Review: Bumbleride Era Stroller

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A stroller was definitely the item I spent the most time researching – we had a lot of functional requirements PLUS I wanted something eco-conscious. After our plan to get one secondhand didn’t work out, I was actually surprised with so many strollers on the market how difficult it was to find a company that prioritized sustainability and transparency.

Enter: Bumbleride.

I was thrilled to find Bumbleride because it checked our boxes and is pretty comparable or even better priced than many of the non-sustainable brands I looked at.

If you’re in the same boat, looking for an eco-friendly and functional stroller, here’s my experience:

Bumbleride Era review

We have the Era model* (in Dawn Grey) which I chose mainly for it’s convertibility – it can be used from infants to small children (up to 55lbs), as well as the air-filled tires and suspension since I knew we’d be taking it through snow and on gravel paths and other rougher terrain. Additionally I wanted something which wasn’t too large and awkward to take into stores and that folded easily and compactly.

The Era met all our wishes and had some nice bonus features like an adjustable handlebar which is great since my husband and I are very different heights. I also really like the large storage basket underneath which provides enough room for whatever we need or even a grocery run.

It has a very large pop-out canopy which initially I didn’t think was necessary, but has been great for keeping the sun off baby at whatever angle. My only tiny criticism would be that it would be nice if there was a little loop inside the canopy to hang a toy or something to look at when the baby is fully reclined.

The Era handles our snowy and sometimes very icy afternoon walks amazingly well and baby B has some quite peaceful naps in it.

Going for a walk in the snow with the Bumbleride Era

Bumbleride uses fabrics made from 100% recycled plastic bottles that are Oeko-Tex certified, which means they’ve been tested and don’t contain any toxic chemicals – pretty important for babies who suck on everything and also good to know nothing harmful is against their skin (additionally they offer organic cotton infant inserts and seat-liners which is great if you prefer something more natural or have a baby with very sensitive skin). The cork handlebar is also not only an eco-friendly material but also doesn’t feel freezing to touch in winter like plastic or metal can be. I would actually love to see them incorporate more cork into their products!

They also manufacture the strollers in a family-run factory in Taiwan which pays fair wages, doesn’t have overtime (which is unfortunately required in many factories) and actively works to reduce their waste.


They also have accessories to customize your stroller

We also got the bassinet attachment. It isn’t necessary as you can use the stroller with newborn infants and they also have the organic infant insert for more support, however I like being able to unclip the bassinet and move her without disruption if she’s napping. The bassinet is overnight rated so it’s safe to sleep in for long periods. When we’re visiting people and not using the stroller we will still bring just the bassinet so she has a place to nap.

Using the Bumbleride Era with bassinet attachment

If you go out a lot and plan on having your baby nap in the stroller quite a bit, or if you want a bassinet that also attaches to a stroller, it’s a useful addition. I also find it’s especially convenient when going to restaurants or cafes since you can put the stroller next to your table and there’s a nice place for baby to sleep.

We also have the parent pack attachment which includes 2 cup holders and a little space for your phone, keys, etc. It’s a great attachment for us since almost all of our outings involve bringing or picking up a coffee or tea (in our reusable mugs of course!).

Additionally they offer adapters for various brands which allow you to connect your infant car seat to the Bumbleride stroller frame. We opted to get a convertible car seat instead of the bucket + forward facing, but if you have an infant bucket seat it seem like a great option.


Overall, I’m very happy with our Bumbleride stroller, and love all the practical and sustainable features. We’re looking forward to using it for years and trying out the different positions as she grows. 🙂

If you’re looking for an eco-conscious stroller I hope this review is helpful!

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Also check out my other sustainable baby must-haves!

* For transparency – I approached Bumbleride and they did gift me the stroller, however I was ready to purchase it myself and as always, getting gifted products does not affect my reviews of them.

Vote Now! Community Top Picks

The wisdom of crowds is powerful – our collective experiences and knowledge is so much greater than any one person. So instead of just sharing my thoughts and recommendations, I want to hear from you!

What are your favourite responsible brands and sustainability resources? What’s important to you as a conscious consumer and who deserves recognition in the sustainable/ethical space?

All responses will be compiled to create a list (and helpful resource) of the My Green Closet Community Top Picks!

Please share your input with this survey form:

Thanks so much for taking part and please share this survey with anyone else you know trying to reduce their impact and shop more responsibly, the more people that get involved the better resource we can build together!

Check back for the results in early March.

