Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

Bonjour & Welcome! Conscious by Chloé is a Sustainable Lifestyle Blog focusing on Zero Waste, Slow Living, and Ethical Fashion.

Announcing Portland's First Zero Waste Conference

Portland Zero Waste Conference 2018
Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi

In exactly a month, Portland will welcome its first Zero Waste Conference.

And I'm very proud to be one of its 2 co-organizers.

Brion Hurley and I met on various occasions over the past couple years, notably through Recycling Advocates, the non-profit he's the President of. We also both attended the Master Recycler Program and the Agent of Change training of the Center for Earth Leadership.

Last June, he reached out to me and asked me whether I'd like to help him organize a Zero Waste Conference.

Hell yes!

We are very proud to announce that Recycling Advocates and Zero Waste PDX will be organizing Portland's first Zero Waste Conference on Sunday 14th October from 2 to 6 pm at Taborspace, in SouthEast Portland.

Portland Zero Waste Conference 2018


This event will be a “pay what you can” model, to give everyone the possibiliy to attend (our suggested donation price is $25 per person).

All the proceeds from this event will be donated to Recycling Advocates.

10 Little Things #8

person sitting near body of water
Photo by Daria Kopylova

We don't necessarily notice them, but those little things put a little magic into our lives.

Here are 10 little things that have been making me happy lately:

  1. Cycling in Long Beach with a dorky helmet on (thank you Alyssa).
  2. Using my legs as only means of transportation and carrying my home on my back (i.e. I went backpacking).
  3. People watching during long Metro commutes.
  4. Drinking (filtered) fresh water from lakes and streams.
  5. Swimming half naked in said lakes.
  6. Watching the stars.
  7. Waking up with the sun.
  8. Spending 4 days in the wild with 6 badass women.
  9. Talking to strangers.
  10. Traveling alone.

What about you? What little things have been making you happy lately?

What's in a Name?

Everlane Wide Leg Crop Utility Pant Golden Brown by Conscious by Chloé

When I was a kid, a teacher would come to my school to teach us English once a week.

I have two memories from her class:

  1. She leaves the school crying because we forgot to do our homework (mean little 10 year olds!).

  2. She randomly picked British names for us. Mine was Barbara... I hated it.

Everlane Wide Leg Crop Utility Pant Golden Brown by Conscious by Chloé

Jacket, vintage | Tank, North of West | Pants, Everlane (click here for an invitation) | Bag, vintage - it was my mom's! (similar) | Clogs, Nina Z

About 5 years later, I decide that if I could choose, my name would be Sam, just Sam - probably short for Samantha, though I did not like that name either (oh teenagers!).

Everlane Wide Leg Crop Utility Pant Golden Brown by Conscious by Chloé

Fast forward a couple more years, I'm living on the campus of the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, England. Two Chinese students share a room on my floor. We introduce ourselves, and I realize that they adopted Western names. I'm surprised, but quickly realize that it's a pretty common practice.

Everlane Wide Leg Crop Utility Pant Golden Brown by Conscious by Chloé

It's 2008, I work in Beijing for the Olympics. We take Chinese classes. Some of my colleagues earn Chinese names, based on either physical characteristics or traits of personality. I discover a new common practice. Full circle - though I'm sad I did not stay long enough to be able to earn one.


Last week of August 2018 - I'm thrift shopping while waiting for a friend before we get dinner. I try on a jacket and get an instant crush. I text my friend and tell her that because she's late I'm gonna get myself a jacket (oh the excuses I find to justify a purchase!). I leave the store, to come back 10 minutes later after my friend asks where the jacket is. I try it on a second time and finally take it home.

Everlane Wide Leg Crop Utility Pant Golden Brown by Conscious by Chloé

You can now call me Brooklyn Welch...

Now tell me. Did a foreign language teacher ask you to choose a name? What was it?

The Local Thirty Challenge - Eating Local Food for a Month

The Local Thirty 2018 by Conscious by Chloé

Usually, when I hear or take part in discussions about diets and their impact on our environment, the conversation rapidly opposes veganism and omnivorism.

