Photo Friday | Bayou Teche Trash Bash and Boogie

Now that fall is officially here, it's a great time to get outdoors! Getting out on the area waterways is a popular weekend activity - especially kayaking on Lake Martin, Bayou Vermilion or Bayou Teche.

This weekend, if you have a hankering to get on the water, you can do so while helping to clean up!

Tomorrow morning, the TECHE Project is hosting its regular Trash Bash and Boogie event, starting at 9am in Port Barre.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1884236958563490/


It is that time of year again as we get the Bayou Teche ready for the hundreds of paddlers from around the country to come and explore our beautiful water way. We are happy to announce our annual Trash Bash and Boogie, to be held at the start of the Bayou Teche in Port Barre on September 23.

As usual, the TECHE Project will have everything you need to have a successful cleanup. Bags, gloves, pickers, and boats! What would a TECHE Project event be without food, music, and beer (also other drinks for the youngsters)

The Trash Bash and Boogie is a family friendly event. If you have a group or organization interested in helping we would love to have you. We hope that you join us to make our Bayou Teche a cleaner, healthier place for people to work and play! 

Volunteers at previous Trash Bash events have helped to clean up hundreds of pounds of trash out of Bayou Teche, the only waterway in Louisiana to be designated by the National Park Service as a National Waterway Trail.

https://www.facebook.com/bayou.teche.1/photos/a.1603832079749823.1073741828.1603815503084814/1904961772970184/?type=3
Photo courtesy TECHE Project

Photo courtesy TECHE Project

TECHE Project has been a great ally to Eco Cajun over the past few years - I always love visiting with volunteer Dane Thibodeaux at the Vermilionville Earth Day events, and I'm working with him now to go on a bayou cruise and see firsthand some of the work TECHE Project does.

Photo courtesy TECHE Project

The event tomorrow is sure to be an enjoyable time - round up the family and head on out to Port Barre to help clean up Bayou Teche!

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Green Business Spotlight | Mow Green Lawn Service

Gardening and yard work can be equated with living a nature-loving, eco-friendly lifestyle, but sometimes, the tools used for them are anything but eco-friendly.

Most lawnmowers, weed eaters and leaf blowers require gasoline and oil to run, and depending on the size of your yard, it can get expensive to fuel, especially during the summer when it seems like mowing is required every other day.

However, there are eco-friendly alternatives to lawn care equipment.

Photo courtesy Mow Green Lawn Service

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Photo Friday | Inspiration

One of my goals for the blog this year was to write a lot of new content for y'all, and behind the scenes, I've been working on a schedule for the rest of the year. I'm so excited about what's coming up!

But I also would love to hear from y'all - is there a topic you're interested in learning more about? How to recycle certain items, more about reducing waste/minimalism, more sustainable style or home goods?

Comment on this post with your thoughts or questions, and I'll be happy to answer you and add some requested topics to my schedule!


Hope you all have a great September weekend! If you're out and about in Lafayette today, visit Downtown Lafayette to see all the great parklets, and enjoy the season's first Downtown Alive! Don't forget your reusable DTA cup!

http://www.ecocajun.com/2015/04/sustainable-downtown-alive.html

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All About Parklets

A few weeks back, I wrote about the upcoming PARK(ing) Day events in Lafayette.

PARK(ing) day is an annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into public “PARK(ing)” spaces. A handful of Downtown Lafayette metered parking spaces will be transformed into interesting, vibrant public spaces. 

But what exactly are parklets and what is their goal?

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Photo Friday | A Hint of Fall

On the heels of Harvey, and as we watch Irma make its way closer to Florida, a cool front came to the Gulf Coast region, giving us a much-welcomed break in the heat, humidity and rain.

The timing of it couldn't be better, especially now that Labor Day has passed. I'm pretty sure the entire region went fall-crazy this week, myself included. Who cares if the crisp evenings and mornings are only here until next Wednesday? The wreath on my front door now has mums instead of daisies, the autumn-scented candles are out, and my decorative pumpkins are on full display.


