Shop With a Cause: 5 Favorite Eco Things

Added bonus – my five favorite things are available at a local business too!

Just Act Natural at the hub of the Appleton Saturday Farmer’s Market

This is my favorite store, period. It’s called Just Act Natural and it is located in lovely downtown Appleton, WI. The owners, J.C. and Dianne, are my inspiration for easy, green living. I love going in and checking out the fun new products, chatting with the staff, and spending money! But I can shop guilt-free, because I know I’ll get a great product, help out an eco-friendly company, and support a local business that truly cares about it’s community.

Sadly, not everywhere has a Just Act Natural, but I bet there are many great local stores and co-ops that carry similar products. All these things that I’ve featured make my eco-friendly lifestyle convenient and fun. Check it out and then go out and explore your green neighborhood stores!

1. Reusable produce bags

macro & micro bagging

In addition to my reusable grocery bags, I always carry some of these mesh produce bags. I don’t like the plastic options they have in most grocery stores, and I can wash and reuse these produce bags after a trip to the farmer’s market, where they always get a bit dirty.

2. Dr. Bronner’s soap

The ultimate mark of a hippie, yet totally practical and plus it smells so good! I’m glad Dr. Bronner’s is becoming “mainstream”. I buy it in these large sizes from Costco, but stores will also do refills if you get the smaller bottles.  I use it to make my own laundry soap, as hand and body wash, and to clean my floors, shower, kitchen, bathroom – ok basically every thing. I haven’t quite gotten to the point where I use it as toothpaste, but in a pinch….

3. Sandwich bags

But not your throwaway ziploc kind! These bad boys are sturdy, ready for rough and tumble everyday use, and also have a bit of personality. Since I rarely eat sandwiches, I use these bags to carry all sorts of snacks, raw veggies like carrots and cucumbers, the occasional sweet potato chip, hard boiled eggs, nuts and fruit, etc.

4. Badger balm

I LOVE Badger balm. It’s kind of like you took Vaseline and made it smell awesome and it’s usages way more versatile. I use the Sore Joint Rub after long runs, Stress Soother for those days when my skin and mind are cracking up, and the lip balms daily. My mom really loves the sunscreens, though we’ve yet to try the bug sprays. Luckily, Just Act Natural carries it all!

5. My food container

I’ve written about this before, but this container is so versatile and perfect. I bring tons of food with me when I travel, and I love that this container is collapsible so it can be compactly stored after I’ve gotten my fill. But I also use it every day to bring my lunch to work – it’s been the only thing big enough to contain my whopper salads! And thank god for the built in fork – I left it in Japan when I came back to the U.S. and I have been stuck many a time utensil-less! That is the last time I forget that accessory AND my bamboo utensil set….

Just Act Natural – my happy place

Thank you, Just Act Natural, for giving me a fun place to shop, providing a great place to learn, and being a happy community asset!