Posted in conservation, Witchy Tips

OneTreePlanted, What it is, and Why Witches Should Care.

So it has occurred to me that I don’t think enough people know about OneTreePlanted. Why aren’t other witches gushing about this charity? Probably just because they don’t know how awesome it is.

So, here we go, my pitch for OTP.

This would be an especially useful resource for any witches who work with earth, or who involve land spirits in their practice at all. Want to make an offering to an earth deity? Donating to OTP is a safe and affordable way to do it.

You have witchy friends with birthdays or want to get a meaningful gift for them for a holiday? You can buy a tree as a gift and, again, *its one single dollar* How cool is that?

With all the horrible things happening involving gag orders on the EPA and the silencing of climate change advocates, if you want to take action to help save the planet, but don’t have a lot of means or energy to do so, this is the charity for you.

Posted in conservation, reviews

Preserve Triple Blade Razor Review

Brands Preserve Preserve Recycled Plastic Eco Friendly Triple Razor

So, recently I’ve been trying to go more eco friendly. Turning off the AC, using reusable bags when shopping, recycling everything that I possibly can, etc etc. Razors and menstrual related waste are two of the biggest throw-aways as far as hygiene goes for me. So, I’ll be switching to a menstrual cup (either the Vida cup or the Blossom cup since they are both in my price range) and doing reviews of those as well.

Anyway, to the point! I recently purchased a Preserve razor because it was the most eco friendly razor I could find without switching to a straight razor (I’m so clumsy that there’s no way I would make it out of that alive) or to a safety razor (which can get kind of expensive and again, they are crazy sharp and I am a clutz).

Preserve makes their handles from recycled plastic from yogurt cups and other sources, and the only part that you need ever replace are the razor heads. With proper care, a single razor head can last for months.

They also have a program called Gimme 5, where if you recycle 5 preserve products, you get a razor free.  Now, Preserve makes way more than just razors. They make toothbrushes, kitchen ware, tote bags, and much more. On their website, a Preserve razor goes for 8.50, and you get to pick the color as well as getting 2 blade heads. I bought mine off of ebay for 6.15. I also plan to buy one of their toothbrushes as soon as I can afford it.

They recently came out with a 5 blade razor, but I have the triple blade razor and I’ve got to say that performance-wise it is pretty amazing. It’s sharp but not to the point where I’m afraid I’ll cut myself, comfortable to hold, and overall just a quality product. It works great, getting even those stubborn hairs. And I get to feel good about having helped the environment in some small way, too. I highly recommend these razors to anyone who is eco-conscious but like me, not really brave enough to try a straight razor.

Overall, I give it a 4/5. The only reason it doesn’t have a 5/5 is that it isn’t the cheapest razor out there. But all in all its pretty fantastic for the price.

Posted in conservation, DIY, Herbalism How To, herbs, Personal Posts, Witchy Tips

Dear Fellow Uterus Bearers,

Hey guys,

So today I thought I would talk a little bit about uterine health and menstrual related issues because it is something I am currently going through.

Any person who has ever had a period has been through it, but some people do have it worse than others. Extremely heavy flows for seven straight days, cramps and contractions so bad they make you double over in pain and cry, often I feel the need to either not eat at all or to overeat and regardless which one I do, I always have the worst diarrhea ever when I’m on my period. I have terrible insomnia, accompanied by sore muscles all over my body, massive migraines, light sensitivity, vaginal sensitivity to the point where putting in and removing tampons makes me want to scream, etc etc etc.

Periods are not for the weak. And they ‘turn girls into women’ very quickly. If you can go to the toilet and see it full of blood and not be bothered at all as well as survive all the aforementioned symptoms of menstruation, congrats you are officially tougher than most of the non-uterine-having population.

But anyway. I’m here to give some advice on the subject. Because in my last 11 years as a period-haver I have learned a thing or two the hard way. Consider this a list of things that I wish people had told 11 year old me.