This week, I had a lunch meeting, and it coincidentally was at a restaurant with outdoor seating. Best lunch meeting I've had in a long time, for sure. The breeze was perfect, the food was great, and the waitress did not bring me a plastic straw!

I regularly get comments on social media asking where my straws are from. The particular set I have is from Amazon, and came with six straws and a cleaning brush. They've been one of the best investments I've made all year (read my original blog post on my straw switch), and my husband even gets in on avoiding plastic straws when we dine out. I always have more than one straw in my purse so we're covered when we need.

And I've only almost forgotten my straw at a restaurant once so far!


This week, I also jumped right in to drinking pumpkin spice coffee, but in an almost zero-waste way. Instead of hitting the coffee shop drive thru, I brew a couple cups at home and bring my coffee to work in my reusable mug. Although it's cliche, the flavor has really hit the spot.

The picture above is from last fall, when I did visit a coffee shop for a pumpkin spice fix, but I had them use my reusable mug instead of a disposable cup. I think it was actually hotter that day than it's been this week! Check out that original blog post.

How are you spending this first weekend of pre-autumn?

And to all my friends in Florida and along the East Coast, please, please, please stay safe this weekend as Irma gets closer!
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How You Can Reuse Glass Containers at Home or the Office

A few weeks back, my column in the Times of Acadiana looked at creative ways to reuse glass containers...in "honor" of the fact that Lafayette no longer takes glass in curbside recycling.

It's always important to try to reuse items as much as possible before throwing them out. Especially with glass jars or containers, they can withstand being reused for a long time before they need to be discarded.

Recycled and painted bottle vase at Taco Sisters Freetown

Most of the glass containers found in homes come from pasta sauce jars, spice jars, baby food jars, candles, mason jars, and beer, wine and oil bottles. Forget buying new glass jars for storage purposes — reuse what you’ve probably already got!

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Photo Friday | Kicking Off September

This Photo Friday will be a little bit of a recap of the past week.

To start off, I'm continuing to update my list of ways to help Harvey victims. If you're in the Acadiana area, United Way of Acadiana is holding their Flood the Love donation drive through tomorrow. Go here to see what items they are accepting.


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Clear Bag Policies | How to Be Stadium-Compliant AND Sustainable?

First things first, check out my blog post from Monday, which has been updated with more ways you can donate to Harvey relief efforts in Texas and Southwest Louisiana.

With all of the focus on Harvey over the past week, it's hard to think that the college football season is about to kick off. My alma mater, UL Lafayette, has its first home game this Saturday. This year, they're joining in on the clear bag policy that's been part of the NFL and other universities for a little while now. (If you need the UL Lafayette clear bag policy and guidelines, go here.)


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Updated: How to Help Those Affected by Harvey

Being so close to Texas, and with Louisiana potentially in Harvey's crosshairs this week, the devastation is all I can think about. After the historic flooding in Lafayette and Baton Rouge last August, it's even more heartbreaking to watch Texas go through the same thing. The emotions are still so raw for so many in South Louisiana who have recovered and are still recovering from last year.

We have a lot of family and friends in Texas and southwest Louisiana, and my heart goes out to everyone dealing with the unthinkable.


Via Busted Tees


No matter how near or far you are to Houston, southeast Texas, and southwest Louisiana, there are ways you can help the thousands of families affected, flooded and displaced.

Note: This list was last updated on September 1, 2017.


American Red Cross

Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Austin Pets Alive!

The organization says it has transported over 235 animals to its shelter since Saturday morning. How can you lend a hand? Make a donation, foster or adopt a pet, or volunteer. Find out more here. (Via NBC News)

Humane Society

Donate online here.

Salvation Army

Donate online here.

Texas Diaper Bank

Donate online here.

Food Bank of Corpus Christi

Donate online here.

Greater Houston Community Foundation

Donate to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund online.

United Way of Greater Houston

Donate online here or text UWFLOOD to 41444.

United Way of Mid-South Jefferson County

The offices for this branch of United Way, covering Port Arthur, are currently closed due to the flooding, but you can donate online here.

