10 Most Effective Zero-Waste Laundry Detergents

The 10 Best All-Natural Laundry Detergents For A Non-Toxic And Eco-Friendly Laundry Routine.

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One of the most used cleaning products in the home is laundry detergent—and it’s used on products that make constant contact with our skin—clothing.

For years, consumers have purchased laundry detergent based on factors like popularity, price and performance, while completely turning a blind eye to the ingredient label—until now.

With cancer and other health conditions sky rocketing in the past couple of decades, people are starting to become more aware that certain environmental factors—to include household cleaning agents—are to blame for society’s declining health and overall life expectancy.

Mainstream multi-purpose cleaners, air fresheners, scented candles, and many laundry detergents are just a small example of household items that are actually packed full of carcinogens.

But thankfully, alternatives are available for a lot of household products, and in this article, we’re going to focus on laundry detergent alternatives for a non-toxic and environmentally friendly laundry routine.

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Why Should You Switch To A Natural Laundry Detergent?

As mentioned above, mainstream laundry detergents contain ingredients that are actually harmful to our health—but how?

Well, even in the rinse cycle, detergent doesn’t entirely wash out—it lingers in the fibers. And when we sweat, our pores absorb whatever leaches out, resulting in skin conditions like rash and eczema.

That’s why it’s especially important to at least invest in non-toxic laundry detergent when it comes to your children, as well as undergarments, which are tight fitting, and can actually be the cause of your recurring BV (bacterial vaginitis) due to all the synthetic chemicals.

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How To Choose The Right Zero Waste Detergent

Choosing an all-natural, zero-waste laundry detergent can be confusing for anyone—especially because there are so many different kinds like: pods, sheets, powders, liquids and even “berries”. But, there are certain qualities to look for when shopping for eco-friendly and natural laundry detergents and those are:

  • Paraben Free
  • Pthalate Free
  • Phosphate Free
  • Bleach & Dye Free
  • Vegan & Cruelty Free
  • Recyclable & Compostable Packaging
  • Plastic-Free Packaging
  • Hypoallergenic & Dermatologist Tested 

And to help make your decision easier, I’ve made a list of zero waste detergent brands that I have tried personally and found that they work very well on both stains and odor (as I’ve had the privilege to test a few out, while others I’ve purchased based on curiosity).

And for a complete zero-waste laundry routine, I recommend switching from dryer sheets to organic wool dryer balls and a Cora Microfiber Ball, which catches the microfibers that naturally shed from clothes in the wash, and end up in our waterways. 

Altogether, these alternative laundry products greatly reduce your carbon footprint—because laundry is something we do often and contributes greatly to environmental pollution whether we like it or not.

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EarthBreeze Laundry Strips

EarthBreeze

EarthBreeze laundry strips are my zero waste detergent of choice. These pre-measured laundry strips are plant-based and smell absolutely fabulous. I also can’t stress enough how convenient these detergent strips are for travel, and can easily be stashed in a baby wipe box or pencil case. For my full review of EarthBreeze laundry strips, click here.

Price: $20 For 1pack of 60 Loads or $12 with subscription at EarthBreeze

Dropps Laundry Detergent Pods

Dropps

If you’re someone who loves the convenience of laundry pods minus the plastic waste, then you’ll love Dropps laundry detergent pods. This low-waste laundry detergent is wrapped in biodegradable polyvinyl alcohol film and packaged in a recyclable and compostable cardboard box to minimize single-use waste.

Price: $14.99 For (1) 32 Count Box on Amazon

Bestowed Essentials Zero Waste Laundry Powder

Bestowed Essentials

This zero-waste laundry powder from Bestowed Essentials is an easy swap in making your laundry routine plastic-free. Just one tablespoon of this eco-friendly detergent will get your clothing nice and clean, and you’ll feel good knowing that the detergent bag and inner liner are both compostable.