Now, my mom was very good about teaching me everything there is to know about periods. But some things I definitely learned from experience or from anatomy classes.

  • You WILL bleed through your favorite underwear at some point. You will bleed through your pajamas and your sheets and probably onto the mattress. It happens. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t feel bad. It happens to everyone who has ever had a uterus. It’s okay.
  • You will have mood swings. You’re not ‘crazy’ and you’re not ‘unstable’. It’s a natural time of regrouping for your hormones and emotions. If something is suddenly bothering you or making you angry, odds are that its actually been a problem for a while and your body is telling you not to put up with it anymore. Your body loves you and just wants what’s best for you.
  • It can really suck. It’s okay to cry and scream and lay in bed all day with a heat pad. Sometimes that’s all you can muster the strength to do. That’s okay. It’s natural. This is just your body flushing unnecessary blood and harmful toxins out of your body. It’s a good thing, even if it really doesn’t seem like it.
  • You are not weak for taking pain killers like candy. Midol and Excedrin might be your best friends for the next week.
  • If you don’t want to use pain killers, you can take a more natural approach. Chamomile tea is a natural muscle relaxer and helps with cramps. Dong Quai capsules help with overall uterine, vaginal and ovarian health and will also help with any menstrual symptoms and pains you may have.
  • Cramps come in waves. You may feel totally fine one second and then the next be huddled into a fetal position crying and wishing for a hysterectomy. Take deep breaths and try to remind yourself that it will pass, just like a contraction, and it will be over soon. It will be okay.
  • Heating pads, hot tea and hot baths are your best friend. Seriously. An Epsom salt bath, a cup of chamomile tea and a nice heating pad on your abdomen will help the pain.
  • You do not have to use tampons!!! For some people, they are extremely painful. Pads suck and can be really gross, and so tampons can be convenient, but honestly tampons are really bad for you. They are bleached with God knows what and they absorb all the moisture in your vagina, even the good stuff. They can be painful and sometimes pads are just a better option. That’s okay.
  • Commercially produced tampons and pads are really bad for your body, and for the environment. Not only can tampons cause toxic shock syndrome, they can also make cramps worse and cause a plethora of other health complications. Over 20 billion pounds of feminine hygiene products are dumped into landfills and the oceans every year. EVERY YEAR.
  • An Eco friendly alternative to tampons and pads is to switch to a menstrual cup and cotton, washable pads. I actually am just ordering my first menstrual cup, the Blossom cup, because it’s in my price range and I hear it’s a really good beginner cup (I will definitely do a review about it after I use it a couple times). I also ordered a few cute flower patterned cotton pads. I’m not squeamish with blood so I don’t foresee having a problem. Not only are both options better for the environment but they are better for you! None of that toxic chemical crap around your most delicate of parts, and menstrual cups actually greatly reduce cramps and menstrual related symptoms, as well as allowing your body to keep those natural fluids it produces.
  • Birth control is only a temporary fix for periods! It is not always the answer, even if your doc is convinced it is the only thing that would help. BC doesn’t actually stabilize your hormones, it shuts them off and the placebo week basically just lets the pills produce fake hormones to ‘regulate your period’. It’s not actually your own hormones being produced. In the long run, birth control is insanely bad for you. When or if you decide to get off of BC, you could gain a lot of weight, and your periods will be worse than ever and sometimes it can take your body months or years to normalize itself and produce its own hormones again. Personally, I was only only birth control (trinessa) for one year. 12 months. And I gained sixty pounds, my metabolism essentially shut down and now no matter what I do I cannot lose the weight, I didn’t have another period for almost seven months and when I did it lasted 13 days and was overwhelmingly heavy and extremely painful every single day. My body is still recovering, and will continue to attempt to regulate itself and recover from the damage that BC did for years to come. Take my advice, birth control is not always the answer.
  • Remember, your body and your period are not the bad guys. I know this can be hard, but believe me, your body loves you and is trying to keep you healthy.
  • Periods are sacred in some cultures, like my own. Periods are not a bad thing. They are not something to be ashamed of. They are not something disgusting or unclean and most western civilizations would have you believe. They are proof that you are the closest thing to divine we have here on earth because it’s proof that you have the power of creation. They connect us to the earth and to the spirits and make us powerful. Try to remember that, it may give you a whole new perspective. I know it did for me.

