August is the one summer month sweet and rich with colours, tastes, local produce – spiced up with the sudden smell of autumn wind on a sunny morning.
Let’s add some more spice today with these 100 ideas for an easier green living.
Green Skincare & Beauty
Sunscreen wears thin in the course of day. The easiest way to “touch up” SPF on your face is Moon Dance, a transparent face powder by Ilia Beauty.
Also, my own holistic sun protection routine nicknamed S.T.A.C.Y. includes more than just a sunscreen.
Even if your hair is not colour-treated, it will always fade and loose lustre under the sun, and the pool water will add an unwanted yellow cast.
Take care of your thatch and treat it to a colour-saving, shine-boosting product range (and maybe let your hair stylist trim your lengths when the beach wave starts to look like dry algae, too).
Also, don’t commit these hair care sins.
Looking to perk up your skincare routine?
Get inspired by these green experts’ routines…
…or by these skincare recomMENdations – best green products picks for men.
Packing for holiday is a breeze if you’ve been following my tips on getting the sample situation under control and cleverly organising your beauty samples.
Is your skin oilier than usual during summer heat? Try these – invisible when applied – skin mattifying products.
Those colder, rainy summer days are perfect for trying a new fragrance for Autumn.
While the hot and humid days feel quite authentic for trying Ayurvedic products and treatments.
A Breton stripe shirt, a pair of white capris, simple espadrilles plus a gorgeous, classic red lipstick – what more do you need to look fabulous in summer?
Green up your and your family’s dental care routine with these tips.
Prefer artificial tan to frying in the sun? Don’t forget: self-tanning products make skin more prone to sun damage within 24 hours upon application (read here to see what ingredients to avoid in your self-tan products).
Are you naturally pale? Read hear why it’s fair game to embrace your vampire-like complexion.
Summer heat is so much more bearable if you keep a thermal water spray at hand. And a pretty, scented fan, too (which is also a fabulous tool to make your eyeliner and mascara dry faster, says Dita von Teese).
Enjoy summer fun or beach time with this super easy DIY bronzer oil.
…and soothe sun-tired skin and even out your skin’s pigmentation with this simple and efficient parsley-based DIY mask – say goodbye to the summer without looking back in anger.
Ethical Style & Slow Fashion
Avoid mispurchasing by knowing your exact sizes and colours/ styles that flatter you. The key to sustainable lifestyle is in consuming less. Consuming less feels better if you know exactly what you’re looking for.
Summer is the perfect season for easing into the trendy minimal wardrobe! Try putting together a couple effortless summer ensembles that you can just throw on and go: a shirt dress with simple sneakers – a strappy top, a pair of chinos and ballet flats.
Need shop ideas?
Discover some of our favourite sustainable fashion brands and shops.
Choose sustainable, eco-fair swimwear for your summer holiday.
Try the R-R-R approach when it comes to fashion: reuse, repair and recycle. This philosophy applies to anything, but it seems that fast fashion has wrecked our understanding of taking care of clothes in particular. So whenever possible, reuse your textile possessions, fix what can be fixed, and recycle or upcycle them into new items you need.
Also, a mini sewing kit in your pocket is not the worst accessory 😉
April weather is reigning supreme in summer of 2017. Luckily for all heel-loving fashionistas, I have found a high heel that’s super chic and completely waterproof. They also give back to select charities and are manufactured sustainably.
With summer parties and weddings season still in full bloom, pick ethical jewellery to shine.
Are you more of a fashion jewellery type? Check out these ethical treasures: chunky bracelets and colourful woven rings.
Are you at the very beginning of your sustainable fashion journey? You might find these slow fashion FAQs helpful.
Know you care labels. This will make your clothes last longer and help reduce your consumption.
Stay away from garments that require dry cleaning only or make sure they can be washed in a cold water cycle. It’s good for the environment and for you.
The easiest green fashion takeaway of them all: avoid clothes made of Polyester and Polyamide – these are the textile source of microplastic polluting our oceans.
Wellbeing & Fitness
Develop and maintain your cognitive flexibility. If there’s one thing that helps us maintain health into an old age, than it’s this.
Speaking of ageing: learn to embrace life and, well, ageing for more happiness and less sad wrinkles with these tips from a behavioural psychologist.
Healthy sleep is absolutely vital for, well, everything in our system. Start optimising your sleep by fighting light pollution.
If you’re really into healthy sleep and looking at boosting your creativity and productivity, these books will be right up your alley.
If you’ve started meditating and want to focus on precise results, discover the ancient wisdom of “finger yoga” in the Mudras&Manicure series.
