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Chances are, you have a clothing item (or 10) in your closet that you don’t wear, haven’t worn since the previous solar eclipse and have no plans to wear here or in a parallel universe. But, before you purge your closet and launch your lightly worn items to a landfill to join the 13 million tons of textiles disposed of each year, consider this: National Secondhand Wardrobe Day is today, and you’re invited!
Swap, Don’t Shop
Disposing of clothing that you don’t wear isn’t just wasteful, it’s extremely unsustainable and oh so unfashionable. Even today, with all the convenient ways to sell your clothes for cash, a staggering 85 percent of discarded textiles are sent to landfills annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet, the majority of people are not extending the life cycle of their gently worn clothes while cashing in or greening them forward.
Today, global waste in the fashion industry is a real issue. In fact, it takes 2,700 liters of water just to create one cotton T-shirt. National Secondhand Wardrobe Day is breathing new life into old clothes, allowing consumers to offset their carbon footprint by exchanging or recycling their used garments.
What if I told you that you could recycle, donate or upcycle those tatty threads just by visiting a clothing swap pop-up location near you? Element Hotels, an eco-conscious, extended-stay brand, is hosting Element Exchange today across the country for hotel guests and community members. Some events will even offer sustainable sips of organic wine and tasty treats while you “shop.”
With the coveted LEED certification, Element Hotels doesn’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. All of their hotels are built sustainably using eco-friendly practices from the ground up and supporting local communities. The hotel chain features bright interiors with natural light, eco-friendly fixtures and recycling bins in every guest room, recycled materials in the carpeting, low-VOC interior paints, saltwater swimming pools, bikes to borrow, workout bikes in the fitness center that charge your cell phone while you pedal, and electric vehicle charging stations outdoors.
6 Ways to Participate in National Secondhand Wardrobe Day
While orange may be the new black, vintage is the new rack. Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of buying items that just don’t live up to their impulse-purchase hype. Here’s how else you can swap and save.
- Host Your Own Clothing Swap
- Sell Your Clothes Online with thredUP or Poshmark.
- Donate Your Clothes to Goodwill, Dress for Success, the Salvation Army or the Vietnam Veterans of America. The latter two will even pick up the items from your front door.
- Rent the Runway for your next soiree or event.
- Sell Your Wedding Garments Online with Preowned Wedding Dresses.
- Donate Your Wedding Dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer.
One man’s or woman’s trash truly is another’s treasure. Making sustainable choices in your clothing selections just makes sense. This year, get involved to help those less privileged by giving your time or, literally, the clothes off your back. Remember, on National Secondhand Wardrobe Day, don’t shop — swap till you drop!
Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock
Lisa Beres is a healthy home expert, Baubiologist, published author, professional speaker and Telly award-winning media personality who teaches busy people how to eliminate toxins from their home with simple, step-by-step solutions to improve their health. With her husband, Ron, she is the co-founder of
and the 30-day online program
. She is the author of the children’s book
and co-author of
. Lisa’s TV appearances include “The Rachael Ray Show,” “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “TODAY,” “The Doctors,” “Fox & Friends,” “Chelsea Lately” and “The Suzanne Somers Show.”
Latest posts by Lisa Beres (see all)
It’s National Secondhand Wardrobe Day: How You Can Participate – August 25, 2017
Perk Up Your Workout with a Recycled Coffee Grounds Sports Bra – July 24, 2017
The 4 Things You MUST Test for in Your Home Right Now – July 14, 2017
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The number one rule of yoga? Do no harm.
Yoga shouldn?t physically injure you?if it does, you?re doing it wrong and you need to practice safer alignment.
It also shouldn?t injure or harm others?it is a practice of love and universal acceptance.
But when your yoga practice is hurting the environment? That?s when a lot of us turn a blind eye.
In our consumer culture, the yoga market is a cash cow. Americans spend over $16 million a year on yoga classes, mats, clothes and related equipment. Yoga is no longer just a lifestyle, but it has overflowed into fast fashion. Atheleisure is ubiquitous and there is always pressure for us to get more?new, new, new. But stop a minute and consider the effect all that yoga gear has on the environment.
It is tempting to buy cheap yoga mats, but they are more harmful than you may realize. Modern yoga mats are loaded with plenty of plastic-based nasties, but the one of main concern in PVC plastic. Not only are these bad for you (they contain known carcinogens?and phthalates?not things?you want seeping?in to your sweaty back), but PVC plastics?are non-biodegradable, which means they will leach toxins into the environment for years to come. How?s that for ?do no harm??
