introduction: a sustainable lifestyle

young vermont woman in her living room with a white rug holding sustainable canvas bags

Living in Vermont, I think a lot of us tend to naturally lead more sustainable and healthy lifestyles. If it was possible, it’d be in our blood. I remember farmers markets when I was young and lessons on how to reduce our family’s waste. We didn’t do everything perfectly of course, and I think it’s something that happens over generations anyways.

But…we don’t have time for that anymore. This sustainability movement has to keep moving forward, and not just with my generation. This falls on all humans existing presently. It makes me numbingly sad to thing about the destruction that’s already happening and will just continue to get worse.

If only the media paid enough attention to it – can you imagine? If the climate crisis got as much news coverage as the world’s politicians! Or the gossip and juicy details surrounding celebrities. Headlines daily. Hour by hour coverage.

It would probably start a global sustainability revolution.

For awhile it felt too big of a problem for me, little Kate, to solve. It’s overwhelming! But like Anne Marie Bonneau, a zero waste chef once said, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

I remember a long time ago I watched this video of a woman who reduced her personal waste over the span of a month to fit into a single mason jar.

That blew my mind.

It’s wonderful and admirable and inspiring but it’s also not really within reach for most of us. That would take a major shift in our lifestyles that our upbringings did not prepare us for. We grew up in a fast fashion, plastic everything, convenience-rules-all world and it will take our independent choices as adults to start making a difference. There is a major shift that needs to happen, but it will need to start with small, manageable steps with longevity as the end goal.

Lately, a switch has flipped in my mind. I’ve started to view everything in my life through a sustainability lens. It’s no longer an option. The cheap clothes and furniture I buy to get by. The fake plants I use to decorate my home – they add an air of tranquility but it’s false. They’re plastic and will end up in a landfill. The paper towels I grab through muscle memory to wipe up a small spill on the counter. Buying things in small quantities under the false assumption that I’m saving money. 

It all adds up.

And that’s just me. One person!

So recently I’ve started going down all these rabbit holes of how I can make our lives more sustainable and how I can get the word out there that it’s more achievable and cost-effective than people think.

Start by taking a moment and walk yourself through your normal routines:

| You’re at the grocery store –

– How many of those produce bags are you using?

– What kinds of packaging are you buying products in?

– What kinds of companies are you supporting?

– Did you bring your own grocery bags?

– Could you buy in bulk?

– Could you bring your own containers to fill up on wholesale products?

| You’re at home –

– What are you brushing your teeth with? (and how often are you replacing it with a new one?)

– What are you cleaning messes with? 

– What are you storing food in?

– How much plastic is in your fridge or pantry?

– What are you washing your dishes with?

– What kinds of things are you decorating your home with?

– What kind of soap are you using?

– What are you throwing into the dryer with your clothes?

| You’re out & about –

– What kinds of poo bags do you carry with your dog?

– What are you getting your coffee in?

– Do you need that straw?

red and green bell peppers hanging in a sustainable and reusable grocery produce bag

All together, these questions are overwhelming. So let them act as a starting place to think about which areas are achievable for you right now. Which ones are manageable? Which ones excite you? Go through them one by one. After you squash one, move on to the next.

For me, I started in the home. It’s where I spend the most time and where the most questions arose. I bought us new biodegradable, bamboo toothbrushes, switched our soap, have been experimenting with alternative sponges, and plan on transitioning into more sustainable food storage once the containers I have start falling apart.

We have ONE planet. And if this world-wide quarantine teaches us one thing, I hope it brings to light (in a massive way) how influential humans are in saving or destroying it. When it comes down to it, it’s a concern of want vs. need. And that’s a difficult habit to break. 

The earth is so giving. She gives us a home and beauty and air to breathe. We can’t keep up this rate of taking. 

It’s a choice. Your convenience or your future?

This will be a new series of mine! I will not be perfect by any means, but I’ll share what works for me and bust the myth that an eco-friendly lifestyle is expensive. Quite the opposite. Hope you join along xx

oh hey beautiful. thanks for reading my blog post! how was it? to get in contact find me on IG: katerosehayes or shoot me a message katerosehayes@gmail.com. I’d love to be in touch!

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