Let’s talk Sustainable Beauty: The Planet & You Deserve Better

Let’s talk Sustainable Beauty: The Planet & You Deserve Better

Remember wandering the beauty aisles, hypnotized by the fancy colors and promises of perfection in a bottle? Girl, same. But lately, for me, something shifted. Call it curiosity, call it a growing conscience, but I’ve started to see the hidden costs behind those glossy labels. Turns out, that radiant complexion might come with a hefty price tag for the planet. So, here I am, a few discoveries and learning curves deeper, convinced that this Sustainable Beauty thing isn’t just a trend. It’s a revolution waiting to happen. It’s about peeling back the layers of what we put on our bodies, understanding how it impacts the world, and demanding better.

Think about the ingredients – what’s lurking behind those fancy names? Production – is it ethical, sustainable? Packaging – is it just another drop in a mountain of plastic? It’s a rabbit hole, and I’m still exploring, but I’m not going alone. Come join me, on this journey to unmask the truth about beauty and explore the world of Sustainable Beauty. 

But First, What Exactly is Sustainable beauty?

Woman sitting in a vanity in the middle of a garden with sustainable beauty products
Photo by Cottonbro Studio

Hold on, before we dive headfirst into the world of cruelty-free mascara and refillable moisturizers, let’s clear the air. What exactly is this “sustainable beauty” that everyone’s talking about?

Well, think of it like this: it’s not just about swapping your usual products for “green” versions (although, kudos if you already have!). Sustainable beauty goes way deeper. It’s about making conscious choices throughout your beauty routine, from the ingredients you put on your skin to the impact those choices have on the planet and its people.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Ingredients: Sustainable beauty products often prioritize natural, organic, and ethically sourced ingredients. This means avoiding harmful chemicals, minimizing use of synthetics, and supporting responsible farming practices.

Photo of a sustainable beauty
Photo by Victoria Emerson

  • Production: It’s not just about what’s in the product, but how it’s made. Sustainable brands aim to minimize their environmental footprint throughout the production process. This includes prioritizing practices that minimize water usage, reducing pollution, treating workers fairly, and using renewable energy.
  • Packaging: Gone are the days of mountains of plastic waste. Sustainable beauty embraces eco-friendly packaging, like recycled materials or refillable options like glass, bamboo, or compostable or other compostable options. Reducing and minimizing packaging is also encouraged.

Photo by Alesia Kozik

  • Overall Waste Reduction: Minimizing waste throughout the product life cycle is crucial. This includes encouraging product longevity, offering refills, and promoting proper recycling or composting of packaging.
  • Ethics: It’s about looking beyond the surface and supporting brands that prioritize fair trade, cruelty-free practices, and responsible sourcing.

Now, Here’s Why We NEED to Choose Sustainable Beauty

The reality is, our self-care, just like our every other small choice, ripples outwards, impacting not just our skin but the entire planet. While we’ve been recently hearing a lot of talk about Sustainable beauty, it isn’t really a trend; it’s a conscious shift, a way to rewrite the narrative of beauty with respect for the Earth and its inhabitants. It’s about delving deeper than the surface, understanding the ingredients we put on our bodies, how they’re made, and the impact those choices have on our environment and the lives of others. 

Zahra Kihel, co-founder of clean makeup brand Zakiella says, “Sustainability in beauty is all about caring for ourselves and our planet. When we choose sustainable products, like those created by Zakiella, we’re selecting items made with clean and carefully examined ingredients, tracing back to more local, organic sources whenever possible.” She further adds:

Choosing sustainable beauty products means moving beyond just clean ingredients — the focus becomes a commitment to health and ethics, for ourselves and our environment.”

– Zahra Kihel, Co-founder, Zakiella

For the Earth We Share:

  • Reducing pollution: Ditch the harsh chemicals and microplastics that pollute our waterways and harm precious ecosystems. Opting for sustainable products means less environmental damage, cleaner water, and a healthier planet for everyone.
  • Saving Our Resources: From plant-based ingredients to recycled packaging, sustainable beauty conserves precious resources like water and energy. Think of it as giving back to the Earth that nourishes us all.
  • Fighting Climate Change: Climate change is real, and the beauty industry plays its part. Sustainable practices like eco-friendly production and reduced carbon footprints help combat the issue, one mascara tube at a time.

