Are you recycling plastics correctly?

Ever walk up to a waste disposal area and wonder what goes where? There’s trash, compost, plastic, paper–it can be a bit overwhelming. You don’t want to put a recyclable plastic in the trash that goes to the landfill, but you also aren’t sure if what you have is even recyclable.

Get to know your trash a little more so you’ll know what goes where next time you encounter this dilemma. Here are some facts about recycling plastics that may help you along the way:

#1 Plastic bags aren’t always allowed in the recycling bin

Although plastic bags are made up of the same materials that theoretically can be recycled in most modern recycling systems, machinery just isn’t able to handle it. Depending on your waste management service, plastic bags might not be accepted as recyclable items because they get tangled in the machines which slow down the process of recycling. They end up being manually detangled and ripped from the machines and thrown into the landfill. Do a little research to find out if your local waste management services allow plastic bags.

In most cases, it’s recommended to have loose plastics in your plastic recycling bin rather than plastic that is tied up in plastic bags. It’s confusing because we think, “well it’s all plastic right?” Right, but they’re not the same type of plastic. We’ll get into more on that later.

Most large grocery store chains accept clean, dry, used plastic bags for special recycling programs to be used to make new items. Take them here if you have plastic bag waste!

#2 Rinse it out

Any recyclable containers that originally contained food should be rinsed out before tossing into the recycling bin. You just need to make sure you rinse out any remaining food particles. However, for sticky substances like jam or honey, you will need to scrub a little to get the stickiness off of the container.

If your local recycling program allows plastic bags, make sure you get any remaining residue off before tossing it into the recycling bin. If there are small crumbs, shake it out; if you had a spill, rinse off the remaining residue and allow to dry before tossing.

#3 Always cap your bottles

In the past, it was advised that people remove caps from bottles because the caps are made from a different material than the bottle, which made them difficult to recycle. Now, waste management facilities are able to recycle the bottles with caps and are advising that people first crush the empty bottles, then put the cap back on. This will increase the number of plastic bottles that can be transported at one time.

#4 Check the codes on plastic cutlery

Not all plastic cutlery is made of the same recyclable resin. And unfortunately, the recycling symbol is not always labeled on each individual fork, knife, or spoon. The plastic recycling number should be indicated on the box or bag that the cutlery comes in, so before you toss it, read the labels so you can let your guests know to throw them in the trash or in the recycling bin.

#5 Remove paper labels on plastic mailers


This one seems intuitive if you think about it since paper and plastic are recycled separately, but if you didn’t know, please remove the paper labels from your plastic mailers before putting them in your plastic recycling bin. The paper and adhesive interrupt the recycling process of the actual plastic, and with interruptions, there is more time wasted and less plastic being recycled.

#6 Know what those recycling symbols and numbers mean

There are 7 Resin Identification Codes (RIC), those little numbers with recycling symbols you see on plastic packaging and products. Be advised: just because a product has a RIC labeled on it, doesn’t mean it can go in your curbside recycling bin at home. As the name suggests, these are merely identification numbers to let you know what kind of material the plastic is made of–some are easy to recycle and accepted almost all recycling programs, and some are extremely difficult to recycle or cannot be thrown into your usual curbside recycling bins.

Why do you need to know these codes? Chances are if you’ve been throwing everything with an RIC on it thinking they all can go in the same recycling bin, you’ve probably been making the recycling process more difficult, inefficient, and causing more problems for the environment along the way. As it turns out, sometimes throwing a certain plastic in the trash is far better than guessing that it’s recyclable, as you read in tip #1.


PETE (1) – Polyethylene Terephthalate

PETE or PET products like soda bottles, water bottles, salad dressing containers, peanut butter containers, and others are allowed in your curbside recycling.

HDPE (2) – High-Density Polyethylene

HDPE include products like milk jugs, shampoo bottles, household cleaner containers, cereal box liners, and yogurt containers that are allowed in your curbside recycling.

PVC (3) – Polyvinyl Chloride (also known as Vinyl)

V or PVC is difficult to recycle, so it is rarely accepted by curbside recycling programs. These products include food wrap, plumbing pipes, window cleaner bottles, detergent bottles, medical equipment, cooking oil bottles and shampoo bottles.

LDPE (4) Low-density Polyethylene

LDPE products are not accepted by most curbside recycling programs. However, there are some that do, and even some independent recycling programs that may be accessible in your community. Common LDPE products include squeeze bottles (think hand creams and toothpaste), plastic shopping bags, carpets, food wraps, shopping bags, clothing, dry cleaning bags, and frozen food or bread bags.

PP (5) Polypropylene

PP is considered one of the safer plastic products and can usually be recycled by your local curbside recycling program. PP products include medicine bottles, straws, bottle caps, ketchup bottles, syrup bottles, and some yogurt containers.

PS (6) Polystyrene (Styrofoam)

PS has been deemed difficult to recycle and has even been subject to local bans as it poses health and environmental risks. PS products include foam packing, insulation, egg cartons, disposable cups, plates, carry-out containers, and meat trays. Most curbside recycling programs won’t accept these.

OTHER (7) Miscellaneous Plastics

Products with this symbol are difficult to recycle and contain toxic BPA. It is extremely rare for a curbside recycling program to accept this type of material. Number 7 products can include nylon, baby bottles, certain food containers, signs and displays, computer cases, sunglasses, and bulletproof materials.

#7 Check your local recycling programs

In order to find out what type of plastics your local recycling program accepts, and are great places to get started. These sites narrow down your search in your zip code and provide links to information from your communities recycling and waste management programs.

If you find that some products aren’t accepted like shopping bags, might have drop-off locations near you. You’ll find a list of items that will be accepted and be on your way to helping this global issue.