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Winter Capsule Wardrobe 2020

I finally have my capsule to share with you! With having a baby and then our time in the hospital, it’s taken me quite a while to get this together and film it, but this is what I’ve been wearing this fall and winter.

(Please note: this post does contain some affiliate links and some gifted products however this does not affect my opinion of the products)


The Clothes in my Capsule:

Tops

Bottoms

Dresses

Layers


So those are the clothes in my capsule, but because I’ve been getting questions about nursing undergarments, I’ll also share those:

  • I have a tank/cami from PACT (and will likely get another)

Bras


Like I said in the video, this was definitely a more challenging capsule to plan, but overall it meets my needs and I’m looking forward to tweaking it each season as I adjust to new life changes!

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Sustainable, 2hand, & Minimal Nature-Themed Nursery

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Before moving into and getting our new house ready (you can watch both the process and final house tour) I got the most questions and interest in what we’re doing with the nursery and what kinds of cooking/dining stuff we have so I’ll be doing a more in-depth post about both!

Note: this post contains some affiliate links

With a new baby on the way and a new house I was looking forward to planning a space for our child to grow in and enjoy. I wanted something comfortable and engaging but without a lot of clutter.

The room gets beautiful light and I really wanted it to be bright and inviting. The first thing I did was figure out the colour palette – I definitely wanted something gender neutral. After going through tons of paint colours I just kept going back to white however a plain white room also seemed bare and boring especially since we weren’t planning on having a ton of decor items; that’s when I came across Farrow & Ball’s wallpaper and decided doing an accent wall was the perfect way to bring some colour and design into the room and also be something for baby to look at from the crib.

I chose their Atacama print in a lovely green which has abstract flower and cactus shapes. This then set the tone and theme for the rest of the room. I decided on a colour palette of grass-green, white, muted yellow, and orange accents.

For the other walls in the room we went with a warm white also from Farrow & Ball who makes eco-friendly, non-toxic, and baby-safe paints.
(note: I reached out to them and they kindly gifted me the wallpaper and paint)

Painting over the yellow walls made such a difference in the room!

I knew we were getting a secondhand crib in white and because of the beautiful wallpaper I really wanted to get an open bookshelf that would show the paper through and not be too heavy-looking in the corner. After a lot of searching on buy/sell sites, I finally found this white ladder shelf which works perfectly.

On the shelf we keep some books, toys, a couple succulents, and the top shelf is the perfect place for a baby monitor. I also got a lovely fair trade, woven grass basket from Ten Thousand Villages to keep some toys in and my mother knit a couple cozy cotton blankets which we have out for snuggling.

The only thing I’d still like to add is a little mobile above the crib which I’m planning on DIY-ing and will update the post with once it’s finished!

For the other side of the room I found this yellow dresser which provides more than enough storage for clothes, bedding, and some odds and ends (there is no closet in the room). Next to it there’s a little basket which we use as a clothing hamper and I was able to get this wooden glider frame secondhand and DIY’d the cushions which you can see happen in my video. Then we have a little reading/side table with a bunny lamp (which was another great secondhand find), although I’m thinking of painting the lampshade to add a bit more colour. At first I wasn’t sure if we needed a table, but it’s been very useful to keep things at arms-reach.

Corner with glider and dresser

To add some colour to the wall I love getting illustrations and designs from Creative Market, they have tons of posters, cards, images, and graphics which you can print as-is or use to create your own designs. It’s much more affordable than buying prints and they have tons of great baby/nursery designs!

Floral B by tatiletters part of “It’s a Girl Unicorns and flowers” collection (I just changed the colours)

To go with our nature theme I also got this rug with geometric plants (kindly gifted from Made Trade) which is handwoven by artisans from excess wool and cotton. I really like the mix of organic and geometric plant patterns and shapes in the room.

I was happy to be able to use a couple fairytale woodblock prints that my great aunt made in the 50s, and picked up this lovely cut-out pillow from Ten Thousand Villages to make a comfy corner and bring some green to the other side of the room as well as slightly mirroring the wallpaper with some texture.

Putting up books with nice illustrations makes super simple, cute, and functional decor plus it’s fun to change them up throughout the year! We have mostly books about animals and nature so it also fits the room theme nicely.

I also used some of the wooden toys we have on the shelves (the stacking robot is from Little Miss Workbench who I discovered through Buy Me Once and the wooden age-counter blocks are from Canadian brand Whittle Wood) and my mother saved some of the good quality stuffed animals I had as a child which I’m excited to now pass on to my daughter.

