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How to Live a Sustainable Life to find Happiness
When we ask about sustainability, are we asking the right questions? Do we ask ' how to live a sustainable life to find happiness '? Sustainability can be found in each of our habits that ultimately promote our quality of life. Sometimes as a culture, maybe we think that we have to be all in to be successful, but people don't completely live this way. People tend to veer the opposite direction and live by very unsustainable practices. If I have sustainable options available, does that mean I am a bad person for not using them 100% of the time? Supporting sustainable clothing companies like PrAna doesn't mean I am hypocritical for not having a full closet of recycled and organic options. Just like if I forget my refillable water bottle, it isn't bad to buy a plastic one once in a while. These habits are a one-step-at-a-time kind of deal, not an all or nothing excuse and judgement parade. What is important is that you are consciously asking questions and making some effort.
The point here in sustainability is that our planet is much bigger than we are as individuals and as communities. Yet we still make more waste than we choose to recycle or reuse products. The top three ways we produce the most waste are in the form of paper goods, plastics and food. On average we only recycle about 25% of our produced waste (1.51 pounds per 4.40 pounds of waste a day). Looking at statistics the correct way is crucial to understanding what kind of progress we make in protecting and nourishing our planet. In 2013, we generated 254 million tons of trash and successfully recycled 87 million tons of that. While it is not perfect, or very close to it, 87 million tons is a lot of waste. It is a window into how to live a sustainable life for happiness. Now you are probably asking: how can we possibly relate recycling your newspaper and supporting sustainable clothing companies with happiness? (Stats found at EPA)
Pro-tips for How to Live a Sustainable Life to find happiness
I often view recycling and sustainable practices the way I view liver support. We need to make sure we clean out the system, in the way the body was built to do. Many detoxifying options can actually be very toxic because they are very jarring and temporary disruptions to your biochemistry and normal habits. We really should be detoxing all the time with simple lifestyle and dietary changes (i.e. brussels sprouts, reduced stress), just like with reusing and recycling. The root of successful sustainability is habit, not just choices. Read about my health history to learn about why I got interested in how to live a sustainable life.
There are many habits you can act on for sustainability: using almond meal after making almond milk, stainless steal straws, homemade all purpose cleaner... all these are examples from my life that did not just appear all at once or cost me extra to do so. I actually saved myself a great deal of money, time and effort this way. Perhaps some of the options appear costly (in money or effort) at first glance, but each new habit introduced can bring a host of benefits. One of which is that they are a constant reminder that we do not want to just exist with whatever pathogens, pollution and negative energy comes our way. Sustainability also means keeping health status consistent (sustainable) and reminding ourselves that we are making those efforts. It makes me feel so fulfilled and happier than ever to know that.
Each new choice that you turn into a habit will consistently remind you that you are amazing.
So, no, you don't need to fill your entire closet of organic cotton (although non organic cotton has more waste to it than you realize), or go thirsty because you don't want to buy a plastic water bottle. We do owe it to ourselves and our planet to start turning sustainable choices into habits. What I looked into this year was sustainable clothing. This Cali dress by PrAna not only has a built in sports bra (hello summer days) but it also feels like seriously high quality. Not to mention, it is made of completely recycled materials! How cool is that? Also, check out the most comfortable pants I ever put on. These are also recycled and feel like linen! They are so perfect for summer days and an adorable wedge or bootie.
Your goals in 2017 should include making sure you evaluate whether or not you are living your life sustainably. Are you happy? Can you say that you tried? Did you overstep your bounds by littering the earth and your body with stress, trash, or artificial ingredients? Not only does PrAna have some amazingly adorable clothes, but they reminded me of the happiness that comes with not giving in to conveniency, clutter and destructive habits. Sustainable options are better quality substitutions for everything that is made cheap, easy and disposable. Healthy habits remind us how a small upfront cost will lead us to live a sustainably happy life, an invaluable kind of life. We can see that in high quality sustainable clothing brands like PrAna.