Good herbal tea:

  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Catnip
  • Skullcap
  • Spearmint
  • Passionflower
  • Vervain

Good herbal capsules:

  • Dong Quai
  • Chamomile
  • Spearmint
  • Ginkgo Leaf

Good herbal bath: 

  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Orange Peel
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Epsom Salt

That’s it for now. 🙂

Be good to yourselves and your bodies! <3

Posted in conservation, reviews

Crystal Deodorant Stone Review 

This is a crystal deodorant stone! I first found out about this amazing product through my herbalism course and I purchased the above brand from my academy’s shop here.

I was skeptical at first, but I suffered from an awful underarm rash which consisted of hundreds of extremely  painful sores and boils on my armpits, and every commercial deodorant I had tried only activated the condition. So, I was pretty much willing to try anything, and this little guy was only 8 dollars. What did I have to lose?

I can say with zero reservations that this is one product I will use for the rest of my life. I purchased mine in August of 2015, and a month later I also got one for my spouse. We have not bought a single stick of deodorant since then. Not only have I been rash free, but also body odor free for over a year now!

It is a safe, natural, eco friendly  alternative to chemical commercial deodorants that produce plastic and harmful chemical wastes.

It can last anywhere from one to three years without replacing, and to use it all you have to do is run it under cold water and rub it on your armpits.

Instead of just treating the symptoms of body odor, the Crystal is an antibacterial and anti-fungal, so it actually completely removes the bacteria that causes body odor, as well as exfoliates the sensitive skin of the underarms.

I have worn one application of the stone to a manual labor job where I would swear like crazy for hours on end and I still didn’t smell! It’s also held up to running, walking, outdoor labor, intensive housework and cleaning. It’s seriously awesome and I am so thankful for it!

It has saved me a lot of money and a lot of pain in the last year. I highly recommend it and give it a 5/5. 

Posted in conservation, DIY, Witchy Tips

Conservation Craft: Saving the Planet

Now, if you are like me, you think ‘how can I possibly make a difference?’ when it comes to conservation and helping restore our earth to a health state of being. Not all witches do this (but they should in my opinion because we all live here and we are all responsible for nature’s survival. Without nature, there are no humans). But, in reality, everyone can make a difference. Even something small can really help. But not all of us have the funds or the means to do extreme things like sell our cars and take a bike to work, or donate buckets of money to reforestation funds. So I thought I would put together a list of easy and simple ways that we, as broke young people and witches, can help change the world for the better.

Tools of the Trade//

  • Books, for research
  • Potted plants or a garden
  • The latest green technology
  • Environmentalist Activism flyers and pamphlets
  • Chamomile Infused Water
  • Moss Agate, Tree Agate, Rainforest Jasper, Jade Crystals

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint//

  • What is a carbon footprint? Well, according to Oroeco, “The greenhouse gases that cause climate change all eventually trace back to how we spend our money, from the food we eat to the energy we use to power our homes and move around. Since climate change is so big, it’s tempting to think it’s someone else’s problem. But companies won’t clean up until we stop buying their products; politicians won’t enact meaningful policies until we demand them; and most folks won’t change their lifestyles until they see friends and neighbors do the same.”
  • Every individual creature on the planet emits a carbon footprint. From electricity you use, food you eat, the car you drive, it all effects climate change and global warming.
  • But because everyone is part of the problem, everyone also has the potential to become a part of the solution.
  • Keeping track of your footprint doesn’t have to be stressful, either. It can be fun! Using a website/app like Oroeco, which helps you calculate your carbon footprint and guides you into making greener choices can help stop climate change!
  • Some of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint can be found below!

