I just wanted to share with you all some exciting news! I was just notified by Tammy-Lynn McNabb of Health Wellness and Lifestyle TV that Cedar Coast’s first episode (October) is now on YouTube. You can check it out here if you haven’t yet had a chance to see it!
So I just wanted to give you guys an update about my latest episode on Health, Wellness and Lifestyle TV. November’s episode is all about what you can do today to be greener tomorrow! Again you can watch my episode on Health, Wellness and Lifestyle TV on JoyTV and ONE Channel in Canada and now Russia (look at us go! haha) Check out the link here to find your local times and listings here. If you like seeing Cedar Coast on Health Wellness and Lifestyle TV, please let them know on Facebook, Instagram and their Website! Your support is always loved and appreciated!
And now for the other purpose of this post! I had more than a few followers and clients ask about where they could buy the products that I discussed on my first and second episode on Health Wellness and Lifestyle TV. As always, your wish is my command! Here are my recommendations!
My first recommendation on Health Wellness and Lifestyle TV was to bring your own water bottle and coffee cups with you to campus and skip the disposable cups. These
S’well and JOCO travels mugs and water bottle are my personal favourite.
My second recommendation was to bring your own food to campus and skip the cafeteria food line! I am in love with these Eco Vessel collapsible silicone food containers. They come in single item containers like this one, and in divided versions. The best thing is that once you are done you can just collapse it into a 1″ flat container and stuff it into your bag. Easy Peasy! A great, less expensive option, is this glass and silicone container by U-Konserve which is super sturdy and easy to clean without having the issue of your food coming in contact with harmful plastic chemicals.
Eco Vessel Collapsible Silicone Single Compartment Container Green
Next I recommend getting yourself some decent writing and note taking materials. If you are like me and can’t seem to get on-board with digital note taking, make sure you get sheet paper which is sourced responsibly or made from post-consumer fiber or a notebook which is made from sustainable materials.
And last but not least, I always encourage other students to seek out used textbooks, even if they are one or two editions old. Scour the bulletin boards on campus, join local Facebook pages for your university and ask friends and colleagues. Not only will you save yourself the expense, but you are also ensuring that a message is sent to your institution that charging students for expensive textbooks is unethical and an unfair practice for the student body to bear.
Coming soon is November’s product list and a brand new blog post about what you can do today to be greener tomorrow!
Thanks again you guys!
This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something from these links it doesn’t affect the price for you, but Cedar Coast receives a small commission which helps me keep creating content for you!
So throughout my education at SFU, many of my professors tried to instill their students with an understanding of how travel is a major source of our individual and cumulative carbon emissions. Honestly, when I would hear these lectures I would squirm in my seat and frown because of my own selfish desires to travel. One single trip from Vancouver BC Canada to Kahului Maui, Hawaii will create 1.19 tonnes of C02 emissions. And no, that number is per person, not per airplane. An additional complicating factor about air travel related pollution is that much of these emissions are created high in the atmosphere at cruising altitude. This is an issue because these emissions are more easily wide spread over greater distances due to winds and jet stream.
As a “serious” environmentalist, I hated that I would and could embrace many parts of life which contributed to the peril of the planet. But also I know and understand that travel is one of the best ways in life to grow as an individual, develop compassion and understanding for cultures beyond my borders and a means of supporting economies which may falter without tourism.
So what to do… ? Well I decided that if I was going to travel, I wasn’t going to do it in an all out pollution and garbage orgy. I was going to take my daily practices at home and adapt them to my new situation in order to offset (even if it’s just a fraction) my emissions. I was originally going to write just a single post about this topic but I’ve decided that I will make it a three part special. In this post I will list 6 things you can do to limit your waste while traveling. The second will be about what and how to pack and organize yourself for your sustainable travels and the last will be about the importance of buying the right sunscreen for the health of yourself and of the oceans.
