If you think it ain’t easy being green, think again! Today, we’re more informed than ever. We’ve learned that climate change is in fact, a very real thing and that ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ isn’t just a cute saying, it’s a way of life. Super heroes aren’t the only ones that can change the world – we can too!
Being green or living sustainably has had its fair share of negative connotations. For a long time, it was seen as a trend only consumed by hippies or those made of money, and for a long time, information and sustainable products were scarce.
Many, like myself, looked past the eco-friendly lifestyle and brushed off environmental threats but as more studies and advocates (hello, Leo!) arise, more and more individuals are taking the green lifestyle to heart. With new technologies and advancements in every realm of life, living and being green is easier (and more affordable) than ever.
After a recent health and wellness trip to Ste. Anne’s Spa with Laurie Simmonds, President and CEO of Green Living Enterprises, my eyes were opened to a whole new world. Here are a few things she taught me about living a greener life:
1. Have less, live more
These days, consumption is higher than ever. Living sustainably is all about making educated choices and eliminating things you don’t necessarily need (ie. that $100,000 car that guzzles gas or that 4 bedroom home that wastes a ton of electricity). Instead, focus on things the things that matter – your health, family and friends – and happiness will follow.
2. Quality over quantity
For me, consuming less means starting with my closet.
Fashion retailers compete against each other for your hard earned cash and one way they do so is by creating new product as quickly and cheaply as possible – amounting to approximately eighty billion garments per year. Not only is fast fashion harmful to workers, the production of textiles uses a huge amount of resources, including 20 billion pounds of chemicals, 33 trillion gallons of oil and 1 trillion gallons of water annually.
While eco-friendly brands have gotten a bad rap in the past, there is now a huge variety of sustainable clothing that is stylish too. Balance Clothing, Nudy Patooty and Unikati & Co. are all Canadian and all make the cut. Visit them at the Green Living Show and remember, you don’t have to spend the big bucks to be green, the key is to consume less!
3. Save money, eat well
In the past, organic food was hard to find – you either tracked it down at a speciality store or it cost you an arm and a leg. Today, thanks to a recent health trend, there are a number of affordable options to explore. Big guys like Loblaws are getting in on the action, making nutritious food easy to find with their President’s Choice organic, gluten free and lactose free offerings.
If big box stores aren’t your thing, support local and hit up your city’s farmers market to shop healthy, seasonal offerings. Introduce meatless meals into your weekly schedule – you’ll be surprised at how much you save on your next grocery bill, and you might even consider adding a new, more affordable kind of protein to your diet.
4. Green getaways are a thing
Vacations are an escape to forget the pressures of work, society and life. We can even forget our duties to the planet (at least for a little while,) at retreats like Ste. Anne’s Spa – they basically do all the green living for you! From the products they use (their beauty line uses ingredients sourced straight from their gardens) to the food they serve (at Ste. Anne’s they harvest their own cattle, bake gluten free only offerings and produce their own honey) to the health and wellness activities and services they offer, Ste. Anne’s is the perfect place to relax and live sustainably. To learn more about the perfect green getaway, visit Ste. Anne’s at the Green Living Show.
5. Little things can make big impacts
While you may feel like a small fish in a big pond, there are lots of little things you can do to make the world a little greener. Whether it be riding your bike instead of driving, using reusable mugs instead of paper cups, or making the move to high efficiency lightbulbs, you are making a difference and every little thing counts!
As you can see there are endless opportunities for change. If you live in Toronto and you’re interested in learning more, be sure to check out the Green Living Show April 15-17 at the Metro Convention Centre. There you’ll find everything you need to live a greener, more sustainable life.
It’s a crazy world out there but it’s ours for the keeping, so as a wise man once said…
Have any other tips on how to live a greener life? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.