Price: $14.99 For (1) 64 load bag at EarthHero

TrueEarth Laundry Strips

TrueEarth

TrueEarth is another fantastic eco-friendly laundry strip brand with pre-measured laundry strips. I love that they offer several scent options including a formula made just for baby clothing, and that they use recycled material for their packaging. The downside to laundry sheets is that they can sometimes clump when used in front load washers—resulting in slight goo on your fabric. I have a top load washer and the cascading water does a great job at dissolving these.

Price: $16.95 For (1) 32 load pack on Amazon

NaturOli Soap Nuts / Soap Berries

NaturOli

Soap berries (better known as soap nuts) are perhaps the most natural and affordable zero-waste alternative to mainstream laundry detergents. The shells of these Indian soap berries release saponin (a natural cleaning agent) when they come in contact with water. They are also pesticide free, anti-fungal and completely compostable—making these soap ‘nuts’ a true zero waste laundry detergent alternative. The downside is that soap nuts must be used with warm or hot water to activate.

Price: $24.95 For 1lb bag (240 loads) on Amazon

Nature First Soap Berry Laundry Pods

Nature First

If you love soap berries, but prefer the convenience of laundry pods, then the soap berry laundry pods are a fantastic laundry detergent alternative for your household. These eco-friendly laundry pods by Nature First are produced using a proprietary natural water extraction method to pull the super-concentrated cleansing agents (saponin surfactants) to create a soap berry concentrate, and they’re packaged in a compostable bag.

Price: $11.99 For 1 Bag of 30 Pods

Sheets Laundry Club Laundry Sheets

Sheets Laundry Club

The Sheets liquid free laundry sheets are slightly bigger than their laundry strip competitors and do a fantastic job when it comes to stain and odor removal. The scented variety does have a very strong scent, but once used in the wash, clothing comes out with a subtle fragrance that’s not overpowering.

Price: $15.95 For 1 Box of 50 Sheets & Save 10% With Subscription On Amazon

Meliora Eco Laundry Powder

Meliora

The Meliora Natural Powder Laundry Detergent is made with highly concentrated, all natural ingredients like baking soda, pH boosting washing soda, and skin softening coconut oil, which easily removes stains. This non-toxic laundry powder is packed in a recyclable and reusable stainless steel canister, and the brand donates 2% of all sales to environmental non-profit organizations.

Price: $17.99 for 1 Can of 64 standard loads at EarthHero

Grove Collaborative Ultra Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent

Grove Co.

If you prefer to stick with a liquid detergent, then Grove Collaborative is one of the best go-to brands for an all-natural liquid detergent—and their’s is ultra concentrated. What I love about Grove Collaborative is that is that they will send you a prepaid envelope so that you can mail them your empty detergent pouch and they will recycle it through Terra Cycle. The only downside to this non-toxic liquid detergent is that you have to buy a separate bottle to store and measure the contents.

Price: 9.95 For 1 (24oz) pouch (33 loads) of laundry & 17.95 For Dispenser

Lazy Coconuts Eco Friendly Detergent Strips

Lazy Coconuts

The Lazy Coconuts eco-friendly laundry strips are yet another one of my favorite zero-waste laundry strips that are made with plant-based ingredients and come in recyclable packaging. I also love that they have a “gentle” formula for baby’s sensitive skin.

Price: $14.95 for (1) pack of 48 loads or save 5% with subscription

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Eco-Friendly Shoe Brands For Men

Fair Trade And Sustainable Shoe Brands For Men

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Part of living a sustainable lifestyle means forgoing fast fashion and embracing sustainable shoes and clothing. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with fast fashion, it’s a term that is used to describe the mass production of “trendy” shoes and clothing at a fast rate and at a low cost. 

While fast fashion may result in affordable shoes and clothing for consumers, this approach tends to fail long-term. You see, if you purchase cheap fashion, chances are, you won’t get to wear it for very long. It’s poor quality. Perhaps that’s why people are constantly buying new shoes—all the more reason to switch to sustainable shoe brands.

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Sustainable footwear is made from eco-friendly material that’s either recycled or plant-based. Some good examples of environmentally friendly material for sustainable shoe making consist of plastic bottles, hemp, cork, algae foam, organic cotton and natural rubber.

