1. Living sustainably includes taking action! I’m starting this new series to get the word out on political and social actions happening during the week. If you have anything to add, please sent it my way at elizabeth[at]thenotepasser.com.



    The Floating Library | September 6 - October 3

    It’s the last few days of The Floating Library, a pop-up, mobile device-free public space aboard the historic Lilac Museum Steamship berthed at Pier 25 on the Hudson River in New York City. The people-powered library is initiated by artist Beatrice Glow to fortify a space for critical cultural production by pushing boundaries under the open skies that are conducive to fearless dreaming. The ship’s main deck will be transformed into an outdoor reading lounge to offer library visitors a range of reading materials from underrepresented authors, artist books, poetry, manifestoes, as well as book collection, that, at the end of the lifecycle of the project, will be donated to local high school students with demonstrated need. 

    During this action-packed month, there is free public programming with over twenty roundtables, performances, art installations, and workshops that will shine a spotlight on maker culture, DIY politics, sustainability issues, and community engagement.

    Location, directions, and hours here.


    Talks at ImpactHub

    Using Tech to Scale Your Social Impact | October 1

    Join General Assembly and Impact Hub for a panel discussion on how to leverage the power of tech to increase the reach and scale of your individual or organization’s social impact in the world. Free.

    Water & Sustainable Fashion | October 2

    Water is one of the most important and overlooked ingredients in fashion. How are fashion brands looking to work with the challenges of water conservation? With cotton and other crops? What are some of the ways companies are reducing, exploring less water-intensive textiles and working within a circular economy? Panelists will include Deb Johnson (Brooklyn Fashion Accelerator), Inka Apter (Eileen Fisher), and Paul Gallay (Riverkeeper). Free for ImpactHub members, $15 for non-members.



    The Future of Volunteering: Giving Back to Create Impact | October 2

    Join Be Social Change at WeWork for an engaging panel discussion on The Future of Volunteering as they explore the trends, challenges, and opportunities shaping how people apply their time, talents, and skills for good. From helping to build a house to redesigning a nonprofit’s website, join them as they explore how the culture, process, and impact attached to volunteering has changed over the last 100 years and learn more about what the future of volunteering will look like. General Admission, $15.


    Brooklyn Free Store | October 3

    The Brooklyn Free Store is a project of In Our Hearts, a New York City based Anarchist network made up of autonomous collectives, projects, and individuals. It operates in Herbert Von King Park in BedStuy on Fridays (weather permitting):

    All are welcome to come and share what they have or just take what they’d like. There is no obligation to share or anything. These items and others are being shared in the spirit of community and mutual aid, please participate with that in mind and respect others.


    Coming Up:

    New York Cares Day | October 18

    New York Cares can always use volunteers and they have a wide range of opportunities available for whatever you skills or interests are. Normally, you must attend volunteer orientation before volunteering, but New York Cares Day Fall is coming up on October 18th and anyone aged 12 and up can participate. You can register now as an individual, a team, or to generate sponsorship. Read the FAQs here.

    Take part in New York City’s largest hands-on volunteer day by joining more than 4,000 volunteers to paint a brighter future for our city’s public school students. This year, volunteers will create murals, paint classrooms, plant school gardens, and engage school staff, students and families in service. By the end of the day on October 18th, 70 public schools in all five boroughs will be transformed.

    New York Cares Day Fall is also a fundraiser for New York Cares. With your help, we hope to raise funds to support our year-round volunteer programs which provide services for 400,000 New Yorkers in need.



    Wishwas Fundraiser | October 28

    Wishwas, a 501c organization, focuses on empowering low-income immigrant women to assimilate within society and training them in vocational skills to make them financially self sufficient. I wrote about them here.

    Their annual celebration gala will be held on October 28th in New York City at the fashion house of Naeem and Ranjana Khan. Naeem Khan, Indian-born American fashion designer has styled Hollywood royalty such as Padma Lakshmi, Beyonce, Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, and many others. The glamorous cocktail reception will feature a fashion display of Naeem Khan’s Spring 2015 collection which recently debuted at New York Fashion Week. Guests will enjoy specialty hors d’oeuvres by Devi Restaurant, desserts by Chocal8Kiss, cocktails, music, a silent auction, and much more. Special dance performances will be held by classical dancer Sonali Skandan and SA Dance Company. Tickets are $125


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  2. I seem to be saying goodbye to a lot of things lately! Things that don’t add value to my life, websites that refuse to innovate, things that aren’t good for me. Join me in saying goodbye to antibacterial ointments like Neosporin and saying hello to natural healing salves! 

