Sustainable Self-Care

scrabble tiles spelling self care

Why should we care about sustainable self-care anyway?  

#DidYouKnow According to Zero Waste Week, every year more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced globally by the cosmetics industry alone? This contributes to an annual loss of 18 million acres of forest! Many standard self-care products or practices have a large impact on energy use, waste, packaging, water stewardship and biodiversity. These are all topics to think about and research when we are engaging in self-care and supporting big companies. 

When we think about self-care, maybe we think of pampering ourselves or making ourselves feel good. It’s a time where you actively put yourself first and focus on you! As college students, we can often feel guilty about taking care of ourselves, let alone spending time to relax. We convince ourselves that we don’t have time to focus on what we need, we just need to get the next thing done and the next assignment handed in, we need to work and pay bills! 

It’s easy to forget how important it is to take care of yourself physically and mentally - maybe some of us have never even known what that’s like. In commercials and television shows we see people pampering themselves, buying loads of clothes or fun face masks - people often spend money and buy new things with hope that it will bring them joy. 

But what happens when you’ve made a new goal for yourself and you’re aiming to live a more sustainable lifestyle? What happens when you don’t want to buy new things or you just want to use something you already have?  

Check out some of these sustainable self-care tips from @sustainablemoco to help you take care of yourself while taking care of the Earth! 

  • Try to get enough sleep during the night OR take a nap
  • Keep a journal – use one that you have laying around or even go digital. Writing a daily to do list will help you feel less jumbled 
  • Meditate – download a mediation app and start with 3 minutes a day 
  • Call a loved one and catch up 
  • Spend time caring for your indoor or outdoor plants  
  • Incorporate a stretching routine to your day 
  • Switch off tech and take a break from the screen 
  • Say no – identify your limits to ward off burn out  
  • Sort through extra supplies and organize your workspace or even your kitchen  
  • Sit and enjoy nature for at least 15 minutes. Can’t make it outside some days? Try opening your window to get fresh air or even sit in the sun by a window and relax 
  • Cook a nourishing meal with the items already in your fridge. Need inspiration? Check out @sustainablemoco on Instagram
  • Declutter your closet and donate a bag of items to your local thrift store 
  • Hydrate yourself with water from a reusable cup or mug; add frozen berries, cucumber, lemon or mint for more flavour 
  • Make your own homemade face mask or lotion with kitchen ingredients  

Written by Kimberly De Jong