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5 Awesome Eco-Friendly Brands To Add Into Your Routine

We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun.

Did you know that Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22? In addition to contributing to one of the many green organizations taking part in this vital eco-friendly holiday, I’ll also incorporate more organic products into my beauty routine. Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite ecologically-inclined brands to date.

1. Josie Maran Cosmetics: Actress and model Josie Maran is ridiculously gorgeous, wildly talented, and cares deeply about her environment. (In other words, she’s perfect.) Her sophisticated range of beauty products contain pure and gentle formulas that are free of parabens, toxins, and animal testing. To remedy split ends, I’m loving her 100% Pure Argan Oil ($48) that is organically grown in Morrocco.

2. Pangea Organics: I’m obsessed with all things Pangea Organics. Not only has the brand’s arsenal of skincare savers made a major impact on my complexion, but they stay true to their formula mantra: “Always beneficial, never artificial.” All of their products are free of harmful ingredients like petrochemicals, paraben, and GMOs and are sourced using fair trade practices whenever possible. Their Facial Cleanser for Oily to Combination Skin ($28) is sublime.

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Guest Blogger: Ecofabulous Lives GRN

For April’s Birchbox, we teamed up with the well-respected green chic site, Ecofabulous. Their experts helped us pick several of the environmentally-friendly goodies featured in this month’s box and founder Zem Joaquin even generously served as our latest Birchbox Crush. This week we have Caitlin Bristol, the site’s creative director, blogging about all things green and fantastic. Today she’s letting us in on her lazy day and workout secret, LIV GRN!

From a lazy Sunday afternoon to a long overnight flight to the weekly routine at the gym, sweats are the outfit that gets the most play in a gal’s closet – though few would admit it. Thankfully there’s LIV GRN, an organic cotton line that keeps you looking hip (who knows what cuties you’ll spot on a nearby treadmill), while still being respectful of the planet’s resources.

Just as you want to look cute while working out, you want to smell sweet and sultry, well… all the time! LIV GRN’s newest venture, a line of eco-friendly fragrances, are the perfect scent to carry you from daytime chic to evening romance. Our favorites are Earth (fresh and feminine) and Natural (light and zesty). 

Find Birchbox and EcoFabulous’ favorite LIV GRN products, including their signature tee, in the Birchbox Shop!

Guest Blogger: Ecofabulous on Va-Va-(La)Vanila

For April’s Birchbox, we teamed up with the well-respected green chic site,Ecofabulous. Their experts helped us pick several of the environmentally-friendly goodies featured in this month’s box and founder Zem Joaquin even generously served as our latest Birchbox Crush. This week we have Caitlin Bristol, the site’s creative director, blogging about all things green and fantastic. Today she’s going la la for Lavanila.

So it’s Earth Week, and maybe you’ve already made the switch to organic food? You likely mastered carrying your reusable bottle and to-go ware with you at all times ages ago. And you may even have ventured into a few conscious fashion purchases. But when it come to a lady’s, er… scent, it can be hard to make the switch to natural deodorant. Truth is, while they come bundled with a package of unintended consequences and side effects, those harsh chemicals do keep the smell at bay. But why sacrifice safety when you can have something that’s just as effective and smells just as nice (if not better, we’d argue)?

Welcome to LAVANILA – the reason underarms all over the world are raised in olfactory confidence. Using non-toxic, natural, and organic ingredients, LAVANILA deodorants are free of petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates, parabens, aluminum, synthetic dyes, and other nasties commonly found in products aimed at preventing underarm odor. They’re also packaged in an adorable recyclable case. Really, the toughest choice you’ll have to make now is between the purist scent, Vanilla, and all the latest pairings.

If you’re hesitant to make the deodorant switch, try out LAVANILA’s Body Butter or Healthy Body Wash (plus 20% of the purchase this month goes to Global Green USA) — luxe products with a conscience.

Browse some of our favorite Lavanila products in the Birchbox Shop.

Get more ideas on how to go green with our lazy girls’ guide.

Guest Blogger: Ecofabulous’ Kick Ass Yoga Guide

For April’s Birchbox, we teamed up with the well-respected green chic site, Ecofabulous. Their experts helped us pick several of the environmentally-friendly goodies featured in this month’s box and founder Zem Joaquin even generously served as our latest Birchbox Crush. This week we’re hearing from Caitlin Bristol, the site’s creative director, who is sounding off today on her go-to yoga products.

While yoga is a beautiful thing, it’s surprising how many of the products that support your poses are anything but healthy. Here are a few selections from our list of top yoga apparel and accessories, proof that everything associated with the practice can be as conscious as your asanas. Read below to learn how you can ditch the PVC-laden mat for one made of natural tapped rubber (and recycle your old one!), and commit to purchasing apparel that is produced without pesticides.

Wise Woman: Bay Area-based Clary Sage Organics designs and produces their fashionably feminine eco-friendly yoga line locally from organic and sustainable fabrics. We love the attention to detail with ruching and delicate lingerie-inspired trim, plus their hot shorts are…well, hot ($48).

