My sustainability journey

two small plants

I grew up just about five minutes from a beautiful nature reserve in a region that is called Sweden’s garden. It’s on the country side with horses, cows, sheep, deer and whatever type of animal you can imagine and still I never really thought of the beauty of it. Not until when I became older and moved away did I miss having this around the corner. Nature was always a given for me. It was all around me and the thought of it maybe being ruined didn’t exist. Today I know better, I know about our impact on the environment and the planet. I know I cannot take it for granted anymore.

Where I’m at

Food

Since a few years back I avoid red meat and poultry. I haven’t really put a label on my eating since I don’t really believe in labelling, but I eat mostly vegan, with some eggs, cheese and fish every once in a while. If I feel like meat or I don’t have an option (which is very rare) I’ll eat it, but I try to not since I don’t like it to much or believe it is healthy. I don’t think I could go full vegan, mostly because I think I would feel deprived and that is no good motivator. I eat 80-90 percent vegan at home, but at work and when eating out I usually eat fish and dairy since it’s more convenient. Also I am from a costal city and my family comes from an island so fish was something I grew up with and enjoy too much to give up. It is also a lot healthier than meat and I believe it can be part of a balance diet. The same goes for cheese. I don’t eat it too often, but since I lived in France as a teenager I have just had a great love for it and don’t feel like giving it up. I believe in minimizing that which is not sustainable and eating more greens, but banning is not for me. If I feel like having fish every once in a while, that is fine. I have chosen to eliminate the stuff that I don’t miss and feel good without, like milk and meat. The rest I eat when I feel like, but try to keep to lower amounts.

Beauty

When it comes to beauty I am very content with where I am at right now. After about 3 years of cleaning up my beauty routine I now use about 90-95% natural products, most of them are also organic. I buy most of my make up and skin products online since I have had a hard time finding it in-store. It makes it slightly difficult sometimes with shades and colors, but I have always felt that the online stores are very accommodating and happily send testers. When I have been travelling I have had better luck finding green beauty stores, I feel like it’s on the rise, but still mostly situated in the big cities. I feel like I could minimize my beauty routine, because I do have quite some products, I have a lot of skin care products, while my make up bag is quite slim. I usually tend to use only BB-cream, concealer, some translucent powder and some brow pen.

Clothing

Moving on to my closet, which has been long time coming. Growing up I was somewhat of a shopaholic. I enjoyed fashion and could show up in 4 inch stiletto boots to school. Since then my style has moved more towards a simpler Scandinavian style with touches of French. The closet step of my sustainability journey has been long time coming. I always had a hard time getting rid of stuff because I related too much to items, but I came to a point where I just felt overwhelmed by the abundance of things, of clothing and shoes and I needed to let go of it. I have sold maybe 1/3 of what I owned over the last year, and donated some to. I still have a love of things and I am nowhere close to being called a minimalist, but I am going in that direction. I have also started to show more attention to fabrics and quality of the things I buy. I am just not interested in walking around in plastic (like polyester or acrylic), it is sweaty and tends to always get static and stick to my body. I now prefer to buy natural fibers, better fits and stay away from that which I do not love when trying it on. I am planning to continue the closet makeover with slowly adding in more sustainable materials, classic cuts and timeless designs that suit me. Slowly with time I think that my wardrobe will shrink, but I am not rushing it.

Where I’m going

Less waste

So what’s left? Except improving my closet and eating? Well, the first would be zero waste. Not that I believe I will ever be completely zero waste, but at least low waste, striving to keep it to a minimal. Right now I don’t feel I have the time, money or space to do it. Sure, I bring a bag to the store and I have my produce bags, but I live with three roommates in a tiny apartment, I have one tiny pantry and a shelf in the fridge. To keep a low waste lifestyle under these conditions would be hard and I don’t have the time or energy for that right now, it would be too inconvenient for me. But the things I feel okay with, like using bees wax wrappers instead of plastic and only using glass container, that has to be enough for now. When I have more flexibility in life this can become a priority.

Travels

The same goes with travelling. I have travelled a lot the last few years (spent about 8 months abroad in the last year) and travelling is something I love and I am not ready to give up one bit. I think the world would be a better place if more people came out to experience different cultures and people, but then there is the issue of flying. I fly a few times a year usually, mostly because it was long haul or there was no time to take a 30 hour train back and forth. However, when travelling within the same country or region I have used bus and train to get around. Last year I travelled around Spain by bus and train. This year I saw a big part of Italy by bus as well as going by bus from Italy to Denmark, via Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and Germany. I also bring my own water bottle, I stay at hostels where I can use a kitchen to cook my own food and avoid takeaway disposables and I usually walk everywhere when I visit new places and avoid any kind of transportation. I try my best I guess, but I will be working towards becoming even more sustainable when travelling in the future.

So that’s it, that’s where I’m at and where I’m going. I’m not awful, but I’m not good either, far from. But I am trying and doing and that’s what’s going to make a difference in the long run, right?

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