naturally sus finds – May 2018

sus - May finds collageEeek, I’m late with my May sus finds, but I think it kind of works out because some of my topics relate to June? Late is still late – got it.

May’s theme is all about single-use plastic like coffee cups and bags. While I’m always thinking about this subject, this month in particular was quite frequent in news stories about cities (including mine!) making governmental strides to ban single-use plastic. I hope we can continue moving in this direction so that it becomes the norm and we can say bye to non-recyclable disposables forever!

  1. Instagram: @responsiblecafes – A community based in Australia spreading the word disposable coffee cup waste. On their site, you’ll find a growing list of 3,500 cafes that accept reusable mugs. Australia alone throws out 1 billion coffee cups a year. And that’s only one continent. Does something like this exist in the U.S.?! If not, can someone create this with me?
  2. Product: @mybyta – I’ve featured byta on here before, but I’m giving them another shout out this month because they’re starting a 30-day challenge of no disposable cups or bottles. Join this challenge with me! Bring your own cup at the coffee shop, or if you’re not on-the-go, ask them to put it in their own mug. I think NYC coffee shops are so used to people being on to the next place, that they automatically pour all coffee/drinks in disposable cups. If I see mugs stacked on top of the espresso machine, I’m asking them to put it in a mug. It’s not weird! Let’s break the habit.
  3. News: New Jersey Shore Town Bans Plastic Straws, Plastic Bags, and Styrofoam Containers – So many straws end up in the ocean causing harm to the ocean and all who inhabit it. Those who call the beach their home see first-hand the effects of disposable plastic. I hope this one town can set the example for all the other beach towns along the coasts.
  4. Double Dose of News: New Yorkers, Call Governor Cuomo to ban single-use plastic on June 6th! Governor Cuomo did not pass this bill when it was introduced by Mayor de Blasio last year because it also included a small fee for those wanted to get a bag. (Trust that I wrote him emails and called his office then because I was very upset it did not pass.) Now he’s all for banning the single-use bags, but still hasn’t taken a stance on implementing a fee. The fee is important in order to create a culture of making it normal to use reusable bags all the time. If calling is not your thing, please show support in other ways by telling your network, posting on social media, etc.
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sus Holiday Gift Guide 2017

sus - byta gift guide
photo by @mybyta

There’s nothing like the spam of promotional emails, ads, and social media posts for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday to remind us it is officially the holiday season. While we all like to think the holidays are about spending quality time with friends, family, and loved ones, it is now more emphasized on indulgence, excess, and consumerism. Giving gifts is a beautiful thing, but instead of adding thoughtless tchotchkes to your cart, why not give something sustainable – something that sends an important message about the environment.

Byta Tumbler – a stainless steel tumbler in a variety of beautiful colors. Billions, yes billions of coffee cups are sent to the landfills every year. Help reduce this by bringing your own cup or byta to the coffee shop. Proceeds from each byta also go to the Ocean Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund.

Bkr Bottle – a glass water bottle with decorative and colored silicone sleeves in various sizes. Similar to coffee cups, billions of plastic bottles are also sent to the landfills every year. Carry a cute reusable water bottle that you can’t help show off 24/7 at places that can charge $2-4 for a water, like at your gym or fitness studio, movie theater, airport, park, fast-service restaurant, and the list goes on.

WinterStar-250ml

Apolis Market Bag – a reusable market bag made of natural jute fiber handcrafted in Bangladesh and finished in California. Apolis provides safe and ethical working conditions for mothers in Bangladesh through the sales of these bags. The bag can be used for trips to the farmer’s market, grocery store, flea markets, etc. I have one and I get compliments on it every time I take it out. I love that it’s roomy, sturdy, and timeless.

Baggu Bag – a reusable bag made of nylon that can be folded into a small pouch, so I never leave home without them (hello impromptu shopping trips.) They come in fun colors, designs, and sizes, and are also machine washable. Single use plastic bags often can’t be recycled with other hard plastics and take a lot of energy to manufacture. They can also unfortunately end up in our oceans and disrupt marine life.

Jade Yoga Mat – a yoga mat made from natural rubber tapped from rubber trees. Most yoga mats are made from PVC or other synthetic rubbers, which can’t be recycled or broken down easily in landfills. Jade plants a tree for every yoga mat sold.

Girlfriend Collective Apparel – yoga and workout apparel made ethically from recycled water bottles. They’re very transparent. Look good and feel (sustainably) good at the same time.

Donate to a cause – Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, etc. There’s literally tons of organizations both locally and worldwide that offer gift donations or donations in the name of your gift receiver. Research and choose an organization at your discretion, especially since there’s been a lot of chatter about which organizations are more trustworthy than others.