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Dive Deeper Blog
Like a hide-and-seek; can you spot the second Stream2Sea biodegradable sunscreen tube?
Yes — five of the ways to make your morning more ecoconscious are Stream2Sea products!
I’m currently in Key West for a dive trip, and I’m absolutely loving the Conscious Explorer and Camper Kits, including the shampoo/body wash, lip balm, and sting relief. Of course, I have both mineral sunscreens with me – tinted and regular.
This week, I’m practicing my ecoconscious mornings from an island hideout in Key West for a week of diving reconnaissance. Our two-fold goal is to get in some great wreck and reef diving, scope out future dive sites and lodging, and assess the cycling scene on Key West. Plus, we are on a plastic-free vacation mission.
While my location has changed, my routine remains the same. I’m not a traveler who brings my whole house along with me, but I am the one who plans ahead and strives for an environmentally low-impact vacation.
Here Are My Ten Fabulous Ways to Get My Eco-Conscious Morning Going No Matter Where I Am
Coffee the Least Environmentally-Impactful Way Possible
Yes, I love my daily brew! My everyday and vacation system does not vary; I use a Bodum French Press and freshly-ground beans. There’s no paper filter, no plastic pod, and no wasted water. I boil the water in an electric kettle, so there’s no loss of heat from a burner, or using electricity for one moment more than is necessary since it turns itself off immediately. No pot dripping and heating endlessly. Plus, it frees up a burner on my stove!
The water boils, the water goes in the press, wait four minutes, and it’s ready. The press is glass and metal; no plastic here! I eschew sugar – living in Florida, we hear a lot about the negative impact of “Big Sugar” on our environment, so I just skip it.
My French Press, electric kettle, and multi-use water bottles lined up for the day.
No matter whether it’s just me, or a dozen book club friends; I serve everything in and on china or crockery – no disposables in the house. Life’s too short, and my guests and I are worthy of drinking from the real thing; a real mug, not something disposable. For travel, my trusty stainless mug carries my brew.
My dive partner prefers Cuban coffee, so we also bring a Bialetti Moka Pot that sits right on the stove, or we bring a small single burner for hotels; and it’s ready for our hurricane generator setup as well. The only method I have read that is even slightly more eco-friendly is instant coffee – apparently, there is even less waste of water with that method.
Shower With Reef-Safe Suds
After either a morning 20-mile bike ride, or a workout and run; a warm shower feels great for relaxing my muscles. I live on the banks of the St. Johns River, and from my bathroom window, I can see the water where everyone’s waste eventually seeps.
Our house uses a septic tank, so whatever goes down our drain finds its way to the river even faster, so I’m very conscious of the products I use.
Body wash from Stream2Sea is heavenly! I don’t have to worry a whit about my product harming the environment, or the container since it’s biodegradable.
Hair Care for My Sun-Stressed Locks
With my naturally curly dry hair, I’m one of those girls who use conditioner every time after shampooing. Stream2Sea’s leave-in conditioner works well for daily use. Many days, I’m wearing a visor, sitting on a sailboat all day, under the heat and rays of the sun.
This week, with all the diving in salt water, my hair would really be a mess without my leave-in conditioner. My secret defense is a protective shot of leave-in conditioner before I dive, sealing the hair shaft from moisture-wicking salt. Then I use another squirt after the last dive. My hair is instantly detangled and manageable.
Daily Face Protection
I live in Florida. Some of us put sunscreen on every day. Our newspapers vow to deliver your paper for free any days that the sun does not shine. I think that’s been about four days since I was born?
Even working indoors, walking to and from your car is a time of exposure, in and out of the grocery, retrieving the mail… Driving… Living in “The Sunshine State,” skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association.
I don’t like piling goopy substances on my face, so Stream2Sea’s tinted sunscreen performs two duties – first, it’s my daily sunscreen. It’s light, not greasy, and a protective layer. Second, it serves as my foundation. Skin tone differences are evened out, and my skin is prepared to receive a dusting of powder and a swipe of mascara.
Elbows, heels, hands – using a simple moisturizer keeps my skin looking healthy. Stream2Sea’s nourishing body lotion is unscented, so it doesn’t interfere with my chosen scent for the day. The smaller size in the Conscious Camper and Conscious Explorer Kits is perfect for tossing into your handbag for moisturizing your hands later in the day.
