#LOVEYOUMORE🌎: on lower impact living and a plastic-free February challenge
Some of you may know that I just got home from Tulum! It was a beautiful trip with adventures and new friends but the strongest and deepest take-away was an unexpected one.
Tulum has a palpable energy but I have to be honest in sharing that the first few days of my trip brought me a lot of sadness. I had to take a walk alone one night because tears came bubbling up. I let them come and just sat sobbing on the beach for a while, grateful to feel so very connected to our earth. It’s been awhile since I’ve cried so hard! I was crying because it was so obvious that our footprint on Tulums’ once preserved land had become unsustainable. Single use-plastic littering the jungle and beach: the very thing we were in Tulum to experience was being destroyed. I was surprised by the immediate and strong reaction but was comforted to learn that I wasn’t the only person feeling it so deeply. Many friends and strangers also brought up what was upsetting me and truly, it was impossible to ignore.
What was so real in that moment was how we, as a collective, are degrading our planet. As those tears were pouring out of my eyes I had the sense that I was crying with her and for her (Mother Nature, our earth). As sad as it made me, I also felt connection, forgiveness, love and acceptance in my heart — all of which has fuelled this post and my commitment to take low-impact living ON.
I have a tendency to take photos of the beautiful things (we all do) but I just as easily could have taken photos of the garbage, litter and plastic that were all over beaches, town and jungle. Or all the lifeless coral — overfished and destroyed by good intentions (SPF).
I was and still am challenged. I’m both part of the problem, aware and navigating what I can do to help fix it. There were such dualities in Tulum, we have one of the most ancient civilizations (the Mayans) whose energy and truth we still feel surging the land and at the same time, our footprints are larger than ever and are becoming harder to sustain. I’m sure that the strong Mayan energy there is what inspired the boutique eco-hotels and conscious-minded people to gather but it seems it’s reached a tipping point. And of course, I’m speaking about one location but we know it’s a systemic and global issue.
At the same time this week, the #10yearchallenge was going on and the convo flipped over to our environment which was awesome. It’s not wrong to reflect on the past 10 years, that’s a beautiful thing too! But we have a big invitation ahead of us. And that’s the invitation to take personal responsibility for our footprint and do all that is in our power, however big or small it may seem to start loving our only home, more.
I personally am taking a vow to a plastic-free February. I’m not sure if i’ll be perfect but I’m going into it with the intention to become more aware of the plastic that I buy/consume that I’m not aware of: think toilet paper, laundry detergent, dish soap…. I’m personally taking it on to find bulk store alternatives, get creative and seek new options. This mean avoiding all foods that come in plastic wrappers, bags and only shopping bulk. Luckily, I have a few friends who are taking the challenge on with me, so expect updates from us!
I’d love to hear more about the actions and steps you are taking daily to be more sustainable, of lower impact and if you feel inspired to me join me on a plastic-free February challenge, please do and help spread the message! It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being more aware, prepared and conscious consumers.
Here’s what I’m personally vowing to do more of:
- No plastic bags or straws, ever
- Things to carry in my bag at all times:
- Grocery shopping:
- buying at bulk food stores (Nature 4Life, Essence of Life, Nada Grocery in Vancouver, any other suggestions?)
- farmers markets
- always bringing shopping totes
- bringing reusable pouches for produce, grain and bulk
- avoiding packaged foods
- using plastic free bees wax food wrappers instead of Seran wrap
- reusing the Ziplocks that I have and not buying any more
- reusing all glass bottles/jars that come into the house – using these for food storage
- consciously using less toilet paper when i wipe (hey, every bit counts!)
- Continuing to inspire clients and whoever will listen with plant based eating for both health and the environment 🙂
- doing more clothing swaps!
- Continuing to buy vintage
- if I am buying something new finding sustainable fashion companies that share the same ethos in fabric sourcing
- Shopping local and less online
- I always raid my sisters closet before traveling instead of buying new things
- no more fast fashion
- being creative with what’s in my closet
- VSP is a great consignment store in Toronto
- Business: some of you know that I’m launching a line of medicinal mushroom products called Rainbo! Sustainable and conscious business practices have been at the forefront of every business decision I’ve made since we started:
- choosing a bamboo lid over plastic, encouraging buyers to reuse the beautiful glass bottles we’re creating
- offering a larger product portion size (rather than travel friendly sizes)
- offering bulk discounts to wholesalers (cafes and restaurants)
- how we grow our mushrooms (cultivated sustainably and locally instead of outsourcing to China or the USA which would have been WAY cheaper)
- labels are made from paper instead of any plastic resins or laminates
- paper-based shipping supplies – and have some exciting plans for shipping solutions for the future too
- Beach clean ups. I have some friends in Toronto who do this, so I’ll be joining them.
- Composting! I always use the organic green bin but a goal of mine is to have a backyard composter by the summer when my partner and I move into a home
- Riding my bike
- I switch from tampons to a menstrual cup 4 years ago and urge you to consider doing the same
I invite YOU (yes you reading this!) to take your own personal vows for the 10 year challenge, to try out a plastic free February with me and to share using the hashtag #loveyoumore🌎 so that we can all learn and be inspired by each other’s actions.
PS. to learn more about how Plastic is ruining our oceans and getting into our food chain, please watch this film on Netflix: A Plastic Ocean.