7 Single Use Items You Can get rid of today and why you totally should!

People create  64 tons of waste in a lifetime.   A big portion of this waste comes from single use items. Most of these items are made of plastic and are contributing to the plastic crisis we have right now. If you want to save the planet by making easy changes to your daily habits, then keep reading!

The mantra of zero-waste living is to reduce, reuse and recycle. Today, we will be talking about re-using. Have you stopped to think about how many single use items you go through daily? Here’s a typical example of our friend Sarah. On the weekends, she likes to go grocery shopping and run errands. She leaves the grocery store with her items in plastic bags. She grabs her favorite daily coffee in a paper cup. She goes home and spills some of that coffee on the counter and cleans it off with paper towels.

This is just one example of the unnecessary waste we may produce in one day. We will be sharing with you a few ways you can make changes to your daily habits that are good for the planet and leave more money in your pocket!

1) Razors

Did you know that disposable razors are good for 3 to 10 shaves? So if you shave 3 times a week, you will go through 4 razors a month. If you spend on average 14$ per pack, you will be spending around 19$ every month or 228$ a year. Not only does it cost about 228$/year to buy disposable razors, but it creates unnecessary plastic waste. Safety razors are a great alternative. They cost about 57$ and last a lifetime. You can buy a box of 100 blades for 12 dollars. Your initial investment will cost you 69$ for about 2 years. And after that, it will cost 6$ a year to shave your legs.  If you shave your legs for 50 years in your lifetime, you would be spending 11400 dollars. If you shave your legs with a safety razor, it will cost you 357$ for 50 years. That’s 11043$ in savings in a life time! This is proof that protecting the environment does not have to cost you more money. As outlined here, sometimes it does the exact opposite.  Check out some razors we found here.

2) Paper towels

The average American family uses two rolls of paper towels per week. Considering that our habits are similar to our neighbors, it is not far fetched to assume that Canadians also use this many. Not only do they pollute water and harm marine life, but they are also harmful to our health. They contain high amounts of BPA, a hormone disruptor responsible for some cancers, and formaldehyde, a known carcinogen . These paper towels contain bleach, and yet are still being used to soak the oil out of fried foods. To protect your health, and the environment, opt for reusable rags such as these to clean anything and everything. Then easily throw them in the wash.

3) Paper floor cleaners

Paper floor cleaners are also another unnecessary expense. Not only do these produce waste, but they also require repurchasing. When you invest in a good mop, it can last you a few years. Not to mention that there is nothing like an old fashion good scrub.


4) Toilet paper

Yes yes we know what you think! Who would want to opt out of toilet paper? Well hear us out. Toilet paper wipes out 27000 trees a day. We throw away 17 billion toilet paper rolls per year. So if you’re going to buy toilet paper, opt for recycled toilet paper that is unbleached. You will save trees, and protect your body. And if you’re brave, you can have a professional bidet such as this one installed on your toilet. This will help you reduce your toilet paper usage, or eliminate it completely.

5) Pads and tampons

Did you know pads and tampons cause so much pollution? Pads, tampons and their packaging generate over 200 000 tons of waste per year. Tampons also have harmful health effects where they can cause toxic shock syndrome. Moreover, the retained moisture from using bleached disposable pads can lead to recurring yeast infections, and PH imbalances in your sensitive areas. Canadian women spend 65.82 $ a year on average on feminine products. This is what some people refer to as pink tax. Empower your body and the environment by opting for something like a reusable menstrual cup (made of silicone, not plastic!), which can last up to 10 years. And if you prefer pads, there is also the option of using washable cloth pads or period underwear. But make sure you change them frequently!

6) Cups vs tumblers

If you buy a Starbucks coffee everyday, it will average you about 1080$ per year. Or you can make a 20 cent coffee at home, and put it in a reusable jar or tumbler like this. If you like the feeling of splurging on coffee daily, and making a ritual out of coffee shop drive thrus, we understand! You would still be saving 360 paper cups/year from the landfill.

7) Grocery bags

Plastic bags are often unnecessary. Many grocery stores started charging for them to deter customers from buying them. They even started selling eco-friendly reusable grocery bags for a dollar or two. Not only are these bags sturdier than plastic ones (we mean how many times did one of your bags rip wipe open from the weight of its contents? ), but it also prevents many plastic bags from reaching the landfill. According to the Canadian government, Canadians use 15 billion plastic bags every year. This is how many bags we would be preventing from reaching the landfill every year.

So there you have it! Which one of these are you excited to start applying? Let us know in our social media.

With love and compassion,

Team Karunaki
First photo from  Ignacio F on Unsplash 
Second photo from Ignacio F on Unsplash
Third photo from Crystal de Pasille Chabot on Unsplash
Fourth photo Xiaozhen from on Unsplash
Fifth photo from Michael Jasmund on Unsplash
Sixth photo from Josefin on Unsplash
Seventh photo from Jar Randy Fath on Unsplash
Eighth photo from Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

Eco-Friendly Essentials for Your Next Party: A Basic and Practical Checklist

Image by 5598375 from Pixabay 


We all love a good party.

A whole night of laughter, games and overall good times with your friends and family sounds wonderful! But you know what doesn’t?

Cleaning up.

We can hear the groans already. Nobody likes saying goodbye to the last few party guests only to turn around and sigh at the sight of food crumbs and paper cups scattered across the floor, the pieces of glitter lining the couch, or the leftover bits of plastic on the table from opening gifts.

You’re not alone in this.

The environment doesn’t appreciate it either. Each year 230 million tonnes of waste is produced by people in the United States alone, and disposable party plates and soda bottles only adds to the problem.

So let’s make preparing your parties a more pleasant experience for everyone. Below is a simple but effective checklist that you can follow so you can be a party animal without hurting animals. Or plants. The Earth in general.

