I think on some level, I’ve always strived to be intentional and enjoy life as much as I can. Doesn’t everybody? We all want to live a life we enjoy where we have more time for our families and friends, our passions and ideal lifestyles. This is what living simply means to me anyway and it goes hand in hand with sustainability: going back to basics and being mindful about the things we buy, use and throw away. Understanding the effect our lifestyles have upon our health and that of the planet is part of my journey into simple and sustainable living.
Being unhappy in my job was a real motivator for me to do something about my life as a whole. It didn’t matter how much money I earned or the experience I was gaining. Ultimately I was driving a total of 2 hours per day, mostly in traffic, to a stressful environment. I ate rubbish food, didn’t exercise as much as I wanted and was tired all the time. So, I started to change a few things at a time.
So what changed?
The first thing I did was look at my health. At the time, getting a new job was not on the cards. I work as a contractor and I needed to see the job through to the end. Instead, I started to get back into the gym with the help of a personal trainer. I also started to overhaul my diet and stopped buying convenience food, takeaway coffees (mostly) and snacks. I started to prepare my meals for the week which saved me time as well as money. It also meant that I was creating less waste. I still drink coffee but less often and I mostly skip the milk-laden lattes in favour of an americano with a splash of milk. Also, with the help of a reusable cup I am happy to report that, barring a few slip-ups (easily done), I have not used take away cups for nearly 6 months now!
At home, I have always been interested in making things easier for myself. I love a cleaning book and I found some of my best cleaning hack ideas from blogs and pinterest posts too. One of my favourite authors, Toni Hammersley of A Bowlful of Lemons, gave me the inspiration to try out some homemade cleaners a little over a year ago. I began experimenting with different natural ingredients and researching where I could buy what I needed. I also found my local health food store.
But is it sustainable?
Making some tiny changes led me to see what else was out there. I started shopping at my local market for fresh produce and began to introduce more plant-based meals into my diet. I also started to become interested in what I was throwing away. It all started to snowball and got a little overwhelming. All of the information available was a little too much and I didn’t really know what was right, what was wrong. Then I felt guilt for not doing enough.
Eventually, my routines went out the window. How can one person keep up with it all? Can I really make that much of a difference?
The problem was I didn’t really have an idea of where I was going with this. After I accomplished my initial fitness goals, I moved on to doing everything else all at once and I lost my way. So, I stripped it all back. I decided to pick a few areas to focus on and make them simple, seasonal and sustainable. These areas are fairly wide in their scope but I do not intend to be able to do all of it all at once. Each area can be broken down further to smaller chunks to concentrate on.
My focus Areas
- The home: natural cleaning, organising and decluttering (or at least being more conscious of what I bring into the home and how I dispose of things I don’t want).
- Wellbeing: Fitness. Natural and sustainable remedies. Mindfulness and mental health.
- Zero waste: Recycling and bins. Packaging and plastic-free.
- Lifestyle: Seasonal and more plant-based food. Sustainable beauty products and clothing.
I decided to create this blog as a resource for myself as I continue on my journey. I hope to inspire others to join me by sharing the things I learn along the way. If you’re here, I hope you stick around.