Post 67…

This week I received a long-awaited investment. The Sustain Yearly magazine created by a few lovely ladies in Denmark finally arrived and I am beyond thrilled to own this beautiful piece of literature.

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After learning about the Sustain Daily movement a couple months ago, it did not take long before I was completely and utterly enthralled by everything their Danish team is doing. This magazine encompasses a kind and honest approach to real-world problems being tackled by beauty and elegance. Just like the title describes, each page goes through articles, recipes, and interviews to get you through a full calendar year of sustainable and ethical choices.

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SaveTHe This the first publication made available in English to an international audience. Originally the concept evolved in Danish but quickly grew in popularity and has now officially launched their first annual edition.

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I have taken the time to savor each page, article, and image. Unlike most things in 2018 that are consumed at rapid rates and praised for binging, this little beauty is my new coffee table book for the next year. The edition going through all four seasons with guides to sustainable living, recipes, and Nordic lifestyle.

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The opportunity is still available for you to get your magazine here. Unfortunately, the content is predominately in Danish, but with a little help from technology, it is simple to keep up with all the latest news.

-xx

Post 62…

So some of you may know that my new year’s resolution was to start making steps towards a zero-waste lifestyle. This has been an interesting resolution because unlike previous goals, this transition has pushed me to rethink almost every aspect of my life. The original concept was developed for businesses to be less linear and more circular with production. Now, people are taking action into their own hands, and homes, to become more conscious consumers and users.

It is nearly impossible to stop all waste in a single moment. It takes time, practice, research, and discipline. Fortunately, the more you educate yourself, the better you are at developing these skills. The switch is simple in my opinion, but it requires a dozen tiny changes to your daily life.

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 The first image above and one of my favorite substitues to plastic, it is a dish scrubber. It is a beautiful wooden design, with only small metal pieces of hardware to hold it together. I also use a bar of soap versus a plastic soap dispenser to clean my hands before and after cooking.

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The second switch is package free beauty products. After waiting for certian items to products to go empty, I switched to purchasing package free items from Lush. Another aspect to zero waste is slow shopping. Do not purchase items for the sake of buying it, wait for the need to arise and then make a new more concious investment. After trying a few of these I may never go back to the packaged items, they are just that good!

From left to right, deodorant, hair mask, and facial cleanser.

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A great switch for me has been the wooden toothbrush. I really enjoy this brand and even though it does have a little packaging to get from production to your home, it is all 100% recyclable. At first, I doubted the durability of a biodegradable brush, and really cringed to think about paying 7euros or more at the local organic store. But after waiting for a sale, and later receiving a couple as gifts, I am fully stocked for the next year or more! Seriously, these brushes are amazing. Unlike plastic brushes which lose strength, the Humble brush has stood the test. As for someone who has always had a difficult relationship with dental care, this is huge upgrade!

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Lastly are the small reusable produce bags.. In many grocers, it is required that the customer weigh the items first before checking out. Instead of grabbing a cheap plastic bag, why not make the easiest switch ever to these little mesh pouches. Add the price sticker on the tag and off you go, back home to make yourself a lovely meal, with little to no waste involved.

Now as a disclaimer, I am not perfect, and my home and lifestyle still have a long ways to go before being 100% zero waste, or even 50%. I will say these small changes have made a huge shift in my motivation. Even with a couple small changes, I feel more conscious, more proactive, and enjoy the smaller details of my routines. So, now is the time I will encourage you to make the switch. Next time you are in need of a plastic object, reconsider and invest in a more sustainable option.

-xx

Post 51 of 52

Yesterday was the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. In honor of that fact, I ventured out into the darkness and made some images amongst the glowing lights of the city.  To do this, a new tripod purchase was necessary. No matter how cold the temperatures may feel, you are not “freezing” enough to stand perfectly still and capture a clear image at a low ISO (I tried to deny this reality for months).

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Shooting in low ISO is new to me, but I had such a great time capturing the whirling lights of the trams and vehicles. The city was still surprisingly busy, being the last couple days before Christmas. Traffic was significant, by Finland standards. More fun than capturing the images was finding new angles to shoot from. With my new Gorillapod, I can capture images from perspectives which were not achievable before now. Plus there is the added bonus of cracking vlog jokes with my husband and doing my best Casey Neistat impersonation. Where is my Boosted Board?

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As my muse, the holiday lights keep the city bright. Although I have not technically seen the sun this week, and have not felt the warmth of its rays in months, twinkling lights keep spirits bright. This is one thing Helsinki does beautifully! With the downtown area in nearly uniform white lights, the streets feel all the more magical during this special time of year.

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This season marks my third holiday in a row here in Helsinki. To be honest, I did not know if I would stay here this long. To be even more honest, I do not know if I will endure this third winter. It is true Finns have an incredible sense of survival, even against all odds. Yet, I am not a native, and my discipline has been challenged this year. Since moving, I have found gratitude to be a critical lifeline.

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Counting blessings and maintaining personal practices and hobbies are crucial. Thus, I am beyond grateful for these images. My new tripod allows me to continue to feel the joy of creating content even when conditions are not ideal. So unless the temperatures turn too cold to keep my camera on, I will continue to capture the night.

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xx – nasty trash

Post 49 of 52​

December 6th, 2017 was the 100th anniversary of Finlands Independence. While I have been living here, this has been a huge celebration all year long. For those of you who may not know, here is my rendition of the celebration.

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Finns have a different mood towards December 6th, compared to other Independence Day traditions around the world. It is a solemn holiday here when citizens take time to remember those who lost their lives. Similar to Veterans Day in my home country.