On my journey to living more sustainably, I constantly go back and forth between the idea of becoming a vegan and my current semi-vegerianism, aka flexitarianism.

I very rarely eat meat, buy a yearly wild salmon share and enjoy seafood when traveling on the coast. I don't drink milk, but I love cheese. Then there's leather, honey, beewswax. I learn and question the status quo constantly.

But two books I read recently have shifted my way of approching the subject, or, better said, added a layer to the dialogue happening in my head.

One is Dandelion Hunter, by Rebecca Lerner, and the other one Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver.

The first one follows the quest of a forager in the city of Portland, Oregon, who tries to survive off wild plants from the streets and parks near her home.

The second one tells the story of a family who abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it.

What if the most sustainable diet was to eat mindfully and locally grown food?

The Local Thirty 2018 by Conscious by Chloé
Photo by Eva Kosmas Flores

Eating Local

Three years ago, a couple weeks after I first moved to Portland, I had a late summer supper at a farm in the shadow of Mount Hood.

Not only did I make new friends during that dinner, but I also fell in love with Andrea and Taylor, the owners Tumbleweed farm and quickly signed up for their CSA share.

Community Supported Agriculture is a great way to support your farmers and experience the local growing season. CSA is the backbone of a number of farms. Members share the risks and rewards inherent in responsible food production. Each week, for a certain period of time, they pick up a box of fresh, clean, local and seasonal produce grown right in their region.

Think you live in a food desert? A study reveals that 90 percent of U.S. could eat food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes, helping economy and making agriculture more sustainable.

Tumbleweed's CSA has a major perk: weekly recipe suggestions coming for Andrea's own blog/farm diary.

Though I'm not a member of the CSA any more (the pick-up location was a little bit of a drive for us), I still regularly check in on the blog and ultimately snatched a copy of Andrea's book, Dishing up the Dirt which I tirelessly get back to (my favorite recipe: the Beet Butter, p.84).

The Local Thirty 2018 by Conscious by Chloé

The Local Thirty

Last May, Andrea published this article. I did not know that my admiration for her could not grow any bigger, but it instantly did! On a quest to connect on a deeper level with her food and the people who produce it, she decided that, for the 30 days of September, she was going to source all of her ingredients from a 200-mile radius of where she lives. This challenge is named The Local Thirty.

Why is it important to eat locally grown food?

I don't know about you, but I don't know where half of the food I consume comes from. I purchase it at my local coop, and trust their sourcing system, but I rarely dive deeper (in which farm was it grown? who picked it?).


More freshness, seasonal products, new flavors, less contamination


Lower carbon footprint, less travel, less waste, crop rotation

Social Justice

Supports local farms, boosts local economy, fosters community, supports responsible land development, promotes variety

The Local Thirty 2018 by Conscious by Chloé
Photo by Eva Kosmas Flores

Tips for a successful Local Thirty Challenge

Find local resources

  • Look for a local food blogger
  • Visit your farmers market and strike a conversation with farmers and makers
  • Check out a small coop and check the labels, ask an employee for help and tips
  • Learn how to make something yourself

Don't hate me, I live in Andrea's area so she's pretty much done the work for me. You can find her local and national resources at the end of this article.

Have a cheat sheet

Don't make yourself miserable, the idea is indeed to learn something new, but mostly to have fun during the process.

If you feel like you cannot survive without your morning cup of coffee, put it on your cheat sheet!

I still have some research to do to see which products I'm going to find an alternative for but can already feel that olive or coconut oil will be on my list.


The best way to suceed is to plan ahead. You do not want to wake up the first morning, open your cupboard and realize that all the ingredients are coming from the other side of the planet.

Meal planning, meal prepping, batch cooking, food preserving are all great ways to kickstart your adventure!

Write a shopping list, clear your schedule for an afternoon, and prep those meals!

I'm thinking about going to the kitchen library and checking out the dehydrator and canning equipment, wish me luck!

The Local Thirty 2018 by Conscious by Chloé

Don't do it alone

Enroll your partner, kids, friends in the challenge, prep your meals, swap them, go to the farmers market together and follow the #LocalThirty on social media to find your community.

