This site has been put together to extend the conversation beyond my book, Easy Everyday Habits to be More Eco-Friendly. Here you'll find additional resources and information. If you know of a product not listed, please contact us to review it at LetsGetEco@TheGatesCompany.com
My entire life growing up my hippie, eco-loving mama went the extra mile to save our beautiful planet. Before it was a trend, and before it was cool my mama made her own cleaners, cooked health bars from scratch, made her own soap, and canned our homegrown food for winter. We knew our local farmers, butcher, and lived a circular, sustainable life. She made all of my clothes from scratch on her 1940's Singer sewing machine, my lunches were homemade with love, and processed foods, over-packaged products, and one-use plastics were never found in our home. Despite having plenty of money, I thought we lived like poor people because none of the cool kids lived like this. It wasn't until I was an adult that I could really appreciate my mom's pioneering ways. Despite going rogue for several years in my twenties, I now surpass my eco loving mom in living an eco-friendly life, but I owe it all to her.
One day while having a complete meltdown in the middle of my kitchen over my nemesis, Palm Oil, I felt overcome with hopelessness, helplessness, and overwhelm. Change needed to occur but how the hell could I do anything? In a moment of complete clarity, my friend said simply, "Then do something about it." He was right, I may not be able to do it all on my own, but I could write a book that could inspire others to help me! I sat down and in less than two weeks, Easy, Everyday Habits to be More Eco-Friendly, was born. This book isn't meant to be preachy, point fingers, or guilt you into change. It is my hope that you read it, and it motivates and inspires you to start changing your habits today! Your dollar equals a vote. Your choices equal a vote. How will you vote on behalf of Mama Earth today?
Do you long to celebrate your life in a healthy, sustainable way? This book is straight to the point, eye-opening, and filled with a-ha moments to spark change in your everyday habits. It will encourage you to look at your day to day routine and clean it up in a super easy, manageable way.
This is the ultimate guide for anyone that wants to create change in their eco habits but doesn't know where to start!
2 ways to immediately reduce your plastic use today!
Using 20 plastic veggie bags for a short 10-minute drive home is irresponsible and unacceptable. Use reusable produce bags like these one's from Flip and Tumble™.
Flip and Tumble™ reusable veggie bags get your veggies home safely and responsibly. I bought mine eight years ago and they are still going strong! Mine are stained (despite me washing them monthly) but my veggies don't care! By using reusable veggie bags you prevent thousands of bags annually from going into a landfill or ending up in our oceans.
Now imagine getting five of your closest friends and family members on board with reusable bags. You just saved 2500+ plastic bags from going into a landfill or being swallowed up by a whale. Good job!
The average family uses 500 Ziploc bags a year. In 2017 it was estimated that over 58 million plastic Ziploc bags were used, and disposed of by American families alone. Our dependency on one-use plastics is producing insurmountable trash, filling up landfills, and polluting our oceans. Simply replacing your produce bags with reusable bags, and eliminating Ziploc bags in your day to day routine saves 3000 plastic bags from being disposed of annually! Look at you making kickass eco choices!
Bee's Wrap, Eco-Friendly Reusable Food Wraps.
These sustainable, plastic-free food storage sheets are a natural alternative to using plastic wrap, tin foil, or plastic bags. They are washable, reusable, and compostable and last over a year if used regularly. I've had mine for two years and they still work great! They are made of organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin.
Your decision to turn down plastic matters. "Each year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic waste enters the world's ocean. That's equivalent to five grocery bags of plastic trash piled up on every foot of coastline on the planet." National Geographic.
Each day is filled with choices. Those choices without you realizing equal a vote. How will you vote for Mama Earth today?
Costa Rica is in the top 5 countries that are leading the way into renewable resources. It might seem small but it has a really big environmental impact. Since 2014 the country’s energy has been coming from 99% renewable sources, and it has been running on 100% renewable energy for over two months twice in the last two years. Then, since June 2017 they have been set on eradicating single-use plastic by 2021. Click here to continue reading.....
Amanda Gates. Easy, Everyday Habits to be More Eco-Friendly.
There will be times when you are faced with choosing the easy road or choosing a sustainable road. It's not hard but it does require hard, intentional work to dispose of and recycle goods properly.
Above, we see what the forest should look like. Below we see the devestation of the slash and burn happening for Palm Oil Plantations.
This used to be lush amazon forest, now wiped out for Palm Oil plantations.
The reason you should avoid unsustainable palm oil is that the factories using the cheap commodity are burning the rain forests to quickly clear them out and replace them with palm oil plantations. This slash and burn approach is not only wiping out the forest and killing entire ecosystems but releasing massive amounts of carbon emissions when they burn. There are three tropical forests left in the world, The Amazon in South America, The Congo in the basin of Africa, and the Southeast Asian rainforest that used to span Indonesia. Eighty percent of the Indonesian forest, however, has now been wiped out with the slash and burn technique and replaced with palm oil plantations.
These fires are intentionally set because burning the forest is the fastest, cheapest, and most profitable method of clearing rather than using heavy equipment. Considered one of the most corrupt governments, officials are paid off so that companies can come in and grow the cheapest vegetable oil in the world. It's in cooking oil and processed foods, cosmetics, and detergents for home cleaning products. It's one of the cheapest commodities produced making companies tremendous, outlandish profits for the sake of the planet, ecosystems, animals, and air. In 2015, the fires were so bad they emitted more carbon daily than the entire US economy. As fires continue to rage across the forests and peatlands of Indonesia they are on track to pump out more carbon emissions than the U.S.'s entire annual output.
* Above photo credit: Greenpeace
Alternate Names for Palm Oil (and this is a short list)
Alternate Names for Palm Oil
Cetyl Alcohol Cetyl Palmitate, Elaeis Guineensis Emulsifers 422, 430-36, 470-8, 481-3, 493-5 Glyceryl Sterate Octyl Palmitate Palm Kernel Oil Palm Stearine Pamlate/Palmitate Palmitic Acid Palmityl Alcohol Palmolein
SodiumDodecyl Sulfate Sodium Kemelate Sodium Laureth Laurel Sulphate Sodium Lauryl Lactylate Sodium Lauryl Suloacetate Sterate Steareth 2 and 20 Stearic Acid Vegetable Glycerin Vegetable oil Vitamin A Palmitate Anything with the word "palm"
*There are companies using responsible, sustainable Palm Oil. Do your homework! And look for RSPO on the label or their website.
I am a professionally trained Interior Designer, Advanced Feng Shui Practitioner, podcaster, award-winning blogger, and environmentalist.
To me, living an eco life is far more than a trend, it's devoting time and energy to a cause that matters for generations to come.
Our planet supports our most basic needs: shelter, food, inspiration, creativity, and all the healing we could ever need, not to mention insurmountable magic and beauty. But Mama Earth is in trouble. We have become parasites slowly destroying her for simple conveniences that are nothing short of illusion.
My book is cause for change. I hope to inspire you and encourage you to create a great change in your life because it matters. Join me on this journey to learn, educate, and empower others to live a sustainable life too!