10 Zero-Waste Home Ideas

When broken down into simple steps, zero-waste alternatives at home are easier that we may initially imagine. Take the inspiring example of Bea Johnson and her family who produce not even a jar of waste per year. A stance against needless waste is not only essential for sustainability purposes, it also enables us to save money while inviting us to lead a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle. You may be wondering how a zero-waste home is even possible, and you are not alone (FYI I am far from setting up a zero-waste home). The good news is that there are many small steps we can take at home to reduce our accumulation of needless waste. Here are some simple, non-time-consuming ideas that can contribute and inspire you to have a more zero-waste home lifestyle.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

granite pot with water with violet orchid and yellow flowers
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Compostable Brushes and Sponges

How many washing up sponges and scourers have we thrown away over the years? I dread to think! Not only are they used to wash up, but they are also commonly used for cleaning the bathroom. In most cases, the typical supermarket sponges are neither recyclable nor biodegradable. This means that their carbon footprint is huge and that they will unsustainably accumulate in landfills for years. Thankfully, innovative options exist. Firstly, there are compostable, wooden brushes that are durable, effective and compostable for when they are no longer useable. Another compostable option is the 100% plant-based loofa sponge. This is perfect for washing up, and it’s soft enough to clean surfaces and windows. Always check that it’s compostable before you invest in the product.

Homemade Cleaning Product

According to zero-waste activist Lauren Singer, we can actually make an incredibly efficient, versatile cleaning product with just three simple ingredients – yes, you heard right! Not only are many chemical cleaning products toxic to humans, they also have a detrimental effect on the environment due to their volatile organic compounds. Organic and natural products are on the market, but why not make your own? Literally all you need is water, distilled white vinegar and optional scented essential oil. Check out Lauren’s homemade non-toxic cleaner here that’s perfect for surfaces, windows, sinks, and tiles. The vinegar kills the bacteria and can even remove any tough stains, though it’s not recommended on marble or granite.

Bar Dish Soap

Shampoo and soap bars are well-known eco-friendly options, but let’s take a moment to appreciate the bar dish soap. Say goodbye to fairy liquid, as its solid counterpart is an eco-friendly, zero-waste alternative. Shop for a natural, chemical-free bar with zero packaging. Here’s a 100% natural, compostable version courtesy of Package Free Shop.

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Composting

Some food waste is inevitable. Think banana skins, egg shells, fruit peels, and tea bags. Did you know that most of our food waste ends up rotting in landfill sites, consequently releasing a damaging greenhouse gas called methane? If you live in an area that has a local food waste collection service, take advantage of that. Invest in a small food bin and some fully compostable bin liners to facilitate the process. You could consider composting at home, here you can find out the ins and outs of how to compost.

Aloe Vera Conditioning

Aloe Vera is a plant that’s worth investing in. It has anti-inflammatory, cooling properties which makes it an ideal moisturiser, after-sun and can even boost the time a wound like a cut or burn takes to heal. Additionally, its enzymes help repair dead skin cells on the scalp keeping dandruff at bay, while it is also able to condition and revitalise hair much like it can the skin.  In fact, there are numerous benefits to natural, chemical-free beauty and personal hygiene products including our own health and, of course, the planet’s eco-system. Check out this short YouTube video for a step-by-step guide on how to make a homemade leave-in conditioner with just aloe vera and oil.

DIY Toothpaste

Toothpaste tends to come in a plastic tube that, for the most part, just gets chucked away. They also contain chemicals that we naturally digest as we brush our teeth. Thankfully, we can make an organic, vegan toothpaste with just coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint oil. These natural ingredients are way better for the environment and, though it won’t taste amazing, it’s easy and effective. You can also opt for just baking soda mixed with water, its natural antibacterial and whitening properties make it an excellent natural substitute. However, it doesn’t contain fluoride which is known for its ability to prevent cavities so it’s not a feasible alternative for everyone.