United Way of Beaumont and North Jefferson County

Donate online to the Harvey Disaster Relief here.

United Way of Orange County (Texas)

Their offices are closed until further notice, but you can donate online here.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge

Broadmoor United Methodist Church is collecting supplies to send to Texas. Items can be purchased and taken to Broadmoor or purchased online and shipped to 10230 Mollylea Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70815. You can also purchase items through Amazon at and have items 2-day shipped.

Catholic Charities USA

Catholic Charities USA, a Catholic social service organization, is seeking donations to help those who have been affected by Harvey. The group has set up a website devoted to Harvey relief. You can also text CCUSADISASTER to 71777 to donate. (Via WBRZ)

Cajun Navy

The Cajun Navy is accepting donation of essential items (non-perishable food, water, baby items (already mixed formula, food, diapers), cleaning supplies, etc.) No clothing, toys, etc. Donations are being accepted at Bead Busters and Float Rentals, 2034 Bonin Rd, Youngsville. These items will be collected by the Cajun Navy and delivered to flood victims in Texas and wherever it is needed. (Via KATC)

Local Food Banks

The Houston Press has compiled a list of food banks in the affected area, including Houston Food Bank, Galveston County Food Bank, Corpus Christi Food Bank, Southeast Texas Food Bank, and more. They recommend contacting a food bank directly about their need and what you can do. (Via Vox)

Donate Blood

The American Red Cross, and Houston organizations Carter BloodCare and the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center are accepting blood donations.

United Way of Southwest Louisiana

(As of August 30, 2017) Volunteer at the shelter set up at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

Text HARVEY to 41444 to donate to this United Way chapter.

American Red Cross + Google

Donate to the Red Cross through this link, and Google will match all donations.

NOLA Pay It Forward Fund

Activated by the Mayor of New Orleans in partnership with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the NOLA Pay It Forward Fund: Hurricane Harvey will provide resources for the early relief and rebuilding efforts of those communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Episcopal Relief & Development

Donate online here.

Acadian Companies Employee Relief Fund

A group very dear to me, many medics worked throughout the storm (and continue to work after the storm) to help others, even as they lost their own homes. Donate online here.

Other Ways to Help


Flood Relief Tips



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Photo Friday | National Secondhand Wardrobe Day

This year, one of my personal goals was to start switching to more sustainable clothing and accessories. Under that goal, anything I would buy would be vintage; secondhand; made of organic, recycled or sustainable material; or produced under fair trade practices or with fair-trade materials.

Throughout the year, I’ve come to discover that my favorite way to be sustainably stylish is to shop secondhand. It’s a excellent way to keep clothing out of landfills, and it’s the most friendly-on-the-wallet option.

Fun secondhand dress and vintage necklace for a few birthday photos.

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What to Do With Old Makeup Containers

One thing that seems to be inevitable for most women is having empty makeup and cosmetics containers. Unless you make your own makeup or just go without it altogether, you probably have at least one or two containers every year that you need to dispose of.


Are makeup containers recyclable or reusable? Yes, with a little effort!

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Photo Friday: Thinking Ahead for PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day is happening across the country and around the world on Friday, September 15, and Lafayette is getting in on the fun!

PARK(ing) day is an annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into public “PARK(ing)” spaces. A handful of Downtown Lafayette metered parking spaces will be transformed into interesting, vibrant public spaces.



ReCover Acadiana is organizing the event in partnership with Lafayette Consolidated Government, the Downtown Development Authority, Downtown Lafayette Unlimited, and the Downtown Lafayette Restaurant and Bar Association.


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Reducing Plastic on a Larger Scale

Last month, beloved local restaurant Tsunami Sushi announced on Facebook that they are adopting a no-straw policy in all three of their locations: Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The announcement garnered a lot of activity and a lot of excitement from zero-waste fans on social media.


