2022 Thankfulness

In many ways, this year has felt like it's lasted for three. There's been so much change, and it's seemed like as soon as we settle into a routine, it would change to a new routine.

With Thanksgiving this week, I've been reflecting on what I'm most thankful for in this year. Aside from my family and friends, I realized that I'm thankful for finding my yoga practice again.

Before I had Ariana, I was going to yoga twice a week every week. I was in great shape and doing advanced poses. Even during my pregnancy for her, I was still going about once a week. And over the past four years, I had probably made it to 5 or 6 yoga classes. It was just one of the parts of me that got pushed to the side so I could focus on my new balance of motherhood, family time and my job.

And then, of course, there was a pandemic and I had another pregnancy and another baby, adding to my already crazy balance. 

Earlier this year, I was wrapping up an at-home postpartum workout plan, my youngest was 15 months old, and our new daycare was shifting its pickup time from 4:30 to 5:30. I felt like I was finally ready (and able) to recommit to a regular yoga practice and prioritize an hour a week for me. 

One of my favorite things about this time is that I don't feel guilty for being away from the house. I know my girls are fine, my husband is awesome, and my well-being is important for all of us.

I went back in June, on International Yoga Day (and the five year anniversary of our first miscarriage), and it was one of my best decisions this year. I've made it to class almost every week, and while I still have a long ways to go if I ever get back to headstands, handstands and crow pose, I can feel myself getting stronger. In addition to the physical aspects, it's also about the mental care for me.

So, while I'm thankful for finding my yoga practice again, the bigger picture is that I'm thankful for prioritizing my health and well-being again. It's a journey, but it's one where I'm traveling forward again.

A refresh for Eco Cajun

This month marks 10 years that I've had ecocajun.com, going beyond a simple blog and investing in a personal brand and website. This space really has been a little home for me for so long, and I'm proud of what it's helped me accomplish.

I've been brainstorming over the past year or so on exactly what to do with this space... and whether I even wanted to keep it going or not. Frankly, I still can't say I won't give it up altogether, but I have thought of a few ways to make it more reflective of my life these days.

The past four years have been a wild ride in motherhood, which really is the most rewarding, humbling and maddening role on Earth. My girls and my family are my top priority, and take up most of my energy. My full-time job also keeps me busy and takes up most of my brain power. 
And that goes to say that my bandwidth for blogging and really being active in the environmental realm has taken a serious backseat. 
I still care about the environment just as much as before, but it's been more difficult to generate content when most of the time, my environmental actions include recycling cans and bottles and renewing my junk mail opt out. 

So, I've decided to shift my focus on the blog a little to be a better representation. I'm excited to get back to a focus on sustainable and eco-friendly living, now combined with reflections on motherhood and life in general. I'm most excited to dive more into how others can combine eco-friendly living with their current lifestyle. Life is not all or nothing - it's a balance of so many different things. 

With that said, I'm also excited to share the refreshed Eco Cajun logo and updated website! 

If you've got an environmental question or have an idea for a blog post you'd like to see here, let me know!

Thanks to those of you who've stuck around over these years, and thanks to those of you who may be new here.

Green Around Acadiana: Backyard Sapphire

Backyard Sapphire is truly a local company that fills a much-needed void. When the city of Lafayette discontinued glass recycling a few years back, it was a weird adjustment having to throw glass bottles in the trash. Glass is one of the best materials to recycle because it can be recycled endlessly without losing quality. However, when there's no market for it, it's hard to have services continued.

Many Target locations nationwide have offered a glass recycling bin, but it wasn't enough to still impacted the amount of recyclable glass being thrown away citywide.

Lafayette and Republic Services have yet to reintroduce glass recycling, but luckily, there's another option available to residents.
Backyard Sapphire entered the scene and opened in the middle of 2020 for friends of the owners, Tina Crapsi and Dawn Vincent. In 2021, they expanded their operations to the public. Tina and Dawn collect glass bottles from participating residents, and pulverize it into glass mulch. 
Photo courtesy Backyard Sapphire

The glass mulch can be used however you like, typically in landscaping or potted plants. The process that Backyard Sapphire uses to crush the glass rounds and softens the edges and allows for safe handling. The mulch comes in different color and size variations, and provides a lot of benefits to landscaping. 
  • Glass mulch doesn't retain as much moisture as wooden mulch, so there isn't as much potential for fungus to grow. 
  • Glass mulch is very suitable for plants that grow best in sandy and rocky soils, but packing it loosely can make it adaptable to any environment or plant. 
  • Glass mulch serves as an eye catching topper in flower beds, in rock and rain gardens, or along stone paths.
  • Glass mulch is a great way of suffocating weeds and shows a better success rate at weed-prevention than traditional wood mulch. 
  • Glass mulch cover is perfect for low-water gardens and landscapes. 
Photo courtesy Backyard Sapphire

However, glass isn't the perfect solution for gardens with shallow rooted plants or that may get a lot of sun because they can hold more heat than traditional mulch.
Backyard Sapphire is a grassroots movement towards sustainability and making our footprint smaller, and they made their own way in the beginning. "The machinery we wanted to start out with was expensive, so we built a glass crusher that gave us three different sizes," they said.
 There are two ways to contribute your glass to Backyard Sapphire's operations: curbside pickup or drop-off. For a nominal subscription fee, you can have your own collection bin that will be emptied by Tina and Dawn on a regular basis. At the moment, there is one drop-off location - bring your glass to the Fightingville Fresh Market on Tuesdays between 3 and 5 p.m. or Saturdays between 1 and 4 p.m. There is a small fee to drop off glass, which directly supports Backyard Sapphire's continuing operations and efforts.