Photo by Cup of Couple

For Your Own Well-being:

  • Saying No to Harsh Chemicals and microplastics: No more worrying about hidden toxins, microplastics or harsh ingredients that irritate your skin and affect your health. We talked to Corinne Lefebvre, Co-founder of River Organics

“There has been a lot in the news lately about microplastics and how they have found them inside pregnant women’s placenta, and that they are clogging our arteries and to me this will fuel a wake up call. This isn’t just about being ‘sustainable’, this is a health crisis.

– Corinne Lefebvre, Co-founder of River Organics

Sustainable beauty prioritizes natural, gentle ingredients that nourish your skin and promote overall health.

Photo by Bennie Lukas Bester

  • Bye-Bye Allergies: Say goodbye to itchy rashes and red eyes! By avoiding harsh chemicals and opting for natural ingredients, you minimize the risk of allergic reactions and enjoy the beauty routine you deserve.
  • Feeling Good Inside and Out: Sustainable beauty isn’t just about the surface. It’s about understanding how what you put on your skin affects your overall well-being. Choosing natural ingredients and supporting ethical practices promotes holistic health from the inside out. 

For a World We Care About:

  • Fairness for All: Sustainable beauty champions fair trade practices, ensuring workers behind the scenes are treated ethically and compensated fairly. Your choices empower communities and promote a more just world.
  • Supporting Your Community: Supporting local, sustainable brands keeps your dollars circulating within your community, fostering growth and opportunity for businesses around you.
  • Kindness to Animals: Cruelty-free practices mean no animals are harmed in the name of beauty. Choosing sustainable brands ensures your beauty routine aligns with your values and promotes animal welfare.

Photo by Pixabay

Kihel further added, “At Zakiella, we took a stance to refuse to use microplastic ingredients in our products and striving for minimalist formulations with maximum performance. We focus only on what’s necessary and eliminate elements like microplastics, synthetic fragrances, parabens, and more.” 

“Sustainable beauty helps protect our wellbeing and the health of pollinators and wildlife, all while reducing waste and keeping our environment cleaner and safer.”

– Zahra Kihel, Co-founder, Zakiella

Beyond the Label: Choosing Sustainable Products

So, you’re ready to dive into sustainable beauty, but where to begin? Navigating the aisle of green labels and eco-friendly claims can feel like deciphering hieroglyphics. Fear not, beauty explorer! Let’s shed some light on these key aspects:

Demystifying the Certifications:

Those little logos on your products can offer clues, but they’re not foolproof. Here are some common ones and what they mean:

Leaping Bunny: This bunny guarantees no animal testing at any stage of production.

B Corp: This certification signifies the brand meets high standards for social and environmental responsibility.

USDA Organic: This label assures at least 95% organic ingredients in cosmetics.

Remember, certifications are just one piece of the puzzle. Research the brand’s overall practices to get the full picture.

Ingredient Transparency: Don’t Be Fooled by Greenwashing

Beware of brands boasting “natural” or “eco-friendly” without being transparent about their ingredients. Look for specific ingredient lists and avoid products with hidden nasties like parabens or sulfates. Research unfamiliar ingredients and prioritize brands that prioritize transparency and ethical sourcing.

Packaging and Waste Reduction: It’s Not Just About What’s Inside:

Sustainable beauty goes beyond the formula. Look for products with minimal or recycled packaging, and consider brands with refill programs to reduce waste. Opt for solid products like shampoo bars or reusable applicators whenever possible.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva

Brand Values and Practices: Dig Deeper for True Sustainability:

Don’t just rely on labels; research the brand’s philosophy and practices. Do they prioritize fair trade? Are they committed to minimizing their environmental footprint? Choose brands whose values align with yours, supporting those who are truly walking the talk.

