What actions do you take to go green? You may cut down on your plastic usage, try to drive less, or focus on turning the lights off when you leave a room. But did you know that it’s easy to take small steps each day – literally – while greening your world?
Wearing eco-friendly shoes helps you do just that. And Earth Shoes is a prime example.
This comfort-driven, stylish brand infuses each step of its manufacturing process with eco-friendly techniques that make you both look and feel great. Earth Shoes uses only water-based adhesives, which are far less toxic to the air and the workers who create them than traditional adhesives. They’re also constructed with vegetable-tanned leathers. Rather than tanning the leather with harmful chemicals like some brands do, Earth Shoes uses natural acids that stem from tree barks, leaves, and fruits to get the gorgeous leather shades we adore.
They don’t just stop there – Earth Shoes has taken strides to ensure that even their shoeboxes are as eco-friendly as possible. They’ve gone through each step of the box-making process to reduce cardboard throughout; their unique foldable construction allows for no harmful glues to be used, and less cardboard to be incorporated into each box. They’re also made from all recyclable materials and can therefore be made into something new once you’re done with them.
Perhaps our favorite green practice Earth Shoes has committed to focuses on what they do out in the forests: for every pair of Earth Shoes purchased, Earth plants a tree. As of this writing, Earth had planted over 81,000 trees. That’s a whole lot of new forest!
Even Earth Shoes’ warehouse is super green. They find creative ways to reduce energy that have decreased Earth’s carbon footprint in their manufacturing process by 14%. The company has a 60% recycling rate (double the national average) and continues to find ways to improve recycling in their facilities.
Overall, shopping Earth Shoes means shopping consciously and wearing that eco-friendly feel on your feet day in and day out. Whether you’re stepping through the beautiful woods or busy city streets this summer, Earth helps you get there in green, comfortable style.
Summer is the best time to adventure out and stumble upon all the world has to offer. Cities and neighborhoods alike certainly seem to open up in the summer, with added festivals, barbeques, craft fairs, concerts, plays, and more. It seems that, no matter where you’re walking to or from, it’s easy to stumble into a great event that peaks your interest. Culture is everywhere, and in the summer, it explodes.
Enjoy all the season has to offer by employing your spontaneity and discovering new events. Live music and performances may be just a short walk away.
If you’ve stumbled upon any outdoor music thus far this summer, you recognize the energy in the air, the harmony in the sounds, and the beauty of sharing something so gorgeous with friends and strangers alike. This atmosphere breeds creativity, passion, and enjoyment for the performers and audience simultaneously.
These festivals and shows bring out the creativity in all of us – so much so, that you’ll notice some intriguing and forward style grace those in your presence. Concerts are a place where expressing your unique self is encouraged, and many people choose to do so through their fashion choices.
Seen above: Cordani Zoran T-Strap Wedge
No matter your sense of style, a unique pair of shoes can truly make you stand out as one of the most creative of the bunch. Accent your creativity with a wonderful pair of modern folk shoes, helping you to fit right into the mood of the season. Summery, funky, and fun, this genre of shoes finds itself adorned in metals, laser-cut details, and gorgeous tan hues that are one-of-a-kind.
From wedges to sandals, modern folk shoes give you the unique vibe you seek from the summer months. So get creative, enjoy the music, and spontaneously make your way to an energy-filled outdoor festival this weekend. You won’t regret it!
So you’ve decided to clean out your closet and get rid of some old clothes. Why?
- Because I dislike many of them, or they no longer fit.
- Many of my pieces are torn, broken, or ripped.
- I want to minimalize my life and clear out clutter.
No matter your reason, making a little more space in the closet can make you feel a little freer. After all, you probably spend the beginning of each day enveloped in this space, deciding what to wear. Your closet therefore sets the tone for your day.
As you begin to clear out your closet, keep this in mind: 85% of clothing and textiles ends up in landfills. 85%! At the same time, 95% of all clothing and textiles can be reused or recycled. Most of the stuff in your closet can therefore be repurposed… and it’s easy to do!
Firstly, always remember that textiles in any condition (worn, torn, or stained) can be donated to be recycled if they’re clean. One popular mantra when it comes to clothing donation is “Don’t Judge, Just Donate”. Chances are nearly 100% of the clothing in your closet can be donated.
The easiest way to do so is to bring it to a collection bin in your town, to a thrift store, or to a Goodwill or Salvation Army store. Some towns will do curbside pickups for clothing (if it’s separated from other recyclables), and some clothing stores will also collect used garments. These places seek out the maximum value for each item, meaning they 1) put it up for sale first if it’s in good condition, and then 2) send the item to be recycled into something new. Old clothing can be recycled into new clothing, insulation, carpet padding, wiping rags, cushioning for car seats, rubberized playgrounds, and a whole lot more!
Why recycle? Yes, these items therefore don’t end up in landfills, but there are so many more benefits. Donations can provide used clothing to low income households around the world. From the environmental standpoint, donating and recycling clothing decreases the resources needed to create new clothes, and believe us – creating clothing uses a lot of resources. Cotton, found in most pieces, is the most pesticide-dependent crop in the world, infusing our soil with chemicals. Polyester, another fiber used in a lot of clothing, is made from petroleum using a high-energy process that emits harmful gases into the air. Creating clothing also uses gallons upon gallons of precious water.
Benefit the planet, others, and even yourself by cleaning out your closet and successfully donating used clothing. Remember that even damaged clothing can be recycled – so there’s hardly ever a case when items should be thrown in the trash.
How often do you clean out your closet? Do you donate used clothing?
Farmers Garden Stuffed Pimiento Cheese Veggie Burger
We’ve said it before, but we believe it’s essential to spend as much time outdoors in the summer as possible. Being from New England, we know too well how long the winters can be, and therefore how important it is to take advantage of the warm temperatures and outdoor sunshine summer can bring.