They cited the amount of single-use straws that kill marine life as one of the factors in their decision...and it's a fitting factor considering the amount of seafood Tsunami serves every single day. The restaurant says they're more motivated by the long-term impact on the environment than any potential cost savings that come from reducing the number of straws they go through (a savings they mention is insignificant.)


You might be wondering why it matters for a restaurant in South Louisiana to worry about its waste while citing the amount of trash in the ocean. No, we're not geographically near the Atlantic or Pacific, but since everything is connected, straws that we throw out or that become litter can end up in the Atlantic.


If it's on the street in Lafayette, it can get swept into a storm drain during a summer thunderstorm. It then travels to the coulees, then Bayou Vermilion. From there, it can get emptied into the Gulf of Mexico, and eventually float out to the ocean. (Props here to Bayou Vermilion District for their daily river cleanups...I can't imagine how much litter would end up in the Gulf if it weren't for those guys!)


And it's understandable that you might want a straw for your drink - I have sensitive front teeth and can't handle iced drinks without a straw! If you do rely on having a straw, I recommend investing in a set of reusable straws that you can carry around with you. They are very inexpensive and easy to carry in your car or purse.

My husband and I visited one weekend recently for a lunch date and enjoyed our iced green teas without plastic straws. I had my reusable straw on hand, and my husband went completely straw-free.


The restaurant also says that most customers have applauded and embraced the switch. However, they will still provide plastic straws at the customer's request.

I know a few local restaurant owners, and I follow many locally owned restaurants on social media, so I'd like to challenge everyone - will you make the choice to give out straws only on demand in your restaurants? Can we help South Louisiana reduce its single-use straw trash?

As patrons, no matter where you go out to eat, order your drink specifically without a straw. My habit these days is to order "Water no straw, please." (It's not 100% successful in me not receiving a straw anyway, but I'm getting there!) The more often people request it, the more it may become habit for waitstaff to remember.
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Photo Friday | Small Efforts

Last week, we went to an annual potluck gathering thrown by a group of our friends. It's an evening we always look forward to, because it always guarantees a lot of delicious food.

This time, I thought harder about being eco-friendly when it came to our supplies. Paper plates and plastic cups are always provided (I can't recall seeing any styrofoam plates or cups for the past few events), but I remembered that I had a few of plant-based plates in our cabinet, so I packed a few for Phillip and myself. These World Centric plates are made from wheat straw, a leftover agricultural fiber and an annually renewable resource.

I grabbed some of my stash of Susty Party compostable forks and knives, and brought two cloth napkins, so we wouldn't have to use paper ones.

The drinks we brought were in cans, so we brought them all home for recycling.


I brought my dish in one of the ceramic casserole dishes we received as a wedding gift, so it was nice to put it to good use!

The food was amazing, and we were stuffed as usual. I left feeling good that even though I used disposable items, I used ones that are more responsible and eco-friendly. It's a small effort, but it's a positive effort!
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Celebrating National Farmers Market Week

Happy National Farmers Market Week, everyone! Celebrated annually during the second week of August, the week highlights the important role farmers markets play in the nation’s food system. This year marks the 18th year the Farmers Market Coalition and USDA put the spotlight on farmers markets and their impact to our communities.

https://farmersmarketcoalition.org/programs/national-farmers-market-week/



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Green Business Spotlight | Sapovela

One of my favorite things about social media is the ability to discover small and/or local eco-friendly and natural businesses. It's how I discovered Sapovela last year, and after following them for a bit, I picked up a bar of their Raspberry Mango scented soap at the farmer's market earlier a few months back.


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Photo Friday | Going Tiny

Last week, we got to make a visit to Tee Tiny Houses in Arnaudville, Louisiana. The brand new company is Louisiana's first tiny home manufacturer, and they're hard at work on building their first model homes.


I've written about tiny homes on the blog before, and about how inevitably, tiny homes are closely linked with environmentalism. By living in a very small space, you are forced to utilize every inch. Everything must have a purpose and significance, and if you don't use something, you don't let it take up valuable space.