Candles

Who doesn’t love candles for creating a peaceful ambience? The therapeutic flicker produces a sense of calm like no other. However, we could be more eco-friendly when investing in candles. For instance, buying natural candles made of plant-based wax or beeswax are a healthier option for the environment. Ensure that they’re free of petroleum, parabens and harmful synthetic fragrances which pollute the air. It’s also a great idea to buy package-free candles so free-standing candles or, failing that, candles that come in a recyclable or compostable container.

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Organic, Compostable Masks

OK, so you may not wear a mask at home, but given the current climate every home has at least one. The amount of waste the mask industry is producing is unthinkable. Masks have come to be an essential item for our safety. Luckily, there are innovative, efficient options on the market. Take this organic, double-layered cotton mask, in fact, the mask and its filters are 100% compostable at its end of life.

Plantable Pencil

This is, quite simply, an ingenious invention! Pencils are needed at school, university, in the office, and when do they not come in handy at home?! Once you’ve finished writing with these pencils, plant them and watch them grow into a plant or herb depending on the product. 

Waste Not Want Not

What does this even mean? It means that when we use resources carefully, we are never in need. Don’t throw away good food, instead use it up, freeze it or compost it. Don’t throw out perfectly good products in order to replace them, use them up first. These ideas are not to further encourage the purchasing of products, but rather to help make responsible decisions when you next run out of any of the above or are in search of a replacement. Invest in natural products and resources with no or little packaging. Running out of shampoo? Read up on the best eco-friendly options. Falling short on paper? Snap up some local recycled paper. Long story short, be resourceful and mindful of what goes into the trash. Every single thing that goes in the trash could be seen as inspiration for the next zero-waste idea.

The aim of this article is not to achieve a zero-waste home, but rather to help you work towards an eco-friendlier way of life one step at a time. Learn from others, find inspiration around you and be mindful of household waste. Every little conscious change counts for something. Let me know your favourite zero waste home suggestions in the comments below.

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

We are taught from a young age not to compare ourselves to others. Yet, it’s much easier said than done. There are endless ways in which we tend to compare ourselves including our jobs, income, house, grades, likes on Instagram, and the list goes on. Not only are there an infinite number of areas in which we can compare ourselves to others, nowadays because of social media, it would appear that there is also an infinite list of people we can also compare ourselves to.

First-hand experience has taught us that comparison leads to unhappiness. It allows us to focus on what we don’t have or what we aren’t happy with about ourselves. It’s true that there can be some benefits to comparison. For instance, it could drive you to succeed in fulfilling your own goals. It may even reassure you that if it’s possible for them, it’s possible for you too. Nevertheless, it often leaves us feeling frustrated, “why not me?” It can also make us feel anxious – “am I doing enough?” The energy we spend on these thoughts is predominantly negative. It eats away at our precious time, zaps at our motivation and fills us with self-doubt.

This reaction is not unusual. According to a study concerning envy in adulthood, more than 75% of people reported feeling this way in the past year. Below are five proactive approaches to stop comparing yourself to others, and regain control to focus on your own path.

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Establish the triggers

The first step is to acknowledge when these feelings of envy generally come about. Is it after a session of scrolling through your LinkedIn feed? Perhaps it’s after glancing at your friends’ Instagram stories. These observations teach us a lot about our values. Let off some steam or seek to understand these comparisons by getting it down on paper. Write about how they impact you, is there a goal that you could perhaps establish in order to achieve that in your own life, or is the comparison simply a waste of time. Become aware of the triggers and analyse them accordingly.

Practice Gratitude

Thankfully, practicing gratitude can override these negative emotions. If you find yourself comparing yourself to others, take a look around you – think about who and what you’re grateful for. It may help to write these down or even make this a collective activity. With your family, friends, or partner, create a gratitude jar. Find a mason jar, decorate it to your liking, and fill it with at least one thing each day that you are grateful for. With the current situation, you could consider creating a virtual gratitude jar through a Whatsapp group. When you find yourself slipping into comparison mode or self-doubt, reach for the gratitude jar to uplift you.

