5 Affordable Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas For Conscious Consumers & Students

Why Buying Sustainable Eco Products & Gifts Are Important

We are living in a disposable world, where fast fashion, bottled water, excessive packing, and single use items have become the norm. Somewhere between box retailers & corporate greed, a keeping up with the Jones’s mindset, and the assumption that our natural resources are infinite, we have lost our way and continue to accelerate global warming. We can no longer afford not to make better buying decisions on how, and what we consume, and to better understand the impacts that our everyday choices have on the environment.

Mindful Gifts That Make A Difference

Some of our most commonly used day to day items are contaminating our landfills and oceans at alarming rates. With simple switches to more sustainable options these environmental impacts can be greatly offset. We have a few simple suggestions for your next gift gifting exchange.

Glass & Stainless Straws

1.) Sustainable Straw Sets $12

Why we love these: Both glass and stainless steel straws are sold in sets of 2 with a cleaning wand, they are durable, dishwasher safe and wide enough to enjoy smoothies, milkshakes and thicker drinks along with your favourite iced teas, and other beverages of choice. Bonus: They come with a super cute fabric wrap to allow easy and clean transportation and protection to the straws while in a purse, bag, or sustainable lunch kit.

How they help: Most plastic straws can not be recycled and a large majority of them end up in our oceans, causing marine animals to die by ingesting plastics. By switching to a sustainable options for your love of straws, the staggering 500+ million straws floating around out there can be drastically reduced.

 

Reusable Cotton Produce Bags

2.) Cotton Produce & Bulk Food Bags $15

Why we love these: These organic cotton muslin drawstring bags are the perfect alternative to using plastic produce bags at the grocery store. They are light weight, machine washable, and reusable. They are sold in sets of two, one large bag for potatoes and larger items, and a smaller bag for ginger, garlic or almonds etc. Bonus: They pack nicely and easily to fit into a purse, backpack or grocery totes.

How they help: It is estimated that 4 trillion plastic bags are used annually world wide and only about 1-2% are actually properly recycled. On average 300 plastic bags are consumed per person each year. BYOB….Bring Your Own Bag. Let’s keep the movement going.

Travel Bamboo Cutlery Set

3.) Bamboo Travel Cutlery Sets $15

Why we love these: These travel bamboo cutlery sets are lightweight and made from sustainable bamboo fibre. The knife will actually cut your food, unlike some of the butter knife styles that we have encountered. They come in a washable, reusable carrying case to keep mess at bay, and to allow for easy transportation in a purse, murse, or backpack. They are dishwasher safe. Bonus: They are a wonderful option for eco traveler looking for travel cutlery sets.

How they help: 40+ billion plastic utensils are estimated to be circulating each year with the majority of them ending up in our oceans and landfills. Recycling is on the rise, but not quick enough. Making the switch to a Bamboo Cutlery Set is an easy way to stop the trend of single use utensils while out and about.

Wool Dryer Balls

4.) Wool Dryer Balls $14

Why we love these: Wool dryer balls offer great energy cost savings by reducing the overall drying time of each load. As the balls bounce around in the drum they separate clothing and speed up drying, mitigate wrinkling, and naturally reduce static cling. Dryer balls are scent free making them a great option for individuals that are sensitive to scents or have severe allergies. The typical lifespan of a set of wool dryer balls is up to 750 loads. Bonus: You can add your favourite essential oils to the wool to achieve a natural scent that is chemical free.

How they help: Commercial dryer sheets contribute to excessive volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) emissions that increase air pollution on a daily basis. Not only are dryer sheets polluting the air by the toxic chemicals found within them, but they also end up in our landfills. Choosing a reusable option eliminates the need for single use dryer sheets.

5.) Beeswax Food Wrap $24

Why we love these: These Beeswax Food Wraps are a great replacement for plastic cling wrap, they are made from 100% cotton that is baked in a blend of sustainably harvested beeswax, tree resin and organic oil.  We specifically love these ones due to how sticky and malleable they are, making them easy to use and very long lasting. The heat from your hands will self adhere the wrap in a similar ( but better ) fashion as a traditional cling wrap making food storage a safe, washable, reusable and sustainable option. Bonus: Beeswax has natural antibacterial properties and the wraps are great for keeping avocado green, and fresh herbs crispy. They are handmade in Ontario Canada.

How they help: It takes 500-1000 years for plastic to degrade and it is estimated that only 1/5 of plastics are actually recycled. Sadly most cling wraps also contain a hormone disrupting chemical called BPA. Using a washable, natural alternative will keep your food fresh longer and offset unnecessary plastic consumption.