6. Take a hike, or ride a bike! Look for alternative forms of transportation on your trip! Rent a bike, take transit like a bus or train, try ride sharing or walking instead of renting a car. You get to see so much more of the place you are visiting by using a slower form of transportation which enriches your experience that much more!
Thanks again for reading guys! And as I get ready to jetset off to Maui this weekend, I will be sharing with you guys how and what I am packing to make my trip a little less polluting. Plus while we are in Maui, myself and the family will be putting our skin on the line testing out natural, coral friendly sunscreen for you guys!
Yet again, I am trying something new on the Cedar Coast blog: a green business profile. From time to time I come across amazing people doing amazing things and have thought “Man, I want to share their story! It’s so inspiring!” So when one of my good friends made some changes in her life towards environmental sustainability I jumped at the chance to share her story with you. So here we go!
For many years now I have been a self-admitted hair addict, with my partner in crime being my stylist and friend Savannah Falk. As some of you may remember in my posts A Hairy Situation Part 1 & 2 & 3 Savannah was a wealth of information about product do’s and don’ts, so when she told me she was making a huge leap towards sustainability in her business I couldn’t turn down to opportunity to share her story with you.
But a bit of back story first. Savannah and I met back in 2009 in North Vancouver. I was having a bad day and walked down the street to a hair salon in my new neighbourhood (I had just moved to North Vancouver) and begged for a hair cut. My go-to vice for bad days has always been to cut or colour my hair (I blame my sister 😉 ) Savannah was the one who obliged (or pulled the short straw, I am not sure which) and got to work on her very first Heathers-in-a-crap-mood-chop-it-all-off haircut, the first of many. Over the years I have had as many hair colours and I did jobs, and more cuts than I did boyfriends. Savannah has been there for every step of the way!
So when she called to discuss this big change of hers, I was delighted! Turns out all those years of griping about pollution and talking about the environment had paid off: she was going sustainable!
Savannah told me she was converting her product line completely to Monat (that’s pronounced Mo-Nate because I kept mispronouncing it myself LOL). “So what’s the big deal?” I asked her since I had done a great deal of research on hair products this past summer and had found several brands that I loved. What made these ones different? Well for one, this list of Monat “No’s” is straight from their website:
Monat comes at their product ingredients largely from a personal health perspective, but as I have same on more than one occasion what is good for you is usually good for the planet. As we discussed in previous posts, phthalates, parabens, phenoxyethanol, fragrances, PEG and sulfates all wash down our drains and into our waste water systems. Despite our best efforts at treatment facilities, these chemicals are still discharged into our marine ecosystems. What may be considered”safe levels” of these chemicals for humans are now found to be dangerous and harmful for marine animals and their ecosystems.
For years Savannah has bugged me about how often I was my hair, damaging it and washing my colour out along the way. She would tisk tisk me for needing to come in every 6 weeks for a colour because I was basically washing it all down the drain while damaging my hair and scalp. Savannah posted this amazing picture and caption which highlights the health and strength of her hair now that she has been using Monat. She needs to wash her hair less and less and experiences less and less breakage every week due to her infrequent washing. This not only does this cut down on water consumption but also her overall need for product which reduces packaging and plastics.
[I’ve used] “curl cream” this is day 2, post sweaty workout, I dried my sweaty hair and twisted my hair into approx 6 “zulu knots” and let it sit while I did my makeup! Took my hair down and light diffuse to break the curls up and look and the curl and volume!!!
In addition to embracing a product line which is both good for her clients and for the planet, she has joined a new salon called Joy Hair Studio in North Vancouver which is a Green Circle Salon member. Additionally, Joy is committed to philanthropic work, meaning that partial proceeds from every service is donated to local initiatives which help those battling mental illness. Located in Lonsdale Quay, Joy is easy to get to via public transit with buses and the seabus terminal located within the same building which can cut down your style oriented carbon footprint even further.
Green Circle Salons aim to be as close to zero waste as possible by recycling foils, diverting hair clippings from landfills, recycling tubes and aerosols, collecting and remediating chemical products, and by participating in traditional recycling and green waste products. In total Green Circle Salons have diverted almost 2.3 million pounds of salon and spa waste from landfills around North America since 2009.
