Have you ever heard the term “zero waste”? Perhaps you’ve heard about your city incorporating zero waste practices into their future sustainability plans. Maybe you’ve been involved with a non-profit trying to bring others into the zero waste journey. But did you know you can incorporate zero waste practices into your everyday life?
“Zero waste” is the concept of changing purchasing and disposal practices so that all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. It is a process of eliminating the volume of waste that makes its way into our environment. It’s all about reducing, reusing, and recycling – and in the meantime, not producing any trash.
Look at your trash bin today and you might think this sounds incredibly difficult – perhaps even impossible. Going completely zero waste is a huge endeavor, particularly because so many of the goods we buy are packaged (and not always in recyclable packaging). However, incorporating a few zero waste practices into your life can make a serious difference in lessening the impact you have on the earth.
First, take a week to list out all the trash you’ve produced each day (read: anything you didn’t recycle or compost, and instead threw in a garbage bin). After that week, take a look at the trends: what are you trashing most? Is there a way to replace those items with something more sustainable?
From there, think about your purchases: are you buying quality items that last? Reducing the amount that you purchase and use – and truly thinking through what you need most – is one of the first steps in reducing the waste you produce. Oftentimes, spending a little more on higher quality items is well worth the expenditure, as the products tend to last longer and therefore turn into less waste. For example, mason jars, reusable bags, bamboo utensils, and compostable straws are more expensive than their disposable (often free) counterparts. Buy a few of them and take them with you wherever you go to reduce waste.
Then, think recyclable or compostable. Items like cotton balls or dishwashing brushes aren’t necessarily things you want to reuse for long periods of time. In instances like those, look at stores or online for recyclable or compostable options.
Food can be particularly tricky. While you may have a compost bin at your disposal, typical grocery stores package the majority of their food – sometimes in packaging that isn’t recyclable. The ultimate trick here? Go to local farmer’s markets. Bring your own reusable bag and fill up on fresh, in-season produce that supports local community businesses. Farmer’s markets often sell eggs, cheese, and bread in sustainable or low impact packaging. For other items, shop the bulk section of your local health food store – beans, grains, and cereals can all be found in bulk in a variety of grocery locations.
Making your way towards a more sustainable lifestyle isn’t easy. Hopefully these small steps can help drive you down the right path towards an increasingly less wasteful life. All in all, remember that trashed items don’t disappear – they go into a landfill and eventually harm our land and water. Protect the earth, save money, and live better!
There’s nothing like the taste of fresh summer produce to make us jump for joy. When corn, zucchini, tomatoes, and summer squash are at their prime, they practically taste like candy, especially when prepared on the grill with some flavor-enhancing spices and homemade sauces.
In-season produce is so delicious that we try to incorporate it into nearly every meal all summer long. Strawberries? Why not throw them on a salad? Fresh herbs? Homemade pesto is calling our name. Watermelon? Let’s throw it on the grill. Tomatillos? Time for salsa!
That’s where this amazing, tasty recipe from One Ingredient Chef comes in. These tostadas – kind of like flat, toasted tacos – are complete with tons of in-season flavor from the produce that tastes so good right now. Corn, avocado, and tomatillos make their way into this umami-salty-sweet infused meal. If you haven’t used tomatillos before, we recommend it – their beautiful green color and juicy flavor are ripe for summer enjoyment. If your store doesn’t have tomatillos, however, feel free to substitute tomatoes from the garden.
This recipe takes a bit of prep, but believe us – it’s worth it. First, you cook up the mushrooms in a delicious soy sauce and maple syrup base to create impeccable flavor. Then, you toast the corn shells for a few minutes in the oven to get them nice and crispy. Combine corn, tomatillos, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime to make a delectable salsa that you’ll truly just want to eat on its own. Pile the toasted shells high with mushrooms and salsa, some homemade guacamole or fresh avocado, and a little sour cream, and wow – have you got yourself a delectable meal.
Of course, these tostadas will still be delicious if you make them a few months from now in autumn. However, you won’t be getting that fresh, seasonal summer sweetness to truly bring out the complexity of the flavors. Eat them up now to maximize your taste bud potential!
