Friday, March 22, 2013

5 Weird Things I Do: Morning Routine

Hey all!  I know it has been a while.  What can I say.  School.  Life.  The usual things that get in the way of my blogging.  Have I told you guys that I am running a Sprint Triathlon in April?  It's crazy right?  Like I need more to do.  It's been pretty great though.  I've been swimming, biking, playing soccer, and discovering that I might actually like running!  I've been training for the past month or so, and I discovered a new favorite blog:  No Meat Athlete.  This blog is great starting from the adorable jogging carrot, right down to the health and running advice.  I stopped by there a few mornings ago during my usual blog trolling/procrastination loop before getting down to work and saw the most recent post about weird things this blogger does now that he is a vegan.  I loved it, mostly because I thought it was all cool, familiar, and not really that weird.  But it got me to thinking, I've spent a fair amount of time thus far telling you guys about new things I am trying to do to make my impact on the earth itty-bitty-small, but I've totally neglected to tell you all the things that have changed in my life over the past few years as I strive for this goal.  Some of these things are big, some are small, and some are totally weird.  I just think of them as so normal now.

So, over the next little bit, I will be sharing with you short lists of the weird things I do in my day to day.  Some of them might seem pretty normal to the hippie-eco set, but I hope to teach even the old hat eco-nerds some new tricks.  Here we go with installment one!

Five Weird Things I Do- My Morning Routine:

1.  Baking Soda and Coconut Oil Face wash

My new face washing routine.
Excuse the blurry picture, but this is pretty much what it
looks like before I combine the two ingredients.
I found this little gem months ago and quickly added it to my Pinterest board for future reference. I had been using the Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar because it comes in a paper box and I didn't have to buy a new plastic bottle every time I needed new face wash. However, I was always a little bummed that the bar came wrapped in a little layer of cellophane plastic. So close, yet so far. I've always had problems with mild but persistent acne and the Neutrogena had really done the trick for clearing it up and lasted for a really long time (read: it was super cheap!).  Additionally, I wanted a face wash with as few chemicals as possible.  Your skin is your biggest organ, and everything you put on it gets absorbed to varying degrees.  I do not want to put a lot of random chemicals on my body and just hope for the best.  This  was another semi-plus for the Neutrogena face bar.  Everyone should run their skin care products through the Environmental Working Group's, Skin Deep Database.  It will tell you a lot about the chemicals and risks associated with all sorts of health and beauty products.  But I digress.

So, I was a little resistant to trying this new technique, because I was relatively pleased with my current solution   Despite my reservations, when the time came to buy new face wash about a month ago, I found an on sale coconut oil that was 1) organic, 2) in a glass jar, and 3) did I mention on sale?  I decided I had to go for it!  I figured, I use baking soda for everything and if this doesn't work I can use the coconut oil for cooking.  How does it work then?  The jury is still out.  I have super, super sensitive skin so each time I switch face washes, there is an awkward period where I get small break outs, so that is still happening.  Additionally, I'm not sure I've been doing it 100% right.  The instructions on the website are different than the ones on the pin, which are the ones I have been following.  Right now, I am using a pinch of baking soda and a very small amount of coconut oil (size of a pencil eraser) 3 times a week, then washing my face with warm water and a wash cloth the other days.  My skin looks a lot healthier aside from the slight increase in blemishes.  I have no dry skin and it has evened out my skin tone a bit.  I'm going to give it till the end of April, and see if things clear up the rest of the way.  After all, I have been exercising about 20x more than usual and falling into bed at night without rinsing my face sometimes, so it's hard to say if this is working great or not.  Someone else should give it a try!  Let me know how it goes.  It's for sure got less chemicals and plastic associated with it than any other face washing routine I've tried.  And, I feel like my face smells nice after...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eco-Inspiration 5: Music

Music has always had a big impact on my life.  I first heard this song in a yoga class in Long Beach, CA.  The instructor (who I had a huge friend crush on) explained that by trying to improve ourselves we could improve the world.  I couldn't agree more, and I think that is part of what I'm trying to do with this blog.  Not only to I want to educate you all on how to make conscious, thoughtful decisions, but I want to do that in a way that is both encouraging and empowering.

What can you do today to make the world just a little bit brighter?  

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Check back on Friday for the beginning of a new series on the blog, which I am super stoked about!  Oh, and I am now also coming to you via Instagram!  Follow me if you like.    

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Eco-Inspiration 4: Wordless

Pictures from some of my travels. A new post coming soon!  Where will your next adventure take you?  What beautiful things does your lifestyle inspire you to protect?
Tidepools.  Hermanus , South Africa

Kenyan Elephants.