Earth Day may be over (April 22), but here’s your gentle reminder that you should be thinking about your impact on the Earth every single day. You don’t have to go completely plastic-free (because we know how difficult that is), but every small change–even something like sorting your waste properly–can make a huge difference. Wherever you can, refuse or substitute single-use plastic, especially the harmful ones we’ve mentioned in this article. Don’t know where to start? Check out our article on sustainable ways to start living a plastic-free lifestyle.


Our #BrilliantMoms

When you think of your mother or mother figure, the memory of her singing to you might come to mind, or of her tending to your scraped knee, or even of her cooking your favorite meal in the kitchen. Moms do so much for us in helping us when we feel weak, to molding us into the people we are today. They may nag and annoy us at times (who’s mom doesn’t?!), but at the end of the day, they love us unconditionally and that’s what matters most.

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so we decided to really tug at everyone’s heartstrings (hopefully yours, too) by asking our LARQ family to share some fond memories with the mothers in their lives.

“My favorite memories are of my mother baking fresh bread in the kitchen. The aromas would permeate every inch of the house, and my siblings and I would all come running into the kitchen to see what she was baking. Now, when I smell freshly baked bread, it always reminds me of my mom.” – Elaine, Content Marketing Associate

“One great thing about moms is that they always keep you afloat, both figuratively and literally. I am forever grateful to have her in my life.” – Adria, Customer Experience Manager

“#BrilliantMom. Where your mom shines so bright she overshadows her sons. Raising two boys (three if you include Augie dog) and kicking booty. Literally. My mom was the first person at our martial arts school to be awarded the rank of 4th-degree black belt (far surpassing my one) and has been training for 20 years. She’s an inspiration to us all and embodies determination, hard work, and a welcoming spirit. Well done mom. She is also an avid painter: @patriciaoji” – Kevin, Director of Business Operations.

“My mom is an optimist and always knows the right advice to give whenever I need it. My mom told me that if I’m ever stuck in a rut, take a trip somewhere and it will change my perspective on things. It keeps me from overthinking and she said it also changes my luck and good things will happen. Sounds a little eerie but I find it to be very true.” – Yvonne, Senior Marketing Communications Manager

“I’m grateful for my mom for molding me into the person I am today with her strength and creative thirst. She always knew when I needed the freedom to grow and the discipline to stick it through a challenge. ” – Justin, Co-Founder and CEO

Whether it’s your biological mother, your mother figure, the mother of your children, or a bestie who’s a mom, celebrate with us by sharing your own fond memories. What’s your fondest memory with mom? Tag us in your #BrilliantMom Instagram stories for a chance to be featured on Mother’s Day.

Not sure what to get Mom this year? For a limited time, add a complimentary Mother’s Day card* with any LARQ Bottle purchase. It’s the thoughtful gift of fuss-free hydration, with bacteria-eliminating tech even mom would approve of.


*Offer valid while supplies last. Limit one per customer. Available to US & Canada only.


What is a sleep vacation and where do we sign up?

Ever come back from a vacation and needed a vacation from that vacation? Do you stress levels prevent you from sleeping well at night? Do you just need to get away from it all and rest for a once? Enter: sleep vacations. Yes, they’re totally a thing. 

In fact, sleep vacations have been on the rise for some time now and are offered at a number of destinations around the world by boutique hotels and larger chain hotels alike. The actual sleep packages offered by each of these establishments vary immensely and range from offering aromatherapy to guided meditation, to massage packages, premium bedding and more. They’re the perfect setting for unplugging and really enjoying that hard-earned time off. Sound good? Yup, we think so.


If you’re getting pumped reading this (we know we are), check out some amazing hotels we’ve rounded up that offer the royal sleep treatment.


#1 Westin Sleep Well Package

Hotel room at the Westin in new york Time Square Courtesy of The Westin New York Times Square Courtesy of The Westin New York Times Square


The Westin offers their Sleep Well Package in a number of locations nationwide, so wherever you are, sleep is within reach. The package includes their sleep well Lavender Balm (which they also sell in their online store), a $100 (USD) credit toward a spa treatment, and a $10 (USD) dining credit per night towards the Sleep Well Menu.


The Sleep Well Menu includes foods that are packed with amino acids, vitamins and minerals that promote restful sleep. After all, the key to healthy living is in the food you eat. The Westin’s really honed in on solving your sleep problems from the inside out.


#2 Kamalaya Koh Samui Sleep Enhancement Wellness Program

Kamalaya Suite Room in Koh Samui Southeast asian island Courtesy of Kamalaya Koh Samui


Kamalaya is located on the tropical island of Koh Samui, an island off the coast of Thailand. The Sleep Enhancement Wellness Program at Kamalaya is packed with amenities all around to help you improve your sleep. Packages can range but the standard package includes accommodation, 3 Kamalaya meals per day, roundtrip airfare, wellness consultations, Body Bio-impedance Analysis (BIA), traditional Chinese medicine, massage, and more. For those wanting a full-blown relaxation experience and detoxing, Kamalaya will do just that.


#3 Sleep with Six Senses

Dimly lit room with ambient lighting machine next to bed on nightstand at the Six Senses Hotel Resort and Spa Courtesy of Six Senses Hotels Resorts & Spas

Sleep with Six Senses was developed with sleep doctor, Michael J. Breus and implemented across select resorts in the Six Senses family. Some amenities from this upgraded experience include premium organic bedding (that come standard in all rooms), a sleep tracker, a 30-minute sleep consultation, a sleep bag that includes pajamas, an eye mask, earplugs, nose strips, nasal neti pot, and jasmine sleep spritzer. This place means business when it comes to sleep. They even include additional amenities for really troubled sleepers like a high-definition sound machine, specialty body pillows, and humidifiers/dehumidifiers. They’ve really pulled out all the stops to help you sleep deeply. As an added bonus, they also leave you tips on how to sleep better at home so you can take your newfound restful sleep to your own bedroom.


