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Top Sustainability Apps for a More Intentional Life

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that our world is facing the largest climate crisis of our generation. By the end of the last decade, fires had wiped out entire cities in California, Australia and the Amazon were ablaze, we surpassed record temperatures five times, hurricanes devastated Puerto Rico and New Jersey, and floods damaged Texas, the Midwest, and Bangladesh.

Check the news on any given day, and if it’s not another Twitter Rant (what did he say this time?), it’s footage from another natural disaster forever changing our landscape. Global emissions are expected to hit an all-time high this year, and most corporations aren’t acting fast enough to implement sustainability practices to correct this course. In fact according to a report from the CDP, just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions since 1988.

So rather than waiting for everyone else to start doing their part, here are our 10 favorite sustainability apps that help us be more intentional every day. At the very least, they can serve as a nice reminder to take action rather than logging more time getting lost in Instagram.

Tap

Tapp App Refill Stations

Of course, having a reusable water bottle helps reduce your waste. But how much does it actually help the planet? In the United States alone, 50 billion disposable water bottles are produced each year. This takes 17 million barrels of oil to create. Not to mention, the average American saves around $200 a year by not buying bottled water. And Tap is here to make it easier. They will show you the closest refill stations to you, so you can stay hydrated even when you’re gone all day. 

JouleBug

JouleBug Sustainable App

When it comes to making lifestyle changes and new habits, it can feel overwhelming. This is why JouleBug was created. They give you hints and tips that help you live a greener life. When you make these changes, you can share the progress with your friends, compete nationally, and track your own updates. You’ll end up saving money and saving the planet while also rewarding yourself with every step. 

iRecyclE

iRecycle Sustainable App

Basic recycling doesn’t seem too hard. But do you know what kind of plastics you can’t recycle? What about pizza boxes? And where can you bring old furniture? With iRecycle, you don’t have to keep wondering. Their interface makes it so easy to figure out. All you do is click through the categories to find what you’re wanting to recycle, and they’ll give you a list of places where you can take it. 

PaperKarma

Use PaperKarma to stop junk mail and catalogs

Okay, this is one of our favorite sustainability apps — and apps in general — that we’ve ever discovered. It’s easy to stop unwanted spam emails, but we’ve never known what to do about junk mail. And just think about how many pieces of mail and catalogs you throw away. And then multiply that by everyone else on the mailing list. Yikes. PaperKarma makes it easy to put an end to it. All you do is take a picture in the app of the return label, and they’ll unsubscribe you. It might sound too good to be true, but somehow they’re doing it. 

Think Dirty

Think Dirty Clean Beauty App

We didn’t pick this app for the name, but it helps. Ever wonder what all of those ingredients in your makeup actually are? Well, us too. While we’re loving all of the advancements in natural skincare and makeup, sometimes it’s still hard to know exactly which products are actually safe (greenwashing anyone?!). ThinkDirty lets you scan the barcode on your favorite products to find out if it’s clean or if there are cleaner alternatives. Sustainable Living Hack!

Care for our World

Care for our world children's app

If children are the future and you have some in your present day, then Care for the World is a must. Youth Activists have given the complacent population a wake up call. And we’re [finally] listening. By taking family steps toward a greener life, we can teach them the habits that they’ll use to better the world. When we really don’t want them to do what we’ve done, we gotta show them an alternative. Right? Care for our World teaches them fundamentals about our world and the animals they’re working to protect.

Turo

Turo Drive Share App

Of course, it’s always great to opt for biking or public transportation when you can. But sometimes, longer trips mean that isn’t an option. Turo is an app that connects people who aren’t using their cars with those who need to use a car, so you can still have the ease access to a car without the carbon footprint of owning one. This takes ride sharing to a whole new level.

CoGo

CoGo Sustainable Living App

Ever been stuck and confused about where to actually find these sustainable alternatives for your everyday? Aside from all of the departments we have at BUHO (we got you covered there), you may want to find the closest green restaurant. Or an eco-friendly hair salon. That’s where CoGo — short for Connecting Good — comes in. Let the app know your main priorities and what you are looking for, and they’ll do the rest. 

OLIO

Olio Food Sharing App

We’ve all been in a situation where we had a lot more food than we could eat. And you can’t even imagine how much food your local restaurants and grocery stores end up throwing away. The waste is the opposite of our sustainable living plan. So OLIO wanted to help. They connect you to people in your neighborhood and local stores so everyone can find a way to reduce their waste. At the last update, they’ve helped facilitate 2,337,250 portions of food being shared, and that number is growing rapidly.  

Refresh Go Green

Refresh Go Green Sustainability App

Refresh Go Green is another one of the best sustainability apps out there. This will serve as your daily sustainability reminder. You can choose the level of change you want, from one new step a week to five. They’ll prompt you with the tip while giving you the specific steps and also explaining why that will help you and the world. 

Comment below to let us know the best sustainability apps that you’ve discovered! And stay tuned for more tips for ethical living and eco-friendly shopping. 