If you are bringing a reusable water bottle to class but still using a cheap, old mat, do some research. Yoga mats are technically environmental pollutants once you’re done using them. And since cheap PVC mats don’t boast quality or longevity, think of all the yoga mats you will be?dumping into the environment over time.
When buying a new eco-friendly mat, know that some mats claim to be eco-friendly, but always double check. Polyester-based mats will not biodegrade once disposed, meaning they aren’t as?green as they claim to be. And be aware that?good eco mats can get pricey! The temptation to buy a cheap mat is a powerful one, but a?better made mat is going to last a lot longer and be kinder to both you and the planet. If you can, look for mat made with natural rubber, which is both incredibly grippy and sustainable. Make sure it has enough thickness for you, but don?t opt for anything too heavy as it might make you less likely to use it.
I use and swear by?a Jade Harmony?mat, which is made from super-grippy, sustainably-harvested natural rubber and comes in a beautiful array of colors. Gone are the days of my hands slipping and sliding in downward dog, which means my mat has actually improved my practice. Talk about bang for my buck! (Bonus eco benefit: for every mat purchased, Jade plants a tree.) Of course, if you have a latex allergy you should avoid natural rubber. Opt instead for a cork mat.
And if you are looking to recycle an old yoga mat? You can repurpose old mats in your own home easily, or you may be able to recycle PVC mats by sending them back to the manufacturer to be shredded down, melted and reused.
A mat is an integral part of your yoga practice, so make sure it aligns with your core values. Don’t sacrifice your health. Don’t sacrifice the planet. Know what’s in your mat.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.
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Pollution from power plants in two states killed thousands of people last year
How poisonous are power plants? An estimated 2,300 people in the United States died prematurely because of Pennsylvania’s power plants just last year, according to a study out Thursday. Across the border in Ohio, power plants claimed another 2,130 lives last year. The healthcare bill for people suffering from power plants in both states hit $40 billion.
These startling numbers come from a pair of reports from NextGen Climate America and PSE Healthy Energy, which looked at two states infamous for their coal-burning power plants. It should come as no surprise that nearly 90 percent of power plants in both states are in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.
In a word, it’s horrifying. People are getting sick, paying a lot of money, and dying to meet our demand for electricity. Once the EPA’s Clean Power Plan takes hold (it’s currently tied up in the courts) Ohio and Pennsylvania should take a hard look at who’s being affected by emissions, says NextGen. The new federal regulations give states flexibility to meet the standards — including choosing natural gas over coal plants to lower emissions. But, as NextGen points out, natural gas can still lead to asthma attacks, respiratory problems, and death.
NextGen argues that Ohio and Pennsylvania should focus on health and equity for everyone. But the organization’s policy recommendation tiptoes around it: “An emphasis on renewables and efficiency, rather than increased natural gas generation, may be the best way to realize the benefits of the Clean Power Plan without placing a disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities.” It’s not a “may be,” it is.
Natural gas plants can mean sickness and death for vulnerable communities. The long-term goal should be a complete end to poisonous power plants — not a meek proposal to curb some, but not all, of the burdens.
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Welcome to the sparkling green gem called eco tourism. A booming industry, eco travel now boasts a whopping 8 billion ecotourist visits a year worldwide. Spoiler alert: You’ll need a (nontoxic) keyboard cleaner prior to reading further because if you’re like me, you’ll be drooling in utter awe at the beauty, thoughtfulness and earthly stewardship that went into creating these slices of nirvana on earth. My bucket list has officially grown larger (and yours will, too) after discovering these Om-inspiring spots.
Eco travel explored
Whether you’re looking for restorative or reenergizing vacation away from daily stress, you’ll be hitting the BOOK IT button and packing your bags for an eco travel adventure to reclaim your inner peace and restore your health.
1) The Stanford Inn by the Sea – Mendocino, CA
A historic farm and eco resort perched along the Mendocino Coast, The Stanford Inn by the Sea boasts lush, USDA certified organic farms and gardens. This four star, sustainable eco-resort is home to an award-winning vegan restaurant. Nestled across the bay from Mendocino Village, earth friendly, conscious cuisine can be enjoyed at Ravens restaurant (even the wines are organic). The lodge inspired rooms boast eco-friendly amenities by Gilchrist & Soames®. Included with your room are: free mountain bike rentals, a chef-prepared vegan breakfast, plush bathrobes, a wood burning fireplace, organic coffee, and a private deck with ocean and garden views. They compost all food and organic wastes which are then recycled into the gardens, virtually eliminating the use of outside fertilizers. The resort uses no herbicides or pesticides and uses Vaska non-toxic environmentally safe cleaning and laundry supplies, and provides sulfate-free Naturally Kind™ Forest Essentials.
