Review: Chicago Architecture Boat Tour

The month of August has been such a busy one for me. My birthday was on the 9th, so I had a ton of activities going on to celebrate and to enjoy the last bits of summer! I’m so glad I’m a summer baby because there is always something new to try during Chicago summers. Its one of my favorite things about living here. The city (and suburbs) come alive during the summer months. This year for my birthday I checked one thing off my bucket list: The Chicago Architecture Boat Tour.

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I have been wanting to do this tour for many summers now, and finally booked it for my birthday this year! I’m so glad I did because it hands down one of the best experiences I have had. No wonder is one of the top tours across the U.S.! We got on Chicago First Lady right off Wacker downtown. Its super easy to get to, if you’re not from Chicago and just visiting. It is a little pricey, about $50 per person. However, the tour is an hour and half long which to me is so worth the money. We honestly couldn’t have picked a better now, it was a beautiful evening. I would really recommend doing one of the later tours right before the sun sets because the buildings look just amazing during this time of day!

One of the coolest things about this was that our speaker was a volunteer of the Chicago Architecture Foundation! This woman knew every building’s architect and the year it was built. It was truly amazing how much she knew, you could really tell she was passionate about architecture. She also knew a lot of history about the city and the changes we have gone through in Chicago. From an industrial, port city to the residential, major city we are today. I have lived in the area my whole life, but I really saw the city for the first time. I’ve also learned that Art Deco architectural design is my favorite part of the city, along with how much history was in these renovated residential buildings now. If you are a photographer, this tour gives you access to some amazing views of Chicago’s skyline. I really wish Sam and I brought our Canon, so I had to settle for some iPhone images to show you all.

 
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Some of our buildings here in Chicago are built with sustainability in mind, which of course I love! There is whats called a LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. There are multiple levels: certified, silver, gold, and platinum. There are multiple reasons your building can get one of the LEED levels. Buildings with this certification use less water, energy, and reduce green house gases. Here is just a small list of LEED projects in Chicago. 

This is what a sustainable lifestyle is all about – more experiences and less things. 

If you are interested in the boat tour, check it out here. Also, here is the link to the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

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Save Our Shores: An Up Close Look at Florida Beach Pollution

Shore Pollution

Sam and I recently took a trip down to Florida to celebrate our birthdays. Also, it was Sam’s first time visiting Florida and swimming in the ocean. So fun! Our first couple of days were nice and sunny, but unfortunately the last couple of days were afternoon rain. The bright side is it normally cleared up while there was still day light so we still hit the beach every day! We got our place to stay through Air B&B. It was my first time using the app and I have to say I’m pretty satisfied with it! The apartment we stayed in was literally right off the beach, which of course is the point of being in Florida! I paid about half the price of getting a hotel down there, so that was really a deciding factor in using Air B&B. My only complaint really was the bathroom was a lot smaller than it looked online, especially the shower. But you know, any shower but your own is never satisfying. I would really recommend it to anyone – even for weekend getaways. We’re already thinking about using it for another trip next year.

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We stayed on the Gulf side of Florida. The water is warmer, its essentially bath temperature this time of year. Plus, I personally think the white sand beaches are a lot nicer than the Atlantic side. While laying out on the beach, people were eating lunch, drinking, and other snacks. Which seems like a harmless thing to do, which it is unless you are careless with your foods packaging. I have visited Florida multiple times because I have some family down there, but I was younger and not yet involved in environmentalism. Naturally, this visit I was much more aware. What seems like a harmless act, eating lunch on the beach, can actually be detrimental to the beach and ultimately the ocean. While standing about knee deep in the water, a single-serve Fritos bag stuck to my leg as a wave was coming in. I thought to myself, “I am just a spec in the ocean and this even tinier piece of garbage just stuck to me.” If I was able to pick this single-serve bag out of the ocean, how much trash is really out there?

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Sam and I decided to do a beach clean up one day. We just walked along the beach and picked up any trash we saw. There was just so much! The interesting piece was there was a trash can about every 100 feet along the beach, yet all this trash was still along the beach. Here is a list of the most common trash items we found:

  • Cigarette butts (I mean tons of them)
  • Bottle caps (But where are all the actual bottles?)
  • Tiny pieces of plastic (I’m thinking these came from children’s toys)
  • Straws (Mostly looked to be from fast-food places)

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Other larger items we found were mostly plastic wrappings from food packaging, which is where most of our waste comes from in the first place. Have you ever taken a look in your trash can? I bet you its mostly food and its packaging.

The ocean is such a vital part of our entire planet. It pained me to see how poorly people treated the beach and our ocean. Plastic is truly the unnecessary evil killing our planet. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade – it only breaks down into smaller pieces of plastic. Over one million seabirds and over 100,000 marine animals are killed annually from plastic. Due to the circular currents of the ocean, whats called a gyre, plastic and other trash pools together creating patches of garbage. To date, researchers have found five garbage patches in our ocean. 

The planet is such a beautiful place that I feel strongly we need to respect. Nothing positive comes from wastefulness and pollution. So, why don’t more people care? That questions I cannot unfortunately answer, but I will not stop fighting to #SaveOurShores.

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5 Netflix Documentaries You Need to See

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5 Netflix Documentaries You Need to See

The True Cost

This Netflix documentary will open your eyes to what is really happening within the fashion industry. Directed by, Andrew Morgan, this film will take you into the hearts of the men and women of the fashion supply chain. The producers do an amazing job at showing you what fast fashion brands are doing to under-developed countries socially, economically, and environmentally.

Plastic Paradise

Every single piece of plastic that has been produced is still somewhere on this planet. Where does it all go?

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Creating a Mindful Lifestyle

mindful lifestyle

What is a mindful lifestyle?

Mindful living, sometimes referred to as minimalism, is the practice of intentionally living your life with more meaning and less things. A zero waste lifestyle has really helped to shape me into a minimalist. This lifestyle requires making conscious decisions in the moment, rather than going through life in autopilot mode. Here’s some ways I have created a mindful lifestyle.

I stopped shopping firsthand

The first thing I stopped was visiting stores or the mall. I have learned to love the Goodwill down the street from me. I shop for my clothes there, now. These items are already in the waste cycle so it’s the best way to shop for clothes. You can find great, unique pieces. For example, I found a Lou and Grey sweater for $4…amazing! I also purchase my household needs there. Some people find this weird, but a good clean and sterilizing in boiling water kills any germs on there. I have saved so much money shopping this way!

I appreciate my food

I used to be a person who spent most of my time in the frozen section of the supermarket.

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