“We further serve our salons by coaching them in making green changes to the operations of their salon such as LED lighting, renewable energy, organic tea and coffee, eco-friendly cleaning products, and installing water saving faucets” – Green Circle Salons
Investigation into the ingredient lists of Monat products raised very few overall concerns for me. Yes their products contain fragrances and some surfactants which are considered irritants to some, but in the grand scheme of things Monat products strive to make healthy/green performance oriented products not just green cleansing products. This is leaps and bounds ahead of many other salon grade products and companies which don’t even attempt to make changes to their ingredient lists. Can Monat do a little better? Yes, and I assume that through their active research and product development they will be constantly striving for improvement.
Savannah has taken such fantastic steps towards making her business responsible, ethical and environmentally sustainable proving that effective change is possible within the beauty industry. Between using Monat and through the services at Joy Hair Salon, Savannah has began to eliminate and divert much of her businesses pollution and waste which would either go into our water systems or into municipal landfills. She isn’t a “die hard” environmentalist, super crunchy or a hippie, just a normal person like you and I who wants to make a difference in her life and the lives of her clients by providing healthy hair products which are good for them and the planet. We should all be a little more like Savannah shouldn’t we?
Want a green stylist in your life? Contact Savannah to purchase the whole Monat product line via her website, on Instagram or at Joy Hair Salon and by traditional means 778-836-5171 and email@example.com
Thanks again for reading you guys!
As some of you may have noticed in the past couple of weeks I am trying something new on Cedar Coast: sharing environmental and climate change oriented news. This is because I feel that our primary media sources do a poor job of reporting on the subject. As a result, from time to time I am going to share links with you guys that I find fascinating. Let me know what you think in the comments sections as it will help me tailor the content as I go.
Several years ago I received a set of these amazing reusable zip bags from It’s Sew Kara, a company in Courtenay and Victoria BC Canada. Two years later, these well-used bags are still going strong in our kitchen. When I heard that Kara and Cheryl had created a new product, I was so excited to get involved with their project.
This new project was their first line of Beeswax Wraps. These wraps are made from 100% cotton fabric inundated with melted beeswax made locally in Comox Valley.
If you are like my husband asking “what are they for?” don’t feel left out. These handy wraps are designed to replace disposable plastic food wrap. The beeswax wraps are reusable, washable and should last 6-12 months (I would like to see plastic wrap do that!)
My pack of three includes one large wrap, one medium wrap and one snack pouch which is about the size of a traditional zip style sandwich bag. When I opened the package I was greeted with the wonderful fragrance of beeswax and was delighted by the pattern that was chosen for me. Although fairly rigid when I first pulled them out, they quickly became malleable with the heat of my hands yet without leaving a waxy residue behind.
These wraps are fantastic for bowls of leftovers, salads (who wouldn’t want to take one of these bad boys to a potluck?!) cut veggies and fruit and snacks. So far I have used them for all of the above including wrapping my wedge of Parmesan cheese in one where the existing waxed paper wouldn’t suffice.
Cleaning is a breeze too. Just some gentle soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s soaps) and lukewarm water to clean them up. Hang to dry or like me lean them up in the dish drying rack (mine are still quite firm.) According to Kara and Cheryl, their wraps will show signs of aging eventually, but that is not the end of the wraps. To “refresh” them you simply place them on a baking sheet on parchment paper and bake in the oven at 180º F for 1-2 minutes to redistribute the waxes.
I feel as though this goes without saying, however I should remind my readers that beeswax wraps of any kind are not tolerant of heat. So do not (I repeat Do Not) put them in the microwave or on hot surfaces like a glasstop stove unless you want some hot melty waxy mess to clean up.
Although I feel like my regular readers are aware of the perils of plastic wrap on human health and the health of the environment, I think it is worth discussing yet again.
