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Subscription boxes are on the upswing, with more and more companies popping up every week it seems. In case you haven’t been swept up with the trend yet or aren’t sure what I’m talking about, I’ll break it down. Basically, subscription boxes are themed boxes containing curated, usually full-sized products from a variety of brands. There are subscription boxes for everything under the sun, from clothing and kids’ craft projects, to beauty products and cleaning supplies. Most subscription boxes ship out to customers seasonally (4 times a year). The subscription can usually be ordered one box at a time, or for a discount, you can sign up for an annual subscription. Boxes may be fully customizable, semi-customizable, or fully curated for you based on your interests and preferences.
Several years ago, in an attempt to treat myself to something special, I signed up for a popular subscription box for women. I was overall pretty pleased since I don’t always have the easiest time pulling the trigger on purchases for things like makeup or accessories. Through the subscription, I was introduced to several clean beauty brands (like Thrive, for example) that I never would have found on my own. However, after a few boxes worth of products, I really began to feel like
A) I was accumulating some things I wouldn’t ever use, and
B) almost everything was packaged in plastic containers as well as plastic wrapping.
Ugh. If you’ve been around the blog or connect with me on IG, then you know that made me cringe every time. That box had to go.
BUT, I still wanted the quarterly treat for myself, maybe a few useful eco-friendly items that I would not otherwise have the time to research and discover on my own. So I searched around for a subscription box that is eco-friendly AND only uses clean, nontoxic products. Spoiler alert: It’s the Earthlove box that I found. And spoiler #2: I’m a fan. I’ll tell you a little about the company and then I’ll show you all the products that were selected for the Winter 2019 Earthlove box.
Earthlove is a woman-owned company based in Washington State. The owner, Serina, also operates her honey farm in Carnation, Washington. Some of the proceeds from each box go toward a different environmental cause each quarter. The charity is discussed at length in both an insert included the box and discussed by Serina herself in a box reveal video scheduled for after most people have received their box (so as not to spoil the surprise for anyone). You will never be left wondering about the charity where some of your money is going. Instead, prepare to be educated and learn some new things!
A great deal of research and high standards go into selecting the products that are included in each Earthlove box. Between 6 and 8 full-sized products are included each season. There are actually 10 items in the Winter Box 2019 that I’m sharing in this post! All items are “beegan”, which means items are vegan plus responsibly-sourced insect products. If you are not okay with bee products like honey or beeswax, you can specify that you choose a fully vegan box instead.
In addition to being clean and healthy, all products are packaged with sustainable materials and from brands using sustainable manufacturing and cruelty-free practices, making everything healthy for you as well as for the Earth. The kinds of things included in the box are tea, makeup, skincare, accessories, essential oils, apparel pieces, and more. Each box also includes a book.
How Much Does It Cost?
For the seasonal box that ships 4 times a year, the cost is $59.95 per quarter if you purchase one at a time. If you sign up for an annual subscription, the cost is $54.95 per quarter. You can save an additional $5 off of either of these by using the code at the end of this post. In addition to the seasonal box subscription, Earthlove offers several other boxes, including a Mystery Box that comes in various sizes.
Earthlove Winter Box 2019
As I mentioned, I’m a new Earthlove customer so the most recent seasonal box, the Winter Box 2019, was my first. I am excited to show you everything I got in my box to give you an idea of whether it’s something you would love as much as I do! So, here we go!
First Impression of the Box
The box ships in the same box the items are packaged in, so there is no double box or extra packaging at all. Earthlove takes their eco-awareness a step further and uses paper packing tape as opposed to plastic. 👍🏻
Inside the Box
Inside the box, nothing is wrapped in plastic bags or bumpered with plastic bubbles!! How refreshing! The inside is beautifully natural, with maroon-colored crinkle shred paper to keep all the items protected and in place. (I saved the paper and put it with my gift-wrapping stash.)
