What Is a Vegan Duvet?

You’re thinking it, I’m just saying it. How in the world can a duvet be “vegan”? Also what is even the point? Rest Duvet has made their newest product – the Vegan Duvet. So the question stands, what is a vegan duvet?

What makes something “vegan-friendly”?

Vegan simply means that no animal by-products are used. For food purposes, we know that means that animal meat or anything that an animal produces like milk or eggs is not allowed. How does this relate to duvets then?

For starters, a lot of duvets are made with “down”. “Down is a filling feather gathered from the undercoat of geese, ducks, and swans. Because of its lightweight nature and lofty fluff, down is a great temperature regulator for people who sleep hot.” (Casper Editorial Team, 2021). In other words, down is an animal-product and not vegan-friendly.

Why get the vegan duvet from Rest?

That being said, Rest Duvet has made their new vegan duvet for those who want to continue living a vegan lifestyle! Or if you are someone like me that just likes supporting environmentally friendly products, this would also be the product for you. If there is a simple way to bring more eco-friendly products into my home, I will.

This duvet is made from corn and has biodegradable fill instead of down. It comes in three options: Light, All-Season, and Ultra-Warm. I chose the All-Season one as it’s the best for my needs living in San Diego. The material feels like peach-fuzz, but is incredibly still moisture-wicking!

Rest Duvet Discount Code

Now for the best news of all. You can get 40% off of the Vegan Duvet and all duvets with Rest by using the code DONNA22. And it’s good until Christmas! Need something other than a duvet, then use the code DGB20 to get 30% off of ANYTHING on Rest until the end of November.

You will not be able to use both of these codes in your cart at once. To maximize your savings, just purchase in two different orders (don’t worry – shipping is free!)

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Read about the amazing cooling comforter, the Evercool, from Rest Duvet on Donna Gail Blog!



how to update my wardrobe on a budget

How to Update My Wardrobe on a Budget

There are a lot of clothing companies out there, but not all of them are budget-friendly. Not to mention if they do end up being affordable, you may be compromising quality for that price. Here are four resources for how to update your wardrobe on a budget

Thrift stores

I update my wardrobe on a budget with thrift shopping
My favorite thrift store in Escondido has helped me find cute things like Disney Spirit Jerseys!

By no shock to anyone, shopping at thrift stores is convenient, local to you, and very affordable. We are also living in an age of VERY fast fashion. It’s so fast that I can’t even keep up. But the great thing about fast fashion is that it turns up in thrift stores even faster. That being said, if you don’t mind being a little being the latest trend, thrift store shopping will be your best friend.

Not to mention, shopping at thrift stores is HIGHLY sustainable. By shopping preowned items you are reducing the amount of water it takes to make a new piece of clothing, reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, and reusing perfectly good items. Talk about eco-friendly!

Thrift store shopping has been my personal number one way to update my wardrobe on a budget.

Poshmark or Mercari

Powerful Disney Bound of Marvel's Captain Marvel Carol Danvers
I made this entire Captain Marvel outfit solely off of purchases from Poshmark!

Both of these online shopping platforms are bringing preowned item shopping online. Now there are still plenty of thrift stores that you can purchase from online. But these two apps have the added bonus of allowing you to sell your items that you no longer want. Donating to thrift stores is great, don’t get me wrong. However, some items still retain a high value rate. And what better way to expense your next purchase than by selling some items first to make it happen.

I have used Poshmark before to create amazing Disney Bounds. The ability to search the app for the EXACT thing that I need and in the size that I wear is just not something I can do at a thrift store. Plus I also sold lots of items on the app and turned around to use those funds to buy items through the app. Overall a great experience and again, all the same sustainability advantages!

Clothes swap

Do you have stylish friends? What about a sibling or two? Or a parent that is looking to get rid of something in their closet? GOOD! Then that means you now have access to calling dibs on items that they may want to give up!

Let your friends and family know that if they plan on giving anything away to let you know first. Tell them that you would love to look through their items to see if there is anything that you would like. I know that I definitely have a few friends who have pieces in their wardrobe that I would love to snag if given the opportunity. Odds are they will definitely let you riffle through anything they plan on giving away.

