To us, it’s not about just boasting about sustainability but truly living it. And although we don’t live in a perfect highly sustainable world (what does that mean, anyway?) we can still make small changes here and there to reduce our environmental footprint.
In this sustainable living series, we’re discussing real-life situations and solutions for living more sustainably with some of our friends who are pretty much experts on the topic. We sat down with wellness and mindful lifestyle blogger, Jules Hunt from Om & The City, to talk about sustainability and her beliefs in making smarter choices for ourselves and our environment. Through her blog, Jules has built a following by “helping women simplify their lives and find a healthy hustle sans the burnout”. She shares real, actionable insight on everyday wellness, sustainability, non-toxic living, and purposeful productivity for your most vibrant life. Jules’s interest in wellness and sustainable lifestyle began when she was in college, recovering from an eating disorder, “I fell in love with yoga which taught me to love and respect my body in all its forms and to rethink my relationship with food.” Mindfulness started from within, then she started to take her newfound healthy habits out into the world, becoming immersed in clean beauty, minimalism, sustainability, and overall reducing her toxin exposure--topics you can expect to read more about on her blog!
Photo by Jules Hunt
Jules’s motto is “Simplify & Thrive”. Her sustainable living journey started with a simple closet clean-out and home purge in 2017, that progressed into something more impactful--her mindset. She’s become more productive with her time, running her business like a CEO, becoming significantly less wasteful, more thoughtful about purchases, and connecting with what she already has and value all those things.
“The deeper I go, the more I realize that less truly, truly is more,” she says, “having less ‘stuff’ gives me more space to breathe, think, move and create. In short, simplifying is a strong pillar in my life--so much that I wrote an entire guidebook called Simplify & Thrive last summer to help others declutter their lives, reduce stress and amplify happiness and productivity.” Jules truly believes that everyone can benefit to uncover real sustainable happiness with less.
Elaine: What does sustainability mean to you?
Jules: To me, it means being thoughtful about how our actions impact our wellbeing and the world around us. Sustainability isn’t black and white, and it’s not something that can be transformed over night. Sustainability doesn’t only refer to the environment, but it also is about how we treat our bodies and how we manage our time. Fad diets aren’t sustainable, working until 3 am every night isn’t sustainable, and for our planet, continuing this behavior of over-consumption isn’t sustainable. So, what can we do on an individual level and as a society to make a positive change towards sustainability? Well, it takes changing mindless habits, being intentional, questioning where things come from, reducing our desire for more, more, more, and staying consistent with our newfound positive actions.
E: How would you describe your approach to living a more sustainable lifestyle?
J: When people approach it from an ‘all or nothing’ standpoint, that’s when expectations fall short and feelings of failure set in. I believe every little bit counts. Doing SOMETHING to help the planet is better than nothing at all, and imagine the difference we would make if we ALL did a little something. Nobody is perfect, so don’t strive for perfection. Strive for progress.
E: We've been trying to go plastic-free for a month at LARQ. What are some tips you can share about reducing use and purchases of plastic products?
J: There are so many solutions for single-use plastic out there. The hard part is remembering to actually bring them with you! I wrote a blog post all about this. [Find out Jules’s tips on remembering to bring your reusable products with you]
Photo by Jules Hunt
E: It's been really difficult for us to cut out plastic, specifically. What challenges have you faced in cutting out plastic?
J: The hardest part of eliminating plastic is in packaging that gets shipped to me which I can’t easily control, as well as packaging for specific food items that I purchase. I can’t do all of my shopping in the bulk and produce sections… it’s just not realistic for my lifestyle. I am allergic to wheat, so I do buy some gluten-free snacks… some of which come in cardboard boxes and others are packaged in plastic. It’s not perfect. I do my best to avoid single-use plastic as much as possible from disposable cutlery, bags, bottles, and I pre-pack all of my reusable essentials when I’m out and about for the day.
E: What is the biggest change you made in living a sustainable lifestyle? (something that took adjusting, or that significantly reduced waste)
J: I started saying no. No, I don’t need more gifts from brands. No, I don’t need to take this food to-go, I can dine-in instead. No, I don’t need to take that pamphlet or that business card or that flyer you’re trying to hand me on the street. I let go of the pressure to be agreeable and please everyone, and instead, I focus on being kind but holding myself to boundaries I’ve set for myself.
E: What advice do you have for people who want to live more sustainable lifestyles?
J: Start small. Pick one area of your life you’d like to focus on and just start. Be consistent. Consistency is the key to creating lasting habits and lifestyle changes.
E: So, you got to try out our LARQ Bottle for a week. What are your thoughts?
J: It’s a game-changer, especially for travel. I am very particular about my water as I use a Berkey Filter at home that purifies our water. When I’m on the go, I always struggle with refilling my bottle from water fountains. I don’t trust it nor do I like the taste. LARQ has made traveling and refilling my bottle so much easier. I don’t have to worry about washing it, and I can really enjoy my trip while staying hydrated!
We’re so inspired by Jules and her ideas on wellness and mindful living. The important thing is to be mindful--that’s the first step! We’ve seen on our own sustainable living journeys here at LARQ HQ, that doing something like a plastic-free challenge has been truly eye-opening. We’ve come to be more aware of single-use products (they’re everywhere!) and now even after the challenge is over, we’re still continuing to see the wastefulness around us and learning how to live more sustainable lifestyles. The best part about this is continuing to learn more from friends like Jules who are a little more seasoned on the topic than we are.
Liked this article? Check out our last post in this sustainable living series with Jess Ann Kirby!