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.

Habit Shift - Pack a Zero Waste Snack

How to Pack a Zero Waste Snack in a Tiffin by Conscious by Chloé

I do not keep a written list of things I want to buy, but I do have a mental list of things I would allow into my life if I stumbled upon them.

I was not on an active search for a tiffin, but I did want to replace the one that was stolen from my car a couple months ago.

And, lo and behold, after a work date in South-East Portland last November, I popped into my favorite vintage store to check out whether my friend Carley was working there and see what was new in stock.

I grabbed 2 cozy sweaters to try on, and then went into the back room where the best treasures are kept. And there, sitting on a side table, was this vintage tiffin.

How to Pack a Zero Waste Snack in a Tiffin by Conscious by Chloé

It's so beautiful I could cry.

It's not the most convenient, it's not leak proof, it's not packable, but it's... not the point.

How to Pack a Zero Waste Snack in a Tiffin by Conscious by Chloé

I have a precise idea of how I want to use it. To pack zero waste snacks when I'm invited to a potluck or a party.

How to Pack a Zero Waste Snack in a Tiffin by Conscious by Chloé

How cool would it be to show up with it and then display each container with delicious snacks I'll have made or purchased from the bulk aisle of my supermarket?

How to Pack a Zero Waste Snack in a Tiffin by Conscious by Chloé

I also picture putting little sealable stainless steel containers in the middle and fill them with hummus or a nut dip.

This is way too exciting.

Best $10 I've spent that month!

How to Pack a Zero Waste Snack in a Tiffin by Conscious by Chloé

What's the latest thing you've thrifted?

Habit Shift - Propagating Plants

Propagating Plants on Window Sill

For the past couple weeks, I've been growing plant cuttings on my office window sill.

This idea came to me after a friend of mine mentioned that she wanted new plants for her house but that she did not have the budget to invest in big plants and new pots.

My own plants were thriving and it was time for some of them to get a new haircut so I decided to start a little side hustle in my office: growing my own plants from cuttings.

Propagating Plants on Window Sill

My method is simple and straight-forward:

I cut just below a bud with a pair of clean scissors, remove the bottom leaves and stick the cuttings in a tiny glass bottle so I can see the root system develop.

Once it seems strong enough, I transfer the plant baby to a little ceramic pot filled with soil - I have a whole collection of those that I "stole" from the "messed-up projects shelf" of the ceramics studio I used to be a part of.

Propagating Plants on Window Sill

Seeing plants grow roots is a soothing experience and greenery is always a nice addition to an office.

I love a slow project, I love to see nature unfold, and I also love giving "homemade" gifts.

I'm so excited to have a constant supply of plant babies to give to friends.

Now I cannot wait to grow a couple more and attend a plant swap so I can add new varieties into my own home jungle.

Or maybe some of you would be willing to trade? Shall we do this?


Do you propagate plants? What's the easiest one to start with? Which one's more tricky? Any tips?

Habit Shift - Buy Nothing New

consciousbychloe-online-vintage-shop-boheme
Image: Boheme

This year, I have unofficially decided to buy no new clothes.

I am not sure I will be able to pull it off, but I want to make sure I set myself up for success.

I've been doing a lot of research and thought I'd share the results with you, should you want to come with me on this vintage and second hand journey.

consciousbychloe-online-vintage-thrift-store-ochre
Image: Ochre

Online Vintage Stores

I'm not the best at vintage shopping or online shopping. So when I find a great resource, I bookmark it and cherish it. I chose the following stores for their aesthetics, their styling, the quality of their selection and their customer service.

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Image: Desert Vintage

Instagram

Instagram is great place to gather inspiration but also gives an amazing opportunity to shop and sell pieces from your favorite brands at a lower price via the following Instagram accounts!

consciousbychloe-online-vintage-thrift-store-le-harvest

Instagramers' Closet Sales

Instagram is also an amazing resource for buying and selling clothes! I am actually working on downsizing my wardrobe, so you'll soon be able to shop my closet at Too Many Good Things!


Where do you like to shop online for vintage gems?

Habit Shift - Get Your Library Card

Stack of Books by Conscious by Chloé

If you're lucky enough to live in a place that has a library, I strongly recommend you to visit it.

No matter whether you're a (legal) resident or not, access is usually open to the public.

You can walk the aisles in search of a specific book, or simply get lost and let fate take you to your next narrative adventure.

If you can, I also highly encourage you to get your library card.

As much as I want to support writers and creators I do not necessarily have the budget to buy a copy of every single book I read or the shelf space to hold them.

Stack of Books on Bedside Table by Conscious by Chloé

Why I love libraries in general

  • they're free

  • they're accessible to all

  • they offer free (or affordable) culture in so many forms: books, films, music, classes, reading sessions, workshops.

  • they usually offer free (limited) Internet access.

  • they are a great place to visit or hang out in while in a new city.

So today, here's one thing you could do, visit your library's website (or give it a call) and see how you can sign up to get your card - most require a photo ID, others a proof of residence.

Stack of Books by Conscious by Chloé

Why I love the Multnomah County Library System in particular

  • it's free (besides the fact that some of your tax money supports this system)

  • you can order books online, then pick them up and drop them off at the library location that's closest to you - no need to travel across town!

  • you can request books and pause a hold if you're not ready to pick or read them just yet. I do that a lot since some books I want to read are very popular and I might be # 52 on the wait list.

  • you can borrow e- and audio-books online and synchronize them with your device (phone, tablet, reader).

  • similarly, you can access the Hoopla Digital Audiobooks library with your library card.

  • you can also stream movies for free via Kanopy - limited to 6 movies per month.

  • you can listen to Portland-made music via the Library Music Project - accessible to all.

If you live in the Portland, here's how to get a library card.

Get yours and send me a picture of you with your new card, or the first book you borrow (or tag me in it so I can see it). This would make me so proud and happy!

Stack of Books on Bedside Table by Conscious by Chloé

Free online books for all

Stack of Books by Conscious by Chloé

Books I'm currently reading

I heard someone read some of Rilke poems at a conference and have been so moved that I decided to read everything the poet wrote that I could put my hands on. This book is a correspondence between the author and a young poet, or are those letters he could have written to his younger self. It makes me want to write more, to loved ones, to strangers, to myself.

I have a slight obsession for personality tests. And the Enneagram was high on my list since everyone I know or follow talks about it. I borrowed this book because it was on the library shelves but have not been very excited by it. I'm really just only waiting for this one to be available so I might soon figure out what personality type I am.

Starhawk is regularly mentioned in La Poudre, a French feminist podcast I listen to so I decided to read her bestselling classic. I'm very excited to read about goddess worship and witchcraft.

You can also check out my feminist reading list for more book recommendations.

Everyone interested in sustainability, circularity, consumption habits and evolution should read this book. I've been reading it slowly, as I want to take the time to reflect in between chapters. After the story of a landfill, I'm now reading about the so-called plastic garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean, microplastics pollution and its impact on our environment and food system. It's really eye-opening!

You can find more Zero Waste book inspiration over here too.


Tell me something about a book you read, a library you visited, or a great resource you'd like to share with all of us.

Habit Shift - 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?).

Wellness

More freshness, seasonal products, new flavors, less contamination

Sustainability

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.

Prep

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?