Spotlight on LSU Sustainability

Although I'm a proud UL Lafayette Ragin Cajun alum and big supporter of the UL Lafayette Office of Sustainability, I'm a fan of any university that's committed to sustainability efforts.

So today, we're traveling about an hour east of Lafayette to look more at LSU's Campus Sustainability program, which is marking its tenth year this year!

Photo via LSU Sustainability

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Household Hazardous Waste Day

This Saturday, October 20, is Lafayette's semi-annual Household Hazardous Waste collection day. For residents of the city of Lafayette and unincorporated areas of the parish, the event serves as a way to have those household chemicals collected and disposed of properly.

Paint, paint chemicals, cleaners, pool chemicals and batteries are among the accepted items, along with a variety of electronics. For the full list of what's accepted, check out the Lafayette Consolidated Government website.

All collected paint will be reblended by Habitat for Humanity and sold at the ReStore.


A few tips if you plan to participate in this Saturday's collection:
  • Have your ID available as proof of your residence within city limits or in the unincorporated areas of the parish.
  • Enter the Cajun Field parking lot at Gate 3 from Congress Street. 
  • The event is open from 8am-noon, but lines can get long. The earlier you arrive, the less you'll have to wait.
  • If you have liquid items, make sure the containers are properly closed, as leaky containers won't be accepted.

LEARN MORE

Facebook event | List of accepted items
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The First Four Weeks

It's been almost four weeks since a special little girl entered our lives and changed us forever. Our daughter, Ariana, fills us with so much love and contentment. Since she was born, she's shown herself to be a little trooper, and she is so extremely sweet and cuddly.



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Deuxieme Vie Creative | Creative Reuse

Earlier this year, Deuxieme Vie Creative, a new creative space, opened in downtown Lafayette. Founded by Cindi Axtell, the space is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to creating environmentally sustainable behavior through educating and promoting resourceful artistry and environmental awareness in the community.


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Secondhand Baby Items

In addition to the eco-friendly baby and nursery supplies I wrote about a couple weeks ago, we've also collected a big assortment of secondhand supplies from friends. It's the best way to save money and reuse essential items that are still in good condition, and you know that makes me a happy camper.


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My Due Date

Back in January, September 13 felt like an eternity away. Since then, it's been a day that represents hope. It's surreal that this day is actually here, even if we haven't met Baby yet.


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Photo Friday | Cajun Pregnancy Milestones

I have two apps on my phone where I keep track of baby's development each week, but the fruit size comparisons are not typically the best. Sometimes I'm not even familiar with the fruit (and yes, I have Googled a few), and sometimes, the fruits are contradictory - as in, one app will say a tomato at 17 weeks and another will say a tomato at 19 weeks.

The general fruit list inspired me to brainstorm a much more entertaining list of pregnancy milestones - one that is all Cajun!


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Eco-friendly Supplies for Baby

When it came to creating our baby registry, there were a few different factors that went into a lot of our decisions. We ended up registering with Buy Buy Baby and Target, even though they're big box stores, because of ease for our family and friends and because they do offer a selection of natural brands and organic products.

I always read how first-time moms go overboard getting every product talked about, recommended and advertised, but I tried to remain somewhat minimalistic and stick with the tried-and-true items. Through research of other moms' registries and asking my mom friends what their most used items were, I spent a couple months putting together our registry lists. Researching organic or eco-friendly options did take some extra effort, but it was worth it!


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Photo Friday | Cooking Oil Recycling for Homes and Businesses in South Louisiana

Used cooking oil is a hot topic when it comes to properly disposal and recycling. When poured down the drain, used cooking oil solidifies into thick layers, constricting water flow inside drainpipes, similar to the way blood flows in arteries. Over time, clogged sewers result in unsanitary conditions, odors and damage to sewer pipes. Used cooking oil also poses a threat to the environment when dumped in drains.



Photo: EarthaMag


HOMES

To dispose of cooking oil at home, pour the oil into an empty milk carton or another old, unrecyclable takeout container and toss it in the trash. When the pan is cool, wipe it with a paper towel to remove any excess grease.

Have a compost pile? Old grease should not go in it! As a rule of thumb, fats and animal proteins should stay out of your home compost pile because most home piles do not get hot enough to break these materials down, leaving the pile susceptible to rotting.

Earth911 shares some tips on cooking oil recycling at home.

The City of Lafayette's Household Chemical Waste collection does not accept used cooking oil.