Or combine the science of sleep with your evening meditation to incorporate lucid dreaming into greening up your life for better health and more happiness.
If you’re new to meditating (or maybe find it too “new-agey” for yourself), read this introduction to meditation. I’m not saying I’m an expert, but having started my own meditation practice at the age of 15 and having practiced every style I could get hold of, I do know a thing or two about it.
And if you’re still thinking “new age crap!”, you might find these down-to-earth tips on self-care for busy people helpful.
For my yoga-loving friends, I want to emphasize a yoga style that has been an epiphany for me last year: intuitive yoga by Vanda Scaravelli. Read the in-depth interview with a Scaravelli practitioner and teacher Alke von Kruszynski…
…or discover Vanda Scaravelli’s book “Awakening the Spine”.
If you’re trying to fit exercise into your daily routine, summer is the ideal time to start. Recent studies suggest that 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week are enough for our body and brain health.
Best exercise in summer – swimming.
Also, if you think your everyday life is cluttered with to dos, you will love these sustainable time management tips.
Do you, too, have a burning desire for more freedom? Learn how from this entrepreneur couple that lives on a yacht and leads a company while sailing.
Nutrition & Recipes
It’s certainly easier to drink enough water during warm summer days, so if you’re struggling during other seasons, now’s the time to adopt new habits: a large glass of pure H2O first thing in the morning, for example.
If lemon water is not your favourite, try infusing water with herbs (rosemary, mint) or cucumber slices for added minerals.
On hot days, a warm fragrant mint tea – Morocco style – helps more than an ice-cold ice tea.
How to keep track of your water intake?
You can get an app to track it, but if that’s too annoying, try these “offline” tips.
While most nutritionists argue that coffee should not count as hydration, there is growing proof for this beverage’s health benefits – and a cup in the morning seems quite defensible. And on hot days, it’s cold brew coffee to the rescue”.
Summer is when you’re out and about. To not be part of the growing problem of plastic waste when you enjoy a latte or a froyo in the city, make sure to carry a refillable mug with you – these days they come in many beautiful shapes, materials and colours.
I’m also loving these cold brew bottles that look just like wine bottles and cut a great figure on your summer party table.
Is not festive enough? Try these gorgeous, colourful alcohol-free, added sugar free cocktails.
Speaking of colourful: here are my favourite green smoothie recipes – beauty, anti-hayfever and detox – with a general “build” for delicious veggie-heavy smoothies (which are best).
Learn why and when chocolate is actually really good for you…
…and how to make spicy and crunchy chocolate and matcha treats. These are suuuuper spicy with wasabi and chilli flakes, so nearly impossible to overindulge 😉
And because your sweet tooth has been satisfied, learn how and why to say goodbye to sugar.
BTW, all BEAUTYCALYPSE recipes are free from added sugar and really easy to make. Find them all collected here.
Are you taking supplements? Not all supplements are created equal. Here’s the first range of all-natural, all-vegan top quality supplements from Germany, made by two women who were fed up with the supplement market.
Alcohol is usually not a favourite topics here, but I understand how it can be important when entertaining guests or hosting big events. So it’s always best to choose wisely. Wisely means: choose organic, vegan wines that are low in histamine over conventional to save your guests unpleasant side effects like head aches and runny noses!
We spend 90% of time a day indoors, and, on average, 8 hours a day in bed… Here’s how to start the journey of making sure your home is tox-free, splendidly green and ethical.
Dos and Don’ts when choosing eco-friendly products and methods for „greener“ cleaning.
Switch to energy efficient LED lights.
Plants are the best way to reducing indoor air pollution.
As a “black thumb” that outsources plant care to the significant other, I’m super impressed by green fashion model and ethical entrepreneur Summer Rayne Oakes – she turned her loft into a real indoor wilderness and shares tips alongside gorgeous pictures on her Instagram.
Discover 9 great benefits of pure linen bedding – this beautiful fibre is eco-friendly, low-maintenance and durable by nature…
…and my home and yoga textile favourites.
Do you still use air fresheners for your car?
Did you know that there are organic alternatives?
Planning your next holiday or business trip? Consider checking your green options first.
Read how sustainable travel business can help a remote community survive – while creating unforgettable hiking adventure memories.
Are these breathtakingly beautiful, green hideaways far away from you or just around the corner? Discover seven sustainable destinations around the world.
Discover a few select hot spots in the series Things to do in Berlin.
I tend to choose Skype and FaceTime over actual business trips – in particular, if travel is much longer than the actual time of the given meeting. Here I share a few thoughts on lighter and more sustainable business trips.
