The joys of slow living and sustainability

Waking up in the morning to a soft pink sunrise and the weight of the dog on your feet. Knowing that you’re within yourself; reminding yourself that you are centred, grounded, and recite the mantra “peace begins with me” today will be a good day.

When I first started looking into slower, more sustainable living, I was inundated with content online that glorified a lifestyle with all wooden utensils, homemade sourdough, keeping chickens and growing your own food forest; and I fell in love. Who wouldn’t?

I began to idealise and aim for this zero-waste lifestyle, where I would buy nothing from new, and made everything I could from scratch. Suddenly, every item of clothing in my life needed to be 100% natural, and every beauty product had to be “organic” and “toxin-free”. I started to consume a vast amount of content that shames anyone who didn’t uphold these tenets to sustainability.

I failed to remember, of course, that I was still a teenager, with no money or savings, I had a year’s worth of student debt, and no plan. And still, I decided that the best course of action was to throw away the items I had that didn’t fit this ideal, in order to make room for all of my new “sustainable” items. 

I very quickly fell into the trap of feeling like I wasn’t doing a good enough job – I got rid of perfectly good deodorants, toothbrushes, and so many other items needlessly in the name of sustainability. I stopped buying new clothes, started replacing all my plastic-based products with “natural” and “organic” versions. But I never stopped to consider the impact of this fast-paced consumption.

This is a mistake so many people make when they first decide to live a greener lifestyle. It is so easy to get swept up in the hubbub of influencers on social media who are driven by affiliate links and sponsorships, that you can forget why you wanted to make this change in the first place.

So, what is your goal? To be the perfect paragon of the pillars of sustainability? I doubt it. For most of us, it boils down to be more aware and purposeful with our consumption. You don’t need to be changing all aspects of your life to make a difference. Influencers are just that – influencers. It is their job to sell you items you don’t necessarily need, and they have the time within the day to make their bread from scratch and to grow all their own onions. For the average person, this isn’t realistic, both monetarily and time-wise.

That’s one reason we can start to feel inadequate; when we are told we still aren’t making changes happen. It makes it increasingly easy to just give up, and become nihilistic. To combat this, you need to be reminding yourself of WHY you want to be more sustainable. And in that, is the first step. Ask yourself:

What does sustainability mean for me?


In the now three years since I began my journey to a more conscious lifestyle, I have been through so many ups and downs and twists and turns, and have been influenced by the influencers just as much as the next person. It left me feeling guilty and ashamed, and I ended up losing sight of why I started in the first place. 


For me, it isn’t about changing the world. Only my own. And through my lifestyle shift, I saw changes in those around me too. 

And I think that’s what sustainability is about, for me. Small changes. We all have to start somewhere. 

Living sustainably starts with living intentionally.

Now, when I buy new items – which I do – I make sure that I pick items from reputable companies; I check for the Leaping Bunny (or similar) and keep an eye out for greenwashing terms. But I also don’t beat myself up for buying things that might not fit into the “sustainable mindset” – as long as I know that what I’m buying will be used to its full potential, even repaired where possible, instead of being used a handful of times and ending up in the bin.

There are some products that I consciously choose, as they are more sustainable; which I will be writing about soon, so keep an eye out! 😉