Overall I’m really happy with how the room turned out, it’s calm and comfortable but still fun and playful which is exactly the kind of atmosphere I was hoping to create. I’m also thrilled that we were able to get basically everything secondhand or from conscious brands. We can’t wait to enjoy the room more and more as she grows!

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Read more about how we (almost) furnished our entire home without buying anything new and check out my post on eco newborn must-haves!

Clothing isn’t “Zero Waste”

Did you know that basically all clothing generates plastic waste? Even if you buy a garment in store it likely still came shipped in an individual plastic poly bag.⁠

Many sustainable brands even use them and there’s a good reason – they protect the clothing from getting damaged since shipping can be quite dirty and wet. Imagine the overall environmental impact of a huge shipping container of clothing – from growing all the fibres, making and dyeing the fabrics, cutting and sewing the garments etc. which now can’t be sold because some rain leaked in and damaged all the clothes.⁠

Conscious brands like Patagonia and People Tree have looked into this and determined that the plastic bags are necessary since the alternative is a huge amount of clothing waste.⁠ (Patagonia has a particularly in-depth public study and assessment of their plastic packaging)

While there are some more sustainable options such as bags made from recycled plastic and brands are also experimenting with compostable and bio-plastic bags, the cost is much higher and the technology seems to still need some improvements. Brands have also shared that certain stores and distributors have very specific requirements about how the clothing is packaged which doesn’t leave much room for finding better alternatives. Hopefully with time and awareness we’ll see some better packaging but currently this plastic waste is a pretty standard part of clothing manufacturing.

The reason I want to talk about this is not to make anyone feel bad about this plastic but to highlight how there’s only so much you can do as a consumer – the supply chains and systems need innovation and reworking to solve problems like this. Supporting sustainable fashion is amazing but like with everything it’s not perfect.

Personally I agree that if the choice is between a ton of wasted clothes or plastic bags, the plastic waste is less-bad, but I also really hope some innovative solutions can be found.


This was originally posted to my Instagram but it generated such a great discussion that I wanted to re-post it here in a more accessible place. And I’d love to keep the discussion going – What do you think about clothing packaged in plastic? Do you buy new sustainable clothing or avoid it for this reason? Also eco brands – I’d love to hear your thoughts/experiences and how you approach this challenge!

4 Things to Know This Black Friday


Black Friday and the whole sale weekend can be chaotic and oxytocin-fueled. If you are looking to snag some deals these are a few things you should be aware of to approach the next few shopping days more mindfully.


A lot of sales aren’t actually that good.

Companies are known to use clever and deceiving tactics to get you excited about their sales and think you’re getting a great deal. For example brands will use “loss leaders” where they have a few products deeply discounted to entice customers and make it seem like they have amazing sales but knowing that people will still buy other things at a profit. They might also have these items in very limited quantities so they sell out quickly to generate further excitement.

Brands have also been found to inflate their “original prices” so the sales look even better (everyone prefers getting 50% off instead of 20%) and some even list an original price which never existed, it was always intended to sell at the “sale price”.


Sales make us buy more.

Shopping gives us a short term “high” by triggering oxytocin in the brain and this increases when we feel like we’re getting a good deal. Being aware that you are actually fighting your own brain chemistry can help with more mindful shopping.

A great way to keep this in check is by asking yourself if you would still want the item if it wasn’t on sale.

Check out my video on the psychology of shopping:


Where is your money going?

There are unfortunately a lot of destructive and unethical companies out there so try to support brands that align with your sustainable and ethical values.

Manufacturing in a conscious way often means that the prices better reflect the true cost, so this can mean that these brands have a higher price point. Sometimes they can be out of budget so sales are a great way to score some pieces you’ve been eyeing!

Also instead of Black Friday definitely check out initiatives like Shop for Good Sunday (sales actually run from now until Monday Dec. 2nd) where you can still get some great deals but also support conscious brands!


Make sure your purchase is right for you.

When you are ready to buy something always ask these 10 questions to avoid impulse purchases, lots of returns, and so you know it’s something that you’ll get a lot of use from!



Are you taking part in sales this year?

GREEN GIFT GUIDE – 25 Sustainable Gifts for Everyone on your List

Personal, practical, and beautiful gift ideas from conscious brands. This holiday season you can not only give thoughtful gifts that will be cherished but also support great companies that are making a difference!

$ = under 25            $$ = 26-50          $$$ = 51-100          $$$$ = 100+ 


(note: this post is possible through partnerships and affiliate links, you can support great brands and also My Green Closet!)


Share the Warmth

Spread some cosiness and help your loved ones stay warm and comfy this winter.

