Wednesday, June 26, 2019

tips for how to start being eco-friendly

Hey everyone! Happy Summer! I am currently at my kitchen table eating watermelon and sipping a coffee that I made myself at home. Lately, I've been very aware of how much plastic I waste and money I spend on things that I will throw out immediately after I finish it. With all the talk about climate change and global warming, I question why I haven't made any lifestyle changes. Granted, the biggest causes of harm in our climate is from global corporations and the meat and dairy industries; but by not making a lifestyle change...humans aren't helping the situation.

I mentioned that I was drinking coffee because that's how I came up with this blog post because I am using my Starbucks tumbler that I bought for $10 in Vietnam. Here are some ways that you can be eco-friendly and work on reducing your carbon footprint.

1. Invest in a Reusable Cup from either Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or a Coffee Shop (and also a metal water bottle)

It's so simple to bring your own coffee cup places. Lately, I will bring my Starbucks iced beverages reusable cup to every coffee shop I go to (even though it says Starbucks there is no issue), and tell them how many ounces it holds. This way, the coffee shop is not giving me a plastic cup that I will throw out not even an hour later. Once you get into the mindset of bringing the reusable cup places, you won't even want to buy a drink if you don't have it. There's also hot drink cups that are available for purchase. Corporate coffee shops, particularly Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, have discounts for using a reusable cup. Local coffee shops will even give you free refills with your own cup. The pros outweigh the cons of having to bring an empty cup with you.

*Starbucks even made temperature changing cups and also sell regular cheap reusable cups at check out.

Another investment is metal, refillable water bottles. Yes, Swell bottles and Hydroflasks are all the rage, but you don't have to buy a ridiculously expensive bottle. I bought two "thermoflasks" for $15 at Costco, and they are just as good as any other mainstream brand. Bringing your own water bottle is beneficial because 1) you can constantly hydrate yourself 2) you aren't buying single-use plastic water bottles. Many colleges have hydration station all over their campuses to reduce waste, and usually, restaurants and shops can fill up your water bottle if you asked them.

Here's more information on using reusable water bottles:

2. Bring a Metal Straw if you Can

Everyone has seen those photos of turtles with straws stuck in their noses. Plastic straws can't be recycled, so they end up in the ocean instead. Even if you personally have never encountered them in the oceans, millions end up there. No one will judge you for taking out a straw at a restaurant if they do... ask them why aren't they using one. There are also so many brands of plastic straws ranging from cheap ones at the dollar store to collapsable ones that you can put inside your bag.

*Final Straw is a brand that has reusable metal straws that even clip on to keychains, more info is here:

3. Go to Farmer's Markets & Bring Your Own Bags 

If you have a local farmer's market, start trying to buy produce there instead of a supermarket. Farmer's markets are usually cheaper for the bulk amount of produce, and let you pick out as much as you want. Also, buying locally grown food not only helps the economy but lessens the amount of produce that travels. Do you really need your fruit from Florida if you live in a different state? Also when you buy produce at supermarkets, it's usually in plastic that is just going to be thrown out once you make a salad or cook a meal. Why does our arugula have to be in a plastic container? There are more sustainable methods.

* The Environment Benefits of Local and Organic Food:

I have a dog, so we sometimes use the plastic bags given to us for when we take him on walks and have to clean up. For the most part, if you can bring your own bags to a grocery store instead of being given  10+ plastic shopping bags.

4.  Start doing 'Meatless Mondays' or trying to find a few days a week to remove dairy and meat.

I am not vegan or vegetarian, but every time I mention to someone who is like me the benefits of going meat and dairy free the responses are usually, "That seems too strict" or "I can't imagine doing that". You don't need to go vegan or vegetarian, but being anti-that lifestyle is not beneficial to anyone. Biologically, humans don't need to eat meat every day or even if at all. The issue lies within our meat and dairy industries that are destroying our environment.

Instead of going strictly vegan or vegetarian, cutting down the amount of meat and dairy will beneficially affect the environment and reduce your carbon footprint. It's not about cutting out all food and dairy but reducing the amount. There are plenty of alternatives as well, such as milk alternatives and fake meat, but also by adding in more vegetables and fruit. Meatless Mondays should not be a punishment, but more of a way to make a small lifestyle change.

On an ethical basis, there are plenty of arguments about going vegan because of animal cruelty. Especially with new developments such as the Fair Oaks Farm Scandal, where the cows are severely abused: A way of dealing with unethical dairy practices is to not buy products from the companies that abuse their animals if you can't give up the food group total. Educating yourself on the practices of the meat and dairy industry will help you become aware in your decisions and what practices to do.

