Every day is #EarthDay.
Why is #EarthDay every day? Swipe till the end to find out 🌿
I know that I have a whole lot of different interests, but anyone who knows me knows that sustainability is one of my top values.
Since at least Grade 7 (oh wow 10 years now! almost half my life WHOA), I have been actively involved in promoting environmental sustainability and an eco-conscious mindset - whether that be individually, within my peers, or as a community.
Being actively involved in my middle school and high school's Eco-Teams, a member or leader of many different sustainability groups on the UofG campus, being part of dozens of sustainability initiatives on and off campus - I've learned so much along the way (which I want to share!!).
Honestly though, sustainability means so much more to me than simply the actions - more than just reducing waste, water, energy, resource consumption; more than reusing and repurposing what I already own; more than living my combination of a plant-based, zero-waste, and minimalistic lifestyle. It has become a part of my self-expression, part of who I am, part of just my daily life. It has transformed into a purpose to inspire and encourage sustainability as a personal value to everyone I meet.
Because really, sustainability shouldn't even be a question. It comes down to simply just taking responsibility for our existence on this planet.
And hey - if you're just a #sustainabilityrookie, that's okay! I understand that everyone's on their own journey to learn about the world. I am not here to make anybody feel ashamed, irresponsible, or guilty. That is not the point! :))
what I want to do - is ⭐ encourage and empower ⭐
If I can even put a smidge of thought, a slight reconsideration of action, a speckle of reflection - to think about whether you can do something differently - to me, that is a big deal. Why? Because it's the small things, the daily habits and routines, that allow for consistent reflection and tangible behaviour change. From my experience, being conscious of the little things can create just as big a ripple effect as participating in a larger-scale action.
Starting to use scrap paper at work can prompt the same at home, which can then lead to more mindfulness in all your future paper-usages (which, is a lot!)
Using your reusable mug once to buy coffee can make you rethink every disposable cup you’d use afterwards.
Learning to use one vegetable more resourcefully can lead to using another, and another, and another - until finally, food waste is a consideration at every meal.
Consciously reducing a source of plastic while grocery-shopping (i.e. produce bags) can lead to being more plastic-conscious in your kitchen, and then the washroom, the laundry, and finally - your entire home 😌
It’s not going to change the world overnight, but it will change your world little by little :)
For me, three ways that I try to live a sustainable lifestyle are by:
🌿 eating plant-based / vegan
This is because animal agriculture has such an unimaginably big impact on the environment (and not in the positive way) that it just cannot be ignored. Reducing animal products in your diet is honestly one of the biggest ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint! There is so much research and evidence that shows the damage that animal agriculture has on the planet - even one meatless meal a week makes a difference! 💪
The documentaries Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (which, yes, is on Netflix!!) and Earthlings (more on the ethicality of eating animals), as well as connecting with my vegetarian-turning-vegan roomate at the time and other campus peers really made me reconsider my diet, and I went on a two-year-long journey from flexitarian to vegan :)
There is also so much support online! For example, there is a New Vegan Support facebook group (amongst maany other groups), open for even the slightest veggie-curious person :)
There are also soooo many amazing recipes out there - one incredimazing channel (my absolute faaavourite Youtuber, no lie) is Pick Up Limes :') I'll definitely be talking about her more in my future posts! Another amazing vegan chef is Avant-Garde Vegan. You can also follow So Vegan (they have "Tasty"-like vegan recipes) on their social medias!
💚 aiming to be zero-waste
The amount of unnecessary waste that humans produce is mind-boggling. If we just sit down to think for a second, at all of the waste we produce...I can't even begin to justify it. And the thing is - so much of it is avoidable waste!! It only literally takes a second of being mindful, to remember a water bottle, a reusable bag, a spoon or a fork to put in your bag. "Convenience" really just doesn't justify the harm that it causes. So, zero-waste to me means that I try my best to not send anything to the landfill - visibly or invisibly. I'll expand on that in a later post, I promise :)
To start - you can visit my interview that I did for the Ontarion's sustainability issue, where I talk about how I started my zero-waste journey, some tips and challenges, and resources!
One amazing resource for learning about a zero-waste lifestyle is theee amazing Lauren Singer's Trash Is For Tossers blog/website - she was my first and biggest inspiration! 💚
There are also many facebook groups (like this Journey To Zero-Waste one) that are also great supports and inspirations!
😌 practicing minimalism
Let me just start by saying that minimalism looks different to everybody. But at its core lies the intentionality of what you possess. For me, it means to make do with what I own, to be conscious of what I buy, and to find meaning in non-physical things in life :)
The book that really kindled this value within me was Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up". She also has a Netflix series called Tidying Up (I haven't watched it though), which you can check out too~ ((If you don't have the time to read the full book, there are many websites that provide a summary of her method! For example here, here, or here!))
Another documentary that pushed me towards living intentionally even more is "Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things". It is so inspiring! :')
Another author/blogger/speaker to check out is Joshua Becker! I haven't read his books yet, but he is a well-known leader in the movement.
And to continue with the online support groups - I just found this Minimalism That Sparks Joy group on facebook, if any of you are interested ^ ^
I am definitely not perfect in living any of these three lifestyles, and also still have so much to learn and grow with them. But they are present enough in my life that I identify with them ✨I will be making posts on what all of those mean to me (because really - they mean different things to everyone !) and expand on my stories, challenges, tips, resources, misconceptions, and insights I've gathered from living these lifestyles! Stay tuned ♥
Honestly, I could go on forever about sustainability :’P If you’d like to learn more about my #sustainabilityjourney - what I’m up to, my values, tips, resources, interviews, and more - visit my sustainability page! 🌟
I truly believe that living sustainably is important,
easy, and fulfilling. 🌿 So...let’s do it 😊
And remember, my friends...
If any of you ever have any questions about living more sustainably, or anything that I have said above - reach out to me!!! 😊 I love chatting about sustainability and would love to connect 💚
Until next time my friends!
All the best and stay safe during these challenging times,
~ Wildheart 🐾