Many tiny homes are built and furnished with salvaged, repurposed or sustainable materials. A smaller footprint automatically means smaller utility bills. What's not to love about that!? You can even go off the grid with solar panels on the roof.
 

Phillip and I are fascinated with tiny homes, but whether we could realistically live in one is another story! Nonetheless, getting to visit a tiny home under construction in person was a pretty fascinating morning. Standing inside this home was really interesting, from seeing where the kitchen will be and how roomy the bathroom is, to learning about all of the unique storage tactics.


Tee Tiny Houses will be holding a grand opening later this year, once this model home nears completion, and I'm looking forward to following the construction process and seeing a furnished home!

What would be the one thing your tiny home would HAVE to have?
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My Living Room Home Tour

While I feel like I honestly haven't been doing very many "green" things in my own life, especially ones worth talking about, I realized that maybe I can take a step back. My husband and I spent most of this past Sunday cleaning around the house and tackling a lot of different chores we've been needing to.

At the end of the day, I snapped a few photos of our living room looking clean and cozy, and I realized how eco-friendly the room actually is.

So, I'll give you a tour of our fairly small, yet incredibly cozy living room!



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Photo Friday | Still Lafayette Strong

It's been one hell of a summer around here, and I'm definitely ready for some cooler weather and a change in the seasons.

I haven't been able to ride my bike as much as I would have liked lately, but I'm working on dodging the random rain showers to get out a little more. Last weekend, I enjoyed a nice little solo ride, complete with music and my super styling bike helmet.



There's so much peace I find in bike riding, even with the dangers of city traffic. For a short trip to visit hang out with my parents, it was much more enjoyable to hit play on my phone's music and hop on my bike, instead of getting in my car. You notice your surroundings more, and just feel less isolated than you do inside a vehicle.

I've been enjoying my Schwinn Candis bike for its quiet and comfortable ride. Plus, it's a happy shade of sky blue!

With all of the summer storms that pop up around town, it's been refreshing to see a bunch of rainbows this summer. Not only do they remind me of our trips to Hawaii, but they make me smile just a little bigger.


This coming Sunday marks two years since one of Lafayette's darker days, and while I was on a bike ride last weekend, I came up to a rainbow over the Grand. Still Lafayette Strong, indeed. After that day, and the flood last year, we've certainly dealt with a lot, but we still come back strong.

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What's In My Bag

Isn't there a saying about what's in a woman's purse tells a lot about her personality? Whether there is or not, my own purse certainly does express my personality pretty closely!

Because I like to use my own journey as an example when sharing ways you can go greener, I'm sharing the items I carry in my bag all the time. Not everything in my purse is eco-friendly, but these are my most important staples.


The purse

First things first, my everyday purse is not inherently eco-friendly. It's from TJ Maxx, but it's more than four years old and I plan to use it until it's literally falling apart (and it's starting to get there). Staying honest to show y'all that even I still have a ways to go on my sustainability journey. I don't intend to replace it until it really needs it and I find an eco-friendly option.

On the flipside, my "small purse" that I use on occasion is a secondhand find from my great aunt's closet. I love it for the crossbody style and the fact I can't shove too much stuff in it.


Wallet

My wallet is actually a recent replacement of an older, recycled-material wallet. Thanks to Natalie at Sustainably Chic, I discovered this vegan cork wallet from Friluk. Of course, I love anything that reminds me of wine corks, so I was excited to pick up this wallet for myself. I seriously needed a replacement, and the longer size felt like a more grown-up option than my previous bi-fold wallet.


My older wallet was a six-year-old recycled billboard style from Plywood People. It held up well over the years of being banged around in my purses, which is understandable given billboard vinyl's durability. The cloth edging was starting to fray, and it was starting to feel a bit young for me. I do love that I've had some form of eco-friendly wallet for a few years now.


Makeup bag

My makeup pouch is probably about four or five years old and is from GAIA Empowered Women. The style itself is no longer available, but there are plenty of other cute ones! GAIA is based in Dallas, Texas, and the items are handmade by refugee women resettled in the city. They use vintage, artisan-made, and sustainable materials. They aim to empower refugee women through employment, encouragement, and dedication to their long-term success in local communities.