#4 Carmel Valley Ranch Hypno-health: Wellness for Mind & Spirit

Carmel Valley Ranch, California wrap around deck attached to suite Courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch


Carmel Valley Ranch really wants you to sleep better and relieve stress. They offer a Hypo-healthy: Wellness for Mind & Spirit treatment at Spa Aiyana where Dr. Bee Epstein-Shepherd uses gentle hypnotherapy as a fast and effective way to reduce stress and promote deeper sleep. She will even teach you self-hypnosis techniques to use at home so you can rest better even after your vacation is over.


These hotels and resorts offer sleep vacation packages that are truly fit for royalty. Would you try one of these sleep retreats?


We tried to go Plastic-free – Here’s what happened…

The focus for Earth Day 2019 (April 22) is to protect our species, a focus that aims to educate and raise awareness of the unprecedented spike in endangered species due to human activity. Deforestation destroys habitats of plant and animal species, sunscreen washes into oceans killing the coral reef, and pesticides pose major health risks to a wide range of species including humans–just to name a few. One major issue we’re especially passionate about is plastic pollution.

Plastic can take 500 years or more to photo-degrade, becoming micro-plastics that continue to pollute the Earth and releasing toxic chemicals into the Earth. Plastic pollution is littering the oceans and shores, causing the deaths of wildlife that ingest plastic materials inadvertently. At current rates, plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050.


We decided to do our own #PlasticFreeChallenge in light of Earth Day by attempting to going plastic-free for the past few weeks and boy, was it difficult. Through this plastic-free challenge, we’ve come to realize exactly how much waste we produce on a daily basis.


At the start of this challenge, we really didn’t know what we’d be getting into. Seriously. Everyone in the office expressed how simple it would be to not use plastic cutlery we originally had in our break room and use silverware instead, or how we wouldn’t use plastic straws anymore and used the stainless steel ones we all had tucked away in our desks. Although those are great ways to reduce our environmental footprint, we had no idea how much more there is out there–in packaging, in our kitchens at home, in our grocery shopping, in our bathrooms–yikes! Plastic is EVERYWHERE.

mean girls plastic Source: GIPHY

Perhaps we did know how much there was or could acknowledge the amount of plastic waste we produce, but we were blinded by the convenience or so used to seeing and using certain items that we just didn’t notice it anymore. Everyone in the office was asked to log their plastic waste in a journal. We found that through logging each piece of plastic waste, we became more conscious of our decisions to buy certain things or to refuse others.


#1 Plastic Cups and Plastic Bottles

Plastic waste - plastic bottle, plastic cup

This was an obvious one for us. Yes, we actually do use our LARQ Bottles everywhere we go–they truly don’t leave our side. But, we’re constantly seeing plastic cups and plastic water bottles at parties and social events, or even when traveling.


Most of us have our own mugs here, and the office has some mugs, plates, and bowls for people who don’t. They’re actually great conversation starters and allow us to express ourselves!


However, I’ve personally had an experience with helping to plan a party for my sister’s birthday and the issue of hydration came about. The simple answer was to buy a case of mini water bottles. My response–please, no. The solution wasn’t the easiest, but it definitely reduced plastic bottle and cup waste. We purchased two large water dispensers (yes, these were plastic, but we figured potentially less than the 100 pack of plastic water bottles we would’ve purchased instead) and we got paper cups instead of plastic. It was actually a relief to not have half-consumed bottles of water lying around everywhere unclaimed, and not having to fish out empty plastic water bottles from the trash to put into recycling. It actually made cleanup EASIER and more green.


#2 Plastic Cutlery


As mentioned before, plastic cutlery was one of the easier ways to minimize our plastic waste. We used silverware from home, and some of us ordered nifty silverware for travel on Amazon. It even became more acceptable to lend utensils to our peers if they forgot theirs.


#3 Drinks to-go

tumbler and paper cup with stainless steel straw

Remembering to bring straws or reusable tumblers was difficult but we got the hang of it. We did get some weird looks from baristas but we took the opportunity to tell them about the plastic-free challenge and most people were understanding and accommodating! Some even had paper cups for their hot drinks that you can request instead of using plastic cups.


#4 Take-out

take out food from pupuseria and plastic and styrofoam waste

When it comes to food, take out can sometimes be more convenient than dining it, but at what cost? A few of us went to a Pupuseria near the office to get lunch one day and they didn’t have any seating, so we had to get take out. The amount of waste we received that day was unsightly. If we weren’t doing this challenge, it wouldn’t phase us because it’s so normal, but having to document this, we were frankly embarrassed. We even refused plastic cutlery here.


Here’s what our Customer Success Manager, Adria had to say: “Being out of town/ having a family emergency/going and eating out made avoiding plastic extremely difficult. Going for the healthy choice (salad) meant it was coming in a plastic container, getting Mexican meant we had plastic salsa containers (but their tacos came in compostable boxes) and Indian came in plastic containers. Some of these containers are reusable, but there comes a point where the balance between storing them and actually using them hits a breaking point.”


We even noticed that ordering certain foods, we’d naturally get more plastic–anything that has a sauce accompaniment would come in a plastic sauce container, all wrapped in a giant plastic bag, with plastic utensils thrown in, sometimes in excess. The solution? Try to dine in whenever possible.


#5 Food packaging

food packaging waste

Part of the struggle here was we all love snacking so much, and most packaged food is riddled with plastic packaging, which by the way, you can’t even recycle. Yvonne, our Senior Marketing Manager, describes her personal experience with this, “I needed to go to the grocery store because I make my dog’s food from scratch so had to pick up a few items. I went into Trader Joe’s and realized that almost EVERYTHING is in plastic even when it doesn’t even need to be. I did pick up my favorite snack (butter waffle cookies) then realized the inside packaging was plastic! I headed my way to Safeway in the produce section which, thankfully, had packaging-free veggies that I could pick up. This one grocery trip really made me realize that we are surrounded by plastic and made me much more conscious about where I should go buy my food.”

man eating chips Source: GIPHY

To further illustrate the struggle of refraining from snacking, Adria chimes in again: “Tough moments were not eating chips at work, or forgetting about the challenge when eating things like a fortune cookie — the wrapper was already open by the time I even thought about it!” Now, I can’t really think of a real solution for this besides not snacking, but that probably is the solution here–or at least in moderation. It’s probably better for your health anyway?