Identify your Achievements

When focusing on others, we tend to focus on their strengths and, consequently, we ignore our own. This is a lose-lose situation that can be proactively turned into a win-win situation. Go ahead and identify your own achievements to reflect on your skills and talents. Begin to list all of your recent (or not so) achievements, no matter how big or small. From helping a friend to doing a workout with zero motivation, take pride in your achievements.  

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Embrace the Inspiration

Behind everyone’s success is a story. We tend to focus on the outcome as opposed to the hours they spent working hard and making sacrifices for their achievements. Instead of focusing on envy, embrace it as a form of motivation. Who are the people you aspire to be like? If you know them, reach out to them. If it’s someone in the public eye, do your research and find out about their story. Let them be the inspiration for what you can be, do and achieve.

Friend or Foe?

There are two options when it comes to self-talk – friend or foe. You know that voice inside your head that tells you every insult under the sun? This one’s the foe. If you wouldn’t say it to your friend, don’t say it to yourself. When you succumb to comparison mode, be your own best friend. Be kind to yourself by acknowledging and reminding yourself of your unique values. Give yourself pep talks that build up your confidence, and instill you with positivity.

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms.” – Zen Shin

There will always be someone more successful, more intelligent, or more beautiful than you are. The key is to appreciate your uniqueness, focus on strengths. Take control of where you put your energy. Use it to believe in yourself and create the life you desire and deserve.

You’ve got this!

Productivity: The Art of Staying Focused

Whether you already have an efficient routine or you are yet to find one, many of us could do with mastering the art of productivity. Planning our working day as efficiently as possible enables us to reap the benefits of hard work, whilst also enjoying some free time too. This guide offers tips on how to foster productivity, minimise distractions, and the art of prioritisation.

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Sleep

Sleep sets you up for the day. Avoid waking up on the wrong side of the bed by getting the recommended 7-8 hours. Create a warm, cosy bedroom environment to make getting enough sleep as achievable as possible. Calm a busy mind before bedtime by utilising the 4-4-4 breathing technique. Breath in for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, then exhale to the count of four. According to scientific research, slowing your breath triggers a relaxation response in the brain and body, setting you up for the perfect night’s sleep.

Efficient Planning Tool

Have you ever come across Eisenhower’s urgent/important matrix tool? If you have, I’m positive that you can testify its effectiveness. If you haven’t, you can check out a visual here. This time management tool is a powerful way to prioritise time, tasks and goals. The planner displays four quadrants which enable you to divide tasks by their level of urgency and importance. This matrix allows you to visualise and determine what tasks you need to do and which tasks should be prioritised. Often we are productive, but none of it has real value in the long run. This method will empower you to plan and prioritise long-term goals each week.

Start with the Most Important Tasks

According to Laborit’s law, we should start with the most mentally draining task at the beginning of the day. The following scenario may sound familiar to you. You have a dreaded task to do, instead of doing it right away you procrastinate, carrying out simpler tasks that bring immediate satisfaction. Also known as “The Law of the Least Effort”, we’re essentially perpetuating the sensation of that unpleasant task hovering over us. To master productivity, start the day with the most difficult task and reward yourself as soon as it’s finished.

Adios Distractions

Are you susceptible to distractions such as Whatsapp messages, aimlessly scrolling on social media or googling random thought processes? Guilty as charged! If, like many, you tend to get distracted by your phone, leave it another room. Keep it on silent and out of reach in order to let your focus flow. Also, try not to constantly check emails and carry out several tasks at once. Focus on the task in hand; monotasking, not multitasking, is the secret to getting things done efficiently.

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Get Inspired

The subconscious mind is one of the most powerful tools and, in turn, ultimately the key to our success. Every day our mind is shaped by the environment in which we live. Our memories, beliefs, fears, subjective maps of reality are all examples of our subconscious mind that govern the course of our life. It’s essential to override subconscious negativity with inspiration. Listen to podcasts, read books, and spend time with people that inspire you. Fill your environment with inspirational quotes, vision boards, get out in nature.