Update your wardrobe on a budget by doing a clothes swap
This rainbow top is courtesy of my friend letting me borrow from her closet!

But remember to be courteous. Always offer to buy the pieces from them. Don’t assume that they will give it to you for free.

PROTIP: You can even ask your friend if you can just borrow that piece that you’ve been eyeing! For someone like me who has a very stylish best friend who is also a content creator, she knows that sometimes I just want to borrow something from her closet for a picture and a post. Odds are she gets it back right after the photoshoot. See? There are so many ways to update your wardrobe on a budget.

Reduce your new wardrobe purchases

Now even after trying to incorporate preowned items into your wardrobe, there will still be times of wanting something brand spanking new. And that’s fine! Keeping to a budget does not mean that you can’t ever treat yourself. It simply means that you plan your budget with that purchase in mind.

So if you can’t reuse, then reduce! When you go through making your purchases for new items, try your best to reduce the amount you buy. Especially if it’s fast fashion. I know that I put together Disney Bounds through the massive catalog that is Shein, and part of that reason is because I can show you items that are easily accessible. But I still encourage you to treat those videos and outfit collages as inspiration. Then take that inspiration to the thrift store or onto Poshmark.

I have used all of these ways listed here to update my wardrobe on a budget. And you can update your wardrobe in a very sustainable way too!

Want more eco-friendly blogs and tips? Read more on Donna Gail Blog.

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Five Products that you did not know could be made from bamboo

5 Products That You Didn’t Know Could Be Made from Bamboo

Bamboo is one of Earth’s most renewable resources. In some cases, bamboo plants have been found to grow 35 inches in one day making it truly the fastest growing plant on the planet. As such, many companies see the value in switching from making products from tradition tree-based materials and switching to making goods made from bamboo.

The list of bamboo items is endless but..

Here are the top 5 products that you probably didn’t know could be made from bamboo:

1. Paper towels

Trees take forever to grow, that’s pretty common knowledge. So why waste those trees on something so daily and wasteful as paper towels? There are so many companies out there that are using bamboo to make paper towel products. By switching to bamboo-made paper goods, it helps to keep more trees planted in the ground!

2. Toilet paper

Now this just goes hand in hand with bamboo paper towels. And the same sustainable reasons still apply! This is something that we use daily and frequently so we might as well make it an eco-friendly switch!

3. Clothing, and

4. Bed sheets made from bamboo

This is the product that blows everyone’s minds – “Clothing? Made from BAMBOO?!” Yes, it’s real. And it’s probably the softest material I have ever worn. However, if you’ve already experienced bamboo-made clothing, then you will love bamboo bed sheets. It is just as soft, and it has the same cooling effect. Not to mention, I love that it’s naturally moisture wicking. Instead of linking merchandise, I have linked companies that provide bamboo-made clothing and bed sheets.

5. Hair ties

Honestly this is something that rocked my world. While I was shopping at Walmart, I saw these hair ties. I know bamboo is versatile, but I never thought to see how it could be used with beauty accessories. So far, only Planet Goody is offering a variety of bamboo-made hair accessories.

I could go on and on about bamboo-made products. It truly serves as a great alternative to tree-based commodities. Going forward, I have no doubt that more companies will start making the switch to using this fast-growing, renewable resource.

If you have found value in this blog and want to learn more, be sure to check out my other blog, Four Products to Use to Be More Eco-Friendly.

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Girl cups her fiancé's arm showing her engagement ring

My Cost-Friendly, Lab Created Engagement Ring

Behind every loving relationship is the daunting financial task of purchasing an engagement ring. But it doesn’t have to be. My engagement ring with 2 carats that had professional jewelers fooled with how perfect the diamonds were for the price was only $1,700. How was it so cost-friendly? Because I have a lab-created engagement ring!

Following the links listed on this page will allow me to receive a small commission from any purchase’s made on those sites. Using my links do not increase your overall purchase price.

The average cost of engagement rings

The old bar that was set for the cost of an engagement ring was three month’s salary. Maybe it’s just my personal preference, but that’s pretty expensive! The average that American couples spent on an engagement ring in 2020 was $3,756, which is less than the $7,829 average couples spent in 2018! I am seeing other reports saying that $6,000 is also a fair, average price to pay for an engagement ring, and right now I am floored by those numbers.

