Sustainability is a big word that often goes hand in hand with perfectionism. "If not quite, then not at all." But does it really have to be that radical? Lisa Amenda caught up with Sinah Diepold. They talked about sustainability and the middle way. The result is 7 tips for more sustainability that can help you in your everyday life to deal more consciously with the resources of our planet.
What does it mean to live sustainably? Is the oat milk in the fridge enough?
Sustainability. That big, powerful word that everyone wants to tie around their necks now. From reusable coffee mugs, to hemp shirts, oat milk and electric cars. The spectrum of ways to do something good for the planet is vast.
I'm too late. I pedal faster once again to overtake the woman in front of me. Here on the bike, in the middle of the Isar Highway, sustainability can easily happen. Crossing Munich from south to north and cycling through the usual sought-after parts of town, you feel like you're in a utopia: cargo bikes, people with recups and bicycles everywhere you look. At every café, every bakery, every restaurant you can refill the stainless steel can you brought with you. Garbage is separated. Second-hand shops look cooler than any designer store and this much-discussed sustainable living seems all of a sudden quite easy to implement without much sacrifice. But is it really? And if so, how easy is it to live sustainably in the middle of Munich today?
Where does sustainability begin? - The path to a resource-friendly life
I'm meeting with my yoga teacher Sinah Diepold to talk to her about sustainability - making this big, powerful topic more tangible. She's been working on the topic for quite a while now. It started for her on a modeling job in Cape Town:
"My defining experience of how I got into sustainability was that I was in Cape Town twice for modelling season with my boyfriend. The second time we were there, it was close to Day Zero. Because of this water shortage, there was no more water to buy in the supermarket and that shook me so deeply - this feeling I can't buy water. Then of course I knew a lot of people who flew down there and then I shared that on social media and said, 'Hey my dear friends, if you're there, please take this seriously.'
And I really went through with it with my friend Lukas and that was just incredibly important for us. That was for me suddenly a feeling of liberation that I finally stand up for what was actually in me. But where I didn't dare before, because you feel guilty and you know you're not behaving correctly, but somehow you also don't know how to go about it. And that was the moment for me at that time that I posted that and I dared to make a statement. I found that to be so positive and got positive feedback and then decided for myself, I want to incorporate that more into my life now."
It was very similar for me. Only with me it was the glacier in Sölden, which at some point was no longer really enough for ski training. Because of global warming. My geography studies, journalism training and yoga teacher training at Kale & Cake followed. And now I'm sitting here in the Kale & Cake locker room talking to Sinah about a topic that is very close to both of our hearts. But what do we actually mean by sustainability? "Trying to consume and take only as much as I really need. First of all, to question what I really need, how can I make sure that I don't harm nature or my home," Sinah explains.
Sustainability starts small and doesn't have to turn your whole life upside down
But do I have to chastise myself for it? Do I have to give up everything that is fun in my life?
"What would be the most sustainable thing? That we don't have children, live vegan and plastic free. Not traveling, just riding our bikes. If that suits anyone, hey go for it, have fun. Living in the Hambi on a hemp mat or chaining yourself to trees for Greenpeace. I have the utmost respect for that and I'm glad that there are people like that. But that doesn't work for everyone and it's always a question of whether it suits me. And that's why I take this middle course. The people who, for example, drink Coca Cola every day, get something at McDonalds and then travel around with the cheap plane. The main thing is to go to Malle and quickly to Thailand, I can't reach them anymore. That means there always have to be different gradations, because there are so many of us and one extreme path would never work for everyone anyway."
So you don't want to sell your car right away, never shop again and only grow your own vegetables? No! But it's a start. And I know this middle way, this inner struggle, when I sit down in the car to go skiing again or when I'm looking for a new pair of yoga leggings.
But it is exactly this struggling, this inner conflict, this dialogue. The realization is perhaps already there. The mind already knows how it actually works, but the body is not yet ready. It cannot yet be translated into action. But that will come and if the doubts are already there, then perhaps the implementation will come in the next step. It is all a process. And in order not to complicate it even more, Sinah and I have simply written down our tips for more sustainability in your everyday life.
7 tips for more sustainability in everyday life
Connect to your higher self: Connect with yourself. We are nature.
Protect what you love: Get out in nature. If you love it, you want to protect it.
3) Be a rebel: Don't believe everything that advertisements in newspapers, social media or television tell you about what you need for a perfect life. Question and thus take responsibility for your life again.
4. self love: Love yourself. Especially as a woman. This fast fashion world is not the fashion world that is creative and creates art. When you practice self love, you automatically get out of it.
5) Let the energy flow: The law of giving and the exchange of energy in front of your eyes. Who pays for it if I only pay 2 euros for a T-shirt?
6. be inspired: Be inspired by others and maybe look for role models in sustainability.
7. very specifically:
- Save resources where possible and e.g. replace disposable household items such as kitchen roll with reusable and washable aids.
- Switch to green electricity
- Compensate (air) travel
- Prefer fair fashion or second hand
- More vegetables and fruit instead of meat on the plate
- Donate to charitable organizations
- Switch to a green bank
- Buy more organic food
- Don't get stressed
Sign up for a lesson!
If you've ever wondered if sustainability and yoga mats are compatible - yes, they are! If you're looking for a resource-friendly yoga mat, we've put together a yoga mat guide with sustainable mats .
If you would like to learn more about sustainability, you can find the entire interview that Lisa conducted with Sinah at Ispo here.
About the author: Our guest author Lisa Amenda is not only an enthusiastic mountain lover, but also a graduate of our first Yoga Teacher Training 2020. Lisa writes for Bergzeit, among others, and is also otherwise a very nature-loving person, which is why the topic of sustainability is all the more important to her.