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Treating Our World With Little Acts of Love on Earth Day

Seven years ago, my world changed forever.  Having Thomas, our first baby, made me more aware of my relationship to our world, and how our beautiful planet would need to not only provide for our children, but for our children’s children. Having kids made me aware of everything around me from the products I used in our home to the way we looked at consumption, our use of plastics, and waste.

A good night of sleep will forever be an anomaly, and, at the same time, so has the use of a plastic bottle . I’ll never love the way I love my children and the decisions I make will never be just about me. when I was pregnant, I became aware that what I ate and what I put on my skin had a direct effect on my baby. I also began to care more about the way things are made, from the shirt on my back to the toys my children played with. Since my life suddenly became bigger than just me, I wanted to take a greener approach to living. It became apparent that my priorities shifted. I wanted to make sure I left the world in a better place than how I received it.

And since today is Earth Day, it got me thinking. What are the ways in which we all can make a difference, starting with simple, attainable lifestyle shifts? I know that stepping straight into a different lifestyle can be a challenge, so here are some simple ways to go greener, and how to achieve them.

1. Composting

I met with my friend Randy from Resolution Gardens to discuss something I started doing in our home: composting. Composting is a part of waste management that is easy once you get the hang of it, with big benefits. Composting is a small way to give back your environment and give it some loving. It reduces waste in landfills and helps our plants and flowers continue to live and thrive, benefitting both the earth and ourselves.

In Austin, the city has given everyone a compost bin separate from regular landfill trash, but even if you don’t have a citywide compost effort, you are still able to compost in your own home or backyard.

If you have the right equipment, composting is a breeze. Compost machines can be expensive, but there are cheap alternatives. In fact, one of the best ways to compost is to simply create a pile of compost in your own backyard. Curious to try? It’s super easy. Here is a short step-by-step guide to creating your own compost pile and how to maintain it.

 

Mix Green and Brown Together

In your compost pile, you need to make sure to have your greens and your browns. Greens are a mix of fresh things from your kitchen (think: leftover food) plus excess from your garden, like out-of-season plants and freshly mown grass trimmings. Your browns are things like dried leaves and sticks. You want to layer your greens and browns while always leaving browns as the top layer to keep out critters and reduce smell. One thing that is neither green nor brown? Meat. Don’t add meat to your compost pile! You do not want to attract critters to your home.

Water Your Pile

When you have your pile, water it! Humans need water to live, and so does plant food. The water will help your compost break down faster into soil.

Stir Your Pile

Like us, compost also needs air. When you stir your pile or tumble it, you are aerating your compost and feeding it the oxygen it needs to keep your pile alive and healthy.

Grow Your Garden!

Depending on the size of your pile (the bigger, the better!), in about a month, your compost pile will be turned into fertilizer. Use the soil to feed your garden. Compost nourishes your plants, and in turn nourishes you. If you don’t have a garden, you can always give your compost to someone who does!

Want more on composting? Watch my video below!

2. Throw Out Toxic Home Cleaners

I like to use green cleaning products to lessen our environmental footprint and keep our Earth safe from harsh chemicals and solutions. I love Mrs. Meyers for my cleaning needs. The company just came out with a new peony scent, and it’s divine. So far, I’ve gotten the dish soap, everyday cleaner, and the liquid hand soap. When it comes to our bathroom cleaning, I always pick up my Antibacterial bathroom cleaner, which is another eco-friendly product that I absolutely swear by. These all smell so good and fresh. And they limit the amount of toxins we add to our planet, which is a big deal, since they are used everyday in our homes! This can be a game changer for your household.

3. Greenify Your Beauty Regimen

I also opt for green beauty products. I love RMS Beauty. All of their products are natural with organic ingredients. I recently purchased their “Un” Cover Up Powder and I’m in love. I also just discovered Axiology’s Natural Lipstick and it’s so moisturizing. I really like the “Identify” soft pink color. Another natural, green product I love is Juice Beauty’s Phyto-Pigmentation Mascara. It’s completely natural and organic, and gives your lashes such volume. What you put on your face and skin matters, so always try and go with the most natural and organic choice.

Here are more of my favorite green products:

  1. Burt’s Bees Face and Hands Cloths
  2. A dreamy Acure Mega Moisture leave-in conditioner
  3. Arcona Cranberry Toner
  4. Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose body polish
  5. Tom’s of Maine natural deodorant
  6. Weleda Baby Face cream
  7. Grove coconut body lotion
  8. Tata Harper aromatic stress treatment
  9. Ahava Mineral Mud Brightening + Hydrating Facial Mask 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My dear friend Lina Hanson (who was also a bridesmaid at my wedding!) just launched her Global Travel Kit which is perfect for any travel lover or mama on the go like me. Lina is a renowned makeup artist and natural skincare expert. She created her line of globally sourced ingredients that are pure and gentle on both the skin and the environment. Lina’s philosophy is one that I love: beauty begins from within, so why use makeup or skincare to “hide” your flaws when you can use products that help you achieve a healthy glow from the inside out? Check out her gorgeous, sustainable products here!

