#ZeroWastePackaging

By Corey Breneisen

Rae Marie has reached yet another cross roads in our journey. Our commitment to sustainable living and promoting a zero waste lifestyle has us thinking about packaging for our products. Currently we use recyclable plastic, tins and cardboard. Our labels are made from craftpaper and are nontoxic. However, we know we can do even better when it comes to minimizing our carbon footprint.

We have been on the search for biodegradable and compostable containers to replace the plastic we currently use. At events and markets we have done away with the soap boxes and offer our bars in their natural state. (For re-selling with our retail partners, we continue to use the boxes for ease of transport and to extend the shelf-life, but we are considering alternatives—canvas bags, perhaps?)

Our vision is to become a #ZeroWaste Brick and Mortar Store, where you, the customer, will bring your own containers to refill. All of these ideas sound wonderful to us, but we would like to bounce them off of you. If you could please take a moment to fill out the quick survey below, we would appreciate the feedback. Your input matters to us, and ultimately helps us to meet your needs and address your concerns.

Thank you!

Namaste~The Rae Marie Family

At Your Service

By Corey Breneisen

Our vision for Rae Marie is to be a hub for sustainable living & design. We believe it is possible to stop living in excess, to make more informed consumer choices, and to use our natural resources more responsibly. In essence, to follow our mission of doing no harm. To fulfill our vision, we offer a number of services beyond our product lines.

Green Services by Rae Marie

  1. Going Green Parties: Part green living seminar and part shopping in the comfort of your living room, our Going Green Parties are a great way to socialize with your friends & colleagues while learning about our eco-friendly products. We explain in detail the benefits of each of our products and how to use them as well as provide participants incentives and discounts for attending.

  2. Sustainable Living Seminars: These educational workshops focus on a specific topic, from organic home gardening, to zero-waste living, to sustainable design practices. We partner with experts in their fields to give you information for living in alignment with nature.

  3. The Green Home Assessment: Transitioning to green living can feel overwhelming, so we have developed a service to help you. We will meet with you to design a plan for ridding your house of toxic cleaning products, streamlining waste reduction, and even go as far as designing a rainwater catchment system. Our action plan will give you concrete steps for living better.

  4. Home Organization: Need to find more space in your home? We have a keen eye for arranging space for maximum flow & efficiency. We will design an organization system that works with your lifestyle as well as provide you with a maintenance check list that will keep your home tidy 24/7.

Sustainable living is possible. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and expertise with you. If you would like to book one of our services or find out more information, please send us an email: hello@raemarie.net

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Life in a Small Town

By Corey Breneisen

Twenty-five years ago, I left the small, rural town in Pennsylvania where I was raised to explore the great big world. At the time, I couldn’t wait to leave behind all the trappings of small town life. I never expected to return, let alone return with two kids who will now graduate from the same high school I did; and most likely have some of the same teachers I had; take swim lessons in the same community pool; ride bikes through the same streets; explore the same creeks. Life is funny though and here I am, back where I started.

I admit, I had an idyllic childhood. The small community gave me a taste of independence at a young age. In a town with a population of just under 2500, everyone knows everyone. And with a family entrenched in public service, and as large as mine, it was inevitable that everyone knew me. I had many eyes watching me which was both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, I had many caregivers, people looking out for me and keeping me safe. It meant I could ride my bike to the pool or my friend’s house at a younger age, or explore the town with my gang of cousins 12 and under. On the other hand, there were a lot of expectations to manage.

My escape was our local public library. I would sit in the front room in one of the high back winged chairs (which are still there!) and I would read about far off places and dream about the adventures that awaited me beyond the limits of this town.

Upon returning, I now see the many gifts growing up in a small town gave me. Independence, ambition, a sense of community, to name just a few. I am grateful I can share these gifts with my children. Already, they breathe a little deeper, laugh a little louder and explore a little more.

*For more stories about life in a #smalltown, follow us on Instagram: @raemariefinesoaps. Every Thursday we feature a post about our lives, our town and our families.

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3 Benefits of Using Wool Dryer Balls

By Corey Breneisen

Our favorite eco laundry hack at Rae Marie is using old fashion solar power to dry our clothes. But when April showers come calling and our clothesline is out of service, we turn to our Felted Wool Dryer Balls for an eco laundry boost. Here are 3 reasons you should start using wool dryer balls for your laundry routine:

  1. Reusable & Nontoxic: If you haven’t ditched your dryer sheets yet, now is the time! Not only do dryer sheets create a lot of waste, but they damage your dryer, your clothes and your health! (Read more about toxic dryer sheets here.) Our wool dryer balls are made from 100% wool roving and are needle felted by hand. So not only are you getting a practical laundry tool, but a lovely handmade work of art too! While dryer sheets are one and done, wool dryer balls have an infinite life span. When you are ready for a change, simply toss the dryer balls into your compost.

