The Key to Living Sustainably

Sustainability is a new lifestyle I’m trying to achieve and there's many elements to it that I’m still learning and trying to perfect. A sustainable lifestyle looks differently for everyone and nobody’s routine is perfect. What I’ve learned in this process and what I think others who are just starting out need to hear: Your best is good enough. Financial situations, living situations, health and accessibility all play a role in sustainability, yet differ greatly from person to person. Before I get into easy ways to incorporate sustainability into your life, remember that you can only do what you’re able to do, the expectation that your routine will be perfectly sustainable is unrealistic.

A good place to start your new journey is by educating yourself on what sustainability is and isn’t. Having knowledge on where your food, clothes, decor, etc. come from is important to starting off this new lifestyle. This step can be overwhelming so take it slow! Start examining your day to day routine and look for times where you could buy something second hand, borrow from a friend, make it yourself or use something you already have. Making sure you use the products you have or wearing the clothing that are already in your closet before buying more is an easy way to start your sustainable journey! Other ways to incorporate sustainability into your daily routine could be:

  • Carrying a reusable cup, straw, utensil set, and bag with you to cut your use of single use plastics.
  • Purchasing shampoo, bodywash, conditioner and hand soap bars once your bottled products are finished.
  • Reusing jars, cans, tins, mailing packages and boxes is a really easy way to reduce your waste/carbon footprint.
  • Making sure what you can’t reuse is being disposed of properly!
  • Investing in slow fashion brands, second hand clothing or sustainably made clothing. (I understand that oftentimes fast fashion brands are more affordable and not everyone can afford sustainable brands as they tend to run a little higher in price point but being a conscious consumer and buying second hand when able is still a valid form of sustainability.)
  • When visiting a coffee shop to meet with friends or do homework, try asking for a mug or glass for your coffee instead of a plastic cup (covid-19 regulations may affect this depending on your coffee shop!)
  • If you’ve forgotten your reusable bag, swapping plastic for paper bags still counts as sustainability as well.

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Here's a couple easy and affordable ways anyone can incorporate sustainability into their life. Remember that no one's routine is perfect no matter what you hear or what you see on social media. Slip ups are normal and your best is good enough. As long as what you're doing feels good to you then most times that's good enough.