5 Ways Living 'Sustainably Well' Brings the Planet Into Your Wellness Routine
We're partnering with Well+Good to talk all things 'Sustainably Well.' Here are five wellness tips to help make your routine more planet-friendly.
Wellness and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Samantha Leal, deputy editor at Well+Good, knows this, and believes that taking better care of yourself can put you in a position to take better care of the planet.
"I think it's sort of twofold, right? Like we ourselves can't be fully well unless our planet is well," says Leal, who spoke with founder Laura Wittig as part of Brightly's collaboration with W+G, "Sustainably Well." "If we're living in a space that creates unhealthy patterns for the way we're living, what we're intaking, and what we're doing to our bodies, there's no way that we ourselves can be fully well." In short, while our individual environmental actions are infinitely important, taking care of ourselves is, too.
As with the journey toward eco-minded living, your wellness routine should focus on small steps rather than perfection. Read on for five simple ways to make your wellness routine more sustainable.
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5 Wellness Tips to Make Your Routine More Sustainable
1. Focus on Existing Products and Practices
"I would say hone in on the things that you're doing already," says Leal. Rather than attempting to overhaul your entire routine in want of a more planet-friendly lifestyle, start where you are and use what you have, making a commitment to adjusting choices as needed going forward.
"You don't need like, the pretty canisters, the pretty thing," says Leal. "Reusing the things that you already own, and that you already have, I think will be a big boon to your sustainability and your sustainability routines, particularly in wellness."
2. Keep an Eye on Your Environmental Footprint
While Leal's personal wellness routine centers on travel, she does her best to keep the accompanying environmental footprint in mind.
"I tend to travel a lot because to me, that's a form of rest, it's a form of connection, it's a form of grounding, it's a form of meditation," says Leal. "I think we're seeing a lot of talk in the travel space of what is sustainable travel?" Leal suggests small shifts, like bringing a reusable water bottle and bowl to avoid single-use plastic, keeping emissions in mind when deciding how to get from point A to B, and being a more conscious traveler in terms of supporting local communities.
3. Get the Most From Your Activewear
While fitness and style tend to go hand-in-hand in contemporary culture, making sure that you're getting the maximum wear out of your activewear can serve to minimize textile waste.
While there are plenty of sustainable activewear brands to support when you decide you need something new, you can also go the used route. "You can get them secondhand, you don't need to buy them outright from specific companies," Leal says. Should your exercise wardrobe need a revamp, she recommends scrolling sites like thredUP and visiting local thrift stores, as well as reaching for new offerings crafted from recycled materials.
But the biggest takeaway? Wear your clothes! "I think wearing your stuff until it's dead is a good way [to maximize sustainability]," she adds.
4. Become a Conscious Consumer
Let's face it—the wellness industry is rife with products. And while paring down on your collection is likely the most eco-minded goal, directing your dollar toward companies that prioritize sustainably-minded packaging and ethically-sourced ingredients is important, too.
"If you love beauty products, are there refillable packaging alternatives that you can start to swap in?" asks Leal. "Are there things that you could be doing recycling-wise that are a better fit for the planet?"
5. Remember to Give Back
As an editor in the wellness space, Leal is gifted a wealth of products, many of which she donates to local shelters. This ethos applies to excess anything, or simply items that are no longer of use to you.
"Can you put them in your Buy Nothing group?" she asks. "Can you give them to your neighbor, or can you give them to someone else who will actually enjoy them?" When in doubt, give it away.
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