    Truth be told, I used to use antibacterial ointment for a lot of things. It isn’t even indicated for long term use, but besides normal use for injuries, I slathered it on blemishes and chapped lips far too often. I’m not offering medical advice of course, but there are better, cleaner options particularly for issues other than injuries. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database contains only old Neosporin products which receive ratings of 1-5, but the base of these ointments is always white petrolatum, which itself has a cautionary score of 4. Remember, it’s derived from crude oil! The current ingredients of Neosporin are: 

    • Bacitracin Zinc
    • Neomycin 
    • Polymyxin B Sulfate
    • Cocoa Butter
    • Cottonseed Oil
    • Olive Oil
    • Sodium Pyruvate
    • Vitamin E
    • White Petrolatum

    Active ingredients notwithstanding (again, not a doctor) the inactive ingredients are not the worst in the world, but we can do better. Take, for instance, Get Giddy Organic Cedar Mint Balm. The ingredients are:

    • Organic Sunflower Oil
    • Organic Carnuaba Wax
    • Organic Cocoa Butter
    • Organic Sesame Oil
    • Beeswax
    • Organic Wheatgerm Oil
    • Organic Cedarwood Essential Oil
    • Organic Peppermint Essential Oil
    • Organic Rosemary Oil Extract
    • Non-GMO Soy Based Vitamin E Oil

    The base of this product is Carnuba Wax, Cocoa Butter, and Beeswax, all of which are rated 0 by the EWG. Also it’s created with fair trade and organic ingredients and comes in recyclable packaging, making it the better choice on many fronts.

    I’ve looked at the ingredients of the salves below and would use any one of them myself. The only one I have used so far is the All Heal Salve by Wiseways and I highly recommend it. I use it on blemishes because it has an olive oil base; I suggest you test out any products containing coconut oil as it causes breakouts in some people (like me).

    Give these a try and say goodbye to icky white petrolatum products!

    Click to be taken to the product.



    This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you buy anything through the link (it doesn’t change the amount you pay). I only include brands that I believe in, that I would use myself, or think might be of interest to you. 


  3. Yesterday was the People’s Climate March. People in cities around the world marched to draw attention to climate change and to show their leaders that this is an issue they care about. Two of those marchers were Alden of Ecocult and me, along with our significant others (read her account here). It was the biggest climate-related march in history, with 400,000 participants in NYC alone. 


    A lot of different messages rang through the march. But if the message of change is complex, it’s only reflecting the complex issue of climate change itself. Our Earth has been damaged in sophisticated ways, and so the solution will necessarily be sophisticated too. Marchers drew attention to various issues from fracking (one of the most popular) to gas pipelines to the ills of capitalism, and lines can be drawn from any of these issues to the resulting climate change we are now facing.


    Marching along side each other were groups as diverse as anarchists, unions, religious organizations, and indigenous peoples from as far away as the Marshall Islands, in an effort to demonstrate that climate change affects us all. Impassioned citizens all, we were asking (nay pleading) with our leaders to take action. If the other marchers are anything like me, they do their part as responsible citizens; but individuals lack the genuine power that policies and regulations have to make big changes that will have the most impact on climate change. For example, I opt to pay for wind as my power source, but my offset is a drop in the bucket compared to the sea of oil our country uses and continues to rely on. 


    One of the most surreal parts of the march was going through Times Square, the mecca of consumerism, with our message. You might think, “What does a company like McDonald’s have to do with climate change?” Destructive contributions include encouraging monocultures, which lead to more pesticides and GMO crops; and large-scale factory farming, which is the most destructive industry on the planet to name just two. Consumers should be aware of these issues and buy according to their consciences. However, it should be stated that the blame lies with corporations and not consumers. Corporations could make changes and put people and the environment ahead of profits, they choose not to because capitalism dictates they do opposite. Check out #DisruptDenial to learn about brands that are actually funding climate change denial. It should also be noted that plenty of companies do go against the norm and are still viable enterprises. 


    There were plenty of families in children in the crowds, which was delightful. They are the future (and will likely have to deal with our mess) so I was happy to see them participating.


    The march on Sunday was respectful and family-friendly, so while not the exact message I’d like to give our political leaders, 400,000 participants is nothing to sniff at. Climate Week continues and one of the more provocative events occurred today at Wall Street. Activists dressed in blue swarmed around the NY Stock Exchange in an effort to #FloodWallStreet in an act of civil disobedience. Follow the hashtag on Twitter for developments.


    I hope that the People’s Climate March has opened up the conversation around climate change and will be the harbinger of changes to the system. Those of you who read this blog are, I’m sure, marching everyday for change. Small change, big change, personal change. On Sunday, I marched for the future. What are you marching for?



    Find the rest of my photos on Flickr. Use them if you want, just throw me a link back and attribution, please!


