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8 Low-Commitment, Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions

We’re completely over having generic New Year’s resolutions that require massive lifestyle changes like eliminating gluten or saving $10,000 in a year.

In all honesty, we’re completely over having generic New Year’s resolutions that require massive lifestyle changes like eliminating gluten or saving $10,000 in a year.

It’s clear that when you start to make little, impactful changes, those big resolutions just seem to fall into place and act as the cherry on top of what our small, sustainable New Year’s resolutions initially were set out to be.

Our belief is that our aspirations shouldn’t be made to appease to strangers. They should be tailored to what truly makes us and the planet healthier. 

We know. We’re getting all woo-woo on you. 

But the fact is, when we take on a sustainable life, we buy less, eat less, need less, and use less, which ultimately reduces our stress and helps us be happier in our personal and professional relationships. 

It’s an undeniably positive snowball effect.

It’s true that we’re imperfect and that amount of food, plastics, time, money, and energy we’ve personally wasted is incalculable. But the simple, overall goal is to just try to be better. 

In an effort to help you take on a slow, impactful lifestyle, try to choose one or two of our 8 Low-Commitment, Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions to facilitate in making you a better you for the start of a new decade. 

1. Swap Out One Wasteful Item

Sustainable Lifestyle | BUHO
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Cotton swab abuser? Wet wipe junkie? Plastic bottle connoisseur?

We’re guilty of all three. Choose one and ditch it. 

Much like dieting, we can’t imagine giving up all of our favorite conveniences at once. It’s a sure-fire way to get overwhelmed and just give up your new resolution entirely. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with starting by taking out one wasteful item and working in the others at your own pace.

You could be well on your way to zero waste by 2021.

2. Choose One Local Company to Support

Sustainable Lifestyle | BUHO
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Much like choosing just one polluting product to part ways with, think of something you buy from a big box store regularly and see if you can find a local swap, like a bar of really good chocolate or fair-trade coffee.

We’ve gone on and on about why it’s important to shop local or B-Corp, but we also know that these items come at a much higher price. Try it out once a month and see how it makes you feel. If buying local works with your budget and schedule, you’re doing more for the planet than you realize.

3. Go Secondhand

Sustainable Lifestyle | Shop Secondhand New Years Resolutions | BUHO
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It just so happens that whenever we wear second-hand clothes, people tend to compliment our ‘fits more. Sure, it takes more time to sift through racks at your local thrift store or clothing exchange, but it’s also something that can easily be converted into a hobby or even a career with apps like DePop.

Oftentimes you get higher quality clothing for less than the price of new fast fashion. And who doesn’t like having the most unique wardrobe of their friends? Call us vein, but if we can look good while living sustainably, we’ll take it.

4. Buy Less

Sustainable Lifestyle | BUHO
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Hate shopping altogether?

Great. This is the easiest way to live sustainably all year long. Consumerism is overwhelming. There’s always that new thing we “need” to buy or huge sale we just can’t miss. 

Unless you absolutely need it, skip it or just simply see how long you can go without it. Baby steps.

5. Make One Store-bought Item at Home

Sustainable Lifestyle | BUHO
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If you’ve ever lived in a foreign country, you know that many of the conveniences you’re used to having at your fingertips aren’t easily accessible to you anymore. Some view this as a downside, but for us, it was an opportunity to try our hand at being the creators of what we love.

Shoot your shot at recreating your favorite snack, skincare product, or houseware item. You might even find that people love your version more, resulting in that side hustle you always dreamed of.

6. Be Mindful

Zero Waste Solutions | BUHO
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Much like buying less, this one’s free. 

Just simply be aware.

We say this a lot, and it’s undoubtedly easier said than done. But when you know what is wasteful and what isn’t, you’re a part of the solution.

Similarly to understanding the nutrition facts of your favorite IPA or baked goods, you can make a more educated decision as to how much you consume and the frequency in which you consume it.

Knowledge of brands, actions, and people who choose to partake in the sustainability movement helps you make better day-to-day decisions.

Start slow and incorporate more when you can.

7. Carpool, Walk, or Bike When You Can

Sustainable Lifestyle | BUHO
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Oh, how we miss living in a walkable and bike-friendly city. The amount we saved on gas and ride share’s helped us accumulate wealth without even trying.

We know this option isn’t convenient for everyone, but when you can carpool, walk, or bike your most common routes, you reap the benefits of an eco-friendly life, saved money, and health goals being met.

Three birds, one stone.

8. Say No

Sustainable Lifestyle | BUHO
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We had the privilege of hearing Arianna Huffington speak at the 2018 #GIRLBOSS Rally in Brooklyn. 

If there’s anything we took from that busy day, it was when she said, “‘No.’ is a complete sentence.”

Let 2020 be your opportunity to refuse stuff. Whether it be plans you don’t really want to attend, a receipt you’re just going to toss in the trash, or extra food you might not necessarily need to consume. 

Permitting yourself to refuse is a subtle form of both self-care and activism, two things you’ve likely been looking to incorporate into your routine. 

Take Things Slow

Sustainable Lifestyle | BUHO
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We really can’t imagine trying to take on more than one or two of these, so move slow. Maybe your sustainable New Year’s Resolution could even be to try one resolution a month. But in a culture of fast food, fast fashion, and fast cars, be the one who takes their time and does things right.

Which of these Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions have you tried? Which would you recommend to a friend or family member who’s got a problem with waste?

Let us know in the comments below. Happy Holidays, Slacktivists. See you in 2020.

What Does “Sustainability” in Fashion Really Mean?

BUHO’s entire mission is to highlight and endorse sustainable and ethically-made clothing and homewares. But what exactly does this mean?

Terms such as sustainable, eco, green, ethical, and conscious are currently tossed around with abandon, but in reality, they’re so much more than just another millennial buzzword.

