Creator Series: Sam Horine

City or nature? Why choose? Sam Horine, a photographer based in Seattle, WA, shoots both. As a New York transplant, you can appreciate the hustle and bustle of the city, yet appreciate so much more when you get to escape into nature.

Meet SamSam Horine Headshot

How did you get started in photography? What most interested you about shooting landscapes and nature?

I’d always been interested in taking photos, starting with developing my own film in high school but it wasn’t until I moved to NYC that I started to take it seriously. I first built my career shooting music, food, and events for New York-based publications, though in the last 10 years I’ve moved away from editorial and more towards commercial works. 

How would you describe your photography style? How has it changed over the years?

I think that all the years of working as a photojournalist really shaped my aesthetic for storytelling. Whether that be finding the one shot that encompasses the entire story or else building it out over a series.

Tell us about one of your favorite outdoor adventures. What made this trip memorable?

Recently I was in Japan (February though it sure feels like forever ago) shooting an assignment and I had to navigate from region to region entirely on my own using nothing more than public transportation. While it was certainly nerve-wracking navigating day to day  the sense of accomplishment at the end of the day when you were at the right hotel was amazing. 

What’s in your camera bag right now? 

Usually, I have a couple DSLR’s and drone with me on jobs though have also been spending some time lately getting back to basics with a Contax 35mm film camera. Lastly, my LARQ goes wherever I go.

Sam Horine with LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in White/Pebble

What do you like to do in your free time?

Running a the photography business does take up the majority of my time to be honest – going on actual shoots is maybe 10% of the biz while the other 90% is planning, editing, website, social media, billing, etc etc but I do try and find time to step away and when I am able to I enjoy running, biking, cooking and wine. 

How do you stay hydrated on the go? What do you love about LARQ?

The LARQ self-cleaning bottles are amazing – no more nasty smells! 

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.

I really had no plans to ever pursue photography professionally until a friend of mine asked me to shoot some images for her newspaper column. I bought a camera for the shoot and the editor ended up loving the shots and kept hiring me for a few years which encouraged me to transition into taking photography more seriously. 

What kind of causes or nonprofits do you support? Why are they important to you?

I’ve always been of the mindset that it’s imperative to give back so throughout the years I’ve been active in disaster relief efforts and nature conservancy efforts. Though lately, the majority of my efforts have been towards furthering civil rights and equal justice initiatives. 

What do you like most about what you do?

Being your own boss is really kind of the best – though of course, the flip side is that the job never ends and if things go wrong it’s all on you. 

Name 3 of your favorite locations you’ve shot. Why were these your favorite?

  • American Southwest – epic landscapes around every corner 
  • Iceland – it’s like another planet 
  • Japan – everything is strange and wonderful 

What is your dream location to shoot? Why?

I’d love to really get off the grid and spend some time making work somewhere remote – the steppes of Mongolia maybe? 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Why?

I’d love to live in Europe – there’s still a lot of the same problems that we face here in the US but I do think that they have it a bit more figured out when it comes to taking care of people and providing a better safety net. 

What are 5 things you can’t live without?

iPhone, sneakers, music, good wine, adventure. 

Get to know Sam on Instagram @Samhorine or visit his website to check out his work at



Creator Series: Ecologist-trained Nature Photographer Charles Post

Welcome back to the Creator Series! If you’re new here, we’re taking this opportunity to chat with our favorite nature photographers who really know adventure. The LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition is our brand-new colorway and we’re excited to share how these nature photographers capture their adventures with LARQ.

This week, we’re speaking with Charles Post, an ecologist-trained, Montana-based photojournalist.

Meet Charles, and his pup–Knute.

Charles Post and Samoyed dog Knute

How did you get started in photography? What most interested you about shooting landscapes and nature?

I grew up with cameras. As a kid and younger version of myself, surfing was my passion and so I always brought a camera along as I traveled the world in search of waves. I really got into photojournalism as a young field scientist when I started thinking more deeply about using a camera as a tool to tell a story. I loved the ability to capture the moments of being a scientist in the field that most never saw – the subtle moments of an immersive life. 

How would you describe your photography style? How has it changed over the years?

I would say my style has a heavy focus on environmental and conservation narratives. I try to bring the view into the moment, and really paint the picture of what’s unfolding. I think what’s unique about my approach is that I typically paid my images with some deep, nerdy writing, and so the entire collection of images may be coupled with the text to reveal the whole story as I saw it. 

Tell us about one of your favorite outdoor adventures. What made this trip memorable?

Lofoten Islands, Norway is my absolute favorite place on Earth. There’s surf, incredible fishing, and birdwatching, endless mountains to explore, great skiing, and a culture that suits me well. My great grandparents are Scandinavian, and so it feels a little bit extra like home. 

What’s in your camera bag right now?

I always have my Sony A7rii, a few good Zeiss lenses like a 70×200 f4 with a doubler, 35mm 2.8, 55mm 1.8 and an 85 mm 2.8. I also ALWAYS have my binoculars in there. Honestly, I tend to have those in my hand more than a camera. And of course, my LARQ bottle which keeps my hydrated while I shoot.

What do you like to do in your free time (when you’re not shooting)?

I love surfing, gardening, hunting, mountain biking, running, hanging with my puppy, Knute, and of course spending time with my wife, Rachel Pohl. 

Charles Post with dog Knute and LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition
Charles Post, Knute, and LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Clay (32oz / 950ml)

How do you stay hydrated on the go? What do you love about LARQ?

I always have a bottle of water within reach. I don’t go anywhere without one. And so, having a LARQ bottle with the ability to purify water wherever I go is a major bonus. 

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.

I’m an ecologist with a passion for protecting our natural environments and wildlife but I also bowhunt, and take pride in being able to harvest an animal just a mile or two from my home, and feed my family for months and months. There’s nothing like having a hand in the food you eat. I also grow veggies, have an orchard, and well over a dozen berry bushes growing on our land of the currant, thimbleberry, Saskatoon, gooseberry and raspberry varieties.

What kind of causes or nonprofits do you support? Why are they important to you?

I support environmental NGOs like the Audubon Society as an extension of my love for birds and also support The Nature Project, a non-profit I co-founded of which I am the Vice President of the Board. TNP focuses on creating opportunities for underserved youth to experience nature while in the company of mentors, all of whom are professional athletes, and many of whom are NFL players. 

Charles Post with Knute and LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition

What do you like most about what you do?

I love the freedom and flexibility to do what compels me and keeps me fulfilled.

Name 3 of your favorite locations you’ve shot. Why were these your favorite?

  1. Lofoten, Norway
  2. New Zealand
  3. Zapata Ranch, Mosca, CO (

These are my favorite because of the wildlife and quality of the subjects. All three are just brimming with substance and dynamism thanks to the people and the wild settings.

What is your dream location to shoot? Why?

Gates of the Arctic National Park, Iceland, or Svalbard to see the wildlife like reindeer and musk ox, arctic fox, and seabirds. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Why?

Lofoten, Norway because there’s surf, incredible yet few people, abundant wildlife, huge mountains, and a rich culture that values nature and time outside. I’m truly hoping to / planning on moving there!

What are 5 things you can’t live without?

  • My wife, Rachel Pohl
  • My dog, Knute
  • My binoculars
  • Good hiking boots
  • and a good cap

Follow Charles along on Instagram @charles_post or check out his work at!



Creator Series: Through the lens of Mason Strehl

At LARQ, we’re all about adventure, and we’re getting out there this summer in a safe and distant manner. Escaping into nature can be the reset you need. But don’t just take it from us. This week, Washington state-based outdoorsman, photographer, activist, and writer–Mason Strehl gives us a look through his lens at adventures.

