4 ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle | Melissa Hemsley
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4 ways to be a more conscious citizen


4 Ways You Can Be A More Conscious Citizen

melissa hemsley sustainability sessions

Start Today: Simple Changes For Sustainable Living

How can we be more conscious citizens? Making the choice towards greener, more sustainable living doesn’t have to mean making the perfect choices all of the time, it’s about making better choices. If you want to make a change, start today, make it consistent and stick with it.

Even though food is my passion and profession, sustainable living is very much a mindset. Once I started applying it to my kitchen, it became hard not to think about it across the board, from my wardrobe and make-up bag to how I travel.

Recently I shared four free and easy tips towards living a greener, happier life from the state of our plate, to greener homes, to our mental and emotional health. 

Now, with Series One of my Sustainability Sessions complete, I look back on what else I’ve learned. Series Two kicks off early next year, I’ll keep you posted!

1. Reduce your carbon food-print
Who else gets enormous eco-anxiety about taking long-haul flights? What can we do to have a more positive environmental and social impact on the countries we visit? Lots of things. Support local communities by eating at locally run restaurants and hotels, volunteer at conservation projects or curb single-use plastic while on the go. 

Next time you’re planning a trip away, think about your carbon food-print. Research what’s in season so you can consciously choose locally grown produce where possible, make your own snacks and bring your own water bottle when you’re on the go so you can avoid plastic-wrapped ingredients and think about minimising your own food waste at the buffet table. 

I wrote more tips on how to travel greener over here.

2. Create your own happy healthy career
Defining what success means to you is the key to a happy, fulfilling career. I got three women – June Sarpong, Fearne Cotton and Emma Gannon – killing it in their professions onto The Sustainability Sessions about how they got to where they are, while managing that all-important healthy work-life balance. 

One easy tip I’ve embraced a lot more is changing the way I think about ‘networking’ to ‘conversations with purpose’. Whatever your career, putting yourself out there can seem intimidating, but simply getting out, meeting and talking to people, whether they’re in your related field or not,  can lead to unexpected and exciting opportunities.

Find one person you think you could learn something from and ask them out for coffee – don’t forget, people love to talk about themselves! 

3. Streamline your beauty regime

Complicated ingredients lists, confusing labels and conflicting advice on ‘natural’ products make choosing a greener, more sustainable beauty regime a minefield.

Start simple. Rather than buying the latest “life-changing’” new beauty product, start to look at how you can streamline your skincare regime to a few quality products.

Every time you’re tempted to buy something, ask yourself, will I use this to the end? If it’s a no, don’t buy it. Also, cut back on those wasteful, disposable wipes and bring back the flannel!

4. Ask *who made your clothes?*
I brought together a few of my favourite slow fashion pioneers to talk about how we can all start to curate a more conscious closet.

Designer and Creative Director at Mother of Pearl, Amy Powney shared some words of wisdom that really hit home for me: “We forget clothes come from farms. When it comes to food, we’ve had a bit of a revelation but we need to understand that more about fashion, and what that means for those farmers”.

If you love fashion but have started to question who or what is behind your clothes, join thousands of others in simply asking that question to your favourite fashion brands: Who Made My Clothes?.

Send an email to your favourite brand or post on Twitter or Instagram tagging those brands with the simple hashtag #whomademyclothes. As for me, I’m pledging to buy or rent my party frocks this Christmas rather than buying them new (thanks slow-fashion activist Venetia Falconer for the inspiration).

Here are 10 more easy ways you can enjoy a more conscious closet!

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