If you follow my social media closely you've probably noticed that I am such an advocate for sustainability, and lifestyle choices that benefit me, my body, health, and the world around me. I get asked a lot "is it hard work?" and my truthful answer is " only if you make it that way."
Truthfully, I'm still learning the ropes of this whole what is good for me to consume, and what is good for the planet thing. However, I am loving every single second of it! If you're unsure of what sustainability even is let me give you a quick summary in my own words (don't turn me into the definition police okay?):
"Sustainability is basically the adamant pursuit of choosing products for our present that won't be compromising our future. " - take those words and do with them what you please. Research the concept more if you must, but I was just trying to save you some time.
So now I want to explain to you the whole reason I am what I call a "sustainability enthusiast" and why I chose to make the lifestyle switch.
I've always had a an inner hippie-like soul. I found beauty in the fact that God created so many natural things for us to use for our well-being and lives yet we would rather buy that $3 alternative. The $3 alternative that is laced with chemicals, if I might add. We would rather feed ourselves and our families McDonald's processed cheeseburgers than spending a reasonable amount on fresh produce to cook a meal and replenish them.
I honestly blame laziness and social normalcy on the unhealthy choices we all make. I also blame those two things on the ridiculous stigma that sustainable and healthier choices make people weird. I'm not weird (okay, I am but in a fun way) - I'm just aware and mindful.
Switching and implementing healthy and sustainable choices into your lifestyle doesn't have to be a cold turkey situation. You can start slowly and go at a pace that you wish. Honestly, I still am making constant switches from things I have used/consumed my whole life and finding a better alternative. As time progresses you'll become so in love with the idea that beauty products can be derived from natural minerals, and fresh produce can leave you feeling satisfied never miserably full! It becomes so addicting to feel nourished and confident in your consumer choices.
I hope I've at least convinced you a little bit to consider implementing some choices into your lifestyle too! If you're unsure of where to start and how then let me share with you:
HOW TO START BEING A SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE ENTHUSIAST:
1.) CARE. - Care enough about your body, life, and the future. Care about the chemicals in your foundation that you put on your face every day. Care about the substituted ingredients in your processed food. Care about the amount of plastics going into the landfills and oceans, ruining ecosystems (including our own). Without using products that prolong your existence, you're just cutting down your time here even more. If you take care of yourself, you take care of the planet. So do it!
2.) Download the app Think Dirty - Shop Clean. - This app is AMAZING! Especially if you're a beginner and not sure what to look for. When you head to walmart to grab a new body wash, whip out your phone and open the app and scan barcodes of your options. They'll rank the product on a scale of 1-8 and the red blocks = DO NOT USE. Plan to double your time at the store, and probably the amount you wanted to spend (good things come at a cost lol!). You can also use Think Dirty when looking up product alternatives such as makeup, shampoo, sunscreen, etc.
3.) Make Affordable & Easy Swaps Right Away - Stop buying cases of plastic water bottles, get an additional trash can for the kitchen and mark it with the recycle symbol, purchase only recyclable packaged products (see #4 for more details), go paperless. You get the idea.
4.) Only Purchase Recyclable Packaged Products - When you're grocery shopping and about to grab butter, or yogurt or whatever pay attention to the number on the bottom of the containers. Items packaged in containers numbered 1, 2, 4, & 5 are recyclable. In contrast numbers 3, 6, & 7 are not and will end up in our oceans and landfills.
5.) RECYCLE!!!! - Remember in elementary when we learned that silly "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" song and all the classrooms had a blue trash can next to the actual trash can for us to put our recyclables in? Okay, well just because you're an adult now doesn't mean you have to stop caring about things mentioned in that song or about which can to put your papers in. Recycling Centers are a great resource for manufacturers. With the evolution of society caring more about the planet, more manufacturing companies are partnering with local recycling centers for plastics and products to reuse for their products. This also leads to more job opportunities at the centers. The cycle continues over and over if you contribute to the process.
6.) Ditch Single Use Plastics - Start carrying around a water bottle, and a reusable coffee tumbler. In my car I have both! That way if i decide I want a latte on the way to my meeting I can swing into my local coffee joint and ask them to fill up my personal cup which is reusable. This eliminates 3 cups a week on average from going straight to the landfill, on my behalf alone. Join me and let's see if that number doubles!
7.) Keep Yourself Accountable - There are a lot of ways to stay accountable and not fail at giving sustainability a try. For starters, find someone to talk about it with! I'm always a text or DM away and love chatting about this stuff. Also, let your family members know that you're trying and if they are interested you'd love to have a small personal knit community to keep you on top of it. You can also follow accounts on pinterest and instagram for ideas and inspiration! The more you see things, the more they stay constant in your mind.
8.) Research Research Research. - I'm not professionally trained or an expert in this topic. BUT, I am experienced. I've read articles, watched documentaries and youtube videos. I have put in the time to understand this lifestyle and you're going to have to too. Look up the drugstore makeup brand you use on the app I mentioned in #2. Research plastic alternatives. It's not hard, you literally have a phone in your hand - use it.
9.) Be Confident In Your Choice. - There are going to be naysayers who think you're being ridiculous. It may be your significant other, your siblings, parents, friends, or followers but regardless of who has an opinion - I don't care and neither should you. This is your life and your choice. Stand behind it, do the research and form an educated stance on the matter, and DO NOT BACK DOWN. Share the story and who knows - maybe you'll encourage them to switch too.
10.) Find Community. - Sustainability Enthusiasts exist everywhere. You just have to find the right ones to connect with and bounce ideas around on. The more you know the more you will grow. End of story!
In summary, be bold enough to choose yourself and the future in which you desire to live in. This lifestyle isn't a hard one to have and it's a process so remain patient with yourself. Join a community of like-minded individuals, start making little switches today alone, and always feel free to reach out if you have questions!
My mission is to make an impact and be as encouraging as possible, after all I support you just as you do me!
Good Luck my little sustainable friend! Til next time,