Mason’s work really captures the beauty of the places he’s traveled, and makes you feel like you are right there in it. He’s living the dream, on the road, traveling to gorgeous sites right in our own backyard.

Meet Mason StrehlMason Strehl, outdoor photographer

How would you describe yourself and what you do in 5 words or less?

I’m an outdoorsman, photographer, activist, and writer.

How did you get started in photography? What most interested you about shooting landscapes and nature?

I got started in photography about 8 years ago. I grew up in central Alaska, so I was always surrounded by incredible nature. I’ve always loved adventuring, so eventually, I found myself with a camera in hand documenting my trips. Backpacking, canoeing, skiing, where I started and it’s moved further into surfing, mountaineering, packrafting, and more. Shooting in the outdoor landscapes and being in nature have always held my heart, and it’s always what I go back to. 

How would you describe your photography style? How has it changed over the years?

I try not to define my style, I think it puts up unnecessary borders in the work you allow yourself to do. My editing style usually keeps consistent, but I try to vary my subjects and how I shoot as I learn. Photography is incredible in that there is always a new area to push into, whether it be studio work, portraits, extreme sports, etc. So yes, my style has changed over the years as I’ve expanded and taken on new projects in different realms. 

Tell us about one of your favorite outdoor adventures. What made this trip memorable?

One of my favorite outdoor adventures was my three months in Patagonia last spring. We stayed in hostels only about 10 nights the whole trip and spent the rest of the time trekking long trips by icefields, massive glaciers, mountains, beautiful rivers, and lots of wildlife. I think we ended up doing over 500 miles of walking in that time.

The weather down there made it interesting – massive wind storms would send winds that could knock you over, and rain made many days tough and cold. But the adventure was there, and a lot of new culture and experience. I think the most memorable and life-changing thing about that trip was just realizing how little you need to live happily. We had everything we needed for 3 months strapped to our backs and felt like we could do anything. 

mason strehl photographer with LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition
Shot by Mason Strehl // Featuring LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Pine (950ml, 32oz)

What’s in your camera bag right now?

Gear usually ends up getting in the way of creativity, so I actually have very little in my camera bag. I shoot with a Canon 5D Mk IV and a 24-70 most of the time and my only other lens is a Canon 100-400. Aside from that, a bunch of batteries, snacks, and my LARQ water bottle for hydrating on the go. 

What do you like to do in your free time (when you’re not shooting)?

I like to read, write, design, roast coffee, and sit in the sun with a nice view. 

mason strehl with larq bottle movement terra edition in black/clay
Shot by Mason Strehl // Featuring LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Clay (710ml, 24oz)

How do you stay hydrated on the go?

I’m usually terrible at hydrating. When I’m hiking I try to carry as little water as possible to save weight, but try to stop at every stream to drink and purify water. Since getting the LARQ, it’s allowed me to do this much easier – it’s a compact and light bottle that purifies quickly. 

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.

I helped direct a Netflix Documentary about Hip Hop music! It’s called Underdogs. 

What kind of causes or nonprofits do you support? Why are they important to you?

Love this question, I think we need more giving in this world. I support Leave No Trace, I’m carbon negative through a nonprofit called Cool Effect, I give regularly to the National Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund, the Sierra Club, and the Access Fund. Planned Parenthood and the Yellowhammer fund are great nonprofits supporting women’s rights. Recently, I’ve been focused on nonprofits helping with inequality and injustices in the black community and am supporting Colors of Change, NAACP, and the Minnesota Freedom Fund. For coronavirus relief, Direct Relief is my go-to – it gets PPE to doctors in need. I’ve also donated to Native American tribes that are especially deeply affected such as the Southern Utah Paiute tribe and the Navajo Nation. 

Lastly, my absolute favorite Nonprofit is the ACLU – they do a wide variety of issues and fight them legally, one of the most effective ways to bring change. They’re fighting cases of police brutality and discrimination, they fight for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, they fight for access to healthcare and voting rights. They do so much at the local and national level. 

If you’re looking to donate, take a look at some of these – they have low admin costs so most of your donation will go to fighting for the causes!

What do you like most about what you do?

I like the freedom. Most of my work is remote, so it allows me to travel and spend most of my time in nature. 

Name 3 of your favorite locations you’ve shot. Why were these your favorite?

Patagonia – Breathtaking scenery, rugged landscapes, and incredibly kind and fun people. 

Washington – So many trails and the rugged North Cascade mountains. So much to do, so little time. 

Alaska – My home will always hold a special place in my heart. One of the most beautiful places in the world.

What is your dream location to shoot? Why?

I don’t really have one. I guess I’m content to just keep exploring the places I love and seeing them in a new light. I’d love to go back to Patagonia, but just as happy in Washington. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Why?

Right where I’m at in Washington. With a little summer cabin in Alaska. That’s all I need. 

What are 5 things you can’t live without?

Water, food, sleep… haha! Just kidding. I love my books, my camera, nature, my 98 Tacoma, and my few good friends. 

Check out Mason’s work on Instagram @masonstrehl or at his website


Creator Series: Tim Landis

Welcome back to part 2 of the Creator Series where we chat with creators about their life, passions, and adventures. Today, Tim Landis, Pennsylvania-based travel and portrait photographer, father, and husband, tells us about his life through a lens.

Meet Tim

Tim Landis

How would you describe yourself and what you do in 5 words or less?

I love family, photos, adventure

How did you get started in photography? What most interested you about shooting landscapes and nature?

I first started by assisting my wife with weddings and then grew a love for landscapes and nature while having a job that allowed me to travel and see and take photos of landscapes. 

How would you describe your photography style? How has it changed over the years?

Just a little different. What I mean by that is I try to capture landscapes and angles and places that are not the norm of what everyone else captures. It feels like everything has already been done but my goal is to photograph it just a little different. 

I just feel as it has improved and I have honed in on my skills little by little.

Tell us about one of your favorite outdoor adventures. What made this trip memorable?

I would have to say it’s a toss-up between Turkey and Iceland. I’ve been to Turkey many times but this last time was best and I had always wanted to experience Iceland. What makes both of them memorable is that I was able to share those experiences with my wife and kids. To watch them go on an adventure was the greatest!

What’s in your camera bag right now?

I have a pretty standard setup. My Canon SLR and a 24-70mm lens and my 35mm lens, a bunch of cables and batteries, an IPad for editing, and my LARQ!

Tim Landis reading with LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in White/Pebble

What do you like to do in your free time (when you’re not shooting)?

I’ve been really enjoying reading lately. I know that is so simple but it’s true.

How do you stay hydrated on the go? 

What I love most about LARQ bottles aside from how aesthetically pleasing they look, is that you don’t have to worry about your water source. You know you will always be drinking clean water. Honestly, in our fast-paced world, the last thing you want is to have something else you need to be worried about and concerned about. LARQ allows you to get water from anywhere. 

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.

This is always a tough question to answer. I’m pretty laid back and what you see is what you get…. Hmmm maybe that I once fractured my kidney in baseball. 

What kind of causes or nonprofits do you support? Why are they important to you? 

I really love and support a couple humanitarian efforts that I have worked with in the past. One Child Matters, IJM, and Remember NHU. All are along the same where they are aiding the oppressed, the orphan and the widow throughout the world and preventing slavery and from the sex trade. All I believe are living out the gospel of Jesus Christ which I am a believer in. 

What do you like most about what you do?

I truly love adventures and meeting people from different cultures and lifestyles and trying new things.

Name 3 of your favorite locations you’ve shot. Why were these your favorite?

