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January ‘My 5’ | eco-friendly favourites

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The last Thursday of each month I share some favourites and interesting things I’ve found, usually a green product, slow fashion brand, book or documentary, something new I’ve learned, and a blogger or youtuber I follow.

My 5 for January includes:

Soap/wash nuts

Sleeping Gypsy http://mysleepinggypsy.com/

Sustainable brand challenges

Plastic China https://www.plasticchina.org/

The Note Passer http://thenotepasser.com/

Would love to hear your thoughts and favourites from the month!

Thanks for watching 🙂

Want to shop more consciously? Check out my sustainable/ethical brand directory http://verenaerin.ca/brand-directory/

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This is not a sponsored video.

Comments

My Green Closet says:

Hi guys! There have been a few comments talking or asking about "wash balls" (plastic balls generally with ceramic pellets in them). While I'm not familiar with all the different kinds, I'd suggest doing research into them before purchasing. The ones I looked into were pretty scam-y, in tests they performed the same as regular water (which actually does a lot of cleaning on it's own!). So just something to be aware of!

Michaela Simon says:

I deeply appreciate how much research you do on all of the things you talk about! It does no good for the planet to use eco friendly products if people are suffering in other countries because of our actions (like you said with the soup nuts). I think that one of the most important things we can do when thinking about these things is asking "Where are the women?" with the intent of figuring out how women around the globe are involved, either is harmful or helpful ways. If you are interested in this idea, I highly suggest the book "Bananas, Beaches, and Bases" by Cynthia Enloe. Its a feminist take on international politics. Thanks for the video!

Sustain by Cassandra Kragh says:

Erin, thank you so much for one whole year of 'My 5'! I really love these videos, and have been so inspired by all the brands, products and resources you've been recommending, so I just wanted to take a moment to really thank you for the great work you do 🙂

Jasanna Dreams says:

I would like to tell you something about soap nuts. I am an Indian and I came across soap nuts online, it was something new to me and I told my family about them. They laughed and told me how it had been used for generations. I tried to find some in stores and online, and currently the only retailers I could find were companies that exported soap nuts abroad( so they would be exported to a western country and then shipped back to India) or high end Indian brands. These are expensive, and perhaps someone in my economic class can afford it, but I can't imagine the rural people of India using it. They would have had to shift to cheaper alternatives like synthetic detergents. Keep in mind these people do their washing usually at the river bank, so all these chemicals are going directly to the river water. I think western brands should research more on the impact their products will have on the local communities they source it from.

Sarahlenea says:

For laundry, you can use 1 tablespoon of soap flakes from Alep soap or Marseille soap (or any soap made with exclusively olive or colza oil and not palm oil) + add 1 tablespoon of baking soda (slightly more for hard water). You can also replace baking soda with "washing soda" (sodium carbonate), which is more powerful, but corrosive if directly applied on the skin

againstthetimes says:

I can't believe I just found your channel! I've been looking for all round green YTers and I'm glad I found you ^_^ I really love those Sleeping Gypsy shirts and dresses! I have to save up though x"D

Selu is my goddess says:

Using soap nuts, the same thing, sold at health food stores.  So far they work.  You can put them in a jar with a little water shake it up and see the sudsing let them sit for ten minutes to create the most soap.  I understand it is the agitation in water that actually washes the clothes more than detergent.  For stains, I use a vegetable oil bar soap and a washcloth to scrub out and presoak.  Works great!

playandrepeat says:

Your channel is fantastic! I just woke up to how important sustainable fashion is, I'm gobbling up as much information that I can, and you're a great help along my journey.

Sandra Wilkerson says:

Hi. Love your channel. I use a bar soap that's made with lard. You shred it and add borax and washing soda then process it in your food processor. This makes a powder. You use 1 tablespoon per load. It is the best detergent I have used. It's from a company called Just So. There is a vegan option soap for laundry too. She makes body soap of all kinds and hair care soap too. I use all of it. Love it.

Joséphine Bouvard says:

A good alternative for laundry detergent, is to make your own with simply grated soap (Savon de Marseille is very natural) and hot water. It is very cheap and healthy for the skin and contains only the soap you choose. You can also add essential oils just as you start the washing machine for a nice smell especially for house linen.
Thanks for another great video ! Keep up the good work 🙂

Rosa Klochkov says:

love those Ukrainian tops! those are gorgeous!

Anne says:

Have you seen the user "My Green House"? Seems like someone is copying all your videos.

Laura MP says:

Can anyone recommend me any eco-friendly Youtube channel that it's in German. I started following some German channels but I didn't like the content. That's why I prefer to ask here to have some personal recommendations.

Sonia Sobaro says:

I'm trying to buy less in plastic and it's been much more challenging than I thought. For washing I rasp soap and mix it wash soda, if I am going to wash white clothes I add citric acid and it works pretty well

Matilda Lundin says:

Interesting and sad buyers/consumers still seem to have that view of ethical fashion. I used to work in a clothing store last year in Sweden that sells sustainable fashion and I have never had such lovely customers that are so dedicated to buy consciously (price was never an issue). But I guess I used to live in a very forward thinking city when it came to the environment…

Maybe it all comes to down that we all need to ask if we really need that much new clothes? If we buy less we can actually spend that extra money that goes into making it fair trade and eco-friendly. I know that is definitely something you and many other YouTubers talk about, as well as the whole point of Project 333 and minimalism. Despite growing it seems like so many people still live in the old paradigm.

Another aspect I think is education. As a result of fast fashion we do no longer value the skills and knowledge that is required to make good clothing, and as such we do not want to spend money on it anymore when cheaper options are available. I am thinking of eduction re. the garment they hold in their hands. How can brands communicate where it comes from and what makes it unique and worth paying money for?

Thank you for another great video btw! 🙂

Sequoia Dixon says:

Bees Wrap. Great Alternative to plastic wrap

Meghan N says:

i completely agree with all of the comments you passed on from brands' struggles to create ethically at a price point that people consider affordable. it's tough to not only design and make ethically made goods but in addition educate the consumer about why it costs what it costs. that's why it's great you have a channel that breaks down sustainability issues and help people learn about why it's important to lead an ethical and sustainable lifestyle. Also, so glad you featured elizabeth's blog – she is a great friend and an inspiration!!! love her site.

sheen seen says:

I've been using Castile soap for doing my laundry for 6 months now. I'm very pleased with the results. They also do a good job at cleaning heavily soiled clothes and you don't need to use that much a little goes a long way. The water is very hard where I live so for using the dishwasher I make my own liquid which works amazingly http://brendid.com/fresh-lemon-homemade-dishwasher-detergent/
but I use 2 limes instead of 4 lemons works perfecrly.

Gidget408 says:

I am curious about dry shampoo. Is that bad for the environment in the spray bottle? I wash me hair less, so less water. I'm curious if anybody knows

Matilda says:

Unpackaged gratted Castille soap with mint essential oil and sometimes bicarbonate soda and there my detergent for the last seven years.

style revivalist says:

I found that my soap nuts (bagged) were staining my clothes a light yellowish blotchy colour. Has anyone else experienced this?

cassandra says:

Wow, Sleeping Gypsy is the most beautiful clothing line I have ever seen. It makes me want to start embroidering again!

Windowtoesha says:

Soap nuts are quite common in India. We use these for washing sweaters and white dresses. Also these are quite good as shampoo. These make hair shine and healthy looking

kimblot says:

Have you looked into the simply co? It's Lauren singer's brain baby and they sell eco friendly, sustainable, and zero waste detergent.

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