1. WOOLY WINTER HAT. I have been wanting a Myssy hat for years now and they make a beautiful gift. Knit by Finnish grannies from their family-farmed sheep, Myssyfarmi’s hats come in a variety of styles and are a true heirloom piece to keep you warm year after year. $$$

2. COSY CANDLE & LANTERN. Holiday scented candles are a beautiful way to set the mood – I especially love piney scents for winter 🌲. These soy candles from Fair Trade Winds are made through a job program for at-risk women and you can also pair it with one of their recycled cut-out lanterns for a festive decorative gift. Candle $, Lantern $

3. SWEAT SET. Who doesn’t want a soft sweatshirt or sweatpants to snuggle up in? Azura Bay has some great comfy and sustainable loungewear perfect for cosy evenings and relaxing weekends. $$$ – $$$$

4. ORGANIC COFFEE. A warm drink is definitely the best way to combat winter chills. For coffee drinkers some fair trade, organic coffee makes a great gift, and tea or cocoa are also easy ideas. I love consumable gifts, and brands like Grounds for Change have gift boxes and monthly coffee subscriptions. $ – $$$

5. CUTE CAT MUG. I can’t believe how adorable this fair trade artisan cat mug is! AND it comes with a ceramic tea strainer and lid. A purr-fect 😉 gift on its own or with some loose tea. $


Everyday Essentials

Useful gifts are always appreciated!

6. THE MOST COMFORTABLE BRA. I’ve raved a ton about my Lara Intimates bras. Everyone deserves to be comfy so if you know someone who takes off their bra as soon as they get home, give them a gift card to Lara Intimates so they too can have a super comfy bra! $$

7. CLASSIC BLACK OR WHITE TEE. Upgrade your loved one’s wardrobe staple with this incredibly soft and stretchy organic cotton tee from Miakoda. It can easily be dressed up or down, has a unisex fit so is perfect for everyone, and also comes in a crew neck option. $$$

8. CORK WALLET. Made from eco-friendly and regenerative cork, Corkor’s beautiful and durable (I’m pretty impressed with how well mine has held up!) wallets make a useful and thoughtful gift. They come in a variety of styles and colours to fit everyone’s needs. $$

9. HEMP UNDERWEAR. In my family we’re very practical with gift-giving and this is my go-to gift for my husband. We both love our hemp WAMA undies and he’s always thrilled to get another pair. $ – $$$$ (for large packs)

10. SOCKS. An always-useful gift, if you ask me what I want I’ll probably say socks. 🧦 Organic Basics has the classic styles and even ones that supposedly don’t stink! Or if you’re looking for something more colourful and fun, check out Thought’s socks. $ – $$


Zero Waste Gifts

Low impact, recycled and biodegradable gift ideas.

11. COMPOSTABLE PHONE CASE. Pretty much everyone has a phone and instead of protecting it with plastic, Pela makes completely biodegradable cases! They come in a wide variety of colours and styles to fit popular phone models, plus they have limited edition (like this bee one) and charitable cases. $$

12. ECO LIFESTYLE BOX. From zero waste starter packs to home, baby, spa, dog, and kitchen sets, EarthHero’s gift boxes have a wonderful selection of curated sustainable products – an easy “one stop shop” green gift! $$ – $$$

13. AUDIOBOOK SUBSCRIPTION. A gift of adventure, mystery, romance, knowledge, magic, or whatever they’re into! Libro.fm audiobook subscriptions give a book a month, and it’s basically the same as Audible but 1000x better as they support local bookstores and your money doesn’t go to Amazon. $ – $$$

14. RECYCLED BILLBOARD TOILETRY CASE. Remember Me Green makes one-of-a-kind bags from NYC billboards! Not only is the material incredibly sustainable and durable, but you also won’t find anything else like it. Their cosmetics/toiletry bags make a useful and unique gift and you can even personalise it with initials or a phrase. $$

15. BOTANICAL SKINCARE. My favourite skincare brand Oil + Water makes beautiful daily care and nourishing treatment products – great gifts for people who love skincare or who could use some pampering. Their soaps and paper-packaged lip balm are 👌 or they have body and face sets with everything you need. They also have a take-back program for their containers. $ – $$$$

(psst. use code MYGREENCLOSET10 for 10% off!)


