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.)


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, 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


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.


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!


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.


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.

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!

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.


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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