Ways to Go Green//

  • Cut back on Electricity  use. Turn lights off when you aren’t in the room, unplug electronics when they are not in use, start air drying clothes instead of using electric dryers, and turn the AC up a few degrees in the summer and the heat down a few degrees in the winter.
  • Cut back on Water use. Cutting back to a 5 minute shower can save you anywhere from 10 to 100 dollars a year, depending on how long you  normally take in the shower. Try to cut back to doing laundry once or twice a week. Leave the water off while you brush your teeth.
  • Switch to a Renewable energy source. Most energy companies have a ‘renewable energy’ alternative, like for PSO it’s WindChoice.
  • Recycle. This one sucks for me because the nearest recycling place is over 20 miles away. But it is something I definitely want to do more of. Aluminum and tin, plastic, glass, and cardboard are all good things to recycle.
  • Cut back on car use, if possible. For some of us, that isn’t possible. Right now my wife takes the car to and from work and that’s pretty much all we do. Some people who live in cities can take public transportation or walk, but that’s not always an option. You can cut back by combining all your errands into one trip, and by carpooling.
  • Reduce Food Waste. This one is pretty straight forward, I think. Don’t buy things you won’t eat, and try to finish your plate. Try to shop for foods with little or recyclable packaging and that will not go bad right away. Start a compost jar to help reduce the amount of food waste you toss in the trash.
  • Use a Thermos and Reusable cups and bottles, rather than one time use plastic containers.
  • Bring your own reusable bags when shopping, rather than use plastic or paper.
  • Plant a tree. Or grow one in a pot. Growing a container garden is actually pretty easy, you can even do it indoors. Here’s a list of plants that can be grown indoors in containers. Every little plant helps put out oxygen and combats greenhouse effects. If you can’t do this, then you can help plant trees by using the Ecosia search engine, which uses their ad rev to plant trees (I’ve already helped plant over 100 trees just by using their search engine) or you can donate a tree for 1 dollar at OneTreePlanted, and even pick where it gets put in the ground. My detailed pitch for OneTreePlanted for witches can be found here.
  • Recycle or Donate old electronics and batteries, rather than throwing them away. Best Buy has a pretty great recycling program for electronics, and almost all of them are free. I think that Amazon may have a trade in program, too.
  • Donate old clothes. Don’t throw them out! Goodwill and local thrift shops are great for this.
  • Cut back on Disposable Razors. Use green products like Preserve Triple Razor, which require only the replacements of the heads. Good razor care, such as keeping the head dry after it to prevent rusting, can increase a good razor’s life by months. In many places it is illegal to recycle disposable razors and over 1 billion disposable razors are dumped into landfills every year. Preserve also makes toothbrushes.
  • Start using a Menstrual Cup, like Diva Cup or EvaCup. 20 billion estimated pounds of menstrual product waste will be deposited in landfills just this year alone. EvaCup is made of medical grade silicone, lasts for up to 15 years, and costs less than 30 dollars. It could save you thousands of dollars that would’ve been spent on Eco-harmful tampons and pads.
  • Start using Cotton Menstrual Pads. More well known brands such as GladRags and LunaPads can be expensive, but they all make a huge dent. One cotton washable pad is equal to about 600 disposable pads in its lifetime. I get mine off of ebay for like 2 bucks a pad, so that may be a better choice for those of us who aren’t as well off.
  • Start using a Deodorant Crystal. No more buying chemically tainted deodorant for you! Stick Deodorant has been known to only treat symptoms of smelliness, and last maybe a month. They produce plastic and bio waste. Deodorant crystals are all natural, actually work to kill of the bacteria that causes body odor, can last from anywhere from one to five years, and are completely biodegradable.
  • Use less cleaning chemicals. Vinegar, Baking Soda and Lemon are all eco friendly cleaning supplies you could swap out for your chemical based cleaners.
  • Switch to glass and metal, over plastic and paper. This goes for containers of any kind, really. They last longer and are easier to recycle.
  • Use Solar Power. You can get solar power banks for charging electronics, solar powered fans and lights, etc that cut back on the use of harmful electricity.
  • Learn about and switch to eco-friendly tech. My favorite website for keeping up with conservation news is Earth911.
  • Keep indoor and outdoor house plants that absorb and clean up harmful chemicals and air pollution. See list below!