Turkey – I love the vast difference from urban and landscapes that are incomparable to many

Argentina – Argentina might have been the most eye appealing, especially Bariloche. I got to experience Argentina in a variety of ways.

Iceland – Well because …..Iceland

What is your dream location to shoot? Why?

I dream of going to Norway. I’ve seen so many peers go there and it just looks otherworldly. I’d like to take a crack at it. I also wouldn’t mind seeing more of Iceland.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Why?

I think I would live right where I am right now. I think we always have this thought the grass is greener somewhere else but I have learned to be content with the freedoms I have been given here in the US. I can always visit other places in the world 🙂 The US is a beautiful place too 😉

What are 5 things you can’t live without?

Well if it’s things and not people then here goes. Mostly in this order. I kind of have to say LARQ here right? 🙂 

  1. My Bible
  2. pizza
  3. camera / iPhone
  5. coffee

Take a peek at Tim’s work on Instagram or over on his website at



Founder Spotlight: Sustainable living and water conservation with Gabriel Parisi-Amon

Water is a resource we are constantly taking for granted. In partnering with Well Aware on the LARQ Bottle Benefit edition, we learned that 1 in 10 people worldwide lacks access to clean water. Water is scarce in certain parts of the world but it’s also a resource that is depleting. Taking steps to conserve water at home–no matter how small you think the change is–can make a meaningful impact on the planet. 

One of the many joys in life for a lot of us is our shower experience–our opportunity to relax, decompress for the day, and to be truly alone. However, taking a nice long shower can mean wasting a lot of freshwater in the process. The standard shower uses 2.5 gallons per minute, which means that in 10 minutes, you would have used 25 gallons of water. That’s enough water to fill nearly 189 LARQ Bottles; that’s A LOT of water. So, what if there was a way to get that spa-like experience in a shower without using so much water? The creators of Nebia have the solution. 

Five years ago, Nebia launched the Nebia Spa Shower, a revolutionary water-efficient shower system. Their patented H2Micro™ technology, which atomizes streams of water, increases the total surface area of water by 10x while saving up to 65% of water compared to a standard shower. This groundbreaking technology creates an incredibly relaxing, spa-like experience while saving a significant amount of water and money in the process. 

A few weeks ago, Nebia launched their warmest and most affordable shower yet, Nebia by Moen on Kickstarter, and they’ve already raised over $1.5 million from over 6700 backers around the world! Nebia by Moen starts at $160 and you can back it through February 28 11:59 PM (PST) on Kickstarter. 

We sat down with the CEO and co-founder of Nebia, Gabriel Parisi-Amon, to find out more about the brand and their seemingly magical creation. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you started Nebia. 

Gabriel: We’re Nebia, an SF-based start-up on a mission to transform the way people interact with water by building innovative products that people love to use and that are better for the planet.

Nebia was born in 2010 in Mexico City. At the time, my co-founder Carlos was running a national health club chain and he started thinking of ways to reduce the water used by the club’s 25,000 daily visitors. He began building prototypes with his dad, who was retired and an engineer/tinkerer, and then he met my other co-founder Philip not long after. Carlos and Philip decided to take their idea to San Francisco and that’s where I met them.

At the time, I was working for Apple but I had a background in thermofluids and was really captivated by the idea of building a product with a core technological challenge and a compelling impact on the planet.

What was the process like creating Nebia? What kind of challenges did you face?

G: As they say, hardware is hard. And we found that out first hand. Our goal with Nebia was to make a product that provided a wonderful shower experience, seamless UX, and beautiful design.

To make that happen, we had to design a lot of things from scratch–from the nozzle array and pathways to the install mechanism, to the way we bent the aluminum arm. Doing so many novel things in one product meant that anytime we hit a snag, the entire project was slowed down. 

What are your goals for your brand? What are some global issues you intend to tackle with your product?

G: At Nebia, we strongly believe that we have a responsibility and an opportunity to make great products that have a positive impact on the world. Nebia showers are our first step in a greater movement towards using our planet’s resources more efficiently.

Our vision is to scale our technology and make it more accessible to people around the world. Our hope is that Nebia by Moen will reach more homes than ever and play a critical role in our goal to save one billion gallons of water by 2021

Further, we hope that Nebia can show that a small team of dedicated, mission-driven people can make a meaningful impact. And we hope to see more companies that make products that put the user and environment first. 


When did your passion for sustainability and water conservation start? 

G: I have loved building things since I was a kid. I would take things apart to see how they work, and to my parents’ frustration, not always be able to put them back together. When I started formally studying Mechanical Engineering, I realized that a lot of the foundational innovations of the discipline (like the internal combustion engine and other ways of converting fossil fuels into energy) were at the heart of the environmental crisis that we faced.

These were amazing innovations that catapulted the world forward but at the expense of future generations. It was this realization that made me care deeply about sustainability, and, although it took several years, it eventually led me to Nebia. 

What do you think is the most challenging part of living a sustainable lifestyle? 

G: I think there are several challenges to living a sustainable lifestyle. For one, life itself throws challenges at you day-to-day–relationships can be hard, work is tough, budgets need to be kept. Finding the time and energy to live a sustainable life means dealing with all of those challenges and then more. I think it is critically important to do, but I don’t want to pretend it is easy and doesn’t take a concerted effort. You have to stop and make space to do it.

That is why at Nebia, we want to make a product that makes it a little easier to do this every day, without adding to your to-do list. If anything, we want Nebia to give you a space to relax and unwind away from your endless to-do list. In a similar vein, I think it is incredibly challenging to know the environmental impact of the products you use. Supply chains are opaque, labels about “green” can be meaningless, and green-washing products is a real thing. Finding the time and information to understand your impact is hard.

What are some changes you’ve made towards a more sustainable lifestyle?

G: At the office, we also have compost and recycling, and we use those to reduce our trash as much as possible. Logistically, we make our recycling bins a lot bigger than our trash, which helps remind the team.

At home, I try to only use one trash bag per quarter. I often fall short, but I have been successful in several quarters and have gotten pretty close on several others. I am lucky that San Francisco Recology (our waste management company) recycles a lot of things, and most importantly has curbside composting. This allows me to put very little in my trash, and really focus on minimizing my waste. 

I live in a studio apartment with a small water heater. With a regular shower, I would run out of hot water in less than 8 minutes. With Nebia, I can go a lot longer. I try not to, but I also use my shower as a place to relax, think about my day, and escape the noise of the world. Having an experience that I love, which lasts as long as I need, is a material improvement in my life. When I travel, and I get in a shower to start my day, I am often reminded of how much I miss my Nebia. I feel fortunate to have it at home. 

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

G: It is really simple, but my compost bin is a big one. It is nothing special but it means that food waste doesn’t go to the landfill and it ensures that I can keep my trash bag for a long time because food won’t start to smell in it. 

What is a guilty pleasure of yours that you wish was sustainable? 

G: Great question. I would have to go with meat. I really like a good steak or a duck breast. There are more sustainable sources, and I look for those, but it isn’t easy. 

What are some parting words you’d like to leave for our readers? 

G: You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to radically change everything in your life (diet, single-use plastic, wardrobe) to make an impact. If everyone just did a little across their lives: ate a little less meat, used a reusable water bottle, sewed up the hole in your favorite sweater instead of getting a new one, composted at home, used less water in their shower; it would add up and make a huge difference.


To date, the Nebia community has saved over 120 million gallons of water. This equates to 182 Olympic pools, 1.5 million bathtubs, and 904 million LARQ bottles. Recently, Nebia partnered with Moen to develop their most accessible and versatile shower system yet. It’s their hope that this partnership will bring their patented technology to more homes than ever. And it plays a critical role in saving 1 billion gallons of water by 2021. Back Nebia by Moen on Kickstarter now through February 28, 2020 11:59 PM PST. 


