Winter is here – a time to ease into rest, contemplation and reflection.
I’ve made a lot of changes in my life this year. I’ve moved town, (sort-of) changed jobs and have continued my deep dive into spiritual & personal development.
At the core of this my philosophy has always remained: tread lightly on the Earth, treat Her with respect, and work towards leaving this planet in a better place than you found it.
My commitment to sustainability has continued to be at the centre of my the decisions I take in my daily life.
I’ve also managed to unlock the potential of eating a mostly organic, mostly local, whole food diet that is 95% plant based, with occasional inputs of eggs from an ethical source and raw honey.
I buy almost all of my food from Bride’s Yard, a local organic cooperative here in Glastonbury, the sunny Isle of Avalon in SW England. It’s one of my favourite places in town! As well as amazingly priced, great quality organic fruit and veg from local farms, they also stock a wide range of dried goods, spices and herbs that you can buy in bulk. It works on an honesty system, where you weigh what you need yourself. It’s utterly fantastic and I wish that every town in the world had a Bride’s!
I’ve embraced the principle of bioindividuality. Eating a 100% vegan diet wasn’t working for my system, anymore. My body has adapted and changed and after 4 years of eating vegan full-time, and still craving small inputs of animal protein, I finally decided to listen to my body and change the way I was eating.
Having said that, I’m still keeping this blog as a 100% vegan space, and I still believe that done right, the vegan diet is an exceptionally healthy one.
Zero Waste Life Update
When I first decided to go “zero waste”, the term was starting to become increasingly unpopular, in favour of other terms like “low impact” and “low waste”. I still think that zero waste is something we should strive towards, although, clearly it is an unattainable goal for the vast majority of us. I still like the term and I still continue to use it.
I am not perfect. I still buy plastic. I still have plastic in my home. What has shifted in me is a consciousness around plastic and reducing it, wherever I can. That means avoiding buying single use plastics (but also being kind to yourself, because some foods, like tofu, are just impossible to buy without plastic!), and replacing plastic items, when they reach the end of their lives, with more sustainable alternatives.
I haven’t bought many new items this year. Among my favourite new items was this stainless steel lunch box from Slice of Green. It’s the perfect size for lunch, and I use it almost every day. Plus, it’s 100% recyclable at the end of its life – although I expect it will last for years.
Things I’ve learnt this year about living sustainably:
It’s far more effective to teach by example, than by preaching at anybody. Just live your life, as sustainably as possible, and people will start to notice, and may even make changes themselves – you don’t have to do anything, teach anything or preach to anyone!
Minimalism and zero waste go hand in hand. The less you buy, the less packaging waste you produce (obvious really). In order to buy less, buy fewer items, and buy good quality ones.
Be kind to yourself – it’s the only way for this lifestyle to be sustainable. Feel like a bag of crisps, even though they come in non-recyclable packaging? Do it! We are all trying our best in this crazy world, and we all need to treat ourselves from time to time. A draconian approach to zero waste requires incredible will power. It’s far more sustainable to be kind, to ourselves and others, when reducing your waste. Every little helps!
There isn’t always a zero waste solution that will work right now, for you. Unfortunately, there are some things that don’t have a solution yet. Like toothpaste – I haven’t found a zero waste toothpaste brand, with fluoride, that I like! It’s a work in progress, and what works for one person, might not work for everyone.