Friday, December 21, 2012
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Calling all people who want to look good, be good, and do good. A new kind of shopping is making its way into Austin and bringing sustainability to a whole new level. Dubbed W3LL People, this the ultimate skincare boutique located at The Bridges on South Lamar.
No risk of greenwashing here - from the materials used in the décor and building to all the ingredients in the products, W3LL was created to bring a fresh, safe focus on skincare by providing products with proven, medical-grade nutrients that actually work and are not harmful for the planet.
Most conventional skin care products have extended shelf lives because they are packed with preservatives and other "scientific" fillers and chemicals. As it turns out, not so good for the planet or your skin. With the skin absorbing over 80% of what it comes into contact with, it makes a person take pause. While Europe has placed a ban on certain chemicals in many personal care products such as parabens and phthalates, the U.S. government does not require safety testing or have any regulations in place. At W3LL they have culled a list of the top ten worst of worst chemicals that we all should avoid and that you won't find in any of the products they carry.
W3LL was inspired by three friends who met at UT. James Walker, Renee Snyder, M.D., and Shirley Pinkson all shared a common passion in fashion, beauty, sustainability and doing good. The owners of W3LL embrace the challenge of creating a sustainable shopping experience. "We are learning as we go, trying to be conscious and deliberate to do the right thing. There is a level of education that has to happen and we want to create a safe haven that is fun and modern, so people can focus on the good stuff - taking care of themselves and their skin," says Walker.
The space itself serves as a respectable example of doing all things green with a variety of materials and processes. From meeting LEED energy requirements with its AC/electrical units and finish-out, to the zero/low VOC paint, to the eco-resin packaging and display, to the reclaimed chairs bought at a local thrift store, to the recycled denim insulations visible to the eye, you feel better just walking into the space. Whether you are a hippie or hipster, everyone will find something friendly at W3LL through a variety of product lines that are natural, organic, and scientifically proven. A few to take note of:
Ren (based in the UK, pioneers in all natural skincare, excellent men series); Luzern (all organic, luxury offering); Arcana (started by a German chemist turned homeopath/naturalist, proven driven science)
OSEA (marine based, family owned in Malibu, good men series - rumor has it the Luke and Owen Wilson use this line to get their glow on); Raw Gaia - 100% organic, nice baby and children line
Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Now usually I am not one to claim credit (although I do seem to be doing it lately - but at least conscious of it:-), but I have been following these new age philosophers practically since birth. While not explicitely perhaps in the form of mantras, meditations, and master cleanse, I was born into a family where we were taught to believe in ourselves and see the affirmative in every possible situation. My grandfather gave each of his grandchildren a gift of "Grandpa's Hints For Life" listing the top 10 lessons that we should aspire to in our life - "Develop and maintain your self-image, YOU ARE THE BEST" is number 6.
As I watch Oprah telling stories how she passes by a mirror on a daily basis and says "Hello Sunshine" as her self-love mantra, a part of me feels a sense of relief because perhaps the "O factor" can be that shifting point to wake people out of the humdrum of their daily lives. And if she can look in a mirror and say she loves herself, why can't the rest of us?
So what does all this have to do with sustainability and living green? Well, perhaps it is a stretch, but sustainability is literally about being conscious of our daily choices. And being conscious of how we view and feel about ourselves is where the deepest perception must change for the true paradigm shift to occur. If we can't love ourself, how can we love our planet? I get how cheesy that sounds, but I like to call it the "inner green."
Now perhaps affirmations and mantras are not your thing. Trust me, it is easy to judge as "koo koo" (a step below woo woo) because it feels awkward, silly, and sometimes really hard to look at yourself in the mirror and say "I Love You." I mean I can't even write it without giggling. But it is the modern age people, so we can get creative. The best example of this is from my older sister, who likes to leave herself voicemail messages when she needs to add something to her to do list. But because affirmations are part of our blood, she adds a special flare that goes something like this.