So what are lab-created diamonds and why are they so inexpensive?

Well to be honest with you, they are exactly what they sound like. They are diamonds created in a lab. So yes, these diamonds are real, but no they were not dug up from the ground by someone. Everything about these diamonds has been perfected in a lab – color, cut, clarity, and carat. These can all be made to the exact specifications of what the buyer wants. Even when I took my ring in to a jeweler, the only reason they could tell that the diamonds were lab-created was because the inside of the band says “Lab Created”. Other than that, they said they would have had no idea. And if that isn’t validation without the price tag, then I don’t know what is.

Not to mention for my sustainability lovers out there, these rings are just that – ethically made and sustainable products! No need to worry about where your diamonds came from, or if mining workers were exploited or underpaid for their work. These diamonds are real, reliably sourced, and made in a safe environment. And who wouldn’t love the price difference on lab-created diamonds?

Where my fiancé bought mine

Kay Jewelers! Originally, I was looking at a very similar ring at Jared that was not made with lab-created diamonds, but somehow Cody knows what I like more than I do and picked this perfect one out for me with Kay. Even more so to compare pricing, the one I picked out at Jared was about $3,000 and was half a carat less in weight, and Cody bought my lab-created engagement ring at Kay for $1,700 and it also included a lifetime warranty on all the diamonds. Even looking at my ring right now on Kay Jewelers, it’s actually only $1,300!

Here are some other examples of lab-created engagement rings on Kay Jewelers (all are linked):

Overall, I adore my ring and I really don’t give a hoot about the diamonds being lab-created because they are perfect. And let’s be real, no one ever walks up to you and asks if your diamonds were created in a lab or if they were dug up from the ground. At the end of the day, they’re still diamonds!

Read more and follow me on donnagailblog.com

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EcoRoots: Your One-Stop Shop for All Things Eco-Friendly!

Part of my 2021 resolutions was to become more eco-friendly. Now, I’m not perfect, but there’s a lot of little things here and there that can really make a huge difference.

My journey towards being more eco-friendly started when I got a job as a tour operator at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Being surrounded by conservation and consistently talking about and learning about sustainable switches realy got me thinking more consciously about what I could to reduce my carbon footprint. Not to mention my sister is actually the queen of sustainablitiy and she gives me a lot of great tips too!

But one of the biggest tips I was able to give her was checking out EcoRoots. This is a classic “score one for Instagram ads” kind of situation. I started following a lot of eco-friendly companies like Dropps (eco-friendly laundry detergent), Juni Essentials (bamboo toothbrushes and dental accessories), and Grove Collective (sustainable cleaning solutions), and lo and behold my ads started reflecting that. You can read more about different sustainable switches here. Also at the time, I was talking more and more about eco-friendly tips that my followers could start doing to reduce the amount of plastic they use in their lifetime. So all in all, the ads did their job – they got me hooked and they brought me to EcoRoots’ Instagram page!

The ad that got me specifically was for their bamboo hairbrush. Since I already had worked with Juni Essentials to bring to light their bamboo toothbrush collection, and had done research into the impact switching to a bamboo product would have on my carbon footprint, I was intrigued! With how many toothbrushes I will go through in a lifetime, and with the fact that you can’t recycle them, I figured the same would be true for the impact of switching from a plastic hairbrush to a bamboo one!

But after browsing their site, I saw just how many items they had – ranging from home products to beauty products! All I know is that once Cody and I actually close on a home, I will be shopping this site frequently for all sorts of products for all over our house.

Here are some of the items that they have that could be great switches for you in your own home:

All pictures are owned by EcoRoots, and links are affiliate links. Click any image to shop that item!

Zero Waste Laundry Detergent
Natural Makeup Remover
Dish Scrubber

Natural Loofah
Reusable Produce Bags
Straw Cleaning Brush
Bamboo Hair Brush
Reusable Coffee Filter
Wooden Dish Brush with Detachable Head
Vegan Face Mask
Vegan Eco-Friendly Floss
Vegan Body Soap

We may not always be the most eco-friendly or sustainable in our life choices, but with companies like EcoRoots, at least they make it a little bit easier to make better decisions to help reduce our carbon footprint!


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