  4. I’m super excited to share AptDeco, a new way to buy and sell used furniture in New York. Now, if you don’t live in NYC, you may not realize the enormity of this development. Imagine trying to sell furniture to flakey, creepy, or cheap strangers who must physically enter your apartment to view your wares. Now imagine trying to move said furniture to or from your tiny apartment, through an elevator or (worse) narrow staircase, without a truck. Nor do you know anyone with a large vehicle except questionable strangers known colloquially as the “man with a van” hirable for usage of their questionable vans.

    Formerly, Craigslist was one of the only options for buying or selling used furniture online in the city. While it was ingenious in the late 90s, Craigslist stubbornly refuses to innovate, is populated by creeps, flakes, and the cheapest people on earth, and is basically the website equivalent of the DMV. AptDeco, on the other hand, is actually helpful to those of us who don’t wish to wait hours for someone to never show up only to email you days later to haggle for a lower price. Seriously. Read this all-too-real account of moving in New York by Alden of Ecocult.

    AptDeco helps people in NYC and the surrounding areas buy and sell quality used furniture (they are hoping to expand to other cities soon). Sellers can list their items for free, and when it sells, AptDeco will arrange a time for pick-up. They charge a 14-19% fee based on the selling price and you get the rest via direct deposit. The best part, in my opinion, is the delivery option. They verify, pack, and pick up the item for you so you don’t have to hassle with the “man with a van”, although you also have the option to pick up the item should you so choose. Buyers can view large, clear photos with descriptions and dimensions, and benefit from AptDeco’s delivery and verification services. 

    Click the image to be taken to the item.


    Now New Yorkers can be ethical (because: secondhand), save money, and have quality, grown up furniture. Brands include ABC Home, West Elm, Design Within Reach, and authentic vintage designers! Above are my favorites in my style, but there’s more than midcentury minimalism to be had. Break up with Craigslist and check out AptDeco!

  5. Living sustainably includes taking action! I’m starting this new series to get the word out on political and social actions happening during the week. If you have anything to add, please sent it my way at elizabeth[at]thenotepasser.com.



    The Floating Library | September 6 - October 3

    The Floating Library is a pop-up, mobile device-free public space aboard the historic Lilac Museum Steamship berthed at Pier 25 on the Hudson River in New York City for September 6- October 3, 2014. The people-powered library is initiated by artist Beatrice Glow to fortify a space for critical cultural production by pushing boundaries under the open skies that are conducive to fearless dreaming. The ship’s main deck will be transformed into an outdoor reading lounge to offer library visitors a range of reading materials from underrepresented authors, artist books, poetry, manifestoes, as well as book collection, that, at the end of the lifecycle of the project, will be donated to local high school students with demonstrated need. 

    During this action-packed month, there is free public programming with over twenty roundtables, performances, art installations, and workshops that will shine a spotlight on maker culture, DIY politics, sustainability issues, and community engagement.

    Location, directions, and hours here.



    New York Cares

    New York Cares can always use volunteers and they have a wide range of opportunities available for whatever you skills or interests are. Normally, you must attend volunteer orientation before volunteering, but New York Cares Day Fall is coming up on October 18th and anyone aged 12 and up can participate. You can register now as an individual, a team, or to generate sponsorship. Read the FAQs here.

    Take part in New York City’s largest hands-on volunteer day by joining more than 4,000 volunteers to paint a brighter future for our city’s public school students. This year, volunteers will create murals, paint classrooms, plant school gardens, and engage school staff, students and families in service. By the end of the day on October 18th, 70 public schools in all five boroughs will be transformed.

    New York Cares Day Fall is also a fundraiser for New York Cares. With your help, we hope to raise funds to support our year-round volunteer programs which provide services for 400,000 New Yorkers in need.


    Brooklyn Free Store | September 19

    The Brooklyn Free Store is a project of In Our Hearts, a New York City based Anarchist network made up of autonomous collectives, projects, and individuals. It operates in Herbert Von King Park in Bed Stuy on Fridays (weather permitting):

    All are welcome to come and share what they have or just take what they’d like. There is no obligation to share or anything. These items and others are being shared in the spirit of community and mutual aid, please participate with that in mind and respect others.


    Presentation: History of Grassroots Environmental Activism in NYC | September 20

    Learn how community-based activism ignited social change and policy change and became a part of sustainable NYC, from recycling and composting to urban design. Hosted by The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, featuring a conversation and video screening by Wendy Brawer of Green Maps and Time’s Up! Environmental Organization. The presentation begins at 6:15pm at The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Spaces, 155 Avenue C (between 9th and 10th).