In fact, if you are traveling, all the kits, including the Reef Sentinel Kit, have absolutely everything you need, already assembled, and are even flight-approved volumes. I recently read Everything You Need to Travel the World in One Backpack. These kits would fit in there perfectly, and have everything you need.
Breaking Your Fast
Preparing your own food is the nicest way to begin your day. A selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, and protein served on real dishes lends importance to your fueling up efforts. Having control of what you put in your body empowers you, and eating healthy is just as easy as eating rubbish. Actually, it’s less expensive and often easier.
You’d be surprised how much less expensive it is to eat really, really great meals that satisfy your body and soul than eating out – where you have less control over ingredients and preparation, not to mention presentation.
That greasy biscuit with over-processed meat might temporarily satisfy your sodium and sugar cravings. However, the time spent in a drive-in line, vehicle running, then eating out of your lap in your car barely noticing what you eat; the resulting heavy stomach and resulting food crash later, and the preservatives will not leave you satisfied.
A quiet morning meal, in your own home, with time to think over your day is a far more rewarding way to begin your day. As a frequent visitor to South Africa, I saw that drive-in meals are something only seen on the telly. It’s so interesting to experience the time devoted to stopping, sitting down in a chair – not a car – and eating mindfully. People there make time for meals. Not making time for eating is unheard-of. I adopted that mentality and brought it home with me.
I highly approve! Don’t skip breakfast, and don’t eat it on the run!
Serviette? Yes, Please.
Disposables? No Thank You.
I consider it a matter of pride to always serve myself, my family, and my guests on “real” plates. Whether it’s breakfast for one, or dinner for 20, we eat from plates. We are worth it. Eating is fueling our body, eating is love, eating is family time. Even if it were not for the environmental concerns, I still would serve on china or crockery plates.
For flatware, I use silver plate. I like the feel of it in my mouth, I like the look of it on the table. When guests are coming, I polish it, and anticipate the conversation we will enjoy. Slowing life down and enjoying the moments; there is something important about lending gravity and graciousness to your daily living, and that of your family and guests.
On the boat, we use stainless steel. I’m not adverse to eating off stainless, there’s just a lower metallic taste from silver. I do carry a silver plate fork in my sailing day bag, and in my work lunch bag.
Put a cloth napkin at every place. It’s probably been a couple decades since I have purchased paper napkins. It’s something I just don’t spend money on – and my life is the more luxurious and genteel for that choice. We use cloth; the “good ones.”
You probably already wash laundry, so a few squares of fabric will not tip you over to an additional load. When people come to our house, they feel pampered. That is good!
Let’s see; two people at home, three meals a day, seven days a week is a total of 42 napkins or paper towels a week, nearly 200 a month. Unless it’s a really messy meal, we do use ours a couple meals. For really messy things, I do use about a roll of paper towels every two months, maybe fewer. There’s not much of anything in the house so awful that wiping it up with a cloth napkins and tossing it in the wash can’t be handled.
Grab Your Lunch
For all the reasons in “Breaking Your Fast,” you owe it to yourself to prepare a beautiful, delicious lunch for yourself every day. Here’s my secret. Big secret. When you prepare your evening meal, as long as you are going to all the trouble of doing all that prep work, planning, shopping, toting, cutting, cooking – always, always double or triple the recipe.
That way, since you already put in the effort to prepare something healthy and beautiful for dinner; you have a perfect lunch already ready! It’s like having a personal chef every day! Not really, but it’s sure easier than preparing dinner at night, then preparing lunch in the morning.
Grab that lunch, grab a real fork, a real napkin, toss it in a reusable cloth bag. As you head to work, you already know your day will be a healthy one, and you won’t be making poor decisions financially or health-wise based on hunger midday. Don’t forget a good book, so you can read a bit on break!
This vacation, I’m reading “Longitude” by Dava Sorvel. It’s a book about the man who solved the longitude problem by building the perfect timekeeper; a chronometer. If you like travel, and dislike being lost, this is a fun, fast read about the age of sail and exploration and the trouble finding dry land.
