Eco-Friendly Products Under $30

Happy Earth Day! 🌎🌍🌏

When it comes to being eco-friendly and leading a sustainable lifestyle, I’m far from perfect. I indulge in fast fashion shopping and order takeout and most likely use way too much electricity. Nonetheless, by switching to a few eco-friendly products, you can definitely make a difference!

Eco-Friendly Products Under $30 - Shades of Sarah

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First up, the Baggu reusable tote. I have three of these, and they’re perfect (they also make great small gifts!). They come in lots of fun prints and colors, and fold up into little pouches. It is so much easier to carry these around than the reusable bags sold at the grocery store. They’re made of nylon, so they’re super strong and easy to clean.

I’m pretty good at not keeping plastic water bottles in the house (disposable water bottles are basically the worst), but would run into trouble when I was out of the house. Then I found this Contigo water bottle (only $10 at Target!). It’s leakproof (so I can carry it in purse or tote no problem) and the silicone sleeve prevents condensation from making everything damp. It also has two removable tops, so it’s easy to fill with ice cubes. It’s also dishwasher-safe. So basically it’s 💯

I also recently switched to these reusable cotton rounds for my makeup remover and toner. (I still use regular cotton balls for nail polish remover, but I used to go through multiple cotton balls daily as part of my skincare routine.) They take some getting used to — since they’re flat and thin, they’re not super absorbent so the liquid tends to float on top. Once you figure that out, it’s just as easy a regular cotton ball to use. I can get multiple uses of one swab because they’re so large (I just fold them up as I go), and they come with a little bag for the wash. It’s such relief to not see my wastebasket full of dirty cotton balls.

Let me know if you guys use and love any of these!

~ Sarah

What To Pack To A Trade Show

Last week, I was in Raleigh for work. To be honest, while it’s nice to get away from the desk for a few days, there is nothing particularly glamorous about trade shows. There’s a lot of talking and handshaking and being indoors for long periods of time — and if you’re an exhibitor (like my employer is), you also have to set up and deconstruct your booth. It poses a bit of a packing challenge, but this is what came with me:

What to pack to a trade show

  • Solid and print button-up shirts: The easiest (and most space-efficient) way to look cleaned up. (I avoid dresses at trade shows because I know I’ll be running around and whatnot throughout the day.)
  • Ponte leggings/pants: Comfy like leggings, but thick and structured enough for business casual settings.
  • Printed pants: See above, but perfect to pair with your solid blouses for some interest. I love my printed Pixi pants from Old Navy.
  • Blazer: The temperature at hotels is always one extreme or another, sometimes in the same day, so this business-ready layer is always good to have on hand.
  • Flats: I am rarely a heels wearer, but if there’s a time for flats, it’s when you’re setting up and breaking down a booth.
  • Swimsuit/workout wear: I always double-check the hotel’s amenities to see if they have a fitness center or swimming pool. It’s a lot easier for me to work out when the gym is only a few floors down.
  • Steamer: The foolproof way to get wrinkles out if you don’t trust irons (like me).

To keep things as simple as possible, I also bring only one simple set of accessories (usually in silver): a watch, ring, earrings and a necklace. I wouldn’t recommend a statement necklace since chances are you’ll get to rock an awesome lanyard/name tag around your neck.

I like to be more creative (and sometimes more casual) with my work wardrobe on a regular basis, but when it comes to trade shows, I ultimately want to be comfortable and look professional. I don’t want to be preoccupied with packing or planning outfits, because there’s a hundred other details I have to keep track of for my team.

Have you gone to any trade shows? What’s on your packing list?

~ Sarah

Etsy Wishlist

Since graduating college and starting to work, I’ve tried to become a more conscious consumer. I still love a bargain, but I also love unique pieces and supporting small businesses. That’s what makes Etsy shopping such a thrill — and a little addicting! I thought I’d share what’s currently Etsy wishlist:

Etsy Wishlist Fall 2015

Shop: Miami print | Pineapple necklace | Pitbull necklace | Rose Gold Initial Necklace

I’ve really been loving the dainty jewelry lately (like my Olive Yew necklace seen here), so it’s not a surprise that three of my favorite items are personalized necklaces. The dog necklace is a little kitschy, but I’m all about pittie pride. The pineapple necklace is a subtle homage to my state and southern hospitality. The initial disc necklace is classic enough for everyday.

And the Miami art print? First of all, it’s perfect. Second of all, I will eventually finish my home office and it will definitely have a small gallery wall.

Any favorite Etsy stores or items? I’m always interested in exploring more.

~ Sarah