Stop mindlessly using single-use plastics already! Seriously, it's driving me insane. According to a report by the WEF and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, "There could be more plastics than fish in the ocean (by weight) by 2050." This is a worldwide problem. With serious consequences being felt now, lasting last far into the future, we can no longer afford to let our society's plastic-use go unchecked.

We're in 2017 with great affordable alternatives, yet plastic consumption continues to grow. And it's growing fast. “Global plastic production has increased from 2 to 380 metric tons (Mt) annually from 1950 to 2015.” This according to a recent global study by Roland Geyer published in Science Advances. And "half of the total plastics manufactured during this period (3900 Mt), was produced in just the past 13 years.” Our ever-growing addiction to plastic is causing a massive shift in our ocean and terrestrial ecologies but is being widely ignored for convenience and societal norms. Not only is it being ignored, but oftentimes being sold to us as the best way to consume.

Throwaway-plastic use is even being glorified and promoted in modern, celebrity/influencer culture. Many Instagram stars and celebrities take food photos and post shots of themselves with plastic coffee cups, straws, and other forms of single-use plastics on a regular basis. When I see a picture like this, not only am I completely baffled, but I want to cry. These images are the most lucrative form of advertisement in our social-media driven world. People of all ages look to them for inspiration for how to live and behave. So why are there so many plastics being promoted in these shots? Mindless plastic consumption isn't glamorous. On the contrary, it's burying our planet alive and suffocating the Earth's creatures. Big and small.

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     Valentine's Day is around the corner and many of us are searching for the perfect gifts for the ones we love. A holiday of cards, flowers, and chocolates originating in the UK, Valentine's Day has become an American tradition that is here to stay.

     Thankfully sweets for your sweeties don’t have to be bad for health or the planet anymore. In 2017 there are so many beautiful and delicious ways to give. In consideration of all involved in your gifts’ production, choose ethically-made and Eco-friendly products. They are unique and made with love for you and the planet. 

    Check out my eco-friendly Valentine’s Day gift ideas and have a happy, healthy, and thoughtful Valentine's Day!     


     Unfortunately many of the candies marketed for Valentine's Day are not-so-sweet when you take a look at their ingredients. Most mass-produced chocolates are filled with hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, and other artificial flavors that wreak havoc on our health. Thankfully we have delicious, organic, vegan, and fair-trade sweets available as an alternative. 




     Flowers sold at most stores are sprayed heavily with pesticides and imported across from the world. In a typical year, between 85 and 95 percent of the most common cut flowers sold in the U.S. are imported from Colombia or Ecuador. Feel happy about your Valentine's Day bouquet by giving flowers from an organic florist.

Gardenia NYC

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      Lingerie production is not what it used to be. Most big retailers have exported their lingerie fabrication to sweatshop labor in countries that pay their employees pennies a day and put their workers in dangerous situations (see True Cost to find out more). Fortunately there are still brands that specialize in lingerie that are dedicated to sustainability and quality of production. Give a gift that makes your women feel beautiful and empowered, knowing that she is wearing something good for her and the world.

Woron Store

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     Jewelry, regardless of the price, has also become a business using unethically produced materials. Cheap costume jewelry doesn't last, and usually is produced using unfair labor. Expensive jewelry is often made with materials that, when mined, cause destruction to the environment and exploit the poor communities inhabiting them. There are so many jewelers that refuse to follow this unsustainable model, that we have an option as consumers to give ethically. Beautiful and on-trend, you are sure to please your loved ones with gifts like these.

A Peace Treaty

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     If you live in a city that has farm-to-table or vegan restaurants, make your Valentine's Day reservations there. The food will be healthier and better for all involved (our planet, the farmers, and the consumer). I have an extensive list of restaurants in my resources section HERE. If you don't have access to restaurants like this, or you want to impress your loved one with a romantic meal at home, check out amazing ideas from sustainable, vegan cookbooks. 

      Have a happy, healthy, and thoughtful Valentine's Day, and please leave comments with your eco-friendly, sustainable Valentine's Day ideas below.

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Renee Peters

Renee Peters is a NYC-based model, blogger, and advocate of mindful, sustainable living. She strives to be a role model by using her platform for positive change. Through her blog, Model4GreenLiving, Peters seeks to reshape the way people think about environmental issues and provide practical tips and everyday actions for readers.  Peters uses social media to promote that same message, as well as one of self-love and body-positivity. She also volunteers, is an environmental activist, and is an avid learner of anything relating to the planet and its health. For booking inquires visit Muse Models NYC or Nomad Management Miami.