The dictionary definition of “sustainability” in terms of Environmental Science is:

“the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.”

This means finding a way to meet the needs of now without compromising the needs of the future.

Even the smallest behavioral changes, when applied to resources, can affect massive change in the long-term. According to ecofabulous, if every office worker in the UK substituted a paper clip for a single staple every day, 120 tons of steel would be saved in just one year! There are endless examples of how replacing a single-use item with a reusable one can lessen our dependence on our planet’s dwindling natural resources.

So, how does this apply to fashion?

Eco ethics combined with social justice are the twin cornerstones of sustainable fashion (also known as “eco fashion”).

This means instead of merely replacing one fabric with another, the idea is to renovate the fashion economy from within. Rethinking and re-engaging not just from what clothing is made, but equally importantly, how and by whom it is made. Especially since the advent of fast fashion (but really since the advent of the industrial revolution), the clothing industry has been a longtime employer of unsavory practices that trend from low wages to horrible and unsafe working conditions.

Can Fashion Be Sustainable?

Materials

Some ways in which changes are being applied to the fashion industry include emphasizing the importance of using GOTS-certified materials (Global Organic Textile Standard). This means the textile products must contain a minimum of 70% organic fibers and have a functional waste water treatment plant for any wet-processing units. 25% of the world’s pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton, which harms both the environment and human health. Despite the major uptick in organic cotton clothing, organic cotton remains only 1% of global cotton production.

Other textiles key to the sustainable fashion movement include those made of bamboo (fast-growing, with no need for pesticides), hemp, soy, kombucha(!), which creates a leather-like fabric, and naturally-colored cotton.

Reusability

Less than 20% of clothing is recycled or reused – the rest wind up in landfills or are incinerated. The vintage clothing movement is a commitment to the anti-waste sensibility that is the touchstone of the sustainable fashion movement, which is why Buho champions its vintage section. Clothing that tells a story, has a past, and has next-to-zero impact on the environment? Yes, please.

Zero-Waste and Reducing Toxicity

Some other ways that fashion is making a commitment to sustainability is through zero-waste patterning (where there is no leftover fabric once a pattern is cut to be created for clothing) and 3-D seamless knitting, which eliminates both waste and labor. DryDye (also known as ColorDry) is a toxicity-reducing method of dyeing clothing, which uses scCO2 dyeing (super critical carbon dioxide), which uses 100% of the dyes and reduces energy by 60% vs. traditional dyeing.

Ethical Labor Practices

And of course, fair trade and fair labor practices are another and equally crucial aspect of the sustainability movement in fashion. Knowing not just what environmental practices led to the creation of your clothing but also knowing that these products were created by people paid fair, living wages and given healthy working conditions is a major factor in the sustainable fashion movement.

The 2019 UK Parliament Environment Audit Committee published a report on the future of fashion sustainability, remarking that:

“Shifting business practice in this way [offering rental schemes, lifetime repair and providing the consumer with more information about the sourcing and true cost of clothing] can not only improve a business’s environmental and social impact but also offer market advantage as they respond to the growing consumer demand for responsible, sustainable clothing.”

Sustainable Gifts for Everyone on Your List This Holiday Season

Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

Congratulations! You’ve decided to have an eco-friendly holiday this year. But what on earth does that even mean? And how can you honor the earth and everyone on your list?

If you’re new to BUHO, you might not know that every item on our site is either vegan, ethically made, fair-trade, vintage, locally-made in L.A. sustainable, or a combination. We’ve vetted each brand so that instead of embarking on a research project on sustainability, you can focus on finding the perfect gifts.

Before we get to the BUHO gems that will have everyone on your list remembering this holiday season for years to come, we have some tips that will help save your sanity. After all, a sustainable Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Winter Solstice celebration means more that just choosing to give consciously. It means taking care of yourself, too.

1. Make Your List and Check Yourself Twice

Gather your journal and pen, open Google Docs or Evernote, and let’s get real.

Take a few moments to reflect on your childhood holiday experiences. Ask yourself which traditions are essential and jot those down. Then decide what you’d be comfortable letting go of or modifying.

Now, write down every person you can think of — from your husband or girlfriend to the person who delivers your mail. Once you have list, ask yourself if this person would feel hurt if you didn’t buy them a present this year. If they’re always giving you things, gifts are likely one of their love languages, and you should put as much thought into picking their gift as they do into picking yours. But some of your loved ones might enjoy other things more than getting a package under the tree. After you’ve identified them, write down a few ideas of things they would like. For example, maybe your mom would rather have you host Christmas dinner at your house than another pair of earrings.

Next, put asterisks near the people that you could take off your list. Does your second cousin’s dog really need an elf sweater? By all means, if you want to buy Tilda another outfit, go for it. But if all these names are starting to freak you out, it’s time to minimize.

2. Ditch the Pressure

Breathe in this simple truth: You don’t have to do anything, even if you’ve done it for years. You’ve decided to make this holiday sustainable, and stress isn’t. Jot down everything you can think of that would make the season more pleasant. Would you prefer to stay far away from the stores and do all your shopping online? Skip your work party this year? Be honest about what would make the the rest of November and December — well — joyful!

3. Respect Your Budget

Yes, we know. Generosity knows no price. But if getting your credit card bill in January almost gives you a heart attack every year, it’s time to dial it back. Given the number of people you would like to buy gifts for, how much can you spend on each? Write that number next to each person’s name and stick to it. Debt isn’t sustainable. (To learn more about Klarna, which allows you to pay in interest-free installments on our site, click here.)  

Remember: Memorable doesn’t have to cost much or even anything. If your budget is less ample than you’d like, consider making things for the people you love. Into plants? Take cuttings from your favorites! Enjoy baking? Perhaps some pastries are in order. Do what you love, and give it away. It’s our favorite way to a sustainable holiday.

Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Without further ado, here are some eco-friendly options for everyone on your list. Whether you’ve got a budget of $10 or $500, these BUHO favorites are sure to bring smiles to your loved ones’ faces. Happy shopping!

The Wonderful Women in Your Life:

When showing appreciation for a special woman, consider what’s important to her. Think about her interests, passions, dreams, and goals. Shop accordingly.

For the woman who carries her laptop everywhere:

Matt & Nat July Backpack | Vegan Leather | BUHO

 July Backpack ($155)

For the woman who loves a layered necklace:

Dear Survivor Arc Necklace | Sustainable Jewelry | BUHO

Arc Necklace $48

and/or

Paradigm Wavy Coin Necklace | Ethically Made Jewelry | BUHO

Wavy Coin Necklace $124 

For the lady who likes to be in nature, even when the weather is less than friendly: 

Matt & Nat Chelz Rain Boot BUHO

Chelz Rain Boots $125

For the athlete:

MATE the label Classic Jogger | Sustainable Fashion | BUHO

MATE Classic Jogger $128 

When she’s just a little sexier than everyone else in the room: 

We are HAH Spinster Bodysuit | Sustainable Fashion | BUHO

Spinster Bodysuit $98

For the fashionista: 

Kurt Lyle Willa Coat | BUHO

Willa Coat $490

LF Markey Danny Longsleeve Boilersuit | BUHO

Danny Longsleeve Boilersuit $243

Baggu Fanny Pack | BUHO

Baggu Fanny Pack $48

MATT & NAT NEIL Belt | Vegan Leather | BUHO

NEIL Belt $40 

For the plant lady: 

Speckle Hanging Air Plant Cradle | Eco-friendly home decor | BUHO

Small Speckle Buff Hanging Air Plant Cradle $28  / Add an air plant. Air Plant Supply Co. gives $1 from every order to Pencils of Promise.

Because you always admire her earrings: 

Dear Survivor Mocu Earrings | Ethical & Sustainable Jewelry | BUHO

Mocu Earrings $42 

When she loves a vintage find: 

Vintage Clothing | BUHO

Any item from the vintage collection 

For the classic gal who loves to get cozy: 

Handmade Alpaca Blankets | BUHO

The Cordoba Blanket $228

This gal always sets the mood with a scent:

P.F. Candle Co Sandalwood Rose | Soy Candles | BUHO

P.F. Candle in Sandalwood and Rose $18

and/or

P.F. Candle Co Room Spray Golden Coast | BUHO

P.F. Candle Golden Coast Room Spray $10 

When you’re her Secret Santa:

Tara Silver Ring | Rover & Kin | BUHO

 Tara Silver Ring $14

or

Two Tone Earrings | Sustainable Jewelry | BUHO

Two Tone Earrings $20

The Marvelous Men in Your Life:

Show that amazing man you care by picking a thoughtful gift that he’ll love for years to come.

If you don’t buy him a new wallet, who will? 

Bed Stu Chuck Wallet | BUHO

Chuck Wallet $35

When he cares about his skin more than you care about yours: 

Hudson Made Morning Shift | BUHO

Morning Shift Soap $18

and/or

Hudson Made Morning Shift | BUHO

Morning Shift Hydrating Facial Mist $28 

When he only wears tee shirts and jeans: 

Taylor Stitch Heavy Bag Tee | BUHO

Heavy Bag Tee $45

and/or

Raleigh Denim Original Raw Denim | BUHO

Graham Original Raw Selvage $325

Because he’d die for fashion:

La Paz Amaral Vest | BUHO

Amaral Vest $192

When he loves a good boot: 

Nisolo Andres All Weather Boot | BUHO

Andres All Weather Boot $288

For the man who needs a closet for his sneaker collection:  

Bed Stu Liquid High Top | BUHO

Liquid High Top $185

When he’s a classic man: 

La Paz Novo Sweater | BUHO

Novo Sweater $190 

Because his beard is a work of art: 

Hudson Made Beard Oil | BUHO

Juniper Myrrh Beard & Shave Oil $28

For the world-traveler: 

Hudson Made Dopp Kit | BUHO

Cotton Twill Dopp Kit $78 

When he only shops at thrift stores: 

Vintage Clothes for Men | BUHO

Any item from the vintage collection 

When you’re his Secret Santa: 

Thrills Beanie | BUHO

Palm Warf Beanie $27

or

PF Candle Co Desert Sunset Soy Candle

Desert Sunset Soy Candle $25

Toddlers, Tweens, and Teens

Teach the younger generation about sustainability by giving them a beautiful outfit or toy that’s fit to be an heirloom.

For the little ones: 

Hazel Village Annicke Mouse | BUHO | Handmade Toys

Annicke Mouse $68

or

Hazel Village Max Raccoon | BUHO | Handmade Toys

Max Raccoon $54 

For the older ones: 

Hudson Bleeker Preto Globetrotter Jewelry Case | BUHO

Globetrotter Jewelry Case $36  

Paradigm Shine Bright Necklace | BUHO

Shine Bright Necklace $92 

MATE the label Sleep Tank & Sleep Shorts | BUHO

MATE Sleep Tank and Sleep Short Set $99.60 

Arbor Good Times Beanie | BUHO

Goodtimes Beanie $25

Vintage Kids Clothes | BUHO

Vintage Cobra Racing Jacket $68 

Listen to our founder & CEO on PodBean podcast

Maria Casey is the CEO and Founder of BUHO, the first sustainable e-commerce hub offering ethical, sustainable and vintage products for women, men, kids and home. She is a fascinating woman and a great storyteller. We swiftly move in the pod from starting a business at Miami to entering the peace corps in Bangladesh. We then jump to her time as a bartender in New York and how that job changed her life and business career. It’s a can’t miss episode (Maria is also the only person who has ever told me how working at Bagel n Deli helped shape how she thinks about business and puts it into practice).