What does that mean? Bringing our workouts to the great outdoors. Spending cool nights reading on the porch rather than the couch. Heading out to a restaurant with an outdoor patio. Going on long walks on Sunday mornings. And of course, enjoying delicious meals with friends and family in the backyard.
One of our favorite ways to spend the summer is eating our meals outside. There’s something unique and measurable in bringing your dinner outdoors to bask in the sunlight while you eat a delicious, healthy meal. It somehow seems to connect you to the nature that brought you the food you’re eating, solidifying the connection between your food and where it came from. There’s solace and wonder in connecting with the earth that provides you with so much life.
In that vein, summer is also a great time to grab some fresh, delicious veggies from the farmers’ market or your very own garden. The season is ripe with freshly picked zucchinis, summer squash, corn, berries, and greens galore. Head to a farmers’ market this weekend and you’ll see nearly all the stands teeming with colorful produce. Go into the backyard to your very own garden and watch as the fruits of your labor come to life.
How can you take advantage of these fresh, perfect veggies? Throw them all together into a nutritious veggie burger! With a wide variety of techniques, ingredients, and recipes, there’s a veggie burger for every taste and cooking style. Whether you adore beans or hate them, love grilling your burgers, or crave some tangy flavor, there’s a veggie burger to fit your tastes.
We’ve put together some amazing recipes from around the blogosphere to get you started. From saucy concoctions to grillable masterpieces, we can nearly guarantee there’s a veggie burger here for everyone – even the most avid meat eater!
Try one of these this weekend and let us know how it goes.
Chickpea and Spinach Veggie Burgers
BBQ Portobello Mushroom Sliders
Love and Lemons
The Most Grillable Veggie Burgers
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Veggie Burgers
Making Thyme for Health
How do you incorporate stretching into your workout routine? Many of us relegate stretching to a few toe touches after a run, or a quick hamstring stretch prior to hopping into spin class. Perhaps it’s more of an afterthought than a regular part of your workout routine. But did you know that effective stretching can actually make or break your fitness goals?
Many of us are sedentary for a large portion of the day, sitting at desks for work. When you go to work out afterwards, therefore, your muscles are quite tight. If you tend to exercise in the morning, you will experience that same tightness of unworked, sleeping muscles.
It’s therefore essential to stretch out your body prior to a workout to avoid injury and maximize your routine’s effectiveness. Contrary to popular belief, static stretching (standing or sitting and stretching one muscle slowly) isn’t the best way to limber up before a workout.
Dynamic stretching is much more effective. This type of stretching involves engaging your muscles in the movement that you’ll mimic during your workout. For instance, butt kicks, walking lunges, high skips, and walking hamstring stretches work out the tightness in your muscles while also engaging them in the activity you’re about to pursue. Dynamic stretches are said to enhance muscle performance, making your workout more effective and helping you avoid injury.
So where does static stretching come in? Many adore static stretching because it feels relaxing – and they’re right. These types of stretches relax the muscles and promote flexibility. Touching your toes, stretching out your arms, lying down and limbering up your back: these are all static stretches. Because they work to relax your muscles, it’s ideal to perform these stretches once you’re 100% done with your workout. Static stretching prior to your workout can actually cause injury and harm performance, as you’re relaxing the muscles fully before they need to engage.
Essentially, a great mantra to follow is dynamic stretches prior, static stretches after. Don’t have time to fit in a before-and-after stretch session? Find ways to work stretching into your routine. If you’re lifting, stretch between sets (but don’t stretch the muscles you just worked). Designate a day each week that you’ll perform dynamic stretches, do a quick jog, and cool down with static stretches – exhaling happily the whole way through.
You know those friends who always seem to have it all together? No matter what craziness is thrown his or her way, they’re always the perfect picture of cool, calm, and collected. Do you ever wonder how exactly they pull that off?
Well look no further. We surveyed some of our most put-together friends to crowd-source the fundamental daily habits those serene folks partake in to keep their heads level and their days calm. Surprisingly, it doesn’t just come down to personality; many of their most effective habits are easy to incorporate into your daily life. These include:
- Keep a detailed calendar. Hardly-frazzled people are never surprised by forgotten appointments, deadlines, and dates with friends. These events are always on the mind thanks to their daily detailed calendar. Chances are your least stressed friends have a list of the day’s events on hand at all times (with alerts and reminders to boot!). Whether you prefer to keep your calendar electronically or in the physical form, this step is vital to a life with less stress.
- Plan for buffer time. People who are less stressed hardly ever run in 5 minutes late to a meeting, because they scheduled in buffer time to account for last-minute snafus (like traffic). Rather than packing their schedule minute-by-minute, they allow for some room for error.
- Worship the goals list. Does each activity you have planned for the day accomplish a certain goal that drives your life? Make a list of the goals you want to accomplish this year (or even this week) and write them somewhere you can see them. Let these goals guide your daily activities. For instance, if one of your yearly goals is to exercise more, you may choose to schedule a run rather than staying at work the extra hour. Staying true to your goals keeps you true to yourself – leading to less stress.
- On that note… learn to say no. Those who are less stressed know their limits and value time management. They don’t overextend themselves and commit to more than they can accomplish in a day. Anytime you find yourself overextending, head back to the priorities list and reassess just how important a particular activity is to your personal goals.
- Schedule downtime. In the spirit of saying no, calm and collected folks make time for themselves. Schedule this time if you must, and never schedule over it. Whether this means relaxing on the couch with a good book, going for a casual jog, or getting a pedicure, everyone needs to take care of themselves. Doing so will ensure you’re less frazzled and increasingly stress free.
Do you have any daily habits that keep your priorities in check and keep you calm? Let us know in the comments!