Productivity is the result of commitment, efficient planning and focused effort. I highly recommend Stephen R. Covey’s best selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to learn more on efficiency and expertise in purposeful productivity.

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen R. Covey

Simple Self-Care Tips for the Winter Season

As winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the perfect time to embrace the seasonal changes. Winter is rolling in which means our self-care routines and leisure activities, much like our wardrobes, are in need of a switch-up. Welcome in the beauty of winter with these simple self-care tips to embrace the chill.

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The Benefits of a Seasonal Routine

Did you know that the seasons affect both our body and mind? Scientific studies show that seasonal variations including temperatures, daylight, and weather conditions affect us. Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is an example of human seasonality. Those with the disorder tend to suffer depressive episodes in late autumn or early winter, sapping energy and augmenting mood swings. One reason for this is that reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin levels.

Luckily, there are some simple steps we can take in order to stay in sync with the seasons. Our daily self-care practices help keep us happy and healthy. So with the arrival of winter, it’s time to prioritise self-care.

Winter Walks

Nothing is quite as refreshing as a winter walk. Not only is it a wonderful way to get a dose of fresh air, it also provides us with the natural light that our body craves during the winter months. It may seem less appetising during the cold months, especially on those frosty mornings. Even so, you won’t regret it. It’s a wonderful way to get exercise and even enjoy the company of a loved one. Or, to make the most of some alone time, why not make it meditative by giving a walking meditation a go?

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Vitamin D

During the winter months, it can be hard to get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone. Yet, vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones and strengthening our immune systems. Studies actually show that vitamin D deficiency is associated with depression. Luckily, between 10-30 minutes of midday sunlight several times a week is a great way to get your dose of vitamin D. And, for those gloomy days, there are some delicious sources of vitamin D including: fortified soy, almond and rice milk, mushrooms, fortified orange juice, oily fish and fortified cereals and oats.

Soak in Hot Baths

Soaking in a bath is a pleasant way to relax and, according to the Healthline, it can also help reduce inflammation and control blood sugar. Basically, a relaxing bubble bath can be used as an excellent antidote to a stressful day as well as warming you up amid the winter chill. Soak in a hot bath whilst soothing your senses with some scented candles or fragrant bath salts. Or why not make a day of it and schedule a spa day for the ultimate relaxation.

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Ayurvedic Rituals

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of holistic health, which embraces natural practices to nurture the body and mind. In Ayurveda, wellness is known as the absence of disease and the vibrancy of being at ease with yourself and others. Although Ayurveda focuses on three different body types, there are many lifestyle practices to benefit from regardless of our dosha. Tongue scraping, for example, first thing in the morning is an effective way of removing toxins and bacteria accumulated overnight. Drinking warm water first thing also has incredible benefits including hydration of the body’s tissues, aiding digestion, and, of course, keeping you warm and cosy on those winter mornings. For more amazing Ayurvedic practices and an in-depth guide to rituals and recipes specific to your body type, check out this Ayurvedic Beginner’s Guide.

Journaling

Momentaneous sadness or irritation is normal irrespective of the seasons. Yet, those rainy days or winter chills can take an extra toll on our mood at times. This is when journaling can come in handy. Relaying your thoughts on paper is a great way of coping with fleeting negativity. It can help to understand the reasons behind these emotions, or even enable us to stumble upon some solutions. Positive affirmations are also a great way to stay on track in moments of self-doubt or worry. We are what we think, and in turn, our moods, days, and lives stem from our thoughts. Release some “feel-good” hormones with the help of psychologist Doctor Carmen Harra’s expertise in affirmations.

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Music

Did you know that your brain actually releases dopamine, also known as the feel-good neurotransmitter, when you listen to music? Pleasurable music induces release of dopamine, contributing to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. So, if you’re looking for an instant mood-boosting hack to cure your winter blues, it’s time to put your favourite playlist on. And what better way to get in the Christmas spirit than dancing, cooking or showering to some Christmas classics. Because, who doesn’t feel happier after listening to Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, right?