How to Create a Sustainable Thanksgiving Feast

Show Your Gratitude for the Earth and All Its Creatures

In the modern era, the holidays are as much about waste as they are about celebration. Between Thanksgiving and New Years, we generate 25% more trash than we do during the rest of the year. That’s an extra 1 million tons per week. For reference, Boeing 757 aircraft weigh 100 tons each, and every season, we create the trash equivalent of 250 thousand of them. 

Much of that waste comes from food. Each Thanksgiving, we throw away 204 million pounds of turkey. According to the National Resources Defence Council (NRDC), raising them required as much water as New Yorkers use in 100 days. And the emissions waste? Enough to drive across country 800 thousand times.

Luckily, it only takes a few minor adjustments to make your celebration as earth-friendly as it is delicious, and BUHO has you covered. Read on to get our top 10 tips for a sustainable Thanksgiving feast.

1. Just Say No to Disposables

 We know, doing dishes is not the most riveting activity in the world. And who has enough flatware or plates for 20 people? Here are a few ways to overcome these obstacles. 

You could visit your local thrift store and purchase what you need for your celebration. You won’t spend much. If used plates and forks make you cringe, call on your community. Ask every guest to bring a place setting (and serving utensils if it’s a potluck). Tell them you’re giving thanks to the earth by watching your waste! Unfortunately, you’ll have to have to suck it up and do the dishes. Your dishwasher uses less water and energy than handwashing, so at least you can feel good about that! 

If neither of those options sounds appealing, choose compostable disposables. Visit Leafware or Susty Party for chic pieces that will help you create the Pinterest-worthy table you’ve been dreaming about. Just make sure you purchase items that you can compost in your home bin or city’s collection program. Food-contaminated items (think pizza boxes) can’t be recycled. And don’t forget the reusable linens

2. Buy and Make Less Food

Here’s a tip that’s as friendly to your wallet as it is to the earth. Remember those food waste statistics from earlier? They don’t just apply to turkeys. Visualize your refrigerator a week after Thanksgiving. Can you see the moldy green beans and funny film covering the mashed potatoes? If you buy less, you’ll waste less — it’s simple math. 

Due to our generosity and desire to give people a fantastic time, we often make more food than necessary. One way you can solve this problem is to take one or two people out of your food equation. If you’re having 15 people, cook for 13. Assume everyone will eat less than you think because they probably will. Order a smaller turkey and serve smaller portions. Your guests’ waistlines will be grateful, too! 

3. Buy Locally-Grown Produce and Create a Seasonal Menu

Yes, being a locavore is ambitious and not possible for everyone. However, with a little effort, you can add more locally-grown foods to your Thanksgiving spread. Visit a farmers’ market, or if you have a co-op near you, make a pilgrimage. They tend to have local foods on their shelves, and you’ll be able to stock up on fruits, veggies, and possibly even a heritage turkey. 

Another option is to support your local CSA. CSAs sell what’s in season, but you’ll know what’s coming ahead of time. Perhaps your box will serve as inspiration for a highly curated seasonal menu that your guests will never forget. Although not a CSA, Imperfect Foods collects food waste, and you can customize your order, which makes menu planning easier. Just remember to order a larger box so that you have enough!

If none of these options is on the table, do your best. It’s ok to start small — small changes add up to big differences.

4. Give Your Leftovers Away

Share the beautiful bounty you’re bound to have in spite of your best efforts. If you want to give guests a memento that they can reuse, create mason jar party favors. You layer these just like mason jar salad — put sauces and veggies on the bottom and then arrange the rest of your meal in a pleasing way.
If you don’t have extra mason jars laying around and don’t want to buy any, ask your friends and family to bring containers and allow them to fill up to their hearts’ content. Or, you could share your leftovers with people who don’t have a home. Contact your local shelter or go on a post-feast drive and provide warm meals to people in need.

5. Stay Close to Home

This one can be hard. If you live far away from your family, you’ll want to see them. But it’s still true that one of the most significant things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to fly less. If you do choose to travel, make your trip eco-friendly. We’ve rounded up some tips for you here

6. Buy a Local, Humanely Raised Turkey or Go Vegan

The good news is that you don’t have to give up turkey to support a more humane, sustainable food system. You’ll just have to do a little more legwork and patronize companies who care about animal welfare. Check out Heritage FoodsMary’s Turkeys, and U.S. Wellness Meats. And look for the Certified Humane label — just because a brand claims to treat their animals humanely doesn’t mean that they do. 

If you want to learn more about what you can do to help farm animals, visit Farm Forward. Their work helped create tier-5 and tier-5+ for turkeys at the Global Animal Partnership, which are the strictest in the world. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can always go vegan this Thanksgiving. Upwards of 46 million turkeys are slaughtered each year on Thanksgiving, and most of those didn’t live in tier-5 conditions. Why not create a new tradition and adopt a turkey at the Farm Sanctuary? For $35, you can sponsor a former factory farm animal’s new lease on life.  

7. Skip the Plastic

Yes, plastic is everywhere. But it doesn’t have to be a part of your Thanksgiving celebration. You’ve already ditched plastic plates and cutlery — now it’s time to get all the plastic out of your kitchen and off your table. Start by chucking the disposable water bottles. Use a water filter and offer your guests water in glasses or compostables. You could also serve water in a carafe with cut up lemons and pomegranates for a refreshing fall treat. Next on the chopping block is plastic wrap and plastic bags. Give those the boot and choose sustainable options such as beeswax wrapreusable silicone bags, mason jars, and wax paper. 

9. Choose Local, Sustainable Spirits

It seems like craft beer is everywhere these days, so if you’re a beer drinker, you won’t have a hard time finding a local gem that could end up being your new favorite. Depending on where you live, however, the other spirits could be hard to find. Source your alcohol as close to home as possible, and support companies with sustainable practices. 

