Simple Tips To Live More Sustainable

50 Easy tips to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

1. Use a bicycle as your main form of transportation. Buy it second-hand from a trusted shop.

2. If your work is not reachable by bicycle, use public transport. Make it a habit to use it at least a couple of days per week. It’s also a great opportunity to catch up on reading and podcasts.

3. Use stairs over the elevator. This also doubles up as a booty workout.

4. Bring your coffee-to-go reusable cup.

5. Opt to receive digital letters and notices.

6. Put up a no junk mail sign on your letterbox to limit the amount of paper waste.

7. Send cards made from growing paper.

8. Turn off your computer and other electronic devices before going to sleep.

9. Spend more time outside. Try to go for a walk at least 20 minutes per day. Regardless of the weather.

10. Eat more plant-based whole foods. Eat completely vegan once or twice per week.

11. Read your favorite newspaper publications online instead of reading the paper versions.

12. Cook more at home. Regularly prepare home-cooked meals and save on takeaway storage containers.

13. Refuse disposable cutlery and napkins. Get your own set of reusable bamboo cutlery.

14. Carry around your handkerchief instead of using disposable tissues.

15. Use cloth diapers and wipes for your baby.

16. Use stainless steel drink bottles or glass bottles.

17. Buy second-hand clothes for your baby made from cotton. Refuse polyester as much as possible.

18. Use only wooden toys and toys made from natural materials.

19. Get the furniture for the nursery room second-hand.

20. Make your own baby food in batches, portion it and freeze it.

21. Use washable straws instead of disposable plastic straws.

22. Use cloths instead of paper towels.

23. Make your own coffee instead of buying takeaway.

24. Use make-up brands that don’t test on animals.

25. Use only natural and organic skin-care brands.

26. Start replacing your bathroom products for zero-waste products.

27. Use a bamboo toothbrush.

28. Make your scrub.

29. Use LED lighting instead of incandescent lighting as it’s proven to last longer, which reduces the need to keep purchasing light bulbs.

30. Instead of turning on the heating, put on an extra layer of clothing.

31. Open up your curtains and use as much natural light as possible before switching on the lights.

32. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.

33. Hang your wet clothes on a drying line or rack instead of using a powered dryer.

34. Wash your clothes on the laundry machine only when you have a full batch.

35. Get a water-saving showerhead and time your showers to 5 min.

36. Grow your own herbs, fruit, and vegetables and use organic fertilizers.

37. Refuse plastic bags. Take your own bags for groceries.

38. Buy fruits and vegetables without plastic packaging.

39. Avoid buying plastic-wrapped dry products, opt for products packed in carton boxes.

40. Refuse plastic bottle water.

41. Look for outfit inspirations on Pinterest with items of clothes that you already have.

42. When you need new clothes, go to second-hand shops first.

43. Refuse fast-fashion brands. Unsubscribe from their newsletter, erase the apps.

44. Invest in better quality items that last longer.

45. Support fashion brands that are ethical and environmentally conscious.

46. Save gift bags and boxes for future use.

46. Give people experiences instead of things.

47. Use rechargeable batteries where possible.

48. Recycle your devices when ready to dispose of.

49. Buy refurbished electronic devices

50. Fly by airplane only when it’s necessary. Plan your vacations by train, bike or by car.

The best way to changing your life towards a more sustainable life is dong it little by little. Changing one habit at the time.

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Picture via Unsplash

Do you have a tip to add? Let me know in the comments below.

With Love,
Alisson

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Sustainable Dress From Jan ‘n June

The season of wearing summer dresses is almost over. Before the autumn starts, I want to show you one of my favorite dresses from the sustainable brand ‘Jan ‘n June’. If you still don’t know this German label, read all about it here on an older blog post.

On this series of pictures, I am wearing the ‘Midi Slip Dress Capri Lemon’ on size S. The dress has a relaxed fit, midi length, and a low-cut back. The dress has a lining so it’s not see-through. The pictures were taken by the photographer Yenis Vega.

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Check the new collection of Jan ‘n June for some sustainable autumn inspiration. Let me know which item is your favorite. Mine is definitely the pink dress.

With Love,
Alisson

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Reusable Coffee Cup Made From Bamboo

We all love coffee in the morning and even better if it’s to-go. While some people have reusable coffee cups, the majority of coffee drinkers opt for the fast and easy disposable coffee cup to hold their favorite drink. While this is good for both the local economy and our mental well-being, there are some negative side effects to that morning coffee-to-go.