How to stay fit while traveling with Nike Master Trainer: Kirsty Godso

The biggest travel woe–whether for business or pleasure–is fitting workouts into your busy schedule. A gym is not always accessible (especially one with all the equipment you usually have back home), and eating nutritious meals can be even harder, making travel extremely taxing on your overall wellness. Ever get that sluggish feeling when you finally arrive back home? That’s your body trying to adjust to your not-so-healthy travel habits.

We were lucky enough to speak with Kirsty Godso, Instagram celeb (@kirstygodso), founder of PYROGIRLS and Made of Whey Protein and lead trainer at NYC’s Project by Equinox fitness lab. You may also know her as a Nike Master Trainer on the Nike Training Club app we’ve mentioned before as one of the best fitness apps out there. She specializes in high-intensity training and cardio workouts that will have you drenched by the end but feeling absolutely amazing.

Kirsty Godso Nike Master Trainer with Monaco Blue LARQ Bottle

Photo via @kirstygodso

Kirsty has a fiery and energetic personality that makes you feel hyped up and ready to take on anything. She explains her philosophy, “Energy and how you treat your body are a direct transfer onto others, I am incredibly passionate about trying to help others live a healthier life so there is an accumulative positive effect from it.”

Naturally, we were curious to learn from an expert–how does one maintain wellness while traveling?

Biggest mistakes people make

The major mistake people make in regards to working out while traveling according to Kirsty is that people overestimate how much time they need for a good workout. “It doesn’t need to be an hour. You can work out for 20 minutes and still stay fresh while traveling.” The important piece is using the time you have to work out.

Maximize the time you have for workouts

If you have a packed schedule and can’t work in a 40-minute or 1-hour workout, Kirsty advises to break up your workouts into smaller portions. “I might not have a full hour in my schedule to work out but I will have 15-minute gaps where I can get stuff done!” In these 15-minutes she will do a circuit consisting of 3 exercises and do 4-5 sets of each, then repeat this 15-minute workout 3-4 times a day. Kirsty adds, “It’s not ideal but it’s a great way to get little energy spikes throughout the day and make sure I’m still getting in some of my training.” When you’re traveling sometimes you’ll only have small windows to work out, but making the effort to use that time wisely will keep your excuses in check and help you get your exercise in for the day. When you’re back home and can follow your usual workout schedule, you’ll be back on track without feeling slow our “out of it”.

Photo via @kirstygodso

Kirsty’s Travel Workout (zero equipment)

Kirsty’s no-equipment program called “Burn” on the Nike Training Club app is perfect for travel. The program is entirely bodyweight and designed to get you lean and confident wherever you are. “You can blast these workouts anywhere–in your hotel room, the shabbiest of hotel gyms, a park, etc.” The workouts range from 20-40 minute durations so they’re easy to fit into any schedule. Kirsty’s no-excuse mentality will whip you into shape. Just try out her program–you’ll see.

Kirsty’s travel workout essentials:

  • Jump rope
  • Mini bands
  • Gliders (hand towels will work too)

Eating habits during travel

Eating nutritiously while traveling can be a real challenge especially if you don’t know what available to you. Kirsty recommends keeping a few essentials on you that will provide a baseline health routine to follow. Her must-haves for eating well on-the-go are:

Kirsty says, “I am essentially always traveling for work so I always pack my Made of Whey Protein, LARQ water bottle, and Maldon travel size sea salt with me wherever I go.” Made of Whey Protein is a performance-driven nutritional support product Kirsty developed that has a more potent concentration of protein without unnecessary additives. Kirsty uses this as a staple in her diet to reach her protein macronutrients per day in addition to a nutritious diet.

According to Kirsty, eating well and staying hydrated go hand-in-hand, especially during travel where you might feel fatigued quickly. The LARQ water bottle is perfect and easy to carry, plus it purifies water so Kirsty loves to travel with it and fill up wherever she goes. She adds, “I travel a lot and to a variety of countries so I love taking my LARQ bottle. It makes me feel confident when I’m hydrating on the go what I’m drinking clean water.”

The salt is the funny one–we asked about it, and she explained, “bad salt in food can make you inflamed so I prefer to travel with my own!” Being mindful of the food you eat and what you put in your body is a huge point Kirsty aims to drive home. You get what you put in.

As far as eating out goes, Kirsty will search for local restaurants that are more farm-to-table style and has healthy alternatives that don’t contain gluten, soy, corn, bad oils, and refined sugar. “You can really destroy a trip somewhere if you aren’t used to these things in your food and then all of a sudden your system is attacked with them.”

Stay Hydrated

Kirsty explains that staying hydrated is one of the most important things to do every day to stay energized and boost mood. When you’re dehydrated, you’re left feeling lethargic. “By the time you’re dehydrated, it’s a little bit late. You can’t just guzzle down a large amount of water. Your system doesn’t recalibrate right away. You want to try and keep your water intake flowing across the day so you never hit a point of feeling sluggish and slow.” Dehydration is linked to jet lag too. Is that enough motivation to stay hydrated?

Photo via @kirstygodso

Living a healthy and balanced life

Being healthy is all about balance in life. Kirsty stresses the importance of living well in all aspects of life: physically, nutritionally, and mentally.

Physically, Kirsty puts emphasis on prioritizing sleep and recovery a lot more than she used to. It’s important to listen to your body and give it time to rest between intense workouts so they can properly recover. “The world we live in is increasingly demanding and that definitely takes its toll. I definitely warm up much more efficiently than I used to and always take the time to glute and core activate before jumping into any workout.” Glute and core activations are important to strengthen them and have a major impact on your overall body strength. They support many compound movements that help you avoid muscle imbalances.

Kirsty is very mindful of her conversation with her body and food, referring to food as food, and not as calories or “treats” and so on. “The verbiage you use around food is very powerful so make sure you’re feeding yourself the right things physically and literally.” Put good in, get good out. Your fitness and health results rely on your eating habits too, so make sure your fueling your body with proper nutrition.

We all deal with day-to-day stressors, and Kirsty is no exception. She has learned to focus on breath-work and slowing down where possible. She says this method has helped her a lot in the way she responds to things rather than reacting. “Sometimes I might need to sit on something for a while to let it pass then reply when I have digested it and have a calm response.”

Breathing exercises and pushing pause are methods that we can all benefit from. We talk about meditation a lot here and this is definitely something that can help anyone live a more balanced life. Sometimes you just need to hit pause and take a moment to be in your own head in order to gain some clarity and calm.

There’s no secret sauce here when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle and balancing travel with exercise. Kirsty’s no-excuse philosophy makes working out while traveling all about maximizing time, being mindful of what you put in your body, and staying hydrated.


Founder Spotlight: Clean Beauty with Indie Lee

What does clean beauty mean for you? For most, you probably haven’t put much thought into what ingredients are in your moisturizer or eye cream–it’s probably something with a big box name that you’ve heard people talk about before and decided it’s good. So allow me to introduce you to the founder and CEO of Indie lee skincare, Indie Lee herself.

Indie is a mom of three, and a fur mom of two. She’s been through quite a lot in her lifetime that has put her on the path she’s on today. Clean beauty is more than just beauty. It’s about keeping harsh chemicals and ingredients away from your skin so you can be healthy through and through. The emphasis on health here is huge and goes hand-in-hand with beauty.