This wasn’t just snack packaging either–but some drinks. K-cups and tea wrappers all were used in the office which compelled a lot of us to switch to loose-leaf and purchase stainless steel tea diffusers. Adria chimed in on this matter as well, “I didn’t realize how much my tea I drank every day, and how many wrappers I was throwing away that would end up in the landfill. Switching to loose leaf tea was something that I had been wanting to do, and this gave me the push to do it. I also didn’t realize that they had it at my local co-op, so it was a much easier transition than expected.”


Through researching how to recycle K-cups, we found out that you can separate each component of the K-cup to be recycled. Some of us actually have Nespresso machines at home, which are made from aluminum (no plastic) that can be recycled at a Nespresso boutique or you can order a free recycling bag and drop it off at UPS.


#6 Beauty products

Another one that seems unavoidable to some is beauty or personal care products. Beauty and personal care packaging are most commonly made of plastic that requires special care to recycle or isn’t recyclable at all. Yvonne reflected on the matter, “I finished one of my cleansers and was about to recycle it but – guess what? It’s plastic. I took a look at my vanity and bathroom and realized that I had tons of travel size products which are all in plastic. I plan on refilling them but some are one-use which makes it harder to refill…I’m planning on purchasing products in glass packaging which is easier to recycle and re-use.”

beauty packaging plastic waste

Becoming more aware during this challenge made us question alternatives or solutions for recycling products like these. Through quick Google searches, we were able to find out that companies like L’occitane have recycling programs for beauty packaging (from any brand!) and some other brands like MAC offer recycling programs for their own packaging.


#7 Shipping packaging

plastic waste from shipping

Ordering things online at our convenience has become so normal that we rarely think about the environmental impact. As we realized after a couple of online orders that the bubble wrap lined paper envelopes are not recyclable, we tried to combine our Amazon orders to reduce waste or wait until we had a few things in the cart instead of shipping one thing at a time to reduce waste.

#8 Food storage

mason jar food stroage containers

Learning to avoid using plastic cling wrap or zip bags for snacks and loose food items was a big one for this challenge, especially at home. The remedy for this, although not as convenient, was to use reusable food containers, Stasher bags, mason jars, or purchasing products in glass jars when available. If your local grocery stores have a bulk section, bring your containers with you to fill up instead of using a plastic bag. We like to bring an expo marker to write the code and date of purchase on the lids to keep everything extra organized.


The challenge helped us become more conscious of the plastic in our lives. Truly, once you start seeing it, you won’t be able to unsee it. Now, we invite you to do your own plastic-free challenge. Just remember, it’s not about doing anything perfectly–in fact, we sure as hell didn’t! But small changes can be the push you need to live a more sustainable plastic-free lifestyle.


Depending on your lifestyle, you might want to pick up a few things to help you along on your journey. Here’s a checklist of products we mentioned (and some we didn’t) that you might want to invest in to get you on your way! Keep in mind, you don’t need everything on this list. If you see plastic items in your daily life that can be swapped with an item or two below, you probably should get it; if not, don’t! It’s that simple.


Build your own eco-kit:


  • Reusable water bottle
  • Tumbler
  • Stainless steel straw
  • Reusable cutlery
  • Silicone storage bags
  • Mason Jars
  • Reusable food wraps
  • Glass food containers
  • Reusable shopping bag


Find out more on ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle.


Whether it’s in observance of Earth Day or a change you want to make to help make the world a better place, we invite you to do your own #PlasticFreeChallenge and tag us in your Stories on Instagram so we can cheer you on! Before you get started check out’s Plastic Pollution Calculator to help you gauge how much plastic you’re currently using and how much you can commit to cutting out for the rest of the year.


Our Partnership with 1% for the Planet

We’re proud members of 1% for the Planet, a nonprofit network dedicated to funding diverse environmental organizations so that together they can have a more meaningful impact on the world’s environmental issues.

one percent for the planet logo

1% for the Planet was founded in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Matthews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, their mutual love of the outdoors led them to realize their responsibility in saving it.

As members, we donate 1% of sales to this network, contributing to six core environmentally focused nonprofit sectors: climate, food, pollution, water, and wildlife. How do we know our money is going to the right place? 1% for the Planet approved nonprofit partners are carefully vetted in order to be eligible to receive funding from members like us. They are continuously vetting environmental nonprofits around the world. Being in partnership with 1% for the Planet connects us to nonprofits and working on diverse sets of projects around the world to combat some of society’s major environmental issues.

At LARQ, we’re passionate about doing better, as a brand, and as a company, striving to become a more sustainable business. Not only are we hoping to reduce single-use plastic consumption globally, but we are also hoping that as a business we can strive to reduce our carbon footprint. If we can all make small steps toward leading more sustainable lives, we’d have a greater impact on the world as we know it.


Come say hi, Canada!

We’re live and ready for adventure!

We’re excited to announce that we’re now shipping to Canada! You read that right. Canadian residents: now’s your chance to be among the first to #DrinkBrilliantly with the LARQ Bottle.

shop now button

It’s kind of a big deal.


Due to overwhelming demand worldwide for the LARQ Bottle, our team has been working tirelessly to make LARQ Bottle available internationally, making the first leap by supporting the availability of the product and shipping to Canadian residents.


BUT–we didn’t stop there. You will soon find LARQ Bottles hitting Indigo stores across Canada very soon. If you’re the type of person that wants to touch it and see what it looks like in person, you’re going to want to check them out at Indigo as soon as they hit the shelves. If you’re in the neighborhood, feel free to snap a pic and tag us on Instagram @livelarq!