Most of the disposable coffee cups cannot be recycled due to their plastic lining. While the paper part of the cup will break down quickly, it will take it over 30 years for the plastic lining to fragment and close to 100 years to break down completely.

Luckily there are now a lot of companies producing environmentally friendly products. This time I want to show you the reusable coffee cup that I use from the Dutch company Zuperzozial.

The coffee cup is made from bamboo and corn. The lid and grip are made from eco-friendly silicon. The cup is light in weight, which makes it handy to bring it in any bag. The cup is suited for hot and cold. And it’s dishwasher proof. I have the mini cruiser model in the color willow green.

 

As people begin to refuse single-use coffee cups, companies will adapt and adopt the same ideals and will be forced to change for good. Making a difference, one coffee at a time.

The mini cruiser reusable coffee cup, I got from the ZustainaBox. If you still don’t know, ZustainaBox is a subscription box with only sustainable products. The box contains between 7 and 8 products and gets delivered every 8 weeks. The products are all vegan, cruelty-free and with a low environmental impact. Use my code to sign in ALISSONSIMMONDS15 to get a discount! Read more information here.

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Do you already have a reusable coffee cup? Let me know in the comments below.

With Love,
Alisson

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Cards That Turn Into Flowers

Dutch people are known for their windmills, colorful bulb fields, wooden shoes, etc. But something that I have discovered that is very common in the Dutch culture, is to send cards. For birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, when you are sick, when you move into a new house, when you graduate, when a kid is born… Dutchies like to send greeting cards. As much as I try to keep the cards that I get, sooner or later some cards end up in the trash. Luckily, the Dutch company Bloom Your Message came out with a solution to this problem: Growing Cards!

 

The growing cards are made of sustainable paper with seeds inside. Under the soil, the paper will grow out into flowers, herbs or vegetables. 

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How it works.

These cards are a great solution to reduce waste but still keeping up with traditions. You can also custom-make your cards to suit any occasion.

These set of cards, I got from the ZustainaBox. The subscription box with sustainable products. The box contains between 7 and 8 products and gets delivered every 8 weeks. The products are all vegan, cruelty-free and with a low environmental impact. If you want to try it out, use my code ALISSONSIMMONDS15 to get a discount. Read more information here.

With Love,
Alisson

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Sustainable Brand: Teym

Scrolling down Instagram I found an Amsterdam based brand that caught my attention: Teym. As soon as I started researching I fell in love with their ethical vision.

Sustainability, minimalism, and quality are at the core of Teym. The brand launches only one item per year. The goal is to create One Impeccable Wardrobe; one item at the time.  Developing a new item takes a full year. For every piece, there is a well thought extensive research, design process, and production process.  Every item has been developed in Teym’s atelier in Amsterdam and the factories are all in Europe.

TEYM products per year
Items of Teym from 2015 to 2018

A healthy work environment and a fair wage for the garment workers is a priority for Teym. It is important to the brand to know in which countries, by which people and under what conditions the items are being made. Because the factories are in Europe, the team is able to visit them on a regular basis and ensure fair labor practices.

From their items, the brand gifted me The Sweatsuit. I got the Zip Hoodie and The Sweatpants both in camel color. They are made from 100% cotton in an ethical factory in Portugal, where the workers are specialized in jersey.

On these series of pictures, I show you how I style The Sweatpants in different outfits. The pictures were made by photographer Marisa Elisa.

Teym SweatsuitAlisson X Teym Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography 3

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Learn more about Teym and their sustainable practices here.

With Love,
Alisson

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Teddy Bear Jacket Outfit

On this new series, I will be showing you my outfits. Most of the clothes you will see are second-hand or from sustainable brands.

Fashion is a very polluting industry. But As conscious consumers, we can reduce the environmental cost of fashion. For example by choosing for sustainable brands instead of fast fashion ones. By choosing for eco-friendly fabrics instead of synthetic ones and my favorite: by choosing to buy second-hand! Second-hand shopping is more kind to the environment because the garment has already been produced. It gives the item a longer life and it prevents it from landing in landfills.

Second-hand shopping has become part of my lifestyle. Every time I need a ‘new’ piece of clothes, I first go to one of the shops I listed below. If I can’t find what I need, I look for a new piece from a sustainable brand. 

Here is my sustainable outfit of the week. The pictures are taken by the photographer Celia Alma from @thelightboxtales

What I´m wearing:
Body, pants, jacket, shoes // Second-hand from a charity shop

With Love,
Alisson

Check for sustainable brands here.

