Lower Waste Days in LA
This post was sponsored by Garnet Hill. The words an opinions expressed are my own. As always, any imagery showing West and/or the pups was taken as they interacted in their own natural ways.
An individual’s journey to a more eco-friendly existence doesn’t have to be completed overnight. It doesn’t need to be traversed flawlessly in a straight line, and no one is fast-tracked to the high road by shaming others or one-upping our peers. The transition is about caring and trying. Really trying. Both when the eyes of others are upon us, and when they’re not.
For me, this journey began when Adam, StanLee and I moved into our tiny home, as small space living is inherently more environmentally friendly. But, looking back, we certainly amassed a regrettable amount of waste in the years that followed. It wasn’t until after out son was born that we became far more aware of our footprint, and our role in the climate crisis.
Since then, we’ve been working towards the goal of as low waste of as lifestyle as is reasonably possible here in our live/work family home in Los Angeles.
We still have much to learn and accomplish. But we’ve shifted our habits enough to enjoy a marked change in our spending, health, spare time, energy consumption, and material waste.
There are always times of exception: client purchases, hospital visits, the occasional new toy for our son, props for brand shoots, and sporadic deliveries in packaging that can be greatly improved upon. But we are attempting to eliminate those instances, or offset their impact through other actions.
Across all categories, we’ve realized the importance of versatility when it comes to any item we acquire. Whether it's new or vintage, for the house or for our wardrobe, we now understand the value of having pieces that are timeless in style, versatile in function, and durable in construction. When considering new purchases, we'll ask ourselves several questions— one of which pertains to versatility. (Can that new bistro table we're considering for the garden be easily carried and fit inside the house or on the porch so we don’t need multiples? Yes! Can we adapt our existing glassware with a few add-on accessories to make it suitable for our young son so he doesn’t need his own set of cups? Yes! Can these bath towels also be used at the beach and even as curtains and tablecloths? Yes!)
These sorts of adaptable goods save us money and space, while lessening our waste.
No one in our family regularly gets new articles of clothing— even little West, who is growing quickly as children his age do. We share a single compact closet, which is also where we keep West’s permanent collection of board and picture books, as well as our bedding. While the space is not overstuffed, there's admittedly very little room to spare. So when we add something to the closet, we give TWO pieces away to family, friends or non-profits. (I wrote in greater depth about this topic in a recent post entitled Remaining Clutter-Free for the Long Run.
Nearly everything that earns a place in our wardrobe has to be an item that can work year-round, and be dressed up or down.
Each piece is made with Tencel™ and/or organic cotton.
Adam and I recently discovered that— for whatever reason— Tencel™ doesn’t attract or hold nearly as much pet hair as some fabrics, and yet it is still breathable, flexible and absorbent. We have two rescue beagles, one of whom sheds more than any dog I’ve ever met, so this is hugely helpful. A strong, easy-care fabric, TENCEL™ is made of natural cellulose derived from sustainably harvested wood pulp from renewable tree farms. This modern and eco-friendly fabric is buttery-soft, smooth and elegant. It pairs well with other fabrics, like organic cotton.
Garnet Hill’s organic cotton is made with fibers farmed without harmful pesticides, GMOs or chemical defoliants, which is not only better for your skin but also for the land on which the cotton is grown.
During transitions between seasons, I usually layer my outfits with linen— one of the oldest and strongest natural textile fibers. It is breathable, has naturally-occurring antibacterial properties, is comfortable in fluctuating weather, has excellent color fastness, and — in my opinion — gets more beautiful over time.
These pieces have worked well for our lifestyle. Whether I’m biking through our errands, reading with West at the library, playing with the pups in the garden, visiting clients, or attending events, I’ve appreciated the comfort and versatility of them all. I plan to wear them year-round, and for years to come.