A Guide to Conscious Living
How to live more consciously
For many people, 2020 was a catastrophic year punctuated by the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and lockdown after lockdown, among other stressors. These events have changed our lives and our perception of consciousness forever. As we begin 2021, we know that we must find more sustainable solutions for people, for the planet, and for the future. So in light of this, what does it mean to live consciously? And how can we incorporate smarter, more conscious living into our everyday lives?
The meaning of conscious living
Living consciously simply means approaching all aspects of your life with more awareness and intention. Or in other words, being aware of the wider impact your choices have on your community, and on the ecosystems you inhabit. Whether it’s the food you consume, the clothes you buy, how you commute, or how you spend your time, there are many ways to live a more conscious and low-impact lifestyle. But it is not only that: conscious living also means appreciating the smaller details – seeing with clarity, and enjoying smells, textures, and sounds without distraction.
Making sustainable choices
Recent times have shown us that we cannot predict the events in our lives. And in a new year with limited travel possibilities, we have had to transform our definitions of experience, be they social gatherings, holidays, or the pastimes we enjoy. When travel does resume openly, being aware of our carbon footprint is important. Take trains and buses over planes where possible, travel light, buy local, and visit places in their off-seasons to support their economies.
In terms of general consumption, ways to live more consciously include eating less meat, boycotting fast fashion, shopping for groceries at markets over supermarkets, using reusable coffee cups and water bottles, composting your food scraps, and cycling over driving.
Making your house more sustainable
Revamping our home space to be more eco-friendly can bring more health and happiness into our lives. Start with some urban gardening: a veggie patch, herb garden, or fill your apartment with plants for more greenery and effective indoor air cleaning. For modern and green interior design improvements, keep it minimal. Choose sustainable furniture made of natural materials, intelligent energy-saving systems, and take advantage of natural light.
Initiating small changes in your everyday life can start through your purchasing choices. There are so many great sustainability-driven brands and small businesses across all industries: Original Unverpackt is Berlin’s first zero-waste supermarket and online shop, and the most well-known plastic-free store in Germany. You’ll find a range of bulk goods as well as natural bathroom and cleaning essentials, and speciality items like their popular almond butter, which oozes out of a soft-serve machine. Shopping in London? There’s an endless supply of ethical fashion boutiques, pushing back against the textile industry – one of the planet’s biggest polluters. Try Aida in Shoreditch, 69b Boutique in Hackney, or Stella McCartney’s flagship store in Mayfair.