 

4. Shop sustainable clothing & toys

H&M recently came out with their HM Conscious line which is entirely eco-friendly. I love their baby clothes, and this baby jumpsuit is perfect for Odette and the upcoming Austin summer. I also like these t-shirts for Tom and Shep. (And their short shorts for me!) The prices are really great, too.

For kids toys, Crate and Barrel has a lot of eco-friendly options. They make a ton of wooden toys, including this baby gym for Odette.

Another sustainable brand I love is RE/DONE. They take old Levi’s, take them apart, and sew them back together, making really beautiful denim clothes. I love this tshirt (yes, it’s made of recycled fabric) that is also a bodysuit. It hugs your body perfectly while still giving you room to move and chase after your toddlers!

What are you going to do to celebrate Earth Day? Think about the ways you can make a positive impact on our world. Tell me what actions you will take! I want to know!

 
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32 Comments

  • Jamile

    So inspiring ! Thank you Gen for always make me want to change the way I’m living. ❤

  • Gifs Dee & Gen

    Amazing, I love your posts 😍😍😍❤
    My Queen is always my inspiration ❤❤
    🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷

  • Florence

    Thanks for sharing it’s very interesting!

  • Marlena

    I started using Mrs Myers because of the link you provided to Grove Collaborative and I love it! Laundry detergent, dryer sheets, body wash, dish soap etc etc.

  • kinalike

    Love this post, your kids are beautiful!

  • Erin

    Love this post. Would you be willing to go into more details about the creation of your compost bin? We just cleaned out our lot and have a large “pile” going, but I’d like to build something a little more contained /less unruly and the small glimpse of your compost bins seems about perfect.
    Thank you for sharing- happy Earth Day!

  • Ashtynn Alba

    I live in California and it has been my dream to start a garden in my backyard with the students in my home preschool and childcare! It is expensive to say the least but it is a goal of mine. We also use cups from Re-Play recycled! They have amazing products for children and adults for at home and on the go! They are amazing quality and their products are made out of recycled milk jugs!
    P.S. your Garden is GORGEOUS 🙂

  • Angie

    I love how your kids have taken your way to treat the world, becoming them into green children who love the world 💕💕

  • Sabrina Travers

    I love your posts they’re great. You’ve inspired me awhile back to start using more green products on my skin as well as my 1 and 3 year old girls. But for my Earth day today I spent it outside playing with my girls after I ran 8 miles instead of sitting inside like we do most days. But today was really the first warm day in Boston we’ve had! It’s been a hard winter and I look forward to spring finally being here. Thank you for your posts Gen! xoxo

  • Joni Hester

    I started my first garden this year I my first plants came from a rotting half tomato I’d forgotten was in the fridge. I squeezed the seeds onto garden soil in a pot. It grew!!! I’ve got tomatoes now from what would have been tossed into my new compost pile!!!

  • Kit

    Thank you for this post, it’s introduced me to some new eco-options. Since you said you wanted to know… Two years ago I decided to green up my routine, so I started with my beauty and cleaning products. I’ve been making homemade cleaning agents with simple, natural ingredients, as well as homemade skincare and my skin has never looked better! Just started composting and growing herbs and hearty fruits and veggies suitable for my climate, too! I walk and ride my bike more, as well as replacing wasteful household appliances with more energy efficient versions as the old ones finally give up the ghost. These changes, as well as washing laundry with cold water, have also cut my energy bills! We can be good to the planet AND our wallets at the same time.

  • Trinity

    Love this! Yes, definitely do more vlogs/blogs about sustainability and green ways of improving our lives! I love all the green, crunchy things! Haha

  • Randy

    Working with Gen has been a blast! Let me know if you need help with garden, composting, chickens or native plant landscaping 🙂

  • Regina

    I grew up in the country gardening with my mom and we would compost all the time (my parents still do). We also recycled and burned all the paper trash. They hardly threw anything away. I wish I could still live that way but it is so hard to maintain that kind of lifestyle in the city. I still recycle but I can’t exactly start a compost pile in my San Antonio apartment. lol It is so much easier to live a greener life style when you’re in the country or have some property! I miss that (and the gardening). Any tips? I should definitely look in to it and see if its possible to have something like that in a city apartment. Also, where did you get the red pants in the second to last picture? They are so classy and look so comfy!

    • Regina

      oops I missed that part in the video where you talked about apartments! Oops I will watch the ENTIRE video next time before I comment. 😉

  • Dominique

    I like your posts they are very interesting and helpfull and here we have a green bin for compost. I think about using recyclable bags but I will check the site re/done I didn’t know about it.

  • Katie

    I’m going to be moving into an apartment here in a bit and want to compost, but the thought of worms under my sink just makes me think it’d be a disaster if my german shepherd ever got into it. Maybe I could try something on my balcony?

  • Rachel Parker

    I live in a rental and can’t alter my garden, but I still collect my compost and I drop it off at my Mum’s place instead. It means I can contribute to her garden, and help the environment, plus it’s a great excuse to catch up with family!

  • Elena Alkhimova

    Hello from Ukraine. Thanks Genevieve for inspiring women around the world.