(note: For some reason whenever my sisters are on the phone or in a crowd, their Oklahoma accents tend to come out. If you can't imagine that - think Texas with an Alabama twang - not a tried and true accent, but one I think they got from my Aunt Tricia. So please try to imagine this as she calls herself.)
"Hey, it's me. First of all, you looked FABULOUS today. Great color. I wanted to make sure and remind you to call _______________ regarding __________________. Ok, have a great day. And seriously you look amazing today. Love you!"
The thing is, she is totally serious! So if mirrors aren't your thing, try the "woo woo to do" approach of my sister, texting, or even twittering yourself. Better yet, check out these Louise Hay online wisdom cards - (or buy them here for the full mantra:-) the perfect user friendly affirmative reminder. Whatever it takes - embrace the momentary awkwardness, grab hold of that conscious spark, and feel a little bit of the inner green love!
*Editor's note: You will notice the use of "woo woo" used throughout this blog. I am perfectly aware that "woo woo" has numerous terms, many of which are perhaps inappropriate and embarrassing to get into here. But for the use of this blog, it is meant to imply spiritual, energetic, perhaps even "koo koo" and embodies thoughts that many consider to be too new agey and out there.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
When I moved to Austin, Texas several years ago, I tried to nurture a different side of my green roots by focusing on health and wellness. After five years being a co-owner of a successful pilates studio, my entrepreneurial inner voice started to buzz once again, and I found myself back in the Bay Area and in the throws of the new green and sustainable bubble.
- Morning: Wake up. Make a soy protein smoothie because I ran out of Ultimate Meal - bummer.
- Mid-morning: Go for a run. Wearing my "Do Good Often" t-shirt. People are staring - either at my odd running style, my chest, the t-shirt, or all of the above.
- Late-morning: Go to Whole Foods, grab a wheat grass shot, some ultimate meal, and a BPA free water bottle (I left my other one at the pool the other day).
- Lunch: PTerrys to pick up all natural organic hamburger and veggie burger for my niece and nephew.
- Afternoon: Attend the grand opening of a new eco-conscience skincare boutique - W3LL People (Hippie Tested, Diva Approved).
- Late-afternoon: Prepare/decorate for couple's baby shower I am co-hosting. On tap: Blueberry Izzy's (with vodka), Sushi (veggie), Blueberry Shortcake Cupcakes (vegan), Veggie Platter, Cheese Platter, all served on recycled plastic PRESERVE brand (awesome!) and biodegradable corn starch plastic cups.
- Evening: Party time - big success! An eco-party and no one even flinched:-)
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Austin is about to incur a hefty carbon footprint as SXSW kicks off, but thanks to the folks at MakeMeSustainable (MMS), people have an opportunity to walk the sustainability talk. The 'Interactive Carbon Tree' was designed specifically for SXSW in an effort to mobilize attendees at the conference to reduce their collective carbon impact. Check it out here: http://makemesustainable.com/sxsw
MakeMeSustainable's innovative social networking tool has earned a finalist position in the Activism and People's Choice categories for the SXSW Interactive Web Awards. The Carbon Tree tool is also available to environmentally conscious musicians to help mobilize fans around sustainable goals. Jose Gonzalez is the first artist MMS partnered with and they've created a customized Carbon Tree designed for him and his fans: http://www.reverbrock.org/josegonzalez/.
Event organizers are also doing their part to reduce SXSW's impact by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from the City of Austin to negate the 263 tonne carbon footprint.
Austin Energy will retire 448 solar RECs on behalf of SXSW and use the proceeds from the sale to begin implementation of a local renewable energy project. One project under consideration is a solar charging station. The charging station would provide sufficient power to charge small devises such as cell phones and laptops, as well as electric scooters and bikes.
Greener Actions at SXSW 2008 include offering all delegates 24/7 access to biofuel made from cotton seed waste for their vehicles; eliminating all bottled water for staff and volunteers and using municipal water fountains instead; featuring environmental issues in the conference programs and offering tips to delegates on how to have a greener SXSW.
So be sure and join the collective impact of tracking your carbon reductions via the MakeMeSustainble SXSW carbon tree tool and get your green on while getting your groove on!