Earth Day! Two easy things...

Happy Earth Day!

I don't really celebrate the holidays most of the time, but Earth Day is one I can definitely get behind.  Of course I like to think about the health of our planet every day, and do all I can to make my impact as small as possible (helloooo, upcyclying and vegan diet!), but Earth Day is a nice reminder to improve wherever I can.

So, I'm always looking for little things I can do for the Earth.  But I thought I'd share with you a couple of my fave super simple things that we can all do--maybe you already do, but maybe these are new ideas!

First, thinking about paper towels, rags, and cleaning.  I grew up in a house with coordinating hand towels hanging on a rod by the sink, and a basket of rags in the downstairs bathroom, which we used when we had big spills to clean up.  Now, I keep torn up old towels and t-shirts in a bucket under my kitchen sink and in the bathroom cabinet, and I use them to wipe off the counters, etc. (I hate sponges. They skeeze me out.).  And I have these cool hand towels on my oven bar to dry clean hands with.  But I was at a friend's house not long ago, and a bunch of water spilled on the kitchen floor.  It was a learning moment for me when I saw her pull off tons and tons of (spendy) quilted paper towels and mop up the water!

Source: house8810.com via Kelly on Pinterest


Source: rstyle.me via Suzannah on Pinterest


I realized, oh, does not everyone use rags, and use paper towels sparingly?  I also notice when I'm at people's houses and they don't have a clean hand towel for drying hands hanging in the kitchen.  I buy the "Pick-a-size" paper towels and we use about one roll every 1.5 to 2 months.  Now, I know we don't have kids or anything, and I'm sure my consumption will go up then, but really I get annoyed when I have to buy them and I know the reusable rags and towels we use are much  more sustainable!

So, if you don't already, I highly encourage you to tear up threadbare towels, stained handtowels, and old t-shirts and give them new life as essential kitchen and cleaning rags!
Source

The other thing I wanted to talk about is... well, I guess these are both social change questions... I dunno, you can tell me what category this goes in.  I just wanna say: Can we all stop holding paper Starbucks cups in our hands for our personal style posts?!???!!

There are some blogs out there that I love, but I gotta say it: holding your latte in your disposable corporate coffee cup and sleeve DOES NOT make your outfit cuter!!  (It must be the Portlander in me. I'll calm down.)

Fox News said Starbucks cups were the "hottest accessory" in 2007.  It's been a while since then, and since when do we care what Fox News thinks about fashion?  If you must use a prop, there are some super cute reusable coffee mugs out there.  I see them at Marshall's and the grocery store and pretty much everywhere all the time, some of the nice porcelain ones, even, for only $5 or so.  Get one!

I was excited when I noticed Hannah on Pretty Little Liars holding a super cute mug in one recent episode.  Take a note from stylish Hannah's book, k?

Here are some more pics of celebs with reusable mugs, and aren't they a little cooler because of it?  Be forward-thinking, and bring your mug with you when you get a coffee.  You'll enjoy getting the 10 cents off, too! =)

Hope I didn't sound too preachy through all that.  I want to be better for the Earth, too!  What are your easy lifestyle tips today!?  How would you change your habits to be better??

23 comments

  1. Oddly enough, in honor of earth day, if you bring a reusable mug to Starbucks today, you get free coffee (minus the status symbol of course!). At least Starbucks is trying. I don't think they promoted it enough though.

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    1. I think I heard that. I have such mixed feelings about Starbucks...

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  2. Reusable coffee mugs keep your coffee warm so much longer anyway. I have a contigo mug from Target that keeps my coffee warm for hours!

    Meg
    http://megshandmadelife.blogspot.com

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  3. I laughed at this! I just wasn't expecting for you to go "no Starbucks cups in fashion photos." So true though, they do make so many cute re-useable mugs now (and you could paint your own or make a DIY cozy!)

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    1. Haha, yeah... it's like we need an attitude shift, to stop that from looking cool!!

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  4. bravo on both counts!
    btw, if you can get beyond the "ick" factor, cloth diapers make an AMAZING rag/paper towel substitute. They are super soft and super absorbant. I have about a dozen the I decorated with a strip of pretty cloth so hopefully it's obvious they were never used on a bottom, that I keep handy in my kitchen.

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    1. Ha! I do that too! When I had little babies I bought a few- you know, just in case there was a zombie apocalypse or something. Anyway, never used them as actual diapers, but now they're handy in the kitchen and bathroom to mop up spills.

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    2. My mom and dad always used my old diapers as rags, they still have them around. Dad loved to use them for cleaning up oil in the shop.
      I don't really see what's icky about it, they have been washed!

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    3. Good idea! I remember seeing those at a house I babysat at... way to repurpose things!

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  5. I grew up in a house like yours, and my husband grew up in a house that used paper towels and paper napkins, etc. It's taken a while to get my husband to my mindset but he's starting to come around, especially since he appreciates that an old wash cloth usually cleans up a spill much quicker, and cloth napkins don't fall apart and stick to your fingers!

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  6. yes, i LOVE rags! we have oodles of them - they're used for cleaning the whole house. paper towels are for ick, super emergencies of the grossest factor only.

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    1. Absolutely--I don't mind using disposables for the really icky stuff!

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  7. i frown upon cheap fashion (forever21 and such) and synthetic fibers. I don't even enjoy wearing it mostly, so I'm staying away from those stores. Cheap clothes will only go to landfill (http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/how-long-will-clothes-live-in-landfill.htm), $10 pants are ridiculous anyway. If I love something, it's not for just one season, anyway, so I want something to last. It's the reason I started sewing, somehow it's hard to find 100% cotton woman's clothes (what's this tv campaign about anyway?), or they are ridiculously expensive.

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    1. Synthetic fabrics are sooo gross, to wear, wash, and (just read that article) dispose of. I take good care of my clothes, even the cheap ones, but totally agree about polyester and plastics!

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  8. Well said, I'm from the UK and treat my tea with the full respect it deserves, a nice china mug...not a paper cup lol! x

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  9. Totally worth the preach! I don't even have paper towels, although as a major coffee spill person, my kitchen towels and rags are constantly in the wash and I seem to be completely unable to keep at least one towel clean for hands, haha!

    I work at a church bell-tower cafe in the summer and because we don't have running water, we use paper cups. I've been thinking if there is no huge opposition (it would mean extra pay for the employees for overtime after all...) that we would start using second hand china (only 50p at the store!) instead. It would be in keeping with the lovely 200-year-old timber and masonry surroundings.

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    1. Good idea! At my parents' church they have a huge collection of donated coffee mugs that they use for coffee hour. It would be lovely to have tea cups, and they are so much prettier than paper!

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    2. I love the idea of using donated coffee mugs at church!

      Starbucks gives me mixed feelings, too. A friend read one of Howard Schultz's books and says that it really made her see them in a positive light. However, I can't get past how expensive it is! I go maybe twice a year as a super-special treat.

      I hadn't noticed too many cups in fashion blogger photos, but pictures of Starbucks coffee are always in abundance on my Instagram feed.

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  10. I'm so terrible about using power towels! good thing it's only my husband & I at home, because then I'd waste even more. I know I need to get better. thanks for the tips!!

    hope you had a great weekend! {I have a giveaway going on right now & would love for you to enter. amyreneonline.com}

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    1. Yep, attitude shift! Remind yourself it's cheaper, easier... and you can have cute towels. =)

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