  2. Reduces Drying Time & Static: Using 6 wool dryer balls in a heavy load (think blue jeans) can reduce drying time by 30-40%. That savings goes right into your wallet. Smaller drying time means a smaller electric bill. Wool absorbs up to 30% of its weight in water. Wool also has the magic ability to balance electrons thereby breaking the static cling! Dryer sheets use toxic silicone to break the static barrier. That silicone creates a film on your clothes as well as your dryer. Once on your fabric, it will be absorbed into your skin and can cause a host of allergen & respiratory issues.

  3. Softens Fabric & Eliminates Odours: Wool dryer balls are like a massage for your laundry! They gently pound the fibers in your clothes as they bounce around the dryer keeping the fibers soft, pliable and fluffed. As we stated earlier, wool is absorbent and that goes for odours too!

Are you ready to make the switch? We are happy to help you transition to your Green Lifestyle through our Going Green program. For more natural cleaning tips, be sure to follow our Instagram. We post eco life hacks and natural cleaning tips on Saturdays.

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Get Your Spring Clean On

By Corey Breneisen

Spring is here and with it comes the ritual of cleaning. We’ve rounded up our best cleaning pro-tips to get your house sparkling~with a little help from Mother Nature.

Here are 5 Pro-Tips for All Natural Spring Cleaning:

  1. Use Recycled Newspaper for Streak Free Glass & Mirrors. First spray the surface to be cleaned with your favorite scent of our All Purpose Cleaner. Next, gently crush a page of newspaper until it’s soft. Wipe down surface. Then stand back and admire your reflection! You are a cleaning diva!

  2. Use an Old Toothbrush for Deep Cleaning Tile Grout. Wet the toothbrush with water and then dip it into our Soft Scrub Tile Cleaner. Attack the grout in your shower or backsplash in your kitchen. Rinse. Buff with a gentle cloth. Now take a deep breath and enjoy that fresh lemon & eucalyptus scent!

  3. Wash your Shower Curtain with a Load of Towels. The best way to combat mildew on your plastic shower curtain liner is to give it a wash every few weeks. Add it to a load of towels for balance and friction. Use your favorite scent of our Powdered Laundry Soap and watch the magic happen!

  4. Air Linens & Rugs in the Sunshine. Time to put away the heavy comforters and get out the lightweight bedspreads and throws! Before putting them on your beds, hang them on the clothesline in the sun to kill dust mites and release any unpleasant odors they may have absorbed while in Winter storage. Give them a spritz with one of our nontoxic Linen Sprays!

  5. Use Wool Dryer Balls to Cut Drying Time. We love hanging our laundry on a clothesline to dry, but those April showers can foil our plans. When the rains come, use 2-3 of our Felted Wool Dryer Balls to decrease the amount of time your clothes will have to spend in the dryer. They also help with lint and static.

Rae Marie makes it easy to get your Spring Cleaning done the natural way. Ready to Go Green? Order our Detox Box and get all of our home care essentials. Need some help in making the transition to Green Living? Book a Going Green consultation.

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Sunday Rituals For A Smoother Week

By Neochea Flowers

Happy Friday, folks!

For those among us clocking a steady nine-to-five, Friday through Sunday can offer reprieve from office duties; and a chance to reconnect to self and core personal desires. If today marks the beginning of your weekly vacation, perhaps thoughts of the coming week are farthest from your mind. But, stick with me for a smidgen.

Even with a more flexible schedule, the quality of the hours matter, and make the difference between order and chaos in the work-life balance. Should you find yourself teetering on the edge of chaos, or just seeking aid to stay on top of things, here are a few suggestions for ways to smoothly sail through the week ahead. Promise, it will only take a small chunk of your weekend.

  • Make a To-Do List

When was the last time you made a list and crossed all tasks off? Could it be that the list seemed to go on forever and after time felt like a load? Or, have you never been the list-making type?

Perhaps this could be worth a try. Let’s start small.

This Sunday, check your calendar. Project for the week. What are the five (5) next best steps towards achieving your goals? Simple things. An email, a call, an errand.. You name it. Remember, simple. Jot these down to your liking with colored pens, pencils or markers. Paste them somewhere clearly visible. You can go a step further and draw for a bulletin board, white board, etc. Again, you name it.

You can also take advantage of reminder applications built-in to most smartphones, or download apps like Todoist and Google Tasks —which is also available as an add-on in Gmail on desktop.

  • Meal Plan + Prep:

Who can relate to the stomach-sinking feeling of an empty fridge after a long day of work? We benefit from take-out being a click or a call away, but nothing beats a good home-cooked meal. Extra points if it’s by your hands.

I’m not at all saying to dive into cooking every night if that’s something you’re not used to. But, how does planning on Friday, shopping on Saturday and cooking on Sunday sound? Have your very own warm meals throughout the week in no time.

Again, simple steps:

  • Research recipes for your favorite foods. - I mean multiple search engine tabs people, and of course, good old recipe books. Adjust the ingredients based on how many servings you’d like. You’ll have the option to skip the take-out if your version is a win.

  • Make a Budget + Check Your Inventory. - Look in your cupboard, fridge, freezer, pantry and drawers. What needs to be stocked? What can you save for another meal?

  • Shop

  • Prep

  • Cook

  • ???

