4 Easy Steps to a Greener Hygiene Routine + The Online Medina Review

Today I'm excited to introduce you to The Online Medina, a Tunisia-based online store selling woven textiles, soap, and argan oil produced by local family-owned cooperatives. 

I first spoke to Katya, co-founder of The Online Medina shop in June, just a few weeks before the Tunisian tragedy. I'm grateful to have the chance to write about the work that Katya's doing, connecting local artisans to a larger, global marketplace-  It's wonderful to have a connection to be able to support the local economy. Knowing that I can help, in some small way, as the country reels from the loss of tourism business over the next few months or years helps me feel less "helpless" to do something in the face of injustice and terrorism. 

Katya sent me two fouta towels- one to keep and one to give away- to test and write about. I have to admit- I've been wanting to try out a flat, woven cotton towel for awhile but wasn't sure if I'd like the feeling of drying off with one. I love fluffy towels, guys, what can I say? Eco-fail confession, here: even though I try to hang most of my clothes and other items to dry in an attempt to save energy, I've held on to tumble-drying my terry towels. I just don't like the scratchy feeling of a line-dried towel! 

The first time I used my fouta towel I hated it. You see, I hadn't followed Katya's directions to give it a wash before using it (I tend to not be the greatest direction-follower. Oops.). It didn't seem all that absorbent and the linen fibers didn't feel nice against my skin. 

Fast forward to several washes completed- I LOVE this towel! it gets softer and softer and feels light and smooth against my skin. It's my favorite for taking to the beach because it's huge and sand brushes/shakes off of it much easier that it would off a terry towel. I'm planning on packing this towel when I travel since it takes up so little space (and could even be used as a makeshift scarf, picnic blanket, or wadded up as an airplane "pillow)

Since my main reason for testing this towel was to see if I could make the leap to a more eco-friendly towel, I've compiled a little list of small steps that I've taken lately to "green" my morning getting-ready routine: 

  1. Grab a non-disposable razor- think of all the plastic waste you'll eliminate over the years! I read the other day that  2 billion disposable razors are thrown away each year in the US alone (source). The razors that Andrew and I use can be easily found at Target, where you can also find replacement blades (packaged in cardboard and waxed paper). You can find similar razors online at The Vermont Country Store or vintage on Etsy .
  2. Opt for a quick-drying, cotton or linen towel. Cotton or linen "sheet" towels like this one or this one from The Online Medina are absorbent, space saving, dry super-quickly, and get softer with each wash.
  3. Make your own simple hygiene products to reduce the amount of packaging you consume. Check out my recipe for homemade deodorant or search Pinterest for other recipes for everything from makeup remover to homemade blush. 
  4. Simplify the amount of products you use. Do you really need body wash and face scrub and three different types of scented lotions (that all end up expiring before you use them up)? 

This month's giveaway will include a gorgeous linen and cotton towel from The Online Medina- stay tuned! If you don't want to take your chances, head over to thehttp://www.theonlinemedina.com/collections/foutas and browse the currently-on-sale styles that are up for grabs! 

*Product sent to me for review, all opinions my own.