5 Easy Steps To Dramatically Reduce Your Food Waste

By Kira Cook

Roughly 1/3 of all food produced for human consumption is wasted or lost. That’s 1.3B TONS! Yet, world hunger is on the rise. What can you do about? A lot actually. The access we have today to composting and plastic alternatives can make this easy for all of us. More sustainable practices in what sustains us (food!) can change the world. Taking these 5 easy steps below is a great place to start.

1. Ditch The Take Out Containers

One easy way to cut down on consumption of gratuitous plastic, styrofoam, and paper waste is by disrupting the to-go container economy. Just say no (and go) with the help of to-go containers that are always clean and ready in your car for when you go out to eat. BYOTGC: Bring Your Own To Go Container! A cumbersome acronym, to be sure, but it gets the job done. We love the sleekness of Onyx stainless steel food containers:

Onyx sustainable stainless steel food containers

Airtight Stainless Steel Containers, $54

Depending on where you live, you can also sign up for a service that gives you reusable take out containers like Deliver Zero. Shop from the restaurants on their site, get your food, give it back to the delivery person in your next order. Simple!

2. BYO Bulk Bags

It’s kind of wild, when you stop to think about it. Millions of grocery stores around the world have just been arbitrarily offering single-use plastic bags to wrap our produce in, and for what? So the produce doesn’t touch other items in the cart? Obviously, in some situations, you need to gather items together, and prolong its shelf life in a bag, which is where reusable produce and bulk bin bags come into play. Made of 100% cotton and in the case of EcoBags, made in accordance with fair wage and fair labor standards for environmental and social responsibility. Grab these sustainable bags from Eco Bags:

Sustainable produce bags Eco Bags

Organic Mesh Drawstring Bag, $6.34

3. Start Composting

A major step on the way to a zero-waste (or at least less-waste) lifestyle is a compost bin. Did you know it can take an orange peel up to 6 months to decompose? And a banana peel can take up to 2 years, depending on the circumstances! Instead of tossing out those broccoli stalks you never got around to preparing and that rotten fruit you never got around to eating, compost it. There are many fashionable, minimalist, and sleek options for compost bins nowadays, and many come with an air filtration system to cut down on odor, so there’s really no excuse. There’s this sleek one, which would go with most kitchen décor:

Bamboo Compost Countertop Bin

Bamboo Compost Bin, $40

If you want to step it up a notch, harken back to everyone’s favorite Dumb & Dumber scene and brag about your worm farm with this Living Composter from Uncommon Goods. Vermiculture is similar to composting but uses earthworms to help accelerate the process and create a nutrient-rich fertilizer called worm castings. Worm castings are rich in the microbes and bacillus that help to make healthy soil – perhaps the most important component in an organic garden. Unlike most other worm composters, this one not only looks beautiful but promises an odorless experience to boot.

Modern Stylish Compost Bin

Living Composter, $199

Living Composter, $199

Or this Hot Frog Living Composter:

Hot Frog Living Composter

Hot Frog Living Composter, $149

If worms aren’t your thing, you can still have a super effective composting system with the traditional tumbler. This steel one from Jora is our favorite:

Jora JK125 Composter

Jora JK125 Composter, $349

4. Say Bye-Bye to Paper Towels

Did you know that you basically don’t ever need to buy paper towels again? Did homesteaders of yore have endless rolls of disposable towels on hand for cleaning up their mouths and messes? Nay, nay, nay. They used cloth towels, which leads to zero waste other than a few more small napkins in the weekly laundry. Next time you go to grab a square off of that paper towel roll, think twice and grab an absorbent linen or organic cotton towels made ethically right here in the U.S.

5. Wrap It With Beeswax

Long gone are the days of arbitrarily Saran wrapping everything in sight. “Cling” wrap is not recyclable, so it will be just clinging to a distant landfill for decades. Rather than contributing to that sorry sight, try Beeswax wrap instead. Natural, reusable, and toxin-free, Beeswax wrap are made of biodegradable materials such as unbleached cotton, natural beeswax, Jojoba oil, coconut oil, and tree resin. Such a simple, cost-effective, and sustainable way to prolong the life of food that you’ve made and want to enjoy again. That’s a double win for double anti-waste.

Sustainable Bee's Wrap

Bee’s Wrap – 3 Pack Medium Wraps, $18

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
Shutterstock

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
Getty Images

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
Getty Images

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
Getty Images

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
Shutterstock

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
Getty Images

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
Getty Images

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
Getty Images

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
Getty Images

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 Life That Took Her From Bangladesh, NYC, LA & BUHO

Maria Casey is the CEO and Founder of BUHO, a sustainable fashion and lifestyle platform with brands for women, men, kids and home under one banner for the first time. The company curates ethical, sustainable and vintage products in a trusted shopping environment. 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).

Maria Casey, CEO & Founder of BUHO

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 buzzwords. We’re serious about sustainability. Here’s how.

BUHO Sustainable Fashion

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.