Plastic’s traditionally are softened with a chemical called phthalates which makes them malleable during production. And in recent years, governments across the world have sought to eliminate the most harmful of them from our food storage products like water bottles and plastic wrap. However, eliminating BPA and BPA’s, if I may summarize a great saying in the stunning documentary film Plastic Oceans, that
“eliminating BPA and BPS from our lives is like arresting Al Capone and expecting that all organized crime will be forever gone.”
These two phthalates are just two of thousands of harmful chemicals found in plastic products. Additionally, a study by Liberte Environmental Associates and Biotech Research and Consulting found that within the state of Washington through government authorized industrial discharge permits
Metals, PAHs, phthalates and PCHs can be attached to permitted levels of effluent suspended solids in proportions about 33,000 to 6,250,000 times greater than safe levels for organisms. Additionally, PAHs, phthalates and PCHs may also be contained in authorized oil and grease discharges at levels about 400 to 670,000 times greater than presumably safe levels.
The researchers went on to describe the effects of bioaccumulation of these harmful chemicals to local fish species such as Chinook salmon and how the chemicals retard the fishes abilities in growing and developing normally contributing to their populations steady decline. Additionally, we are already very well aware of the harmful effects that bioaccumulation has on humans and fetal development, including hormone disruptions, kidney damage and infertility.
So on that dreary note: let’s discuss what positive steps we can take to eliminate toxins from plastic from our environment.
First and foremost the easiest and most obvious step is to stop buying plastic wrap. It is literally the first place to start because if you have it in your kitchen, you will use it.
So your next question is “What do I do with the half onions or peppers?” We personally use a combination of Anchor brand glass food storage containers, our beeswax wraps from It’s Sew Kara and parchment paper/elastic bands or butcher twine. I have yet to ever have a moment in my kitchen where I cry out “man I wish I had plastic wrap” in literally 4 years.
“But what about microwaving food? What about splatters?” you say. I say use a plate. Yes a plate. Get a spare plate out, flip it over and use that to cover your bowls of soup or pasta leftovers. The last thing you want to do is heat plastic wrap with your food (especially oily foods) because they are more prone to leaching that way.
“What about meats and cheese?” Well we use both parchment paper and our beeswax wraps to store those smellier foods. The envelope style wrap I have is now dedicated to my cheddars and does a great job in keeping the crusty edge at bay. As for meats, if we are marinating, I just choose to do it in a Pyrex container with a lid. Easy peasy.
I know it’s kind of a tough love mentality, but once you take a convenience item out of your life it really does force you to get creative and use the existing items in your house. For example, we don’t use paper towels in our house (a paperless kitchen post is on its way by the the way). We use bar mops. Yep. Good old fashioned washable cotton bar mops. Seems embarrassingly simple right?
Anyway everyone, I really appreciate you all taking the time out of your schedules to read our little blog. If you like what you read, please show your support by sharing this post with your social media and by visiting our partner It’s Sew Kara!
A great article outlining a new study on global emissions.
North American’s have a weird fetish, and most don’t even know it… Halloween, the ghoulish, frightful fall spectacle which has it origins in Celtic traditions has morphed through history into a equally frightful capitalist holiday. If you think that is a harsh assessment of the holiday consider this: Americans will spend approximately $6.9 billion dollars on Halloween this year on costumes, decorations and candy. That’s all well an good many will say, and it does contribute to local economies which is undeniable, it does have an environmental impact. So to guide you through this ghoulish season, here are my suggestions to environmentally-friendly celebrations.
I think we can all agree, we have seen our fair share of Pirates, Black Cats, Supermen, 80’s Aerobics Instructors, and Vikings, so one can assume that there are numerous repeated costumes in circulation. So head over to your local thrift store, community buy & sell Facebook groups or Value Village for secondhand costume pieces. I especially recommend asking around your group of friends for hand-me-down costumes that perhaps their children have outgrown and swap costumes between all of you.