Let’s begin, shall we?


Cups, Plates and Cutlery

Party cups

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay 

Before anything else, for most parties, you’re going to have a lot of guests. And that means they’ll need a lot of fuel.

They also probably don’t want to be crowding around the salad bowl or the pitcher.

There are lots of things you can do here to minimalize your house party waste.

Instead of getting disposable plates or cutlery at the supermarket down the street, consider eliminating the need for them altogether by offering quick and easy finger foods. And for the food hoarders, you can always offer the regular plates from home. Or better, yet, make them bring their own reusable containers or plates!

As for cups, this is pretty simple. Just as with food, have some reusable glasses or cups clean and ready for the occasion! If you’re worried about having too few, ask people to bring their own reusable bottles or mugs.

By not using disposable dishes or cutlery, you can cut down on costs, trash to clean up and waste all at the same time! And if you really need to get some, buy the ones that are biodegradable and won’t pollute our oceans.


Food and Drink

Party food

Image by andreaegger from Pixabay 

Now for the good stuff. As mentioned before, prepare some simple dishes people can eat by hand, like chips, cookies or fruit. With the internet, learning a new recipe has never been easier.

Want to wow the guests even more? Go all the way and make some vegan dishes or even zero waste recipes. Turn old leftovers into tasty treats. Swap the milk and eggs for plant-based alternatives when baking. Try out some new, natural flavors. This is a chance for you to get creative and impress people.

Imagine the satisfaction you’ll feel when you say, “try these vegan muffins. I baked them myself!”



Party decorations like balloons and confetti

Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay 

Some people enjoy a more down-to-earth house party while sitting down in front of the TV. Others might prefer something a little more lavish.

Regardless, you might decide you want to spruce the place up a bit.

Go for it! There are several ways to create party decorations that won’t end up polluting the environment.

The first thing you can do is shop for decorations made out of organic material that will decompose naturally. This is the most convenient way to go about it.

Another thing you can do that might potentially be more fun, as well as save on costs, is to make your own decorations yourself!

You can cut out and paint recycled cardboard nametags or banners. You can tie up old clothes or towels into colorful streams and curtains. You can even punch holes in leaves to create all-natural confetti! And don’t worry, removing just one leaf won’t hurt the plant at all. There’s a ton of things you can do!


House Rules (What the Guests Can Do)

Party people

Image by bridgesward from Pixabay 

The last thing to check off the list are the house rules. They’re a chore, but they’re necessary so things don’t end up turning into a mess – both figuratively and literally.

In addition to previously mentioned things like getting the guests to bring their own water bottles or cutlery, as the host you should also encourage them to be eco-friendly as well.

Ask them to pitch in by bringing their own leftovers, or if they’re bringing some gifts (a lucky someone’s birthday, perhaps?), ask them to use sustainable packaging, or wrap them in cloth instead.

And it goes without saying that you should prepare distinguishable bins for both recycling and disposable waste for the event. That way you can simply drop the appropriate waste off at your local recycling facility.


Be Ready for Disposables

Party waste piling up

Image by Tania Van den Berghen from Pixabay 

Despite being armed with this checklist of sustainable party tips, you should still prepare for some waste left behind at the end of the day.

Sometimes, regardless of your efforts, compromises just have to be made for the sake of convenience. And you shouldn’t feel guilty about it, nor should you shame someone else for it. Just do what you can to reuse and recycle, then dispose the rest and move on.

You should still pat yourself on the back for doing your best to live a more sustainable life. No matter how small the effort, it still goes a long way.


Money Won’t Help You When the Planet’s Dead, But Can We Spend Money to Help The Planet Now?

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay 


Leonardo DiCaprio made the news when he pledged 5 million dollars to save the Amazon rainforest, donating it to local groups and indigenous communities to help fight the fires ravaging their home. Obviously, this has gotten him a lot of green brownie points.

And while we’re not all multimillionaires with pockets full of money, most of us do have money. We all spend money one way or another, whether it’s on food, transportation, traveling, entertainment, or literally anything else that requires you to open your wallet.

Being environmentally-friendly doesn’t mean you have to give up spending money or buying things. In fact, you should feel free to buy to your heart’s content! The most important part of living an eco-friendly life is loving an eco-friendly life.

So we’ve put together a list of ways for you to funnel your leftover spending cash into a force for good, and save the planet with money! Let’s begin.


Donate to Charities

Charity money

Image by HeatherPaque from Pixabay 

We’re starting this list off with a no-brainer. Obviously, if you have the money, consider donating to local charities dedicated to serving the environment. Even if it’s just a little, it’ll go a long way in contributing to the fight against pollution and climate change.

A useful resource to finding the best local environmentalist charities (and charities in general) is Charity Navigator. We suggest doing your due diligence and researching the charities you decide to donate to first, as the world is rife with scammers and frauds. If you’re going to spend some extra money, it should at the very least go towards something meaningful.


Support Local Produce

Local produce and groceries

Image by Gabe Raggio from Pixabay 

When grocery shopping, it’s important that you aim to buy from farmer’s markets or organic stores that support sustainable food production practices.

That means the food you buy is more than likely ripe, nutritious and fresh, not to mention free of potentially harmful chemicals and GMOs found in traditional commercial produce. It’s also a lot better for the environment, as production of the crops utilizes less fuel and creates less waste thanks to proper green techniques employed by the farmers.

And if all that isn’t enough incentive, it also costs less to buy from local farmers. So actually, you’re saving money by shopping organically.


Buy Eco-Friendly Alternatives

Happy woman shopping

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 

Speaking of shopping, the simplest change you can make is to buy products from eco-friendly companies. You can buy eco-friendly alternatives for just about anything, from basic items like clothes and soap to even phone cases.

