Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

A Sustainable Lifestyle Blog focusing on Zero Waste, Slow Living, and Ethical Fashion.

The Conscious List

Conscious by Chloé Nettles

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? I'm going to forage for nettles, I can't wait to make tea, dyes and salads!!

Picture by Stephan H.

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase via one of my links, I may make a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

5 Ways to Prevent Waste

Conscious by Chloé Reduce Reuse Recycle Zero Waste

It's been a while since I last wrote about my overall journey to less waste. I've mentioned small steps I've taken, like switching to Zero Waste laundry products, keeping a Zero Waste on the Go Kit, and shopping at bulk stores but wanted to share a little about my overall philosophy.

Yesterday, I attended a presentation at my local library that got me thinking about how far I've come in my practice, from living in Europe where recycling was a no-brainer, to the ultimate eco-friendly city of Portland, and to now living in a small town where Zero Waste resources seem (but are not) inexistent.

So I thought I'd write a little piece about what I do on the daily to lower my impact on the planet, following...

The 5 Rs of Zero Waste

1. Refuse

I try to prevent waste from getting into my life in the first place.

  • I refuse the tote bag full of useless promotional material and objects at conferences, the flyers given to me on the street, and the five extra paper napkins at the food cart.
  • I order my matcha "for here" in a real cup (and transfer it to my reusable mug if I'm in a rush while I wait for my coffee shop to allow serving in personal mugs because it is safe to do so)
  • I keep track of junk mail and take action as soon as it arrives in my mailbox.

2. Reduce

I try to reduce the things I need

First, I shop less - because I have fewer temptations where I am right now (living in a pandemic, living in a rural town)
Then I shop mindfully - I shop local (I walk to the grocery store), package-free (at the farmers market), small (from a local maker for example)

3. Reuse

I try to reuse what's already here as many times as possible

I wear and use the same things day after day.
I mend or repair things when they need it (or are about to need it)
I take advantage of the sharing economy. I participate in clothing swaps, I get and donate items via my local Buy Nothing group, I check out books from the library, and I borrow things from friends and neighbors rather than buying them if I know I won't use them often.

4. Recycle

I try to recycle things that I cannot refuse, reduce or reuse

It's always a work in progress. The amount of recycling I produce goes up and down depending on how busy I am, the time of the year, and where I live. I try not to beat myself about it, but make sure I keep an eye on it and identify whether action can be taken (for example, shall I try to make my own yogurt to avoid the plastic tub?)

5. Rot

Composting is my jam!

Food waste can make up a big part of what is sent to landfills, where it does not belong. Most landfills are not designed to store organic materials that decompose and create methane gas emissions in the process.

And compost is "black gold", why bury it in a landfill when it can be used in gardening, horticulture, and agriculture?

I've given vermicomposting a try, but given the amount of fruit and vegetables we eat at home, I quickly "upgraded" to a compost tumbler that was actually given to me via Buy Nothing!

Now my food feeds my plants, how cool is that?

The Share Waste website, where neighbors share their compost bin with you, is also a great resource when you do not have access to composting.

What about you? Is there a zero waste tip you'd like to share with us? I'd love to know?

The Conscious List

Conscious by Chloé Roses

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? I'm in Portland... again and I'm so excited to see all the flowers blooming!

Picture by Al Soot

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase via one of my links, I may make a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

The Conscious List

Conscious by Chloe Portland Oregon Sign

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? I'm in Portland and am overwhelmed by all the cool new places to go eat!

Picture by peter bucks

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase via one of my links, I may make a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Natural Bundle Dyeing a Silk Scarf with Lauren Wheeler of Vive Textiles

Natural Bundle Dyeing a Silk Scarf with Lauren Wheeler of Vive Textiles

If you've been reading this blog for a little while, you know about my passion for natural dyeing.

I was first introduced to it by my friend, artist Kristin Morrison-Marks back in early 2015. She taught a screen printing with natural inks class at some friends' studio and my life hasn't been the same ever since.

I later experimented with indigo and shibori and even dyed pieces for cult brand Elizabeth Suzann.

While I still dream about planting my own dye garden, I keep a constant supply of avocado pits and onion skins in my freezer.

While some projects I like to do alone, others I know I will enjoy even more by making them with someone else. And I know I might learn something new along the way.

Natural Bundle Dyeing a Silk Scarf with Lauren Wheeler of Vive Textiles

I had been following local dyer Lauren Wheeler of Vive Textiles for a little bit and put her workshop on my birthday wishlist. So last week, after a long day of work, I attended a natural dyeing class at one of my favorite stores in Bend, The Peoples Apothecary.

Lauren says: "I discovered the concept of natural dyeing and eco printing just last year. Despite being a little late to the game, it has absolutely captivated me. It generates a constant mindfulness of my surroundings and an appreciation for nature (and science) on a deeper and slower level. I enjoy incorporating local PNW foliage in honor of our beautiful town. Each piece is wearable art; it tells an individual story of a plant’s journey through life. By the process of botanical printing and dyeing, it then lives forever on beautifully soft textiles. Its story becomes permanent. Revived."

Her naturally dyed and printed scarves and pillowcases are works of art.

Natural Bundle Dyeing a Silk Scarf with Lauren Wheeler of Vive Textiles

How to Natural Bundle Dye a Silk Scarf

Material

Natural Bundle Dyeing a Silk Scarf with Lauren Wheeler of Vive Textiles

Instructions

Lauren came up with a fun acronym that sums up all the steps you need to follow to dye your scarf: SMASH!

I illustrated them in a zine format that I might show you in a future article.

You can see how I dyed my scarf in these Instagram stories.

  • Scour - Wash your fabric at a high temperature to remove anything that could prevent you from getting a uniform dye.
  • Mordant - Soak your fabric in a solution that will allow the fabric to absorb and maintain the dye.
  • Apply - Apply your dye material on the fabric, roll the fabric onto itself, bundle it and tighten it with elastics.
  • Steam - Steam the bundle for about 10 minutes.
  • Hang - Remove the dye material and hang the fabric to dry.

Natural Bundle Dyeing a Silk Scarf with Lauren Wheeler of Vive Textiles

Inspiration

I can never read too many books about natural dyeing. Here are my favorites.

I also draw a lot of inspiration from the Instagram accounts of natural dyers Rebecca Desnos, Maggie Pate, and Liz Spencer.

Natural Bundle Dyeing a Silk Scarf with Lauren Wheeler of Vive Textiles

Have you ever experimented with natural dyeing? Where do you draw your inspiration from?