by Sophie Wang
Images by Gergana Popova
Welcome to Day 5 of the 30 Day Slay, focused on how sustainability positively affects your mental well-being!
I have experienced firsthand how making small changes in everyday routines can improve mindfulness, confidence, and add a greater sense of purpose to our lives. While it would be ideal to be able to make big, impactful changes to benefit the environment — such as going completely vegan, never generating waste, or only ever shopping second hand — making resolutions of this nature can leave us feeling unproductive, disappointed with ourselves, or helpless if we fail to stick to them. Instead, try implementing little, daily sustainable actions that — when completed everyday — will make grand impacts on the environment. While helping the planet, you will also help yourself feel more connected to the world around you.
Here are five sustainable habits to incorporate into your daily routines — to improve the environment and your own well-being:
1. Your Morning Routine: Brush your teeth with eco-friendly products.
Starting your day off feeling good about your choices can have a remarkable effect on your mood and outlook for the course of the day. Swap your toothpaste for a vegan alternative and your toothbrush to one made of bamboo.
2. Your Morning Commute: Swap your car keys for metro cards and sneakers.
Whenever you can, walk. Walking in the morning is a fantastic way to set intentions for the day, clear your mind, and wake up naturally. You’ll connect with nature, soak up some Vitamin D, and help the planet while you’re at it. If you can’t walk, use public transportation whenever possible. This is not only good for the environment, but also for your wallet and for your time. Commuting in this way allows you to catch up on the news, listen to a podcast, or read a book on your way.
3. Stock Your Bag: Anytime you leave the house, bring a reusable water bottle.
This is a simple action that has two profound benefits: 1) If you have a water bottle with you, you are more likely to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day. While water bottles with intake trackers are most helpful, any bottle will remind you to take a sip; 2) You will significantly reduce your plastic use!
4. Your Hygiene Habits: Watch the amount of water you use.
Something as simple as monitoring water use when showering, rinsing your face, brushing your teeth, and washing your hands can have a profound impact on the environment. Most people have no idea how much water they waste throughout the day.
Time your showers up to 10 minutes top — 5 if you’re feeling fast. This is good for reducing water waste, but is also optimal for your skin. Showering for longer than 15 minutes actually dehydrates your skin, according to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Edidiong Kaminska, MD, who states that “the purpose of showering is to hydrate and cleanse the skin, but warm or hot showering for prolonged periods strips away natural oils of the skin and opens up our pores and allows moisture to escape.”
5. Your Nightly Checklist: Turn everything off.
Before you get into bed, make sure that all appliances and unused electronics are unplugged. Even if they are not turned on, they are still using power — costing the environment and wasting your money.
Falling asleep feeling good about the choices you made during the day is important — and no matter what else your day holds, sticking to these five habits is something to be proud of as you nod off to sleep. We hope you’ve had a great day slaying with us and we are looking forward to seeing you for the rest of the 30 Day Slay!