    People’s Climate March | September 21

    Upwards of 100,000 people are expected to join the People’s Climate March this Sunday, September 21 in what will be the largest demonstration for climate action in history. The People’s Climate March has been endorsed by over 1,200 organizations, including the nation’s largest environmental groups, labor unions, faith-based groups, and social justice groups including environmental and climate justice groups in New York City.

    Assembly Location: Central Park West, between 65th and 86th streets.

    • Enter on 65th, 72nd, 77th, 81st, or 86th street.

    March Route:

    • The march will begin at 11:30 am.
    • March down Central Park West and go east on 59th Street
    • Turn onto 6th Ave. and go south to 42nd Street
    • Turn right onto 42nd Street and go west to 11th Ave
    • Turn left on 11th Ave. and go south to 34th Street

    End Location: 11th Ave. in the streets between 34th Street and 38th Street



    Get all of the logistical details HERE. I’ll see you there!

    Also check out Ecocult’s Eco-Friendly and Cool Things To Do in NYC This Week.

  6. Living sustainably includes taking action! I’m starting this new series to get the word out on political and social actions happening during the week. If you have anything to add, please sent it my way at elizabeth[at]thenotepasser.com.



    New York Primary Elections | September 9

    In case you didn’t know, today is the primary election for the November races. Primaries have notoriously low turn outs, so get out and make you choices known. Find out what you are voting for:

    1. Look up your nine digit zip code here.
    2. Look up your nine digit zip code on Vote Smart.
    3. On the results page, click “See Upcoming Information Only”.
    4. Click through to find out more about each race and candidate.
    5. Get out and vote!

    View Cafeteria Man: Fighting for Healthier School Food | September 9

    "Cafeteria Man" is proof that it takes a collective effort to change a dysfunctional school food program from parents, teachers, administrators, to farmers, chefs and the students themselves.

    Meet Tony Geraci, then food-service director for Baltimore city public schools. A charismatic chef from New Orleans, Geraci leads the charge to replace pre-plated, processed foods with locally-grown, freshly-prepared meals. His vision includes school vegetable gardens, student-designed meals, and nutrition education in the classroom.

    Watch empowered students get involved with planting and harvesting their own vegetables at Baltimore school system’s 33-acre teaching farm, now a national model. See high school seniors develop practical job skills through a new citywide culinary vocational training program.

    Documentary screening will be followed by an all-star panel discussion with: Richard Chisolm, award-winning filmmaker, director of Cafeteria Man; Bill Telepan, Snail of Approval Restaurateur and Executive Chef Wellness in the Schools (WITS); Richard O’Brien, Director of Food and Menu Management at SchoolFood, NYC Department of Education; Kathy Lawrence, Director of Strategic Development, SchoolFoodFOCUS.

    September 9 at 7pm | The Whythe Hotel, Brooklyn

    Get tickets here.



    New York Cares

    New York Cares can always use volunteers and they have a wide range of opportunities available for whatever you skills or interests are. Normally, you must attend volunteer orientation before volunteering, but New York Cares Day Fall is coming up on October 18th and anyone aged 12 and up can participate. You can register now as an individual, a team, or to generate sponsorship. Read the FAQs here.

    Take part in New York City’s largest hands-on volunteer day by joining more than 4,000 volunteers to paint a brighter future for our city’s public school students. This year, volunteers will create murals, paint classrooms, plant school gardens, and engage school staff, students and families in service. By the end of the day on October 18th, 70 public schools in all five boroughs will be transformed.

    New York Cares Day Fall is also a fundraiser for New York Cares. With your help, we hope to raise funds to support our year-round volunteer programs which provide services for 400,000 New Yorkers in need.


    Brooklyn Free Store

    The Brooklyn Free Store is a project of In Our Hearts, a New York City based Anarchist network made up of autonomous collectives, projects, and individuals. It operates in Herbert Von King Park in Bed Stuy on Fridays (weather permitting):

    All are welcome to come and share what they have or just take what they’d like. There is no obligation to share or anything. These items and others are being shared in the spirit of community and mutual aid, please participate with that in mind and respect others.


    "Light Up the Future" Bike Ride and People’s Climate March Bike Bloc | September 13

    Bike Bloc is an open group dedicated to creating a massive bicycle presence at the People’s Climate March and in the streets during the weeks of action. We acknowledge that changing one’s personal carbon footprint isn’t enough to achieve climate health, so our cycling is a physical demonstration of our commitment to reject the fossil fuel industry and to demand clean renewable energy. We aim to engage the larger cycling community and city planning in a conversation about climate justice and to invest in bicycling to fight the global crisis with positive people power.