And not only are they good for the environment, in the case of certain products like cosmetics or bath products, many contain toxic substances that can lead to many health problems like fertility issues or hormone disruption. Some have even been known to cause cancer.

So do yourself and the environment a favor by purchasing eco-friendly alternatives to your favorite products. It’s worth the security and satisfaction you get after making the purchase.


Adjust Your Mode of Transportation

Car in the forest

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay 

Motor vehicles are extremely notorious for the massive amounts of CO2 they release into the atmosphere. In fact, they make up more than 50% of all air pollution in the United States.

That’s why instead of putting your money on your car, get yourself a bicycle to ride to work, especially if it’s not that far away from home. The exercise is great for your health and there are zero carbon emissions to worry about.

If getting a bicycle just isn’t in the cards for you, no worries. You can still reduce your carbon footprint by getting a eco-friendly car. There are several modern models that run on electricity and other energy-efficient fuels.


Get Some Plants

House plants in the kitchen

Image by Denise Husted from Pixabay 

If you can, create a garden in your backyard by growing some new plants. Not only does it look nice, but it helps the environment as well by reducing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis. Bonus points if you get yourself a flower; bees rely on flower nectar to feed their colonies, and we rely on bees for the survival of our crops.

Even just a potted plant on your balcony or even desk goes a long way in contributing to the environment. Indoor plants have also been shown to increase air quality and lower the risk of airborne diseases. Who doesn’t want to stay fresh and healthy?

We recommend getting plants that are well-suited to absorbing carbon dioxide and other toxins for maximum benefits. Rubber figs, lady palms, philodendrons, Dracaenas, and peace lilies are all excellent choices to improve your home. To learn more about them, we suggest reading this article from Gardening Fever.


Hold on a Second…

Before you march on forward, wad of cash in hand, remember that these are simply small changes you can make in your life to be more environmentally-friendly. Doing the above does not mean you get to run around littering or leaving the electricity on longer than you need to.

Remember to stay green in other areas of your life. That’s how you leave a positive impact on the environment.



With love and compassion,

Team Karunaki


Work Together to Save the Environment: A Beginner’s Guide to Building an Eco-Friendly Community


Image by Mabel Amber from Pixabay 

Human beings are social creatures. Yes, there are those of us who prefer to keep to themselves, but for most of us, we thrive on being a part of the crowd. As much as we hate to admit it, we get little butterflies in our stomachs when we find people we can connect with. And not just surface level Hi’s and Bye’s, either. We’re talking about the deeply-rooted stuff, the commonalities that make for long-lasting friendships, magical experiences, and maybe, dare we say it, love.

So what does this have to do with living an eco-friendly lifestyle?

Well, there’s strength in numbers. The Amazon Rainforest isn’t called the Earth’s lungs because it has just two healthy trees. Think about the positive impact you can make on the environment by spreading awareness and building a strong community of fellow eco-livers. No, we don’t mean starting up a whole organization (unless of course, you want to, in which case by all means, go ahead!). You can start right in your own neighborhood.

Haven’t you once wished that some of your friends would start practicing more sustainable habits just like you? There’s no better time than the present to start inspiring the people in your social circles to create and nurture eco-friendly lifestyles together!

We’ve put together a basic beginner-friendly guide to help you do just that! These are simple and actionable tips to help you create a happy eco-community all on your own.


Talk to People

Talking to other people

Image by Kevin Phillips from Pixabay 

This is pretty obvious, but the first step is to start getting involved with the people around you. Talk to your neighbors, your flatmates, everyone. Are they practicing eco-friendly habits already? Is there already a small initiative going on? Get in on the action by becoming more in touch with the community you already have. That’s when you can start to help it grow.


Use the Power of the Internet

Internet social media apps

Image by Thomas Ulrich from Pixabay 

Isn’t it great to be living in the 21st century? You can make your efforts even more efficient by using the internet in a multitude of ways.

You can start an online group for the members of your eco-community, so everyone can discuss and share sustainable living tips and resources instantly, and better coordinate with each other for group gatherings or events. You can even take it a step further and start a community blog, so you can educate and raise awareness of the latest environmental trends and issues happening in the world. You can even share some of Karunaki’s helpful tips to get the ball rolling!

The purpose of social media is to connect. So use it to connect.


Hold Clean-Up Events

Beach cleanup

Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

Remember what we said about there being strength in numbers?

Community clean-ups, or any other type of recycling or sustainability-related events are very effective ways of helping the environment. 1.9 billion tonnes of litter goes into our oceans each year, and organizing a huge clean up is the most efficient way to reduce that number. Talk to local organizations, charities and public figures about ways in which you can pitch in as a community. We can guarantee they’ll welcome your support with open arms!

It’s also a great way to get everyone involved with the community and for everyone to get to know each other. We can think of no better way to break the ice than by saving the planet.


Organize a Trading System for Reusable Throwaways

Old recyclables

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay 

Old magazines, worn clothes and other such things you no longer need don’t have to go in the trash. And that goes the same for everyone else. While you could donate to charities or sell them on Craigslist, why not do something a little more helpful by creating a system for the people in your community to trade or give away used items? One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, after all.

It doesn’t even need to be complicated. Simply write down clear guidelines and let people in your community Facebook group know what they can do with their old belongings. It’s also a good way to reduce your waste as a community and maintain a zero waste lifestyle.


Make it Fun

Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

Sustainable living doesn’t have to be a chore. Help your fellow community members feel happier doing their part by making the process a fun one. Organize vegan nights out, recycling art competitions or recycling challenges. The possibilities are endless.

Friendly competition and group interaction are excellent ways to get people to enjoy being a part of the community. They also help to set your community apart from others and create unique experiences and an identity that make being a part of it all that much more fulfilling.


