Hello ClarkeStudio readers, thanks for having me today! Shelby and I recently connect through the Operation Entrepreneur on Facebook group and I couldn’t be happier. I’m Dus, the blogger behind Cuddly Cacti and owner of a fair trade, non-profit shop called Mitla Moda. I have a life(style) blog where I include (as I’m sure you guessed : ) a bit of my style, which always includes some vintage, some thrifted, and lots of Mexican artisan goods. My Venezuelan husband (Jonny) and I are a car-free family and we’re passionate about living an eco-friendly lifestyle, supporting handmade and fairly made items, re-using and secondhand, and social entrepreneurship (the foundation for my shop and plans for several future endeavors!). You’ll find all of these themes, as well as our love of budget travel and nature, on my blog. Oh, and we may a bit obsessed with our two adopted kitties, so you’ll be sure to see them in posts as well.
(Jonny and I visiting Belgium this past winter, thanks to his Internship with an airline. : )
(Our adopted kitties.)
Since Shelby and I share a common bond over eco-friendly living (and pets of course : ), I wanted to also share a few of my favorite green tips. When I first started blogging I had the chance to participate in and blog about the No Impact Challenge (which you can find here). I always considered myself pretty “green,” but it was certainly eye-opening to do a full challenge. Some of the biggest tips I try to stress, because they make huge impacts and aren’t too too difficult are:
1) Save energy
-Adjust your in-home energy use. Are you in shorts and a T or jeans during summer in your house? Not only will you save a ton of money by using less or no artificial heating/cooling, but you’ll save tons of fossil fuels by putting on a few sweaters in winter and dressing down in summer. And don’t forget to turn the lights and appliances off that you’re not using, careful of that phantom power!
–Buy local and handmade. Supporting local and small businesses gets rid of the waste in factory-made goods, and buying local whenever possible greatly reduces wasteful shipping/transportation, and of course supports your own community!
“Did you know the average item of food travels 1,500 miles to reach your plate?” (via newsletter).
(Me in an all-thrifted outfit, minus The Pinata top, which is handmade and available in my shop.)
2) Green your transportation
Try to think about it before turning on that car engine. Can you walk, bike, or take public transportation instead? I love encouraging people to do a week-long, car free challenge. At worst case, you find it is necessary in your town or with your current job, but it’ll make you appreciate the convenience of driving.
3) Save some water
Even if you live in a water-plenty area, it’s important to remember all the energy spent in purifying and transporting water to your faucet.
-The simplest little thing you can do is to make sure to not leave water running while doing dishes, showering, etc. (I always turn it off while hair-washing/shaving and such).
-And for dishes and showering, have a few other tricks. We fill up a small bowl with soapy water instead of the whole sink for dishes, and use the ‘ol bucket trick in showering – just fill up a bucket while the water is heating up and then use it to water plants or even flush the toilet with!
When Jonny and I moved to Venezuela for 6 months a few years ago we arrived smack in the middle of a drought, which meant we only had running water certain hours of the day. This was a huge wake up call for me to what Jonny grew up with at times and what many people deal with daily, so I learned to appreciate water even more afterward.
4) Reuse over recycle
Not only is landfill waste a huge problem, but we also try to remember all the energy waste in making whatever it is that we’re tossing in the trash or recycle. Even though recycling is of course way better than just trashing it, there’s still lots of energy used in it, so remember those reusable grocery bags and water bottles! And as a bonus, you’ll have a ton of money by not buying water bottles and reducing other packaged goods. And another bonus is that this is a great excuse to thrift store shop, where you can save gems from the landfill for hardly a dent in your pocketbook!
(One of my fully thrifted outfits.)
And now I’ll end the post with what I used in my No Impact Challenge:
“The fact is that if we want to live sustainably we have to work at it; we have relied on convenience for too long…” (Source)
And remember, any small changes you do make a huge impact! It’s certainly not all or nothing, and I love encouraging friends about any small change they make, especially since it’s often is the less-convenient option.
Well, that’s all for me today, thanks for having me today everyone! And hop on over to my blog today to read Shelby’s own tips for green pet products!