Ignite Your Inner Creativity

Getting creative is entertaining and provides us with an abundance of benefits. From stress relief to increased confidence, we have all experienced first-hand the feeling of accomplishment that creativity brings. Whether it be some mindful baking to whip up some tasty treats, reading in a cosy corner of the house or drawing and painting to your heart’s desire, the options are endless. To practice some seasonal creativity, why not create a beautiful hand-made gift this Christmas or have a go at making some delicious wintery drinks to feel replenished.

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Winter is a wonderful season that has so much to offer. From snuggling up on the sofa with a hot chocolate to exhilarating winter sports, this season deserves to be celebrated. Wintertime is renowned for its frosty mornings and crisp air, yet it’s also a time to embrace the beauty of winter walks, cosy corners and festive spirits.

Silencing Your Inner Critic – 5 Simple Steps Towards Self-Love

We have all been held back at some point by our inner critic as its innate negativity eats away at our self-confidence and self-love. The question is: how can we silence that critical voice and achieve inner peace?

Ackowledgement

Recognise that it is just a thought. A thought is fleeting and, as they come and go, negative ones are bound to arrive at some stage. The first step is to recognise that it is a self-constructed thought and that only we are in control of our thoughts.

Name your Inner Critic

Give your inner critic a name. So, we’ve all heard of negative Nancy, right? Not only is it super catchy, but it also acts as a reminder to stop us moaning eventually because nobody likes a complainer. So why is it OK to be negative in our mind, to feed our inner critic? Let’s not give way to such a voice. Giving your inner critic a name will make it easier to recognise, thus becoming easier to silence. This technique further solidifies the fact that the inner critic is not you.

Negative Nancy who?!

Do not give the thought/your inner critic importance. The more you fret about it, the more you succumb to instilling the negativity in your mind. For example, if you find yourself thinking “I am so useless. I always mess up” listen as it comes to your consciousness, and let it go. That thought, “negativity Nancy” only grows if you let it.

Replace Negativity with Positivity

Override the negativity with positivity. The garden analogy works perfectly here: we remove weeds to stop them from stealing the sun, nutrients, and water from the plants and flowers we wish to grow. Watering the weeds would just be counterproductive. Instead of watering the weeds, we must remove them in order to let the flowers grow. The same situation exists in our minds.  Upon recognising your inner critic, that unwelcomed weed, be sure to replace it with a positive thought.

Highlight your Strengths

Invest in a self-love journal. Every time someone gives you a compliment, write it down. Every time you recognise a personal strength, jot that down too. Give examples, elaborate, big yourself up. This will act as a strong DIY weed killer in those times of need. If one day you are facing a fierce battle against negative Nancy, the self-love journal is there to lend you a helping hand with your struggles. Take a glimpse, or read through as much as it takes to silence that dreaded (but completely normal!) negativity.

“Loving yourself isn’t vanity – it’s sanity.” – Katrina Mayer

A Powerful Mind-set For Success – Earl Nightingale’s Wisdom Shared

According to Earl Nightingale, “success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal.” Earl believed that the biggest societal failure was conformity. He argued that this mind-set is formed through the belief that life happens to us. Instead, he defined the successful as those who are progressively realising a worthy ideal. Quite simply, success is if we work in a certain profession because that’s what we truly want, that we form a family because that’s what we truly want, and that we buy things because they’re what we truly want. Let’s dive into Earl’s nuggets of wisdom to find out how to strive for the right kind of success, not the success that we think we want.

Don’t Compete – Create

We are not here to compete, we are here to create. To avoid conformity, think about what you truly want in life, your own priorities. Each individual has different pleasures, passions and perceptions. Do not choose a career based on another person’s definition of success. Choose a career that aligns with your passions and interests.

Set Goals

The key to success is setting goals. Goals ensure that we have something to work towards, thus enabling us to constantly make progress. Goals provide us with guidance in order to create the life we truly desire. Think about what you truly want in life, and make that your goal starting from today. It’s important to set attainable goals and work towards them each day.

