“My name is Regina and I am a thirty-something.” So begins the introduction at Creative Kismet, one of my favorite blogs. Authored by a talented artist, nurse, and hip green mamma named Regina, Creative Kismet is a wonderfully inspiring place to learn about crafting, kids’ art, recycled art, homemade gifts, stamping, vegan eats, and much more. Regina and her family are ingenuous environmentalists who not only find ways to take care of the earth but also manage to do so in a stylish way. Here are a few pointers from Regina of Creative Kismet:
1. Reduce, recycle, and compost. Regina is mindful about the purchases her family makes and pays special attention to the packaging that products come in. Her tip for reducing waste: “Look at packaging and . . . [only] buy things with recyclable containers.” In addition to recycling product packaging, her family composts food waste.
2. Eat french fries and fuel your car. That is, a veggie car. Regina’s family owns a 1983 Mercedes diesel automobile converted to run off of used vegetable oil from restaurants. To learn more about cars with vegetable fuel systems, visit Greasecar.com.
3. Get thrifty. Regina’s family buys 90% of their clothing from thrift and secondhand shops. Also, as a talented fabric artist, she finds great fabrics and linens that she repurposes and designs as curtains, clothing, bags, and much more. Based on the work I have seen on her Creative Kismet website, it is obvious that she not only has a talent for crafting and design but also has a wonderful knack for thrifting. On the value of shopping regularly at thrift stores, she says, “You’d be surprised at how many great things you can find in good to new condition.” To locate a thrift store in your zip code, visit TheThriftShopper.Com.
4. Clean the green way. For her home, Regina chooses animal friendly, biodegradable, and natural ingredient cleaning products, and uses homemade remedies for around the house. Her favorite recipes can be found at Junie Moon : cleaning recipes.
5. Eat good stuff. Since part of our connection to the environment is through the food we eat, Regina and her family pay special attention to the foods they put in their bodies. Of their vegan cuisine, she says, “We eat lots of good stuff, primarily vegan foods (lots of veggies, legumes and grains) and locally grown vegetables from our local CSA (http://www.localharvest.org
Her family not only takes the ideal of reusing and repurposing seriously, but Regina’s eye for design allows them to be green in a stylish way. She explains, “We make our grocery bags out of re-purposed pillowcases and we use them whenever we go out.”
This week, one lucky commenter will receive a free reusable bag designed and made by Regina. To see samples of her work, click here.
7. Breastfeed. As an RN for mothers and babies, part of Regina’s job is to teach about and promote breastfeeding, however, she also believes that it’s good for the environment. She explains, “Not only does breastfeeding have long term benefits for both mom and baby that last a life time, but there is less energy use, trash and plastic waste compared to that produced by formula cans/bottles, supplies and transportation of formula.” To learn more, read the Benefits of Breastfeeding.
8. Pledge Handmade. No doubt that friends, family, and anyone lucky enough to receive a gift made by Regina are delighted with the thought, care, and creativity of her works, but in addition, those who receive handmade gifts participate in a meaningful object that is absent of large scale manufacturing. Handmade gifts and purchases also value the artists, local cultures, and the environment. To learn more about the Handmade Pledge, click here.
9. Landscape and reduce harm. Regina’s family chooses drought resistant plants and uses drip irrigation for the landscaping in their yard. She notes that the environment influenced her family’s choices, “With very little rain in Arizona, we have to be very careful about water usage. Having plants that are native to southern AZ helps to cut down on water. We also have planted mesquite trees to help with shading our home and keeping it cool during the long hot summers. We are currently learning about rain harvesting and are hoping to have a system in place before the monsoon’s hit in August.” To learn about how to design an eco-friendly and edible landscape, visit Treehugger.com’s “Bountiful Backyards.”
10. Purge the plastic. “I’m on a quest to reduce plastic in my home,” explains Regina. As part of her quest to rid her home of plastic, she is getting rid of plastic cups and containers, as well as poorly made plastic toys. Her motto is, “Buying quality products made from natural materials will ensure that it lasts longer.” And what about those well meaning plastic gifts from friends and family? Regina recommends asking loved ones to “kindly buy . . . toys that are made from natural materials and have some kind of learning connection.” Among her family’s favorites: handmade toys, books, creative kits, music, and games sets. Natural made products to check out include:
Thank you again to Regina and her family for sharing a little bit about their green lifestyle. I am convinced that there is more that they do, so maybe we’ll get to learn more sometime soon. In the meantime, drop a comment and enter to win a stylish reusable shopping bag made by the talented Creative Kismet.