Introducing the December Collection: Adventus.

Originally published on Dimly Lit: A Writers’ Collective

Image credit to Liz Ablashi

“It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.” — Eleanor Roosevelt


Have you ever experienced a room lit only with candles? I now understand the romantics who wrote of them dancing, flickering, trembling. I write this under the glow of seven small flames (and the harsh glow of my computer). The candles scattered around my apartment are enticing. When they sit in the periphery of my vision, my eyes can’t help but dart to them.

Despite my often trepidatious relationship with the Christian faith, last year I…

Redeeming Christmas and Creation: Veganism as a Spiritual Practice in the Season of Gluttony

Photo Courtesy of Alisa Anton on Unsplash

For the past two years my partner and I have participated in the Nativity Fast, an Orthodox tradition that calls off intake of alcohol, oil, and animal products for the forty days before Christmas. As a vegetarian the transition to vegan wouldn’t be too hard were it not for my infatuation with cheese. For over a month we go vegan and dream about smoke gouda and mulled wine in preparation for Christmas celebrations. This year we added a new lense to the practice: fasting for our environment.

Some might see our new perspective as one that pulls from the spiritual…

A beginner’s guide to greener living

Image Credit to Brad Stallcup via Unsplash

At age eleven or twelve I gave up meat for the first time. I gave it up for a simple reason: I didn’t like it that much. Oh, and it was Lenten season. In the Christian tradition that means you have to give up something you can live without for forty days. I took the low road and chose something I didn’t even like in the first place. The season of sacrifice was more a sacrifice for my mother, who suddenly had to accommodate another set of dietary restrictions. Sorry, Mom. Thanks for supporting me.

A little over a decade…

The Trick Behind the Plastic Industry’s Vanishing Act.

Elle Cartier via Unsplash

Last week I watched a film called The Story of Plastic. During my viewing, I learned a term that blew my mind: multilayer plastic. Heard of it? Maybe not by name. But I can assure you, you’ve seen it. Undoubtedly, you’ve bought it. I’ve unknowingly participated in investing in the product every time I leave the grocery store.

Multilayer packaging makes up bags for our tortilla chips, candy bars, and coffee grounds. What defines it is the mixed composition of various materials. The first layer might be foil, the next LPE, the next paper. Plastic companies often boast these are…

Unsplash Image — Ravi Roshan

I want to tell you a story. A fable. A tale. A legend. Listen closely, and you’ll hear your own self’s story in it:

In the beginning was the Caretaker. Her duty, Her driving force, was to create. Ocean, Sky, Land, and all the creatures that made homes in these environments appeared under Her hand. On the sixth day of her creative process, the Caretaker crafted something in Her own image. After the dust of this new earth had filled her palms, She cupped Her hands and breathed into them. There humanity transpired. She held in her hand the first…

Photo Courtesy of Freestocks on Unsplash

This article is written for the folks who hit the downtown streets a few times a year to spruce up their wardrobe. I get it. Shopping has its thrills: you’re creating the next look, the next you. You’re hunting for the next deal. Maybe it’s your distress from a long day of work. Maybe it’s how you and the besties celebrate big occasions.

But I need to have a heart to heart with you…

These shopping trips have serious consequences.

The clothes you buy this weekend likely will eventually end up in a landfill (maybe even in the next five…

Image Credit to apairandaspare

Last week I talked about ways to resist buying new clothes. This week I wanted to hone in on one of the main reasons I avoid clothes fresh from retail: the environmental cost. That’s right, clothes don’t just cost money. They cost our environment.

Warning this article won’t leave you with warm fuzzies. I’m zeroing in on three ways the clothing industry shreds the earth. Sugar coating doesn’t exist in these next paragraphs. But I promise you this: I’ll offer a few hopeful strategies if you read to the end.

Are your sleeves rolled up? Okay, let’s dive in.



Photo by Nenad Stojkovic

Last night I poached a hand-me-down romper from a friend moving across the country. All her belongings sat inside two suitcases. Everything else wound up in plastic bags bound for Ditto, the local secondhand shop. The vision of her life packed in two easy to move roller bags had me longing to downsize. Instead, I returned home with four pieces of clothing. Whoops.

Don’t get me wrong, I love adding new pieces to my wardrobe. Despite the premise of this post, I’m a sucker for sprucing my wardrobe. …

Shanley Smith

Poet. Nature-based writer. Environmental Enthusiast. Recreational granola maker.

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