Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

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

Fall and Winter Energy (and Money) Saving Tips

Cozy Cabin Stove Fire for Conscious by Chloé

The temperatures have dropped enough at night that we need to turn on the heat in the morning and this year, more than ever, I'm wondering how to be mindful of our energy consumption. I did a little research online and came up with the following tips. Please share yours in the comments!

1. Open your blinds during the day, and close them at night

Let the sunshine in during the day and keep the heat in at night. For some reason, I'm used to closing the blinds during the day in the summer but never really thought about closing them at night in the winter!

2. Leave the oven door open after using it

I'm planning on making madeleines early on Saturday mornings. Extra heat and good smells, now that's a great way to start the weekend!

3. Reverse your ceiling fans direction

I never owned a fan so this fact blew my mind. When a fan rotates clockwise, it creates an updraft and circulates warm air around the room.

4. Close the doors

... and only heat the rooms you're using. I'm also considering adding a partition curtain in our hallway...

5. Lower your overall thermostat temperature

I read that 68F is a good call and I just finished knitting a sweater. This might work...

6. Turn down the thermostat at night

It is said that we get better sleep in a cool environment anyway (65F).

7. Get a smart thermostat

You might even be able to get one for free or a fraction of the price as certain energy providers offer incentives (Energy trust of Oregon, PG&E,Central Electric Cooperative, etc.)! Or if, like for me, a smart thermostat is not an option for your set-up, read the instructions and program your mini-split.

8. Lower your water heater thermostat

If you're renting like me, you might want to ask your landlord to do that for you... I read that 120F could be a good call but do some research.

9. Weatherstrip your doors and windows

Or get draft stoppers.

10. Insulate your water heater tank

I never knew water heater blankets existed! The entryway downstairs in our rental is super cold and I'm obsessing over this. This might be something I'll think about when I build/renovate my own home though. The same goes for pipes.

Picture by Hans Isaacson

What do you do in the winter to save energy?

The Conscious List

Ceramics Market Display for Conscious by Chloé

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? I'm gonna attend the Bend Moonlight Market tonight!

Picture by Vladimir Gladkov

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

Mountain Biking by Conscious by Chloé

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? I'm gonna go mountain biking!

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!

Zero Waste Swaps - Tooth Tablets

Zero Waste Tooth Tablets by Conscious by Chloé

After ditching toothpaste tubes over five years ago, I experimented with making my own toothpaste, whose recipe I shared in my Zero Waste Switch Challenge.

But let's backtrack. Why would you want to make your own toothpaste?
Because:

  • conventional toothpaste is usually packaged in plastic (#plasticpollutes)
  • it's full of chemicals
  • it's not cheap

I remember this passage of the book by former advertising copyeditor and now famous French author/TV personality Frédéric Beigbeder where he explains that toothpaste is useless since dental care basically consists in brushing your teeth and the actual paste is only meant to freshen your breath.

I won't go as far as telling you to ditch the toothpaste, but just want to emphasize the fact that all you need is a good brush (you should floss too, but that's not the focus of this challenge).

So don't worry if this recipe does not contain the usual fluoride, whitening agents, etc. These are all sales arguments. You want your mouth to feel clean and fresh. That's about it!

There are a million recipes online. I first tried the baking soda/stevia powder toothpaste, but it rapidly became hard because of the humidity in my bathroom.

I also made some with coconut oil, baking soda or salt, green clay, and peppermint essential oil.

And one day, my toothpaste container leaked in my drop kit while traveling, I hated cleaning up the oil stain, so I ditched the oil and simply used baking soda and peppermint essential oil.

I've used this "recipe" for years, and then I finally caved and decided to give tooth tablets a try.

Zero Waste Tooth Tablets by Conscious by Chloé

Packaging

My first order came in a metal box, which I kept for future DIYs (I'm thinking body butter) but I saw a version in a recyclable cardboard container as well.

I usually transfer a couple of them to a small glass container that I keep by the sink. It seems more sanitary than opening the big container all the time and makes packing for short trips easier.

Instructions

Put a tablet in your mouth, chew it, wait until it foams and start brushing your teeth.
(A tablet seemed a lot to us, so Octave and I usually split it in half)

Review

We love the tooth tablets! I like that small change in our routine, it's like trying a new shampoo scent you like. It's fun, practical, sustainable, economical, and effective.

Clean teeth and fresh breath. Mission accomplished!

I don't systematically buy them after we run out. We always have baking soda at home so I never run out of teeth cleaning products, but sometimes, when I feel like it, I make an order and enjoy the "luxury".

Have you tried a new Zero Waste product lately? I'd love to hear about it!

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!

10 Little Things

Homemade Granola by Conscious by Chloé

Once again, it's almost been two years since I last published in the 10 little things section.

I really want to make a practice out of noticing the details that make my life worth living. Maybe starting to write morning pages would help?

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

  1. Going on a sunrise walk as soon as I wake up to strengthen my circadian clock.
  2. Homemade granola.
  3. Birdsongs.
  4. Taking cozy clothes out of storage and having a try-on session to build new outfits for the colder season.
  5. Catching up with an old friend who lives on the other side of the world and feeling like we talked just yesterday.
  6. Long hugs in the middle of the day for no particular reason.
  7. Sending care packages for new moms and kiddos.
  8. New leaves on an avocado tree I grew from seed and I thought I'd killed.
  9. Lighting candles at night.
  10. Waking up without an alarm clock.

What's on your gratitude list?