“What can I do?”. “Que puedo hacer yo?”. These are questions I get asked every day! "What can I do to fix, save and protect our planet?" "How can I, as a single individual, make a difference if millions of others are not doing it?" Well, I’m here to tell you (and show you) how easy, important, fun and beautiful it is to incorporate consciousness into your lifestyle. Four years ago, these words never crossed my mind! I used to order 3 to-go coffees per day to stay awake in the corporate world without thinking about the waste I was creating on a daily basis. Over 1000 cups per year to be exact! (Do the math). And don’t even get me started on my plastic bottle consumption! I lost count. I was one more human caught in my own world, not paying attention to anything going on outside of it, until the day I woke up and began looking at life with a different lens. I started reading more about sustainability, watched many films, and understood that every action I take can either continue to exploit our home or can help heal it. Easy steps and little shifts in routines and mindsets that CAN have a positive and healing impact on our planet. Think about these facts for a second:
- We, globally, use and discard 1 million plastic bottles PER MINUTE. 91% of this is NOT recycled.
- In the US only, we use and discard half a BILLION plastic straws per day! This is plastic that takes over 400 years to decompose. Plastic that always finds its way into our oceans; killing and poisoning sacred animals needed for our survival and to keep our oceans healthy. Why are our oceans so important? Simple. They absorb 93% of the CO2 emissions we produce, making our oceans our main protector against global warming.
Now, what can YOU do to protect your home? Our mother. Here are some simple steps I apply on a daily basis, and so can you:
1) Carry a reusable water bottle and coffee mug and say no to plastic ones. The ones I use are in this photo. You can buy your entire "Go Green 101" kit here.
2) Carry reusable utensils and a straw in your bag.
3) Support sustainable fashion, and fabrics that are organic and biodegradable. Some brands you see here which I love are:
- Monkey Sunglasses: Biodegradable sunnies made of cotton fibers and recycled materials, supporting a non-profit that protects orangutans. The sunnies in this photo are by MonkeyGlasses.
- Bohempia: They make comfy t-shirts and shoes from hemp. Hemp is a biodegradable, sustainable, and antibacterial natural material. The tees in this photo are by Bohempia.
- Miakoda NY: an ethical and fair-trade fashion brand using bamboo, soy and organic cotton fabrics. The bodysuit I'm wearing in this photo is by Miakoda.
4) Reuse and get creative! The jean jacket you see here, I’ve owned for over 7 years. Styled it and painted it myself instead of throwing it away. The skirt I’m wearing, is a tablecloth transformed into a skirt! I had unused tablecloths from Bali and India in my closet for over two years, so...I took them to my seamstress and asked her to give life to a skirt and a pair of pants from those unused fabrics!
5) Suport zero-waste brands. One I adore is Hungry Harvest. They recover fruits and veggies that were rejected by big grocery stores based on their aesthetics, and deliver them to your door for a small fee. Reducing waste, creating jobs, helping farmers, and feeding people worldwide! Organic options available! Use code "waterthruskin" for discount.
6) Support eco-friendly hotels when you travel and offset your CO2 emissions by donating to Climate Care. This is what I do every time. They calculate your CO2 emissions per trip and tell you how much you need to donate to projects that are protecting and healing nature.
7) Go vegan! I know. So hard! I used to love meat too! It's in my culture. I'm a latina who was raised eating meat and chicken on a daily basis. 7+ years ago I went pescatarian, later vegetarian and then vegan and never looked back. I've been vegan for 3+ years now and love it! As long as you make sure you are getting your daily dose of nutrients and vitamins from superfoods, alongside a healthy diet, you will thrive as a vegan while saving 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of gran, 30 ft2 of forested land, 20 pounds of CO2 equivalent, and 1 animal's life EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Ready to make a difference? It's easier than you think! A non-profit I've partnered with is Sachamama. You can find a lot of information about sustainability on their website. They educate students and families about the importance of protecting mother nature and the devastating effects of global warming. Their site is both in Spanish AND English. Just hit the button on the top right corner to change the language.