I usually keep my chapstick, lipstick, mints, hand sanitizer and any medicines or vitamins in this pouch, and it makes the transfer from my large purse to small purse pretty easy.

Cell phone

My phone is almost always nearby, for better or for worse. However, I love my iPhone 7+, and don't tell my husband that I really don't regret jumping ship from Android to iPhone.


When I got this phone last December, I looked around for eco-friendly phone cases, and chose this wood style from Carved. It's held up really well to all of my abuse! The ridged edges are so useful, and the wood is very durable - I haven't noticed spots or stains from my hand being in the same place, or from water hitting it. Although I got a plain wood style, there are tons of gorgeous designs and patterns. Plus, the cases are made in Indiana before being shipped out.(Get a 10% discount code here!)


Chapstick

True story. I'm addicted to lip balms. I always have at least one in my purse, and although the brands sometimes rotate, I mainly stick with Burt's Bees. They score well on the EWG chart for their ingredients, which is a good thing for how much I use them.

Reusable straws

I try to always remember to keep at least one reusable straw in my purse at all times. The key is remember to move them from the sink or dishwasher back into my purse. I've also been working on sewing a small carrying pouch (out of some scrap fabric) to hold my straws...for about the past three months. So if anyone wants to send me some motivation to finish that project, I would appreciate it!

Also, this is a reminder that I need to be better at carrying a cloth napkin too.

Essential oils

I carry a travel container of essential oils all the time, but sometimes I start to collect the full-size bottles too. I try to keep the ones I need on-the-go, like peppermint for headaches or On Guard for the sniffles.

This summer, I've also been carrying my essential oil bug spray, just in case! This one comes from a local shop, Aromatic Infusions.

Eco Cajun business cards

You never know when you might need to give one out! Okay...it's rare that I actually do, but they're always in my purse, next to my actual work business cards.


Sunglasses

Although my TOMS sunglasses aren't necessarily made with recycled or sustainable materials, they do help contribute to TOMS giving back to communities in need.

Reusable Mug

No, they don't go in my purse, but one of them is always with me. I should really look into a purse with a built-in cup holder...


Although not everything I have in my bag is eco-friendly, these items make the majority of my most frequently used items. And as I need to replace things, then I can make the switch if I haven't already!
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Photo Friday | Skipping the Straw at Lunch

I almost feel like my own 2017 is turning into the Year of the Straw, but I suppose that's not a bad thing! Spending seven dollars on my set of reusable straws has absolutely been a good investment, and although not perfect, I've been able to save a lot of straws from the landfill or litter.


Today at lunch, I enjoyed using my reusable straw because the paper ones were available for those who want them - not given out automatically. This is definitely a benefit to restaurants where you can fix your own drink; they're the easiest place to transition to skipping straws.
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Zero Waste 101

This month is known as Plastic Free July, and my column in this week's Times of Acadiana focuses on the basic principles of a zero-waste lifestyle.

The thought of living a truly zero-waste lifestyle can be very overwhelming. Even I think so! While there are many people and bloggers who successfully live by generating only a mason jar's worth of trash in one year, it can be a daunting and unrealistic goal for others.

I won’t judge you if you’re not at a level of “I can fit my entire family’s year of trash into a mason jar.” I’m not at that level either! I'm not an expert by any means, but I try to stay conscious every day of the packaging I use or purchase, and my household has definitely been able to reduce the trash we put out on the curb each week.


The key is simply becoming more aware of the waste you generate, and the mindset behind what you use and what you throw away. If you can become aware of your unnecessary waste and take a few actions to cut down on that waste, then you're already working toward a zero-waste lifestyle.


“It’s not about perfection. It’s about making better choices.”
- Going Zero Waste blogger Kathryn Kellogg


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Photo Friday | Plastic Free July

Yes, I know it's July 7, but it's never too late to start participating in the Plastic Free July challenge!