For all you non-Canadians and non-US residents, we’d like to express how appreciative we are to have such massive demand for our product! This proprietary technology was not easy to develop and manufacture. It is our goal to make LARQ Bottles available everywhere so that every person has water purification in the palm of their hands.

Aerial view of ocean crashing into rocks Photo by Oz MLCN on Unsplash

We’re passionate about tackling the issue of plastic pollution, and it doesn’t stop there. Did you know that a portion of your purchase goes to 1% for the Planet? We want you to feel good about your purchase–inside and out. We know we do.


Sustainable Living with Jules Hunt

To us, it’s not about just boasting about sustainability but truly living it. And although we don’t live in a perfect highly sustainable world (what does that mean, anyway?) we can still make small changes here and there to reduce our environmental footprint.

In this sustainable living series, we’re discussing real-life situations and solutions for living more sustainably with some of our friends who are pretty much experts on the topic. We sat down with wellness and mindful lifestyle blogger, Jules Hunt from Om & The City, to talk about sustainability and her beliefs in making smarter choices for ourselves and our environment. Through her blog, Jules has built a following by “helping women simplify their lives and find a healthy hustle sans the burnout”. She shares real, actionable insight on everyday wellness, sustainability, non-toxic living, and purposeful productivity for your most vibrant life. Jules’s interest in wellness and sustainable lifestyle began when she was in college, recovering from an eating disorder, “I fell in love with yoga which taught me to love and respect my body in all its forms and to rethink my relationship with food.” Mindfulness started from within, then she started to take her newfound healthy habits out into the world, becoming immersed in clean beauty, minimalism, sustainability, and overall reducing her toxin exposure–topics you can expect to read more about on her blog!


Photo by Jules Hunt

Jules’s motto is “Simplify & Thrive”. Her sustainable living journey started with a simple closet clean-out and home purge in 2017, that progressed into something more impactful–her mindset. She’s become more productive with her time, running her business like a CEO, becoming significantly less wasteful, more thoughtful about purchases, and connecting with what she already has and value all those things.

“The deeper I go, the more I realize that less truly, truly is more,” she says, “having less ‘stuff’ gives me more space to breathe, think, move and create. In short, simplifying is a strong pillar in my life–so much that I wrote an entire guidebook called Simplify & Thrive last summer to help others declutter their lives, reduce stress and amplify happiness and productivity.” Jules truly believes that everyone can benefit to uncover real sustainable happiness with less.

Elaine: What does sustainability mean to you?

Jules: To me, it means being thoughtful about how our actions impact our wellbeing and the world around us. Sustainability isn’t black and white, and it’s not something that can be transformed over night. Sustainability doesn’t only refer to the environment, but it also is about how we treat our bodies and how we manage our time. Fad diets aren’t sustainable, working until 3 am every night isn’t sustainable, and for our planet, continuing this behavior of over-consumption isn’t sustainable. So, what can we do on an individual level and as a society to make a positive change towards sustainability? Well, it takes changing mindless habits, being intentional, questioning where things come from, reducing our desire for more, more, more, and staying consistent with our newfound positive actions.

E: How would you describe your approach to living a more sustainable lifestyle?

J: When people approach it from an ‘all or nothing’ standpoint, that’s when expectations fall short and feelings of failure set in. I believe every little bit counts. Doing SOMETHING to help the planet is better than nothing at all, and imagine the difference we would make if we ALL did a little something. Nobody is perfect, so don’t strive for perfection. Strive for progress.

E: We’ve been trying to go plastic-free for a month at LARQ. What are some tips you can share about reducing use and purchases of plastic products?

J: There are so many solutions for single-use plastic out there. The hard part is remembering to actually bring them with you! I wrote a blog post all about this. [Find out Jules’s tips on remembering to bring your reusable products with you]


Photo by Jules Hunt

E: It’s been really difficult for us to cut out plastic, specifically. What challenges have you faced in cutting out plastic?

J: The hardest part of eliminating plastic is in packaging that gets shipped to me which I can’t easily control, as well as packaging for specific food items that I purchase. I can’t do all of my shopping in the bulk and produce sections… it’s just not realistic for my lifestyle. I am allergic to wheat, so I do buy some gluten-free snacks… some of which come in cardboard boxes and others are packaged in plastic. It’s not perfect. I do my best to avoid single-use plastic as much as possible from disposable cutlery, bags, bottles, and I pre-pack all of my reusable essentials when I’m out and about for the day.

E: What is the biggest change you made in living a sustainable lifestyle? (something that took adjusting, or that significantly reduced waste)

J: I started saying no. No, I don’t need more gifts from brands. No, I don’t need to take this food to-go, I can dine-in instead. No, I don’t need to take that pamphlet or that business card or that flyer you’re trying to hand me on the street. I let go of the pressure to be agreeable and please everyone, and instead, I focus on being kind but holding myself to boundaries I’ve set for myself.

E: What advice do you have for people who want to live more sustainable lifestyles?

J: Start small. Pick one area of your life you’d like to focus on and just start. Be consistent. Consistency is the key to creating lasting habits and lifestyle changes.

E: So, you got to try out our LARQ Bottle for a week. What are your thoughts?

J: It’s a game-changer, especially for travel. I am very particular about my water as I use a Berkey Filter at home that purifies our water. When I’m on the go, I always struggle with refilling my bottle from water fountains. I don’t trust it nor do I like the taste. LARQ has made traveling and refilling my bottle so much easier. I don’t have to worry about washing it, and I can really enjoy my trip while staying hydrated!

We’re so inspired by Jules and her ideas on wellness and mindful living. The important thing is to be mindful–that’s the first step! We’ve seen on our own sustainable living journeys here at LARQ HQ, that doing something like a plastic-free challenge has been truly eye-opening. We’ve come to be more aware of single-use products (they’re everywhere!) and now even after the challenge is over, we’re still continuing to see the wastefulness around us and learning how to live more sustainable lifestyles. The best part about this is continuing to learn more from friends like Jules who are a little more seasoned on the topic than we are.