    When: Saturday, September 13th, 5-10pm
    Where: Corner of York Street and Jay Street in Bridge Park, DUMBO, Brooklyn

    Get involved:
    http://peoplesclimate.org/bikebloc/
    https://www.facebook.com/Bikeblocpeoplesclimate
    @bikeblocNYC


  7. Ahhhhh, vacation.

    I was in my home state of Florida for a simple and relaxing vacation. One of my favorite places to be is the beach and one of the loveliest beaches in the country is Anna Maria Island, a little strip of land on the Gulf of Mexico. My parents have a house there which they rent during most of the year (yay sharing economy!) The pool is salt water chlorinated and it’s landscaped with native plants that need very little watering. Rent it here!

    While it relies heavily on tourism, the local economy is thriving with entrepreneurs and markets. Everything we need is on the island, including transportation. This year, Nathan and I decided not to rent a car and relied on the (free!) trolley, walking, bikes, and a local taxi to the airport. There are various healthy activities to participate in on the island like swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and biking. Tons of sunshine (with the appropriate sun protection) ain’t bad either!


    My grandparents came to visit and my grandmother and I celebrated our August birthdays like we used to when I was growing up.

    The above photos are by Astrid Stawiarz.


    Anna Maria is home to a lot of wildlife like sea turtles and dolphins, and the entire island is a bird sanctuary. Oh, and jellyfish. Not all year, but they happened to be coming in at the end of our stay and on my last day, one stung me. It was a moon jellyfish, which apparently only very sensitive people can even feel the sting of. Which, yeah, sounds about right for me. Anyway, it went happily on its way, unperturbed by me or anyone else. A sanctuary for both humans and animals, I highly recommend taking your next vacation to Anna Maria Island! 

    And now, back to work!


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  8. Ahhhhh, vacation.

    I was in my home state of Florida for a simple and relaxing vacation. One of my favorite places to be is the beach and one of the loveliest beaches in the country is Anna Maria Island, a little strip of land on the Gulf of Mexico. My parents have a house there which they rent during most of the year (yay sharing economy!) The pool is salt water chlorinated and it’s landscaped with native plants that need very little watering. Rent it here!

    While it relies heavily on tourism, the local economy is thriving with entrepreneurs and markets. Everything we need is on the island, including transportation. This year, Nathan and I decided not to rent a car and relied on the (free!) trolley, walking, bikes, and a local taxi to the airport. There are various healthy activities to participate in on the island like swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and biking. Tons of sunshine (with the appropriate sun protection) ain’t bad either!


    My grandparents came to visit and my grandmother and I celebrated our August birthdays like we used to when I was growing up.

    The above photos are by Astrid Stawiarz.


    Anna Maria is home to a lot of wildlife like sea turtles and dolphins, and the entire island is a bird sanctuary. Oh, and jellyfish. Not all year, but they happened to be coming in at the end of our stay and on my last day, one stung me. It was a moon jellyfish, which apparently only very sensitive people can even feel the sting of. Which, yeah, sounds about right for me. Anyway, it went happily on its way, unperturbed by me or anyone else. A sanctuary for both humans and animals, I highly recommend taking your next vacation to Anna Maria Island! 

    And now, back to work!


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  9. modavanti:

Keeping Up With Sword & Plough
We here are Modavanti are so honored to share the product and story of  Sword & Plough with our customers.

    modavanti:

    Keeping Up With Sword & Plough

    We here are Modavanti are so honored to share the product and story of  Sword & Plough with our customers.

    Reblogged from: modavanti

  10. On vacation

    Hi all! I’ll be on vacation until September 4th. I’m not going to post, but you might see some changes going on around the site and in the Resources section. 

    I’m also spending time with family, reading, and relaxing as much as possible. 


    Views From My Grandparents’ House

    My grandparents are moving from their house in Florida after 37 years to Arkansas to be closer to family. Growing up, my house was a block from theirs and I spent a lot of time with them. This is a series of things I’m used to seeing at their house. See more on Instagram


    Ethical Writers Coalition

    While I’m gone, check out the site I designed and the cool new group I’m a part of: Ethical Writers Coalition. Add all of the members to your social media and reading lists because they are awesome!



    Fixing Fashion

    FIXING FASHION is on Kickstarter. Fund an industry insider’s expose of the global apparel trade, critically examining the best and worst of industry practices.

    As an 18 year apparel industry professional who has spoken out vocally against the social, economic, and environmental costs of the global fashion trade, Michael Lavergne has been deeply disappointed that few industry insiders have come forward to publicly address the real issues at the heart of the Rana Plaza tragedy.

    This project is a manifesto for the collective consumer, business, and civil society actions he believes are needed in helping us to rethink the way we make, market and buy our clothes in one of the global economy’s most lucrative and labour intensive sectors.