Sustainable shoe brands are also transparent. Go on any sustainable shoe website and you’ll see their backstory, where they source their material from, and where their factories are located—something you don’t typically see with big box brands.

With that said, sustainable shoes are ethically made in factories that are void of child labor. Some of them even provide healthcare and education opportunities to their employees—even if they’re located overseas. In other words, these factors help make a difference in poverty stricken locations. Hence, by buying a pair of sustainable shoes, you’re supporting a good cause. 

If all of the info above sounds good and you’re ready to add some sustainable footwear into your daily routine, check out these eco-friendly shoe brands. 

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Hey Dude

Hey Dude

This brand is all about comfort, durability and style. The Hey Dude brand makes their shoes with sustainable material like organic cotton and recycled plastic. Even their packaging is made from 100% biodegradable cornstarch.  
SHOP HEY DUDE

Vintage Foundry Co

Vintage Foundry Co Co

Vintage Foundry shoes are a mix of old school soul with a contemporary edge. Their eco-friendly urban shoe line consists of recycled rubber soles and water-proof nylon fabric. These shoes are perfect for both rough terrain and running errands downtown. SHOP VINTAGE FOUNDRY

Saola Shoes

Saola 

Saola shoes has an awesome eco-friendly shoe line that consists of functional and stylish casual shoes for the everyday urban man. Their shoes are made from recycled and sustainable material such as recycled plastic bottles, cork and algae foam. They have a ton of variety to choose from and most of their shoes are under $100. SHOP SAOLA 

Astral

Astral

Astral shoes are some of the best sustainable outdoor shoes that you can own. These shoes are made from hemp, which means that they get softer as they get older, dry quickly and don’t rot if they get wet, they’re completely washable, come with waterproof shoelaces, and their insoles are treated with an anti-odor solution. 
SHOP ASTRAL

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Vivobarefoot 

Vivobarefoot

The Vivobarefoot shoe company is passionate about natural footwear. With that said, they believe that your shoes should bring you closer to nature—less padding and more feeling. That’s why Vivobarefoot has created the simplest active footwear possible that promote’s your foot’s natural strength and movement while being able to withstand the elements of the outdoors. SHOP VIVOBAREFOOT

Rackle

Rackle

Step into sustainability with the Men’s Alex Blue Nights Hemp Shoes from Rackle! Made from water-resistant, UV-resistant, and durable hemp fabric with biodegradable foam raised ribbed arches, these ultra-light sneakers give you everything you need in a shoe – and nothing you don’t. SHOP RACKLE

Sanuk

Sanuk

Sanuk carries a vegan shoe line made with canvas lining that’s breathable and ultra comfortable. These sustainable shoes also  contain a EVA footbed that provides cushioned comfort, and a low-profile cupsole with Happy Ü tread pattern for added traction and durability. SHOP SANUK

Vibram

Vibram

Vibram is stepping up their game in sustainable shoe making. These eco-friendly and sustainable shoes by Vibram are made from hemp, which doesn’t go bad if you get them wet. In fact, you can wash them and let them air dry. Hemp also gets softer as they age, which is the opposite of synthetic leather and other material. SHOP VIBRAM

A Guide To Zero Waste Gift Wrapping

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Zero Waste Gift Wrapping Ideas To Reduce Holiday Waste

In the United States alone, billions of dollars are spent on wrapping paper each year—and unfortunately, the majority of it is not recyclable, especially the variety that contains specs of glitter, foil and other embellishments.

But the good news is that zero-waste wrapping methods are becoming increasingly popular, and more people are gravitating toward eco-friendly alternatives to minimize holiday waste.

Below are several zero-waste gift wrapping techniques that blow traditional gift wrap methods out of the water. In addition to being environmentally friendly, the end results are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and show thoughtfulness on your part.

Music: Have yourself a merry little christmas
Musician: Rook1e

Zero Waste Gift Wrap Material

Furoshiki Fabric

Furoshiki is the art of Japanese wrapping using traditional Furoshiki cloth, which is made out of various materials such as silk, rayon, cotton, nylon and other fabrics. Furoshiki cloth also has hemmed edges to prevent fraying and can cover any shape from boxes to cylinders and more!