Getting Started with Sustainable Beauty

Feeling a little overwhelmed? Fear not! Here are some tips to make it accessible and easy to integrate into your routine:

Knowledge is Power:

Start Small, Shine Bright:

  • Swap it out: Don’t feel pressured to overhaul your entire routine. Choose one product at a time, like your shampoo or moisturizer, and replace it with a sustainable option.
  • Prioritize based on needs: Consider your budget and skin concerns when making choices. For example, if you have sensitive skin, prioritize natural and gentle ingredients.

Be a Minimalist, Not a Maximalist:

  • Multi-purpose magic: Opt for products that serve multiple purposes, like a tinted moisturizer or a cleansing balm that doubles as a makeup remover.
  • Simplify your routine: Focus on essential steps like cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection. Less is often more!

Support the Changemakers:

  • Shop local, think global: Seek out small, sustainable brands committed to ethical practices and local sourcing. Apps like Yuka and Think Dirty can really help with identifying sustainable products when shopping.
  • Refill, don’t replace: Choose brands offering refill programs to minimize packaging waste.

DIY with Caution:

Consider natural alternatives like coconut oil for makeup removal or apple cider vinegar as a toner. However, always research extensively and do patch tests before applying things to your face.

Be Earth-Conscious:

Recycle and dispose: Properly recycle or dispose of used products and packaging according to local guidelines. Every little bit counts!

Last but not the least, always remember not fall for eco-shaming, and focus on doing the best you can instead. Don’t forget to always celebrate your small changes and build on them slowly. Be kind to yourself.

Challenges and Considerations

  • Greenwashing: Be wary of misleading marketing claims. Look for certifications from independent bodies like Leaping Bunny or B Corp for verified sustainability practices.
  • Cost: Sustainable products can sometimes be more expensive due to responsible sourcing and ethical production. Consider investing in key items like moisturizer or sunscreen, and prioritizing quality over quantity.
  • Accessibility: Not everyone has equal access to sustainable beauty options due to cost and availability. Supporting local, small businesses and advocating for wider accessibility are crucial.

The Future of Sustainable Beauty

Here’s the thing: the future is sustainable, or there is none. Hence, the world of beauty is brimming with exciting developments, paving the way for a more ethical and eco-friendly future. 

“I don’t see any other way to operate or run a company in 2024. If I’m going to put something out there, with my name on it then it is not going to be part of the larger problem, and hopefully it will help in some way. Whether we help people make a non-toxic ingredient switch, a sustainable switch or we can help in any other small way, then that is the only way I feel we can operate.”

– Corinne Lefebvre, Co-founder of River Organics

Let’s peek into the crystal ball and see what’s brewing:

Innovation on the Horizon

  • Biotechnology: Lab-grown ingredients are emerging as an alternative to resource-intensive cultivation practices. Think plant-based squalane or collagen!
  • Solid beauty: Shampoo bars, deodorant sticks, and even toothpaste tablets are gaining traction, reducing plastic waste significantly. You can check out brands like Brixy.
  • Waterless formulations: These innovative products like the ones from Dew Mighty minimize water usage and transportation emissions, offering effective alternatives to traditional liquids.

  • Upcycled ingredients: Food waste like apple cores or coffee grounds are finding new life in beauty products, reducing waste and adding unique properties.
  • Refill and reuse systems: Brands are offering refillable containers and encouraging consumers to reuse packaging, minimizing single-use plastics.

We hope that people will continue to discover the beauty of sustainable cosmetics and realize that we don’t need to compromise ethics for performance. If companies are held to a higher standard and products with microplastics or excessive packaging are avoided, that could make a huge impact on protecting our earth and water sources.

– Zahra Kihel – Co-founder, Zakiella

At this point, it’s crystal clear that sustainability is not really a niche trend; it’s a tidal wave reshaping the industry. Major brands are embracing eco-friendly practices, ethical sourcing, and circular economies. This shift is driven by a growing consumer demand for transparency and responsibility, and it’s creating a future where beauty and sustainability go hand-in-hand.

Your Voice Makes a Difference:

Remember, you are not just a consumer, but a powerful force for change! It’s not about being perfect, it’s about making conscious choices that feel good for us, our skin, and the planet we call home. Let’s get curious, get informed, and get talking about the beauty that lies beyond the hype. It’s time for a change, and it starts with us. 