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Fortunately, the centennial celebration brought a new mood. Blue and white themed the streets, shop windows, and light displays. Hundreds of thousands of people were out enjoying the day. As my third time in Finland for this holiday, it was a rather shocking detail. In years past people tend to keep to themselves. Stores close and the community stays rather quiet. I am hopeful that those traditions are in the past, and now the people have taken a new attitude to their achievement.

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Although hard times were faced so many years ago, I feel a positive celebration is what sustains progress. In my experience, celebrations bring communities together, verses mournings that tend to separate individuals. Among the fireworks, festive lights, and a whole year of pride leading up to this moment, Finland has a lot to be thankful for! As for me, I am thankful to be witness to something so special.

xx – nasty trash

Post 47 of 52

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Last Saturday, Helsinki Metro opened its brand new metro line extending from the city center into the large suburban area of Espoo. This has been a long-awaited moment for locals after a year of delays in construction. Commuters finally get to enjoy the new and beautiful underground line.

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In true Nordic fashion, the visual design did not go without deep consideration. As you can see from the abundance of content I have this week. there was a lot to look at. My husband and I began with a morning ride to the very last stop and checking out each station on the way back to the city center.

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Each metro station had its own unique appearance, and these images are simply my favorite moments captured. What I failed to capture, but thoroughly enjoyed, was the number of families, photographers, and interested locals out and about riding the new transportation.

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At one point I turned to my husband and said, “This is one of my top favorite days in Finland, ever!” As a suburban kid, metros, subway lines, and general urban transportation still fascinates me and ignites magic movement into any city. Although, Finns do not feel this same giddy sensation about local transportation. A normal commute, at rush hour, would usually consist of a full ride and not a single sound. Everyone tends to keep to themselves or maintain whispers of a conversation. No smiles, chit chat, or excessive expressions.

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In stark contrast to that stereotype, the metro grand opening was a happy affair. A family event none the less, and one that left smiles on faces of all ages. Crowds dressed in all orange to commemorate the moment. No groups appear in this particular collection of images, but it is still a memory I will cherish of the Finnish people. Knowing the citizens of Helsinki and Espoo do truly enjoy their community amenities, and it is something of a celebration to participate in this collective experience.

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I hope you enjoyed these images as much as I enjoyed making them. To any travelers, locals, or modern marvels, the Helsinki Metro is a must see! Not only will you get a break from the frequent cold and winter winds, but it is a unique way to explore a more intimate part of the city’s veins.

xx – nasty trash

Post 43 of 52

Dear readers, this is a public service announcement: You are official being introduced to The Big Four!

What is The Big Four? It includes the basic essentials to any conscious lifestyle. Most of us are well aware of the impact our waste has on the planet, but no matter your current lifestyle, the big four can help save us all!

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First is the shopping bag. To my American readers, this is still a new shift for part of the country, for everyone else, you are already aware of the importance (also because certain countries and stores charge extra for a plastic bag). This particular bag I picked up years ago visiting Jyväskylä Finland. Hence the foreign script across the side, reading “goodbye to the plastic bag”.

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Second in the line up is the coffee mug. If it is absolutely critical that you must take your drink to go, be prepared.  I know Keep Cup is a very popular brand amongst baristas these days, although I just use this adorable porcelain one I picked up at Tiger for less than 3 euros. A little more trusting than glass, and a little more cozy than plastic. An alternative recommendation is to simply make time for your coffee or tea, sit down, and enjoy!

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The third is the water bottle. Y’all, stay hydrated! My current source of hydration is the Memo bottle. I have previously mentioned this bottle on the blog and I am still in love with it. The sleek design is so helpful for backpack styles, and overall space saving investment.

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Last but not least, is the reusable straw. I’ve been walking around my house for weeks ranting about how straws are the new plastic bag. Be it a viral image of a straw entangled in a sea animals body, or just the fact you might be a nervous chewer, a metal straw is a game changer. I got 4 stainless steel straws + pipe cleaner off amazon.

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Finally a Trash Tip for those of you interested in doing a little more, keeping reusable cutlery and Tupperware! Toss it in your bag whilst around town and if you are picking up a pastry to-go, or have leftover lunch, a little preparation goes a long way.

So there it is folks, The Big Four! You can no longer say you did not know or wonder what it is you can do to be a better citizen on the planet. I share this post today because I am already making the personal paradigm shift for 2018 resolutions. I will confess I am not perfect, but all it takes is the mental awareness to change an ignorant habit to an educated lifestyle.

xx – nasty trash

Post 41 of 52

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As predicted, I have returned to the botanical gardens. This trip is more intimate than the inaugural, yet it was just as satisfying. A slow tram ride through the city carried me from my neighborhood to the garden entrance, and thus the adventure began.

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The content brings to light what I fail to experience in reality. The seasons are transitioning across the globe. Social media likes to remind us all when the change occurs, even if it is at the expense of our personal comfort. I enjoy seeing the leaves change color in Helsinki, the spring surf pictures from Cape Town, and the seasonal sunset shots people capture from around the world but take it too far at times and I begin to wonder why I’m not somewhere else.

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To respond to this global FOMO epidemic, the botanical gardens are my saving grace. On this particular day, I enjoyed the crisp autumn air, golden leafy textures, combined with dry cactus arrangements, humid rainforest foliage, and summer green aesthetic… all within a few meters from the other.

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I’m grateful for this little garden space. It is as if I can easily transport to a different scene, without a plane ticket, passport, or bikini wax, and experience something totally different than the moment before.

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Until next week,

xx – nasty trash