“Green” Misconceptions to Be Wary Of
Do you prefer products that are marked biodegradable or are wrapped in biodegradable packaging? Keep in mind that they can only bio-degrade in a compost pile. No compost pile in sight? Sadly, this makes your biodegradable purchase another landfill resident.
So, the skincare product says it’s natural, organic, clean and free-from?
Sadly, these words mean nothing – legally – so better check if the products are certified or if the manufacturing process is made transparent by the brand. A simple statement such as “we care!” or “our products are top organic quality!” again, is pretty meaningless.
Have you switched to “BPA-free” plastic? While this has been quite a trend lately, the “BPA-free” claim doesn’t mean a lot. Firstly, it’s really hard to prove. Secondly, there are other chemicals – BPS for example that breaks down even slower than BPA – that are as harmful and that tend to leak particularly but not exclusively when plastic is exposed to heat.
Makes glass and steel your friends.
Green Gift Mini Guide:
Prepared for Christmas 2017?
In the casa BEAUTYCALYPSE, Christmas gifts for friends and family are purchased well in advance. It’s a fun project to set a theme for gifts and packaging, to research artisans or interesting new ethical brands and shops – it does cost some time but it can save money in the end. Also, purchasing from smaller and specialty businesses can mean that the waiting time is longer and no short-term, 23rd December buys are possible.
For exquisite green gift ideas – fashion, food, skincare and home –, check out these Christmas Gift Guides (notice that all giveaways are now closed).
Embrace gift serendipity now, yes, in August! If you stumble across colourful foreign magazines, fun vintage posters, fancy leftover fabrics, pretty silk paper that some shops line your purchase with, collect them for upcycled gift wrapping. The closer you can colour match your finds, the better.
If you prefer simple (but still exquisite) DIY gifts, this DIY booklet made in collaboration with triathlon and yoga blogger Din of EiswuerfelImSchuh.de will be right up your alley.
Ecology & Environment
If you’ve ever wondered about the “calypse” bit in BEAUTYCALYPSE, read this great guest post by Claire Dove about Eco Gothic and Eco Horror (it comes with great book and film tips, too).
Do you know who owns our food?
Avoiding microplastics is easier than you may think.
Tired of summer blockbusters and superheroes? (I can’t believe I’m typing this but yes, I’m actually growing sick of superheroes.) A moody, dreamily photographed film to remind you of the power of connection: Planetary.
Tips for greener and more ethical living are not complete without a Palm Oil Q&A.
Every breath you take… may be killing you. I’m not scaremongering, nor exaggerating – we have to face all the hard facts about what’s in our air and do something about it.
Arsenic, Lead, Mercury and then some more: read why we’re exposed to them now more than ever, and what this exposure does to our brains & bodies in Neurotoxin 13: These Make Us Dumb & Sick.
Did you know that perfume and nail polish are hazardous waste? Read more in: Guide to Tox-Free Nail Polish.
Finally, let me point out this readers’ favourite about mica in powder make-up: You’ve Got Make-up In Your Lungs.
Green Tech & Apps
The best app ever invented to check skincare products, Codecheck is finally available in English.
Do you still “google” things? If you look up stuff on the Internet using the green search engine and Germany’s first B Corp organisation Ecosia, for each query a tree is planted. Here’s the Ecosia page – and here’s the Ecosia FAQ explaining further details of the project.
Use light automation devices to make your evening routines easier to stick to. Like for example the Philips HUE system of wirelessly controlled LED light bulbs.
Illuminate your garden with cute lights by Little Sun Energy – with each lamp or charger sold, one is made available to a rural community at a locally-affordable price. I think we don’t even need to discuss how vital light is for education and quality of life.
Support green creators on Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Startnext. Some projects will fail, some will be successful. But if they succeed, your ethical Christmas gifts will be pretty original 😉
Would you like a tip? Right now, an ethical fine jewellery project is up and running, the wonderful Hargreaves Stockholm.
Hack the planned obsolescence of your tech devices with iFixit.
iFixit offers free, crowd-sourced repair manuals as well and professional-grade tool kits enabling everybody to easily fix their electronic devices.
Feeding the world via crowd power? The Berlin-based, UN World Food Programme-powered app Share the Meal invites users to send micro-donations under the premise that it costs as little as 50 USD cents to feed a child per day (PayPal/ credit card needed).
Healthy & Ethical:
Say no to working on weekends. Join me in being a weekend advocate!
Is your mailbox really someone else’s to-do list? These four questions help me make my workday more efficient.
Finally, if you’re looking for a good read for your lazy summer Sunday afternoons, check out the Bookshelf Monthly series.