Right on top is the mini magazine that gives all the product details, including company names, retail prices, and descriptions of each item. There are also more in-depth articles on several of the companies whose products are featured in the box, discussing their sustainable practices and a deeper look into the industries that motivate the companies’ ideals.
The Winter 2019 magazine presents a look at waste in the textile and beauty industries, as well as a personal interview and a beautiful mission statement from the founders of NIU Body and Roots Apothecary, respectively. Finally, the mini mag gives details about the season’s featured cause to which a portion of the box proceeds go. The featured cause for the Winter 2019 Earthove box was the Orangutan Alliance, a nonprofit organization that works toward the reforestation of Sumatra.
If you’re at all like me, you might wonder about the use of paper in the printing of this magazine. When I reached out to the owner, Serina, she was very quick to reply. Earthlove uses post-consumer paper that is Processed Chlorine Free and Green Seal Certified, using waterless printing methods. And of course, you can then recycle or compost your magazine once you get all of the education out of it. 😉
What’s Inside the Earthlove Winter Box 2019
NIU Body Boost Regenerating Facial Serum
This NIU Body Boost Regenerating Facial Serum comes in a glass bottle, inside a cardboard tube for protection. I personally love getting products in glass containers because I can always reuse the bottle for a DIY project down the road. This oil is full-sized, and given that you only use a few drops at a time, I imagine it is going to last a very long time! The facial oil retails for $31. The serum contains rosehip oil and grapeseed oil, both of which are very low on the comedogenic scale so will not clog pores. It also contains Vitamin E and geranium oil, known for helping with fine lines, and tightening skin. I’ve been using a few drops of the serum under my eyes and in dryness-prone areas of my face each night after washing my face, and I’ve noticed my skin looking brighter and more hydrated come morning. Plus, it smells lovely.
All-Purpose Cleaner Bar by Sea Witch Botanicals
This bar soap cleaner smells delicious (like sweet oranges) and contains only three ingredients: saponified coconut oil, saponified orange oil, and kaolin clay. As the name says, it is to be used as an all-purpose cleaner. I have mine placed next to my kitchen sink, where I have been using it for dishes and cleaning countertops. I just suds it up with a wet dishcloth or kitchen scrubber to collect some of the soap. It cleans my hand-washed dishes and countertops really well, and I love not having to worry about spreading toxic chemicals around my family’s food. As long as you keep it in a soap dish and out of constant contact with water, it should last quite a while. The bar retails for $6. All the product’s packaging is recyclable and compostable.
Maple Toffee Chocolate Bar by Elements Truffles
This item was in my “beegan” box, since it contains honey. The vegan box contained dark hot chocolate powder made by the same company. The fabric outer packaging seems a bit overkill to me for a chocolate bar, although I did find a handy way to reuse it!
The fairtrade chocolate is good quality dark chocolate, the kind that you want to have a small piece of at a time. Retails for $6.
Roots Apothecary Cocoa & Coffee Clay Mask
Roots Apothecary is based in Colorado Springs, CO with both an online store and a brick and mortar retail shop. This mask smells strongly of cocoa, which may turn some people off. I initially tried to use this as a mask, applying a layer to damp skin and waiting ten minutes or so before washing off. The texture is more of a scrub, though, because of the coffee grounds, and I prefer to use it that way.
When I looked on the company’s website, it appears that the packaging has changed and it is now actually labeled as a “scrub + mask.” After a light layer applied, gentle scrub for exfoliation, and a thorough rinse, my skin was left feeling very soft and smooth. The retail price of this mask is $25. The mask is packaged in a glass jar and all ingredients are certified organic and fair-trade.
Gaia Thieves by Roots Apothecary
Another product by Roots Apothecary, this essential oil blend is a great one to have any time of the year. It is a blend of cloves, lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and rosemary that is ideal to support immunity. It can be used diluted in a diffuser, a roller bottle, or mixed into DIY cleaners or hand sanitizer. Though I am a loyal dōTERRA user, this oil is very high quality and I will be using it the same ways I use On Guard. The retail price of Gaia Thieves is $18.
