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Small Shifts For A More Sustainable Lifestyle

Small Shifts For A More Sustainable Lifestyle

To adopt a sustainable lifestyle, you don't have to take extreme measures. You needn't grow all your own food or install a giant windmill in your backyard. Instead, you can take modest steps that will reduce your carbon footprint and make your home greener. If people took these actions in large numbers, it might protect our environment for generations to come.

Saving the Planet by Saving Energy

Become energy conscious. You might wash your dishes by hand whenever you can. And always turn off lights, electronic devices and power tools when they're not in use; unplug them as well.

Looking for products that are energy-efficient is a helpful habit. In particular, compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs are highly effective at conserving electricity.

Minimal Waste, Maximal Sustainability

When you shop, seek washable and reusable materials: bags, napkins and so on. Every week, a typical household can generate an astounding amount of unnecessary waste.

Place a recycling bin next to every trash can in your home and office, and always sort your garbage. Encourage your family and colleagues to do the same. In addition, you can turn organic and biodegradable matter into compost, and you can donate clothing, books and other possessions that you don't want anymore.

Whenever you avoid throwing a product away, you help keep dangerous pollutants out of the air, the ground and the water supply. Especially harmful are electronic devices that get tossed out. That's because they include chemical components such as mercury. So, find a local organization that will repurpose those items.

Get Around in a Green Way

You're doing the Earth a favor when you find ways of reducing your vehicular emissions. If your destination isn't too far away and the weather's cooperating, you could walk, jog or ride a bicycle. Otherwise, you could take public transportation or car pool.

As a bonus, many of the habits described above will provide you with personal benefits. Traveling by foot or bike is good exercise. Using less energy at home means lower utility bills. Reusable products will save you money in the long run. And recycling might give you a warm, fuzzy feeling of accomplishment.

The New Organic Luxury in Nails Has Arrived

The New Organic Luxury in Nails Has Arrived

//Meet The Maker//
Founder Sandra Weir
of Gloss Naturals

As creator of GLOSS Nails and GLOSS Naturals Sandra Weir took pride in educating people about the dangers of toxic chemicals and transforming their nail salon experience to one of health and luxury. “I wanted to create a retreat where deluxe services could be experienced while being respectful to the wellbeing of the individual and the environment."

The inspiration for GLOSS Naturals came when Weir’s teenage daughter’s nails started to break and chip after frequent trips to the nail salon. As a result, Weir began researching popular salon products’ ingredients, only to discover an alarming number of harsh and toxic chemicals. The Miami resident scoured her area to find an alternative salon, only to come up empty handed. Weir decided she could either give up getting her nails done or create an organic salon of her own. The latter is how GLOSS Nail Bar began.

Weir, a proprietary trader, portfolio manager, private banker and wealth advisor traded in her corporate life for green pastures. The Certified Financial Planner, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and International Business from Pace University in New York, launched her eco-friendly product line, GLOSS Naturals, in December 2013, with her organic salon launching immediately thereafter in January 2014.

As a world traveler (whose work took her to destinations like Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador), Weir felt inspired to open a space with global appeal, as reflected in her interior design aesthetic at GLOSS Nail Bar.

The New York native, who now calls Miami home, is responsible for giving South Florida better options when it comes to beauty and nails. As a mother of two, Weir understands the power of green living. Gloss nail polishes individually created by her, that are safe for children and expectant mothers. Her passion to teach people that organic and natural products are just as effective as mass market products can be experience through her line of non-toxic, biodegradable, vegan and preservative-free polishes, scrubs, oils, lotions and candles.

Mindful Urban Living

Mindful Urban Living

//Meet The Maker//
Founder Tempy Osborne
of Urban Grey Whale

I have these vivid childhood memories of being in a ‘camotik’ or sledge pulled by dog team, bundled up for beyond freezing temperatures as we crossed the icy arctic sea. When I was 5 years old my wild adventurer parents took me and my younger brother and sister to live in the remote Inuit community of Grise Fiord in Northern Canada for a year.

The people who live there have an enormous respect for nature and the wild environment, they have to because they depend on it, though increasing less and less. I have been back to Canada’s arctic many times since and here perhaps more than other places the effects of climate change are seen clearly. Disposable plastic trash piles up, past ways of life dependant on the land disappear and year after year the sea ice melts earlier until those well-known pathways across the frozen sea no longer exist.

I have always been aware of our connection with the environment and with nature as I grew up mainly on the Atlantic coast of rural Ireland. Moving to the city years later I found an exciting, fast and colourful way of life but began to feel there was a heavy disconnect.   I realised I needed to somehow live differently and though I know I can’t change the world with Grey Whale I want to work to be part of the change in the move towards more sustainable living.

The name ‘Grey Whale’ is my metaphor for the city, it’s a huge living breathing thing that depends on nature and in a sense is a part of nature. So many of the worlds resources are finite and there’s ultimately a limit to how much non-biodegradable waste it can take. To me it’s really important to reduce waste and chemical laden products in my own day to day living but also to inspire and help give others the possibility of doing the same   So this small scale handmade production of natural fiber bags is really the result of me setting out on a personal mission to lead an urban lifestyle that is more mindful.

My simple philosophy is that comfort, style and easy living need not only be found in the never ending cycle of shopping and dumping. In my own life I feel happier owning fewer disposable products instead choosing items that have been constructed with love using quality materials. I believe it’s the key to eliminating a wasteful pile-up of stuff destined for landfill.

All Grey Whale fabric is screen printed by hand with my original hand drawn designs. A computer is not used to make these as I prefer the more organic look. I hold a BA in Fine Art and having an artistic element is really important to me. It makes the final pieces more unique and also it gives me a lot of control with the fabrics and the style I’m aiming for. These fabrics are sourced locally as much as possible and as Belgium is famous for its fine linen it's a current favourite. Apart from being locally produced, linen is stronger and more ecologically sound than cotton. It uses fewer pesticides and fertilisers and needs no irrigation other than normal rainfall. I aim to use only 100% natural fabrics and packaging materials that are biodegradable and recyclable. The printing inks used are water based, solvent, PVC and phthalate free and all Grey Whale production waste is carefully kept to a minimum.

At the moment I am working on new designs that will extend my range to include certified organic fabrics and other alternatives to cotton to eventually reach my goal of making Grey Whale as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.

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