The Art of Activism: Hannah Tizedes on Turning Trash into Environmental Awareness

The Art of Activism: Hannah Tizedes on Turning Trash into Environmental Awareness

In a world fraught with environmental challenges, the synergy of art and activism has emerged as a potent force for change. Meet Hannah Tizedes, an extraordinary artist and environmental activist. Raised amidst the natural splendor of Michigan and the majestic Great Lakes, Hannah witnessed the disheartening sight of litter washing ashore on these pristine beaches. This experience ignited her passion for environmental conservation.

Hannah’s journey epitomizes the transformative potential of creativity. She embarked on a mission to collect plastic debris from beaches worldwide, fashioning these discarded fragments into captivating works of art. Her art serves a dual purpose: raising awareness about plastic pollution and climate change, and inspiring individuals to take concrete actions for a cleaner, more sustainable planet. In this exclusive interview, Hannah shares her inspirational odyssey, the genesis of The Cleanup Club, and her insights on the intersection of art and environmental advocacy.

Dive into her world, where vibrant creativity converges with climate activism, and discover how Hannah is kindling hope amidst the formidable challenges of our time.

Can you tell us about your journey as an environmental activist and artist? How did you become interested in addressing environmental issues through art?

I was raised by creative and resourceful parents. My mom was always crafting or pit-stopping at garage sales and my dad was always entertaining my elaborate clubhouse buildout ideas or building something functional out of scrap materials. But it wasn’t until later in my life that I came to appreciate those acts for who they made me today.

At university, I paired my creative studies with sustainability studies, worked at the campus recycling center where I was able to explore fun creative projects, and began collecting trash from my travels around the world & the Great Lakes for art pieces I was brainstorming. After learning more about plastic pollution and seeing it from coast to coast, but especially its impact on my home state’s shorelines, I knew I wanted to use my creativity as a vehicle for change. My hope is and was to create art that makes people take a deeper look – literally and figuratively – at the impact plastic pollution has on the planet. I hope people feel inspired to do what they can, with what they have, wherever they are for a less trashy earth.

You have a very unique style of creating your artworks with plastic, and microplastic. Why did you choose this medium?

I’m from Michigan, so I grew up surrounded by the Great Lakes. These lakes hold ~90% of the US’s freshwater, provide drinking water to 40+ million people, offer endless amounts of beauty, and are home to thousands of plants and animals. They’re so special. And yet every year it’s estimated that around 22 million pounds of plastic pollution enters them. At the same time, I have always been captivated by the rainbow of plastic I find on their shorelines. So I created something with those pieces to help tell the story I was witnessing.

Hannah Tizedes collecting ocean plastic to create her artwork with them.
Photo Courtesy – Tianna Samone Creatives

As the founder of The Cleanup Club, could you tell us more about the initiative and its goals? How do you encourage others to get involved in cleaning up their communities and reducing plastic waste?

The Cleanup Club is a nonprofit dedicated to educating communities on Great Lakes plastic pollution while having fun through cleanups, collaborations, conversations & creativity. I think so often people feel overwhelmed with climate news or plastic pollution news, yet they want to help make the world a better place. And I wanted to help make that super simple while building a community of people that care. It doesn’t matter if you’re an engineer, local barista, or school teacher – everyone is welcome to join in. I also do my best in providing uplifting experiences for everyone so instead of walking away from a cleanup thinking “shit, that was a lot of trash, what now?” people can walk away with resources to local zero-waste shops & refillers, with fun sustainable giveaways in hand, and more. That way, their positive impact doesn’t just stop at the cleanup.

What challenges have you faced as an environmental activist and artist? How do you navigate these challenges and stay motivated to continue your work?

I always try to look at the bright side of things. The little actions add up and it’s really incredible to have people tell me that they’re inspired by my work and because of it, they did X, Y, or Z. I’ve definitely hit bumps in the road where I’ve thought, “what is this all for?” or “does my work even matter?” but then I go outside and I’m reminded of my why. The beauty of this amazing planet we get to call home is the best reminder out there and that’s why I continue to advocate to protect it.