If you like wine, check out Wine Country’s 2018 round-up of sustainable U.S. wineries or look for Certified Sustainable wines. As far as the harder libations are concerned — go organic and look for craft distilleries near your city or town. 

10. Create a New Ritual for Giving Back

Despite Thanksgiving’s suspicious origin story, it has turned into a holiday centered on gratitude. And what better way to give thanks for your belly full of expensive, heritage turkey and organic cranberry sauce than to feed the less fortunate? Gather your friends and family and go out there and make a difference. Whether you want to donate to your favorite charity, create a sock and blanket drive, feed the homeless, or help out at a battered women’s shelter, give your gratitude some weight. 

However you choose to celebrate the holiday, we wish you a delicious, loving Thanksgiving!

What Exactly Makes BUHO Sustainable

Maybe you found your way here because you heard that BUHO is a site for sustainably-minded fashion-lovers. Or maybe you found us because you’re really trying to commit to a new zero-waste lifestyle. Our commitment to an eco-conscious approach to fashion is evident, but we thought we’d do a primer on precisely what practices we use to make sure BUHO is the first truly sustainable fashion platform.

Because we’re not just a site of buzz-words. We’re serious about sustainability. Here’s how.

Sustainable How?

Each item on BUHO’s platform is one or (usually) more of the following, which are illustrated by symbols to make it easier to shop by what values are most important to you:

  • Handmade
  • Fair Trade
  • Vegan
  • Vintage
  • Locally Made
  • Ethically Made
  • Sustainability (natural plant dyes, certified organic cottons, etc.).

To shop by Vegan for example,  select the “Vegan” icon and  you’ll have access to all of the certified vegan clothing and homewares available on our site.

We spent weeks of diligent research to make sure each manufacturer we have on our site pays fair wages to their employees and uses natural (read: non-synthetic, non-toxic) materials. Shopping sustainably takes a lot of research, so we did all of the work for you. Tada! A trusted shopping experience where you can rest assured knowing that what you’re buying isn’t contributing to climate change.

Recycle, Reward, Repeat

Maybe you’re purging your closet to make room for stuff you really love, or maybe you’re getting rid of clothing that no longer fits. Instead of throwing these items away (less than 1% of clothing is recycled), give them a new life as a charitable gift or upcycled via a textile program via our donation program.

Environmental engineer measuring air pollution on the municipal landfill.

Our Recycle, Reward, and Repeat initiative is like a philanthropic, no-waste carousel of clothing. When we ship your purchase to you, we include a pre-paid return label for you to re-pack the compostable packaging and send your unwanted clothing back to us to upcycle, recycle, or donate. As an added bonus, you get a $10 off code for your next $50 purchase.

Packaging

All our packaging is entirely compostable. We’ve partnered with A Better Packaging Co to offer our consumers home compostable packaging solutions. Everything from the comPost packs, labels and ink can go straight into a compost bin.

BUHO also exclusively uses carbon neutral shipping partners. What does that mean? All of the carbon used to deliver your order is offset by environmental groups who are dedicated to removing that carbon from the atmosphere.

For those fragile items that won’t fit in a compostable bag, we use foam that disintegrates under water and pack it in recycled cardboard boxes. So not only can you rest assured you’re buying things that are good for the planet, you also don’t have to worry about your purchase contributing to another pile of Styrofoam packing peanuts in a landfill.

Tags

One other (rather delightful) element? Our clothing tags are plantable seed tags. Remove from clothing, place in your garden, water, and the following season you’ll have some wildflowers, thanks to your favorite new jumpsuit.

Vintage

Vintage clothing is a crucial corner of where fashion meets sustainability. We’ll always need new clothing (especially undergarments), but wearing and recycling vintage clothing is paramount to the values of a sustainable engagement with fashion.

Vintage Clothing

Luckily, there’s nothing like the singular aspect to a vintage item – oft imitated, never duplicated. What is more special than being the unique keeper of a vintage item? Well-made and sturdy enough pieces that have lasted the test of time and wear. Not to mention the never-ending cycle of trends. The good stuff always comes back again. For these reasons (and our love for vintage hunting), our vintage department was always core to our business from the start. We’ll continue to add more brands and expand our reach, so let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll help you find it. Be on the lookout for weekly new arrivals and vintage drops as well.

Five Things You Can Do Today to Change the Course of the Climate Crisis

Make an impact on the climate crisis by choosing resusables, turning down the AC, driving less, eating less meat, and saying no to fast fashion.

When 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg learned about the climate crisis, she stopped eating, talking, and going to school. Her argument was and still is that school is pointless when there might be no future to study for. She even became vegan and refused to travel by plane. Now she speaks only when necessary, like while addressing the UN and TED.

Most of us aren’t ready to become vegan or completely give up air travel. But we can make simple changes that will minimize our carbon footprints. As Greta so eloquently put it when she addressed the European Parliament in April 2019:

“It is still not too late to act. It will take a far-reaching vision, it will take courage, it will take fierce, fierce determination to act now, to lay the foundations where we may not know all the details about how to shape the ceiling. In other words, it will take cathedral thinking. I ask you to please wake up and make changes required possible.” 

Greta Thunberg

If you’d like to heed Greta’s call, read on to learn about five practices that have the power to help change the course of history.

1. Choose Reusables Over Single-Use Plastics

Now that China has stopped importing our recycling, it’s more important than ever to go zero waste when you order a latte from your favorite coffee shop or a bowl of pho from that killer Vietnamese place. The reason? Many communities in the US can no longer afford to recycle, so your disposable water bottle is likely to end up in a landfill or as a toxic compound in the air.