Another thing to think about is the effects of raising cattle on the environment, and how it would be beneficial to cut the number of cattle raised. 

5. Don't Be Too Hard On Yourself and Others When Making a Lifestyle Change

Many people won't start using reusable products or cutting meat out if they feel forced to. That's an issue that's been going on forever and is the major criticism about trying to save the environment. The first step you should do is research the benefits of everything you're going to do. Don't see the point in using a reusable straw? Google it and read some articles about it instead of yelling at the person that suggested it. It's very easy to just listen to politicians that will most likely not be alive to see the Earth become a hazardous place to live (if we don't make a change). Also, if you mess up one day, it's not the end of the world. Forget to do Meatless Monday? Then just don't eat meat on Wednesday. You'll fail at a  lifestyle change if you're too hard on yourself. 

Here are some videos I found helpful:

( watch this if you want to help save the planet - (eco-friendly tips)) - Hailey Sani

My Morning Routine in the Year 2050 - Kristen Leo

Also, my friend, Francisca Rockey ( ) has a podcast on Spotify where she talked about the plastic straw ban, veganism, etc. It's called #honestyhour and you can listen to her latest episode here:

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments (all you need is twitter or email!) about how you intend to be more sustainable and eco-friendly!
Christina Madeleine

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

My Freshman Experience at Providence College

Hey everyone! Today, I wanted to talk about my first year at Providence College, and how I made the most of my time there. This is more of a serious post, but I will have some new posts and videos up this week!

First, I want to talk about my expectations for what college was going to be like. I thought that every freshman would want to be open to making new friends and talking to people. I thought it would be super easy to make friends and find things to do.  Right off the bat, people weren't super welcoming from my own grade (class of 2022). Yes, the orientation leaders were super sweet, but the people in my orientation group who did a pre-orientation program (basically moving onto campus five days before me) were not as welcoming as people who just moved in on the same day as me.  Moving in is hard, especially when you aren't close to home, and so everybody probably was nervous about what was to come. Starting college was particularly hard for me because I felt like I didn't belong for the first for a long time. I didn't relate to a lot of people in the way I thought I would, I cried a lot during my first few months, and overall was depressed. Granted though this time, I met some wonderful people like my roommate (who I absolutely love) and some of my super close friends (Alex, Becca, and Colleen I'm looking at you). Those people have stuck by my side and have continued to be good friends to me.

I would say my biggest tip for anyone going to college is to remember that the first people you meet don't have to be your best friends. I know that the original people I was friends with are going to see this in some way, so I am going to keep this part short. Deep down, I think they are nice people; but it wasn't meant for us to be close. It doesn't have to be a malicious fight to break up the group, but if you feel uncomfortable or uneasy by the actions of the people you are hanging out with or the way they treat people; it's completely okay to have other friends.

I made the bulk of my friends starting February (literally five months after move in!) through Providence College Television and my roommate. These were all people who had been nice to me from the beginning of the year, but it took me being treated poorly by others to realize how good the people around me are. The friends I made the second semester helped me come out of my shell more by going to parties (especially Natalia causing me to go out on Wednesday nights), having movie nights in our rooms, making videos for PCTV, going to Thayer Street, and so much more. My last night on campus I was surrounded by so many friends who I know I will have for the next few years. Good friends are hard to find, and particularly hard when everyone is 17-20 years old and freaking out about being at college. The friends I made the second semester made me feel at home at school, and made me start to love Providence College even more. I couldn't have grown as much as I did without the help of Colleen and all the other people who stuck with me. From March on was when I started to be absolutely happy at Providence, and that's when I started to make vlogs because I wanted everyone to see how my school is such a great place. Although it's tough not being happy at your school until March, when things are good they are so good. I've been told that you continue to meet more people during sophmore year, and I am so excited to feel more at home at Providence and take on the second year with my friends.