We Are the Seeds We Sow

The difference between success and failure is mind-set. Life is what you make of it. So, if we are what we think about this means we can alter our lives. We become what we think about. What we plant, we reap; if we think it, it will materialise. Planting your goal in your mind is of vital importance to your success. Visualise the moment of reaching the goal; imagination is key. Focus to determine the future because our mind is our guidance. By controlling our thoughts, we control our mind. Ensure that positive thoughts override any negative ones, self-disciplining the mind is key.

The Test

Earl encourages a 30-day experiment to work towards success. The experiment entails doing your best, forcing yourself to think positively, and believing that it is impossible to fail. Firstly, write down what you want more than anything else on a card, a single goal. Carry this with you and look at it each day. It gives you something to get out of bed for and strive for.

Mind Over Matter

Think about it and soon it will be yours. Stop thinking about what you fear. Each time fear strikes or you feel like giving up, take control of your mind and remind yourself of your goal and why you want it so much. Know where you are going and ensure that you don’t get distracted. Do your best to focus on this purpose and progress towards it. Give more of yourself every day, do more than is expected.

According to Earl, “you get back what you put out in life” and remember, you are what you believe yourself to be.

Check out Earl’s audio here to learn more:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbBHR_CD56M

How to Feel Happy

Happiness

noun

  1. the quality or state of being happy.
  2. good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.

Happiness is what everyone strives for in life. It is what everyone tells you to be, but no one really tells you how to be it. Happiness is subject to every individual making it a rather complex topic. Luckily with in-depth research and hard-work, we now know the hacks to lead a happier life so let’s dive into different ways to increase our happiness!

Avoid the “if when” Mindset

In a world in which we are surrounded by social media and glamorous ads, we are susceptible to superficial ideas of happiness. Just scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, or passing commercials in the street, we constantly see people, products, and services that make happiness seem so achievable. If you book that holiday, you’ll be happy. If you get that promotion, you’ll feel happier. It gives us hope that we will find happiness if or when this happens – it’s a waiting game. The problem with this “if when” mindset is that we are constantly depending on that future moment for our happiness. We are aware of what we lack, thus failing to see what we actually have. The best way to tackle this is by replacing the “if when” mind-set by counting your blessings and thinking about everyone and everything you are fortunate enough to have in your life right now.

Gratitude

The infamous gratitude list is the BEST way to really think about what we have and embrace it with open arms. Start the day on a positive note by making it the first thing you do in the morning. Look around you and start to think about your blessings: nature, food and drink, pets, family, friends, beautiful places, access to water, safety, good health, wildlife, a home, entertainment. Make a concerted effort to see all the good that encompasses you. Check out this free five-minute morning journal below to make gratitude a daily ritual.

Connecting With Others

Spending time alone is great and definitely needed, but spending time with others should also be a priority. As an introvert, this can be a struggle. Reminding yourself that we humans thrive off social interactions and supportive relationships is a great reason to organise a get-together with loved ones. The most important thing is to be sure that you are making real genuine connections that contribute to your psychological well-being. Organise something you enjoy with someone you get joy from being with in order to boost those feel-good vibes. Notice how you feel after certain social activities and interactions and aim to fill your social schedule with the ones that leave you feeling great afterwards.

Go Easy on Yourself

Sometimes you will feel down and that’s completely normal. Just like every other emotion, happiness is fleeting. This means that those bad moods will end and those moments of joy too. Psychologically speaking, there are two types of happiness. Hedonistic happiness is the fleeting kind such as that first bite of chocolate, receiving a compliment, or going on vacation. Hedonistic happiness is about experiences of pleasure and joy.

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Diving Deeper

On the other hand, eudaimonic happiness is the purposeful, long-lasting type. When your values and beliefs are expressed in your choices, habits, and actions, you are practicing eudaimonia. Those that experience this type of happiness enjoy life and all it has to offer. This sense of fulfillment is reached from the pursuit of meaning and virtue.

