Sustainability and Self-Care: How to Make Self-Care Practices Sustainable
By: Simrit Dhillon
Often times when considering sustainability and self-care, it can be difficult to see the connections between the two concepts. However, both can easily be intertwined, as many self-care practices can be adapted to be sustainable and environmentally-friendly.
Some Self-Care Practices Made Sustainable
Some self-care practices that one can engage in include:
- taking a walk
- having a warm drink
- using a face mask
- decluttering their home
- reading a book
To make a walk more sustainable and environmentally-driven, one could consider ensuring the location that they choose is within nature. For instance, you could choose to go for a walk through a park, a forest, or along the beach. This may also improve self-care, since it is possible that more greenery and a body of water can improve the quality of oxygen.
For a warm drink, sustainability can come in the form of trying to source your drink organically, through fair trade, and locally. For example, if you want to have coffee, consider buying organic and fair trade coffee beans from a local grocery store, instead of ordering from a chain coffee shop. On the other hand, if you do not have the time to make your own warm beverage, consider purchasing your drink from a local, family-owned business that is organic and locally-sourced.
When using a face mask, the convenience of being able to buy one that is ready for use is often seen as ideal. However, this is not a very sustainable option, and in addition to that, they may actually contain more harmful chemical than expected. Therefore, when deciding you wish to use a face mask for self-care, consider the more sustainable and healthy option of making your own; this way, you can ensure the ingredients are good for your skin, while also being natural, locally-sourced, and organic.
Decluttering one’s home can be a major undertaking, but it can also present the opportunity for self-care: making one’s workspace or room cleaner and less cluttered can make you feel better and more capable of managing your tasks for the day.
That being said, when getting rid of one’s old things, it is important to note which things are compostable, recyclable, and donation-worthy. Choosing to utilize these options instead of just throwing things away when you are decluttering is a much more sustainable and environmentally-friendly way of practicing self-care.
Finally, reading is a great way to take care of yourself, as it can be a very enjoyable activity that gets your brain active. Unfortunately, it can also be somewhat detrimental to the environment. Thus, to be more sustainable, consider buying eBooks/audio books instead of physical books; or consider purchasing books from local bookstores instead of large chains, so there is less travel required for the books. Similarly, going in-person to purchase books is more sustainable than ordering them to be shipped from long distances.
Hence, there are many ways in which self-care can be practiced while also respecting the environment by being sustainable.
- Kellogg, K. Sustainable and cheap — 15 self-care ideas [Internet]. Going zero waste. 2020 Mar 18. [cited 2021 Dec 2]. Available from: https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/sustainable-ethical-and-cheap-15-self-care-ideas/