    Tears in the Fabric

    Tearsinthefabric.com is a multi-platform resource bringing together eyewitness testimonials, video, photography, journalism and campaign information surrounding the Rana Plaza factory collapse of 2013, as well as other materials relating to the international garments industry.

    Tears in the Fabric is run and curated by Rainbow Collective and OpenVizor and and all materials are free for non-profit use.


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  11. Today’s post is brought to you by Malorie Bertrand of EF Magazine. Malorie is a freelance writer, blogger, and stylist in Ottawa, Canada. If you like my blog, you’ll love finding out about cool fashion brands and sustainable beauty on EF Magazine! Follow her on a sustainable tour through Ottawa…

    Call me crazy, but I think it’s often quite hard to find a city’s shopping area gems. Don’t you agree? It’s easy to find the touristy spots — for Ottawa this includes Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal, Chateau Laurier, the Byward Market and Sparks Street, to name a few. It’s equally as easy to find shopping malls, but if you want the quaint boutique or cozy cafe, you have to dig a little deeper or be a really good sleuth and sniff out the hot spots on various travel blogs. 

    So I’ve put together a short list of some of my favourite places to shop in Ottawa for Made in Canada, locally made, ethical, sustainable, vintage, you name it fashion. This isn’t an exhaustive list but these are my go-tos when pulling for photo shoots or buying for myself.

    Starting from east to west:

    Young Janes

    Young Janes is an adorable vintage boutique on Dalhousie Street, just east of the famous Byward Market. Dalhousie is a great little shopping district with the original Victoire Boutique location (more on that diamond to come), Workshop, Wunderkamer and now Isabelle too. Young Janes is a well-curated shop full of vintage finds that somehow manage to be contemporary and oh-so-wearable. Owner Mika and her husband used to live in the UK and she is as trendy as they come.



    Bread & Sons Bakery

    Bread & Sons Bakery is my go-to for scrumptious, vegan, chocolate oatmeal cookies or a refreshing cold, gazpacho soup. You might want to stop here on your way west. Hope on the 2 Bayshore bus on Bank Street and you’ll be at our next shopping destination in fifteen minutes! 



    Oresta Organic Skin Care

    Oresta Organic Skin Care is a well-established, locally owned organic spa and eco-beauty business with three locations in the city. Owner Oresta has designed each location with warm, wooden furniture to showcase a beautiful collection of hand-picked all-natural and organic skin care, body and makeup lines. My favourite place for a facial!



    Bridgehead Roastery

    Bridgehead Roastery is where the magic happens, for coffee that is. Bridgehead is a local coffee shop that has expanded to 15 locations, plus the new roastery space. The coffee is fair trade, organic, and strong, just the way I like it.



    Victoire

    Victoire is Ottawa’s boutique darling that has found much success. As I mentioned before, co-owners Katie and Regine expanded to this second location and most recently opened up a shop in Toronto on Ossington. Victoire is known for their pretty dresses and rockstar accessories, not to mention the retro decor and that timeless floral wallpaper. Here you’ll find a plethora of Canadian designers.



    Jasmine Virani

    Right next door is the lovely Jasmine Virani and her namesake store/studio. Jasmine not only sells pieces from her own line but a slew of other jewelry lines from all over Canada. Expect a lot of silver, gold, raw stones, and recycled materials.



    Twiss & Weber

    Twiss & Weber is the new kid on the block. I (gasp) have yet to actually go into the store, but I’ve poked my head in once and squished my face up against its windows a few times to take a peek after hours. Co-owners Laura and Tonia met through mutual hobbies of knitting, felting, and dyeing and five years later opened up shop to sell their own ethical clothing line. The shop also features accessories from other Ottawa-based and Canadian designers.



    AMH Style

    AMH Style is my favourite consignment shop in Ottawa. It is beautifully laid out with wall-to-wall fashions for all types at great second-hand prices. From high-end vintage to popular lines such as BCBG and Club Monaco, this shop is always my first stop.



    Green Tree Eco-Fashion

    Green Tree Eco-fashion is Ottawa’s first contemporary eco-fashion boutique and it has a loyal following of shoppers. I also pull from here for shoots a lot because owner Sara offers a lot of European and US lines I can’t find anywhere else in town. Green Tree also carries one of Ottawa’s only eco-fashion lines, Duffield Design, which offers beautiful, stretchy pieces that are lovingly hand dyed.



    Cafe My House

    After a long day of shopping, head back east on Wellington to Cafe My House for a delicious raw food experience. The ambiance is wonderful and I would highly recommend sitting outside in the restaurant’s private courtyard.



    Here’ a link to a Google Map of all of the places! 