The glass mulch can be purchased through Backyard Sapphire's website or at Fightingville Fresh Market.
Photo courtesy Backyard Sapphire

Tina and Dawn say they have a great community of curbside customers and contributors at their drop off site, and they hope to have additional sites available in the future. They say they plan to do more events and pop-up drop-offs in the future.   

Photo courtesy Backyard Sapphire
One of the most exciting developments for Backyard Sapphire happened late in 2021, when they were able to invest in the GLSand Bottle Crusher 2.0. With the new machinery, Tina and Dawn are able to crush more volumes of glass, more easily.

"We plan to continue to grow and advance our technology and methods to be as efficient as possible, which will allow us to take on more glass.  We are experimenting with ways to use our products and byproducts," Tina and Dawn said. "There is only potential for such a sustainable product with endless applications."
In less than two years of operations, Tina and Dawn estimate they have recycled more than 31 TONS of glass. It's extremely impressive that in less than two years, a two-woman operation in one city can divert that much glass from the landfill and create a product that can be reused and loved for a long time.
"In six months of 2020, we probably collected and crushed a ton of glass. It grew quickly to almost a ton a week, and now it is a little over a ton a week. It's so much and so little at the same time," Tina and Dawn said.

In the summer of 2021, Backyard Sapphire was even featured on the CBS Evening News. Check out their interview!

Back to Me

The past few years have certainly been a roller coaster ride, especially learning to navigate life as a mom of two little ones...something that would be difficult with or without a pandemic thrown in the mix. Motherhood truly shakes up any routine that you had before.


I was at an event with some other moms recently, and the speaker was talking about regaining your identity and not feeling defined by external people or things. I left thinking about how much my identity has shifted toward being someone's mom, someone's wife and someone's employee. They're all roles I value very deeply, but in the past few years, I've focused so much on them and less on me. 


Even as I write this, everyone in my house is asleep, and I should be as well, but it's my chance to enjoy the quiet, a glass of wine and Schitt's Creek on in the background.


When I think about what I can do to regain some of 'me', the one thing I keep coming back to is this neglected space... the blog I've put so much time and effort into over the past 12 years, and that I've ignored in favor of children, family, work and home. I've gotten so out of practice and routine here, and I truly want to re-prioritize writing as an outlet and learning even more about environmentalism. 


Will I keep up with it? Probably about as well as I am that postpartum workout plan I'm doing...which is to say, not consistently at all. But hey, I've renewed this domain for another year, so at least I'm hopeful.


I've got a few posts that I'll be working on soon and I'm sure there will be some housekeeping and some site updates here and there, but I want to know... what do you want to read about? 

Lafayette's first Zero Waste Week!

Thanks to the dedicated people working with No Waste Lafayette, May 16 -22 has been declared as the first local Zero Waste Week. The week will feature opportunities to learn about local zero waste efforts through in-person and virtual activities.  


No Waste Lafayette President Catherine Comeaux says, “Zero waste refers to the conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse and recovery of products, packaging and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water or air that threaten the environment or human health. Zero Waste Week will explore how Lafayette is already embracing this philosophy and opportunities for us all to do more.”

Each day of Zero Waste Week will focus on specific themes, and No Waste Lafayette is calling on residents, nonprofits, schools and businesses to participate in each day’s theme. These events provide a great opportunity to participate and learn more on sustainable ways of living, and show you how easy it can be to adopt zero-waste principles.


  • Sunday (5/16): Reconnect. Reconnect with nature and look for upstream solutions. Join us for a self-guided group paddle on Bayou Vermilion, starting at the canoe/kayak launch near Vermilionville at 2 p.m. RSVP on Facebook!
  • Monday: Rethink. Rethink your consumption and disposal habits. Consider new ways to avoid creating waste.
  • Tuesday: Reuse and Refill. Visit local thrift stores and businesses who help us work towards zero waste.
  • Wednesday: Reduce. Reduce food waste through growing and composting. Join us for a 3:30 p.m. tour at Bayou Vermilion District’s La Cuisine de Maman to learn about their Rocket food waste composter. RSVP on Facebook!
  • Thursday: Research. Join us for a virtual Zero Waste Happy Hour, where we will dig deeper into what it means to work towards zero waste. RSVP on Facebook!
  • Friday: Reject. Reject single-use disposables, especially those that are harmful to the environment, like Styrofoam and plastics. Have a Foam-Free Friday lunch, post a pic, tag No Waste Lafayette on Facebook or Instagram, and enter to win a prize.
  • Saturday: Repair.  Join us at the main Lafayette Public Library downtown from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for a Fix It Event. Bring in your broken items and volunteer fixers will be repairing items and teaching us about how to reduce our waste through repair. RSVP on Facebook!

No Waste Lafayette was founded in 2017 and strives to educate the community on various zero waste methods in order to help with the reduction of unnecessary waste. The group's members are awesome examples of living sustainably, and have helped reduce waste in Lafayette through numerous fix-it cafes and community cleanups. 



Next week is sure to be fun and educational. Join in and participate in Lafayette's first Zero Waste Week!

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