Houseplants that Clean up Air Pollution//

(please note some are not same for pet owners)

  • Aloe Vera (cleans formaldehyde)
  • Bamboo (cleans benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene)
  • Snake Plant (cleans benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene)
  • Boston Fern (cleans formaldehyde and xylene)
  • Garden Mum ( ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene)
  • Spider Plant (cleans formaldehyde and xylene)
  • Ficus (benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene)
  • Dracaena (cleans benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene)
  • Peace Lily (ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene)

Carbon Offsetting Programs//

  • A Carbon Offsetting Program is a charity or non profit organization that is making an effort to combat climate change and pollution. COPs are very important, but also a dime a dozen. I am going to list just a few of my favorite ones that are pretty affordable and I think are doing pretty important stuff.
  • Plant Trees! You can do this by either actually going out, getting a tree and planting it on your property (just be sure its a species native to your area!), or by donating trees for a dollar a tree on OneTreePlanted, or by switching to the Ecosia Search Engine, which uses their ad rev to plant trees. They have an app for pretty much every internet browser, as well as a smart phone app.
  • Ocean Waste Removal and Water Pollution Reduction. There are a few programs for cleaning up all the trash dumped into the worlds oceans, but a few that I prefer are The Ocean Cleanup and the Seabin. For Water Pollution programs I really like the Freshwater Society.
  • Air Pollution Reduction. My favorite is the Smog Free Project, which is basically a giant air purifier that turns smog into jewelry. Air pollution has been linked to cancers and death, as well as thousands of other health problems. In fact, in many parts of the world, breathing the air is the equivalent of breathing through an exhaust pipe. There are many houseplants you can keep that also help with cleaning up harmful toxins in the air, as listed above.
  • Light Pollution Reduction. If changes are not made soon, our children will not be able to star gaze. Light Pollution is quickly destroying the night sky. My favorite program for combating this is the International Dark-Sky Association. You can purchase their products, become a member or donate to the cause on their website.

Land Offerings in the Americas//

  • If you work with land spirits, or are a green witch, it is important to remember, specifically if you live in North or South America, that you are on colonized, stolen and traumatized land. 500 years of genocide and industry have damaged not just us indigenous peoples who live here, but also the native plants and wildlife.
  • It is important to recognize this fact and to make proper offerings to the land if you want to work with it, as respect the fact that just as we natives were ripped away from our homes, the land suffered from our removal as well. We continue to fight for the protection of our sacred places and this continent as a whole, but the white man is pretty set on destroying everything.
  • For my detailed letter to White American/Canadian Witches and Pagans from me, a Native Witch, click here.
  • So, how can you help?
    • Stand alongside Native Environmental Activists at places like Standing Rock. If you can’t protest or be there, then donate to their cause.
    • Stop culturally appropriating in your witchcraft. Respect closed cultures. I swear to god, the amount of pagans and witches I see claiming to smudge or have spirit animals makes me want to vomit. There are other terms you can use. You do not understand those terms and the religious and cultural connotations behind them, so don’t use them. They are not yours.
    • Make offerings to the land. Acceptable offerings include comforting and nurturing energy, adopting a sickly plant and nursing it back to health, planting plants and trees native to the area, making donations to local parks and protected environments, chamomile infused water, moss agate/tree agate, and lobelia leaf. These are just some basic examples.
    • DO NOT bury jar spells or poppets or spells in general in the ground. Unless you use biofriendly alternatives, such as potatoes.
    • DO NOT send spells into a body of water, unless it is biofriendly and not at all harmful to the environment.

Other Sects of the Craft to Check Out//