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Incorporate Meditation Into Your Daily Routine

Meditation is a skill. Learning to meditate is like learning any other skill. It takes practice to get comfortable. Meditation is training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. Is not about trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. Is about learning to observe your thoughts without judgment. Is about having thoughs but consciously decide not to interact with them.

When you meditate on a regular basis, you start to be more mindful. Mindfulness is the ability to be present, to rest in the here and now. To be fully engaged with whatever you are doing at the moment.

Meditating on a regular basis has its benefits. It helps to reduce stress, it controls anxiety,  enhances self-awareness, lengthens attention span, promotes emotional health, generates kindness…

The goal of this week is to start meditating one day of the week for 10 minutes. If the first day goes well, then do it again the next day. Continue to do so, until the end of the week. If you have never meditated before, I recommend you to start with a guided meditation. For example the app ‘Headspace’. The free version has a 10-day basic guided meditation course. You can start with that course and see how you like it. The goal is to incorporate meditation into your daily routine. Personally, I prefer to meditate first thing in the morning. You can search which time feels better for you. But take 10 minutes from your day and do the practice. The ultimate goal would be to finish the 10-day course, but as a starter, let’s focus on the beginning. From there we can decide to continue and finish the course.

Sometimes your focus will wander or you’ll forget to follow your breath. That’s OK. It’s part of the experience. What’s most important is to meditate consistently. It’s one of those things where the journey is more important than the destination.

mindfullness
Picture via Unsplash

Meditation tips
Headspace app
The power of meditation with Andy Puddicombe
Meditation guide by Leo Babauta

Let’s connect on Instagram and give each other tips.

6 Sustainable Rain Jackets To Survive The Dutch Autumn

Autumn, is here. That means the rainy season has officially started. In order to make the bike rides to the market, to the store or to the pub more comfortable it is recommended to have a good rain jacket. Most of the rain jackets are made from polyester. This is one of the best materials to make water resistant garment. Even though this material is not sustainable at all, I discovered some brands that use recycled polyester to make their jackets. By recycling, we are not increasing the demand for new plastic and are helping to give new life to what otherwise would have ended up in the trash.

Today I listed out my favorite rain jackets for you:

1. Maium

Picture from https://www.maium.nl

Maium is a Dutch brand. They make rain jackets from recycled plastic bottles with a PU coating. The jackets are wind and waterproof with double welded seams. The jacket can be washed at 30°. (See an outfit picture here)

2. Becksöndergaard

Picture from www.watmooi.nl

This leaf printed raincoat from the Danish brand Becksöndergaard has a loose fit. You can wear a sweater or another jacket underneath. The raincoat is water resistant. An ideal jacket to wear while biking.

3. Rains

Picture from https://www.goodfibrations.nl

This green blue unisex jacket from the Danish brand Rains is made of 50% PU ECO tex 100 rubber and 50% recycled PET. The jacket has a soft touch, is wrinkle-free, and waterproof. The jackets are slightly oversized so it can be worn over a normal coat.

4. Röhnisch

Picture from https://www.watmooi.nl

Röhnisch is a Swedish sportswear brand. This green raincoat you can wear when you go to the forest, the beach or the gym. The nickel-free zipper at the front also opens at the bottom allowing you to move freely. The coat is water and windproof.
Shop Röhnisch with 10% discount by using my code ‘Alisson’ here.

5. Thought

Picture from https://www.wearethought.com

This white dots-yellow raincoat from the brand Thought is made from 100% Recycled plastic. The coat can be folded away into its own pocket. Making it very handy to bring always with you in your bag.

6. Insane In The Rain

Picture from https://sophiestone.nl

This raincoat is from the brand Insane in the Rain. The coat is made from recycled PET bottles. It uses between 17 to 23 plastic bottles per coat. The jacket has a flared model, zip and pockets at the front and a hood with drawcords.

I hope you get inspired and next time you are looking for a raincoat, you give it a try and check these brands. Do you know a brand I should add to my list? Let me know in the comments below.

With Love,

Alisson

Ps: Use my code ‘Alisson’ to get 10% discount on the whole collection of www.watmooi.nl

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12 Loco Things Dutchies Do Part 2

This month I celebrate that I live in The Netherlands for three years. It’s the third country I have lived in and the third one I call home. Before NL I lived in Germany. I thought I didn’t need to integrate or learn about the culture anymore. But the past three years have totally shown me the opposite. I already blogged about 12 crazy things that Dutchies do, but today, I want to share with you twelve more habits that I haven’t seen people doing in any other place I’ve lived before. Get ready!

