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 issue 153 ~ week of January 24, 2020
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(via @yallah)

Note from the Editor

Happy Friday <<First Name>>!  

Over our winter break, I went down a social media rabbit hole of the zero waste movement. I felt anxious and bad about the 70-degree weekend we had just experienced in D.C. (Last year around this time of year, it had snowed.) Rather than feel helpless, I wanted to get smart and do something.

I stopped my search when I found a viral video of Lauren Singer, a zero-waste influencer and now founder/CEO of Package Free Shop. In the video, she shares a tiny mason jar filled with various debris that totals to her un-recyclable trash output for the entirety of four years. Four years of trash, in that tiny jar.

I understood immediately why the video had nearly one million views: in our high-consumption society, this micro-output feels nearly impossible, even unbelievable. That is, until you understand the meticulousness with which Singer presents. She tidily lays the contents of the jar on a table and sort them into categories: produce stickers, tiny plastic hangtags from clothing purchases, a credit card.

After watching the video, I peered over at the trashcan sitting in our kitchen, which was shamefully overflowing with dirty take-out containers, browning apples, and halfheartedly used paper towels. 

Reader, I got to work. The next hour was what can only be described as a feverish sprint to sustainability-ize everything in my near vicinity and routine. On this, I would like to say that some moral obligation deep within me led to this sudden burst of energy of my running around the house, peering into all the various trash cans we own, taking inventory of our plastic usage, Googling what is recyclable and not, and could I recycle my jeans? But truthfully, there was also an innate desire to organize, streamline, and be in control of my consumption and material output as a human. Singer’s tiny jar of trash was appealing to me in the Marie Kondo sense of disciplined order. For my sake, let’s just say it was some combination of these things, with a heavy dollop of eco-anxiety on top.

With all this said, I’ve made quite a few changes to my routine, and I hope to share with you over the course of the next few weeks! To start, I have one tiny sustainability tip that’s been life-changing: Do you use cotton pads or rounds as part of your skincare routine? May I present to you the possibility of using reusable bamboo rounds instead? 

I love these reusable rounds because you can:
• Infinitely reuse them
• Toss them into the laundry with your clothes
• Give yourself a little mini facial experience — when using an oil cleanser, I like to wipe off the oil with a hot, damp bamboo round to get an extra clean feel
• Cleanse your face using it without getting water everywhere (which I HATE, does anyone feel me?)
• Produce less waste! One step closer to Tiny Trash Jar status.

We asked you in issue 151 for *your* small sustainability practices and…we got over 200. So! We rounded up our favorites and put them into this post on your best tiny sustainability tips. Be sure to comment on the post if we’ve missed yours. Going to go rewatch all of Cheer on Netflix now. Have a great weekend!

Until Next Friday,
Alisha Ramos, Founder at GNI
Follow me @alisharamos on Instagram.

P.S. Did you miss last week's newsletter? We discussed why we're saying "good skill" instead of "good luck" in 2020. You can read it here


this week's picks


what our team is loving this week
 how do you like your eggs? (via @tymecham / @food52
  1. Making breakfast easy like Sunday morning. 🍳 "In an effort to get back to basics, I watched this Test Kitchen video about different ways to make eggs and then made Sohla's French Omelet 4 times this weekend! It's the very last one, and I followed the directions exactly. It's delicious and was perfect every time." - Katrina

  2. Skipping the morning jitters 🍵 with these green tea Verb Energy Bars. They taste d e l i c i o u s while still having as much caffeine as an espresso shot. Use this link to get all four flavors virtually for free — all you've gotta cover is the 95¢ shipping. #SPONSORSTHING
     
  3. Cutting my morning hair routine in half. 💁‍♀️"A few weeks ago, multiple friends texted me asking if I'd tried the magical one-step hair tool featured on that week's Gee Thanks, Just Bought It podcast (which you should listen to). The tool basically does the job of a hairdryer and round brush in one, which was all I needed to hear. I caved and bought it, and it really does hold up to the hype. (It took me 15 mins to do my hair?!) My tips: Make sure to use a heat protectant and watch a few YouTube tutorials beforehand if you're feeling at all intimidated." - Tyler 
     
  4. Listening to things that spark joy, like this episode of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! 🎧 featuring Alison Roman and also a Spotify playlist (including a podcast lol) you can generate for your PETS. "I can't stop listening to my dog Bowie's curated playlist! It's so soothing." - Alisha 
     
  5. Only buying comfy clothes at the moment. 🏃‍♀️ "I'm trying to be mindful about spending this year, which means that I'm investing in clothes that will go the distance for me — these Everlane leggings (their first-ever) are coming with me to the gym and doubling as weekend athleisure too." - Olivia 
     
  6. Saving these empathetic tips for flight-phobia ✈️ courtesy of writer/illustrator Mari Andrew. (Side note: Does anyone else get really bad flight-related anxiety?) 

    Bonus rec: ☕️📈 Reading the Morning Brew newsletter for a five-minute morning catchup on all things business. It delivers the latest news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley in an actually-engaging, easy-to-parse way, and we feel infinitely more in-the-know when we read it. 
sponsor spotlight: HUM Nutrition

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smart reads of the week


from the GNI Team
it's okay to be sometimes-sad (via @carolynmisterek)

Sustainability doesn't stop at home. 🌿 As we continue to step into 2020 with questions about how to live more sustainably on our mind, this read brought up some very fair points about the importance of learning the difference between "zero-waste" and "sustainable" or "compostable" and "biodegradable" as we navigate our everyday lives and consumption habits. 

So what does "going out" mean these days anyway? 🕺 There's only one way to find out — ask the arbiters of what's current, interesting, and of-the-moment: teens. This piece asks the tough questions — like if teens even party anymore — and the answers might or might not surprise you. TBH we're just happy this exists (and now hiding evidence of our "going-out tops" of the 2010s deep in the back of our closets 😂).

LEGO's next frontier might just be stressed-out adults. 😖 Tired: Winding down with a candy game on your phone. Wired: Taking advantage of LEGO's swing into adult audiences to gain a little mindfulness in your day. Finding calm isn't always easy, but setting down your phone and channeling your energy into a prescribed activity is usually a good start — and yes, LEGOS count.

It's your life and you can cry if you want to. 💧 This thoughtful series asks what the most unexpected advice people have heard from their therapist is — and this advice to take time to acknowledge hard feelings really resonated: "[My therapist] asked if I ever just laid in bed and stewed in my depression. No, I had not — I declared loudly and proudly. Laying in bed doing nothing and feeling sorry for myself was wrong and it was bad. I mean, right? [My therapist] didn’t think so. She instructed me to try it. 'Don’t even shower,' she said. 'Just stew. As an experiment. Let’s see what happens and how you end up feeling.'" Something to consider. 

Are you heading to Facebook to talk about your favorite podcast? 🎧 While the platform seems to be lacking a purpose for many these days (do we continue to keep it because of event FOMO? photos? keeping in touch with older relatives?), there is one niche audience that seems to be thriving here: podcast groups. As this NYT piece explains, there's some serious community building happening in this space (personally, we're fans of the Forever35 Facebook group.) Think of it like the message boards and internet forums of yesteryear, where people convened over a shared interest, and the thoughts does suddenly become a little more charming.

Bonus read: This will either stress you out or change your life — how to create You HQ🤓 
 
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heading into the weekend like...

 
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