Joining the challenge is quite simple...choose to refuse single-use plastic during July. Plastic Free July aims to raise awareness of the problems with single-use disposable plastic and challenges people to do something about it. ​You’ll be joining a million+ people world-wide from 130 countries in making a difference. 



Next week, I'll be publishing a more in-depth post on the basics of transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle, and my column for next week's Times of Acadiana will also cover the topic.
 

This weekend, I'll challenge you to look around your home and see where most of your plastic waste comes from. Is it in your kitchen? Bathroom? Once you can identify the source of most of your waste, then we can start to figure out how you can shift to wasting less.


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Photo Friday | Happy Fourth of July

Raise your hand if you're ready for a long weekend! *raises hand*


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Ways to Go Paperless in Your Everyday Life

First things first, I'm excited to debut Eco Cajun's new website look! I had a lot of fun giving this site a fun little facelift, and I love how it turned out. I'll refresh the featured blog posts in the top slider on the homepage every so often so it keeps things updated a bit more.

Second piece of housekeeping, if there's a topic you're interested in learning more about on the blog, leave a comment and let me know. I've been in somewhat of a rut, creativity-wise, so I'm open to ideas to add to my content schedule!

I definitely talk a lot about how to reduce waste through reusable mugs, cloth bags, and stainless steel straws. But there's another way I try to reduce paper in my everyday life - by going paperless with my phone!

I'm already on my phone pretty often, whether for personal use, blog-related things, and work-related social media. So it's pretty natural for me to find paperless options for different parts of my day-to-day routine.



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Photo Friday | International Yoga Day

While the biggest news around Louisiana this week was Tropical Storm Cindy, this past Wednesday was also International Yoga Day. I love my own yoga practice for the intense workout that it gives me, but this year for International Yoga Day I focused more on the mental benefits of yoga and the peace it's brought to me over the past couple years. 


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Eco-Friendly Swimwear

Last week I shared the staple contents of my waste-free beach bag, and mentioned my swimsuit partially made of recycled nylon. This week, let's talk more about that eco-friendly swimwear. (Although, if you live in South Louisiana, with this incoming tropical storm, swimwear may be the last thing on your mind...or we'll all be wearing it by Friday.)

So typically, one does not spend part of their September and October obsessing over finding a new swimsuit. But when you're about to get married, and your honeymoon is in Hawaii over the Christmas holidays, then you find yourself in that situation.


The swimsuits I had were a few years old (and had already been to Hawaii), so I was jonesing for something new, but I didn't want to pick up yet another cheap, ill-fitting suit from Target. I decided that Hawaii would be a good reason to do some research and find eco-friendly swimwear companies.

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Photo Friday | Celebrating Recycling Successes

We can tend to be a little pessimistic in Acadiana about recycling services, especially with the change last year that we could no longer recycle glass. But we do have a lot to cheer about in terms of recycling progress!

Two dedicated Lafayette ladies/mothers took the initiative during the 2015/2016 school year to evaluate recycling programs and make the case for Lafayette Parish public schools to adopt recycling programs. I wrote about this campaign on the blog last summer, and contacted the school board members to express my support for teaching children about the importance of recycling. (As I always say, I learned at a young age and look where I am now.)


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What's In My Eco-Friendly Beach Bag

Although I tend to call it my beach bag, let's face it, my bag doesn't see the beach very often. Somehow, "pool bag" doesn't have quite the same ring, so I just go with it.

This summer, I'm trying to get out and enjoy the water as much as I can, even if I can't get to a beach anytime soon. (Fingers crossed for a trip back to Hawaii later this year!) So, I'm pretty much left with the pool at my gym and at a friend's house.

I love my gym, although it's not exactly an eco-friendly haven, with the mountains of Styrofoam cups for water, the surely massive utility bill, and the giant chlorine pools, but it is a space where I can be an eco-friendly, waste-free individual, and hopefully an example to others.

Every time I go to the pool for a little sun or just to cool off in the water, I make sure to pack an eco-friendly beach bag. Pool bag. Bag of crap. Whatever we want to call it.


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