  • Lena

    Thank you for this inspiring blog. I didn’t know that you have to balance your greens and browns in your compost pile. I will keep that in mind!
    I think a very easy way to make a big impact is to cut out meat and dairy out of your diet. Even just for a day per week 🙂 The amount of water that it takes to produce meat is insanely high compared to plant based food. So I had a vegan dinner with my non-vegan friends 🙂
    I also wanted to say that I love your garden. I am always happy to see content about it in your posts.
    XO Lena

  • Miranda Cox

    Yesterday my best friend and I got in the garden after tilling last weekend and started planting. We’ve done it every year for the past 3 years. We planted tomatoes (which are delicious straight from the garden), green beans & peas that both her son and my daughter pick directly from the garden to eat, lettuce, broccoli (that neither of us have mastered growing), onions, cucumbers, corn, peppers, carrots, garlic, and asparagus (which is now good after the third year for the next 30 years). I also planted strawberries last year in the ground which was an absolute nightmare for my bff because it turned into a strawberry field. I was told I can only keep 3 out of like 30 plants. 🙁 luckily the biggest change this year is that my cousin (her husband) built a top for the garden because bird destroyed my strawberries last year. That’s how we celebrated Earth Day….also a beer didn’t hurt. 😀

  • Suze

    Living on a small farm made me more aware of this stuff. We have a huge compost pile and we grow our own vegetables. It is a good thing to make people more aware about the earth and how to make it a little bit greener.

  • Mercedes

    You are very sweet and responsable with our world!!! I hace an organic green gardenia snce about 15 years… Still goingand the best Vegetables i tried

  • Nancy

    Love your post. You have encouraged me to start thinking about the environment again. When I had my 2 kids 26 and 24 years ago, I was very much into going green but somehow along the way we stopped thinking about it.
    Thank you for reminding me that I need to do my part to help our environment.

  • Jenna

    One thing I think that’s important is eco-friendly feminine products. There are some great companies out there, I love L. They send one box to a place where hygiene products aren’t easily available for each box that is bought. Their packages are recycled and they come in cute circular containers that can be reused. That would be a good thing to blog about, along with more natural beauty products and skincare. I think a lot of people these days are being more cautious about what they put on their bodies as well as in it. I have tried out a few of the natural products that you recommended/like and I haven’t been disappointed yet. RMS is my new fave!

  • Stacey

    I would love to see more small, simple, easy ways to go green. So many times I want to be more green and treat the earth with more love, but it can be overwhelming. Not to mention, it can also seem costly for someone on a limited income. Any thoughts, tips, or tricks for this?

  • Breanna

    Love this post & would love to see more like it! ….. I wasn’t able to do my normal Earthday celebration (picking up trash around town with a large group) this year, so I decided to reduce me own waste. I switched to metal straws, got reusable utensils & bowls for lunch at work, and I’m going to try and make beeswax wraps tonight to replace plastic sandwich bags. I switched to less hash chemicals after trying your Grove Collection subscription, and I’m never going back! Lol……. I’ll have to take a look at H&M and Re/done clothing. It’s very interesting, I never considered an aspect in sustainable clothing before……I wish I could try composting but it’s not really a great option on an apartment deck, but I do have a small container garden growing. The cold spring hasn’t been helping me this year, but hopefully it will all take off soon! Wish me luck!

  • Ashlee

    I am wondering what a great facial wash is to keep your skin healthier and free from breakouts?

  • Amy Weiser

    Hey Gen! Have you tried Lush Cosmetics? Most of their products are vegan, 100% vegetarian with safe synthetics. I exclusively use their body, hair, skincare and makeup products because I have crazy wavy hair and very sensitive skin. Everything smells divine. And guess what, there’s a store in Vancouver, so hubby can spoil you! I promise that you will fall in love…xoxo Amy Lynn (IrishItalianwomenrule)

  • Breanna

    ….so I changed my mind. about the composting. After thinking about it more and doing a little more research about containers and space needed, I’m gonna try it. I dont have a ton of room, so I might have to get creative on maybe stacking the garden containers on top of the compost container (maybe decorating them so they don’t look like an eye sore?!) But I’m gonna try this little adventure!

  • Charlotte Paul

    I was raised in a very “eco-conscious“ household and try to teach it to my kids as well. e.g.:
    1) take a walk or a bike: use your legs more than your car!
    2) no water-wasting: use a water butt to capture rain for watering your herbs
    3) no plastics: take a cloth bag or basket for shopping, buy loose food
    4) buy local products: sure your organic food doesn’t need to be shipped around the world
    5) second hand-ling: books, toys, clothes -approved for their longlivety- are great to be donated
    5) recycling: there is almost ever everyday product availabe in a “recycled version“ (at least the packaging)

  • Jordy

    Yes! We must make any small steps we can to have a great impact on our planet. I personally started with using more natural cleaning products. It was the simplest switch anyone can make, and there are plenty of affordable options. I then moved onto my beauty, such as using minimal ingredient things and ones not tested on animals. I’ve also switched to a vegetarian diet – which most don’t know how our meat consumption harms our planet. There is so much you can do, but every little bit of effort counts!

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