Furoshiki is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional gift wrapping paper, and is one of the best ways to wrap a gift because Furoshiki cloth is beautiful and can be reused and repurposed into many items such as: a table cloth, a handbag, a shawl, scarf and more.

If purchasing a Furoshiki cloth is not in your budget this year, you can sew your own Furoshiki wrap using fabric from the store or using an old bed sheet. Repurposing an old baby muslin blanket for Furoshiki works wonders as well!

Shop Furoshiki Cloth On Amazon

Shop Books On Furoshiki Wrapping Tutorials

Brown Kraft Paper

Another eco-friendly alternative to traditional gift wrapping paper is brown kraft paper, which is not only extremeley durable, but also 100% biodegradable and can be recycled up to seven times—no wonder kraft means ”strength” in German!

Gifts wrapped in brown kraft paper look absolutely elegant and the solid color pairs incredibly well with “garnish” such as pine cones, small pine tree branches, dried fruit, and other dried plants that are secured in place with some twine—resulting in an all-natural and organic presentation.

You can buy large rolls of brown kraft paper in stores and online, or, you can repurpose some grocery store paper bags and use them as gift wrap as they too are made from brown kraft paper!

Shop Brown Kraft Paper On Amazon

Burlap Fabric

Burlap is a biodegradable fabric that is woven from the fibers of a jute plant. And just like bamboo, jute requires little to virtually no intervention in order to grow and replenish—which makes burlap a 100% sustainable and eco-friendly fabric.

Just like brown kraft paper, burlap looks incredibly elegant when used as a zero-waste gift wrapping alternative. you can likewise garnish this fabric with some rustic accessories such as pine tree branches, pine cones and cinnamon sticks for some rustic charm.

Burlap has many uses after it serves its purpose as gift wrap. It can be reused by the gift recipient as gift wrap for someone else later on, or it can be repurposed in the garden as a covering to protect plants from frost.

Shop Burlap On Amazon

Cookie Tin

Cookie tins are one my favorite zero waste gift wrap methods because just like furoshiki cloth and burlap, they serve a purpose beyond gift giving. And just like brown kraft paper, they are recyclable.

Cookie tins aren’t limited to just cookies and other food(s). This eco-friendly gift wrap method can hold a charming presentation of socks, beauty products and really anything else that can fit. And just like fabric, can be garnished with some twine and dried plants or flowers.

Cookie tins can be reused as pantry containers—used to store items like rice, beans and mom’s secret candy stash. You can find some nice and inexpensive tins at your local dollar store or buy in bulk online.

Shop Tins On Amazon

Cardboard Shipping Boxes

Yet another eco-friendly gift wrap method is to use old shipping boxes that you collect throughout the year. Shipping boxes are made from cardboard, which is both recyclable and compostable, so the next time you receive a package, break the box down and keep it someplace like the garage, until it’s time to use it for gifts.

Shipping boxes can be cleaned up a bit by removing labels and securing the contents with twine. You can even ”double bag” by wrapping over it with burlap or brown kraft paper—especially if it looks beaten up.

And don’t forget about the fact that you can get free shipping boxes to use for your gifts from the post office! You can pick some up in person or request to have some dropped off at your residence by going online!

Maps, Newspaper & Magazines

Credit: @erinvfdesign |TikTok

Maps, newspaper and magazine pages are excellent eco-friendly wrapping material because they’re all recyclable and biodegradable—plus, it makes your gift look unique. This is especially a good solid ecofriendly alternative if you are on a tight budget.

You can acquire much of this reading material for free. Places like nursing homes, medical facilities, libraries and schools often subscribe to newspapers and magazines, which tends to stack up over a period of time, and these facilities dispose of them. You can contact these places and ask if you can take it instead!

Eco-Friendly Tying Material & Garnish

When it comes securing gift wrap, tape isn’t always necessary, and a wonderful eco-friendly alternative to ribbons and tape is to use twine, which is a thin compostable rope made from various organic material such as plant fibers (hemp, cotton, etc) and sometimes even animal hair.