Eudaimonic Happiness

Eudaimonic happiness offers a completely different perspective on what it means to have a good life. It involves discovering our purpose and investing in personal growth. This sense of fulfillment will enable us to feel more content and purpose. The concept contains six pillars that experts deem to be crucial in the pursuit of lasting happiness.

The elements are autonomy, personal growth, environmental mastery, positive relations, self-acceptance, and purpose in life. To clarify, autonomy refers to the ability to feel confident enough to pursue your own path in life and build yourself a life without getting wrapped up in other people’s opinions. Environmental mastery is the ability to create a suitable environment to accommodate personal needs and values. By taking on these challenges you are investing in your long-term happiness which, needless to say, will definitely be worth it.

“Happiness is not out there, it’s in you.” – Louise Armstrong

8 Simple Ways to Help Save the Planet

Sustainability in day-to-day life is a great way to help save the planet and even save some money too. The key is to remember that it’s the little things that make a difference. So, here you are 8 simple ways to look after the planet because, let’s face it, the Earth is our home.

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swann.

Eat Less Meat

By replacing meat with plant-based alternatives, think lentils, beans, and plants, you can help save the planet by helping reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Vegetarian Society, the farming production process actually “totals 30% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.” Fortunately, there are also further benefits to a plant-based diet beyond sustainability purposes.

Avoid Palm Oil

In terms of sustainability, palm oil is a huge no-no. This is a result of the large-scale devastation of forests that the process of palm oil extraction entails. It’s the cause of widespread habitat loss for endangered species including rhinos, elephants, and orangutans.

Cycling

For short journeys, having a bike is a great way to travel sustainably. Having a bike is so much cheaper than going by car, it has zero emissions, and you will even burn some calories on the way.

Photo of cafe with bike
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Cook with the Lid on

Cooking with the lid on your pots and pans or even using a steam cooker is a great way to conserve energy. Covering your pots requires less cooking time which means you get your food quicker and help save energy, it’s a win-win situation!

Recycle oil

Just 1 litre of water poured down the kitchen sink can lead to up to 1000 litres of polluted water. By recycling cooking oil, we can help prevent severe environmental damage as well as that dreaded drain blockage. Recycled oil can actually be used to produce fuel or even fertilizer, so making that trip to the oil recycling point is definitely worthwhile.

Reusable Bottles

Did you know that a plastic bottle takes around 450 years to decompose? For this reason, it’s worth investing in a reusable drinking bottle. Not only does it save you money on buying bottled water, but it also prevents one-use-only plastic purchases.

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Unplug Everything

Although turned off at the switch, all plugged-in devices actually consume some energy known as “standby” energy loss. So, do not be deceived by the fact that your device is turned off, it can still sneakily keep drawing power.

Support Green Businesses

Whether it be beauty brands, food-related, or even a local business, what better way to invest your money than knowing that you are helping save the planet through their sustainability? Look for eco-friendly brands and google the most sustainable businesses in your local area to get collaborating right away. Plus, this way you might avoid spending spree guilt!

I hope these simple ways to lead a more sustainable life have been of use to you. Comment below and let me know the most effective ways to be more environmentally friendly on a day-to-day basis!

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Paying Attention to Detail: Brighten up Your Day with Gratitude

Gratitude has the ability to transform your mindset from negativity to positivity. According to scientific studies, not only does it improve your psychological health, but it also improves your physical health. It can help rid us of toxic emotions like anger or envy, and fight off any fleeting negativity. For some, gratitude may be engrained in your daily routine, or for others, it may be a spontaneous activity. Either way, here are some sources of inspiration to brighten up your day with gratitude.