But as you know, life gets hectic. Our commitments often have us running out of the door underslept, underfed, and dehydrated, which means we depend on modern conveniences. There’s nothing inherently wrong about this. It’s terrific to have the option to care for ourselves when we haven’t had adequate time to prepare.

Luckily, it only takes a few simple purchases and changes of habit to stay green while we’re caring for our children and creating our empires. First, if you don’t already have one, get yourself a cute pouch. Then fill it with a reusable straw, a tumbler or water bottle, a coffee mug, and stainless steel or glass containers for any food you may purchase. (If you’re a minimalist, this blog by Going Zero Waste will show you how to get by with just a 16 oz mason jar and a cloth napkin.)

But let’s face it. We sometimes fail, even when we have the best intentions—especially when we’re establishing new habits. Since you’re bound to forget your reusables at least once, commit to making different choices. Choose water packaged in glass rather than plastic, allow yourself extra time to eat at a restaurant instead of taking food to-go, and forego that plastic straw. The only straw I want on my beach is  my straw hat, thanks very much! 

2. Turn down the Temperature This Winter

Don’t worry—you’ll still be way hotter than room temp! This isn’t a suggestion that you suffer through the colder months. It’s just a suggestion to limit your usage when you’re not home. Grab a blanket and slippers!

The US Department of Energy recommends bumping your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees when you’re on your way out for the day. If you have an automatic thermostat, you can program the temperature settings so that the only thing you’ll notice is your electricity bill getting smaller.

And as we shift into spring, keep in mind that air conditioning and electric fans make up about 20 percent of the total electricity used in buildings around the world, and up to 70 percent in hotter climates, this small change can make a big impact.

3. Drive Less

This is a difficult one for me. I live in Austin, TX, a place that is not only designed around the auto, it’s also 100 degrees with high humidity for many months at a time. But since a typical car creates 4.6 metric tons of CO2 every year, what kind of excuse is that? (See what one ton of CO2 looks like). We all must reduce our dependence on driving by walking, biking, carpooling, and using public transit. In fact, 20 percent of emissions reductions need to come from the transportation sector. 

If you live in a walkable or bikeable city, you will have an easier time of this. Surprisingly, BUHO’s hometown, Los Angeles, now has a walk score of 67.4, so when Angelenos aren’t sitting in traffic on the 405, they can explore the city on foot. 

If you do have to drive, make sure to optimize your auto for the commute. A few small changes—checking your road rage, driving the speed limit, carpooling when possible, and not using your trunk to hide the fact that although your life is magical, it’s not actually tidy—will lighten your carbon footprint.

4. Eat Less Meat

Although it can potentially help slim expanding waistlines, the increasing appetite for meat worldwide isn’t doing our climate any favors. Food production creates somewhere between 19-29 percent of global emissions. Soon, we’ll be able to grow meat in labs, but until then, the sad truth (if you’re as much of a bacon and BBQ lover as I am) is that if we want to make an impact on climate change, we must eat less meat

A vegan creates 6.37 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per day, while a heavily carnivorous person creates 15.85 pounds. Not everyone is able to be a successful vegan, and if you’re one of those, start where you can. Transition to a less meat-heavy diet. If you eat meat three times a day, start with one vegetarian meal a week or if you’re ambitious, one per day, and go from there. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this vegan meal planner.

5. Say No To Fast Fashion

Or better yet, curate a sustainable wardrobe full of items you love. I love clothes, but the truth is, most unwanted pieces end up in landfills. Global production now exceeds 100 billion garments a year, and is expected to increase 63 percent by 2030. It’s up to us to create trends based on sustainability and ethical business practices. Fortunately, fashion houses are creating incredible threads that don’t come with high environmental and human costs and BUHO has curated 100s of those brands to make it easy for you. We can be fashionable and sustainable—it’s just about changing our habits.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the climate crisis. But why not sow hope through fierce action, as Greta suggests? Although the statistics are grim, and governments are slow to act, massive technological developments on the horizon will allow us to colonize the moon and create artificial photosynthesis. When we filter eco-friendly practices into our lives, we impact the economy. When there’s enough demand, government and industry will make the sweeping changes we’re all counting on.

Fall Reading Essentials

Here are some newly-released books to consider for curling up with under a weighted blanket and a mug o’ matcha.

Fall is upon us. The leaves are changing and the hot summer mornings are noticeably cooler. We never really grow out of the fall / back to school ethos. There truly is a lifelong lifestyle shift that happens at summer’s chapter’s end. The days grow a bit shorter, the nights grow a bit cooler, and the urge to delve into the words and lives of others outweigh the hedonistic, well, narcissism of summer. 

Here are some newly-released books to consider for curling up with under a weighted blanket and a mug o’ matcha. Keep in mind, there’s nothing more sustainable than a library card, but if you’re a book collector, we encourage buying from your local bookseller. If that’s too much, we included Amazon links, just please pass the books along when you’re done.

A Bright Future By Joshua S. Goldstein and Staffan A. Qvist

How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow

Many countries have already replaced or committed to replacing fossil fuels with low-carbon energy sources. If the rest of humanity committed to this, climate change could seriously be slowed or halted, if not reversed. These two authors tackle how these forward-thinking countires managed to convert to clean energy, and lay a blueprint for how the rest of the planet can follow suit. 

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Fall ’19 is Sequel City! Two major sequels are being released this fall: Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, which is a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, and the sequel to Call Me By Your Name. The Testaments begins 15 years after The Handmaid’s Tale ended. Atwood announced that The Testaments is an answer to nearly everything she’s been asked about Gilead and its inner workings, as well as a response to the world we’re now living in. Blessèd be the published fruit. 

Find Me by André Aciman

The sequel to Call Me By Your Name is separated into three sections: Elio’s father, Elio in his 20s, and middle-aged Oliver. Swoon. Or should we say, *svenire*? An even nicer modern touch? Michael Stuhlbarg, the actor who portrayed Elio’s professor father in the film, narrates the audiobook. 