“In 2008, I was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor that doctors felt could be environmentally derived and attributed to something as simple as what I was putting on my skin. I was given as little as six months to live,” she explained. This was her awakening. “I wanted to provide a platform to educate and empower others to make healthier, mindful choices. So I created Indie Lee skincare–I wanted the brand to be clean, efficacious, and look chic on a shelf.”

Indie’s brand and ours has a lot of synergies we were happy to chat about. We’re both focused on delivering effective products that solve real problems. We were happy to learn that Indie puts her heart and soul into her skincare line to ensure that her products are safe, effective, and clean.

Surprisingly, Indie had no beauty experience before starting her skincare line and was actually an accountant (previously managing HBO’s International finance division), so this was all new territory for her. “I simply knew that this brand was my mission and my platform for education and empowerment,” she explained, “Failure was not an option, so I built the brand from the ground up. It was hard work but to see what the company has become today is so rewarding. I wouldn’t trade a second of the experience.”

E: What are some mistakes people make in their skincare or lack thereof?

I: I think any mistakes simply come from a lack of knowledge. That’s why we are so dedicated to educating consumers. We really want to provide them with information to make the best choices for themselves. If I had to pick common mistakes thought, I would say not washing your face thoroughly enough, even then you aren’t wearing makeup. Also, clean your makeup brushes and cell phone screens weekly!

Another helpful tip Indie stresses is hydration–both in the form of a great moisturizer and internally with ample water. According to Indie, “keeping the skin happy and hydrated is key for a radiant, clear complexion.” –who doesn’t want that? It’s actually recommended for “most of us to drink between 8-10 cups (as a general rule of thumb) of water per day,” Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at Good Housekeeping Institute says.

A lot of men tend to shy away from skincare for dozens of reasons, whether it’s because most skincare is marketed towards women or the ones that are marketed towards men don’t combat the issues they want to address. So I asked Indie–what are some must-haves for men when it comes to skincare? Is there a difference in products for men versus women?

I: Any products that are a must-have for women will work perfectly for men. We actually have more male consumers than you’d expect, my son included, who I swear must bathe in our Brightening Cleanser based on how quickly he goes through it! I think for men who are looking to begin a more elevated routine, and good cleanser, moisturizer, and eye product are the perfect starters.

Choosing clean skincare is great for your skin’s health. But since we’re all about the planet’s health too, we had to ask Indie about sustainability as it pertains to her life.

E: What role does sustainability play in your personal life?

I: Sustainability is something that is very important to me and something I’m always striving to improve. The biggest changes for me have been carrying a reusable water bottle (and yes, I am OBSESSED with my LARQ Bottle and recommend it to everyone). I also think the little things can really add up – refusing single-use straws, bringing your own bags to the grocery store, refusing plastic cutlery with takeout, etc.

E: What, if any, were the hardest things for you to give up in order to lead a more sustainable lifestyle?

I: I think it was more of getting into the habits that you need to create to be more sustainable, and also not beating yourself up over it if you forget. If you leave your reusable bags in the back of your car, you’ll probably be more likely to remember them when you go to the grocery store. I recently saw a great quote from @zerowastechef that said ‘We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly’ and I couldn’t agree more.

Skincare is a huge pillar in self-care, so naturally, I wanted to know what Indie’s best practices of self-care are in her world.

E: What is your self-care ritual like?

I: Meditation is one of my biggest rituals. I meditate twice daily, even if I’m traveling. It’s something that always brings me back to center and keeps me grounded. That being said, I think self-care looks different to everyone, and you have to find what works for you. Yes, meditation is a form of self-care I practice, but I also think a drink with friends can be self-care. It’s all about what makes you feel fulfilled at that time and giving your mind and body what it needs. That’s not always a green juice.

Lastly, Indie wants you to know that “Passion is everything. If you can find something that you are passionate about, everything else seems to fall into place.” That’s something we can agree with wholeheartedly here at LARQ. Being passionate about creating great products is what all the founders we’ve interviewed (including our own) have in common. The drive to innovate and create a product that serves the people and addresses consumer issues is what keeps us going. You can see that really come through with Indie Lee and her amazing skincare brand. Read more about Indie Lee’s story and shop her line at


Founder Spotlight: Sustainable Living with Lindsay McCormick

Here’s something you use every day–toothpaste (hopefully twice a day). And it’s been slowly poisoning the planet for decades. Well, to be clear, we mean the tube that the toothpaste comes in.

Toothpaste tubes are made primarily of plastic #4 or some type of aluminum-plastic composite, which only certain waste facilities will process for recycling, which means much of it ends up in the landfill. And let’s be real, most of us are pretty diligent about recycling when it comes to the office or even in the kitchen, but when it comes to the bathroom, just about all of that goes down the drain (pun intended). So what’s the solution here?

For #PlasticFreeJuly, we’re excited to share with you an interview we had with Lindsay McCormick, founder and CEO of Bite Toothpaste Bits. She’s killing the sustainability game with her groundbreaking toothpaste product that is all-natural and zero waste.

Bite Toothpaste Bits are little pellets–they’re called Bits–of all-natural toothpaste that only require a wet toothbrush (and a good ol’ bite) to activate–hence the name. They’re packaged in refillable and recyclable glass jars and shipped 100% plastic-free. They use 100% recyclable mailers made from recycled newspapers and sealed with paper tape. They’ve pulled all the stops when it comes to nixing plastic completely.

Image Courtesy of Bite Toothpaste Bits

Lindsay founded Bite in August 2017 with the desire to keep plastic toothpaste tubes out of landfills and harsh chemicals out of our bodies.

“I was traveling all the time for my job as a TV Producer when I realized how much waste I was creating just by brushing my teeth. After looking into alternatives, I discovered all the questionable ingredients that were in toothpaste and that there were not only travel-friendly, plastic-free alternatives so I decided to make my own.” – Lindsay, founder and CEO of Bite Toothpaste Bits.

Elaine: What was the process like creating a sustainable toothpaste brand and product? What kind of challenges did you face?

Lindsay: I started Bite as an advocate for sustainability— I was not trying to start a company rather I was trying to create a change. Bite is relentless in our pursuit of being the most sustainable oral care company on the market. We’re listening to our community, hearing their wants and needs and then finding ways we can make that happen.

Toothpaste is something people have used twice a day, every day for their whole lives so asking people to change a habit that is so embedded in them was no easy feat. Luckily, consumers are becoming more and more conscious of their daily habits and the environmental impact they might have and are willing to take a chance on a new product like Bite.

E: How do you use the toothpaste bits?

L: Brushing with Bite is as easy as Bite, Brush, Smile, Repeat. All you do is bite down on a Bit and start to brush with a wet toothbrush and it will start to foam up like magic!

E: When did your passion for sustainability start?

L: For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with all things sustainability and the environment. As a kid, instead of asking for presents I would always ask my parents to “adopt” a specific animal in my name. They would then send a check in my name to the World Wildlife Fund and weeks later I would get a photo along with information on the animal I “adopted.” From Orca Whales to Ocelots I basically adopted every single animal I could. I’ve always wanted to make a positive impact on the world.

E: What do you think is the most challenging part of living a sustainable lifestyle?

L: It’s unfortunate that most unsustainable activities are incredibly convenient. As a society, we have placed convenience over sustainability in every way. Whether its remembering to bring your own bag or reusable cup, you’re going to have to make more conscious choices about your daily activities. The good news is that after you’ve been doing it a while it no longer feels inconvenient it just feels normal!

E: What are some changes you’ve made towards a more sustainable lifestyle at home? At the office?