Sheer Lipstick by Elate Cosmetics
This is maybe the brand I am most excited to discover through this box! Elate Cosmetics is committed to using vegan and cruelty-free ingredients from fair-trade sources. The ingredients in this lipstick include organic shea and mango butters along with other organic oils that make it very hydrating. Vanilla oil gives it a yummy scent. All Earthlove boxes came with the same shade, Vivacious, which is a deep berry color. Because it is sheer, the color is not overly intense and I think it is very wearable for anyone for day or night.
The sheer lipstick retails for $22. The lipstick tube is made out of bamboo, which they instruct you to crush and compost when you’ve used up the product. The inner tube is aluminum that can be recycled. Zero waste + clean beauty. You better believe I’ll be trying out Elate’s other products!
Waist Apron from MEEMA
Ok, so this item is probably the item that I learned the most from (always a goal of mine!). MEEMA products are made with discarded textiles from denim and yarn manufacturers, which is upcycled to make durable aprons, napkins, kitchen towels, and placemats. Because the cotton industry uses significant amounts of water, MEEMA’s use of discarded textiles saves enormously on water.
The waist apron that came in my Earthlove box is gorgeous and super sturdy. It has roomy pockets, a loop (perfect for scissors, a trowel, or hammer), and is big enough to accommodate a wide range of person sizes. So far, I’ve worn mine around the house when I’m in chore-mode, with the pockets giving me extra space to carry dust cloths, scissors, or other random items. Once the weather warms up, I definitely plan on using it for gardening. The waist apron retails for $24. I ❤️it.
Durga Necklace from Matr Boomie
This necklace is made by fair-trade artisans in India. Matr Boomie was established as a way to create economic opportunities for people in communities in India, the founders’ native country. The necklace is a combination of rosewood and brass on a long, 20-inch chain. I like the earthy materials of the necklace as well as the unique design. It retails for $44.
Lunar Calendar by Earthlove
This lunar calendar for 2020 displays all of the moon phases for the entire year, organized by month. It also includes the name of the full month for each month, as well as intentions to set during each of the moon phases. Keeping track of lunar phases can be helpful for a variety of reasons, including farming, surfing, for night activities like hiking or runs, and for spiritual growth and connection. I was excited to see the calendar because of my new curiosity in the healing energies of crystals and a suspicion that moon phase may impact my own energy. The calendar is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper.
The Simple Guide to Natural Health by Melanie St. Ours
I am still not 100% sold on whether including a physical book inside a box of sustainable products is consistent with the philosophy of low-waste. I rarely buy paper books anymore unless they are used and/or it’s a book that I plan on treasuring my whole life. That being said, this book is beautiful and full of really useful DIY recipes for anyone wanting to live a simpler, less toxic, more sustainable life. The author is a clinical herbalist who specializes in women’s health. Recipes include basics like DIY cleaning recipes, personal care, beauty, and healthy recipes, and natural remedies, teas, and detoxes.
A box packed with nontoxic, truly sustainable products
Overall, I was super impressed with the contents of the Earthlove Winter Box 2019. When I ordered it, I’ll admit I was unsure, given that on the website it says each box includes 6-8 full-sized products, and you don’t find out what they are until your box comes. However, after seeing the quality of the products and knowing that the products’ total value is over $190, which is more than 3 times the actual cost of the subscription, I have zero reservations about the box’s value.
For me, perhaps the best part about the whole experience with the Earthlove Box has been discovering brands and people who are passionate about creating safe, clean, and sustainable products, without causing further harm to our planet, first and foremost.
So, if you’re in search of a subscription box that is earth-friendly, clean, vegan, cruelty-free, sustainable, low-waste, and that gives back, you should try out Earthlove.
Follow this link and use the code LOVETHEEARTH to get $5 off your subscription box.