Sustainable Living for Beginners with Kristine Claghorn

Meet our resident  earth-friendly babe and sustainability expert, Kristine Claghorn aka @claggie. She’s an LA-based creative and owner of vintage shop, Cabin. She’s passionate about finding new ways to live an eco-friendly life and sharing what she finds with others. To celebrate Earth Day, we asked her to give us her best tips for living a more sustainable lifestyle, from clean beauty to eating out, for even those just getting started. 

Earth Day marks the anniversary of the modern environmental movement - which began in 1970. The movement quickly gained political support and even led to the creation of the Environment Protection Agency. Since then, the fight for environmental justice has only gotten bigger and louder as we’re learning more and more about how our actions affect our world. That’s why it’s so important to us that we carry brands that work hard to reduce their environmental footprint by making sustainability a priority. From the ingredients or materials they use to their packaging, our Earth Day Collection is full of eco-friendly brands who have crafted their products with every detail in mind to ensure they’re making a positive impact on our earth. 

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Photos via @claggie

In the Kitchen

In the kitchen, my biggest suggestion when it comes to cutting down waste is to start composting! I have a cute countertop compost bin that I fill with unusable veggie scraps, coffee grounds, etc. Since we don't have a yard, I drop the scraps off at our local community garden's compost bin. Did you know that 40% of the food in the U.S. is never eaten? Discarded food is one of the largest components of our landfill system. It takes food a lot longer to break down in the landfill because it's trapped deep within a mound of trash. Because of this, it releases a lot more carbon dioxide and methane than it should. Composting is a huge way to cut this down. 

Another great way to cut down on waste is only buying what you need. Going to the farmer's market instead of bulk buying at the grocery store and bringing all your own bags, like the Sunshine Series Reusable Produce Bags and BAGGU’s reusable totes, helps.

I’m all about reusable materials in the kitchen. I like using a dishwasher block instead of store-bought dish soap and have signed up for a natural soap subscription that sends me monthly refills in paper cartons. I also like using beeswax food wraps instead of plastic bags and tea towels, like the Jenny Pennywood Shell Tiles Tea Towel, instead of paper.

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Photos via @claggie

Shopping Sustainably 

When it comes to shopping sustainably, I lean towards buying secondhand. A lot of my most prized clothing items were thrifted! I love that it's both kind to the earth and the wallet. It's also a great way to find one-of-a-kind pieces. When buying something new, I make sure to research the brand I'm interested in. Are they using sustainable materials? Are they being ethically made? If you're not seeing that information on their website, don't be afraid to reach out and ask questions! I love closet staples, like the Mate the Label Clay Remi Thermal and Back Beat Co. Sand Hemp West Jacket. Both brands use eco-friendly materials and practices, and they’re both local to LA. 

And it’s not just where you buy your clothes that matter, but how you wash them. Placing your clothes in a washing bag helps cut down on the amount of harmful fibers that get released into the water when washing. If you don’t already have one, grab yourself a dry rack. It’ll reduce your energy use and extend the life of your clothes - which means not only can you wear them longer, you’ll end up buying less. 

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Photos via @claggie

On the Go

Flying is a huge source of carbon emissions, so the best thing to do is fly less. That's not a reality for most people due to work or living far away from family (I visit my family 1-2 times a year and need to fly), so the next best thing is to purchase carbon offsets when you travel. I use Terrapass when I purchase my carbon offsets. It’s also a good idea to bring your own meal, water, and snacks when traveling. You'll save money and you'll end up eating a way better meal than what they offer on the plane. 

When we eat out, I make sure to bring a container of some kind, like the Plastic Porter Bowl, so I can take my leftovers home. If I plan to take out an order, I'll ask the restaurant to use my container (and if they can't, I get the meal "for here" and put it in the container myself). Once you get used to bringing it with you, it won't feel burdensome. 

Prism Boutique Earth Day Blog Prism Boutique Earth Day BlogPhotos via @claggie

Less Skincare = More Earth Care

When it comes to beauty and skincare, less is more. It’s best to do your research before purchasing a new skincare or beauty item. Everyone's skin is different, so try to learn what makes yours happy. It will make purchasing a whole lot easier! Try to avoid buying into every single social media trend when it comes to beauty. You'll end up with an empty wallet and a drawer full of half-used products. 

Prism carries a great collection of all-natural beauty products that work for most skin types, making it super easy to find one that works for you. 

If you’re looking for more ways to level up your sustainable living, Kristine has done an extensive amount of research on what to buy and where. Check out her Sustainability Masterlist for all her recommendations. Plus, keep an eye on Prism’s Instagram for her upcoming live Q&A. And spend this Earth Day by stocking up on the stuff you love while feeling good about where they came from our Earth Day Collection.

Shop Kristine's Earth Day Picks:

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