East Baton Rouge Parish and West Baton Rouge Parish accept cooking oil at their Household Hazardous Waste Collection days. which are open to parish residents only.

BUSINESSES

Photo courtesy Southern Oil Solutions


Southern Oil Solutions is a Lafayette-based company that works with area restaurants, grocery stores restaurants, baseball fields, food trucks, hotels, cafeterias, mom and pop eateries, and of course festivals. In addition, they collect grease for proper disposal. Southern Oil Solutions works with businesses in and around Lafayette and travels north to Alexandria, east to Henderson, south to Morgan City, Abbeville, Gueydan, and west to Jennings, and everywhere in between.

I spoke with Brian, the owner of Southern Oil Solutions, who explained a bit more about their services. "We recycle the oil for the manufacturing of biodiesel, which is being used as an additive in #2 diesel. The biodiesel has better emissions and is a lubricant for the engine. Biodiesel burns cleaner, so there's less black smoke billowing out of diesel trucks, and its a renewable resource, so its a no brainer. We also clean grease traps and dispose of it properly at a recycling facility, where the grease is used to make a supplement in animal feed," he says.

He hopes to make a residential collection bin available within Lafayette in the future, in conjunction with Lafayette Consolidated Government. He has even worked with with one local resident who contacted him about a pickup after saving their cooking oil for a year. "I would pick up if they have 20 gallons or more," Brian says. 

"All in all, we are your one-stop shop for cooking oil and grease collection and recycling in the greater Acadiana area," Brian says.

For businesses near Lecompte and Holden, Louisiana, Dar Pro offers cooking oil collection.

Filta handles cooking oil collection for Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Hammond, Gonzales and Prairieville, Louisiana.


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Ragin Cajuns Kick Off to Composting

I obviously won't be making it out to many college football games this season, although I do plan on cheering on my Ragin Cajuns from home each weekend.



For the past few years, the UL Lafayette Office of Sustainability has led a recycling initiative both inside the stadium and at every tailgating spot. A recycling bin would accompany every trash can, and the school would participate in the annual Game Day Challenge (which is now apparently defunct), where the season landfill diversion rates would be scored between all participating universities.


But this year, the Office of Sustainability is going for a new tactic: going zero-waste!

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Baby's Nursery Tour

At long last, I'm so excited to share a quick tour of our nursery! Even last year, I decided that I wanted our nursery to have soft white walls, highlighting our home's wood floors, and have a gender-neutral, calm and eco-friendly decor plan.


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Photo Friday | National Secondhand Wardrobe Day

Break out your favorite vintage or thrifted outfit tomorrow and celebrate National Secondhand Wardrobe Day in eco-friendly style!


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A Baby Shower with Special Eco-friendly Touches

One thing I have really looked forward to during my pregnancy is my baby shower. My group of high school girlfriends took the lead in planning it, and I gave them a few suggestions of the kind of day I'd like. My two eco-friendly requests were no balloons and that the invitation specify 'no gift wrap'. But beyond that, I didn't want to be too much of a green-zilla about the party.


However, my friends went above and beyond and created a really special shower with a bunch of thoughtful eco-friendly touches—some I didn't expect at all!

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Photo Friday | Pamplona Tapas Bar's Commitment to Reducing Waste

Nestled in Downtown Lafayette, in a gorgeous historic building, is the restaurant Pamplona Tapas Bar. The restaurant is known for its gourmet tapas menu, ambiance and killer sangria (okay, it's definitely known to me for its killer sangria).

But did you know that Pamplona has also made efforts to reduce its own waste footprint and recycle more?

Photo courtesy Pamplona Tapas Bar

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Heading Back to School and College

If school isn't already back in session where you live, it's sure to be soon. I've still got a few more years until I need to worry about school supplies again, but I do know that when it comes time, I'll be looking for eco-friendly options—especially ones that work within my budget.

Photo via @parklandmfg

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Photo Friday | Weekend Getaways

Earlier this summer, my husband and I took a short weekend getaway as a quick babymoon. Taking a small (or large!) babymoon is, to me, especially important to take a breather during preparing for a baby's arrival, in addition to relishing that last time you can go somewhere without having to either find a babysitter or bring a child with you.


We made our way to the beach and got in some great R&R time before heading back home, back to work and back to finishing up things around the nursery and checking other less-fun things off pre-baby punch list.

