What does being sustainable mean to you?

Written by

Maria Grande

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Are you striving to become more sustainable? we have invited book author Maria Grande to share her experience and three simple tips that have the potential to transform your life.

Three years ago I had the pleasure of having an exciting conversation with my friend Gabriela. We spoke about everything regarding global warming, sustainability, going zero waste, plastic pollution…and from reading online articles on this topic, we understood the big problem the world is facing. Let me put it in perspective for you:

  • Around 30 million tonnes of household waste is generated in the UK every year, of which 5.9 million tonnes is packaging.
  • We throw away more than 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year from our homes – most of which could have been safely consumed.
  • The UK has the highest consumption of new clothing in Europe, with the average person buying 26.7kg of new clothes each year
  • In the UK, the majority of people will handle over 50 types of packaging every day.

My journey started with me finding ways of being more sustainable, like trying to go to zero waste, but all those things I was trying to do were not working for me. They were hard to stick to because they weren’t part of my lifestyle. The problem: I thought I needed to be perfect from the beginning so I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. Soon I came to understand that it was going to be a journey that required trial and error and building habits that worked for me.

The most interesting thing about this is that the change starts with all of us and our 1% commitment, but people seem to think that their actions have no consequences on the bigger picture, which is far from the truth, and this is what I learned over the last 3 years. The reality is that our actions have consequences, both for the good and the bad, and in this case, making small sustainable changes, can have a big impact.

That’s why I decided to take matters into my own hands and develop a book that worked as a step-by-step guide for people who are trying to be more sustainable. I created a method that takes people on a habit-building journey to adopt sustainable changes based on their lifestyles, things that work for them that they will be able to be committed to in the long term.

I’m really happy that the guide worked for me and the many users who bought it for themselves. If you want to get a copy, you can find it here.

You might be wondering, how can I create eco-friendly habits to be more sustainable?
Here is everything you need to know about the 3 step method to build eco-friendly habits that fit into your lifestyle.

The most important part is for you to be clear on what sustainability means to you, does it mean that you want to use less plastic? Do you want to become vegan? Do you want to buy only second-hand/vintage products? This process will only work if what you do aligns with your goals and vision (you should never do things just because you see people do them online, think about yourself first).

The next step is to set up some actionable and measurable goals (nothing that’s going to be impossible to achieve and will end up overwhelming you). You should limit yourself to a limit of 3 goals, some of mine are: No plastic bags when buying groceries and no single-use coffee mugs at the coffee shop.

To achieve those goals, you are going to need to set up habits that will be integrated into your lifestyle. Take those 3 goals and add activities/actions you can do each day to accomplish them. Make them part of your routine. For example, I’m going to create a morning checklist with everything I need to remember for the day (take reusable bags and a reusable coffee mug with me). Our brains like automation so there is nothing better than automating actions to teach the brain to accept them as the norm.

It’s also fantastic to see that positive improvements are happening in the world like:

  • More sustainable energy projects are being developed.
  • Solar energy for the house is more accessible now than ever.
  • More brands are starting to adopt more sustainable packaging.
  • A lot of small brands are coming up with affordable and sustainable products such as Upcircle, GRIND coffee, Cheeky Panda, Green Island, Shoreline Shaving and many more.

I’m really excited for you to try this method, I know you are going to do and feel great! If you need extra support, you can get my book, where I take you through this process step by step more in detail (while also teaching you the foundations of sustainability) or you can get in touch with me as I’d love to hear about your sustainability journey, we’re in this together!

Find the book here.
Download my free resource “30 Days of Sustainable Habits” here.
Find me on IG, @ingrainsustainability or here

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