Lead By Example

Leading like a duck

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay 

Never forget, you’re also starting this community to help the environment.

As the person establishing it, it’s your job to be a role model and inspire the rest of your friends and family to practice sustainable living. Reuse, reduce and recycle; source from eco-friendly groceries; regulate water and energy usage. If you have your own personal sustainable habits or lifehacks, share them! If you have a favorite eco-friendly brand or product, let your community know where to get them. Or better yet, you can even share them as gifts to get people interested.

If you’re looking for an affordable way to get introduced to daily-use eco-friendly products, you can check out the Box Club, a subscription box that delivers an assortment of said products straight to you!


Have a Vision

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay 

Finally, it’s also good to have a goal in mind with where you want to go with your community. Do you simply want people to bond over mutual interests? Do you want to reduce the amount of plastic in the area by a certain amount? How much energy per month are you aiming to save as a collective? These are all important questions to ask yourself when you’re planning and/or managing your community. It doesn’t need to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to be grandiose. It just needs to be clear and actionable, so you know what to strive for together.


These tips should be plenty sufficient for you to get started. We must warn you: it’s not easy, and you might struggle in the beginning, but with the right motivation and planning, you can definitely succeed. And the rewards are tremendous. If nothing else, it’ll feel incredibly satisfying to see all those people being brought together by none other than yourself. So best of luck to you, eco-warrior!


With love and compassion,

Team Karunaki


Keeping Sane in a Chaotic World: How Helping the Environment Helps Your Mental Health

Image by chezbeate from Pixabay

Worrying about the bills, going to work every day, maintaining some semblance of a social life, and on top of that having to watch all the crazy things you see on the news? Sounds stressful.

But growing research says that doesn’t need to be the case. By leading a more eco-friendly lifestyle, you can leave a lasting impact on both the environment and your mental health. That’s right. Going green can definitely make you feel happier and fulfilled, and here are the reasons why.


It Reflects Well on You

Job well done

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By buying eco-friendly products and practicing sustainable habits, you’re doing good work for the environment, and that says something about who you are as a person. At least, this study published by Frontiers in Psychology seems to agree. The study found that people who exhibited more environmentally-friendly behavior generally had a more positive self-image.

Simply practicing sustainable behaviors does wonders for your self-esteem by altering the way you see yourself. Think about it. Would you prefer the careless person who litters everywhere they go or the person who makes an effort to recycle?


It Makes You Feel Fulfilled

Feeling on top of the world

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Living eco means you’re not just trudging through the mundane. Each day is an opportunity for you to do your part in helping the environment, whether it’s through volunteering, going to seminars or even just talking about the issue with friends and family. It also means you have a goal in mind, a purpose. And for many, that’s enough to live a fulfilling life.

Does more work sound tiring? Well, it isn’t. In fact, having a purpose makes you feel more ready to take on the day’s challenges and gives you the energy and motivation to walk out of the house with a smile on your face.


It Forces You to be Creative

Artist creative in nature

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

There are so many ways to recycle, so many ways to reduce your carbon footprint and so many ways to create compost. And even though there are resources out there like our blog that continuously offer new, inspired ways to repurpose an old piece of cardboard, you can also think of your own.

Incorporating creativity in your life is a surefire way of beating stress and anxiety as well as enhancing your problem solving skills, according to this article from Medical News Today.


It Makes You Feel Like You Belong


Image by Henning Westerkamp from Pixabay 

People of all ages and sexes experience loneliness throughout their life, and it’s a growing epidemic. Feeling like we belong is a huge deal, because of course, everyone wants to feel valued and loved. But the eco life isn’t just a one-person mission; it’s a movement.

The sustainable lifestyle has led to communities sprouting in every corner of the globe, both online and offline. Facebook groups, Instagram accounts and even Reddit are not only useful places to start learning from other environmentally-conscious individuals, but also great places to get in on the conversation. And make sure to check out any local initiatives. Volunteering for eco-friendly events is also a guaranteed way to meet other people with a common goal.

When you live eco, you’re never alone.


It Eases Environmental Anxiety

Eco anxiety

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay 

Eco-anxiety is a very real phenomenon. All the negative emotions regarding the world’s environmental crises can add up, depending on how concerned you are about them, and they can start to take a toll on your mental health. It can range from brief cases of shock or fear to even sleep disorders.

The easy way of resolving this is by taking action. By cleaning up after yourself and reducing your carbon footprint you can alleviate a lot of the feelings of guilt and worry that have built up, and hopefully, it can allow you to breathe easy and live with a free conscience.



The key here is to adjust your mindset. While living sustainably is a major step, it is only one piece of the puzzle. It ultimately falls on you to reach from within. Go at your own pace, and eventually you’ll be living the life that you want by giving the Earth the care and respect it deserves.


With love and compassion,

Team Karunaki


From Plastic to Bamboo: Which Water Bottle Material is Best For You?

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay  


So you want to buy a reusable water bottle.

And not just any reusable water bottle, but the RIGHT one. That’s fair. You deserve only the best. That way you don’t end up regretting your decision as soon as that bottle lands in your hands.

And while our own Karunaki tumblers offer an elegant and efficient way to hold your favorite drink (at the same temperature for hours, no less); we believe it’s important for you to decide what you want. More importantly, you should be equipped with the know-how to make that decision, by answering the question, “which material should I choose?”

Because at the end of the day, with all the different types of reusable containers on the market, it all really comes down to three elements: design, functionality, and material. While the other two you can pretty easily decide on your own based on your own unique needs, the third is a little trickier, as not all materials were created equal, nor were they created perfect.

So without further ado, we’re going to help you make that decision by sharing with you a comprehensive guide to all the main materials available to you, so you can (hopefully) find The One.