Fashion & Accessories

16. ZODIAC NECKLACE. A delicate and personal necklace ethically made by Wild Fawn Jewellery from recycled silver or fair trade gold. $$$

17. CLOTHING RENTALS. For the person who loves to play around with fashion but is also conscious of their impact, Armoire offers monthly clothing rental services that you can also gift! PLUS they have a selection of maternity clothes which would be an amazing gift for anyone expecting! (US only) $$$$

18. HANDLOOM SHIRT. A classic men’s collarless shirt made from naturally dyed indigo yarns handwoven into a subtle stripe. MATTER’s beautiful garment connects the wearer to the rich history of textiles and are timeless wardrobe pieces. $$$

19. FLORAL MAXI ROBE. TAMGA always brings the fun prints and colours to sustainable fashion. Their floral layering pieces are super versatile for both home and going out. Perfect to brighten up a neutral wardrobe or for the person who already loves colour and print. $$$$

20. QUIT FAST FASHION EBOOK/WORKBOOK. If someone you know is trying to change their shopping habits and build a more conscious wardrobe, give them my Quit Fast Fashion ebook to help and inspire them on their slow fashion journey! The download link actually comes with 4 downloads to be able to read it on all your devices, so you can keep a copy for yourself too. 😉 $


Kitchen & Kids

21. ARTISAN HOMEGOODS BOX. Collections of ethically-sourced goods supporting artisans around the world. Choose from cooking, entertaining, and pampering themed boxes or gift a GlobeIn subscription. They also have a shop of individual products if you’d like to build your own box. $$$ 

22. RECYCLED GLASS CANISTERS. For a Pinterest-worthy zero waste cupboard or a stylish way to store other foods and products, these recycled glass and reclaimed wood canisters from Made Trade make a practical and beautiful gift. Or check out their other recycled home goods. $ – $$

23. LINEN APRON. A romantic full apron made from timeless linen. Great for anyone who loves cooking or baking, and Sondeflor has aprons not just for cooking, they can also be worn over a dress for a cute pinafore look! $$$

24. FLEECE ROMPER. Keep the kiddos warm in a cool organic fleece biker romper from Mini Mioche. A comfy, cosy, and stylish gift. $$$

25. BALANCE BIKE. A present they’ll use for years – Wishbone Design Studio’s innovative modular design means their balance bikes grows with the child and can be used from 12 months to 6 years! The bike is made from sustainable materials and also designed to be easily repairable with replacement parts. $$$$



I hope this list is helpful for your gift giving!

Happy Holidays 💚

conscious holiday gift guide

Eco-Friendly Newborn Must-Haves

Our little one is almost 2 months now (everyone says time flies but it really feels like the blink of an eye 😅). These are my must-have baby items that we use almost every day. I hope this roundup is helpful for planning for your new baby, buying gifts, or filing out your registry.

While we’ve luckily been able to get a lot of things secondhand (and I definitely encourage you to check out what secondhand options are available!) you can’t always find everything you need secondhand, and in that case here are some great eco-friendly options!

Note: this post contains affiliate links

Feeding

NURSING BRAS – This wasn’t an item I thought much about but after nursing 10+ times a day you definitely realize how practical a comfy nursing bra can be!

  • For clip-styles I have a couple I like from Boob Design* who use recycled and sustainable materials.
  • Azura Bay carries this beautiful lace nursing bralette* that has a slider to remember which side you’re on and is ethically made in Canada. They also have a shorter style.
  • I also was pleasantly surprised to learn that my favourite comfy bra from Lara Intimates* is also nursing friendly (up to size F, after that there is an extra support panel in the middle). While the clip styles are very convenient, it’s nice to have bras that I’ll keep and wear after breastfeeding!

NURSING PADS – I leak, sometimes a lot. 😬 I’ve tried a few different kinds of reusable and washable nursing pads and so far these bamboo ones are the only ones that I don’t leak through.

BURP CLOTHS – Not just for burping, they are a multi-purpose necessity! I made a bunch of cloths from cotton flannel but there are also organic cotton ones you can buy.

BOTTLES – Glass or metal bottles seem to be the way to go for a more sustainable option. Kleen Kanteen makes a baby bottle, I’ve also found these and these cute ones for glass options.

NIPPLE BUTTER – Something I didn’t think I needed at first, but I was given Earth Mama’s organic nipple butter* and it’s really nice, I use it multiple times a day! Especially for the first couple weeks when we were working on her latch and my nipples were very sore and cracking.