I'm meeting with 2 girlfriends today to start a Vegan Cheese Club and am planning to pick their brain on the subject and inspire/beg them to join the challenge with me.

For more inspiration, check out Andrea and Megan's plans (and cheat sheets).

Are you ready to accept the challenge? Where do you live? Who will be your local inspiration for resources and recipes?

My ​Morning Routine

Morning Routine by Conscious by Chloé
Photo by rawpixel for Conscious by Chloé

Oh hi there! It's been a minute. I took a well-needed break from social media this summer, which also translated into a break from the blog.

I'll go into more details about my vision for this space in September, but wanted to come over here to say hi and ask you how your summer's going so far.

Mine's been eclectic, with various members of Octave's family visiting from Europe and a couple short trips here and there in Oregon.

I also went to France to spent time with my parents in my hometown and on the Île de Ré, an island off the West coast of France which was on my bucket list. Ticked!

While coming back home after an amazing vacation with my parents is heartbreaking, I'm always excited for the opportunity to have a fresh start.

With September creeping in, I also feel like now is a great time to try to set up a new morning routine.

Jet lag means I wake up at ungodly hours and hence have a lot of time to spare before I have to start my work day.

My current morning routine

Here's what I did this morning, after my 5.30 am wake up call:

5.30 - 6.30 am

I laid in bed for an hour. I would usually not recommend this, but with guests sleeping in our living room for one more week, I could not possibly get up that early and wake up the whole house.

I put on a sleeping mask and ear plugs, and just laid there half asleep, half realizing that I was back in Portland, lulled by the sound of garbage trucks (a total of 6 just on our street!).

6.30 - 6.40 am

I sat up in bed, and put some lotion - a week of swimming and biking in the sun, plus a long flight left me with very dry skin. I hadn't had the chance to do this the night before, when I only had the strength to take a shower and have a quick bite with our house guests, so I took a couple minutes to moisturize my body.

I only keep a couple products on my nightstand mainly essential oils and my trusted CBD oil but recently added a bottle of moisturizer with a pump, and a hand and foot salve as I noticed that my bed(room) is the place that made more sense for me to do this at night - or exceptionally in the morning.

My current favorites are the Chamomile Lotion and the Skin Doctor from Angelina, a brand I discovered on a recent trip to Bend, Oregon.

I put on the clothes I had laid down the night before.

6.40 - 6.50 am

I headed to the bathroom and splashed some water over my face.
I put a couple drops of rose essential oils on my face and massaged them with a jade roller.

I also put a couple drops of elixir on my scalp to finish waking up the top of my body.
Finally, I scooped up half a tablespoon of coconut oil to do some oil pulling, an Ayurvedic remedy which consists in swishing around oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes to clean and detoxify teeth and gums.

I pair oil pulling and walking, and walking and podcast listening to be more efficient.

6.50 - 7.20 am

I sneaked out of the house through the back door and went for an early morning walk.

I've been saying this for a couple days now, but I'm already nostalgic for the end of the summer, so I want to take in as much light as I can.
And going outside early in the morning also allows you to enjoy a couple hours of coolness.

I like to listen to podcasts when I walk around in my neighborhood. I've been catching up on many shows during my long flights and listened to the last couple episodes of "Jen Gotch is OK Sometimes". I highly recommend it. Jen is the founder and creative director of Ban.Do and has somehow become a mental health advocate through her hilarious and emotional Instagram stories. She's now the host of a weekly podcast (through the GirlBoss network) touching on subjects such as therapy, emotional eating, and social media.

7.20 - 8.30 am

I check my email to see what my work day will look like (my clients work in different time zones, so it's the middle or end of the day for them), started writing this article, opened mail and packages, and read the news.

Then the rest of the house started waking up, so I went to the kitchen to boil some water for tea...

I'm not planning on waking up every day at 5.30 am, but 6.30 would be a great time for me. It would allow me to start my day slowly and intentionally, without rushing to check in with my European clients, while still giving me enough time to communicate with them before they end their workday.

What about you? What's your morning routine like? Has it always been the same? Did you ever switch it up? Do you fantasize on creating a new one for September?