Shop For Twine Rope On Amazon

When it comes to zero waste gift wrap, you certainly do not have to add any accessories to your wrapping other than twine, but if you want to give your gift that rustic holiday feel, you can certainly add some natural items like dried fruit, pine cones, cinnamon sticks, pine branches and many more earthy items.

The best thing about this natural and biodegradable garnish is that you can go out into your neighborhood park and forage for free. Foraging is a great way to acquire free gift wrap accessories!

DIY Dried Oranges


If you’d like to make your own dried oranges, simply slice an orange into thin pieces and lay out on a tray (or parchment paper), blot excess juice with a paper towel, and leave them in the oven for 2-3 hours in 250 degree temperature. They make very elegant gift wrap decor.

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Non-Toxic Nail Polish Brands For Kids

A List Of Water-Based And Non-Toxic Nail Polish Brands For Kids That Are Mom Approved

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Little kids copy everything we grownups do—which means they want to paint their nails to look pretty just like mommy.

But, as we all know, conventional “grown up” nail polish isn’t safe for little ones to use. Nail polish is full of unhealthy chemicals and toxins that can harm your little one via fumes and accidental ingestion (kids like to put their hands into their mouth a lot). And it’s not worth risking their health and safety.

We recommend water-based nail polish instead. There are quite a few nail polish brands that make baby and kid-friendly peel-off nail polish that’s made with non-toxic ingredients and is completely safe to use.

A Little Nail Polish History

Nail color has been around for quite some time. In fact, you’ll be pretty surprised to know that the trend dates back all the to way to 3,200 BC, where the Babylonians engaged in nail painting prior to battle, in order to distinguish rank.

Likewise, the practice was used by the Chinese dating back to 3,000 BC to distinguish class and dynasty. And ofcourse, by the Egyptians.

Only, nail color wasn’t made of the same toxic ingredients that we’re familiar with today. Not even close.

Ancient nail “polish” was made from natural ingredients such as kohl (a dark powder similar to charcoal), beeswax, and plant dyes—there was no formaldehyde, acetone or sulfates.

Nail polish today, on the other hand, is formulated with harsh and harmful chemicals, animal products and embalming fluid—check out 16 of the most common chemicals used in nail polish today:

1. Formaldehyde, 2. Formaldehyde Resin, 3. Toluene, 4. Xylene, 5. Acetone, 6. Phthalates (including DBP), 7. Camphor, 8. Parabens, 9. Ethyl Tosylamide, 10. Triphenyl Phosphate (TPP), 11. Animal-derived ingredients, 12. Styrene, 13. Bisphenol A, 14. Glycol Ether of Series E (Glycol ethers derived from ethylene oxide), 15. Nonylphenol ethoxylate, 16. Sulfate

Animals are also used to create certain shades of nail polish. You know that really pretty, pearly shimmer in nailpolish? That, unfortunately, is a result of fish scales. Then you have certain colors, like red shades, which require the need for boiled beetles, and animal fat to achieve a preferred thickness.

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Reasons To Use Water-Based Polish

Water based nail polish is non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and are void of harmful fumes; some are completely odorless while others contain fun safe scents. Nail polish for kids is also cruelty-free and does not contain any animal products.

Another great benefit to using water-based nail polish for kids is that most brands create ‘peel off’ formulas—which is convenient because kids like to switch up color all the time, plus, the use of a nail polish remover is not necessary!

If you’re considering purchasing water-based vegan nail polish for your child, then take a look at our recommended list of brands below!

Nailmatic

The Nailmatic nail polish brand is made in France and is water-based. Each color has its own personality, and easily comes off with a bit of soap and water—that’s especially good in case it accidentally gets on your furniture! It’s pretty, it’s cute and the packaging is adorable!

Piggy Paint

Piggy Paint is a premium water based nail polish brand for kids that moms have trusted for the last 12 years and counting. Piggy Paint nail polish is odorless and contains zero toxic chemicals—no wonder their tagline is: “as safe as mud”. It’s even safe for pregnant moms to use as well! It’s also important to note that Piggy paint, though water-based, is not a peel off polish and does require nail polish remover (which they also make and is likewise non-toxic).