Brush Your Teeth – While You’re At It, Consider Upgrading All Your Personal Items
Much prettier than plastic; I like using a bamboo toothbrush. Sailing the Bahamas in my youth, even decades ago, I was always amazed at the frazzled plastic toothbrushes I saw lying on the beach. As a child, I wondered, “Who were all these people losing their toothbrushes overboard?”
Perhaps plastic was not so prevalent those days, because I don’t remember the heaps of plastic you see now. Back then, we would see toothbrushes, the odd “Zorie” – a brand of plastic flip flop, dish soap bottles, and marine debris. The marine debris was primarily fishing floats, or fiberglassed parts of boats that had wrecked.
Over the next few decades, the makeup of beach debris changed. I saw more deodorant bottles, more plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes, more engine oil bottles, and more soda bottles. Now the prevalence of plastic bags on the beach is staggering. But always, those toothbrushes.
Pick one personal hygiene product, and the next time you replace it, choose for it to not be plastic. You will feel so much more pampered when you see your attractive personal hygiene accessories when they are not plastic.
Wooden-handled makeup brushes, hair brushes, and fingernail scrub brushes – these look so pretty lying about, like items in a fancy spa.
When you step into your shower, are you surrounded by plastic, or by natural materials? You can replace your worn-out plastic pouf with a natural loofah, and how much prettier is that! Especially one you grew!
I’m telling you, you will feel so much more pampered when everything you touch is natural and renewable and “Earthy-looking.” Every time something reaches the end of its life, recycle it, and replace it with something beautiful to see and touch.
Our State Bird is the Mosquito…
As a Floridian, you might laugh at this, but I carry Stream2Sea sting relief in my makeup bag every day, and there’s one in my Reef Sentinel Kit. That’s why you see two above! My makeup bag is so very minimal that I pop it in my purse every morning. I carry tinted sunscreen, powder with mirror, brush kit with tweezers, one eye shadow color, nail file, mascara, lip balm, concealer stick, tiny fragrance vial, a nail file, a face wipe, and sting relief. That’s all.
I have sensitive skin. Ant bites make me swell, mosquito stings turn red, mango peel makes me break out, noseeums make me itch, raw fiberglass makes me scratch. Florida is full of things that bite, sting, and pinch.
My Stream2Sea sting relief is a constant companion. At least twice a week, I’m reaching for it, and it’s right there with all coral- and reef-safe ingredients, great for use on dry land or on the boat.
Sometimes, even with wearing sunscreen daily, the wind is so steady when I’m teaching sailing, that I am “wind-burnt” at the end of a long day, and the sting relief is so cooling and welcoming. In the morning, if I still feel a bit “stingy,” I use a small dot spread over my cheeks to relieve that “tight” feeling from the previous day’s exposure.
My Eco-Conscious Morning Routine
That’s my eco-conscious morning routine. While I wish there was more I could do to reduce my impact on our environment. I am being proactive, and I am taking steps to reduce my portion of damage to our planet.
Actually, I am eagerly looking forward to the next item in my house to fail and be replaced by something more luxurious and lovely and attractive. I want to bring more beauty into my life, and surround myself with natural items.
Lately, I’ve been reading the articles about Marie Kondo’s decluttering resulting in an increase in donations to thrift stores and bags of trash to the dump. I had already read her books, and I think it’s the next step that is important. After dealing with clutter; the recognition that you can do better; next is how do you proceed, and what do you do. Reduce, reuse, recycle, and refuse are becoming my motto.
What will you change about your morning routine? How will you pamper yourself and ease your impact on the environment? What choices will you make? What products will you select?
Please make sure all of your selections are reef-safe, biodegradable, coral-larvae safe, human safe, and recyclable! As a reward for your dedication to protecting our lovely planet, use my code, “KimW” at checkout to save 10% when you treat yourself to guilt-free sunscreen and the other personal products mentioned above.
About the Author
Kim Walther is a travel and lifestyle blogger, writer, photographer, and lover of anything outdoors. She’s a certified SCUBA diver, runner, cyclist, and teaches ASA sailing courses for St. Augustine Sailing. Follow her blog, Deep Water Happy to learn more about her adventures and discover tips and tricks you can use on your adventures.
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