Silicone water bottles hiking

Image by tookapic from Pixabay 

Water bottles made of silicone are new on the market and are especially coveted for one key feature: they’re flexible. They can be folded up or rolled when they’re empty so they can take up less space when stored away. They’re also pretty light and resistant to high temperatures, as the material is a slow conductor of heat, making these a favorite among hikers and backpackers.

And as with most other materials, they contain no harmful chemicals, making them perfectly safe to drink from.

Unfortunately, the one thing holding these types of bottles back is, ironically, inconvenience. Collapsible silicone water bottles can be tough to clean and dry due to their structure, making maintenance a rather time-consuming task. For the same reason, they’re also a little bit harder to drink from, though many brands combat this flaw by providing their bottles with a tube or straw attached to the lid.



Aluminum bottles

Image by zfredrik from Pixabay 

Ah, aluminum. The lighter and more fabulous cousins of stainless steel. While they do dent more easily than their steel counterparts, these water bottles are definitely a solid choice for their design and pricing. In terms of value, they sit in a comfortable middle position above plastic and below stainless steel, making them suitable for most people’s budget.

However, since aluminum can contaminate certain acidic liquids, it needs to be lined with material, usually an enamel, resin, polymer or epoxy. There is an ongoing debate over whether or not these linings contain toxic chemicals like BPA, so proceed with caution when deciding to purchase an aluminum water bottle.



Reusable glass bottles

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

If taste is a major factor in your decision, definitely go for glass.

Glass has long been known to contain the purest-tasting water. If you don’t mind reusing bought bottles, they’re also the cheapest to get your hands on. Just wash that empty bottle of juice or liquor and you’re good to go. You can pop it into your dishwasher for safe and easy routine cleaning, as long as you place it properly. Many companies also sell customizable silicone sleeves to add a protective layer should you be concerned about accidental breakage. And last but not least, they also don’t contain BPA.

Now for the cons. While glass can be cheap if you’re reusing store-bought containers, if you want to buy proper glass water bottles, they can be some of the most expensive. On top of that, they’re also dangerous for children, and you. Unsurprisingly, it’s the most fragile material here and you don’t need us to tell you how painful broken shards can be. It’s for this reason that many public recreational areas like parks, beaches and camp sites prohibit people from bringing glass bottles. If you frequent such places, it’s best to keep away from the material.



Plastic water bottles

Image by PDPics from Pixabay 

Plastic has become such a negative word in the sustainable living community, and for good reason. Despite being pretty lightweight, inexpensive and accessible thanks in large part to their widespread use, the material is notorious for containing BPA. Fortunately for you, many manufacturers nowadays use BPA-free plastic, and as long as you’re reusing it, it’s not harming the environment.

But still, even BPA-free plastic can be dangerous for you. Nevermind that safety tests for BPA-free plastic bottles are largely inconsistent, common substitutes for BPA like Bisphenol-S (BPS) have been known to have negative side-effects on human metabolism, even in tiny amounts.

And when you have to say goodbye to that plastic bottle, remember that it may not be possible to recycle it, meaning it’ll only add to the growing pile of plastic waste sitting in our landfills.


Stainless Steel

The next item on this list is stainless steel. Made of food-grade stainless steel these bottles are largely preferred for their robustness. They’re sturdy, long-lasting and high quality ones are good for maintaining internal temperatures, even when heated up. Stainless steel bottles are completely safe, as the metal doesn’t leach and don’t contain any harmful chemicals whatsoever.

When buying a stainless steel bottle, make sure that they’re not lined with plastic on the inside. Even though they’re cheaper, they defeat the purpose of getting stainless steel bottles in the first place since they pose the same risks as regular plastic bottles. Another thing to consider is allergies. If you’re allergic to nickel, be aware that stainless steel does contain traces of it.

Considering getting a stainless steel bottle? Sneak a peek at Karunaki’s own ILIVEECO tumblers! They’re practical, easy on the eyes, and made with bamboo wood, which brings us to the final material on this list…


Bamboo Wood

Bamboo wood is another new kid on the scene, with its innovative origins traced back from Assam, India. According to the article, bottles made from this material are completely leak-free and are completely organic, thanks to being made completely out of bamboo. This means that even if you lose your bottle, or you need to dispose of it, it will biodegrade and you won’t have to worry about contamination, recycling or any of that business. It’s completely natural.

In fact, bamboo only takes about one year to decompose, as opposed to typical plastic, which can take up to 50 years minimum.

So far we’ve found no real cons to bamboo bottles. While they can retain an odor and can be difficult to wash (depending on how the bottle’s designed) these are relatively minor when compared to the dangers of BPA and glass shards, wouldn’t you agree?


Has this article helped you on your quest to finding the perfect bottle? We hope it did!

If you enjoyed it, subscribe to our community, and get alerts on new content to help you live your best sustainable life! You’ll also get a 10% discount code for signing up. Why not use it on that new bottle you’re thinking of buying?


With love and compassion,

Team Karunaki


Unsustainable Packaging As A Consumer: Useful Things To Do With Yours

Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay 

These days more and more buyers are becoming eco-conscious, and so have many companies and brands, but not all of them are reevaluating the packaging of their products.

Unsustainable packaging materials are some of the most polluting and dangerous when it comes to the safety of the environment. Packaging alone contributes 23% of the waste in our landfills every year, and even more are contaminating roads, rivers, oceans and forests. And it’s not just the earth that’s at risk. Chemicals in packaging materials such as BPA, phthalates and PVC are toxic for the human body as well, and have led to no shortage of health issues from allergic reactions to even cancer.

As a consumer, it is important that you buy your goods from companies that do good by our planet and incorporate sustainable packaging in their production practices. Bioplastics, paper and/or reduced packaging in general are all environmentally-friendly materials to look out for when doing your shopping research.