101 Ways to Go Zero Waste by Kathryn Kellogg

A sustainable lifestyle Bible, this book gives handy, doable, DIY-able tips for going zero waste on everything from beauty products to fashion, home goods to the office. This book is perfect for the zero waste novice as well as those who are further along on their journey to limiting their own environmental impact. Kellogg has an accompanying blog at www.goingzerowaste.com

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

A New York Times bestseller, this staggeringly un-put-down-able book is a work of nonfiction mastery. Taddeo spent 8 years criss-crossing the United States, covering the marital, sexual, and desirous lives of three “ordinary” women, and in doing so, sheds powerful light on the female sex drive. 

Know My Name by Chanel Miller

From the author of the then-anonymous essay published by Buzzfeed about being sexually assaulted by Brock Turner comes this memoir by Chanel Miller. Considering how beautifully and powerfully written her essay was for Buzzfeed, this is sure to be an engrossing, chilling piece. 

The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West

It’ll be tough to wait til November 5 for the release date of the Shrill author’s new essay collection, but luckily all the above should keep you busy ‘til then. Rape culture and toxic masculinity are taken to task in this fantastic, witty, sharp new collection. 

Little Weirds by Jenny Slate

You met her on SNL or via Marcel the Shell, you fell in love with her on the Kroll Show or Parks & Rec or in her marvelous turn in Obvious Child, and now you get to curl up with her brain via her first published work, a collection of essays, vignettes, and various delightful oddities. 

Sustainable Clothing Care

How to Look After Your Wools, Organic Cotton, Linen, and More

How to Look After Your Wools, Organic Cotton, Linen, and More

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably on a path toward a gorgeous, sustainable closet.

But now that your closet is filling up with earth-friendly pieces that can be mixed and matched, you might find yourself not knowing how to keep them looking their best. Sure, your mom taught you how to keep your white cottons white, but what about more unfamiliar sustainable fabrics like silk and bamboo?

Part of what makes clothing sustainable is the length of time that you keep it. So if you want the collection you’re curating now to look incredible five years from now, read on. We’ve collected some tried-and-true clothing care tips that will help your wardrobe last a lifetime.

Wool

When it’s cold outside, or you need something breathable, choose wool. Why? One word: Cashmere, of course. Because what self-respecting fashionista doesn’t have at least one piece of cashmere in her collection?

But beyond that, wool is both sustainable and warm and only takes a year to decompose! And Merino wool makes wonderful high-performance sports apparel, so consider that instead of polyester when you choose your next pair of yoga pants.

However, wool is not known for is its durability. When caring for it, remember that its hair. Just like your lovely locks, the main thing is to remember to handle with care: It’s protein, and it’s delicate. Spend as much energy choosing your soap as you do your dry shampoo, and make sure the formulation will work for wool.

You’ll need to either hand wash your items or put them in a laundry bag on the gentle cycle. And no dryer—that spells shrinkage and will make your garment wear out faster! Either shape your wool and lay it out to dry or hang-dry the pieces that won’t stretch.

If your wool crinkles after drying, use a steamer rather than an iron. When you do need to iron, use the wool setting, spritz with water, and put a clean cloth between the iron and the garment.

Your piece will probably get stained over its long life. If that happens, first read the care label. Then blot the stain, pre-treat it with a non-bio based soap, pat it dry, and wash it as usual.

Organic Cotton

The great thing about cotton is that it’s one of the most durable fabrics in existence, so it doesn’t require much extra consideration beyond separating the lights and darks. As a general rule, cotton should be washed in cold or warm water and dried with medium heat. The sun is the most eco-friendly way to dry your items, but keep in mind that cotton is easily misshapen, so save the clothesline for your crisp cotton twills.

One thing you won’t ever want to do is use fabric softener, which can dull the color. And remember: Some cotton garments do need dry cleaning, so you’ll want to pay attention to the care labels.

Linen

What’s better than slipping into your linen kimono after a bath or when you need something to wear over your yoga pants? Linen is one of those timeless textiles that’s elegant, hardy, and low maintenance. Some pieces have special care requirements, but in a pinch, you can be pretty careless with linen. To make your linens last longer, wash them in cold water on a delicate cycle or by hand and air dry.

Linen stains easily, so when that happens, act fast before it sets. If the stain dries, you may have to get it dry cleaned, which is not ideal and can ruin your garment. Shake off liquids, scrape off solids, and work from the outside in, using a towel and water. Use a chemical stain remover, then soak in hot water mixed with another removal agent.

Hemp

Once for the crunchy set, hemp is now having a resurgence due to marijuana’s legalization throughout the United States. Hemp has been cultivated as a textile for thousands of years and takes minimal water to grow. This sustainable crop can even improve soil health.

With three times the strength of cotton, this hardy fabric is durable and easy to care for. You can wash it in the machine on cold and dry it in the dryer on medium whenever you’re pressed for time. When machine drying, remove your pieces while they’re still damp.

But if you want hemp to last, hand wash it in cold water and make sure to rinse it thoroughly because soap in the fibers can create marks. And remember, air drying is best.

Bamboo 

Bamboo is a fast growing, super sustainable crop that also happens to make the softest fabric. Luckily, it’s super easy to care for—wash it in cold water and dry it on medium. Be sure to double check your care labels because some of the more structured shapes will need dry cleaning.

Hand wash your bamboo knits so that they don’t stretch out and make sure to shape them if you choose to air dry. When it comes to stain removal, just make sure to stay away from chlorine bleach and hot water.

Silk

Silk is a luscious, sustainable option. Although most silk production kills the worms that create it, there is such a thing as ethical silk, which is made by allowing the worm to leave the cocoon before the silk is extracted.