Liked this article? Check out our last post in this sustainable living series with Jess Ann Kirby!


7 Stylish Travel Essentials You Won’t Want to Leave Home Without

One of the many pleasures in life is being fortunate enough to travel. Immerse yourself in a world different than your own, soak in the sights, and enjoy the food. The trip itself should be enjoyable, but the travel from point A to point B isn’t always so fun. You always want to make sure you have all the essentials before setting foot on your journey. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination only to find out you’ve forgotten something and have to hunt for it in a foreign place. Plus, don’t you want your purchase to be thoughtful and more… you?

We’ve carefully curated a list of travel essentials with designs that are so amazing, you’ll want to use them on every trip. Whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or a first-time flyer, these top travel accessories are absolutely essential for traveling in style.

Hello, Function. Have you met Form?

#1 Travel Pillow


Travel pillows are a must when it comes to travel–land, sea, or air–and especially when travel time is extensive. If you plan on getting any kind of shut-eye during your travels, don’t get caught without a comfortable travel pillow to keep you from arriving at your next destination with a sore neck. The TRTL Pillow is scientifically engineered to keep your neck in the best possible position. Its design allows you to fold it up nicely so it’s not bulky, easy to travel with, and of course, stylish.


If you’d prefer a super cushiony memory foam neck pillow instead, the Cabeau Evolution Pillow is one that many swear by. It’s soft, ergonomic, and even rolls up into a small bag to make it easier to travel with! This design is super thoughtful and includes straps that clip onto the seat to keep your head back. If you tend to lean forward when sleeping upright, this will keep you from banging your head into the seat in front of you!

#2 Bluetooth Headphones

These are a must-have travel accessory if you want the option to listen to music, podcasts, ambient noise, audio books–well, you get the gist. Opt for a noise-canceling version like these Bose headphones so you can really get some restful sleep in for a peaceful flight.

#3 Portable Charger

We can’t stress this enough. Sure, you could wait until you can plug into a wall, but chances are, you could run out of battery on your phone or other electronic devices before that happens. Also, who likes to be tethered to a wall, awkwardly sitting on the floor next to the airport bathrooms? Not us. If you have a high maH portable charger, it could last you the entire trip (depending on how long your trip is), so you may not even need #4 on this list.

#4 Travel Adapter

If you’re traveling to another country and bringing electronic devices along with you, it may be a good idea to grab one of these before you go. Travel adapters like this one include multiple ports for different countries so you can easily find one that you can use time and time again.

#5 Reusable Water Bottle


The most important thing about traveling is staying hydrated. Jet lag dehydration is seriously a thing, and you shouldn’t overlook this really easy way to avoid it. Simply, bring your own reusable water bottle. Just make sure it’s empty before arriving at TSA.

Did you know that millions of plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute? That’s millions of plastic waste polluting the earth. Instead of being a part of that problem, take a reusable water bottle like the LARQ water bottle–it self-cleans and sanitizes your water for you every two hours. This means you can fill it up with tap water at the airport, at rest stops, or at your destination and be confident that it’s safe to drink. Not to mention its gorgeous design is really going to turn heads everywhere you go.

#6 Packable Bag

If you’re an over-packer or just an excessive-souvenir-purchaser, bringing packable bags with you is key. Traveling is exciting because you can find things that you want to bring home as gifts or as mementos from your adventures. Feel free to do so when you have an extra reusable bag handy.

You can use them to store excessive items, separate your dirty clothes in your suitcase, use them for shopping around your destination (minimizing plastic consumption), and whatever you can imagine you’d need an extra bag for! This packable backpack comes in a handy compact size that’ll fit right in your luggage–and it won’t ruin your outfits either.

#7 Suitcase

If you’re going to be traveling a lot, it’s definitely worth it to invest in a great suitcase for all your future travels. This suitcase by AWAY has a built-in external battery so you can charge up during those long layovers at the airport or waiting in line at a cafe. It’s hard exterior prevent your items from getting crushed in transit and, with its wide range of colors, you’ll find one that suits you.

Traveling in style is easier than you thought. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled the best products for your traveling lifestyle. Did you think of anything we missed?

Now, what are you waiting for? Adventure is out there.


32 Ways to Conserve Water at Home

Even as World Water Day passes (March 22), water conservation should continue to be a hot topic of discussion around the world. World Water Day is all about bringing awareness to communities that lack access to water and proper water sanitation and hygiene. For those of us who are lucky enough to have access to clean fresh water, we need to be more informed about ways to conserve this natural resource.

So, how do we get green about this whole water-saving business? Well, put your flushes where your mouth is and take into account all those leaky pipes, dripping faucets, showerheads, and appliances. How much of an environmental impact do these have? The fact is, every drop counts, and we’re here to lay down these water conservation tips on you.

How to Conserve Water


Photo by Charles on Unsplash

In the Kitchen

  • Only use the dishwasher when you have full loads
    Running your dishwasher on a half-load is wasteful. Opt to wait until you have a full load to start a cycle.
  • Install a high-efficiency dishwasher 
    Dishwashers made before 1994 waste more than 10 gallons of water per cycle according to Energy Star. Look for the Energy Star seal when shopping for a new dishwasher. These will save energy, water, and shave off about $35 per year off your utility bills.
  • If hand-washing dishes, don’t let the water run 
    You can shorten the time it takes to wash dishes by using a basin of soapy water to soak, then rinsing the dishes in running water quickly after. Because you’re not running the water the entire time through soap, scrub, and rinse, you are cutting the amount of water being used. Depending on your hand-washing methods, it might save more energy and water to use a high-efficiency dishwasher.
  • Re-use pasta or rice water
    Instead of pouring the hot pasta water down the drain, save it in a tub, wait for it to cool, and then use it to water your plants. Don’t pour hot water onto plants–this might harm or kill them! Similarly, save the water you used to wash your rice for this same purpose.
  • Scrape and soak instead of pre-rinsing
    If you’ve got some tough stains, pre-rinsing might not even help. Sometimes you need to let things sit in warm soapy water for the set in stains, oil, and leftover food to dissolve. They’ll become easier to wash too so you won’t be standing there scrubbing for long!
  • Avoid using the garbage disposal
    The garbage disposal requires running water to prevent clogged drains, which can be using up water unnecessarily. A greener way to dispose of food particles would be to use a strainer and keeping a compost bin nearby to throw these bits out. You might even save some headache from a clogged drain a little down the line.