1. Bread
Dutch people love bread. For breakfast and for lunch, bread is the Dutchies favorite food. Every Saturday before doing grocery shopping, a good Dutchie makes space in the freezer to be sure that the four extra loaves of bread will fit so a happy week can begin.  Dutchies know every trick on how to unfroze bread. The favorite trick is to put the bread on top of the heather or on a spot where a sun ray is shining.

2. A closet full of food
A typical Dutchie house has a special place, mostly under the stairs. Full of food! They call it a ‘voorraadkast’. Three pots of peanut butter, five bars of chocolate, twenty different kinds of cookies, chips, cans of soup, bottles of cola, beer, cleaning stuff… Dutchies are well prepared in case of… war? a surprise party?
Dutch Funny Habits

3. Birthday calendar
The best place to remember when ‘tante Marijke’ has birthday number sixty, is in the comfort of the toilet. Dutchies love to hang birthday calendars in their bathrooms. More precisely in the guest bathroom. It’s very handy to remind yourself that you have to send a ‘verjaardagskaart’ when you are doing your business.

4. But please only one
When you get invited to have a coffee at the house of the parents of your Dutchie partner, remember to answer with the word ‘lekker’ when they ask you if you want coffee. Besides coffee, you will be offered cookies, chocolate OR cake. OR, not AND. This means you are expected to eat only this one thing you choose. If you happen to eat more than one piece, you can expect a comment like ‘Oh, but you already had one’ or ‘you must be hungry’. It makes you feel very guilty about eating two or more pieces of sweet. This rule applies to birthdays as well. There might be three different cakes. But you are allowed to choose only one piece.
Dutch Vlaai

5. Is water not ok?
As soon as you visit a Dutchie, you will be asked ‘Wat wil je drinken?’ (What do you want to drink?). Coffee, tea, something fresh, juice? You are not even done hanging your coat and you are already welcomed with that question. If you politely answer the question with just some tap water, your Dutchie host will surprisingly repeat that you could get a soda or a juice instead. Dutchies don’t like to offer water. I guess they don’t want you to think that they are cheap?

6. Camping
A well-respected Dutchie goes or has been going to ANWB’s recommended campings of the south of France and Italy in the summer. When I hear my Dutch partner talk about camping, I imagine a tent in nature, ‘The Revenant’ style. Oh, how wrong I was. Dutchies go camping deluxe. They take their whole house with them (camping version). From cutlery, pans, pots, cups, chairs, fridge, heater, veranda to air mattress plus bed. Dutchies have all they need to go camping for weeks. The campings have, all they need to survive in nature. Washing machines, restaurants, swimming pool, disco, pubs…
Dutch Camping7. The (test) emergency alarm
Don’t be scared if you hear a frightening sound on the streets in the middle of the day. It’s not that the Hunger Games have started. It’s probably 12:00am on the first Monday of the month. The day where the emergency alarm gets tested in the whole country. Dutchies are used to it and just ignore it. I keep on fantasizing about being the chosen one to represent my district. Now for real. What happens if there is an emergency on the first Monday of the month at 12 o’clock?

8. Dus
If you want to show off in front of your Dutch friends or colleagues, just add the word ‘dus’ (‘so’) in all of your sentences. At the beginning or at the end, Duchies use the word ‘dus’ a lot! It can be used to communicate a wide range of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It can be everything from an angry stopword to a suggestive come on and more.

9. Fireworks
Most countries will have a few safe firework displays on New Year’s Eve. It starts at midnight and lasts around 20-30 minutes. And that’s it with the fireworks. Everyone can go back to the party. On the other hand, in The Netherlands, the fireworks are the party. Every year Dutchies spend a lot of money and go fireworks-mad. The steady stream of fireworks begins the 31st of December around noon. Climaxing with utter chaos at midnight. Grown-ups and !children! will light up the fireworks one after another until around 2:00am. I’ve never seen anything like this. I might be a party pooper, but this custom I dislike a lot. And by the way, my dog as well (he’s from Spain).

10. Dutch old houses… why?
Most of the old houses in The Netherlands are designed very weirdly. In theory, the idea is good. It’s all about hygiene. But in practice: super annoying. I am talking about having the toilet separate from the shower. Not only in a different room but on another floor! And how about the mini sink that you can’t actually use, so you end up washing your hands in the kitchen. And please! Why old houses have dangerous stairs?