Caring for silk is easy—all you need is a mild soap and some water. Sure, some silk should be dry cleaned, but most of it can be hand washed in cold water. Plus it dries fast, which makes it a great fabric to travel light with. Rinse well and gently press the water out of the garment before either laying flat to dry or hanging.

Stain removal can be challenging, however. First, absorb the stain with baking soda or another absorbent powder. Let it sit for a few hours. If the stain is persistent, it’ll still be there when you dust off the powder. If that’s so, use dish soap or a dry cleaning kit.

So there you have it, eco-fashionista. Here’s to the long life of your sustainable closet!


Small Ways to Effect Big Change in your Community and Beyond

If you are looking for a way to truly effect change on a smaller, more grassroots, intimate level, read on for some ways to do so.

Every time there is a natural disaster, mass shooting, or some other appalling form of national crisis, we now see the rush to help – on the news, online, in our social media feeds. Oftentimes (always?), yet another crisis is yet another way of being made to feel helpless, as though nothing you do really matters. Of course, this is not true, but it’s challenging to uphold the belief that one voice is the dissent that breaks the chain (see: Greta Thunberg, mobilizing millions and holding thousands of politicians accountable). 

However, the main form of “helping” seems to be in the incredibly impersonal method of donating money. Of course, money talks – non-profit organizations literally thrive on the donations from the many so that they can aid those in need, but if you are looking for a way to truly effect change on a smaller, more grassroots, intimate level, read on for some easy ways to do so. 

Community

Make a difference in your community by mobilizing your own personal community. Chances are, you belong to some type of organization. Maybe it’s an activities-based organization, or a belief-based organization, or a school, or a parent group. Take this one community and be the leader of a donation to pool for a single person in need. Donating to “causes” and “groups” are effective, of course, but you don’t necessarily see the fruits of your efforts – a truth that can consciously or subconsciously keep people from making donations. Instead, find a recipient who is in need right now – maybe that’s a person in your larger community who needs a surgery but lacks health insurance to afford it, or maybe it’s a recent immigrant who has nothing but the things s/he could carry to this country. 

Be your own personal “GoFundMe” by letting everyone in your community know, via text, email, or social media, that you’re personally raising funds for this one particular person. People are more likely to donate to someone they know than a general cause, and this fact can move mountains, if everyone’s willing to do work at it.

I recently mobilized a small donating campaign for a mother and her daughter who crossed the border to get to America for safety and health reasons. I found her through Immigrant Families Together, a small grassroots organization that helps recent immigrants to Los Angeles and beyond get adjusted – with driving services, meal dropoffs, doctor visits, lawyer fees, and more. This woman was selling roses on the side of the road for $10 or $20 a day (she couldn’t work because she needed papers to do so, which takes months or years), and that was supposed to sustain her and her daughter, living in a decrepit boarding house with a bunk bed and a mini-fridge. I put out a call to arms in my mom’s group and we raised enough money for a deposit on an apartment for her, in addition to bags of new or gently used clothes and toys for her and her daughter. This took minimal time, was aided by Venmo, and even involved the children in our mom’s group because one afternoon we gathered at a park and made drawings for the mom and her child, welcoming them to America. 

Find families in need of your support at https://immigrantfamiliestogether.com/

Waves for Water

Do what you love and help along the way. The Waves for Water mission is a simple one – access to clean water is a basic human right. Their organization offers a variety of programs to suit unique needs. Going on a surf trip to Nicaragua? Take some filters with you. Business trip to India? Filters will fit in your carryon. Yoga retreat in Thailand? Toss some filters in your bag. Their courier program was designed to fit into your travel plans and add some good along the way. Not feeling adventurous? There are still tons of ways to help on the ground.

https://wavesforwater.org

Be My Eyes

This new and free app is a volunteer-based service that connects blind and low-vision people with the sighted for visual assistance through live video calls. Let’s say you have some free time while you’re at home, cooking or cleaning, etc. You simply turn on the app and if there is a blind or low-vision person out there in the world who needs help seeing something in their immediate sphere, you help them via a call through the app. The assistance might involve checking expiration dates on a food item, sorting through colors of something, or navigating whatever their environs are at the moment. Download it today!

https://www.bemyeyes.com

Surfrider Foundation

When we see what we love in trouble, we act. And we win. Our ocean, waves and beaches belong to all of us and it is our job to protect them. The Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. They are the boots on the ground who collaborate on both the local and national level. So regardless of where you live, there are always ways to get involved in a cleanup, supplies donations or writing letters to your Congressmen.

The Spring: Charity Water

So far, 40, 412 people have received clean water thanks to this foundation. This company funds water programs in 27 countries around the world where water scarcity, poverty, and political instability contribute to a lack of clean water for its citizens. Sustainability is a key interest of theirs, and they employ cloud computing technology  to assess their water system performance. You can see real stories of the people they’ve helped on their site, and it is incredibly easy to set up a monthly donation that auto-deducts from your account, ensuring that every month, you know you’re helping tens to hundreds of people with your donation, no matter how paltry that number may seem in the grand scheme of things. 

https://my.charitywater.org

Boys & Girls Club of America

Imagine a place where who you are, where you’re from or the circumstances that surround you don’t determine your access to experiences or opportunities. Boys & Girls Clubs are making that vision a reality — in your community and communities around the world. 97% of Club teens expect to graduate from high school and 88% expect to complete some kind of post-secondary education. There are a variety of ways to get involved. Whether you help with homework, coach a game, or teach an art project, you’ll have the opportunity to build healthy relationships with young people eager for adult guidance, and have a positive impact on their lives.

Find a local Boys & Girls Club Chapter near you at https://www.bgca.org

These small ways to effect change can make a life changing impact for some. So while you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, checkout some local non-profits in your area doing good in their community through #giveback #nonprofits #immigrationreform or #familiesbelongtogether