Diapering & Care

CLOTH DIAPERS – We were given a secondhand set of cloth diapers with a variety of brands so have had a chance to try out some different kinds. Our favourites are:

  • For diaper covers we actually prefer some of the all-in-one covers, however we actually use them with just regular prefolds. My husband’s favourite are the GroVia hybrid shells because the hook & loop makes it easy to use and the size is totally adjustable (UPDATE: the hook & loop does seem to wear out, so not sure if these are a great long-term option, we’re currently looking into ways to revitalize it) . I also like the Lil Helper covers because of how soft they are and the snaps are pretty easy (you can also get an extra free diaper with your order using this link!), however I usually use them with regular prefolds – the fleece inserts they come with are nice for something less bulky but I just prefer to have organic cotton on our baby’s skin.
  • Speaking of prefolds, we have a bunch of organic cotton ones from Bummis they’re pretty basic but work great! (although I don’t like their covers much 🤷‍♀️)
  • We also use these hemp boosters which are great!
  • If you’re looking for a more natural diaper cover option, there are also wool covers.

WIPES – I easily DIY’d a huge set of washable wipes from an old cotton flannel sheet, but I also like these hemp & cotton ones, they’re nice and soft and the most affordable I’ve found at $12 for 12.

DIAPER CREAM – Our baby developed a little diaper rash and my midwife said not to bother with anything without zinc oxide because they don’t work well so we picked up this one from Weleda and it’s cleared everything up!

SOAP – We use Dr. Bronner’s unscented baby soap, it’s super multipurpose!

LOTION – I use the same oils that I use on myself, usually sweet almond or jojoba. However you can also get lotions made just for babies.

Going Out

STROLLER – Going for a walk has become an integral part of our day – it’s easy to get cabin fever with a little baby. Finding a sustainable stroller was really challenging though, so I was excited to discover Bumbleride who uses Oeko-Tex certified recycled PET fabrics. We have the Era* (plus bassinet attachment) and really love it.

CARRIER – I love baby wearing and it’s probably our daughters favourite way to sleep, she’s immediately asleep when we put her in. 😴 I like using a wrap both when we go out and to be hands-free at home. We have a stretchy modal Solly Wrap that we found secondhand, and I’m planning on making a ring sling but apparently they only work well for smaller babies and buckle carriers are better for when they’re bigger.

BLANKETS – Useful for at home, but especially important when going out now that we’re getting into winter! My mother kindly knit a cotton blanket for B 😊 and I also like Parade Organics’ Everything Blanket which is organic and a great size for a variety of uses, plus comes in really cute prints.

CAR SEAT – Although I wasn’t able to find an eco option for car seats, we opted to get a convertible car seat as this allows us to use the same seat for years instead of needing to buy one for infants and another one once B gets a bit bigger. If you know of any eco-friendly options for car seats, please share in the comments!

DIAPER BAG – Personally I don’t find it necessary to have a specific diaper bag (we just used a backpack we already had), but there are some cute ones like these recycled sari bags if you are looking for one.

WET BAG – Important to have when going out for wet cloth diapers or wet/dirty clothes. We have one from Applecheeks but all the wet bags seem very similar? 🤷‍♀️


Sleep

CRIB – We got ours secondhand, but if you’re doing this make sure it meets the current safety regulations. For a new option Ouef’s cribs are made from sustainably sourced wood and non-toxic paints – they also convert into a toddler bed for longer use!

MATTRESS – We luckily scored an organic cotton and wool mattress secondhand which was barely used and covered in a protector, but I totally get wanting to buy a mattress new and in that case Naturepedic has a few different types of organic crib mattresses.

MATTRESS PROTECTOR – We did get a waterproof mattress cover from Naturepedic, so far we haven’t really needed it, but I’m sure a time will come where we’ll be glad it’s on! 😅

SHEETS – We have some organic crib sheets from both Naturepedic as well as these jersey ones which work great because our mattress seems to be slightly larger than standard so the stretch of the jersey makes them more flexible.

SWADDLING BLANKETS – Our baby doesn’t love being swaddled, but they are still useful for many different things! We have organic cotton ones like this.*

PACIFIER – I know some people don’t like using pacifiers, but we quickly learned that our baby finds sucking very soothing so a pacifier has been a really helpful tool for calming her down. I love these natural rubber ones by Ecopiggy.*

Toys

SOFT TOYS – I especially like Under the Nile because they use all organic and fair trade materials. I also really love Ouistitine’s beautiful toys, handmade from mainly recycled natural materials.

RATTLESPebble makes some super cute cotton, fair trade rattles. We got the mushroom for our little one. 🍄

PLAY GYMS – We don’t have one of these yet, I was thinking of making one but we’ll see if I have time. 😅
Finn & Emma make beautiful wooden ones though!

