6 easy ways to go green and reduce waste

Happy Earth Day to our beautiful and amazing planet! Everyday is Earth Day around our house though, because we always want to do our best to care for this beautiful planet that we get to call home.

I have always been passionate about reducing my waste and carbon footprint. But I know that for some of us it can be a little overwhelming when there is so much we feel we need or want to change to be more eco-friendly.

There are so many things we can all be doing to take better care of the Earth, and reduce waste within our families. With that being said, here are five things you can do today to make it happen, without hassle of course.

stop using plastic grocery bags

I seriously have a ridiculous amount of reusable bags, and I use them every time we go shopping. I even use them at Costco instead of using their boxes for my groceries. I have tried reusable bags from everywhere, but my absolute favorite are from Colony Co. because they are HEAVY duty and big!

switch to reusable sandwich and freezer bags

We use so much plastic by using plastic bags! I love Stasher brand bags because they are heavy duty and able to go in the freezer as well. They are made of silicone so there is no plastic or toxins either which is amazing. They make them in all sorts of sizes and can be used for so many different needs.

use jars or reusable bags for produce and bulk items

When you are shopping for your loose produce and bulk items, bring your own cloth produce bags and jars. I have been loving Colony Co. produce bags too. They have so many different sizes, and they work better than other brands I have used.

buy a nice water bottle

and get into the habit of not forgetting it! I have even seen people put a post it on their door with a reminder to grab their water bottle. Staying hydrated is crucial, and having a nice water bottle to take with you means you won’t ever feel tempted to buy a plastic one. I like glass water bottles like this one and these. Some great stainless steel ones are healthy human and sip.

bring your own mug/cup when you go out

you can save a lot of waste by bringing your own cup to a coffee shop, or anywhere else you would grab a beverage from. This is totally something I will admit I need to work on and get better at. I mean, you all know I have the mugs to do it!

Reuse old jars and containers when you can

I love reusing all my old jars from food and skincare! My cocokind jars are my favorites to reuse for endless things because they’re such a good size for small stuff. Reusing jars from coconut oil etc are great for bulk items too!

There are TONS more that we could all be doing to make more of an effort to create less waste, but this is a great place to start. I think these are all really simple things that anyone can do at any point in time. I would love to know, are you doing any or all of these things already? What’s something you want to work on to reduce waste?

*My Colony Co. bags were gifted, but I would never share any product with you guys that I don’t personally love and use. I would buy these bags myself, and am absolutely impressed with their quality.

*this post may contain affiliate links.

BREWING KOMBUCHA GUIDE

Kombucha is one of my absolute favorite beverages and something I’ve been brewing myself for four years. I use the deluxe brewing kit from The Kombucha Shop and love it. I’ve used this same brand the whole time I’ve been brewing kombucha. It makes home brew simple and easy which I love.

I know a lot of you feel intimidated when it comes to brewing your own kombucha, because fermented foods can get tricky. I promise you kombucha is fairly simple to brew.

A few rules to keep in mine when brewing kombucha

There are a couple big rules you need to know when making your kombucha.

1. Don’t use metal containers or spoons when preparing your kombucha to ferment. Metal can damage your scoby.

2. Don’t use antibacterial soap or harsh cleaners to wash any of your kombucha brewing supplies. Warm water and vinegar are all you need!

How to do the first ferment

Okay so you’re ready to ferment some tea!

1. Start by boiling 4 cups of water. Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons organic black, oolong or green tea (or any of these delicious blends!) to the cloth bag that comes in the brewing kit and steep for 7 minutes. If you do not have the brewing kit or a cloth tea bag, use 6-8 tea bags instead.

2. Remove tea and add one cup organic sugar. NOTE: kombucha in the first ferment is very low in sugar. That is because the SCOBY feeds off the sugar.

3. Add tea to your large jar for brewing, then add 8 cups cold filtered water. Check the temperature, it should be between 68-86 degrees.

4. Gently add in your SCOBY and starter tea. This will come with your brew kit, if you do not have a kit, you can make your own scoby, get one from a friend, or buy one. Gently stir once.