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  12. Luva Huva produces beautiful, handmade lingerie using ethically sourced fabrics. Joanna Ketterer, the designer, wanted to create a lingerie collection that celebrated elegant feminine style whilst also providing a sustainable alternative to the often wasteful fashion industry. All of the pieces are handmade in the UK from locally sourced, vintage, and end-of-line fabrics wherever possible. Ethical fabrics such as soy, organic cotton, and bamboo, which are brilliantly soft and breathable, are also used in this beautiful collection.

    In a previous post, I covered ethical lingerie brands, including Luva Huva. Because of limited fabrics and editions, some ethical lingerie brands lack a wide range of sizes, but I’m happy to report that Luva Huva carries both larger cup sizes (A-D) and panties (UK 8-18). They sent me their Coraline Black Lace Triangle Bra and Brief Set to try out and review.

    As soon as I opened the small envelope from London, I could tell the the pieces were delicate, but extremely well-made. The lovely lace detailing is strong and the bamboo jersey is soft. This bra won’t provide much support, but it’s light and breathable, making it perfect under airy summer dresses; I’ve found that lighter bras make a world of difference in the summer months. For this reason, I am definitely taking this set on vacation! 


    I’m impressed with the fit, quality, and style of the Coraline set and would love to own more pieces from Luva Huva. They carry a wide range of sizes, colors, and styles which include pajamas, slips, t-shirts, bridal, and even swimwear. Luckily, they are having a huge sale online and, although they are located in the UK, shipping is amazingly only $7.95 to the US. Free recorded delivery is available on all UK orders over £50. You can also order from them via Etsy. Below are some of my favorite items (all on sale right now!)

    Click on the image to be taken to the item.


    FIND LUVA HUVA: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | 

    *I was gifted the lingerie set featured here by Luva Huva, but rest assured I only recommend brands I wholeheartedly believe in.


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  13. Ariana Boussard-Reifel and I kept running into each other. First at the Manhattan Vintage Show and then through the business equivalent of online dating, Google Analytics (thanks to this page). We finally gave in to serendipity and, after setting up an IRL meeting, learned that we also live in the same neighborhood. We’ve been paling around ever since! The bonus point of this story is that Ariana runs an exceptionally curated online vintage site called Mode Marteau (The Fashion Hammer, in English. That’s right. The. Fashion. Hammer.) That being the case, I of course get bummed by the exceptional items that do not fit me (or sometimes my budget), but taunt me from the pages of Mode Marteau. Below are some of my favorites right now. 

    Click on the image to be taken to the item.


    Also, let it be known that if you are not in NYC, you can purchase the goods online on the Mode Marteau website, on Etsy, on Reissued, on Threadflip. Promo code FRESH will get you 30% off the entire site right now!

    If you are in NYC, Mode Marteau is having a HUGE SALE August 14-16 at their DUMBO studio. I will, unfortunately, be on vacation. But you, you get all of the details below and go, go, go!



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  14. Summer requires us to use extra products to weather the outdoors, especially people like me with sensitive skin. Daytime sunscreen and nighttime bug repellant are staples for summer living. Below are my picks for clean and natural options so you can stay outdoors and avoid chemicals.


    All Terrain TerraSport Sunscreen 

    I mentioned All Terrain in my Guide to Clean Sunscreen and I’ve purchased it for my upcoming vacation. TerraSport offers natural broad-spectrum protection from both UVA & UVB rays, will not clog your pores, contains no animal derived ingredients, and is never tested on animals.

    Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen

    I also mentioned Babo in the guide and I’m interested to try out this clear zinc version. I think it will be great to use on my face. It absorbs quickly, won’t clog pores, and is moisturizing against wind, all without white residue!

    Real Earth Bug Away Balm 

    This solid bug balm by Real Earth is convenient for travel. It provides natural protection against mosquitoes, biting flies, black flies, gnats, no-see-ums, chiggers, and other pesky insects. And it’s safe for pregnant women, children and pets.

    Meow Meow Tweet Herbal Insect Repellant 

    Meow Meow Tweet’s Herbal Insect Repellant is powerful enough to combat prehistoric mosquitoes without toxic chemicals. Plant-based essential oils combine with natural skin toners to create a body mist that can be sprayed directly onto your skin, hair, and clothes. AND it’s packaged in an aluminum bottle with a biodegradable label!

    Prosperity Candle Citronella Coffee Tin 

    Keep the bugs away without chemicals! Made in a repurposed coffee tin, these soy-blend candles feature a wood wick for a long-lasting, wind-resistant flame. Prosperity Candles are artfully hand-poured by a woman earning a living wage; each candle comes with the portrait and name of the woman who made it, connecting candle lovers with candle artisans. Check out the 50% off summer sale going on now!