L: Since our home also functions as our office I made it my priority to make it more sustainable. I’ve looked at the things that I do every day and made sustainable swaps for them. Whether it’s swapping out a plastic tube of toothpaste or swapping out regular toilet paper for bamboo toilet paper. Although those may seem like small changes— those small changes really add up. Mason jars for all leftovers and reusable food wraps made of cotton instead of saran wrap.

E: What are some products you stopped purchasing because of their environmental impact? What are some alternatives?

L: I’ve stopped buying drinks in plastic containers. Whether that’s bottled water, juices or sports drink— If I can’t fill it in my own cup or buy it in my own bottle I’m just not going to buy it. In our office and in my house we’re tree-free. We use cloth napkins and dishtowels. Even our toilet paper is made out of sustainable bamboo. In my skincare routine, sunscreen has always been a must for me. I used to be a surf and snowboard instructor and was always slathered in sunscreen. One of the switches I made recently is switching to a mineral-based, natural sunscreen called Nani La that comes in an aluminum container with minimal plastic.

I switched to a mineral-based sunscreen because the chemical UV filters in many sunscreens are bleaching the coral reefs and damaging the ocean.

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

L: Well…. I can’t not say Bite. I love starting off my morning and ending my night doing something I feel good about. Also, I recently bought one of those cute, insta-worthy zero-waste net bags which has quickly become one of my most used purchases. I cram three canvas bags worth of groceries into my net bag. All of the cups in our home and office are mason jars because not only can you use them to drink out of on a daily basis but also as leftover containers.

E: What is a guilty pleasure of yours that you wish was sustainable?

L: Real talk… take out. I always opt out of cutlery and napkins for to-go orders and I love supporting restaurants that use paper bags instead of plastic and paper boxes instead of plastic boxes. I still feel guilty when I do this because it is way more eco-friendly for me to be cooking my own meals. I try to opt for restaurants that use more sustainable packaging (I’m vegan so typically these go hand-in-hand anyway), but I still feel a little bit of guilt when the Postmates rolls up with a paper bag and excess amount of packaging.

E: What are some parting words you’d like to leave for our readers?

L: Every person and every brand for that matter has the ability to shape and influence the way people think, see and act every day. Whether it’s mindlessly tossing out an empty plastic toothpaste tube or glossing over the ingredients list, our daily habits can and will shape the future of our planet. Although you are one person, we are all one person and that’s a lot of people so you are going to have an impact on the world whether you realize it or not. We want to inspire people to make it a good one.

Something as simple as toothpaste tubes is something many of us never even think twice about, but people like Lindsay who are practicing mindfulness and bringing awareness to issues like plastic consumption in toothpaste packaging are driving the mission of saving this planet forward. It makes you wonder: what else do you use every single day that uses plastic? Can you find an alternative?


Benefits of Collagen with Sally Kim

Collagen is not a new discovery in the quest to find the fountain of youth by any means but has definitely grown in popularity over the recent wellness supplement boom. A spike in wellness and a sudden interest by all genders in anti-aging has led to a lot of research to be done on beauty supplements like collagen and its efficacy.

Though, I don’t think there is enough hype around collagen given its benefits–there are SO many. Sure, there are plenty of people hopping on the beauty train–men and women included–but do we know enough about collagen to be convinced to try it out?

Is collagen a miracle ingredient? Let’s unpack that a bit.

To get the lowdown on collagen, we sat down with collagen expert, Sally Kim, founder & CEO of Crushed Tonic, and author of The Collagen Glow. Crushed Tonic is an anti-aging collagen drink mix that’s carried in Earthbar/Equinox, Sephora, KITH, Free People, and Anthropologie–to name a few.

Photo by Crushed Tonic via Instagram

She says that topical collagen is not good enough to see improvements in the skin–nurturing the skin with collagen needs to happen from the inside out. That’s why she created Crushed Tonic, which is formulated with marine-sourced collagen, cultured probiotics, 100 mcg of biotin and other superfoods clinically-proven for health benefits for skin, hair and whole-body health. Sally explains that each tonic, AKA “crush” is flavored with amazing organic superfoods like matcha, turmeric, and lucuma. Best of all, you just add water or your favorite nut milk.

Meet Sally–the founder and CEO of Crushed Tonic and author of her book, The Collagen Glow.

Can you tell me about how the idea for Crushed Tonic began?

Sally: My obsession with collagen began when I got burned from a cooking accident.

The oil melted the skin off both of my arms instantly, and I had to turn to a ton of prescription ointment and silicone patches only to find out none of it really did much for me. Unimpressed by the options out there, I ended up turning to the internet to find ways to heal my skin.

After some research, I discovered that ingesting collagen was extremely beneficial for our skin (and hair, bones, joints, the list goes on). I was super fascinated, especially because I always thought collagen was something that was topically applied or injected–and started drinking it every day. After just a couple of weeks, I saw incredible changes not just on my burns, but all of my skin, head to toe, and also my hair.

Turns out, collagen is something that’s in our own bodies–actually, the most abundant substance in our bodies second to water–and our bodies stop producing it as much when we are in our mid 20’s. Drinking extra collagen, however, offsets that decline, restoring your skin and hair to its natural beauty.

I then tried to evangelize it to my aging parents and family, and this was where I saw the problem. No one wanted to take collagen as often as I did, for how it tasted (to be fair, most collagen powders do have an unpleasant taste–often gamey tasting, like any other protein powders are); and had I not been burned, I probably wouldn’t have drunk it either.

Knowing how beneficial collagen is, I HAD to have my parents take it. So I began to flavor each mix with specific superfoods that they liked so they would drink the collagen with the beverages they were already drinking every day anyway (matcha for my mother, coffee for my dad, and hot cocoa for my brother).

After tasting and testing for months, getting it so that the collagen flavor was undetectable, and hearing my friends and family rave about how amazing it tasted–that’s when Crushed Tonic was born.

My mission is to bring more focus and attention to supplements, specifically ingestible beauty (AKA beauty from within)–the concept that when it comes to healthy skin and hair, what you put in your body is just as important, if not more important than what you put on it.

It’s difficult for anyone to consume ALL the recommended nutrition needed daily, which is why vitamins and supplements are so great for filling in those gaps in your diet.

Photo by Crushed Tonic via Instagram

What is Collagen?

S: Collagen is a natural protein that our bodies produce. Fun fact: collagen is the most abundant substance in our bodies after water!

Collagen is a major structural component of the human body (different types of collagen make up our skin, bones, muscles, and joints) and we depend on collagen to keep our skin plump, hair strong, bones healthy, joints lubricated, and digestive system working smoothly.

Why do we need to take collagen?

S: Though our bodies are able to produce ample amounts of collagen when we are young, unfortunately, sometime after the age of 25, our bodily production of collagen begins to decline at a rate of 1.5% per year (in addition to the decline in the quality of the produced collagen). By our mid-40’s, our collagen levels may have fallen by as much as 30%.

Without collagen, our cells lose structure, increasingly becoming weaker, stretchier, and thinner–and essentially, this decline is the true cause of many of our skin woes like wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, dry skin, and cellulite.

What are the benefits of collagen?

S: Ingesting collagen helps us keep our skin supple, elastic, and hydrated. With more collagen to lock in the moisture within every cell, our skin will stay hydrated and taut.

Collagen is a miraculous superfood that is good for you, from head to toe, though the industry emphasizes collagen’s benefits on skin*. Because collagen is a complex protein that contains EIGHTEEN out of the twenty existing amino acids found in our bodies, these eighteen amino acids, when ingested, support all of the different various functions of our body in different ways: our skin, hair, brain, bones, teeth, nails, heart, digestion, muscles, weight, mood, virility and even sleep.

*After just 12 weeks of daily consumption (10g/day), surveyed respondents in our focus group noticed a decrease in wrinkles, increased skin hydration, increased skin firmness and decreased joint pain.