BOHO & HOBO is a Canadian based eco company that cares deeply about the environment, and we have a mission to educate and motivate as many people as possible to make mindful choices that will reduce the consumption of single use plastics.

Each of the products highlighted in the blog, and many other sustainable products are available in our online Eco-Boutique.

 

Straws! We Can Still Love Them!

Glass & Stainless StrawsFor the month of August we have partnered up with our friends at Juniper Cafe to get some sustainable straws in circulation. We love using our eco-friendly, stainless and glass straws with cold drinks but we LOVE using our reusable straws with all of the Juniper’s cold drinks. Have you tried their Iced Lemon Ginger drink yet? YUM!
 
Glass & Stainless StrawsALL STRAWS ARE $5 EACH. CASH ONLY!
You can also shop our Eco- Boutique for some other great reusable and sustainable products to help reduce your carbon footprint. Keep checking back as we will be launching some great back-to-school specials that you won’t want to miss.

BOHO & HOBO Featured On Chatelaine

On June 4th Rachel Chen wrote a great post for Chatelaine Magazine titled ‘A Green Alternative To Kitchen Wrap, And 9 Other Easy Ways To Reduce Your Plastic Waste’.

We were featured on the list at #10. Bring your own cutlery set.

” While you can always just bring a fork from home, bamboo cutlery is lightweight and easy to pack. A washable carrying case also lets you throw everything into your bag after lunch without making a mess.” says Chen.

We have already incorporated most of the other 9 easy solutions to help combat everyday waste into our lifestyle, and we hope that this article will provide you some guidance if you are just starting out on your journey to living more sustainably.

 

We also carry a few of the other suggested solution oriented products in our Boutique such as: Glass Travel Cups, Glass Straws, our handmade signature BOHO Beeswax Wax Wrap made in Kingston, Ontario and many other great plastic alternatives to consider.

 

glass strawsChatelaine Magazine was first published in March of 1928, and has been supplying Canadian women content covering food, home decor, health and relationships, politics and fashion for 90 years.

Why Use Wool Dryer Balls?

Dryer Balls verses Static Cling Sheets

In our seemingly disposable world, single use disposable products are taking over our landfills and polluting our oceans. The good news is, many of these items we use in our day to day lifestyle can be switched over to more eco friendly and sustainable options. Let’s look at a simple shift in how we dry our clothing.

Downside To Cling Sheets

Commercial dryer sheets often contain chemicals and irritants to soften your clothes, reduce static and make them smell good. They are rough and can damage delicate fibres on clothing too. They are used once and then tossed into the garbage, contributing to unnecessary waste.

Benefits Of Wool Dryer Balls

  1.  Reusable with a lifespan up to 1000 loads of laundry,
  2. Eliminates the waste of single use chemical dryer sheets.
  3. Naturally hypoallergenic as the unscented wool doesn’t contain chemicals, dyes or other hidden irritants. Great for anyone with sensitivities.
  4. Wool naturally reduces static cling.
  5. Drying time is reduced as the balls allow more air circulation as they toss between clothing in the dryer. 2 balls are recommended in each load.
  6. Reduced drying time and electricity consumption saves you money.
  7. Option to add your favourite pure essential oils to the wool to make your linens smell fresh.
  8. Wool does not leech chemical plastic compounds that some plastic dryer balls can.

As you can see there are far more benefits to using wool dryer balls verse cling sheet while helping to eliminate the waste created from doing laundry. We will be sharing more ways to reduce your carbon footprint by making conscious choices over the next few weeks.

Want to give them a try? We carry Hobo Dryer Balls sold in sets of two in our boutique. 

 

 

 

Easy Solutions For Single Use Waste Items

We are consciencous about what products we use in our home and in our office on a daily basis. In a disposable world it is hard not to get upset with how much waste is created by single use products everyday.

Glass Travel Cup Infusion Coffee TeaThe white cup phenomena has gotten out of control as the coffee and tea craze have amplified exponentially while people are rushing to and from their destinations. Do you actually save time by having to find parking, wait in line, or go off course to get your “quick” coffee on the go? Not likely. A simple solution is to make your own and bring it to go. Allow yourself an extra few minutes to take some deep breaths will your tea steeps before setting off, or pack a reusable cup for your daily fix.