Photo by Charles on Unsplash

In the Bathroom

  • Shower Buckets
    Ever turn the shower on to heat up before hopping in? We’re all a little guilty of doing this at least once in our lives. All that cold shower water running down can be saved in a large tub or basin and repurposed for watering plants, handwashing clothes, washing your car, washing your pet or soaking dishes.
  • Shower Timer
    If you haven’t already gotten in the habit of taking speed showers, now’s the time. Try setting a timer on your phone or shower clock. You can even make this fun by getting a shower speaker–finish your shower within 1-2 songs!
  • Turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth
    The most water you’ll need is maybe a small glass to rinse your mouth and toothbrush afterward. Be mindful of every drop of water you might be wasting.
  • Shut off the shower when you’re lathering
    Just like the dishes, do a soapy lather on yourself in between rinses. This will save gallons of water from going down the drain.
  • Install low-flow showerheads
    The higher the flow, the more water is being used. Investing in low-flow showerheads will avoid unnecessarily water-intensive showers which are extremely wasteful. These will also help you save some money off your water bill!
  • Install high-efficiency toilets
    These days, high-efficiency toilets are available in all sorts of water-saving options. From low-flush toilets to dual-flush toilets, to water-efficient toilet tanks and more. Since older standard toilets can attribute to most of your home water consumption, this may be a worthwhile investment to look into for the long run. You’ll save money off your water bill for this one, too.
  • Install faucet aerators
    What’s a faucet aerator, you ask? It’s an attachment you can install into any standard faucet and incorporates air into the water stream in order to save water. It’s another way of controlling the flow of water so less is used. Usually, for indoor water use, these are great for the bathroom, kitchen and other faucets in the home.

    Photo by Ben Konfrst on Unsplash



  • Install a rain barrel 
    Save some of that rainwater to be repurposed later. You can have one installed by professionals, or merely leave some buckets outside to fill up with as much water as possible while it’s raining outside.
  • Drought-resistant plants 
    Plants can require a lot of water to stay alive or grow. Reduce the size of your lawn (or forego the lawn altogether) or opt for plants that require less water or that thrive in drought conditions. Succulents and other desert plant species are great options.
  • Water plants in the morning 
    Watering plants in the morning (while it’s still cool), allows the water to run down into the soil to reach the roots of the plants without losing too much water to evaporation in the process.
  • Cover your pool 
    If you have one, cover it. The water can evaporate over time which would require more water to refill.
  • Wash your dog outdoors 
    Your pup will probably enjoy it a little more outside anyway, but the bath water can run off into your lawn or plants so it’s not going to waste. Just make sure the doggy body wash is safe for your pet and your plants.
  • Hand-water your plants
    Instead of using the hose or sprinklers, take it upon yourself to water your plants (bonus points for using repurposed water)!
  • Go to a car wash instead of washing your car at home
    Some car washes use low-flow washing systems that are better for the environment than if you hosed your car at home. If you’ve saved up enough shower water or rainwater though, you could use it to wash your car at home!
  • Look into irrigation systems 
    If you’re apt to do so, installing an irrigation system in your yard or garden can be a great way to save money and properly nourish your plants. Some have built-in rain sensors to prevent over-watering your plants after it has rained, and will distribute water efficiently so there is significantly less water waste than traditional sprinkler systems.

In the laundry room

  • Cut back on laundry days 
    Try to do the laundry once a week or less. The washing machine uses a lot of water and energy to run, so reducing the frequency of laundry days will conserve water and save you money on your utility bills.
  • Do full loads only
    Always do full loads. Running half a load will take the same amount of energy and water to do. As an alternative, you can handwash anything that you absolutely need to wear.
  • Invest in high-efficiency washer and dryers
    Look for the Energy Star sticker on these too. You’ll save money and reduce your water footprint by getting a water-conserving machine.


Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash


  • Check for and fix leaks ASAP
    Aside from the obvious, you can tell if you have a leak by checking your monthly water bill. If there’s been a spike in the price after a normal month, you might want to check your pipes. You can troubleshoot by checking your water meter–take a look at the meter, then make sure all water use stops for at least 2 hours, and check the water meter again. If the meter increases still, you have a leak somewhere. Toilets can be leaking even if you don’t see any water on your floors. To check if it’s the toilet that’s leaking, drop some food coloring in the toilet tank and wait an hour or two without using the toilet. If the coloring appears in the toilet bowl, you have a leak.
  • Install efficient fixtures and appliances 
    Did you know that power plants use water to cool down? So whether your fixture or appliances use water or not, you may be indirectly conserving water just by reducing your energy use.
  • Turn off the faucet
    Even if you aren’t at home, be conscious of the water you’re using. We’re not telling you to not wash your hands, we’re just saying that you should soap and lather while the faucet is off, then only turn it on to rinse.
  • Double-check
    This goes for at home and when you’re out. Always check to see if the faucet or shower is dripping before you leave your home, hotel, Airbnb, public restroom–you name it. Unnoticed leaky faucets can waste more water than you’d think.
  • Don’t buy bottled water
    Bottled water–oftentimes left unfinished at parties or at work, leave water wasted and add to plastic pollution. Instead, get a reusable water bottle, and bring it with you everywhere. If you’re throwing a party, don’t be afraid to put out filtered water in a pitcher or water dispenser, and supply paper cups instead of plastic ones.
  • Repurpose your water
    If you’re cleaning up after a party where you did supply bottled water, be conscious of what you do with the abandoned bottles. Repurpose the drinking water by using it to water plants, your lawn, or your car. Then, properly recycle the empty bottles.
  • Use less hot water
    In the shower, laundry, and kitchen, hot water uses more energy to produce that cold or lukewarm water. Save water from the shower by reducing shower time, don’t use hot water for laundry (most clothes allow cold water only anyway), and try to limit the hot water usage when washing dishes.
  • Re-use greywater
    Greywater (also spelled as grey water, gray water or graywater) is untreated gently used water from bathroom sinks, showers, basins, and washing machines. It is not water from toilets, urinals or kitchens due to the amount of human excrement, grease-levels, and potential for bacterial growth. Greywater is typically filtered to remove any solid sediment but not treated with harsh chemicals. You can re-route greywater for use in other areas if it is legal where you live. You can save money by re-purposing greywater around your home.