Alright, so I admit that this one is going to be unpopular with the kids, but stick with me here! As a true Canadian child, I remember having to wear my parka underneath my costume, or work it around an umbrella, complaining I was cold or wet or tired to my parents and how my pillowcase full of candy was too heavy. So why not host a costume party at your home for your friends and family and their kids? It is warm, dry and an opportunity to play games and visit with everyone! As a result you can avoid the seemingly endless wrappers from those “fun sized” chocolate bars by serving fun Halloween themed appetizers, punch and deserts! Instead of gift bags full of chocolates and candies, opt for more useful take-away’s like Halloween themed pencils and erasers.
Alright, so perhaps you’re kids would host a coup if you announced the end of trick-o-treating, and if that is the case I suggest that you forego the plastic bags or buckets for treat collection and make a fun kid-friendly DIY project. This project was created by Punkin Patterns using canvas and cotton fabric and- I suggest that you swap out the conventional canvas for upcycled fabric and/or use felt made from recycled plastic materials (sold at Michaels.)
Or if you are like me, and trick-o-treated using a household pillowcase, you can follow this adorable tutorial by Thirty Handmade Days. If you do not want to forsake one of your own household pillowcases, I suggest you pick up a few from your local secondhand store. Give it a hot wash and you will be good to go!
Package Free, Strategic Trick-O-Treating
This option takes a little planning a lot of cooperation between friends and neighbours, but if done right it can be one of the best Halloween waste solutions! This suggestion is the organization between friends and neighbours in your area to pre-make homemade treats or waste-free giveaways to hand out to the children who’s parents are part of the arrangement. Then you and your children then only go trick-o-treating to the homes who are participating in this arrangement. My suggestions are things like candied apples, rice crispy pumpkins, date bars and these adorable mandarine orange pumpkins by A Designer Life. Truthfully this suggestion would work best with young children under 6 who are less influenced by their peers and have less stamina and therefore don’t want to go to 20+ homes in an evening.
This is an excellent solution for children who have food allergies as well because you can notify your friends of said allergy and they can accommodate them! The key here is to make it safe though, so don’t put an APB out there on your community Facebook group for the whole neighbourhood, because even though we think we may know our neighbours well, we might not.
Alright, last but not least, this is an easy one! If you have local farmers markets or pumpkin patches near you, make the effort to buy one from there. The ones at the supermarket come from unknown locations, and therefore may have large transportation related carbon footprints. We picked up our pumpkins from a local family farm Aldor Acres. Not only did we only drive 4km to the farm, but we know that our money is supporting local families and economies.
Alright Guys! That’s it for now, but if I think of any other ideas this weekend will be sure to update this post!
Hi guys! Just a quick post for you guys this morning!
I often get asked by clients and readers about where they can take items which can be recycled, but are not accepted in municipal curbside pick-up. Well part of the problem as been solved! In addition to numerous local recycling depots around the lower mainland, London Drugs has announced that it will be hosting recycling stations in many of their stores now in Langley, Surrey, Richmond and Delta. Items now include styrofoam (even meat trays), plastic bags, overwap including grocery bags, bread bags, produce bags and outerbags for bottled water and diapers.
Want to learn more? Check out the link below:
So it is official! Cedar Coast’s first episode on Health Wellness & Lifestyle TV is on the air!
I am really excited for this opportunity and to share my passion for environmental sustainability with Canadians. I will be also posting the digital version on our website later this month for my readers who don’t have cable (like me! whoops!) In this episode I discuss with Tammy-Lynn how University and College students can go back to school a little greener this semester. If you want to know more you can look at the full blog post here for my top 10 tips!
I would really like to thank the staff of HWLTV and Tammy-Lynn McNabb for making this process so enjoyable and exciting! I am looking forward to working with them in the future.
If you would like to see the episodes yourself, have a look at the stations and times here on the HWLTV site.
Thanks for the love and support from my readers and clients! This has been a very strange month for me, but I couldn’t be more pleased for my budding little company 🙂