But what if you purchased a product that didn’t come in sustainable packaging? What then?

No worries! There’s still plenty that can be done about the packaging waste that’s made its way into your life.

We’ve compiled a simple but actionable guide to taking care of any leftover unsustainable packaging you may have and take the burden off the planet.

What To Do About Your Unsustainable Packaging

Recyle It

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Image by Shirley Hirst from Pixabay

The number one thing to do here, and likely the easiest solution is to simply recycle your packaging. Reuse plastic bags for your grocery shopping, dog walks or even for your bins at home!

Boxes can be repurposed to hold gifts, supplies and other items that need to be stored away. You can even use larger cardboard boxes as a substitute bedside table, or even a stack of them to act as a makeshift shelf! The possibilities are only limited by your creativity and imagination.

And if there’s absolutely no way you can reuse that little piece of plastic wrap? Give it to your local recycling facility. Even stores like Target and Walmart have drop-offs where you can leave any plastic waste you have so it can be recycled by the pros.

Sell It

Sell recyclables for quick money

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

We know what you’re thinking. Why on earth would someone want to buy literal garbage?

Believe it or not, there are people out there who will gladly take your waste off your hands, and pay you for it too!

Craigslist and BoxCycle are both reliable places for you to sell your cardboard boxes for quick cash. BoxCycle in particular accepts a variety of types, including wine boxes, pallets, moving boxes and packing supplies, to name a few.

Art-ify It

Recycled art

Image by Florence D. from Pixabay 

This is for all you creative types out there!

Technically you can also get artistic with the things you recycle by painting them over or decorating them with glitter, but you can also go the extra mile by going full artist mode. There are a lot of artistic projects that you can spend your free time on using the waste from your leftover packaging materials.

There are a lot of beautiful pieces you can make from your wasted boxes and wraps, and you can either create stunning works of art or simply regular crafts, depending on your skill level. We personally like to get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest.

So what are you waiting for? Let that inner creative beast loose and get started on that Styrofoam miniature castle!


Now, before we send you off to fight in the war against unsustainable packaging, do remember: you will create waste. Or, you might decide that taking the time and effort to recycle is too much. Regardless, it’s always good to not beat yourself up over giving in to a non-eco-friendly habit.

Consistency is key, but we all have our off days, and that’s totally fine! Just remember to stay green for the next time!


With love and compassion,

Team Karunaki


Top 10 Tips For Being Eco-Friendly When Staying at a Hotel

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Traveling isn’t an excuse to forget about the environment.

Yes, we get you. It’s downtime, and a rejuvenating escape from the deadlines, schedules and emails you need to deal with back home. But it’s still in your best interests to practice smart, sustainable habits when you’re off in paradise; even more so if you’ve decided to stay at a hotel.

While many hotels are beginning to practice environmentally-conscious habits, you may still choose to stay at a hotel that isn’t as environmentally-conscious, for your own set of reasons. That’s perfectly fine. What’s even finer, though, is carrying out your duty as an eco-warrior and doing your part as a hotel guest to help the environment, regardless of where you stay!

So below are our top ten ways to minimize your impact on the environment while keeping your hotel stay as enjoyable as possible!


1. Limit Your Trash

Waste trash bin

Image by bluebudgie from Pixabay

It’s easy to forget about your waste when you’re away from home, since room service takes care of that for you. However, there are a lot of hotels that don’t properly recycle their waste and any unnecessary garbage can add to the problem.

So instead of asking for shopping bags or added packages, bring your own! A reused plastic bag or your own personal shopping bag both do the job. You can even take this one step further by bringing any recyclables back home to reuse. Or, if you don’t want the added luggage, you can also bring them to local recycling centers!


2. Bring Back the Soap

Soaps, shampoos and other bath products

Image by Bruno Glätsch from Pixabay

Most of us do this anyway. Who doesn’t want free soap?

But we still have to stress the importance of bringing back hotel soaps, shampoos and other disposable bath products (so long as they’re given free). Many are toxic for the environment and a lot of hotels dispose of them once you leave your accommodation, whether they’re finished or not.

Don’t let that happen, and bring them back with you to reuse at home. You can also use them as soap bases if you make your own soap at home (which you absolutely should)!


3. Even Better, Bring Your Own

Or, you could also bring your own eco-friendly bath products with you. That way, you won’t add to the pile of waste, period, and have complete control over what products you use on your body. Toxic products aren’t just bad for the environment, you know.

As always, make sure you bring them in reusable containers, and not throw them away when you’re done. Otherwise, there’d be no point in bringing your soaps along.

In need of recommendations? We’ll do you one better. Karunaki’s Box Club gets you a gift box full of eco-friendly home essentials sent to you every month. No need to stress over which bath products to get yourself; we’ve got you covered.


4. Regulate Energy Use

Light switch

Image by joffi from Pixabay

It isn’t just physical materials that make up hotel waste. Energy consumption makes up 60% of overall hotel CO2 emissions each year, and while hotel management is becoming increasingly aware of the issue, it still falls on you to manage your own energy use during your stay.

As a general rule of thumb, use the electricity only when you absolutely need it. Turn the air conditioning off if it’s not that hot. Keep the lights on only when you need them, and only enough to keep the room sufficiently bright. Leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on if your room isn’t particularly in need of cleaning; this reduces the amount of electricity used for vacuuming and other cleaning processes.

And while this isn’t energy-related per se, make sure you also reduce your shower time! This ensures that you don’t use up unnecessary gallons of water during your stay.


5. Regulate Towel Washing

Towels and rose

Image by Tesa Robbins from Pixabay

While we’re still on the topic of regulation, there’s no need to wash your towels every single day of your trip. Hang up your towels after use so that room service knows to not take them in for washing. Or, follow the previous tip and hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.