While the majority of my focus was on simply relaxing and not stressing about everything still left to do (which, if you know me, is hilarious), I still worked to be less wasteful. I noticed that the beaches promoted the phrase "Leave only footprints", although it seems like many beachgoers weren't too worried about leaving some of their trash behind. We spotted a few morning walkers picking up trash as they went, which was inspiring.


I packed my water in a trusty reusable water bottle, and thanks to the water pitcher in the hotel lobby, I was able to fill up on our way out without having to hunt down a water fountain or resort to bottled water. We brought reusable coffee cups, and my husband packed our small travel coffee pot, so we didn't have to use single-use coffee pods or filters.


I also packed my Vitamin A swimsuit and a hand-me-down maternity one-piece suit, along with two borrowed beach hats from one of my cousins-in-law. My red cover-up is from my great aunt as well.

We may have had a short trip, but it was pretty perfect. And yes, we know that next time we head to the beach, we won't be toting just one canvas bag of stuff, ha!
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Green Business Spotlight | GreenEarth Cleaning

One area where I don't feel like I have "adulting" down properly is in the world of having clothes dry cleaned. I'm honestly far too lazy to keep on a schedule of bringing clothes to the dry cleaner and picking them up, and I don't own too many "dry clean only" pieces in the first place.

But dry cleaning is an important part of keeping your clothes in pristine condition, especially if their care requires it over regular machine washing. And when it comes to sustainability, ensuring that your clothes last as long as possible helps to keep a lot of textile waste out of landfills.

The drawback is that the conventional dry cleaning process is not very eco-friendly, especially with the chemicals used. PERC is a common dry cleaning solvent that has been reduced over the years, but can still be found, and it's a volatile organic solvent that that can pose serious health hazards, per OSHA. Plus, PERC can be the culprit behind making plush items clumpier, like comforters or stuffed jackets.


Photo courtesy GreenEarth Cleaning

However, there is a greener alternative, and that's where GreenEarth Cleaning comes in.
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Photo Friday | Just Take the Photo

A little departure from my usual posts, but the concept of making memories has been on my mind lately. Blame it on pregnancy hormones for sure.

I am absolutely known as someone who takes a lot of photos. My phone's camera roll has a ridiculous amount of photos stored (and yes, I clean it out regularly, and yes, a lot of the photos are of recycling bins and my cat.)

But, I'm someone who subscribes to the belief that it's better to just take the picture and have it saved away, than to not take the picture and wish you had. Especially with the ability to save digital photos so easily these days, it's a no-brainer to me.

Last month, my grandmother passed away, and the last photo I'd taken with her was the month before. I felt silly in the moment taking it, but I knew it was one I would like to have saved. And now, more than ever, it's a poignant photo that I'll always cherish.

 
On another note, there's a photo my husband took a few weeks back of me in our baby's in-progress nursery. (A very rough sneak peek, and I promise you guys will get a tour in a couple more weeks now that the room is much more put together!) It was a spur of the moment photo, and I was resting while playing on my phone before he snapped it.

The more I looked at it, the more I came to really cherish it. Just a simple moment, but one that will be fun to look back on as we prepare for our first baby's arrival.  

I know that once our baby is here, I'm going to be even more focused on capturing memories. You can always go back and pare down your saved photos, but you can't always recreate a moment to get a photo.

Yes, I take a lot of photos of our cat as well, but they're also photos I know I will value years down the road, especially after Dax's health issues three years ago. 

The point is just - take the photo. Capture the moments and the memories. You can still be present and mindful, and the photos don't have to be perfect or shared right away (or ever) on social media. Sometimes, even if you feel silly taking the photo, it can become something you treasure immensely.
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Going Green is Not 'One Size Fits All'

There has been a lot of conversation lately about plastic single-use straws, particularly following Starbucks' plan to eliminate their use (and redesign their plastic lid for their single-use cup, but that's not where I'm going with this today.)

The conversation has brought about some counterpoints about the use of plastic straws, particularly for people who are disabled or have illnesses. The valid argument is that for some people, plastic single-use straws are the best option.

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Photo Friday | Gulf Brew Recycling

This weekend is Lafayette's annual beer festival, known as Gulf Brew. It always draws a huge crowd, where attendees can sample a ton of beers from local, craft and larger breweries. The proceeds benefit Acadiana Center for the Arts, helping to continue Lafayette's strong arts culture.