Whip these up this weekend and let us know how much you love them.
About One Ingredient Chef
One Ingredient Chef is a healthy food blog run by Andrew Olson. His goal is simple: he wants you to become healthier than ever before while cooking the best food of your life. As he says, “The One Ingredient Diet is my simple answer to a world of processed foods. But this isn’t about munching on lettuce! My job is to show you (step-by-step) how to cook deliciously healthy food with only *real* ingredients.”
Many runners – and exercisers in general – tend to get stuck in a rut every once in a while, performing the same routine over and over again. While it’s great to find a routine or exercise that inspires you to work out often, working the same amount or similar muscles over and over again isn’t as effective as it could be. Doing something your body isn’t used to – like training different muscles or challenging yourself to do a new class – improves the effectiveness of your workouts and helps you reach your goals faster.
If you’re a runner, you may have experienced the distance rut. You have a route you like to take that’s exactly the same distance each time. You enjoy it because of its comfort. You know you can do it, and it feels good to do so. But sometimes, you start to feel like you need a little bit of a challenge.
That’s where training for longer distances comes in. Whether you dream of doing a half marathon or simply want to add a few miles to your typical running route, running the distance comes with some serious benefits, mentally and physically. Can you imagine heading out on a 2-hour run underneath the trees, simply to clear your head? It sounds wonderful.
If you’re hoping to increase your distance a bit, follow these tips to get started and stay injury free.
- Build up slowly. If you typically run 4 miles at a time,suddenly attempting 8 puts you at risk for injury and tends to disappoint. Adding mileage takes time. Slowly add half a mile or 1 mile to one of your runs each week and gradually increase as time goes on.
- Ease into it. If you’re adding a mile at a time to increase your mileage, feel free to walk or slowly jog! There’s nothing wrong with easing into your amplified distance to avoid injury and improve gradually. You may also choose to try a variety of cardio exercises – cycling, swimming, etc. – to get your heart rate up while taking a break from the running grind.
- Slow and steady wins the race. If you’re running longer distances, you shouldn’t expect to keep up with your regular pace. Your average mile time should slow down as you increase your distance. Start out at a much slower pace than normal to ensure you don’t tire out too quickly.
- Incorporate high and low intensity workouts. Running longer distances isn’t only about running for hours on end. It’s also about how you work your body in between those long runs. Go on shorter interval runs to test your speed and agility; jog hills to pump up your leg muscles. Alternating the muscles you’re using and the way your heart is pumping will help your distance in the long run.
- Know your body. When trying any new, difficult workout – particularly distance running – it’s vital to listen to your body’s signals. If you’re sore after a run, take a rest day. If you’re feeling dehydrated and sore, skip the long run this week. Stretching after each and every workout – and even fitting in some yoga or pilates – can work wonders in decreasing post-run soreness and increasing flexibility.
Overall, increasing distance is all about taking it slow and knowing your body. Try this step by step process to truly improve – and let us know how it goes!
Seen above: Ria 40060 Slingback Sandal
It’s a sweaty, hot day in August – sound familiar? You get ready in the morning: you shower, put on make-up, slip into a dress or slacks and a light blouse, and blow dry your hair. You feel ready for success.
And then you step outside – and it’s sweltering. Sweat glimmers on your face and arms, and that shower you just took feels like a distant dream.
This warmth is part of the beauty of summer: hot temperatures, sunny days, and a small breeze lend themselves to the outdoor activities we love. Kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hiking, jogging, and strolling hand in hand with your loved ones are perfect activities for the summer months. The warmth and sunshine make you feel alive.
Seen above: Wonders Sandals C-3002
But when it’s time to go to work and you need to get dressed up, this summertime warmth doesn’t always feel like your best friend. When you’re wearing stiff dress pants or a blazer, the sweat that joins you doesn’t necessarily feel as good as it does when you’re running through the heat in workout clothes.
The heat may not make you feel your prettiest. We know you look gorgeous no matter the weather, but beauty is partly about how good you feel. That’s where ultra-pretty, strappy sandals come in.
