Rooms for kids are the perfect place to go all out with eco-friendly decor. Why? Because so many parents already want their child’s room to be non-toxic and tend to gravitate toward natural materials anyway. (With the exception of all that unnecessary plastic. There are other options – I promise!) Kids’ rooms are also the perfect place to throw in some secondhand furniture and decor – because it means saving money! And, more importantly, it means there’s no need to buy brand new – and no need for all the packaging that comes with new items. Plus, by involving your kids in the decorating process, you can explain to them why you’re choosing green items and start them on the road to living an eco-conscious life. Because teaching the next generation to consider how they impact the environment in everything they do is the key to a sustainable future!
Back-to-school may be a stressful time, but with my eldest daughter entering Kindergarten – I’m actually pretty excited. I know she’s going to love it what with all the learning and the crafting and the playing. And – although having her away from home for two (sometimes three!) full days a week will be hard – I think it will be good for us as a family. Plus, sending her to school means I get to shop for school supplies – something I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with. And not just any school supplies, but eco-friendly ones!
I won’t lie, finding earth-friendly versions of everything on the list provided by her school was not easy. It isn’t that eco-friendly school supplies don’t exist, or even that they’re too expensive. But they weren’t easy to find in our local stores or on websites that would ship to us for a reasonable price. But don’t let that discourage you! The more of us that demand these types of products by refusing to buy anything else, the more readily available they’ll be.
Now more than ever it’s easy to buy eco-friendly home decor to fill your interior spaces. From buying secondhand, to searching out sustainably sourced products, to shopping on websites entirely dedicated to earth friendly finds. There’s no reason not to buy green!
I consider myself a pretty passionate person. And if you’ve been reading Of Houses and Trees for any length of time, you’d probably agree that when it comes to sustainability and preserving our beautiful planet – I’m all in.
But I’m passionate about more than making the world a greener place. Literature and the art of writing. Listening to and composing music. Creating interior spaces that tell a story. And – for as long as I can remember – dance.
I consider myself very fortunate to be able to work not only as a freelance writer, but also as a dance teacher, and that in the past (and hopefully again in the near future) I’ve had the opportunity to perform as a professional dance artist.
As you can imagine, I get pretty damn excited when I get to combine the things I’m passionate about – such as writing, dancing AND sustainability. It creates a lovechild of sorts. This blog post is one such lovechild.
Ever since my eldest daughter could hold a crayon (without eating it), she’s been a crafter. Colouring, stickering, cutting, glueing – she does it all and loves it all. So, of course I’m always on the hunt for the most eco-friendly craft supplies I can find. You’d think it would be easy – after all, most kid’s craft supplies are non-toxic. But just because something is non-toxic to humans doesn’t mean it’s environmentally friendly. I’ve rounded up a few of the greenest craft supplies I could find. All of these products are made from natural materials or recycled content or both!
Let the crafting begin!
What? You’re accusing me of creating a holiday gift guide filled with eco-friendly swag I want for myself?! Why I never… Okay. You got me. But just because I’d be super happy to find any of these eco-friendly Christmas gifts under the tree doesn’t mean someone on your list won’t want them too. (And maybe buy a little something for yourself while you’re at it?) The best thing about this gift guide is everything on it is eco-friendly, i.e.: organic, handmade, reusable and so on and so forth!
The second best thing is that I found all of these items on Etsy, meaning made and sold by awesome artisans around the world. Buying from Etsy is next best thing to buying local, but it also allows for the ease and comfort (and fun!) of shopping from your own home. Plus, some of the below items are even one of a kind. Just like your special friends and family members are.
Amazon and health food supermarket Whole Foods recently announced a partnership that includes the lowering of prices in-store and increased availability of products through Amazon itself. Since there are no Whole Foods Market stores in the province where I live – I don’t have any personal experience with the grocery chain, but I do have experience with Amazon as far as ordering items such as books, movies and so on.
Of course, being someone who is into sustainable eating – meaning buying foods produced in environmentally conscious and ethical ways, including shopping locally – my initial reaction to purchasing food items from Amazon is mixed. On one hand, taking your business to the online giant means taking it away from those who live in your community and adding to carbon emissions because of the extra transportation. On the other hand, healthier foods made available at the touch of a button – and at a reduced price to boot – makes sustainable eating more accessible.
Lighting is one of my favourite aspects of home design and decor. Even before I had a home to decorate, I would always end up in the lighting aisle every time I went to a big box store. Like a bug to a flame – or to a wrought-iron chandelier, the lights just called to me.
I’ve also always been really sensitive to lighting levels and associate certain lights with certain tasks only. I’m constantly going around the house at night turning specific lights on and off depending on what I’m doing and how I’m feeling and have even found myself adjusting lights while in the homes of others because it’s too bright/not bright enough/a certain light is really getting under my skin. (As an aside, I recently found out that being ultra sensitive to light is a characteristic of a highly sensitive person – which is actually a thing and I very much am one.)
‘Tis the season! For gardening that is. There aren’t many things in this world better than sticking your hands in freshly turned garden soil. (Except eating it when pregnant – which I did. Don’t judge.) Last spring, I wrote a post featuring a Homemade Garden Fertilizer recipe, but I only tried it out once due to the fact that I had a newborn and a two year old at the time.
Now that my kids are one and three I obviously have so much more time on my hands so I’ll be dousing my abundant vegetable garden in homemade fertilizer on a weekly basis. Except I don’t have a vegetable garden this year because I was being facetious about all the time on my hands. Hello. My kids are one and three! I couldn’t even plant runner beans because my eldest kept spilling the seeds between the deck boards while my baby climbed fully-clothed into the kiddie pool.
Ah… spring. Time to throw open the doors, get out the patio furniture and bask in the loveliness of blooming flowers and happily chirping birds. Or, if you live where I do, continue to hide indoors as it snows day