Sustainable is Attainable

March 06, 2020

What is a Sustainable Lifestyle?

Before I start, let me first define what a sustainable lifestyle is. As per my own understanding, a sustainable lifestyle is a way of life that has minimal to zero negative impact to the environment. It is being able to decide or choose doing your daily activities in ways that produces little to no carbon dioxide that would hurt the environment in one way or another. It is also trying to avoid the use of single-use plastic that is one of the most common waste products that we, as humans throw out on a daily basis, which causes ocean pollution among other things.

What Inspired me to Live Sustainably

I started trying to make a sustainable lifestyle work when I started my Yoga teacher training classes. In the discipline and teaching of Yoga, I've come to realize how much damage that we have already inflicted to the environment and that it has to changed. Many popular culture icons have also inspired me to take on this difficult, yet fulfilling lifestyle. One of those are the movies of Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli that are mostly about protecting the environment. One particular movie that really made me sure of my goal in trying to achieve a zero-waste lifestyle is Nausicaa of the Wind Valley, which is set in a post-apocalyptic earth where oxygen is scarce and people live in a toxic wasteland.

Aside from Studio Ghibli films, Greta Thunberg has also ignited my passion for living sustainably. The little girl, who took the world by storm on her declarations about climate change, sets the perfect example on how to really live a life with a purpose for the environment. We've seen the news on how she called out governments and corporations on how they failed humanity by prioritizing money over our ever-growing problem on climate change.

Environmental activists really inspire me through their passion in helping the environment even to the point of putting themselves at risk of being in danger. Another great example of a pop culture icon who inspires me in going on with this kind of lifestyle is Shailene Woodley. She is open about her stance in certain issues that impact cultural minorities and most especially the environment. As an activist, she openly joins demonstrations and rallies to fight for the right of the marginalized and the environment. Just recently, she became an ocean ambassadress for Greenpeace International where she embarked on a 3-week journey to study the impact of plastics and microplastics to marine life. Local Filipino artist Nadine also recently became an ambassadress of Greenpeace in the Philippines.

Sustainable Lifestyle at Home

For more than a year now, I have been trying my best to practice a sustainable lifestyle. When it comes to deciding what to use, buy or eat, I think about it carefully and try to really align to the values of sustainability.

Just recently, we switched to using bamboo toothbrushes since it is already easily available in the market. As observed, it really does last longer than plastic toothbrushes as long as you take care of it properly. After each use, we put our bamboo toothbrushes in a box container with silica gel to absorb the moisture and avoid moss and fungi growth or accumulation of bacteria.

We have also fully switched to plastic-free shampoo by purchasing only shampoo bars and eliminated hair conditioner as well. Instead of a conditioner, we use VCO as it is refillable and cheaper than the usual hair conditioner. Our facial wash are also refillable and are made with environment-friendly ingredients. Same as our toothpaste, that's environment-friendly as well.

I'm really thankful that our town has an ordinance where plastic bags are no longer allowed when you buy from stores and the public market. We also carry our own eco-bag or net bag when buying produce from what we call the "laray" or local fruit and vegetable stands.

Sustainable Lifestyle at Work

I really wanna commute to work but our local transportation still needs a lot of improvement so, as much as possible, we carpool when going out and most of the time, I use a scooter that's fuel efficient and eco-friendly. Using a bicycle is not an option since I live 15 kilometers away from work so I stick with a motor-powered transportation that's less impactful to the environment.

To save electricity, we have also stopped using our flat iron for more than 2 years now. I go to work wearing clothes that aren't ironed and a few creases on the fabric isn't really an issue. Maybe it also helps that the material on our clothes are the ones that doesn't wrinkle easily.

During lunch time, I bring reusable cutlery and a tumbler that I keep at my office drawer. This practice isn't only environment-friendly but pocket-friendly as well since you'd have to pay every time you use disposable utensils and water bottles or cups. When accumulated, it is quite a hefty amount.

I try my best to bring food with me from home if I have time but if I order out, I try my best to avoid meat and junk food. When you compare how veggies and meat are being produced and prepared before it reaches your table, veggies would definitely be a more environment-friendly option.

Small Things Make Great Changes

Even if its somewhat difficult, I'd rather not add up to the pollution that the world is already drenched in now. Microplastics are not only destroying marine life but it is also destroying our health as well. It's very alarming how there are more cases of cancer on the rise on this day and age compared to the past because of pollutants that are most often man-made.

Some people would find it funny or uncool to be taking part in environment-saving but eventually, they would feel the need for it once they get affected. So, before I even get sick or contribute to the cause a potentially harmful natural disaster, I'll start within myself and inspire others to do the same. They may be small things but when combined to a number, it would surely spur change on a larger scale.

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