I Want To Be More Sustainable; Where To Start?

As I've seen many people making the New Year's resolution to be more sustainable one way or another - stopping buying fast fashion, going vegan, going cruelty-free etc., it came into my mind that possibly some of you are also considering doing that but maybe don't know where to start. That was the struggle for me as well, and maybe there are some days when it's that for me still, but after gathering at least a bit of knowledge about sustainability in everyday life, I wanted to share my tips on how to get started. I hope these are helpful to at least one person out there, because in that case the post has fulfilled its purpose.


My first tip is to pick one thing to focus on to avoid being overwhelmed. Sure there are those amazing humans who can change their life just like that - but that's not me. I need my time to research things, think them through, see a documentary or seven and then try to start adjusting things to my lifestyle. Like I have mentioned, I went cruelty-free with my cosmetics some time ago, and that was my first step towards sustainability. Now, yes, I know being cruelty-free isn't necessarily equal to being any sustainable at all, but I think not supporting unnecessary torture of animals for vanity is actually good for the planet. It puts you off from buying things you can't verify as cruelty-free ones, and if you make an effort to think about your purchases before buying, there's a bigger chance you won't buy them and buying less is more sustainable. But you can choose any topic you feel most passionate about, whether that's plant-based diet, full veganism, being cruelty-free, buying only ethically sourced products, buying environmentally friendly products, being zero waste… There are so many things you can start with. And yes, many of those overlap at least a little, I know.

love nails

After choosing the focus point, do your research but be critical about the sources. When you start a new lifestyle or start moving towards it, it's important to research it so you know how you want to do it. But when you research anything in web, library or wherever, remember to be critical about the sources you read things from. And also remember that every study out there can be read with an agenda. So whenever someone if referencing a study that proves anything, you should check out the study and see what the results actually are. For example, every meat industry company will always promote the benefits of eating meat, whereas vegan companies/people will focus on the benefits of not eating meat. It's up to you to actually choose which benefits are the most important to you. Also, when you for research clothing companies for their ethicality, none of them will admit for not being thorough on only choosing ethical suppliers and such - or, they may believe they're doing the best they can even if that's not the objective truth. This may sound very cynical (*insert the Amaranthe Song Drop Dead Cynical*), but I'm just trying to be real here. Of course, no one will promote the skeletons (even if unintentional ones) in their closet if they're trying to sell you something. Especially when there's money involved. Don't let this discourage you from researching though, it's important to be educated!

As part of education, I recommend watching documentaries for motivation. Seeing things in graphic form may make it easier to really get the hang of the subject. I remember watching True Cost after deciding to start ditching buying fast fashion (especially straight from the companies). Seeing the poor conditions and hearing about how inhumanely the workers are treated and so on, it has not been a challenge to not browse for example H&M website for the shiny new things. I'm better off with the cozy old ones. If I ever take the plunge to go vegan, I will watch the recommended documentaries like Earthlings and such for motivation. Someone might say I like scaring myself into doing things. That might be partly true. Currently, I'm planning on watching the Plastic Ocean one to encourage me to stop my plastic usage habits. One thing though, if you are very young or sensitive, remember that documentaries like these may be shocking because they're created to make an impact, so they won't sugar coat the upsetting things.

black kitty miro

When you start your journey focusing on your chosen point, don't get discouraged by mistakes, we all make them. If you go cruelty-free and accidentally buy a non-cruelty-free product out of habit or even due not finding a proper substitute yet, don't beat yourself up. We're human, no one is perfect and you can do better next time. The world won't end if you're not perfectly doing the lifestyle you choose, so rather than giving up on a mistake or few, just do what you can and be proud of it. All any of us can ever do is our best, and that's enough. The thought behind the actions count more than you think, and every concrete action helps the cause you focus on a little. When you're doing at least something, you're being the difference you want to see in the world.

And closely related to the previous paragraph, don't take web critics too hard, and also don't judge others too hard. For example, going vegan might not be that simple for one person than it is for another, which comes down to one's personality, parenting, education, cultural environment and so, so many aspects. For me, being plant-based and cruelty-free is a dream, but I'm not sure if I could ever be completely vegan mostly due medication I need daily and so on. It's easy to judge people online anonymously - I just had a lady shouting at me the other day on YouTube comments for not canceling Jeffree Star due his past mistakes and supporting his products (I bet you she wouldn't have done that to my face, although, I do understand where she was coming from). Online can be a scary place to be an activist of any kind, because there's always someone telling you that you're doing it wrong. I've gotten critique about buying things from brands whose parent companies are involved in animal testing, even though the brands themselves are cruelty-free. But I feel I'm still supporting the cruelty-free products and telling the big evil Company there's demand for the cruelty-free brands instead of the not-so-kind ones. And yes, I still get the point of how I'm giving money to the wrong parent company, which is a valid concern. But none of the shit I may have gotten because of my choices have made a difference to how I do my things, because someone random shouting about things half anonymously doesn't really do it for me. If it were someone I care about or someone giving me actual pointers about things that might be different. But simply shouting "you're a bad person because you're not like me" ain't it, chief.   

glitter tea

Lastly, my tip is to add more things to your list once you have one aspect nailed. Little by little it gets easier and easier to make choices and decisions that support your goal of being sustainable. And you know, even if one person can't save the world no matter how sustainable you are, one person can still inspire a countless amount of people to do the same and that's when change starts to happen. We're actually trying to do our part towards that by having a meatless March. I will talk about it more during and after March, but basically we're trying out a diet without red meat and chicken. We will eat dairy, eggs and fish, so I think meatless describes it quite well.

So, after reading this: Do you have a sustainability goal for this year? Let me know in the comments!

I've been prepping this post since January, but I still feel it could be way more perfect. The reason I'm not giving too detailed instructions is because I believe there's not one right way to start, but rather it's important to start somewhere. No good deed is too tiny for our planet, and once you start you will want to do a little more. At least that's how it is for me. Anyway, that's all for today's a bit more serious post, but next time I'll be back with something more light and bubbly. Like we usually have it here. Remember to follow me on Instagram for daily outfits and more, now that I'm properly back at it (you'll find me as @silvertigo). I'll see you in my next post!

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