Getting Jaded: Hands down the best eco-friendly yoga mat option available is natural tapped rubber. Jade’s Harmony mat is still one of our favorites. Tapped from a rubber tree, the rapidly renewable material provides traction and comfort without the toxic chemicals found in conventional PVC mats ($59.95).

With a Clean Conscience: Washing the ‘ol yoga mat in the tub can be kind of a serenity kill, but it needs to be done occasionally. It’s not just about the funky yoga stink – regular cleaning actually prolongs the life of your mat. Stirlen Chi’s non-toxic mat cleanser, mat refresher, and mat wash are made with natural oils and extracts and are completely biodegradable.

Click here for the full ecofabulous Guide to Yoga!

Before your next class, be sure to prettify your feet! For pedi-perfect toes, pick up a bottle of Deborah Lippmann’s My Old Flame.

Guest Blogger: Ecofabulous Loves Juice

For April’s Birchbox, we teamed up with the well-respected green chic site, Ecofabulous. Their experts helped us pick several of the environmentally-friendly goodies featured in this month’s box and founder Zem Joaquin even generously served as our latest Birchbox Crush. This week we’re hearing from Caitlin Bristol, the site’s creative director. Today she’s musing on one of our new favorite brands, Juice Beauty. 

With organic food proving to be more than a passing fad, it’s only a natural to also shift the focus from what goes into our bodies to what we slather onto them. (FYI: 60 percent of what you apply to your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream.)

Juice Beauty is an organic skincare line we’ve followed from day one, happily cheering them on as they exploded into stores like Sephora and Whole Foods (and yes, Birchbox!). The entire ecofabulous staff uses many of their products daily. The Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer ($65) feels silky smooth, and is guaranteed to have the same effect on your skin. And the Green Apple Peel ($45) smells like sweet apples and is chock-full of antioxidant goodness to protect from environmental damage.

What’s really exciting, though, is that Juice Beauty has been taking even more eco-strides in their business. Not only do they source local, organic ingredients, but they also use 100 percent recycled packaging and print everything with soy-based inks. Free of anything bad for either human or environmental health (which are one-in-the-same as far as we’re concerned), Juice Beauty products are a great option for those fed up with all the unnatural stuff pervading our skincare regimes.

Effective and organic, check out more of Juice Beauty’s offerings in the Birchbox Shop.

Win A $175 Prize With Our LIV GRN Sweepstakes!

With Earth Day right around the corner, we were interested to learn what green causes you are most passionate about. To help us find out, we partnered with LIV GRN, a brand that prides itself on perpetuating the health of our planet and donates 10% of every sale to Global Green, one of the world’s largest and most recognized green charities. Enter our sweepstakes now by clicking here and you could be one of three lucky winners to receive a host of goodies, including a LIV GRN C2C Collection Set of his/her choice, a signature organic tee (worn by celebs like Maria Menounos), and $50 worth of Birchbox points—a total value of $175!

Guest Blogger: Ecofabulous Behind the Scenes at Weleda’s Biodynamic Gardens

For April’s Birchbox, we teamed up with the well-respected green chic site, Ecofabulous. Their experts helped us garner several of the environmentally-friendly goodies featured in this month’s box and founder, Zem Joaquin, even generously served as our latest Birchbox Crush. This week we’re hearing from another one of the site’s savvy blogger, Caitlin Bristol, the creative director. She’ll be sharing details on her favorite brands, her go-to oil remover, and a handy-dandy yoga guide. Up today? A behind-the-scenes look at Weleda’s super-cool biodynamic gardens.

This past summer, ecofabulous was invited to visit Weleda Naturals Biodynamic Gardens just outside of Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany. With our love of Weleda products (we’re constant fans of the Almond facial line and have been obsessed with the Pomegranate Firming Facial Line since it came out earlier this year) we jumped at the chance to visit the site where it all goes down. The garden’s 135 acres make it Europe’s largest biodynamic medicinal garden – and to think Weleda has more gardens in Switzerland, France, the U.K., the Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil and New Zealand! At that scale, witnessing first hand the cultivation of plants and herbs for Weleda’s product collection stood as witness to the company’s belief that beauty should be grown right from the earth rather than in a lab.

Top left: The hike from Schwäbisch Gmünd to the gardens; top right: Entrance to Weleda Naturals; Botom left: A field of calendula before harvest; Bottom right: calendula heads right after harvest.

I was lucky enough to witness the calendula harvest, one of the 250 medicinal plants grown at Weleda Naturals, and learned that every year the calendula is planted on a different field in order to ensure the most rich, rested soil – one of the many Biodynamic principles that the gardens use. Much of the calendula is used for Weleda’s Baby Calendula Care line because of the plant’s powerful healing and anti-inflammatory properties. A haven for birds, bees, and bugs (see the insect hotel below!), Weleda Naturals is the legacy of Dr. Rudolph Steiner, seen as the father of Biodynamic agriculture. By viewing soil as a live organism, keeping it in balance with natural resources (no chemicals or growth hormones allowed!) and taking guidance on planting, crop rotation, and harvesting from the natural rhythms of the sun, moon and planets, crops are harvested with incredible purity and potency.

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