How do you believe art can be a powerful tool for raising awareness about environmental issues? What role do you think art can play in inspiring action and driving positive change?

I believe art is an incredibly important tool in raising awareness about environmental issues. Art makes us feel something. Art is powerful. Whether it’s through music, painting, literature, photography, and so on, art has the ability to story-tell so many different narratives when it comes to issues we feel deeply about. I think that inspiration can then be transformed into action and the art can be used as a vehicle for positive change.

How do you think artists can collaborate to make the climate movement stronger and more fruitful?

There are endless possibilities for artists to collaborate and help convey moving messages regarding climate change. I think we’re continuing to see more collaborations around these topics which is wonderful, however, I think we do need to be aware of greenwashing when it comes to brand collaborations and partnerships and stay true to our ‘why’ in this work (aka Earth).

As an artivist, how do you balance the artistic and activist aspects of your work? How do you ensure that your art remains impactful and thought-provoking while also conveying a message of hope and empowerment?

I love making my work colorful. For me, that’s really important because I think colorful things are joyful. I also do my best at providing context behind materials I use to help educate people on things I’m finding on the beach like microplastics, mesoplastics, etc. while providing ways to take action through policy and local advocacy efforts.

What’s your take on climate optimism?

I think optimism in all aspects of life is a wonderful thing. The world we live in nowadays can be filled with so much doom & gloom, so like José Gonzalez, Founder of Latino Outdoors said, we need more “do and bloom” instead.

What would your advice be to someone in the climate movement who feels hopeless and burned out?

The weight of the planet does not need to sit on your shoulders. It is a collective effort towards a better future for all. Whenever you’re feeling down, get outside. Kick off your shoes and go play in nature. Then, find a local organization making a positive impact and get involved. A community can be so healing too – to both ourselves and the planet.

How do you envision your future?

Filled with gratitude and love for the people, places, and spaces I get the opportunity to know, explore, and nourish. I’m less focused on how I want the future to look and more focused on how I want it to feel.

Who are your biggest inspirations?

There are so many but at the end of the day, I love watching people thrive and grow doing what they love. Those are the people who inspire me most, people who follow their passions – and bonus points when it’s an earth-friendly passion, of course.

How can others join you in the climate movement or support your work?

People can feel free to follow my work on Instagram, @hannahtizedes, (where I share the majority of my art & advocacy), and/or follow my nonprofit’s work and learn more about Great Lakes plastic pollution and our efforts to protect them at www.thecleanupclub.org.

This is a part of a series where Green & Beyond Mag explores the stories and takes a peek at the lifestyles of incredible people like green entrepreneurs, innovators, climate advocates, activists, community leaders, and content creators, all around the world, who love the planet, and are working tirelessly to make the world a better place.

Is Sustainable Living Expensive for Real?

Is Sustainable Living Expensive for Real?

With the growing awareness around climate change, Gen Zs and Millennials all around the world are stepping up to become more responsible global citizens. While many individuals are convinced that they must take action to protect the environment, many are finding the transition to be intimidating because of the price tag that comes with it. So to quench our thirst for curiosity we tried to do our own research by asking the question – Is sustainable living expensive?

So, does living sustainably really have to be expensive?

We interviewed people to figure out some of the main challenges they face when trying to live sustainably. Among the few common challenges we found, the most popular one was “it’s too expensive”. However, what’s surprising is that some people also shared a completely opposite argument. Among them, some said that being sustainable is easy and usual for them because of their financial difficulties (that should mean that it’s relatively cheaper to live sustainably, right? ); while others said, sustainable living can seem rocky at the start but in the long run, it’s extremely rewarding and saves you a ton of money if you stay invested to the journey. Even though most eco-conscious practices like recycling, reusing, conscious shopping, eating plant-based, thrifting, conserving energy, etc. are expected to minimize personal expenses, there are many factors that make people think otherwise. 

But, why do people feel that way?

1. The media effect: 

Photo of a hand holding a smartphone displaying icons of various social media apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat.