5. Test the pH of your kombucha. It should be 4.5 or below. If it’s too high, add a teaspoon of white vinegar and test again.

6. Cover your jar with the cotton cloth and secure with rubber band. Ferment for 7-9 days.

7. Do a taste test at day 7 to see if the batch is ready. You may even notice a new SCOBY growing on top! That’s really good!

How to choose the best place in your home for fermenting your kombucha

The place where your kombucha can ferment needs to have all these requirements:

  1. no direct sun light
  2. low traffic
  3. warm
  4. airflow

Do not choose a cabinet or small closet. At our new house, I chose to leave mine in our master closet. There is no window, its really big with no door, so airflow is great. Plus, it is really warm. It isn’t low traffic, but we have a shelf up so close to the ceiling (as you may have been in my stories!) that I feel like it’s okay. The new house is so bright with soo much natural light, that this was the only real option that didn’t have direct sun light all day!

How can I tell if my booch is ready?

Start doing a taste test at day 7 and then every few days after. If the booch is too sweet, you still have a few days to go. If it is tart/tangy it’s all done! If it’s sour af, it fermented too long and try a shorter time next time.

I do not have and cannot buy the kit from the kombucha shop, what do I need?

I definitely recommend buying the kit. The basic kit is $48, but I do understand that many can’t do that. Here is a list of the basic items you need to brew:

brewing jar

organic tea

organic granulated sugar

SCOBY with starter tea

breathable cotton cloth and rubber band

pH test strips

I also recommend using simple mason jars, or saving old kombucha bottles for the second ferment and drinking your kombucha. That saves a bit of money too and is a great use for those store bought bottles.

In a couple weeks, I will be sharing all about the second fermentation so stay tuned! In the meantime, if you have any questions on kombucha, message me on Instagram!

*product was gifted to me by the kombucha Shop, a company I have been investing in and loving for four years.

HOW I AM NATURALLY TREATING MY POSTPARTUM ANXIETY

Good morning babes! Hope everyone has had a great week, and that you are ready to take on Friday! I have been getting a TON of emails and DM’s asking about my postpartum anxiety and how I am treating it. I knew I needed to address it all in one post, because there is a lot that goes into this subject, at least for me! I want to mention first of all that I am not a medical professional and everything I do works best for me personally. That might not be the case for you. We are all so different and the biggest thing is to do what works best for you and your family! I have tried so many things before I got to this point where I finally know what works and what does not for me.

I share a little bit of my backstory on postpartum anxiety and depression here. I also shared in this post the things I did when I first noticed that I was suffering from postpartum anxiety. Our baby is now 15 months, and things have changed in how I address these things. Here iI share mindfulns what I am doing now:

  • Ashwaghanda I take two capsules daily, and if I am feeling off or having a hard day, I take more.
  • Maca I add 1-2 t to a latte or smoothie that I have throughout the day.
  • Collagen You can read more about collagen here. I take 1 serving of it daily, usually in a smoothie or oatmeal.
  • I limit my caffeine more than I used to. I will have 1-2 cups of coffee a day, on a good day. On a day I am feeling stressed or off, I will stick with a cup of matcha. Try swiss water method decafmatcha, or Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee.
  • I track my sleep, and stick to a consistent schedule. I use the “bedtime” feature on my iPhone to keep myself on track to go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. I allow myself time to be up before my kids, too so I have time to start my day with mindfulness, exercise, writing, or whatever it is I need that day.
  • Mindfulness has played a huge role, too. I share mindfulness tips on Mondays, either here or on my Instagram. One of my favorite tools has been my Purposeful Planner. It is my space where I log all my to-do lists, keep my life organized, meal plan, brain storm, all that. It’s really been helpful with my anxiety because it’s an easy way for me to keep track of everything and make sure I am giving myself what I need. I start each morning in my planner and it gives me a great start to the day.

So these are the things I am doing now, at 15 months postpartum, and I am feeling really good! I am also going to be trying out hypnotherapy soon too, and will keep you guys updated there.

Thanks so much for reading,

xx, Chels