    Simply. Natural. Heal. Up. Balm 

    Even when we have the best preparation, sometimes bug bites and sunburn still happen. Heal up quickly and safely with this balm made with natural ingredients like lavender and tea tree. 

    Summer is in full swing and I’ll be on vacation in less than a week! I’ll be taking a break from posting, but I’ll be working on the Resources section to help you find more clean and ethical options.


    * This post contains affiliate links to Abe’s Market, a site I highly recommend for clean and ethical products.


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  15. I realize “get rid of” might sound a little aggressive, but rest assured I don’t mean in a Fahrenheit 451 manner or anything. Books represent knowledge which, as you may have noticed, I love to share freely; so I constantly get rid of books by swapping with friends or sending them to family members via media mail (the super slow and cheap choice). And as I become more of a minimalist, I also find myself parting with that growing stack of books I thought I’d read, but probably never will. I’d like to pass on to you some of the best ways I’ve discovered to share, swap, or donate used and unwanted books.

    Swap Through the Mail

    Swap sites are cropping up everywhere which is indicative of the new sharing economy. There are quite a few book swapping sites, but the following seem to be the ones most people are happy with. I haven’t used any of them personally.

    BooksFreeSwap: After joining and activating your free account you can list books or audiobooks you no longer want, along with their condition, and you will be notified when a member wants your listed title. The recipient pays shipping, you pack the book, print the prepaid label, and mail it. Create your own Wish List and you’ll be notified when the books are listed and available. In order to help support the community atmosphere at BooksfreeSwap, you must list 5 Items and add funds (minimum $10) to your account before you can receive a book from another member. 

    BookMooch: This site is completely free through a points system; in order to mooch books from others, you need to earn points which you use up as you get free books from other people. Entering in a book you own and want to give away gets you 1/10th of a point. Giving books away gets you 1-3 points. You can also give your points to the charities they work with. See more about the points system here.

    WhatsOnMyBookshelf: This one also uses points; for every 5 books that you register on the site you will receive 1 credit as a promotion. List your books and either write a description or use a commercial description. Members also control the categorization of books. Unlike a library or bookstore, the organization of books depends upon personalized tagging rather than traditional categories or numbering schemes. Other users request your book by redeeming some of their credits. You pay to ship the book, but it’s free to receive.

    Host a Book Swap

    My mom periodically hosts a books swap. They are really fun and easy to pull off:

    1. Pick a date.
    2. Send out invites.
    3. Everyone brings their unwanted books.
    4. Pile up the books and swap away (or take turns if you prefer).
    5. Get rid of the leftovers with one of the methods in this post.
    6. BONUS: Literary-themed refreshments! 

    Yerdle for Credits

    I’ve written about Yerdle* before. Their aim is to reduce consumption by promoting a sharing community, which certainly includes books. List your books (or anything) on Yerdle from the mobile app and receive points which you can use to get other stuff. This is a good option if you want something other than books for your books. The recipient pays the shipping ($2-4), you print the label, and then send it off. 

    Sell or Trade at a Local Bookstore

    I’m lucky enough to have the excellent Strand Bookstore and Westsider Books here in NYC. But many local used bookstores take trade-ins for cash or store credit. One more reason to support the increasingly rare local, independent bookstores.

    Donate



    If you’d rather just donate your unwanted books, there are many options available. 

    Thrift stores: Your local thrift store will gladly take and resell or recycle your books, so just drop them off!

    Shelters: Local shelters often take books as well, especially children’s books in the women’s shelters. Call ahead and ask for details.

    Reading Reflections: Reading Reflections was started by the family of Edith and Morris Mendelsohn. Read the story here. They accept all new and gently used books, both children’s and adult which are then donated to various organizations worldwide.

    Better World Books*: One of my favorite places to buy used books, Better World Books also accepts donations which they then sell (for charity funds) or donate to various organizations including The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) and Room To Read. They even pay for shipping and the carbon offsets that are part of their triple bottom line. Donate here.

    Books for SoldiersYou need to register for the site, but once you do, you can help out the troops by sending soldiers the books they requested through the website.

    Book4Cause: Many of the donations from Book4Causes drives and donation campaigns go to Africa to support the Good Books for Africa program.

    Operation Paperback: Thisnonprofit allows you to send your used books directly to the troops. After registering with the site, you can request the addresses of troops overseas based on their requested genre. And if you’re concerned about the cost of shipping, it costs around $6 to send a box of 20 paperbacks.

    As you can see, there are numerous options for getting rid of books you no longer need or want. Fortunately, swaps and local bookstores are also good ways to replenish your stock. If possible, buy used books or borrow from your local library.

    How do you get rid of your books?

    affiliate link 

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