Did we really just say that? We did. And we’ll tell you why. Right now, it’s never been more important for us to implement change. We’re pretty lucky in that we have massive diversity on our planet, in terms of everything from weather to life forms… and the fact of the matter is we simply can’t maintain this same level of diversity unless we change. But making New Year’s Resolutions really isn’t the best way to do it.
Out With Resolutions
What’s so bad about resolutions? Well, they’re fun to make, but as we all know, they’re not always fun to stick to. New Year’s Resolutions put pressure on us to be perfect, and the truth is that we’re not perfect. We all make mistakes. There’s been an absolute ton of research on how long New Year’s Resolutions typically last, and depending on what source you choose to agree with, ‘Quitter’s Day’ usually takes place somewhere between 12th and 19th January. That’s right, the average resolution lasts less than 20 days!And that right there is the problem. 20 days of sustainable habits isn’t enough to facilitate real change. So we say out with the resolutions, and in with some easy lifestyle changes that you really can stick to.
Here are 5 simple habits to ease you gently into a new lifestyle and help us all to do our part.
1. Go Vegan
There are so many benefits of adopting a vegan diet that it’s practically impossible to mention them all. But we’ll try. A vegan diet can help to lower blood pressure, reduce weight, protect against disease, minimise greenhouse gases from food production, lower carbon footprints, and maintain our diverse wildlife.
If you aren’t a vegan already, try creating a flexible diet plan at first that focuses on plant-based foods. Plant-based diets may allow some milk, butter, or eggs, but mostly includes whole plant foods. Starting as a vegetarian is a fantastic way to make an important lifestyle change and makes it easier to switch to a vegan diet in the near future.
2. Learn From the Experts
This year, you may be thinking about switching out your skincare routine and ordering new products from ethical, responsible companies. And that’s great! The problem is that a lot of women make this change without fully understanding the differences in ingredients, and they get frustrated when their new skincare routine doesn’t appear to work as well as the chemical-filled one. And you can guess what happens: they give up! The secret is to learn from the experts, and create a routine that works for you.
A trip to the salon can be as informative as it is relaxing! And the good news is that there are loads of eco-friendly salons across the country. We love Little Company, run by a team who studied under the founder of MV Organic Skincare which uses all natural formulas to create wow-factor cosmetics.
3. Browse Before You Buy
This is a really simple habit that’s very easy to get into, and very easy to keep all year long. All you have to do is remember to do a quick browse, either online or instore, whenever you need to buy something new. If you can find a suitable used or pre-loved alternative, you’ll not only be saving yourself money, but you’ll also be minimising demand for manufacturing and reducing the amount of items that are sent to landfill. It’s a win-win. And there are plenty of ways to find old things that are looking for a loving home…
You’ve got your standard online marketplaces, like Facebook and eBay, but then you’ve also got plenty more options, too. Vinnies and Salvos are like gold mines (and you’ll be doing your part for charity, too!), and there’s also stores like Sydney Used Furniture (also online) which is bursting with amazing antiques.
4. Reduce Plastic Use
Notice how we say ‘reduce’ plastic use, rather than ‘avoid’ plastic use? Once again, this is a case of creating changes that you can really stick to. Sure, avoiding plastic is the ultimate goal, but it’s not always possible. We don’t want you shouting at the nice Woolworths cashier because they put your bananas in a plastic bag! So if you want to get into a habit that you’re going to find easy to stick to all year through, then making a goal of reducing plastic use is much better. And it’s much easier to do than you may think.
The first step is to always keep a shopping bag (or two) in your car, so you don’t have to get new ones every time. And asking for your drink without a straw is obvious. But there are more ways. How about keeping a set of cutlery in your handbag for lunches, using a reusable bottle, and buying in boxes?
5. Have an open mind
If you’re committed to really making a change this year, chances are you’ve already looked at some materials that you can incorporate into your new 2020 wardrobe. And there’s so many eco-friendly options to choose from. Not only can you now get cork handbags, but you can also get bags made out of pineapples! Yes, that’s right. It’s called pinatex, or ‘pineapple leather’, and it’s made from pineapple leaves. But don’t give up on your goals if you’re unable to go sustainable for absolutely everything.
The secret to making your lifestyle change last beyond January is to have an open mind. Take microfiber, for example. Is it great for the environment? Sadly, no. But it is a much better option than leather. We can’t be perfect all the time… but we can still make a difference.
Look to the Future
New Year’s Resolutions are like looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses; we see what we want to see. Making sustainable lifestyle changes is like looking at the world through long-sighted lenses; we look into the distance and see how adopting some small, simple habits can have a big effect on the future.
Sarah Pelham is the Beauty & Wellness Expert for Bookwell.com.au, an online platform for instant bookings for hair, nails, beauty & massage appointments. For nearly four years Sarah has worked closely with hundreds of salon owners within the beauty and wellness industries. She has her finger on the pulse of new trends in this growing market.