Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Miss Organics. And to help spread the message of living a more eco conscious life, I interviewed Marine — the founder of sustainable platform and community Attitude Organic. Her mission is to support anyone on the journey of sustainability ('all' of us?!) by raising awareness around greenwashing and equipping you with real knowledge, derived from facts as well as her personal experience. Read on to find Marine's top tips!
'How can I be more sustainable?'
It is easy to find answers to that question all over the internet. Simply google 'how to become eco-friendly?' and you will find a bunch of blogs and eco marketplaces sharing the same tips and selling the same products from the same brands at the same prices.
Please do not get me wrong, I love those articles and I am a big fan of sustainable marketplaces. The truth is: I have owned one and I have written those blog posts.
However, what they do not tell you is that being sustainable is a challenge, it is a journey and you never really become completely sustainable: there is not such an achievement. Let me explain.
I see sustainability as a lifetime journey. I invite you to question yourself and review your everyday habits. Though it can be difficult, it is so incredibly rewarding that you will not look back.
Are you ready to accept the challenge? Do you dream of being more sustainable and happier than ever? Let me share with you real tips to get there.
1. Stop buying
It is very tempting to buy all the eco-friendly products you will see out there but, hear me out, you do not need a green alternative for all the products you own. Just use what you already have, it is much more sustainable than buying new.
For instance, there is no need to throw away all your old fast fashion pieces to buy from ethical brands or even second-hand stores. Wear that cheap high street dress you bought 2 years ago with pride. Make it last and repair it when needed. There is nothing wrong with that. Just make sure you do not buy from that store again in the future.
2. Be organised
Even though I just said that you should stop buying, I still recommend that you make an inventory of what you have and what you might be missing, in order to reduce your waste. You will need at least: cutlery that you can carry around, a water bottle, a coffee cup if you are a coffee lover like me, a glass box or a jar to carry food along, and a reusable tissue. If you are missing any of these, of course it is ok to buy them new as you will be using them over a long period of time.
But please make sure that you bring them along, at all times! There is no point in having a refillable water bottle if you leave it at home every day. Being sustainable requires some organisation. You should anticipate what you are going to do during the day, what you are going to need and make sure you take it with you. Consider carrying a larger bag so you can bring all your items.
3. Change your mindset
That is the tricky one. We live in a society in which we often define ourselves according to what we own and our status. That is unfortunate and even though I often think that personally I have gotten over it, I catch myself thinking about it regularly. It is so deeply rooted in us and in our subconscious that we cannot help it without intentional effort. So, I suggest that you actively work on your mindset to change this thinking pattern.
Next time you think that you have to make a purchase, question yourself about your intentions: why do you do it? Do you have to do it? Who do you do it for?
If the questioning reveals that your motive is somehow related to your ego’s satisfaction, it is worth challenging yourself by looking for new ways to feel confident.
4. Don’t be fooled by Instagram
What you see on sustainable influencers’ profiles is not reality. They are paid by brands to make eco-friendly and ethical living look good so that people want to buy their products. I do not criticise this at all: I understand why we need it and I have also done it because it raises awareness. We as human beings naturally love things that look pretty and are inspired by images of a dream life in a dream house filled with gorgeous zero waste pantries and assorted jars.
But the truth is, we can have our dream house and sustainable pantry full of jars but we don’t have to buy them new — just reuse the jars you get when you buy tomato sauce, olives, and pickles. They will do the same job and that will be much more eco-friendly than buying new items.
Besides, influencers do not share your lifestyle. They do not live like you, like what you like, live where you live, and they are certainly not you. So there is no point in trying to copy them because what works for them will not necessarily work for you.
5. Reduce meat and dairy
This is a sensitive topic for some of us; I know it, but I would like to stress it. You can buy as many reusable cotton pads as you want, but if you do not reduce your meat and dairy consumption, you are only dealing with the tip of the iceberg. If you want to reduce your environmental impact, you should consider an organic whole food plant-based diet.
My point is not at all to make anyone feel guilty, I know it can be hard to transition: it requires a mindset shift, but I must state it. If you need some support, there are loads of resources out there, sharing inspiration, motivation, recipes and tips for free. Here is one of my favourites: https://uk.veganuary.com. Please also browse the vegan section of Attitude Organic.
I hope this article was eye opening and helpful. My last advice is to take it one step at a time, be patient and kind to yourself. You will be changing many habits which will take time and effort. Do not forget that you are trying your best. You have already started, and I am so proud of you.
If you enjoyed this blog post and if you want to challenge yourself further, I would love to help! You do not have to do this alone, you do not have to spend hours doing the research, you do not have to feel guilty about your own impact. I have got your back, I have been there, I have learned from it and I am willing to share all I know with you and guide you through. I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter here to keep learning and improving yourself.
This article is part of the Inspire Series — designed to introduce you to health and wellness warriors who provide practical tips to improving your overall wellbeing. If you enjoyed reading this article, sign up below to hear from me next time or shop my organic skincare products.
Anna, a.k.a. Miss Organics