Photo via Gulf Brew

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Photo Friday | Cleaner Laundry and Closet Organization


For last week's Photo Friday post, I shared one peek into Baby Girl's tiny wardrobe from my afternoon of sorting her clothing by size, and I can't help but share a couple more photos today!

We've been making a lot of progress over the past couple weeks in putting together the nursery as these weeks begin to really count down, and I'm excited to take some pictures soon and do a more comprehensive post on the room and the eco-friendly elements in it.

I'll also be sharing some of the eco-friendly items we've registered for and have received secondhand, along with sharing some photos from my upcoming shower.

As I've stated before, the majority of the clothing we have so far is secondhand, either from local stores or handed down to us from friends with girls of their own. As part of my nesting/Type A tendencies, I've been working to get all of our items organized, so that when the shower gets here, I'll be ready to organize the rest of Baby's gifts without feeling AS overwhelmed.


I've had more fun washing Baby's clothes than I ever do washing my own, and have all of her clothing so far washed and put away in the closet. (And let me say, I'm already fully aware I will never enjoy washing baby clothes as much as I do now, once I've got endless piles of dirty onesies in the laundry room!)


This is where I've got to give a shoutout to the perks of a helpful online community of mamas. Awhile back, I was researching eco-friendly baby clothes hangers, thinking I would easily find some made of recycled plastic. However, those don't seem to be a thing, although the most eco-friendly thing I could find was sturdy cardboard hangers. Not exactly what I had in mind, and our local secondhand shops also didn't have hangers for sale, which surprised me. So I took to Instagram stories to ask for advice on where I could find a hanger that worked for me.

My friend Stephanie with Lafayette Moms Blog messaged me to say she actually had a bag full of coral and pink baby clothes hangers that she was needing to get rid of. HOW perfect is that!?

A few weeks later, she dropped off the clothes hangers to me, and into the closet they went. Stephanie was able to clean out, and I was able to get a ton of reused hangers for free. Thanks again, Stephanie!


I mentioned last week that I'm using an eco-friendly baby-safe detergent on her clothes, blankets, towels and sheets. After doing some online research, I ended up choosing Charlie's Soap laundry powder, which I bought off Amazon. 

Baby detergents should ideally be chemical-free, fragrance-free, brightener-free and hypoallergenic. Because their skin is much more sensitive than ours, it's best to be as clean as possible in detergent ingredients. There are numerous detergents available that fit the bill, and I plan to try a few of them over the years of washing baby and toddler clothes.


I chose to start with Charlie's Soap because of the high reviews on both of the above lists, and from a friend's personal recommendation (thanks, Kari!). The soap is very highly recommended for washing cloth diapers in, which was the deciding factor for me.

From Parent Guide:
Free from sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) and other nasty ingredients, and cleans like it is the superhero that your laundry needs. No more looking at your baby's freshly washed clothes and wondering, "Why didn't that come out?"

From The Bump:
Charlie’s was originally formulated as an an industrial cleaner, so it really gets the poop out, and it removes any residue your previous detergent left behind on clothes—and the machine. Amazingly, it’s tough yet gentle, hitting all of the baby-friendly notes: It’s hypoallergenic, biodegradable, non-toxic and chemical- and paraben-free. Don’t be fooled by the scent—it is, in fact, fragrance-free, and baby’s clothes, sheets and towels will emerge from the washer completely odorless. And because it’s so concentrated, it’s a great value too.

The powder form is also concentrated and lasts a long time, making it a value over time. (Also, the powder comes with a measuring scoop...something I did not discover until my third load of baby laundry...)

Don't forget to visit me on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes of our nursery and baby preparations!

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How to Dispose of or Recycle Car Seats

A few months back, my friend Claire asked me for advice on where and how to dispose of car seats. "Hmm...that's a really good question," I thought as I got to doing some online research.

Properly disposing car seats is a tricky but important subject to be familiar with, because safety is the top priority here.


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Photo Friday | Preparing for Baby

With just about two months left to go, I'm probably in a state of what most people would call "nesting", but I term more as "Type A panicking to get everything done".

We've been making a lot of progress on our little girl's future space in our house, and I'm excited to see different elements come together.

I've got some more in-depth posts coming soon on our registry, my upcoming shower and baby's (extremely adorable already) wardrobe. But today, I'll just share a couple sneak peeks!

We've collected a great assortment of hand-me-down clothes from friends, a small collection of secondhand clothes from a local nonprofit, a few pieces made of sustainable fabrics like bamboo and organic cotton and some clothing gifted from family members. I recently went through all of the clothing and organized it by size, and washed the smallest pieces with some baby-safe eco-friendly detergent.


