Photo from Ryan's Recycling Company

Photo from Ryan’s Recycling Company

 

Every now and then I run across people/businesses/stories that are just so inspiration it helps keep me going and makes me want to share it with everyone! Well, what better place than a blog right? I’ve shared other businesses before but this post will be all about one little seven year old boy’s recycling business!

Starting at the very old ripe age of 3.5 years Ryan began recycling cans and bottles. I can definitely imagine a little boy having tons of fun putting in the cans and bottles into the recycling machine and getting some mule for his efforts. Fast forward 3.5 years later and Ryan has started his own company and has even been on the Ellen show! His company has also been featured in several publications and to date he’s made over $10,000 recycling cans and bottles alone!!! What an incredible story. Ryan’s goal is to buy a garbage truck for his business but his parentals are thinking it’s more for a college fund.

He’s already accomplished so much by the age of 7!

If you live in Orange County, California you can schedule Ryan to pick your cans and bottles! Either way check out his website below.
Ryan’s Recycling Company

Another thing you can do to help out is to buy a Ryan’s Recycling t-shirt with proceeds going towards theĀ Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, California.
Ryan’s Recycling T-shirt for women
Ryan’s Recycling T-shirt for guys

It’s pretty rare to hear about someone so young doing something so big! If a seven year old can do this to make the world better, what’s stopping us?


IMG_1745

When it comes to growing food in my own yard to eat, I dabble here and there but mostly I’ve been lucky enough to have a house where the previous owner nurtured fruit trees. I have 6 fruit trees that have mostly been bearing fruit each year and the yield keeps growing! I just cleaned up and picked my last lemons and cleaned up the bad rotten ones. I’ve also always wanted to grow my own vegetables and am trying my hand at that.

I absolutely do not have a green thumb at all! Not a brown thumb either but somewhere in between. I have okay skills when it comes to plants and mostly I’m just searching the internet for how to take care of plants. I dream of a day when I can grow all my own vegetables and just eat a full meal from that. It takes a ton more work than just simply watering and planting seeds though!!!! There are so many tings that can happen, and have happened that I never could foresee or had no idea of what to do. It’s been an interesting year as I try my hand at new plants and growing new foods.

The peaches got eaten…again
Technically this peach tree has been here this whole time but I’ve never gotten peaches because they always get eaten by animals before when they are still green and only 2 inches big. This year I decided to try harder to protect the tree and get some peaches for myself! I put up a bird net to ward off birds and squirrels, and I even hung up some old cd’s to try to scare off birds. I have no idea if cd’s really work, but there’s not too much use for them now anyhow. Might as well try. Well…I watched a few peaches start turning color….promising…then next thing I knew they were eaten! even the peach that was sitting in the middle of the tree was half gone! I have no idea how this even happened. Guess this year the animals win again.

All my herbs are dead except the straggly parsley
I had some herbs growing before but since we’ve put a cage around the tomato plant pretty much I just have a straggly parsley plant that looks very pitiful. Oops…I guess the cage cut off the sunlight a bit.

I keep finding caterpillars eating my tomato plant
Just the other day I found the fattest green caterpillar on my tomato plant. I was pointing at it with my finger and my husband couldn’t even see it initially. I’ve probably picked off at least 10 caterpillars (some pretty darn fat) off that plant by now. There’s some tomatoes growing (yay!) but I keep having to look for creepy crawlies. Not my idea of the funnest pastime.

There’s a bird nest in my orange tree
Luckily the orange tree won’t have mature fruit until the end of the year so hopefully the baby birds will be grown up by then!!! Just this weekend I noticed what looked like a bunch of twigs. I didn’t think much of it until my husband saw it too and recognized it as a nest. He’s significantly taller than me and could peek into the nest and saw three eggs! We’ve seen at least one of the parents sitting in the nest and suspect that we have a mockingbird family.

 

This definitely makes me appreciate farmers who grow food for a living! I can barely handle a few fruit trees and a tomato plant! I just got a bonsai tree kit for a gift too…another plant challenge coming up.

Have you ever tried growing your own food before? Were you successful or did it flop?

 


CottonPlantSweatshop-free, American-made, earth-friendly, and inexpensive clothing? Is there such a thing? As I try more and more to make my money mean more with what I buy this seems to be the next step. Turns out it’s pretty hard finding clothing that fits all of parameters above! I’ve researched a ton of companies to see if I could find clothing that fits all that and I’ve had to scale back my expectations. Now if I can find clothing that fits at least one of those first three then I’m good to go.

Okay, so first of all why am I even doing this? I’ve never been one to care much about fashion so my clothes are pretty basic and some of them are pretty old. I don’t spend a ton of money on clothes and while I don’t wear them until they fall off, I do patch them up as needed to make them last longer. It’s a pretty big industry though and where we spend our money has an impact on how that clothing is produced.

