Fall is a great time to transition your personal care products to nontoxic and sustainable items. This is because in the Fall and Winter, we spend more of our time indoors, and if we use toxic chemicals around our home we are reducing indoor air quality. We breath in and absorb toxics from personal care products into our skin. Not to mention, many traditional products leach these toxins into the environment as well. Time for a change!
1. Beterre Clarifying Cooling Toner
Toner is incredibly important during changing seasons. It helps repair the skin's acid mantle after washing and therefore helps balance oil production, calm the skin, and prevent acne. I love Beterre because their toner is cool and refreshing, which is great after a hot shower, and their brand is committed to completely safe, nontoxic ingredients. And, they walk the talk - If you purchase a 12 Beterre products in October – each representing a different month of the year because cancer happens 12 months a year – the company will donate 20% of net proceeds to The Cold Spring Harbor Research Laboratory. Cold Spring Harbor works to understand breast cancer growth, prevention, detection, and develop novel therapies.
2. Organic Bath Nourishing Night Balm
This is a wonder product for dry skin. Made locally in South Boston, the Night Balm combines vitamin E rich Organic Prickly Pear Seed Oil and de-puffing Green Coffee Oil in a base of ultra-moisturizing organic shea butter, organic mango butter, and organic jojoba oil. So not only does this sustainable product banish dry, flaky winter skin, it also heals and restores.
3. EO Coconut + Lemon Lotion
For the body, I'm loving Everyone Organics Coconut + Lemon lotion. I especially love the gigantic size of the bottle, because, let's be real, winters in Boston require a LOT of body lotion since we're constantly surrounded by dry, artificial heat and warm-but-itchy fabrics. EO utilizes some "safe synthetics" so I would not suggest this product for your face because it sits on top of skin and could potentially blog pores. But, this is great for legs and arms. Plus the essential oils create a delicious scent. And at $10.99, the price is unbeatable.
EWG: 2 (low hazard)
4. Thesis Beauty Face Serum
We've got Organic Bath's Nourish Night Balm for bedtime, but what about day? We can't leave skin unprotected during the day - especially in winter. I highly suggest Lullaby for Dry Skin by Thesis Beauty - it has macadamia nut oil which helps kill bacteria and prevent acne, while jojoba, argan, grapeseed and sunflower oils nourish. Apply this immediately after the Beterre toner as a makeup primer. This serum is also great for nighttime if your skin is too oily for the Nourish Night Balm. And bonus, Thesis Beauty is another local beauty brand, based in Somerville!
5. Follain Candle
Since it is important to mind indoor air quality in fall - take note of your candles. Are they made of paraffin? If so, toss 'em. Paraffin is derived from petroleum and we do not need to be breathing petroleum byproduct all winter. Instead, opt for safe, sustainable wax candles like the Follain candle made from carnauba, coconut, and GMO-free soy waxes. The scent is an amazing blend of Bulgarian lavender, bergamot, amyris, cedarwood, vanilla, and highland lavender. YUM!
6. True Moringa Nourishing Black Soap
African black soap is all the rage right now, and True Moringa's bar soap is one of the best. It is a soft lathering bar that deep cleans without drying your skin. It is great for both face and body and since it is a bar soap, it lasts forever. One bar, at just $9, will probably last you the whole season. Moringa oils are super nutritious, while tea tree oil helps prevent breakouts. True Moringa is one of my favorite local, sustainable brands because their products are paraben free, sulfate free, and vegan. True Moringa works directly with a network of 1600 smallholder farmers throughout Ghana, providing sustainable livelihoods through access to credit, agricultural training, nutrition programs, and fair wages.
Also on the theme of conscious capitalism is the Innovations and Impact in Sustainable Fashion, Supply Chains, and EcoCouture event on August 8.
Don't miss 2016 Cleantech Open NE Boston Business Clinic: Tell Your Story Day on August 10.
Join Net Impact Boston for their monthly Sustainability Breakfast on August 17.
Ladies! On the evening of July 12th, join the New England Women in Energy and the Environment for a panel discussion on "The Business of Getting to Clean Energy & Environment" featuring women from GE, National Grid, and PowerOptions.
Later in the month, join Net Impact's Boston Chapter for their monthly sustainability breakfast on July 20th from 7:30 am - 8:30 am. That night, join WELL Boston for their Book Club discussion of 10% Happier by Dan Harris at 6:30pm.
A GREEN HOTEL NEXT TO LAWN ON D
So many new buildings have gone up in Boston's Seaport District over the past five years that it is difficult to keep track. There are countless new restaurants, office buildings, luxury condos, and hotels. The area's development has been critiqued by climate scientists, noting the risks of building so much in an area vulnerable to sea level rise.
But, one particular new-to-Boston hotel is proving that it is possible to have an environmentally-friendly business in the Seaport! Element Hotel, located conveniently next to the Boston Convention Center and Lawn on D, is part of the Starwood Hotel family (Sheraton, Westin, W, Aloft...etc.)
WHAT MAKES IT GREEN?
- In addition to the standard hotel opt-out laundry programs, Element also greens their bathrooms with an efficient faucet and showerhead, nontoxic soaps and lotions, and bulk shampoo/conditioner/bodywash dispensers that reduce waste associated with travel size products.
- Each room features a kitchenette with Energy Star rated dishwasher, microwave, and refrigerator. Dishes allow residents to cook for themselves rather than ordering expensive, unhealthy, and wasteful takeout food.
- Rooms are cleaned with nontoxic products and waste is properly sorted through an extensive recycling program.
- The hotel is a two-minute walk from a bus station, making it easy to take public transit anywhere in the city. Hotel bikes are also available to borrow and electric vehicle charging stations can be found on-site.
- All Element hotels are built using green design principles guided and follow LEED models.
WHAT MAKES IT WORTH A STAY?
Ok, you chose this hotel because it is environmentally preferable, but that doesn't mean you need to give up luxury! While at Element Seaport, make sure to enjoy:
- Beautiful outdoor space between the indoor pool area and lobby area.
- Full on-site fitness center
- The signature Westin "heavenly bed."
- Happy hours nightly as part of Element's "Relax Evening Reception"
- Free breakfast (their breakfast sandwiches were on point!)
- Wifi throughout
- Open conference rooms and work stations
- Convenient location across from Lawn on D and Aloft hotel
Next time you have friends or family in town, make sure to suggest Element. And of course, when you're on the road and looking for a sustainable hotel option, see if Element has a location in the area. Choosing Element over other hotels is a great way to show execs that sustainability matters.
Boston is brimming with social entrepreneurs, passionate nonprofits, and environmental experts so it is no wonder that there are so many green events around town. Here, in the Green Events in Boston column, you'll find a short list of notable upcoming sustainability events. A more thorough listing of events can be found in the "event calendar." Even better, subscribe to the calendar (via Google) and never miss an event!
In the next week there is Boston Green Drinks, Energy Storage Policy, Technology and Opportunities, and WGBH BostonTalks Happy Hour: Urban Farming. Later this month, check out some of these larger workshops:
On May 21, the Sustainable Business Network is hosting their 27th annual Sustainability Leadership Summit. The event will take place at the Washburn Auditorium & Sherill Library - Lesley University, 89 Brattle Street , Cambridge, MA. Register now.
This year's Atlantic White Cedar Symposium will take place May 23-24 in Plymouth at Hotel 1620, 180 Water Street. The symposium will focus on effects of climate change across the geographic extent of AWC ecosystems. This triennial symposium brings together scientists, public and private natural resource managers, non-governmental organizations, regulators, consultants, educators, students, traditional- and non-traditional forest products industry. Sign up!