Talk about excited to see all of these tiny outfits on our tiny human!


I'm also extremely excited about the prospect of using this gorgeous baby wrap to go for walks around the neighborhood or even just for cuddles. I've had my eye on Solly Baby wraps for months, thanks to my friend Laura, and even though I've only practice wrapping it once, I'm not disappointed.

All of Solly's wraps are made of certified Lenzing modal, a sustainable fabric sourced from Austrian beechwood trees, and everything is made in the United States. This fabric is seriously soft and lightweight, plus it's breathable so Baby and I won't get too hot. I also appreciated that there was no plastic in the packaging when it arrived.

There's still plenty more to do, but I know we'll get there. I can't wait to share more about our nursery and other eco-friendly and secondhand items that are helping us prepare for Baby.

Happy weekend, everyone!

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Green Around Acadiana | EarthShare Gardens

In an unassuming area on the outskirts of Lafayette, there's a "secret" garden, one that grows tons of organic produce almost year-round. This space is known as the EarthShare community garden, and it's been growing for more than 10 years - first in a space off Louisiana Avenue, and now off Renaud Road (with I-10 in the background).


https://www.facebook.com/earthsharegardens/


EarthShare Gardens is a true community effort. Those interested in reaping the benefits of the garden's produce sign up to become members/shareholders before each season begins, but there's also the opportunity to offset your membership fee with a little sweat equity. EarthShare members can volunteer their time to tend to gardening needs and prepare each week's harvest for pickup.

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Photo Friday | Plastic Free July

So here's something I've seen floating around this week, as we finish up the first week of Plastic Free July:

Did you know that every piece of plastic that has ever been created still exists in some form on our Earth today? Despite recycling efforts, only 9% of that plastic ends up in new products.

Think about that, and think back on all of the single-use plastic you've used in the past. The toothbrushes you used as a child still exist, even if you threw them away 25 years ago. That Styrofoam takeout container from a restaurant 10 years ago is still around somewhere, whether it's in a landfill or somewhere out in nature. The thousands of straws you've used over the years are all still on this planet.


When you throw plastic away, it doesn't disappear. Because plastic doesn't biodegrade, it either sits in a landfill, or becomes litter and pollution. When you recycle plastic, sometimes it becomes a "new" product, and sometimes it still ends up being thrown away if it's contaminated. And not all plastics are recyclable.


Plastic Free July is a global initiative that focuses on reducing single-use plastics and improves recycling worldwide. 


This month, I'm aiming to look at where I can reduce more plastic in my own life. I'm in the habit of not getting single-use coffee cups or straws, but there are still plenty of areas where I can improve.

For example, I was recently out and about near lunchtime and needed to pick up some food to bring back to my office. I ended up going with the Whole Foods hot bar, where I was able to avoid getting lunch in a plastic or Styrofoam container. My tea can is recyclable and I had a reusable fork at work that allowed me to skip the plastic cutlery.


When you have a choice, choose to refuse single-use plastics. And of course, it's understandable if sometimes you slip up - it happens to all of us! Plastic Free July is not an all-or-nothing approach. It's about becoming more aware and putting in more effort to reduce your plastic waste. 


If you end up with a plastic iced coffee cup, keep it until you can rinse and recycle it. If you forget to ask your waiter not to bring a straw, just remember the next time you're out. If you left your cloth bags at home or in the car, see if it's possible to go without a bag at all.



Read my Times of Acadiana column all about Plastic Free July!




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Photo Friday | Mickey's Loop Bike Ride

Happy Friday, everyone! It's been yet another whirlwind week...while I keep hoping that one of these weeks will be a little less busy, I've pretty much accepted the fact that I will have about five minutes of downtime a week before the baby arrives, ha.

Who all is looking forward to a day off next week, even if it's smack dab in the middle of the week?

But looking ahead on the calendar to an event I saw on Facebook this week...the third annual Mickey's Loop Memorial Bike Ride is scheduled for Wednesday, July 11. The loop bike lane is named for Mickey Shunick, and passes in front of her memorial bicycle on St. Landry Street near downtown. Forward Lafayette and TRAIL Events are putting on the ride again this year.