And there you have it, easy water saving habits that you can start practicing right now and everywhere. You can find new and creative ways of repurposing and conserving water in your daily life. When doing so, you can reduce your environmental impact and help conserve a valuable natural resource.


Sustainable Living with Jess Ann Kirby

Sustainability has been a hot topic of discussion for us here at LARQ HQ. Mostly because we whole-heartedly are committed to reducing our environmental footprint–hey, we gotta walk the walk, right? We’re not 100% there yet, of course, and have noticed a struggle with trying to find alternatives for plastic products and getting into mindful practices, but we’re constantly striving to be more eco-friendly and we believe that even small changes and decisions can have a great impact on the future of our environment.

We wanted to learn more about how people are living sustainably and to learn ways to manage a sustainable lifestyle. Naturally, we thought to ask a few of our friends about the topic for this Sustainable Living series. First up, lifestyle blogger, coastal queen, and fashionista, Jess Ann Kirby.


Jess’s blog,, is a lifestyle blog and online community dedicated to fostering connections. Her blog will inspire you to live stylishly and unapologetically. She proves that you can be passionate about the finer things in life while also living a more mindful lifestyle. Yes, you can do both.

Elaine: What does sustainability mean to you?

Jess: Sustainability to me is about making responsible choices. It’s about being thoughtful in your decision-making and being prepared to act based on what’s best for everyone, especially the planet, not just what’s best for you at that moment. It’s about focusing my impact on the environment and creating less waste while also supporting companies and brands doing the same.

Agreed. Living sustainably is all about the future of this planet. Jess explains that she’s always been mindful of recycling and reducing her impact on the environment, but got really serious about living sustainably when her and her partner, Craig, bought their first home two years ago.

Jess and Craig really mean it when it comes to sustainable living. Their home has solar panels and this kickstarted their personal challenge of looking for other ways to make their home more eco-friendly and efficient. They share a car, compost, recycle, and support and buy from sustainable brands.

J: We always try to re-use materials especially when doing projects on the house. It’s all about making small changes that become habits, bringing reusable bags to the store, asking for no straw with your water at a restaurant, bringing a reusable water bottle like the LARQ Bottle everywhere to avoid single-use plastic.

E: What has been your biggest challenge in living more sustainably?

J: Travel is when I find I have the hardest time keeping up with being more sustainable. That’s why I really love our LARQ Bottles. I hate buying plastic water bottles so it’s just really nice that I don’t need to worry about it; I know I can have clean water anywhere and not be wasteful.


It’s true, we started LARQ after reflecting on how many plastic water bottles are still being purchased today even given the availability and accessibility of reusable water bottles. Travel is a pain point for a lot of people where you’d want to buy bottled water to be sure the water is drinkable instead of asking a waiter for tap water in a foreign country or refilling a reusable bottle at a water fountain. But if you’re sure that your reusable water bottle can purify your water, maybe that can eliminate your consumption of plastic water bottles.

When it comes to plastic, it’s truly difficult to avoid on a daily basis.

J: It’s brutal. Plastic is everywhere. It drives me crazy when fruit and vegetables at the grocery store are wrapped in plastic. WHY?! I really just try to avoid making any purchases that include single-use plastic. I go to the bulk section of the store for rice, cereals, etc. and use cloth bags. I try to avoid buying things with excess packaging. Once you start paying attention you realize how much plastic waste there is and how it can be avoided.

E: What are some products you stopped buying because of the environmental impact? What are some alternatives?

J: I try not to buy anything with plastic containers, easier said than done. Online shopping can be super wasteful with the packaging so I focus on supporting brands that don’t have wasteful packaging. We also use environmentally friendly cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals.

E: What are your favorite products that help you live a more sustainable lifestyle?

J: Obviously, we love our LARQ Bottles. Never leave home without them. I love shopping at Follain for beauty products because they’re focused on clean beauty and sustainability. For clothing brands, I love Mate the Label based in LA.


E: You travel a bunch! What are some items you absolutely need to travel with?

J: Our Leica Q [camera], LARQ Bottle, Silk sleep eye mask, and my skincare products.

E: We’re glad to hear that you’ve been finding a ton of utility in our LARQ Bottle! How has it fit into your lifestyle?

J: I’ve had the LARQ Bottle since last fall. I never leave the house without it. I also use it as a daily water bottle, instead of wasting glasses I just fill my LARQ Bottle and it’s easy for me to keep track of how much water I’m drinking.

E: Do you have any wisdom you’d like to share with our readers?

J: When it comes to living more sustainably, start small. Small personal changes become a habit. Don’t be too hard on yourself but don’t make excuses either. Every little change truly makes a difference.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. You don’t have to make a ton of changes overnight. It takes time to get used to a routine and stop depending on single-use plastics and other harmful waste. Once you become more mindful of the choices you’re making, you will be reducing your environmental footprint and making the Earth a better place.

Stay tuned for more interviews with more of our friends in this Sustainable Living series!