Miss Nella

Youtube video by: Miss Nella

Miss Nella is a water-based nail polish brand for kids that easily peels off—allowing your child to experiment with different colors as often as they like. Miss Nella nail polish comes in all sorts of fun vibrant colors and is arranged in fun packaging which is totally giftable and makes for fun stocking stuffers.

Klee Kids

Klee Kids “naturally good” nail polish is a paint and peel water-based nail polish that is non-toxic and odor free. The Klee Kids nail polish comes in adorable glass bottles that contain fun little jewels on top of the caps that little kids adore! These make super fun birthday gifts as well as stocking stuffers!

Disney Princess

The Disney Princess nail polish set is a water-based peel off nail polish for kids that’s non-toxic and smells like bubble gum! If your little one loves Disney princesses, then they will love these fun nail polish colors that match their favorite princess. You can find Beauty And The Beast, as well as other Disney favorites on Amazon.

Hot Focus

Hot focus is a cute non-toxic and water-based kids’ nail polish that easily peels off and contains a pleasant creamy scent! This peel off nail polish comes in 5 fun vibrant colors and aesthetically cute containers!

Snails

Snails nail polish is a water-based non-toxic nail polish for kids that is odorless and easily peels off. We especially love the bottle design and cute accent pieces that each color contains—from bow ties to tutu ruffles, these are a must-have for “girly girls”.

How To Wash A Down Jacket In A Top Load Washer

How To Carefully Wash And Dry Your Down Jacket With Plant-Based Detergent

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Yes! It CAN be done!


I know the feeling. You have this super expensive down jacket that cost you anywhere between $100 to $500, and you’re scared to death of damaging it in the wash. So you’ve been spot cleaning, baby wiping—anything to avoid throwing it into the washing machine.

But it’s time.

That prized down jacket of yours has been hanging out in the coat closet for most of the year, or has been tucked away in a ruck sack, and has most likely developed an odor.

There’s just one problem: you don’t own a front loading washing machine. And you want to know a secret? We don’t own one either.

Everyone recommends washing a down jacket in a front load washer, and that’s fine. But, not every household owns a front load washing machine. And the reason that a front load washer is recommended in the first place is because it doesn’t have an agitator which can literally shred the outer layer of your down jacket.

However, when you set your top load washer on delicate/hand-wash cycle, you’re locking the agitator in place—stopping it from turning—and the only thing that moves around is the inner tub; slushing the water around and then transitioning into the spin cycle.

But, you still want to take precautionary measures, because your down jacket can still snag on the agitator, even though that part is locked in place. So below are instructions on how to carefully wash your down jacket in a top loader.

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How To Wash Your Down Jacket

What You’ll Need

Step 1

Take a regular pillow case and loosely place your down jacket inside of it—no need to roll it up in any special shape. Then secure the opening of the pillow by either tying a knot, or utilizing a zip tie. If your jacket is a light shade, I recommend a solid white pillowcase to avoid any color stains.

Step 2

Choose cool/cold water temperature, and set your wash cycle on delicate/hand-wash—which ever option your washing machine happens to have. I happen to own a General Electric washing machine, and the most gentle cycle is ”delicate”.

Step 3

Put in a small amount of detergent or one laundry strip into the running water and let it dissolve. I HIGHLY recommend using laundry strips because they’re premeasured, non-toxic, don’t contain harsh chemicals that can damage fabric—oh, and they don’t leave what’s called “detergent stains”, which look like grease stains on dark fabric.

*Do Not Use Fabric Softener*

Step 4

Place the load into the washer, close the lid and let it wash. It will be fine. My husband owns an Arc’Teryx down jacket and it is extremely delicate—this is how we launder it each year.

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How To Dry Your Down Jacket

What You’ll Need

  • Wool Balls/Tennis Balls

*DO NOT USE SOFTENER SHEETS*

Step 1

When your down jacket has finished its journey in the washing machine, take it out of the pillow case and either hang it up to dry or place it in the dryer on the delicate/air fluff cycle. I recommend the air fluff cycle, but not all dryers will have this setting—so go with delicate.