TEETHING – Although we’re not there yet, I plan on getting one of these sustainable wooden teethers.


Clothing

We got the vast majority of our baby clothes secondhand, but here are a few sustainable brands if you’re looking for organic clothing:

SLEEPER – Our hands-down favourite sleeper is this gown-style from Parade Organics. I’m always sad when it needs to be washed and we have to use a regular sleeper. The open bottom allows for easy changing at night and the fold-over mittens keep baby’s hands warm and from scratching themselves.

Also an amazing idea are clothing rental services! These are a few I’ve found so far:

If anyone knows of a service like this in Canada please let me know!



That’s my roundup, but did I miss anything? Let me know what your must-have baby products are!

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*indicates the product was gifted, however my opinions and thoughts are my own and I’ve only shared gifted products I truly enjoy and use.

How We (Almost) Furnished Our Whole House Without Buying Anything New

found in home 1

I recently posted a video showing the process of moving into our new house and trying to furnish and decorate it as sustainably as we could. One way we did this was getting as much as possible secondhand, and overall we were very successful!

Getting furniture and home goods secondhand is not only a lot better for the environment because you are making use of things that already exist, but it can also save you a TON of money. We managed to furnish and outfit our entire house for around $5000 CAD (although this budget also includes the few pieces we ended up getting new which together was over $2000 CAD).

It does take more time and planning to find what you’re looking for secondhand (as opposed to just doing a massive Ikea haul) but you can also get some really unique pieces and I think it’s a much more fun and creative process hunting down those pre-loved treasures and styling them in your space.

All the furniture in our living room we found secondhand!

Tips for creating a sustainably stylish home with secondhand pieces:

1. Get inspired

Starting with inspiration images can be extremely useful because it gives you some direction for your search and a general idea for the kind of space you’re looking to create. Pinterest is a great place to find and collect inspiration images (you can check out my interior design board here 🙂).

I also find creating a moodboard helpful and I will continue to update the board and adapt it as I aquire the various pieces.

Our living room mood/inspo board

2. Have a (flexible) plan

Creating a list of what you need/want for your space will make your hunt a lot easier, and it also feels really good checking the items off! However try to not be too rigid with what you’re looking for – for example “wooden table” is a good thing to plan for, but if you have your heart set on one very specific style of wooden table then your hunt will likely be challenging or end in disappointment.

I also loved using a home layout program to plan what furniture we needed and since I was able to measure the rooms pretty accurately before we moved in, I could also double check how the items would fit in our space when we were thinking of purchasing something.

3. Be patient

It can take time to find the real treasures so check back regularly. Some sites also offer options where you can get a notification if new listings are added that match your search terms – take advantage of this, it’s a great way to save time. 🙂

Keep in mind that once the perfect piece pops up you’ll definitely want to move on it quickly though!


4. Ask questions

When contacting sellers try to get as much info as possible, especially regarding anything that might be a deal-breaker for you. Don’t waste time going to pick it up only to find out it’s not what you wanted.

I always ask about the condition, depending on the item I might ask how long they’ve had it, and what brand it is (and then do some research into the price and quality of the brand/product) and I also want to know the dimensions to make sure it will fit in our space.


5. Barter (if you want to)

Once you have the information you want, you can try to haggle/barter if that’s something you’re interested in doing.

If the item is a little more than I’d like to pay, I’ll ask if the seller is open to an amount closer to my planned budget. Be fair and don’t go too low though, a “low ball” offer might be turned down completely. You can also wait to see the item and barter in person – especially if something isn’t what you expected or as advertised, try offering a lower price.


6. Be safe when meeting people

It’s good to meet in a public location, however buying furniture typically means going to someone’s house so in that case always bring someone with you, plus they can also help carry!


7. Check for quality & cleanliness

Give the piece an inspection to make sure it’s what you want and as advertised. If something isn’t what you expected don’t be afraid to walk away, or you can also haggle for a lower price if you’re still interested.

Look for signs of good quality so you know the piece is going to last and not break right away, and check for any stains, dirt, etc. – just like you’d check for with secondhand clothing!

Also consider how the item can be cleaned, many pieces just need a wipe or wash but it can get trickier with fabric furniture – it’s helpful to look for items with removable covers. I’ve also gotten questions about concerns with fabric furniture and things like bed bugs; personally I only try to by fabric furniture that is very gently used or “like new”. We also always inspect it thoroughly and if you’re concerned you might also want to consider renting a steam cleaner.