I spent a lot of freshman year comparing my experiences to those of people from home. Social media was incredibly toxic to me because I would constantly question why everyone was having a great time but me at their schools. I did have fun times on campus during the first semester, don't get me wrong, but I was constantly not in a good mental place. I would be so upset that my friends from home seemed to be having the time of their lives. This caused me to not live in the moment during the first semester because I was so obsessed with how everyone else was doing. My wake up call was when a friend from home told me it seemed like I was having "the best time" because on social media it was just me at parties, even though that was a facade for how I really felt. In January, I tried out for Orientation Leader, Friars Club, and Board of Programmers; and got rejected from all of them. My school doesn't have Greek Life, so I thought this would be my in to make more friends. During the interview process, I came to the conclusion that I was saying all the "right" things about how I loved Providence College without actually feeling it. Being rejected from all the clubs was hard, but it was what I needed in order to focus on making more friends, not being obsessed with friends from home's lives, and start living in the moment. I, immediately, started putting more effort into PCTV and the people within that club. That was one of the clubs I knew I wanted to be in from the time I first got accepted to the college, and I knew that is where I needed to put my passion and efforts into. In February, Colleen and I got the 12am-2am radio slot for WDOM 91.3 Providence and would do a two-hour show called "Cracked Up" where we would play alternative and indie music. Almost every single time we did our show, people would come and visit us and hang out, and this made me so happy. Some of our friends came almost every week and would even text us when they couldn't come. This was part of the turning point of the year I mentioned before.

Now, I am going to talk about how academically my year changed. I spent a lot of high school thinking I wasn't that smart, but in college, my mentality about my classes changed. I went in as a Marketing major, and the first semester I took solely business classes and Western Civilization (I have posts up already about my classes).  Business classes are hard in the sense that high school doesn't prepare you for it. I had to put a lot more effort into my classes in order to do well, but I wasn't at all interested in some of the topics. I did well the first semester, but I could do better. Second Semester, I started taking an English class; and that's when something clicked inside me... I needed to be an English major. I've always loved writing and reading, and the whole first semester I only wrote two essays. After about a month of taking Intro to Literature, I emailed the head of the English department and within the week I had declared a double-major with Marketing and English. I was warned that this would be a hard thing to do since there is very little overlap between the two subjects, but I couldn't stop smiling. I was finally going to study my favorite subject.

In my other posts, I've talked about the best parts of about college like constantly learning new things, meeting new people, going to academic events, exploring a new city, attending concerts and sports events and so much more. I did feel like I was lying at times because I was having such a hard time, but now I am so happy to be at Providence College. I know some people have a great experience from the start, but as someone who struggled; I can now come to say "I love friartown'. I can do a post in the future about things I love about the school because there is so much. Being surrounded by people who are supportive and uplifting, studying topics I enjoy and focusing on finding happiness has changed my whole perception of college and made the last three months incredible. The proof is in the vlogs, and I am so excited for people to see a side of me where I am enjoying my time.

Although I don't go back to college until August, I have so much hope and excitement for what the next years have for me. I don't think I will ever feel as sad as I did my first semester because I've seen a light in all the hardship. I know there are challenges for me in the future, but after the year I've had; I am so ready to take them on.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Christina Madeleine


Monday, June 10, 2019

all about may 2019...

Hey everyone! It's been a while... I've been meaning to post for about a month now, and life has just been so hectic. I think May 2019 has been my most crazy month in a while, and now I can finally sit down and do an update. During that month I had finals week, my 19th birthday, move out day, traveled to Singapore, Vietnam, and Hong Kong, and I also dyed my whole head red. So... a lot has been happening. I want to get back into weekly blogging since it's Summer and all, so here's a debriefing of my last month.

1.  My final week as a freshman in college

I will be blogging about how my second semester went, and my whole review of my first year of college. The last two weeks of college were so much fun, and really solidified some of my friendships from the last year. I did a vlog every day that week, and you can watch it above.

2. My trip to Singapore, Vietnam, and Hong Kong

I filmed vlogs of all the places I visited in Asia, and I still have to edit at least two more videos regarding the trip. Singapore and Vietnam are up, and please watch and comment on it! Coming up will be more photos, and about the places, I visited!

3. Dying My Hair Red

I'm a redhead? I impulsively dyed my hair red in Hong Kong, and I am living for it! I will also have some videos up of me getting my hair done, and my adventures while having red hair. It's definitely a change.

4. My Six Year Blog-anniversary!

Now that 'This Fashion Girl' is six years old, I want to work on growing it even more...stay tuned :) I am also forever grateful for all the support I have received throughout the year.

5. My 19th birthday...
Keeping up with the tradition of filming one second a day, I compiled my whole 18th year together.

Thank you for your support! I will be posting again for the Summer and trying to keep a schedule! New videos + posts coming soon. 

Christina Madeleine



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