6. Never Use Hotel Laundry

Washing machine

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

In a previous article, we mentioned that doing your laundry less often is great for the environment. Well, it still holds true for your hotel stay. In fact, don’t use hotel laundry services, period.

Hotels usually wash each guest’s laundry in separate loads, creating a huge drain on resources. For longer trips that do necessitate laundry, wash your clothes yourself and hang them to dry. It might be a bit tedious, but it helps the planet, and your wallet! Remember, most laundry services don’t come free.


7. Avoid Bottled Water

Disposable plastic water bottles

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Don’t use bottled water. Please. Avoid it like the plague.

Most hotels offer complementary bottled water to guests, and that’s out of your control. What you can do, however, is reuse that bottle for outdoor excursions. You can also bring your own reusable water bottle so you don’t compound on the plastic waste. You can keep refilling and reusing it wherever you go, so you can save on extra water you buy from the convenience store and always have a drink on hand outside. It’s a win-win!

And about that complementary bottle of water? Make sure you dispose of it properly. Recycling is the default!


8. Limit Meat Consumption


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

For those of you who can’t go full vegan, do not fret. Simply reduce the amount of meat you eat on vacation (and if you can, your daily life). It helps the local wildlife and the fight against the meat industry, which is one of the world’s biggest sources of pollution, even surpassing cars in that regard.


9. Make Your Own Food

Cooking food

Image by Дарья Яковлева from Pixabay

Can’t help the local meat-loving restaurants? That’s okay. Bring your home with you in the form of your own self-made food!

Just as with bringing your own soap and shampoo, this helps you control what and how much food you eat. Go one step further and buy from local farmer markets or eco-friendly groceries. This supports sustainable food production practices as well as the local industry, which helps tremendously for certain countries.


10. Give Feedback

Pen and paper feedback 

Image by Daria Nepriakhina from Pixabay

Last but not least, when all is said and done, and you’ve had your fun, don’t leave without putting in a good word for the community.

If your hotel does not practice eco-friendly habits and processes, suggest that they do. According to this article, guest input can greatly impact the kind of practices that hotels incorporate into their services, meaning you can make a difference simply by writing down a few suggestions. So make sure you do, and keep them specific so your hotel knows exactly what to do and how. Saving the planet is a two-way street and requires everyone to get involved.


We hope that these tips have helped you with your next, or even current, vacation. Remember to make environmentally-conscious decisions wherever you are, because every little action you take creates a huge difference.


With love and compassion,
Team Karunaki


Everyday Things That Harm Your Health And What You Can Do About It



Watching Netflix while eating popcorn. Making a tomato canned soup when you’re under the weather. Using antiperspirant so you don’t smell. Totally harmless every day things…right? Sadly, the answer is no.  Each and every one of the things mentioned above are harmful to your health. In this article, we will shed a light on food, habits and products that may  be causing damage to your health and how you can empower yourself to make better choices.


We live in an era where everything is mass produced to cater to the needs of all individuals. Due to the rise of agricultural development, we no longer have to grow our own food in order to sustain ourselves. If we need food items, we simply go to the grocery store for a plethora of food products from all over the world. This convenience however, comes at a price. In order to mass produce a lot of food, genetically modified organisms were created. It is unclear wether GMOs are safe for consumption. One thing is for sure: our bodies were never made to consume them, and the long term health effects of GMOs are still unknown. Moreover, more than 80% of all genetically modified crops grown worldwide have been engineered for herbicide tolerance. This means that the use of strong herbicides has increased since their existence and the World Health Organization determined that the herbicide glyphosate (the key ingredient in Roundup®, a commonly used herbicide on corn crops) is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”. 
Meat  and animal products are also a problem. Animals who live on factory farms are often abused and mistreated. Cows in milk factories are artificially inseminated, separated from their offspring after birth, and attached to milking machines in confined spaces for the majority of the day without rest. Being plugged into this machine non stop creates infections on the teats of the cows, which leads to pus that ends up in your milk!. These cows are given antibiotics to fight the infections, which end up in our milk along with the pus. 

Fish grown in fish farms also poses a problem. Unlike wild caught fish, these fish are grown in small containers of water filled with antibiotics to make sure they don’t get sick from infections. These antibiotics than make their way into our food and compromise our immune system.

Canned foods are also a huge health risk. Not only are cans  pumped with sodium surpassing the daily recommended dosage (one cup of canned soup, for instance, could have half your daily allotment of sodium), but they are filled with food preservatives, and harmful chemicals like BPA, which can leech into our food and  create hormonal problems.


Did you know that daily habits may be very harmful to your health too? Things like sitting at a desk for too long, or staring a screen too much can cause harmful health effects. Sitting down for long periods of time  increases your risk of chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.  Our bodies are made to move, and sitting for 8 hours a day leading a sedentary lifestyle is harmful to you. Mental health in our modern society is also an issue. With the rise of social media apps like Instagram, more and more people are developing body image issues by comparing their bodies to face tuned and photoshopped Instagram models. Protect your mental health by limiting your screen time and social media exposure.