Head over to the onsite Catch a Canoe and paddle along the eight-mile Big River estuary. Or, rent a bike or visit the wellness center – the Mendocino Center for Living Well – offering yoga, ayurvedic treatments, cooking classes and wellness retreats including the Falling Love with Life Special. They also offer a sauna, hot tub and indoor swimming pool located in the heated solarium as well as weddings and corporate events. With afternoon tastings and evening happy hours, the passionate owners, Jeff & Joan Stanford, have truly though of everything – even electric car charging stations – at this premier sustainable destination. Watch below to learn more:
2) Bardessono – Yountville, CA
Bardessono is one of only three LEED platinum-certified hotels in the United States (and the only one in California). Situated in California’s Napa Valley, rooms feature organic cotton bed linens and hand-crafted bath products. The onsite restaurant, Lucy, offers a garden-inspired menu with field-to-fork cuisine and artisan cocktails. A rooftop pool offers lounging and dining. Carbon fiber bicycles, on-site producing gardens, and the inspired taste of artisan-crafted coffee are all included in your wine country stay. Cheers to that!
3) Amangiri – Canyon Point, Utah
Raw. Aesthetic. Discover a remote hideaway tucked within the luminous canyons of the American Southwest. Utah’s Canyon Point is home to deep canyons, towering plateaus, world-class hiking, and of course – Amangiri.
How does candlelit restorative yoga with views of the mesa or full moon yoga beneath the rising moon sound? Then there’s the exquisite 25,000 square foot spa where treatments focus on restoring hózhó, which means beauty, harmony, balance and health in Navajo.
The onsite restaurant serves local seasonal produce. This dramatic resort is tucked into a valley near the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument; to say that it blends into the landscape is an understatement. While visiting, you can enjoy guided hikes, rock climbing, canyoneering, and biking.
4) Lumeria Maui – Maui, Hawaii
A retreat for the body, mind and spirit, Lumeria helps you transform your best self through yoga, meditation, sustainable food offerings, healing spa treatments and more. This all-inclusive Hawaii wellness retreat overlooks the North Shore of Maui and is set on large, lush gardens and just 10 minutes from the quaint town of Paia. Guests can feast on indigenous, organic produce and products at Lumeria’s Wooden Crate restaurant. Thesaline pool and soaking tub overlook the island with breathtaking ocean views. An onsite meditation labyrinth is ideal for quieting the mind and seeking a new perspective.
5) The Retreat Alto Del Monte
A boutique wellness experience tucked in the heart of the lush, tropical beauty of Costa Rica, The Retreat, is a five star boutique hotel created by health and wellness visionary, Diana Stobo. Recently voted one of the 5 Top Spas in the world the property is all about eating clean, raw and/or organic whole foods, enjoying nature, relaxing with yoga and meditation while still lapping in luxury. Diana’s mission is to provide everything you need and desire for the perfect wellness vacation: physical activity, stress reduction, spiritual connectedness, cultural involvement and an experience that will transform you life. Take a plunge in the salt water pool, enjoy the world class spa or Yoga House and and savor a menu designed to fit all lifestyle choices by offering farm to fork cuisine on a daily basis, with vegan options at every meal, as well as all raw choices. Seeing is believing:
6) Lapa Rios Ecolodge
Set amidst the last remaining tropical rainforest reserves of Central America, Minnesota natives John and Karen Lewis liquidated their assets to purchase the land for Lapa Rios Ecolodge; a pristine resort of bungalows lining three rainforest ridges. A three-story hardwood circular stairway in the main lodge constructed of locally harvested materials and a lookout onto the rainforest canopy are highlights. Slumber in organic bed linens and enjoy locally made, biodegradable, organic soaps, lotions and shampoos. Activities focus on the forest and the nearby ocean with hiking, birding, kayaking, horseback riding and surfing while honoring conservation. Their sustainability bragging rights are well earned and can be found here.
Experience one of the world’s Blue Zone© areas by staying at Anamaya for a yoga or surf retreat. Located in the southern Nicoya Peninsula on the Pacific Ocean, yoga and surf retreat Anamaya compliments a Blue Zone© designated area — an area of the world where people are known to live the longest and healthiest. There are only five Blue Zones in the world. Daily yoga, spa services, a salt water infinity pool, infrared sauna, organic food with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, and free range organic chicken and fresh fish are available to guests.
