I was recently told by someone that they thought that all the different paths I am on are quite extreme. This was not meant to be an insult, or in any way as a put down, they just genuinely believed that living the way I do must be really hard work so consider it extreme. Since they passed the comment I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. From the outside looking in, I understand that my lifestyle probably does look extreme. I am sure it does seem like I am constantly having to stop myself from doing things or living the way I want to, but you know what, this just is not the case and I have never been happier than I am right now. While there are a number of things which I have given up which I thought I needed, I actually don’t even think about them now. My lifestyle is actually pretty easy to maintain……….
Using only cruelty free products
This is not even on my radar as something involving effort. It took me at most 6 months to get up to speed with all the brands I now use daily. A big reason it took that length of time was I went out and emailed each brand myself. You can cut time significantly by just using another website or blog, like mine, to find cruelty free brand lists. There are so many great resources out there, not to mention more and more cruelty free goods in shops, that it just is not an effort. If anyone is struggling to find a product they like to replace something, just give me a shout, I am honestly more than happy to help!
My go to brands covering skincare, make up and household goods are:
- Gosh (make up)
- Sara Hill (make up)
- You Dirty Scrub (skincare)
- Dr Botnicals (skincare)
- Yes To (skincare)
- Faith in Nature (shampoo, soap and shower gel)
- Ecover (cleaners)
- Soapnuts (washing powder alternative)
I have been a veggie since I was old enough to make my own decisions. Only in the last few years have my eyes been opened to the cruelty in the dairy industry. Now I know about it, I could never knowingly consume dairy or eggs again. Animal suffering is just not something I am ok with. That means this is not something which registers with me as being an effort either. It took me a few months to get used to my new lifestyle, and maybe about 6 to find a cheese, milk and meat alternative I really liked. But now I have them, I don’t need to keep looking. Not only that, more and more are coming out each month. Vegan restaurants are even opening up! Every place I go I can always manage to get a vegan meal too, often marked that way on the menu too! Being vegan has also meant I now cook much healthier and more diverse meals, which taste so much better than anything I cooked as a veggie.
Moving to zero waste
This was just a bit of a shift in my practices rather than finding anything new. I just make sure I always put old food in my food bin, recycle everything I possibly can and buy things packaged in the least amount of packaging possible. The specific changes have been meal planning, carrying a reusable water bottle (which everyone is happy to fill, from the staff at the local café to the air steward on my plane), buying fresh fruit and vegetables from my local market once a week and ensuring that all my recyclable things are taken to my local shop once a month to recycle (this takes 20 minutes!!).
Far from being a chore, using only cruelty free products and becoming vegan has opened my eyes to so many more options. We are used to buying the same products and eating the same food as we always do. Stopping doing the norm allows you to find the significantly better options that are out there. The new skincare and make up I have found has made my skin look and feel fantastic and my new diet has me feeling much less tired and lethargic. I cant emphasise enough how much better I am for having made these changes. Measuring the benefit to me of moving towards zero waste is a lot less tangible, but I can categorically say I get the fuzzy happy feelings inside me every time I look at our rubbish bag and see how empty it is and the difference I am making to the environment!!! What can be better than just feeling good about yourself!
So to anyone thinking this lifestyle seems extreme or hard to achieve, start small (I have some tips on this here) and just go with it. After a couple of months you will not notice the changes at all and will just feel so much better in every way!!