WWhen you think of “self-care”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Completing a multi-step skincare routine? Light a candle and soak in a bubble bath? Going for a walk at sunset?
Regardless of which version of self-care you envision, the odds are that things like recycling, waste reduction, and resource conservation aren’t high on the list — but sustainability expert Jhánneu Roberts wants to change it. Change that, because taking care of yourself and taking care of the planet are more closely linked than you might think.
“The overlap between self-care and sustainable living lies in the recognition that both practices prioritize individual and planetary well-being,” says Roberts. “Self-care involves taking deliberate actions to nurture one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Likewise, living sustainably requires making choices that support the long-term health and balance of Earth’s ecosystems.”
By making a few tweaks to your personal self-care routine (it can be as simple as prioritizing biodegradable fabrics like cotton), you can make it more beneficial for your health. environment, thereby bringing more benefits to you. “It’s all connected,” says Roberts. “When we take care of ourselves, we are better equipped to take care of the planet and inspire others to do the same.” Follow her lead with the planet-friendly self-care methods below.
1. Try on active clothes made from plant-based fabrics
You don’t want your activewear to be just about style—you want it to work, too. And if it could be earth-friendly? Yes, that’s even better. Luckily for you, there’s one fabric that athletes appreciate for quality, breathability and durability: cotton. Not to mention that it’s easy to care for and will last a long time — even after countless wash cycles.
You’ll love it because even during your most intense workouts, it wicks away sweat and doesn’t lose shape over time. The planet will love it because when you finally put your old cotton gym equipment to use, it will biodegrade instead of contributing to microplastic pollution. And since cotton fiber is made up of more than 40% carbon, simply wearing cotton clothing helps keep the carbon out of the environment until it biodegrades.
Buy planet-friendly activewear
2. Choose a more plant-based diet
With so many delicious plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs, it’s easier than ever to swap your usual meal for a vegetarian or vegan version. No, this doesn’t mean that you have to stop eating burgers or burrata altogether (unless you want to, of course), but that you make a conscious effort to substitute a meat-based dish every now and then. Dinner with your favorite fruits and vegetables. , and whole grains.
How can being plant-based benefit the environment? “Consuming less meat and dairy can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable food system,” says Roberts. A simple way to start is to choose a day of the week to go meat-free. Stick to it all year long and you will prevent a huge 100 kg of CO₂ from being released into the atmosphere.
Plant-based alternative shop
3. Incorporate cotton into your skin care routine
The refreshing feeling of a cleansed face can only be better by drying with a soft towel. And when it comes to the fabric of your towels, you’ll want to choose hypoallergenic 100% cotton so you never have to worry about skin irritation.
In addition to bath towels and face wipes, you can use cotton in your skincare line through cottonseed oil. Powerful ingredients help protect your skin from environmental aggressors like UV exposure, keep your skin hydrated, and can help calm skin inflammation (goodbye, redness). Add it to your rotation as a cleanser or moisturizer and see for yourself the planet-friendly difference it can make.
4. Clean out your closet
There’s no greater sense of accomplishment than tidying up your space. However, sometimes it’s easy to close your closet door, despite the chaos inside because, … out of sight, out of sight. Organizing your wardrobe will make it easier to find your favorite pieces of clothing faster and will help keep your wardrobe fresh so you’re not tempted to constantly add new pieces. .
As for the pile of clothes that you’re ready to part with, you can also handle them with a sustainability mindset. Since authentic denim is made from sustainable cotton, the Blue Jeans Go Green™ program makes it easy to send in your denim for reuse into new products. This way, your old jeans won’t contribute to the approximately 16 million tons of textile waste discarded each year.
5. BYOC (bring your own cup)
Sometimes, just buying yourself a cup of iced coffee can be just the self-care moment you need—that’s until you start to feel tired. small guilty about the combination of plastic cups and straws the bartender gives you.
Make your coffee break a moment of total comfort by carrying an insulated, reusable cup for refills. “Many coffee shops happily refill their cups instead of using disposable cups,” says Roberts. “That way, you prevent single-use cup waste from piling up in landfills and help reduce plastic pollution.” Some chains even offer discounts for customers who bring their own cups. Saving your money, planet and peace of mind at the same time? Now that’s real self-care.