The whole reason I started this blog is because I was always being asked the same questions. Not only did I think it would be easier to point someone to a well thought out post but it also seemed that there was a gap in readily available information for the average consumer. Over the last 7 years I have been asked some really great questions and they consistently focus on reducing toxins, plastics, waste reduction and my favourite products. Here are my favourite most common questions from readers.
What Brands do you refuse to support?
My list is long. Really long. There are a variety of reasons why I won't support a particular brand. It can be that they use GMO's and have no plan to change this or they could have horrible labour practices or because they are just liar liars pants on fire. The top brands that I boycott are:
Nestle - for their horrendous formula marketing practices and violation of the WHO. As well as their unfair practices of essentially stealing water from those who need it to bottle it for nations like ours.
Monsanto - I'm not against technology and progress. What I am against is people fucking with my food and being bullies to those who are trying to make a living growing real food.
Unilever - I hate brands who use trickery and lie to make their products seem better than they are. Unilever has many brands that are filled with ingredients that are simply not good for you and yet some of these brands pretend to be "natural".
Walmart - It's ironic that a previous employer was a major contractor for Walmart. Which meant that we had a role in building an expanding these mega stores. Walmart has changed the way people shop, and in my opinion, not always in a positive manner. Smaller, family run businesses suffer because of the stronghold that Walmart has.
Kraft - I like companies who apply their values and principles across their entire company. Making products for Europe that are free from dyes but then keeping those same dyes in the products sold in North America is despicable.
What Brands do you love?
Honestly, figuring out who not to support is way easier than picking which brands to love. The companies on that list up there just make it so damn easy to not give them any of my money. I try to support as many small businesses as I can, those that aren't (yet) big brands. Etsy is a great place to find local businesses that you will love. My list of brands I support is really long because so many of these brands don't have a massive product line, instead they focus on a few key products. You can find that list here.
Do you ever regret buying an Electric Vehicle?
Not once have I ever regretted my decision. Yes there are some challenges of owning an electric vehicle, but mostly those just require a change in mindset. The biggest con is not the range of the vehicle, but rather the lack of viable rapid charging options. These vary based on location, but here in Ontario they are few and far between. That leaves me relying on Level 2 chargers which can take anywhere from 3-4 hours to fill up if I am running on empty. That just isn't feasible for a road trip. A rapid charger would give me the same result in 30-45 minutes. Luckily, I can get nearly everywhere I normally go without having to rely on charging while on the road. Mostly, I love that I don't have to rely on fossil fuels for transportation and that I have zero emissions while driving. I will continue to purchase electric vehicles and look forward to the improvements in technology that will reduce the challenges until they no longer exist.
Wait. You actually do an at home Waste Audit?
Ha! Yes I do. I actually do one every year to make sure I am on track to my goal of being completely trash free. Really, how are you supposed to know how to make improvements in any aspect of your life if you don't know where you are starting. It is all about creating that baseline, seeing where you should focus and coming up with a plan of attack. You could take this approach with any aspect of your green journey, I just choose to focus on waste because I feel like it is something that should easily be eliminated.
How do you do it? Where do you find the time?
I'm the first to admit that I am not perfect when it comes to my sustainable life. In the words of my son "Do Your Best and Forget the Rest". So that is what I do. I focus on what is important to me and try not to beat myself up for the times that I do or use something that isn't considered green. I have talked about being a Realistic Environmentalist before and its the best way to describe me. I spend my time researching the issues that are important to me and use that information to make informed decisions. In reality, outside of this blog, being sustainable does not take a lot of my time. Making my own cleaners takes less than a minute, mixing my homemade deodorant is less than 2 minutes. Deciding which brands I will support, well that takes a bit more time, but spending a few hours of upfront research goes a long way to making shopping trips easier. This research allows me to know which brands match my lifestyle and are worthy of my support, and which will never see a penny from me.
Why don't you do more product reviews?
It is important to me that this blog reflects my life and is true to my values. For that reason, you will find that every post here is written by me. I don't pay for content, allow ghost writers or accept posts from people. I don't write straight product reviews anymore because I personally skip over them if I see them on a blog. Normally they just contain a small amount of information on the product and always a glowing OMG SERIOUSLY GUYS review. Instead I will occasionally have a post sponsored by a company but rather than just talk about the product, I write about an issue and how I have found a way to solve that issue. This approach does mean that I make way less money than my peers, but I am okay with that because it is keeping this space the way that I like it.
If you have any questions just leave a comment and I can answer them too!
Related Posts - Check them Out
Reducing Your Plastic Footprint
Stop Feeling Guilty and Put Yourself First
Replacing GMO Foods