  • Eat

  • REPEAT

But most of all, make it fun. These Sunday Rituals are small suggestions, but they can lead to big change. Your Sunday Ritual can be anything that keeps you in order, flow; gives you a moment of peace, rest, stillness or the biggest of belly laughs!

Whatever it is, we hope you share it with us. If you try any of ours, let us know how they serve you!

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Subscribe to our Detox Box in 3 Easy Steps

By Corey Breneisen

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Our much anticipated Subscription Service for our natural cleaning products is now LIVE on our website! Whether you are in Jamaica or in the U.S. you can sign up for our renewable subscription. Every 6 weeks you will receive a box of natural cleaning essentials that will keep your laundry, kitchen and bathroom shining like the top of the Chrysler Building! Our box includes Powdered Laundry Soap (up to 48 loads), Stain Stick, Soft Scrub Tile Cleaner, and our All Purpose Cleaning Spray.

So how do you sign up for our Subscription? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Visit our ecommerce store. Once in our store, select the item: Subscription Detox Box. Select the scents you prefer and then hit the Subscribe button.

  2. You will be prompted to fill in your shipping & billing information. This will create a personal account for our website.

  3. Get Green & Clean! Your products will be delivered to your door every 6 weeks and your credit card will be automatically billed.

Need more incentives for signing up? Be one of the first 15 subscribers and you will receive a special discount code to put towards your first delivery to receive 15% off. Enjoy eco-living made easy.

5 Ways to Go Green in the New Year

By Corey Breneisen

The celebrations and excitement of the holidays are over. Life is returning to a pre-holiday routine. But with a New Year comes a fresh perspective, new goals, new dreams, new commitments.

In Jamaica, we greeted 2019 with a new government imposed ban on single use plastic bags, straws and styrofoam. While those of us who have already committed to living a more ecofriendly lifestyle welcome the change, it is forcing many people to reassess their daily routines and habits.

Whichever corner of the world you may call home, transitioning to a Green Lifestyle is simple. Here are 5 ways you can begin to make your home more ecofriendly.

  1. DECLUTTER: We live in a consumer culture that brainwashes us to desire more and more and more. In fact we just spent the last 6 weeks (or more) acquiring stuff for the holidays. Some of it is useful and well crafted and will enhance our life in some way either through its utility or its beauty, but let’s be honest, most of it is going to end up taking up too much space and collecting dust. When you fill your home with intentional objects that hold use, beauty or meaning, the energy of your home lightens. You will find that you are filled with more joy upon entering your space and that you will be spending less time cleaning, sorting, organizing and more time enjoying activities that enrich your life. When you feel better, you do better.

  2. BUY LESS: Now that your home is clutter free, keep it that way! Before going to the store or making an online purchase, take stock of what you already have. Think about whether your new purchase is a replacement for something or an addition to your home. Then ask yourself, is it absolutely necessary to buy? If it is a replacement, could the old version be fixed or updated in anyway? Buying a new slipcover for an otherwise sturdy couch that just needs an update instead of a whole new couch for instance. Or seeking out a repair person to fix an older appliance. The key is to make shopping thoughtful and intentional instead of reactive and emotional.

  3. Ditch the Disposables: As a busy working mom, I understand the convenience of paper plates and plastic forks! However, living on an island forces me to confront the darkside of a disposable culture on a daily basis. The shorelines, gullies and roadsides are polluted with our conveniences. Having to brush aside a stray fork or plastic bottle before placing my beach blanket gives me tremendous pause to reflect on how we are choosing to live on our planet. Instead, make daily routines such as washing the dishes a meditation. Bring intention to the chore. And teach the kids the same. Allow them to wash up after themselves. By contributing to the family chores, they learn early on what it means to be a responsible citizen in a larger community.

  4. Plant a Garden: Even if you live in an urban apartment with a single window, you can grow a basil plant! Contrary to popular belief, gardening does not require acres of tilled land and a huge time commitment. A container garden on a porch or balcony will produce a surprising yield of fresh herbs, veggies and flowers. The harvest can be dried, frozen and shared among neighbors and friends. If your neighborhood has a community garden, consider becoming a member. The few minutes or hour spent getting your hands dirty will remind you of your connection with the earth and your fellow community members. Sparking that connection leads to more mindful living. And when you are more intentional with your lifestyle choices, you feel better and then you do better and that wonderful cycle gets repeated.

  5. Clean Green: Often we focus on detoxing our bodies by changing our diets. We forget that our largest organ is our skin which absorbs everything it comes in contact with. The products we use to clean our homes can have a devastating effect on our overall health and wellness. Studies have shown that using traditional cleaning agents can have the same consequences on our respiratory system as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day! Selecting ecofriendly alternatives such as Rae Marie’s line of natural homecare products, will insure your homes stay clean while your bodies stay healthy!

Do you need more tips and tricks for Going Green this year? Rae Marie is here to help. Book a Green consultation with us. We will assess your physical space, make a plan for decluttering and assist with creating new daily routines to make your transition into a Green Lifestyle simple. Contact us for details: hello@raemarie.net

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