While there, take a day trip to nearby Tabacon, a five star hotel ranked a World’s Top Ten eco-Spa by National Geographic Magazine.
Tabacon sits at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano in the heart of the tropical rainforest. Take a plunge in the thermal springs that emerge from the volcanic earth, cascading to form waterfalls, streams, tranquil pools and ponds.
8) Blackadore Caye
A resort that heals. This luxury eco resort plans to pamper you while simultaneously healing the island of Belize. Save the date because this Leonardo di Caprio inspired (and partly owned) oasis is coming in 2018 with majestic views (of the ocean and maybe even Leo?), sprawling villas and infinity pools. It wouldn’t involve Leo without environment stewardship. Plans are in place to protect the coral reefs, biodiverse marine life and even involve manatee conservation. Now that’s what I call leaving something better than you found it. Here. Now. Wherever you are. I don’t know ‘bout you, but my heart will definitely go on after a trip to Blackadore Caye!
9) The Farm at San Benito – Lipa City
For a truly rejuvenating spa experience, head for the Philippines. More specifically, set your sights on The Farm at San Benito. The Farm at San Benito offers a wholly holistic approach to healing one’s body and spirit. Enjoy ease, simplicity, and of course, eco-friendly wellness. Dine on predominantly raw, vegan fare made from ingredients grown on the property’s garden. Or, practice yoga. A variety of wellness programs are available to achieve and sustain optimal physical health, emotional well-being and spiritual growth. Oh, and you’ll be surrounded by lush, tranquil land.
10) Boracay Resort & Spa
Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa is set on a lush hillside set in an eco-reserve. Enjoy sleeping in a treehouse villa, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, parasailing or a day of relaxation at the CHI spa. Stunning beaches and ocean views. Its, as they call it, a sanctuary within a sanctuary.
11) Tivoli Ecoresort Praia do Forte
Paradise sculpted by nature. Sounds good to me. The Tivoli Ecoresort Praia do Forte is an ecologically responsible a place that blends with its natural white sands and warm water. Conservation is key to assure the natural surroundings are not harmed and the resort honors the biodiversity of the surrounding beauty of Brazil.
12) Dusit Thani Maldives – Mudhdhoo Island, Baa Atoll
A visit to the Maldives shouldn’t be limited to Brad and Angelina’s brood. Visit this all-villa Thai retreat that sits next to a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, a feeding ground for manta rays and whale sharks. The Thai inspired rooms at Dusit Thani Maldives are encircled by white sandy beaches, a stunning 360 degree living house reef and a turquoise lagoon. Yes, please.
13) Clayoquot Wilderness Resort – Tofino, British Columbia
Remote. Refined. Rustic. Sounds like a great combo to me. Inspired by late 19th-century camps, the all-inclusive Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in B.C., Canada combines an eco-chic experience with luxurious comfort.
Imagine 20 white canvas massage, treatment, dining, lounge, and guest tents in the dense bush of one of the world’s few remaining temperate rainforests. Get ready to channel your inner Grizzly Adams and indulge horseback riding, kayaking, whale watching, hiking, and fishing.
Uniquely and appropriately described as a delicious blend of childhood wishes and grown up dreams.
14) Gayana Eco Resort – Kota Kinabalu, Borneo
Ecology meets luxury at Gayana Eco Resort. On the edge of a tropical jungle paradise and peering above the agean waters of a rare coral reef , your inner flower child will delight at the overall eco-focus of the resort. A tropical jungle, vibrant coral reefs and effervescent waters of the South China Sea create a a true paradise. The thatched huts are filled with modern conveniences, including air conditioning, WiFi and luxury bathroom amenities. There’s even an on-site Marine Ecology Research Center restoring the nearby coral reef.
15) The Naka Island, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
Located on Phuket’s Naka Yai Island, this wellness resort preaches holistic wellness in its food, activities, and landscaping. Cleanse your body and soul at The Naka Island, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa. Indonesian, Thai, Chinese, and Indian, therapies range from body rubs and holistic fitness to stress-reducing practices and disease prevention. Eco features such as green housekeeping, composting, water conservation, recycling, integrated pest management practices, low-VOC materials (paints, flooring and furniture) make giving it a double green thumbs up easy.
16) Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
Sleep in a romantic treehouse at the all-inclusive Lake Manyara Tree Lodge located in the Lake Manyara National Park. Enjoy the diversity of the Great Rift Valley and the plethora of habitats and wildlife surrounding rich, mahogany forests. Each of the 10 stilted suites boasts a private game viewing deck, dream-inducing beds, and an overhead fan for a true jungle vibe. Enjoy a safari or soak in the natural hot springs during your stay. You may even see a lion climbing a tree (really!).
