). Double check that it says post-consumer recycled paper and not just that it can be recycled. I’ve seen on some paper products the recycled sign printed big, making you think it’s made from recycled paper but sadly it is not. They are just advertising that the paper can be recycled…lame.
- Or better yet, instead of buying a notebook of recycled paper make your own from upcycled items and of course recycle it once you’re done with it. This was the first DIY project I ever did on the blog, I would make these all the time in college.
- Get your hands on some of these awesome water bottle pens. I’m sure by now you know how much I can’t stand single use plastic water bottles. I absolutely love when companies reuse water bottles to make something new out of them. These pens can be recycled, they look cool (they’ve been a total conversation starter multiple times and are a great way to share about green living with others), they also work super well.
- Make sure all your lunch packing items are reusable. No more need for single use plastic baggies try these out instead. I really like this set of reusable cutlery and of course pack your lunch in reusable tupperware. I use Pyrex and love being able to heat up my lunch in glass, not plastic. You can even go crazy and throw in a reusable napkin while you’re at it;)
- A big part of green living is reducing your carbon footprint. One way to do that is thinking about how you are getting to school or work. Consider greener alternatives, like joining a carpool, starting your own carpool, taking public transportation or riding a bike. Doing one of these alternatives even just one day a week would make a big difference.
- Find a sustainably made backpack (fair trade/organic/hemp/etc.). I don’t own one but now having seen how stylish they can be I’m thinking I need one, this one looks pretty cool. If you are in need of a new pack you should check out an greener option.
- Lastly don’t forget to start your day off right with a green smoothie.
I have always been a good sleeper, a fact I don’t take lightly and am very grateful for; I know so many people are not. We all know sleep is super important. Many people have the same problem that I have when I’m stressed. We lay down then our minds start racing about all the things we didn’t get done that day and all the things we have to do tomorrow. I’ve started a nightly ritual, to help get more and deeper sleep, even when I’m not stressed. I love the twilight app, to dim and change the color of my screens, and I don’t have any screen time right before bed, lastly I take 2 to 5 minutes of deep breathing right before I lay down to calm my mind. These steps have made made a BIG difference in how quick I fall asleep. I’ve recently added one additional step to the pre bedtime ritual.
I was sent this great Nighty Night Pillow Mist, to try out by Conscious Beauty (no, this is not a sponsored post, more on what a great online shop Conscious Beauty is below) and it is wonderful. It quickly became a part of my bedtime ritual, I’ve even started to travel with it. Nighty Night Pillow Mist is made by a San Diego based business called Botanical Me. It smells totally divine, like sweet dreams and cozy blankets on a rainy night. I typically spray it into the air and above our pillows just before I start my relaxing deep breathing. Those 2 to 5 minutes of deep breathing have become even more enjoyable with this mist but the real perk is that I am more deeply relaxed after.
Nature is so awesome! They use a blend of 20 essential oils and botanicals that calm the nervous system and promote deep relaxation. Like smelling peppermint oil and becoming more alert, only the exact opposite ;) I love that we can use plants and not synthetic fragrances to help improve our state of mind and health. Some of the essential oils they use include lavender (which you know is my favorite), rose, valerian root and South African grown chamomile which helps alleviate sleeplessness and nervous tension. Clove and ylang ylang flower from Madagascar relax the body, ease restlessness, and soothe stress for a more peaceful sleep.
I have been really impressed with the Nighty Night Pillow Mist. I love the way that it smells, and that the blend of oils truly helps with unwinding before bed. It makes the process of going to bed something to look forward to each night. The fact that it’s made by a local eco-conscious company brings a big smile to my face.
Conscious Beauty, is an online beauty store that sells only natural, non-toxic beauty products. I was fortunate enough to meet one of the awesome co-owners, through Instagram (just another example of why Instagram is my favorite, she has a beautiful IG account that you should go follow). They do all the label reading and company vetting for you, so that you can trust you are getting the greenest option…aww green shopping made easy, I love it! :) They’ve been really groovy and are offering all of my readers a 15% off discount, just enter ‘thanks15’ at checkout.
What do you think about product reviews? I love them and look for them online all the time before I buy something new. I think I’m going to start doing more of them. As I’m sure you know by now but to me a big part of living an eco-lifestyle is reducing our exposure to toxins and making sure we are spending our money with companies that are run sustainably and care about more than just the bottom line. I truly believe Botanical Me and Conscious Beauty are businesses that fall within this category, so I’m excited to share them with you. Sweet Dreams everyone!