There is no doubt that social media heavily dominates our idea of how our lifestyles should be and it works the same way for sustainable living too. Looking at some posts on social media, many of us get the implication that sustainable living means owning a massive house with minimalistic decor and garden space, purchasing all the trendiest zero-waste accessories and ethical products, and so on. What we need to consider here is the fact that there is a gap between how sometimes sustainable living is advertised on social media and how it really is. 

The good thing is that sustainable influencers and bloggers are growing aware of how this might be altering the message they are working so hard to spread. Many of them have now come up with ways to help their audience understand when they are making regular content and when it’s actually an ad by adding hashtags like #ad to those particular contents or simply by announcing an advertisement at the beginning of the caption. Besides, if you look, you will find so many incredible sustainable influencers (some of our favorite creators in the space include Kate Hall, Danielle Alvarado, Kathryn Kellog, Kira Simpson, and many more!) who are not afraid to talk about their real struggles, and how they deal with them besides the frugal and fun side of sustainable living. Make sure to check them out. You can find more sustainable influencers in the space through Ethical Influencers.

2. The price tag on sustainable products: 

Photo of a woman wearing a mask while checking out the price tag of a sports bra in a store. This image is the used for an article titled 'Is Sustainable Living Expensive for Real?'.
Photo by Rodnae Productions

Let’s be real here. It is indeed true that sustainable products come with a higher price tag and there are quite a few reasons behind that. 

Firstly, the ethical resources used to make sustainable goods are more expensive to produce, manufacture, and process. Growing organic cotton, for example, with fairly paid labor and strict labor rights, will surely cost more than pesticide-laden cotton processed by unfairly paid employees.

Secondly, while the demand for eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives is increasing, it is still fairly low in comparison to mainstream alternatives. This implies that, whereas mainstream non-green items can benefit from economies of scale, the same cannot be said for those in the sustainable market.

Another very important factor that adds up to why sustainable products cost more is the fact that they are made to last way longer than traditional alternatives. Many think it’s easier and cheaper to simply rely on single-use items rather than reusable ones as they seem more convenient and affordable to use, but investing once in a sustainable alternative instead can take us a long way and help us save money in the long run too. That way you don’t have to make frequent purchases all the time that just keep adding up (which is obviously more expensive!). A plastic-free reusable water bottle might cost you higher than the price of a regular single-use plastic water bottle. However, you can be certain that the reusable bottle will last you far longer, has never had any plastic around it in the first place, and will also save you money in the long run. 

3. The notion that fossil fuels are cheaper :

Photo of an industrial site near a river, featuring a smoking chimney and a ship partially visible in the distance. The image suggests a fossil fuel industry presence and possible environmental impact.
Photo by Chris LeBoutillier

Surprisingly, not anymore. It’s true that fossil fuels have been dominating the world’s energy supply for the past two decades due to their cheaper price range during that time. But wait, did you know? Between 2010 and 2019, the unit costs of solar and wind energy have fallen by 85% and 55%, respectively. So basically, these safer and cleaner sources of energy are not just becoming increasingly cost-effective, but also more accessible to general people.  

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has also confirmed that solar and wind are currently the cheapest and best options for reducing world emissions, which must be reduced by 24 gigatonnes by 2030.

4. “But wait, won’t this shift make people lose jobs?”

Photo of a mid-aged white-haired man in a black suit sitting on a chair and attempting to work on a computer. The computer is strapped with tape, implying that the man is not allowed to use it. The computer screen partially reads 'Unfortunately, we no longer need your services'."
Photo by Ron Lach

It’s true that the transition towards greener alternatives in the market could initially affect the income opportunities for people dependent on the ‘not so green’ industries for a living. But here’s the thing, according to ILO’s estimations, the shift towards a greener economy with appropriate policy implications could give rise to more than 24 million new jobs by the year 2030 that would eradicate poverty. So eventually, there will actually be more jobs!

You can find ethical companies with relevant opportunities on LinkedIn just by putting your keywords on the job board. You can also keep an eye on our green opportunities section to stay updated on current and upcoming relevant opportunities in sustainability.