Here are some benefits to taking collagen I’ve listed in my book:

  • Skin benefits
    • Diminished dark circles and puffiness around the eyes
    • Minimized appearance of pores
    • Reduction in the visibility of cellulite
    • Diminished visibility of scars
    • Overall restored brightness of skin
    • Overall more hydrated skin
  • Detox & Improving Liver Health
  • Hair
  • Brain Health: Mood, Anxiety, and Sleep
  • Joints
  • Bones and teeth
  • Nails
  • Heart Health
  • Digestion
  • Muscle tissues, ligaments, and tendons
  • Metabolism and weight loss

What is your philosophy on beauty and wellness?

S: I’ve come to realize that I am the happiest when I am the healthiest–mentally and physically. I also look my best when I’m the happiest so for me, healthy is where I invest the most. When it comes to healthy food, supplements, fitness, and mental health, there is no such thing as too expensive or too often.

That’s why I love my LARQ bottle so much–it helps me drink so much water as it purifies tap water, and when I’m at the airport, I can use it at water fountains and not have to spend $10 on bottled water!

What are some of your favorite ways to take collagen?

I like to make lattes as soon as I wake up! I like to warm up oat milk and add the matcha crush (essentially 1 serving of organic matcha, 10g of collagen, 1 billion CFU of probiotics, and 1000 mcg of biotin). I’ll use an electric whisk to mix it so there are no clumps.

How do you ensure the absorption of collagen?

I recommend ingesting collagen in the morning, before having any other foods, when there’s nothing in your stomach so your body can digest the collagen before anything else. You want the collagen to be in your bloodstream in its present form, not digested by stomach acid and mixed in with other food during the digestion process. You’ll also see that this helps with other things as well–like keeping you full and feeling satiated until lunch!

I also like to eat fruits with vitamin C, like oranges or tangerines since vitamin C is known to boost collagen production! According to the Linus Pauling Institute researchers at Oregon State University, vitamin C has a distinct role in collagen synthesis; without vitamin C, our body is slower in healing wounds and producing collagen. Thus, it makes sense to have some vitamin C added to your collagen supplement.

What is the recommended potency or daily value of collagen to see benefits of collagen?

This varies per person, age, and his or her body type, the health of their kidneys (too much protein can lead to kidney stones), and also depending on what collagen they are drinking–or how bioavailable the collagen is.

Going overboard with anything can be harmful–even drinking too much water can be harmful to you! So I recommend that those starting to take collagen ease into the routine by taking 5g for a few days first, and then 10g, and then cap it at 30g.

Do results vary from taking collagen? If so, how does it vary? Does it depend on age, diet, or lifestyle?

Yes! It’s very important to note that not everyone will see the same results that I have seen given the differences in lifestyle and diet. Also, it took more than 2 years of drinking collagen DAILY for my skin and hair to get to where it is now!

Some people may take longer to see results, especially if they are smoking or drinking alcohol excessively. The benefits of collagen will definitely be harder to see (as those habits will erode your collagen levels).

When it comes to age, it is better to start taking collagen earlier than later, as you will be taking a more preventative approach; however, collagen doesn’t discriminate!

I keep a gluten-free and dairy-free rule and do not consume anything “white” very often. White is an unnatural color for food: sugar, flour, cheese, and milk. I also recommend staying away from processed foods as much as you can; long story short, they’re bad for you.


If you were considering taking collagen as a supplement to your diet–whether to prevent signs of aging, to reduce them, to encourage joint health, or even to reduce the visibility of scars–I hope you learned a thing or two about it to help you make the best decision for your lifestyle!

Results of taking collagen supplements may vary. Consult your doctor or physician before taking any supplements.

This post is not sponsored. 


Sustainable Living with Elana Jadallah

We’re always inspired by others to become a more sustainable company. Reducing our environmental footprint and is a massive goal of ours not only as a company but as individuals as well. As part of our sustainable living series, we’ve got to gain some insight on what it means to be sustainable and some knowledge on how to live more sustainably at home and the office.

For this segment of Sustainable Living, we got to chat with Elana Jadallah, a photographer, marketing consultant and founder of based in beautiful Hawai’i. Through her photography, writing and online channels, her mission is to captivate others with the incredible world around them, spread the knowledge she has surrounding sustainable living and inspire conscious action. Through her work with small businesses, her mission is to tap into the unique ripple effect that businesses have on this earth and help them amplify positive impact through regenerative and impactful strategies.

Fun facts: Elana loves hiking, swimming, paddle boarding, reading, cooking, storytelling, anything that pushes her out of her comfort zone, even just a little. “Since living in the islands, I’ve developed a love for traditional Hawaiian arts like Haku lei making and she intends to learn how to weave lauhala next.

Elana Jadallah holding seaside mint LARQ Bottle on the beach in hawaii

Elaine T.: What does sustainability mean to you?

Elana J.: Mmm, if you would have asked me that a year ago, WOW, would the answer have been different! My understanding of sustainability is constantly evolving and growing. I used to be so focused in on simply plastic pollution and the need for more sustainable packaging (which is still a big focus!) but now I understand that individual, corporate and governmental sustainability has many, many more facets and ripple effects.


To me, sustainability means creating more long-lasting, conscious solutions for individuals, businesses, and society as a whole. Supporting others who are also seeking out these solutions and creating change. Allowing myself to be a student and a sponge. Learning as much as I can about the whole picture and working towards more regenerative and restorative ways of doing things that reverse the damage we as a society have caused and support our natural environment and ecosystems for the future.

ET: Did you always live a sustainable lifestyle? If not, how did you get your start?

EJ: No, absolutely not. I grew up not knowing anything about where my food came from, where my plastic waste would end up or what a ‘sustainable lifestyle’ even looked like. Like so many others who are passionate about the environment, my journey started with a captivating ‘aha moment’!


It was fairly recent, just a few years ago, when I started cleaning our local beach while Aaron surfed. I began to notice there were more pieces of micro-plastic on the beach than there were seashells. It completely broke my heart. It was devastating. I wanted to know more about the plastic pieces and how they were landing on our beaches, so I started doing research and was shocked. I had been so unaware of the incredible crisis our oceans and our planet are in. I felt so stupid and blinded by the convenient lifestyle we all live as a society. How did I never think about these things? How could I be so unaware?


I’m a firm believer that once you learn something, you can’t ‘unlearn’ it…So this started my journey of continued research and making changes in my lifestyle. I started by analyzing my behaviors and seeing what exactly my impact looked like. First I eliminated single-use bags at the grocery store (they’re banned here in Hawai’i which is amazing), then I committed to only using reusable water bottles and cutlery no matter what. And now, this more-mindful, less-wasteful outlook has trickled into every room in our home and every aspect of our lives. I now look at life through this lens of awareness and intention. It’s been an unraveling; a wonderful, challenging and empowering unraveling of past patterns and behaviors.

ET: What’s it like living in Hawaii? What are your favorite things about it?

EJ: I love having access to the inviting ocean waters all-year-round and the active lifestyle that yields for us, I also love the variety of climates (we have 11 of the 13 micro-climates present on earth here on the Big Island) and the immense beauty that surrounds me. Living in Hawai’i is absolutely special, although very different than what many picture it to be. Yes, it is beautiful and enchanting but I argue that it is so in a much deeper, more profound way than you encounter at first glance!


