Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Product Review: Kishu Charcoal Water Filters

For my 2017 Resolutions, I have made it my goal to use less plastic in my home. If you are interested in learning more about plastic and its usage, check out this documentary. I have been avid about being eco-friendly and 2017 is a great time to put my goal into high gear.
I started my research on one of the best sites out there for plastic-free products- Life Without Plastic. Their website not only gives insight to why you should go plastic-free, but it also has a wide array of products that are plastic-free for purchase. It was a great page to springboard to other great sites and products that can help you achieve a plastic-free home. I recommend checking out My Plastic Free Life for tips and tricks as well; I personally loved her 100 steps to getting started.
For my plastic-free transition, I wanted to start at the basic and where I could easily start. I tackled my everyday water drinking. All my drinking cups in my house are either glass or ceramic (hello coffee and tea). Even my reusable bottles are either glass or metal. So, I was already ahead of the game. But, my biggest fail was my water pitcher. I have been using this plastic monster (and its filters) for quite some time- and I noticed the amount of money I was spending for filtered water was unacceptable. So, it was time for a change!
After discovering Kishu Charcoal Water Filters (and quite a bit of research), I decided to test them out. They are essentially oak tree branches which have gone through a special burning process that turns the branches into charcoal. All of its contents, including the plastic wrapping cover of the filter itself are eco-friendly. The box and plastic wrapping can be recycled or composted. The stick itself can be used as a fridge deodorizer or broken up (after usage) to be used in the garden as bio-char, or simply composted. This planet-friendly alternative uses no plastics or anything that would be harmful for the human body or the environment. And, each stick lasts for 4 months.
I decided to purchase a few of these for myself since I did not want to forget to repurchase at the end of the 4 month period. I personally found the best price on Amazon, which is where I purchased it. The size you choose will ultimately be up to you. For an on-the-go option for small water bottles and the like, choose the smallest. The Regular sticks work on 2 quarts of water and the X-Large works on an average of 3 gallons of water. Depending on how much water you and your family drink will depend on what you purchase and its price. I do suggest shopping around and buying in bulk for saving.
I decided to put mine to the test. I had a rather large drink dispenser not being used that I figured would be perfect for this. However, if you do not have one, there are great plastic-free options all over the internet for purchase (I liked this glass option, or this bamboo one). All you will need to do is fill your container with water, place the charcoal stick in the water and allow it to sit. Depending on the filter size will depend on how long you will have to let it sit. Since I am using such a large container of water, I waited 24 hours for mine.
Overall Review: I was very impressed! The filter made my water taste like mountain spring water. I love that it is portable and can be used while hiking/camping/traveling or for at-home usage. It is great for those who are looking for alternative options to the wasteful plastic refillable filters and the price tag is very reasonable (At the $14/filter pricetag I purchased, each use is about $3.50. A lot cheaper than the $15 a filter I was spending). The selling point for me is its re-usage. Unlike most filtration systems, you only get a limited amount of usage (typically, one use per filter). However, with these charcoal filters, you can 4 months of usage. All you need to do at the end of the 30 days is take it out, boil the stick for 5 minutes. Allow it to dry for 20 minutes and place it back in your water container. Once you have 4 months of usage, you can compost it or stick it in your garden. I also like that if you get an abundance of these, you can use one as a deodorizer in place of a box of baking soda. Hello Space Saver!

Stay Tuned for the next installment into the Plastic-Free Home!

Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 & Going Plastic-Free

Like most people, I tend to make resolutions for the upcoming year. However, I try to take a bit more of a realistic approach. For the 2017 year, I would like to share with you a few goals I want to work on by the end of the year:
  1. I want to be healthier than I was in 2016
  2. I want to cut back on my Sugar intake
  3. I want to do more Yoga
  4. I want to "clean up" my makeup, skincare and beauty 
  5. I want to go Plastic-Free
Each goal set is realistic and can be achieved. While with each resolution you set, it tends to falter by the wayside by February or March. However, these are not just easy, they are attainable. The first three apply to my health directly- and for the most part, just increase what I have been doing already. However, the latter two, take a bit more time to achieve. But, I would like to share that journey with you on here. To make a conscious decision to be more eco-friendly allows us to put in perspective our habits, our daily routines and get realistic about our impact. I hope this mini-series will inspire you to look at what you can do to make better choices for 2017 as well.
One thing I enjoy is watching some of my favorite YouTubers doing their magic with makeup. I enjoy getting tips and tricks on how to achieve a look I want to recreate. I have found a lot of inspiration and tips that I have adapted to my day-to-day. However, I found a great deal of the makeup they use will have ingredients that are not good for one's skin. Filled with Silicone, Parabens, Petroleum, Aluminum, Sulfates, and other harmful ingredients, It was time to look for some cleaner products.  I came across EWG and their site not only includes those who are EWG Certified Safe/Clean but also keeps you in the loop about upcoming news in the industry and potential legislation which could prevent correct labeling or usage of harmful ingredients.
Earlier in the year I went on a bit of a documentary binge and came across a few documentaries that sparked my interest for change. Addicted to Plastic (2008) and Plastic Paradise (2013) caught my attention the most. I suggest taking some time to watch the impact of our plastic usage. It really is eye-opening. After doing a lot more research into plastic and its uses (it is literally used almost everywhere)- it was time to start changing. So, in light of this, it is my goal to reevaluate my home and start using less and less plastic. I hope you will follow along with me on this journey.