Wheat Straw Boho Bento BoxTakeout containers are another area that create ridiculous amounts of consumer waste. Packaging has come a long way since the styrofoam era, but the energy and resources still required to create these single use containers, ship them, use them, and recycle them is crazy. I know people are busy and don’t always have time to make or pack lunches. We are two professionals raising a family too, we get it. But, with some conditioning it is easy to throw a reusable container and bamboo cutlery set into your purse, or to leave at the office, or in your vehicle for those days where eating on the run is your only option.

glass straws canadaIt is estimated that there are one billion non-recyclable plastic straws in use globally everyday. You read that right. 1 billion. Now imagine what that looks like in oceans and landfill sites. Gross right? Again, with a simple shift in consumer behaviour we can have a huge impact on our personal carbon footprint, while contributing to a more sustainable place for generations to come. There are many straw alternatives out there that are easy to carry with you. Glass cocktail straws, glass smoothie straws, metal straws and bamboo straws to name a few. If we all carry the mindset that “it’s just one straw” the sea of waste will continue to tax our eco systems.

bamboo cutleryI could go on and on about many other everyday single use waste products that are failing our sustainability but I will end here. I leave you with the challenge to consciously consider your own consumer behaviour in your home, in the workplace, and in your busy lifestyle.

At BOHO & HOBO we are solution oriented and want to help make your transition into a greener lifestyle easy. The products we carry or make in our eco boutique are all ones that we have incorporated into our lives. It feels good to save money and to play a small part in reducing single use products and the impact they have on our earth.

A few of our products include, beeswax wraps, wool dryer balls, reusable cotton produce bags and bulk food bags, glass travel cups, wheat straw bento lunch boxes, bamboo cutlery sets and many other products. Visit the eco boutique.

Is your yoga mat off gassing?

natural,yoga,mat,eco,sustainable,jute,natural rubber

I couldn’t help but notice how badly the yoga studio smelled the weeks following Christmas as many newly acquired mats were being rolled out for the first time post holiday season. The strong scent of plastics and resins crept into my practice like an obnoxious mosquito as I laid down to settle in for opening shavasana a.k.a. corpse pose.

natural,eco,yoga,mat,ecoyogaI had been holding off purchasing a new yoga mat and retiring my well worn and faithfully serviced old mat for years. Not only had it been on a long and disciplined journey with me for over a decade, holding countless hours of strength and restoration, catching sweat and sometimes tears, but my old mat didn’t smell toxic anymore like it did in the early days. I had a hard time letting go of such a trustworthy mat that grew to be apart of me.  The thought of having to go through the unpleasant breaking in process of another plastic infused mat kept me holding on to my old faithful.

eco,natural,yoga,mat,ecoyogaThen after a long time searching for a mat that didn’t contain PVC’s, TPR’s and PER’s, all of which are polymers containing plastics and resins, I found the perfect eco conscious choice for a yoga mat that would propel me into this decade. A mat that is made from sustainably grown and harvested  100% natural rubber &  jute, a mat that is so natural that it can literally be composted at the end of it’s lifecycle, a mat that didn’t require an off gassing period. I couldn’t believe it!

natural,eco,yoga,mat,ecoyogaI knew as soon as I read about the ecoYoga mats that it was the beginning of a new relationship with a mat I had yet to purchase. These mats are made in the UK honouring the true nature of yoga and ecology for a healthy body and a healthy planet. I met with the Canadian distributor 2 weeks later, purchased a mat to try it out, and ordered a whole bunch for the Boho & Hobo Boutique a few days later.

natural,eco,yoga,mat,ecoyogaAfter my first yoga practice I was 100% sold on these mats. The natural rubber provided amazing cushioning for a stable and balanced practice, and the jute was more than ideal for great traction and grip. I can not explain my new found love for my new yoga mat. Not only is it compatible with my eco conscious mind, it provides me a safe place to practice knowing that chemical byproducts are not leeching into my skin during hot yoga classes. I had a ceremonial letting go of my old faithful with a beautiful welcome to my new mat that has already become apart of the greener me that I have become.

I highly recommend these mats to everyone. Check them out here.

 

 

How to handle Canadian winters like a boss!

reusable hand warmersToday it is -16 celsius and it “feels like” -22 here in Kingston, Ontario. When it is too cold for the dog to head outside, and yesterday’s snowfall has turned to squeaky snow ( a tell tale sound of frigid temperatures ), it is time to pull out  the Hobo Hand Warmers before stepping foot into the great Canadian outdoors.

reusable hand warmersOne would benefit by heating these reusable rice filled hand warmers in the microwave or oven, and tucking them into their coat pockets before heading out.  At -22 human  hands have their work cut out while trying to function under such conditions.