Summertime sandals ensure your feet get to breathe, while the rest of your body may not be so fortunate. Our sandals are made of beautiful leathers, complete with gorgeous, intricate embellishment and details that take them a step above the rest. They’re so stylish and high-quality that you can totally wear them to work, no matter how dressed up you are.
On the weekends, these sandals transition simply and effortlessly into your relaxed wardrobe. Slip them on with shorts and a tank top for an instantly-classed up casual ensemble. Wear a sundress for a beautiful day walking through city streets or attending a delicious brunch with friends. The opportunities are truly endless when your shoes are as versatile as these strappy numbers!
Shop our prettiest sandals this August before they leave for the summer. Even better, all of our sandals are currently 30% off. Get to shopping, and enjoy the warmth!
No matter the season, it’s always a good time to give back. Many studies have shown that giving to others not only amplifies happiness, but it can also lead to better physical health and increased longevity.
Summer is a particularly enjoyable time to give back because the weather is warm, meaning you can do more outdoors. The sun and warm summer air offer opportunities to give back that aren’t as logistically feasible in the winter months. We’ve compiled a few summer ideas for giving back that will make your heart – and others – smile with happiness.
Ideas for Giving Back this Summer
- Beautify your neighborhood by planting something. Whether you contribute to a community garden, plant flowers throughout medians in the middle of your local roads, or put in a small garden in an otherwise rundown area, putting some gorgeous plants into the earth enriches the soil and the people around it.
- Food bank donations typically decline in the summer, as more people go on vacation and fewer people think of it without the cold weather linferring around. Head over to your local food bank and bring some canned food to help those who need it most. If you have a little extra time, take it a step further by volunteering at the food bank as well.
- Give away your goodies. Make room for your heavy fall garb by purging your home of old clothing, towels, blankets, kitchen supplies, shoes, and other textiles. Donate your lightly worn and used clothing to those in need; not only will you clear out the clutter in your own home, but you’ll provide others with much needed garments.
- Volunteer at a summer camp. Kids are at camps all summer long, but sometimes those camps are understaffed and could use additional support. Many communities have events for kids throughout the summer – from outdoor movie nights to outdoor sports festivals – that may need your help.
- Run or bike for charity. The summer is full of 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, bike rides, and other races that raise money for a specific cause. Pick a cause you’re passionate about and start training! The fall is a great time for races due to the beautiful weather, and summer is a great time to train.
- Host a clean up at a local river, park, stream, or beach. The more people you recruit to help, the easier the job will be! Pick a local outdoor spot, grab a few garbage bags, and head out to nature to beautify it so all in your community can enjoy it.
How do you give back in the summer? We’d love to hear about the amazing things you do!
When was the last time you went on a picnic? Yeah, it’s been a while for us, too. And we’re now that we’ve remembered, it’s totally moving up to number one on our summer bucket list!
Picnics are the ultimate in summer fun. Sitting outside lunching with friends on a comfortable blanket with a bottle of wine, some delicious food, and the sun above your head just absolutely screams summer. The breeze, the warmth, and fresh, seasonal food make for the absolute best Sunday afternoon we can think of.
Even packing up your backpack or picnic basket can be a blast thanks to all the local, in-season summer produce out there right now. Whether you’re a lover of corn, tomatoes, blueberries, zucchini, watermelon radishes, or all of the above, there’s a piece of produce that’s fresh enough for any taste buds at this time of year. Everything simply seems to taste better – because it isn’t being shipped from miles and miles away.
We dare you to set out to the farmers’ market this weekend, grab some of your favorite fruits and veggies, and put together a scrumptious, nutritious picnic basket. The one trick with picnic-basket-packing? The food you cook needs to be easily portable and simple to eat. Soups probably don’t cut it; messy fish or meat also aren’t ideal.
What works best? Sandwiches are a plus, as are freshly packed salads. Skewers are also a treat, while anything that can fit in a mason jar or other small container is absolutely essential.
To make things a bit easier for you this weekend, we’ve compiled five starter picnic recipes that we think you’ll adore. Try them out this summer – and let us know how much you love them! Feel free to try your own twists and tricks… we’d love to hear your alterations.