This year, the bike ride is in honor of JeanPaul Judice, who was killed earlier in January while riding his bicycle after a pickup soccer game.

https://www.facebook.com/events/182573212438731/

My husband and I participated in the first Mickey's Loop Memorial Bike Ride back in 2016, and it was definitely a hot, sunny evening. If you participate in the ride, be sure to bring a lot of water, and don't forget your helmet and lights.


Because of the heat, I won't be able to participate in the ride this year, although I wish I could get in a bunch more miles on my bicycle before September! Baby and I will still be supporting all of the riders in spirit and remembering the legacies of all those who have been killed while riding their bicycles.


Visit the Facebook event page for the memorial ride to get all the latest updates.
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Photo Friday | Summer Season

Now that it's officially summer, time for fun in the sun is at its peak level.


I know that most people in the South can vouch that it's been summertime for a month and a half now, and we've certainly been getting in pool time since early May. But with the summer solstice comes those longer (and usually hotter) days, more hours at the pool and more backyard cookouts.

I've put together a short roundup of some of my previous blog posts that can help you make your summertime activities more eco-friendly. Consider it some complimentary poolside or beach reading! 😎



Hope you all have a great weekend!
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International Day of Yoga

June 21 is known as the annual International Day of Yoga, a day I can fully get behind. If you're local to Lafayette, pick up a copy of this week's Times of Acadiana, or click here to read my column listing the local events happening in honor of International Day of Yoga.


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The Great Cloth Diaper Debate

There is a short list of questions I get asked very often during this pregnancy. "When are you due?" (September.) "Is it a boy or a girl?" (Girl!) "Do you have a name picked out?" (We are narrowing it down.) "Are you going to use cloth diapers?" (Read on.)


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Photo Friday | Zero-Waste Cravings

I've been diligent about my health and nutrition throughout my pregnancy so far, but I can't lie - I still give in to my cravings.

And while I don't miss wine or frozen margaritas all that much (shocking, I know!) I have found myself craving a cold refreshing drink sometimes. As I've decreased my sugar intake over the last year or so, snoballs are just entirely too syrupy sweet for me now.

However, ironically, I've been crazing a good old frozen Coke as the temperatures have skyrocketed.

This week as one of my cravings hit, I realized I would feel better by going the zero-waste route, instead of walking out of the store with a single-use plastic cup (even if it is recyclable). I brought a widemouth stainless steel tumbler and my widest stainless steel straw, the one perfect for smoothies and frozen treats.


I was able to easily fill up my tumbler, and when I checked out, I told the cashier how many ounces the tumbler holds, so she would quickly be able to ring up the equivalent size. One thing about bringing your own containers is getting looks of confusion from cashiers at gas stations, grocery stores or wherever. But if you make it as easy as possible for them to ring something up, and be confident, you shouldn't run into many issues.

And let me tell you: on a hot, sunny day, that frozen Coke absolutely hit the spot. I had forgotten about the other bonus of bringing my own reusables: the drink stayed frozen longer than it would have in plastic! The insulated tumbler works wonders, and the straw keeps the drink cold all the way through.

My zero-waste journey is absolutely not perfect, but swaps like these certainly make a difference.

And now, I shall go back to drinking my 80 daily ounces of water from my giant reusable Ragin Cajuns football cup...



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Photo Friday | World Oceans Day

This past Wednesday was World Environment Day and the focus was on ways to beat plastic pollution, one of the biggest threats to our environment.


It's only fitting that for World Oceans Day today, that focus on plastic pollution continues. Plastic pollution is a detriment to both our land and marine environments, along with our wildlife.

Graphic via Pela Case

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Another Year Older

Today marks another year around the sun, and now it's time to officially update my age in any of my bios (if that doesn't sound like adulting, I don't know what does!)


As I get older, birthdays seem much less material and about gifts, and more about spending quality time doing things you love with the ones you love. And more about wearing eco-friendly outfits that make you feel great about yourself! I love this secondhand dress that I scored locally for $7 and my Sseko Designs ethical sandals.


This year, being in the midst of preparing for the baby, work and household projects, what I want most is to spend some time with my little family (as you can see, Dax is resting up for the party), and honestly, just take it easy for an evening.

Another thing I'm excited about is the birthday fundraiser feature on Facebook - I chose to create a fundraiser for charity:water, an organization I've followed for a handful of years now. They work to provide clean drinking water to communities who don't have access to it.

It's the least I can do to give back, even just a little bit, and make birthday gifts a little extra meaningful this year!

Photo: charity:water





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