The mana (energy) here is strong and the Hawaiian culture is rich and unique. I feel wildly honored to call this place home but it’s certainly not for everyone and there are many things that differ living here from vacationing here. The things we are blind to on vacation might be that 90% of our food is imported (although sadly the Big Island could be 100% self-sufficient with the number of farms and land here) or the tragic, mostly unknown history of these islands and their people or that it’s a very sensitive eco-system which is being harmed by the constant influx of people. For example, how mass-amounts of sunscreen being dissolved in the water daily has killed the reefs here, how our shorelines are covered in micro-plastics but plastics are still widely distributed, etc. There are so many things that people overlook that need attention, love and energy in these islands. It’s become such a huge part of my everyday life to shed light on these issues and be part of the solution.

woman filling up LARQ Bottle in kitchen sink

ET: Our team here at LARQ has been trying to go plastic-free for the past few weeks, but it’s been tough. What kind of challenges do you face in cutting out plastic? What solutions or alternatives have you found?


EJ: AMAZING! Good on you guys. This makes me wildly happy to hear! Something I read the other day that I loved was this: ‘The world doesn’t need a few people doing zero-waste perfectly. The world needs millions of people doing it imperfectly.’ There is so much power in simply starting the journey to finding answers, to seeking solutions, to QUESTIONING our convenience. Something I find helpful is to count how many times you encounter plastic in one day (specifically single-use) and take a tally. Most will be shocked by the number. You can’t just throw plastic ‘away’ – they go somewhere (often times shorelines far, far away) and don’t break down for over 400 years. Once you take a closer look, the hope is that you’ll feel compelled to find longer-lasting, less harmful alternatives for the things you encountered the most in your day.

My biggest challenge is sadly food packaging. I walk into a Costco or a big box grocery and don’t know whether I want to scream or cry. Similar to the idea that you can’t ‘unlearn something’ it’s hard to ‘un-notice’ something. Once you start eliminating convenient, unneeded plastic… you start realizing that it’s everywhere. And one of the worst culprits is our food. The best solution I have found is to SHOP LOCAL (find a local co-op or CSA and shop at farmer’s markets) and we bring our own jars/containers to shop in the bulk section at the grocery store. Whenever possible, buy things like kombucha or olives in glass jars that you can reuse. The last tip for food: make things at home! You’d be surprised how easy some things (like nut milks – I love my Almond Cow! – or hummus are to make at home). Next time you run out of something store bought, see if you can make it yourself.


Also, I found it hard to eliminate plastic in the bathroom! Shampoo + conditioner bottles, soaps, razors, toothbrushes and toothpaste, cleaning products, feminine products even TP! Whoa. There’s a lot of waste. But through research, there are so many solutions when you seek them out. I’ve found an alternative that is zero or low waste for each of the things listed above. Shampoo, conditioner and soap bars, safety-razors, bamboo toothbrushes, menstrual cup, even sustainably made TP. It’s all in existence and help eliminate massive amounts of waste. I’m happy to serve as a resource to you – always reach out and I can give you my recommendations!


ET: What is a guilty pleasure of yours that you wish was sustainable? What would you tell the company who produces it?

EJ: Oooh! This is a good one. There are a few things that come to my mind. First is traveling – specifically flying. Flying is probably the dirtiest act in our lives. One round-trip flight between New York and California generates about 20% of the greenhouse gases that our cars emit over an entire year. I’m dedicated to learning more about effective, restorative carbon-offsetting for travel specifically.


The second that comes to mind is coffee. This one’s easy to solve by bringing a reusable to-go cup, choosing to have your coffee ‘to-stay’ or simply making it at home! Avoid K-cups at all costs and if you have to get a to-go coffee for some reason, ask for no lid and no stir straws.  


The last thing is my essential oils. Yep, I’m that hippie. I love to diffuse essential oils in our home, I wear them as perfume and use them for countless uses in our home. Sadly though, there’s a huge gap in the wellness industry when it comes to sustainability and regenerative business practices. I find that many wellness products (such as essential oils, protein powder, snack bars, etc) are still packaged with plastic elements, not using renewable energy for production, are sourcing from unsustainable farms, etc. so I have found myself buying less and buying more intentionally. The best thing we can do is communicate our concerns and needs to the companies who produce our ‘guilty pleasures’ and help them shift to better practices. They value customer feedback because their business relies on it.

Here’s a little excerpt of the email that I send to any company that I love but would love to see improve:


As you may know, _____________ (plastic pollution or climate change or unethical work conditions, etc) is a huge problem and I would love to see your company shift towards practices that are more conscious and sustainable. Below is a checklist of conscious business practices that I consider a standard of excellence. Any brand I give my business to must check three or more boxes on this list:

  • Repurposed/Recycled Materials
  • Compostable or Post-Consumer-Recycled Packaging
  • Fair Trade
  • B-Corp Certified
  • Carbon Neutral Shipping
  • Natural or Organic Materials (preferably GOTS certified)
  • Made locally to base consumer
  • Independently Owned
  • Not mass produced
  • Give back to cause/organization/community
  • Made with intention (i.e. honors tradition, brings awareness, tells a story

If you want the full email template to send out, sign up here!

ET: How do you find sustainable options that fit your needs? Can you name a few things you are constantly using, reusing or purchasing?

EJ: Great question! When I started this journey, I definitely felt like I was ‘the first pioneer doing this’ and like I had to find all the answers myself. Thankfully, that was not the case at all! There are so many people out there who are innovative (like LARQ for example!), aware and educated that have found or created more regenerative and sustainable alternatives to what we use on a daily basis. A simple google search will typically give you the answers you need. Also, one of the best books I’ve purchased that was helpful in this way was a used copy of ‘How To Give Up Plastic’ – written by Will McCallum, the Head of Oceans at Greenpeace.


Things that we constantly use + reuse:

Get creative, use what you already have and invest in better options when you run out.

ET: In your opinion, what’s the biggest change someone can make in their daily lives that will have the biggest impact on sustainability?

EJ: Your mindset. It’s not just about saying ‘No, thank you!’ to straws or eliminating single-use plastics ‘when you have the chance.’ It’s adopting the mindset that questions our own behaviors and allows for the vulnerability in saying ‘this is not a behavior that supports the future I want to see.’ By being willing to be self-critical and honest with yourself about that, it’s so much easier to make changes that are long-lasting. If you’re empowered with a strong mindset, you will seek out solutions and become a force of nature.

Elana Jadallah sits on blue beach towel with her seaside mint LARQ Bottle

ET: You got a chance to try our LARQ Bottle for a while, what are your thoughts on it? In what ways have you used the bottle that you can’t with others?


EJ: The LARQ bottle added value to my life by giving me peace of mind that I can always have access to clean water. We are mindful at home about filtering our water with charcoal but can’t always fill up from home. With the LARQ bottle, we can fill our bottles anywhere with confidence knowing that our water is clean. I can’t wait to take ours on our travels! I know this solves a huge problem for travelers who are going to different countries with different water treatment practices. By bringing the LARQ bottle while traveling, I am wildly inspired by how many plastic water bottles will be avoided.


ET: What are some parting words you have for people wanting to live a more sustainable and mindful lifestyle?

EJ: Remember this: striving for perfection will only defeat you. Instead, strive for progress.


Stay curious, allow yourself to be a sponge, keep asking questions and seeking out answers. The way I see it is that there are four phases of awakening: the ‘aha’ moment, the overwhelming phase, the research and action phase and lastly, the opportunity to use your voice. Keep striving for progress in all aspects of your life one step at a time. I’m here for you as a resource both for yourself as an individual or if you’re a business owner that is looking to make big shifts on your impact on this world.


It was an honor chatting with you today – I hope you found a takeaway that resonated with you! If you ever have any questions or want to connect, I’m here for you! Mahalo nui loa + a hui hou!