Think Outside the Box

For those of you that keep a gratitude journal, I’m sure you’ve spotted some common themes, things that constantly appear on your list. These might be family, friends, health, financial security, pets etc. and understandably so! They are the essential pillars of happiness for many. It’s always interesting to spice it up a bit and think of a range of things unique to the present day or week that you feel grateful for. For example, instead of writing friends in general, name someone that you feel particularly grateful for now.

house in the middle of crop field
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Pay Attention

From a young age, my nan has been a source of inspiration. She pays attention to all the good around her and always has something positive to say. She finds joy in all the little things that most of us hardly notice. The amazing things she sees on her walks, about the wonderful cooking she’s been doing, how beautiful the flowers that are blooming in her garden are… She pays attention to the little things we tend to forget about and it’s definitely the secret behind her happiness. She is grateful for and mindful of everything that encompasses her. Let’s take a leaf out of her book and pay attention to our surroundings and day-to-day activities in a mindful way.

The Honey Bee Analogy

A while back I came across an incredibly inspiring video by a guru called Radhanath Swami. It’s about the honey bee and the fly mentality. The analogy talks about where each of these creatures gives its attention. A honey bee goes from flower to flower in search of nectar. It doesn’t worry about the size of the flower or how far away it might be, it searches for the flower’s essence. It does this in the most unexpected of places, despite the fact it might be next to rubbish or filth. Whereas the fly is, quite literally, always looking for shit. It focuses on the rubbish despite all the beauty that might be nearby.

The Gratitude Mindset

The fly represents the mind that fails to notice all the good things we’re surrounded by. In contrast, the honey bee makes a concerted effort to look for positivity, no matter how hard that may be. This analogy emphasises the fact that fault-finding is a habit, a mindset. It is so easy to focus on all the negativity around us, just like the fly. What is more challenging is the honey bee approach, paying attention to all the good around us. If you look hard enough, it will be there even on those bad days. Don’t fall into the trap of being the fly, pay attention to everything good that there is to be grateful for around you.

Positivity is Perspective

Strive to pay attention to all the good around you. If you find yourself falling into the fly mindset, remind yourself to look just a little further just like the honey bee. Go on a walk in nature, listen to your favourite playlist, cook a recipe you love. It’s about being mindful of the little things that so often go by unnoticed. The secret to gratitude is in paying attention to detail.

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Monday Motivation: Mountain-Inspired Quotes

The Mountains are one of nature’s finest gifts. They provide us with freshwater, enable us to hike, to absorb breath-taking views. But above all, they remind us of how beautiful our planet truly is. So, on this Monday morning, let’s start the day right with some mountain-inspired quotes.

trees near body of water
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Visualise your Goals

“When everything feels like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top.” –  W. Michael Scott

Everyone struggles with a case of the Monday Blues every once in a while, right? We’re in need of some Monday motivation. Luckily, looking at the mountains helps put things into perspective. Today is Monday, we’re at the bottom ready for the week ahead. Find motivation by visualising the moment in which you reach your goals. Whether that be your dream career or a fitness challenge, each goal counts. In fact, scientific studies have shown that visualization has a positive impact on goal achievement. There are no views without the climb much like there is no Friday without Monday. Everything worthwhile presents challenges and that’s part of the fun. We have to put the work in to reap the rewards. So grab that cup of coffee and give it your all.

It’s OK to Have a Bad Day…

“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved, like a road through mountains.” – Tennesse Williams

OK, so for anyone struggling with Monday motivation, this quote is for you. It brings complete peace of mind knowing that life is not all sunshine and rainbows. As Tennesse famously said, life is as tumultuous as the mountains that give depth to the Earth. It’s reassuring to know that we also form part of that tortuousness. So, if you are having a bad day or something didn’t go as planned, remember it’s completely normal and only temporary, of course.

grey road near mountain near body of water photo
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Your Only Competition is Yourself

“Climb the mountain so that you can see the world… not so that the world can see you.” – David McCullough Jr.

In a world which revolves around social media, sometimes we post things or even do things based on what we think others will think of us. It has become second nature to post the best of ourselves, only showing our best life. But you can only compare yourself to who you were yesterday. You are your only competition. Work hard and persevere for what you want.

What are your favourite mountain quotes? Let me know in the comments below!