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Five Easy Eco Pieces from Shak-Shuka {Guest Post}

the eco-mama on the scene this week is joslyn from the eco-style webshop shak-shuka based in rotterdam, nl. just like her boutique, mrs. shak-shuka makes looking and living green easy as pie. here are her five simple ways to clean-up your routine:

1. Don't, or Limit the Amount of  Plastic Toys You Buy
We all know the conundrum of plastic toys creeping their way into our house, then being left for the dumpster shortly thereafter. Not only are plastics bad for the environment (to produce and once they are discarded they stick around longer than we do!), they are usually quite garish and make your décor look like a bit more “Playroom Goes Wild” than “Elle Décor”. Wood, fabric, and paper toys are all great alternatives, and once their play days are over, they can either be recycled or even better – passed down as heirlooms. Of course you can’t deny the durability of plastic, so there are some great options of non-toxic, recycled plastics that will give both you and Mother Earth peace of mind when the kids are at play.
Our favorites are:

2. Find an Eco Alternative for One of your Fave Items
This may sound painful, but once you replace one of your favorite go-to items with an organic or eco-friendly alternative, you’ll never look back. Ours would HAVE to be hands-down paper towels. Not sure how my husband does it, but he manages to go through a roll per week. I’ve managed to replace real napkins over paper towels (shh! Our little secret) at mealtime, and use old-fashioned hankies when it’s cold season and we’re blowing our noses all season long! If you don’t want to go with fabric, there are a slew of eco-friendly/recycled paper choices which are also a good option. Just remember that every little step and new “green” habit that you take on, will have a profound effect on the environment and your family over time, so go for it and be daring!

3. Bring Spare Bags Wherever You Go
You would be surprised how many plastic bags you can accumulate in a week, so come prepared: small bags, big bags, if you’re feeling brave and know you’re heading in for some major food shopping, you can even bring a trolley! Re-usable bags have seriously gotten a makeover and there are some amazing styles that you won’t mind schlepping around or perched on your shoulder next to your favorite handbag. Each bag we re-use is one less plastic bag that we end up casting into the ocean forever!
Great plastic bag alternatives:

4. Eat Organic or Veggie Once a Week
Eating organic and/or eating vegetarian can make a big impact not only on your family’s life, but also that of the environment. Start slowly and shop wisely: maybe don’t run out to the health food store and buy everything (because you’ll quickly go broke!), but instead start with maybe an organic breakfast that you and the kids like, say organic milk and muesli. Many times traditional supermarkets carry as much variety as specific health food stores, and it makes for easier one-stop-shopping. It’s also beneficial for the earth, your family, and the environment to eat vegetarian once a week, and there are great sites for making vegetarian meals for the whole family. (image: © David Loftus)
Some of our favorites are:

5. Get Kids Involved with Everything
This may sound like a “no brainer” but the more children get involved with chores and tasks around the house, the more likely they are to continue them on their own. For instance, the next time you make a fruit salad, let the kids help you (supervised please!) cut up some of the fruit. Every time you get them involved, they not only benefit from the me-and-you time, but they learn about the importance of the task that they’re doing (gardening, recycling, cooking). There are countless ways to get children of all ages involved, and you’ll be surprised how you can turn a fussy eater into a gourmet chef by having him/her help you make lunch or dinner. Of course if you’re lucky enough to have space for a veggie patch or garden, that will only re-emphasize the importance of eating healthy and seasonally.


  1. All great ideas, I especially love the getting the kids involved with chores one! Can you believe most kids starting age 4 actually want to help out? While not all eco products do the job as well as the chemical ones, they are the ones I buy as I find some of them easier to hand over to my 6yo to clean with. You can also add try to start your own veggie garden! You need not have a huge plot of land, we use the tight plot beside our house in a box. It also saves you some $ and is fun for the kids to do too!

  2. thanks so much for letting us share in the C&A's spotlight! definitely feeling the (eco, green of course) love :) xxx

  3. I still use plastic bags especially when I know that they are recyclable. I suggest that you do the same. Thanks.

  4. I really love this post. It's great to learn eco-responsible habits and teach this to our children.


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