8. Customize

Don’t forget that most things can be DIY’d and customized to your needs. For example lots of furniture can be painted, so if you find a piece you love but the colour isn’t right you can probably paint it!

There’s endless inspiration for projects on Pinterest and in particular I always like to check out Ikea hacks since you can typically find a lot of Ikea furniture for sale secondhand and there are some really unique ideas of ways to customize it or make totally new pieces.

I made new cushions for this old wooden glider frame

9. You can likely re-sell it

If you buy things new they will almost always depreciate in value. However one of the big benefits to buying things secondhand is if it happens to not work out or you decide you want to change things up, there’s a good chance you can re-sell it and get your money back (or if you got a good deal maybe even make a little extra!).


Where to find secondhand furniture & home goods

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Buy/Sell and Classified sites – depending where you live there are different ones that will be more popular in your area
  • Local thrift and resale stores
  • Garage and yard sales
  • Flea markets
  • On the streets – in some cities you can find great pieces that people leave out on certain days to give away
  • Friends and family – ask them to let you know if they’re planning on getting rid of anything
  • The previous owner/tenant – we’ve often found when moving that there are certain items the previous occupant might want to leave or get rid of. Let them know that you might be interested in certain things and they might sell or give them to you.


I’d love to know if you have any other tips for getting secondhand furniture. Also, check out the video to see the process of furnishing our new house!

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We Don’t Need Another “Save the Planet” T-Shirt or Tote

At least a couple times a month I get an email from a brand asking if they can send me their slogan tee or tote bag. These brands have good intentions – they’re trying to spread awareness and many also donate a portion of sales from the product to organisations and charities working for the cause. However I always refuse – there are just so many tees and totes in the world.

I don’t think the environmental benefit of awareness or donation actually outweighs the impact of making the item in the first place.

So what is the impact of a tee or tote bag?

It’s hard to get exact numbers because production and use of clothing is quite complex, but one study by Carbon Trust of the impact of a conventional cotton tee found that the average t-shirt is responsible for about 15kg of CO2. However use plays a HUGE role because this amount of emissions is based on 50 wears of the t-shirt, if the tee is only used 4 times the impact skyrockets around 550% to 98kg of CO2.

Also important to note is this carbon footprint doesn’t include a slogan/graphic printed on, which usually is some form of plastic. So a printed slogan tee not only has a greater impact to make but likely also affects end-of-life recycling and biodegradability.

There are different studies that use different metrics which makes it hard to compare, but for the tote, since a cotton t-shirt and tote bag are roughly a similar size, I think it’s fair to say they have roughly a similar impact. Although I would estimate a tote bag gets more use than a t-shirt.

Do they get worn?

I am all for proudly making a statement with your clothing, but I’m curious how often people actually wear these slogan garments since I typically only see them come out of the closet for protests and environmental rallies. I also only seem to see social media influencers wearing them for the one image promoting the tee and then never again. 🤷‍♀️

The My Green Closet Facebook group weighed in on a poll about what kind of t-shirt they would rather have and wear (between a tee with a slogan they believed in or a solid colour tee) and 97% said they would want the solid, classic tee with less than 3% opting for the slogan tee.

Slogan tote bags do seem to be used more, but again do we really need more tote bags in the world?

I own one item with a slogan, my “There is no Planet B” bag from Remember Me Green, and for me a slogan bag is more practical and gets way more use than a slogan tee. However it’s also very important to point out that this bag is not another simple cotton tote – it’s a super durable bag made from recycled billboards that I use to go to the gym, beach, or on small trips and I got it knowing it will last me years, likely decades! The same cannot be said of most fabric shopping totes.

"There is no Planet B" slogan bag

Is this really an effective way to support a cause?

In my experience and from chatting with others, a great, plain classic tee is a go-to wardrobe staple, while anything with a slogan tends to gather dust in the closet, or becomes a pj or gym shirt.

I also have seen brands that definitely aren’t producing their environmental or social justice slogan t-shirts and totes as sustainably and ethically as they could be, they’re basically buying pre-made items and printing on them. If you’re trying to support a cause, making sure your product is as sustainable and ethical as possible should be a top priority.

A better option

Forget the slogan and focus on making stylish, wearable, inclusive, and long-lasting garments as sustainably and ethically as you can. They will get way more wear/use which reduces their environmental impact and people will still want to talk about and share the cool conscious fashion they have, they don’t need it printed across their chest. Plus you can also still have a charity element to your product without a slogan.


What do you think?

Do you love wearing slogan tees? Do they collect dust in your closet? I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic and if they’re something you think conscious brands should keep making!

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