If you start feeling nervous, just stop the cycle and take a peek.

Step 2

Should you choose to use the dryer, throw a couple of wool dryer balls (or a tennis ball) inside as well. The balls will help to evenly re-distribute the stuffing and fluff your jacket up good as new.

Still Scared To Wash Your Down Jacket?

Another way to safely wash your delicate down jacket is to hand-wash it, or use a small, non-electric washing machine like the one pictured below by The Laundry Alternative (which can wash up to a 5lb load in just a couple of minutes).

Non-electric washing machines are ideal for small delicate items that might otherwise risk damage in an electric washing machine.

These compact and portable washing machines are also great for RV trips, small apartment living and camping.

The only downside? It operates manually (hence, “non-electric”) and you must hand-crank your laundry for about 2 minutes.

I hope this article gave you the courage to wash your beloved down jacket.

Make sure that the agitator stays locked in place and if for some reason you can’t use a pillow case, a mesh bag is fine as well.

Stay warm!

DIY Halloween Costume Ideas For Kids

Easy DIY Classic Halloween Costume Ideas For Minimalist Families

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Halloween is just around the corner, and if you’re like most parents, you and your child are contemplating this year’s Halloween costume for for some good old trick or treating.

But this year, finances might be tough, or you and your family just want to be as zero waste and minimalist as possible when it comes to trick or treating—and prefer to go with a DIY approach.

When it comes to minimalism, Halloween costumes should be simple. Some of the most classic Halloween costumes are excellent examples of minimalism at work—such as ghosts, mummies and witches, to name a few.

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There are also several reasons why avoiding store bought Halloween costumes, and creating your own, especially when it comes to kids, is actually a good thing:

Reason 1: Kids Outgrow Them


Unlike adults who are able to reuse their costumes, children tend to outgrow theirs. And you either end up donating or throwing them away. Either way, they’ll eventually make their way to the landfill. By making your own costume, you’ll be able to use parts that are at least biodegradable or recyclable.

Reason 2: You’ll Save Money

It seems like Halloween costumes get more and more expensive every year. By creating your own costume, you’ll save an average of $50.00—sometimes more.

Reason 3: Teaches Creativity

Creating a homemade Halloween costume with your child is a great bonding experience, and it encourages them to be creative!

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Classic Mummy

Mummy costumes are a very simple DIY, and can easily be put together using bandages or old bedsheets cut into strips. I don’t recommend toilet paper because it’s wasteful and tears easily.

Classic Robot

You can easily turn your little one into a robot using a cardboard box and cutting out arm holes on the side. Then decorate the box anyway you’d like! Paint or color on some buttons, rivets and maybe even a fun screen that says “loading”.


Classic Ghost

Probably the most classic and simple of all DIY Halloween costumes, the ghost costume simply requires a white or off-white bedsheet with holes cut out for the eyes. Make sure your child can walk safely by making the sheet an appropriate length.

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Classic Monster

Monster costumes can be as versatile as you’d like. You can create an oversized mask using a large brown paper bag from the grocery store and cut out openings for the eyes—drawing on the other facial features and making them as scary as you’d like.


Classic Fairy Princess

Fairy princess costumes can easily be made using cardboard boxes and construction paper. You can cut out a crown using construction paper and attach it to your child’s head using clips or string. You can use cardboard to create wings and attach them to your child’s back with yarn—like a backpack.

Classic Super Hero

Super hero costumes can easily be made using felt to create an eye mask, and a bedsheet or blanket can be used as a cape. You can also cut out a Superman symbol or Star from felt and attach it to your child’s shirt.

Space Alien

Turn your little one into a colorful space alien using a cardboard box and some construction paper. Cut out armholes on the side and decorate the rest with construction paper. You can create a hat with antennas using a smaller box and pipe cleaners for antennas.

What is a home made Halloween costume that you’ve created for your child? Let us know in the comments!