Stretch How Conscious is Your Evening Routine? 5 Questions to Ask Right Now. Make your evening routine as good for the planet as it is for your body. By Maddie Arthur Presented byHumans crave routine. Little rituals (like evening yoga or a nightly cup of tea) provide a sense of stability, and are especially beneficial when life feels out of control. But let’s dig a little deeper—is your evening routine giving as much to the earth as it is to your mind/body? In order for an evening routine to truly be mindful, you may want to consider the longterm consequences of your actions. After all, when we care for the earth, we are ultimately caring for ourselves. Here are some thoughtful questions to ask in order to love Mama Nature as much as you love yourself. What’s in your beauty products? Most of us are riding the organic food train with full force. But can you apply that same holistic mindset to your beauty products? Beauty products are barely regulated, and so there are often weird chemicals or toxins hidden within your fave moisturizer, shampoo, and face mask. Also, a ton of beauty products contain parabens. Parabens are used in a multitude of products as a preservative to prevent bacteria growth and have a history of messing with estrogen levels. (Not good, considering how many of us already have hormone imbalances.) While they’re okay in small doses, we suggest you limit your use of products that have parabens listed as an ingredient. Furthermore, consider the container of your go-to beauty buys. If it comes in plastic, or is single-use, consider swapping that product out for something that doesn’t cause as much waste. There are a multitude of products that are as good for your skin as they are for the planet—do your research and reap the rewards! Are you using an eco-friendly mattress? Yup, your mattress can totally be environmentally-friendly. And a non-natural mattress might be the reason you’re not falling asleep at night. Studies illustrate that at least 27 percent of Americans have trouble falling asleep. And while it’s possible your mattress is too hard or too soft, it could also be made from toxic materials that might negatively effect your health and sleep. But fear not: there are better (and affordable) mattresses out there! Our personal fave is Avocado Green Mattress. Avocado Green mattresses come from high quality, natural, organic, and non-toxic materials, and are one hundred percent handmade-to-order in their LA factory. In fact, their mattresses are Greenguard Gold Certified by UL Environment, meaning they meet the most rigorous emissions standards for chemical exposure and pollutants. They’re also recyclable, biodegradable (what!?), and crazy comfortable. Are you stressing before bed? Stress is sometimes unavoidable, but the real problem comes when it creeps into our evening routine. It’s important to find ways to maintain stress levels, as stress is often the culprit behind a myriad of mental and physical health problems. Combat stress and give back to the earth by gardening. Planting a tree reduces the amount of storm water runoff, which eventually cuts back on erosion and pollution in our waterways, and provides a habitat for various forms of wildlife. And caring for the earth does wonders for your mental health. Studies have illustrated the outdoors’ ability to fight depression, ease anxiety, lower blood pressure, increase memory, and fight inflammation. Spend some time caring for the planet and feel the reward of a deep night’s sleep. Are you consuming too much blue light? Okay—it’s not necessarily beneficial for the earth, but lessening nighttime screen use can really aid your sleep cycle. Cutting back on social media becomes increasingly important when winding down before bed. Consuming too much blue light in the evenings not only distracts your brain and keeps the wheels turning, but it’s also been proven to suppress the creation of melatonin, which in turn disrupts your sleep patterns. This lack of sleep can lead to all sorts of issues, including depression, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues. Consider limiting your screen time to two hours before bed, getting lots of fresh air and sunshine throughout the day, and investing in screen filters for your devices in the evening. (Or even use computer glasses. Some are actually kind of cute!) How healthy is your aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is amazing. You can use all sorts of candles, essential oils, and incense to energize, find some zen, set the mood, mend a cold, and so much more. That being said, it’s important to consider the quality of your aromatherapy products. Candles are a great way to cozy up a space, but some scented candles are harsh on the environment. Many types of scented candles are made with paraffins, and when burned, emit harmful greenhouse gases and carcinogens into the air. And some wicks are made from materials that have lead and zinc in them, which contribute to the unhealthy byproducts being released. You can avoid this by opting for candles made from beeswax, soy, coconut, or hemp. Beeswax candles actually work to help purify the air, so it’s a win-win in our book. Most essential oils are sustainable (just do your research) and be sure to buy incense from reputable retailers. Remember: when you gift the earth, you’re ultimately giving back to yourself. Practice self-care for yourself and the planet, all at the same time. How do you make the most of your evening routine? Presented by Avocado Green MattressAvocado Green Mattresses are handmade in sunny California using the finest natural and organic materials, including 100% natural latex from tree-tapped and sustainable sources, natural New Zealand wool, and certified organic cotton. Because no polyurethane foams, memory foams, chemical adhesives, or toxic flame retardants are used, they are Greenguard Gold certified. They’re better for you and the planet—and rated #1 in America. Ready for your 100 night trial?