For people keen enough to train, play, and handle these arctic conditions for the sheer enjoyment of skiing, skating, tobogganing etc, the Hobo Hand Warmers  will  help your hands remain toasty warm much longer, and offer you a little more staying power to keep on keeping on .

Personally, I always like warm hands so these are a perfect eco-alternative to single use packets that end up in the landfill. Heat…Stay Warm…Repeat!

Limited quantities.

Hot / Cold Packs

New Year Resolution?

We often have great expectations of ourselves as we embrace the new year with renewed hopes of accomplishing all the things we didn’t get to in the previous year. We create a new list of aspirations often without an action plan in place to help aid us in the success of fulfilling these well intentioned goals.

If you have resolved to relax more in 2018 and take some more time for yourself, this is a great first step. We are all over worked, over planned and over scheduled at different times throughout the year, often leaving ourselves depleted of time, energy, and enthusiasm for self nurturing and restorative relaxation.

We want to help put your 2018 relaxation plan into action by offering our customers these handmade restorative, relaxing, and calming Zen Hobo Eye Pillows. https://www.bohoandhobo.ca/product/zen-hobo-eye-pillows/

By spending just a few minutes a day laying down, blocking out light and distraction, and allowing the weight of the pillow to target acupressure points around your eyes, you can achieve a deeper relaxation in a shorter period of time, allowing maximum benefits for the few moments you decide are yours for the taking. The pillows are also a great compliment to savasana during yoga practice, and the essential oil disc allows you to add an oil of your choice to infuse your pillow with. If you suffer from tension headaches these will work wonders at the end of a long day.

A Christmas Without Wrapping Paper?

I never thought I would want to replace all that colourful glittery shimmering wrapping paper that looks so pretty under our tree. But, as I have evolved as a conscious consumer, not only have my purchasing decisions been swayed by environmental  impacts, but product packaging has been a determining factor in my buying decisions as well.

Now when I see all those beautiful rolls of gift wrap, I can’t help but think of the post festivity garbage bags bursting with landfill waste which will remain on our earth well beyond the moments of joy that it gave in the process of unwrapping.

I decided it was time that I started creating ways to reduce my carbon footprint in our home one product and one decision at a time. I purchased a whack of holiday themed 100% cotton fabric from my local fabric store ( hands up for shopping local too ), and cut various sizes with crimping sheers to create an edge that wouldn’t fray. 

Taking my mission to be able to reuse everything from packaging my holiday gifts one step further, I decided to use twine as my ribbon which would be interchangeable with other wraps I decide to use throughout the year. The tags were a no brainer, and I enlisted my keen daughter to help paint recycled cardboard stars a nice gold colour. The tags can be repainted and used again next year, along with the wrap and twine.

The first question that comes to mind for most people when I discuss my new found passion for reusable gift wrap is “How do you wrap fabric without using tape?” After a few attempts I figured out the trick is to simply ensure enough fabric on the ends to create a secure fold before bringing the twine ends up and over for a tight tie.  Simply lay your twine beneath the fabric before you start wrapping, make your fold and carry the twine up, twist once and run it back around and tie a bow.

You can do it. If you have been conscious about the wastefulness of the holiday season and disposable wrapping paper, you can easily make the switch. Visit our online boutique for a starter package and see if it’s for you.

Hobo Holiday Wrapping Gift Pack

 

Ditch The Plastic

Reusable cotton produce bagsHow many times have you been at a grocery store and felt guilty when reaching for another plastic bag to put your produce or bulk food and snacks into? We have been frustrated too many times by the lack of green alternatives available to make better buying decisions in supermarkets. We decided to take action and find a sustainable alternative.

We have just released our newest product, the Boho Produce & Bulk Food Bags. These bags are unbleached 100% cotton, reusable and washable with a drawstring top. They are light weight, breathable and versatile in many ways. Not only are these bags great for produce and bulk food, but you can use them for toiletries, packing delicate items for travel and as an alternative to gift bags.

We sell these in sets of 2 for $9.99 in the Boho & Hobo Boutique. Check out the Boho & Hobo Beeswax Wraps too. They are another great alternative to plastic food storage and cling wraps. One product at a time we hope to provide affordable green solutions to common everyday items that are currently impacting our environment. Help us make a difference and make the switch.