11. Geslaagd!
Walking around the city at around June – July you will wonder two things. The first is why do Dutchies hang the Dutch flag in the middle of the summer. And the second is why is there a backpack hanging below the flag? Well, Dutchies are very proud to announce that they have a graduated kid from school. So proud the whole neighborhood should know. I think this weird tradition is actually cool! I guess this is a way of saying goodbye to school and embrace new changes.
Funny Dutch Habits

12. December
December is the most wonderful time of the year. Dutchies makes sure of that. The celebrations start on December 5th with Sinterklaas. A holy old man that comes all the way from Spain on a steamboat to bring you presents. You set your shoe by the chimney and Sinterklaas, fills it with treats. Then the 24th there’s Christmas evening, the 25th is the first Christmas day where Santa Claus (or the Kerstman) brings more gifts. And because two days of Christmas is too less to get around to all friends and family Dutchies also celebrate the second Christmas day on the 26th. So much Christmas. I love it!
Sinterklaas and AmerigoI´m going to leave the ‘haring”, the real-life doll when someone turns 50 and some more loco things for next year. For now, I can only say that even though the Dutch culture is different than mine, I have learned to like it and embrace it. Some things I find funny, others I really like and I´m learning from them.
Thanks to all the Dutchies that have embraced me and made me feel welcome in The Netherlands the past years.

With love,

Alisson

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Read 12 loco things Dutchies do part 1

7 Beachwear Brands That Use Recycled Materials

Summer is just around the corner. It’s time to go to the beach, relax and sunbath. And of course, it’s time to show off your summer body. Whether you prefer a bikini or a swimsuit, let’s try to make this coming season a green one. How? By investing in sustainable swimwear brands.

I discovered some brands that use recycled polyester, organic cotton, lyocell and the latest trend: Econyl (made from recycled fishing nets). While all of the following swimwear brands still use nylon and polyester, these fibers are recycled from ghost fishing nets and plastic bottles. By recycling, we are not increasing the demand for new plastic and are helping to give new life to what otherwise would have end up in the trash.

Today I listed out my favorite beachwear brands for you:

1. Underprotection

Sustainable bikini underprotection
Picture from Underprotection’s website

Underprotection is a Danish brand based in Copenhagen. They make sustainable lingerie, loungewear, and swimwear. They only use organic cotton, recycled polyester, recycled wool, milk, and lyocell in their collection. Oh, and they only have two collections per year and care about a fair production.

2. Baiia

 

 

Baiia is an Australian swimwear brand. The pieces are made from industrial and post-consumer waste such as fishnets, carpets, plastic bottles, and textiles. The recycled fabrics are certified with the 100 by Oeko-Tex standard; the world’s leader in testing fabrics to regulate harmful substances. Their pieces are reversible making it a perfect piece for a minimalistic wardrobe.

3. Pura

 

 

Pura is a Swiss brand of swimwear. The name means pure, which refers to pure fabrics and a pure conscience. All the bikinis are handmade in Switzerland, using recycled fabrics or fabric that is certified with the OEKO STANDARD 100 which means that the fabric is tested for harmful substances and sustainability. Pura’s swimwear pieces are a limited edition, this way they avoid an overproduction.

4. Lemon Spicy

Lemon spicy sustainable swimwear
Picture from Lemon Spicy’s website

Lemon Spicy is an Australian swimwear brand. The pieces are made from 78% Econyl and 22% lycra. This mix makes the pieces more chlorine resistant than the average swimwear fabric. It also has UV protection and is sunscreen resistant.

5. Morena Jambo

 

 

Morena Jambo is a Portuguese brand with 10 years in the market. Their objective is to promote sustainability in fashion, from an ethical production. Their garments are made from 100% Econyl and their biggest inspiration is the nature.

6. Coco Frio

cocofriocollection
Picture from Coco Frio’s website

Coco Frio is a French brand based in Paris. Fashion, ethics, and eco-responsibility it’s at the core of this brand. All of their garments are ethically made in Italy. Using the fabric Econyl.

7. Anekdot boutique

Anekdot suit
Photography by Lauren See and Colette Pomerleau http://www.colettepomerleau.com

Anekdot is an upcycling brand based in Germany. They produce their collections with fabrics that are left behind in the fashion industry. They also use Econyl which is also made from post-consumer waste. The elastics of their garments were bought in London from a closing down factory in the UK.

I hope you get inspired and liked my list. I’m I missing any brand? Let me know in the comments below.

With Love,

Alisson

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