Sweat-shop free
Many clothing companies use sweatshops in order to crank out cheap clothing. Workers are paid very little and often are women and children working in horrible environments. Sweatshops are in the news all the time with fires breaking out in a factory and killing everyone because fire exits were blocked. Or unsafe work conditions that caused a building to collapse killing everyone inside. I definitely don’t want to be wearing clothing that someone risked their life to make and were paid next to nothing for. By supporting companies that are sweatshop free it helps those companies trying to do the right thing. Treat people well and pay them a fair wage for their hard work.

American-made
So far this has been the hardest thing to find! American Apparel is definitely the first place that comes to mind when thinking American made but their clothing isn’t the best quality and can be pricey. Unfortunately it’s much less expensive to manufacture goods out of the country. It would be nice to support American companies to boost our economy! Overall American-made goods are also higher quality that could justify the higher price point too.

Organic Cotton
Tons and tons of chemicals are used for cotton farming which obviously isn’t so good for the earth. It pollutes land and water and affects the health of the farm workers. If I’m going to go organic with the food I eat, then why not with the clothes I wear? Organic cotton goods are harder to find, and pricier usually, but if I at least buy a few items every now and then hopefully it makes an impact!

Some companies doing the right thing
If you’re looking for fashion then it’s pretty hard to find if you also want it to be all of the above. Most companies that fit those only manufacture basics actually. So far I’ve been frequenting a few places that have pretty good clothing for the price point and quality.

Buck Mason
American made clothing for men

Wear Pact
Los Angeles based company with organic cotton and sweatshop-free clothing

Alternative Apparel
Eco-friendly clothing with some organic cotton

H&M
I know this is a big company but they’ve come out with many organic cotton clothing items that are pretty affordable. Not my first choice but they’re trying at least!

 

I don’t always buy consciously every single time I shop. In fact I just bought a few items that definitely weren’t, but were too cute to pass up. It’s good to use my money in a more meaningful way for sure!

Are you into buying more conscious clothing?


teslamodel3

I put a $1000 deposit down on the Tesla Model 3 to reserve a spot!!!!!! Yay!

Trying to cross something else off my dream list! I wasn’t really quite serious when I added a Tesla to my dream list, but as the Model 3 got closer and closer to it’s unveiling I kept thinking about it in a more serious manner. Plus I was skeptical that it was actually going to be in the $35,000 price range that rumor kept saying. On the day of the unveiling though, while I sat at home only a few miles away from the live event, it became a reality that this was going to happen! A fully electric earth-friendly car that looks gorgeous in a price point I could actually reach! My husband and I both didn’t intend to really get one, but since they were accepting refundable deposits to even get in the waiting line for the car…why not?

AM I CRAZY?
Okay okay first of all, putting a deposit down doesn’t mean that I have to buy the car. They aren’t even rolling out the first of these cars until the end of 2017 (or even later if things don’t happen on schedule) so until they actually get to our names on the list, we don’t need to decide if we’re actually going to get one or not. It’s entirely refundable if we decide we don’t want to buy it after all, or it’ll go towards the price of the final car. Most likely I’ll have a good 3-5 years to save up the mula and decide if this is something I really want to do. Yes I’m out $1,000 now, but if I don’t have that kind of money then I’m doing something wrong.

Common knowledge also says that new cars are the worst thing to sink money into. I’m scrimping and saving every step of the way only to throw all my money away on a new car? If it makes me happy, then yes.

Is it really worth the money
This is a fully electric car that starts at $35,000. Pretty darn hefty price tag but it’s comparable, or even lower than other electric cars! The Chevy Bolt is supposed to start at $37,500, and the Nissan Leaf starts at $29,000. There are federal and state rebates also out there but I’m not going to calculate that into my decision right now because they might not be around in a few years. I’ve been considering an electric car to further be eco-friendly, and now I might be able to get one that looks good too! It’s certainly going to be a big decision that I won’t come to lightly but it’s certainly a contender in the electric vehicle race.

It’s something to dream about
I never imagined that I would actually be considering a car that costs $35,000! Even buying the Prius V at around $25,000 was a huge deal for me. It’s the nicest car I have ever owned and before that it was my Corolla. If there are rebates still available and at the level it is now, then the Tesla Model 3 would actually cost the same as the Prius V! Whatever my decision in the end, it was pure fun to be able to put that deposit down to dream about getting a nice car that’s eco-friendly also. It’s certainly a worthy dream to work towards in the next few years.

 

My goals definitely will change once my husband and I start a family and kids take up all my money. For now though, it’s nice to dream about having a sporty electric car.

What’s a dream that you’re currently working towards?

 


3454694528_f1f84b8dec_oAnother month, another week, another day, another day to celebrate! Today just so happens to be earth day! Yay! Happy Earth day to everyone!

I did a little bit of celebrating the simple way. Took a walk to lunch and brought all my own tupperware, utensils and napkin! Haha. I don’t always remember so it was good to do it today. Wish I had the day off from work to do something more fun! But hey, every little bit counts!

What did you do to celebrate earth day?