How about unwinding with the Ayung River behind you, surrounded by Verdant rice paddies, meandering pathways, and gently rolling hills? Nearby, you’ll discover hidden temples and an active volcano. Find your Zen while you rejuvenate and unwind at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Reserve Mandapa resort in Bali with your own private butler on hand to meet your every whim.
18) Daintree EcoLodge & Spa – Queensland
Since my husband stayed here, I can personally share the relaxation he experienced while slumbering in an ancient rainforest canopy with the echo of birds in the background at Daintree EcoLodge and Spa. For every guest that stays, they plant a tree with Rainforest Rescue. Key measures to reduce energy use, greenhouse and carbon emissions include a long list which you can view here. They offer natural spa treatments, fresh seasonal cuisine, and tranquil exploration. View brochure here.
Would you consider staying at one of these destinations? Have you already? What was your experience? Leave a comment below.
Feature image credit: Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
Lisa Beres is a healthy home expert, Baubiologist, published author, professional speaker and Telly award winning media personality who teaches busy people how to eliminate toxins from their home with simple, step-by-step solutions to improve their health. With her husband, Ron, she is the co-founder of
and the 30 day online program,
. She is the author of the children’s book
and co-author of
. Lisa’s TV appearances include “The Rachael Ray Show,” “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “TODAY,” “The Doctors” and “Fox & Friends,” “Chelsea Lately on E!” and “The Suzanne Somers Show.”
Latest posts by Lisa Beres (see all)
The Best Luxury Eco Travel Destinations – June 17, 2016
8 Father’s Day Gift Ideas That Truly Pay It Forward – June 7, 2016
15 Green Living Home Delivery Services – May 24, 2016
So Far, We’ve Had
Recycling Searches this year
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There’s plenty to be glad about in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, and some of the law’s standards for school lunches went into effect this month. But as my colleague Kiera Butler has reported, something is wrong when when those standards still allow empty-calorie snacks and fast food pizza to make the cut. The lax regime is hardly surprising when you look at the industry groups that supported the measure and deployed lobbyists to shape the legislation. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 111 different organizations registered to lobby on the bill, which was described as a “path to end childhood hunger.” Below are some standouts among the trade groups and companies that had a say on this one:
The American Beverage Association: The trade group that represents Coca Cola, PepsiCo, and other soda manufacturers lauded Congress for passing the bill. “The beverage industry has a longstanding commitment to the health and wellness of our nation’s children,” it said in a statement. In the past, the association has lobbied aggressively against anti-soda measures, such as a proposed 2012 soda tax in Richmond, California.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association: In a statement on the bill, the GMA said that it supported authorizing the US Department of Agriculture to set “science-based standards” for school lunches and that “the school cafeteria line can be on the front lines of feeding children while ending childhood obesity within a generation.” In 2010, GMA board members included the CEOs of PepsiCo, Kraft, and Cadbury.
International Dairy Food Association: The dairy industry’s top lobbying group has a sweet tooth, having lobbied alongside the sugar industry and advocated for chocolate milk in schools. In a recent statement on school lunch policy, it said, “We urge USDA and school wellness policies not to discount the nutritional benefits of flavored milk.”
The National Confectioners Association: The umbrella group for candy producers—which has been “making life sweeter since 1884″—praised the USDA’s decision to exempt sugar-free gum from some of the standards. “Having students chew sugar-free gum after eating can serve as a good and convenient adjunct to an existing oral health routine,” the group said in comments sent to the USDA. (Candy makers Mars, Inc. and Hershey’s also lobbied on the bill.)
The National Pork Producers Council: The pork lobby’s biggest advocate backed passage of the new standards, “but raised concerns” with the USDA “about efforts to restrict meat in the breakfast and lunch programs.”
PepsiCo: The maker of Pepsi, Lays, and Doritos lobbied on the bill and sponsored the School Nutrition Association’s annual conference earlier this week, where it distributed fliers assuring visitors that Cheetos complied with the USDA’s “smart snack” standards.
The Snack Food Association: According to its website, members of this umbrella group include “manufacturers of potato chips, tortilla chips, cereal snacks, pretzels, popcorn, cheese snacks, snack crackers, meat snacks, pork rinds, snack nuts, party mix, corn snacks, pellet snacks, fruit snacks, snack bars, granola, snack cakes, cookies and various other snacks.”
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