Toxic Products

Have you ever stopped to read the ingredients found in your personal hygiene products? Most shampoos contain harmful chemicals such as sulphates and parabens,. Recent studies have found that sulfates are toxic and carcinogenic Just because a shampoo advertises that it is sulphate free does not mean that it is paraben free and vice versa. Not only should you opt for chemical free shampoos, but also limit how many times you wash your hair (and body if you’re brave!). Did you know that when you shower daily, you strip your skin off of good bacteria? If you’d like to preserve your health, opt for 100% natural soaps and shampoos. We’re not asking you to stop showering although we do suggest military showers. They are great for the environment, save tons of water, and are better for your health too! And if your personal hygiene routine involves antiperspirant, and  you’d like to avoid smelly armpits, opting for natural options like using lemon juice or baking powder on your armpits is a great idea. Commercial anti perspirants might contain aluminium which may increase the risk of breast cancer.  They interfere with your body’s natural ability to sweat. Don’t clog your sweat glands. Let those babies breathe freely! 
Your cleaning products are also a health hazard. Things like bleach cause damage to the lungs, and impair lung function.  Air fresheners also contain dangerous chemicals that create dangerous compounds when they interact with air. One of these compounds is a dangerous gas called formaldehyde, which are know to cause cancer.  These harmful chemicals are not just found in our cleaning supplies. They can come into contact with our food via our containers. Plastic food containers contain harmful products like BPA which can leech into our food, and act as endocrine disruptors. A good alternative is to use stainless steel containers and silicone bags to preserve food instead of plastic bags. Also steer clear of non stick cookware because the chemical Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was used in non-stick Teflon pans up until 2015 and has been linked to many diseases such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, liver tumors and reduced fertility. Even though stricter regulations are in place, manufacturers are not always transparent about what is in their pans. If you have a non stick pan from before 2015, chances are it is harmful to your health. It is best to get rid of it, and more so if it is scratched.  

What did you think of these revelations? Let us know in our social media.

With love and compassion,

Team Karunaki

First photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash
Second photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Third photo by Manan Chhabra on Unsplash
Fourth photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Eco-Friendly Productivity: Sustainable Ways to Get Work Done

Photo by krisna iv on Unsplash

If we had a penny for all the articles you could find on Google on how you can be more productive, we would all be sailing on yachts.

However, there aren’t nearly enough guides on how you can be more productive and more sustainable at the same time, especially if you don’t work in an office setting.

That’s why we’re here to help! We consume copious amounts of energy on a regular basis (every year, the average person uses enough energy to light two and a half matches each second!), so it’s important that we put that energy to good use. And what better way than by getting work done faster? That way you’ll have more time for the things that matter, like friends, family, yourself, or however you wish to spend your days!

So without further ado, here are our tips on how to boost productivity with eco-friendly practices that help reduce your carbon footprint.


Take a Walk

Why sit there mulling with the lights and air conditioning on when you could otherwise head outside to recollect your thoughts?

Scientific evidence continues to highlight the benefits of walking, especially in nature, for increased mental health and productivity. Just 20 minutes of walking in a natural environment can do wonders for stress by reducing cortisol levels, and simply having visual access to nature can greatly improve concentration. Researchers suggest that it’s likely because we as humans evolved to live in such settings ever since our distant ancestors walked the earth.

So the next time you’re feeling stuck, take a break with a half-hour walk in a nearby park or garden. Then come back with a fresh mind. It’ll do wonders for your productivity, and your electric bill!


Change Where You Work

Or don’t come back. Go work somewhere else.

After a while, the same walls and desk can start to be a bit of an eyesore. So why not work outdoors? We’ve already mentioned the mental health benefits of being in nature, so it stands to reason that working in nature could be even better for productivity. Alternatively, you can also work at your local café. Both options help to reduce the amount of electricity you use, as you’re not consuming additional energy from home. Simply changing the surrounding area in which you work helps to jumpstart your creative juices and have an easier time working.

Just be sure that if you’re going to be drinking coffee, bring along your reusable bottle!



Having a disorganized workspace negatively impacts your productivity by keeping you distracted and uncomfortable.

But there are ways of de-cluttering that don’t involve you dumping a giant bag of waste into the bin!

This article mentions several ways of cleaning up your workspace, including the classic methods of repurposing and recycling some of your waste; as well as giving away what you no longer need to those that do, whether it’s through local donations or by gifting them to people you know personally. Everyone loves a charitable person!

Ultimately, having a more minimalistic workspace with only the tools you need is key. This will leave you with fewer distractions, a more pleasant environment and far less waste to deal with later on, which leads us to the next tip.


Organize Your Notes Digitally

Paper alone accounts for 25% of landfill waste and 33% of municipal waste.

So instead of littering your desk with mounds of sticky notes and sheets of paper, why not use the digital tools that we now have at our disposal? Apps like Google Drive, Microsoft OneNote or your desktop Sticky Notes are useful ways of keeping all your work documents in one place. And thanks to cloud services, you can access them on the go. Having all of the documents you need easily accessible means that you spend less time looking around for them, and in the process, creating a mess.

There’s literally no reason to go the paper route anymore.


Put Yourself On a Timer

Having trouble sticking to one task at a time? Not to worry.

Set a timer for yourself.

It’s pretty simple; all you have to do is give yourself the minimum amount of time you think you’ll need to complete the task. Then set a timer for yourself.

Working on limited time triggers our fight or flight response, and in turn raises our adrenaline and increases focus, allowing us to work much more efficiently. And by keeping your work closed off in timed intervals, you save up on the amount of time and energy wasted simply sitting at your computer doing nothing.

Perhaps those legendary last-minute procrastinators who got everything done in one night had the right idea.


Keep a Plant

An eco-list would not be complete without plants. These little green powerhouses release oxygen into the air, keep ecosystems from falling apart, and also help us stay productive.

At the beginning, we mentioned that being in natural environments reduce stress and increase feelings of comfort. If you absolutely cannot go outdoors to work, you can instead get a plant to reap the same benefits, and then some. Plants, in addition to being aesthetically pleasing home decor, also reduce indoor air pollution, improving air quality and reducing the risk of falling ill.

If you’re going to get a plant, we recommend buying something that’s easier to take care of, like a succulent, that doesn’t require too much sun or water, and fits right at home on your desktop.