So, how can you afford to live sustainably?

Of course, a better lifestyle can come with a price, but it does not have to be expensive. So, what can you do if you don’t have the budget? The good news is that there are several low-cost and affordable ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Avoid replacing until absolutely necessary: 

Living green does not require huge investments, it can simply start with making the best use of what you already own and slowly making small transitions from there. Tossing out all of your plastic storage containers or entire plastic bottles of shampoo does not benefit the environment. Living sustainably entails using what you have to the fullest extent possible. Only then should the items be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives. 

2. Learn to share and borrow: 

This is especially relevant if we know we won’t be using an item frequently, or more than once. This has also emerged as a new concept in the global economy, known as the ‘sharing economy.’ For consumers, the basic concept of sharing and borrowing rather than purchasing new is undoubtedly a great practice toward more mindful and cost-effective consumption. Need a fancy dress for a dinner party, a car for a special event, or just a particular tool to fix your broken appliance? You can just approach your friends, relatives, and neighbors, use rental services, or just reach out to your local community. 

Here are a few platforms that you might find useful: 

Nextdoor: a platform that connects neighbors, local businesses, and services, with over 265,000 neighbors globally. After checking in and choosing your area, you will be able to see what your neighbors are posting about – stuff for sale and rent, services, lost and found items, events, and so on. 

The platform is available in the following countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, and Canada.  

The Clothing Loop: The Clothing Loop is a community-based program that allows people to easily swap garments with others in their own community. It’s fun, free, and environmentally friendly. The concept is pretty simple – big bags packed with clothes move along a path through all participants in a certain city or neighborhood. Each member takes what they like and put something back in it for others to find. No matter where you are from, you can easily join a loop in your area or even start your own loop if there isn’t one already.

Peer-to-peer car-sharing platforms like GetAround (operates in the USA, UK, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, and Belgium) and Blablacar (operates in almost all of Europe and Latin America) can get you a car whenever or wherever you need with just a click. Now you don’t have to buy a car just because you need it for one special day. 

These platforms for the peer-to-peer exchange of products and services may cost you less than goods and services provided by traditional shops. Furthermore, sharing products with individuals you know and trust, or who you met through the community may help you save money in the long term too, for example, you can purchase a lawnmower with a neighbor and just divide the costs. 

3. Shop consciously: 

Don’t make the mistake of becoming a rampant consumer in your effort to establish a sustainable lifestyle. Fundamentally, having less is the greatest approach to sustainability. Consider whether you really, truly require another reusable water bottle. The best way is to make a list of things you need and stick to it when you shop. 

For grocery shopping, it’s always best to start with a weekly or biweekly meal plan, visit your local markets, and shop in bulk. According to this University of Portland research, customers may save up to 89 percent by purchasing bulk groceries. Besides, buying fresh produce from your local market will not only help you eat healthy and unadulterated food but also enable you to support your local farmers.

4. Invest in quality: 

A cost-effective sustainable approach is to invest in a few high-quality long-lasting sustainable goods (remember to only buy when you need to). When we are on a tight budget, it may seem contradictory, but choosing high-quality durable items made of lasting materials, rather than products that wear out too soon, can be cheaper in the long term. Your carbon impact will not only be reduced in the long run, but you will also generate less waste. Even though spending more money upfront than we are accustomed to can be unsettling, there is a good chance you will be motivated to take better care of these items and, overall, value them more.

5. Do what you can: 

Nobody has ever said that sustainability has to be all or nothing. If you believe you cannot afford a truly sustainable way of living, just do what you can. Remember – something is always better than nothing. 

Photo of a group of people protesting for the environment, with a woman in a sky-blue shirt and yellow backpack as the main focus. She is holding a sign that reads 'Less is more. It's Eco-logical', advocating for sustainable and eco-friendly living.
Photo by Hello I’m Nik via Unsplash

All in all, a greener lifestyle can actually be quite affordable, less wasteful, and more convenient for people and the planet if you know the right approach to it. Still, got queries? Send us an email at hello@greenandbeyondmag.com. Cheers! 

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