Basics to Starting your Sustainable Living Journey | Brown Living

We at Brown Living, have always followed the ideology of sustainability, the foundations of which lie in identifying and choosing products that compliment a natural, earth-friendly lifestyle. With Greenwashing prevalent abundantly, the first step to eco-consciousness lies in knowing what’s truly conducive.

To help you transition better, here is a list of things and general terms you must be aware of when initially switching to a sustainable lifestyle:

1. Identifying the right kind of daily essentials:

When it comes to lifestyle, making a switch to natural, sustainable daily essentials is usually the first thing we aim for. Be it our home essentials or personal use products, we gravitate rightfully, towards products that claim to be more natural and earth-friendly. In undertaking this change, most of us tend to prioritize two factors the most. Let us understand a bit more about them:

‘Chemical-Free’ Products:

A common marketing term, this keyword is used to describe the potential natural authenticity of a product, but is essentially just jargon. Before we get into specifics, let’s get one thing right - NOTHING is chemical-free.

Fundamentally speaking, right from the atmospheric air we breathe to the purest Himalayan waters, everything is. While advertisements around us are saturated with selling the concept, it has been found that not every naturally occurring might be safe & not all man-made chemicals are harmful.

This may have come as a surprise to you, so to explain this better, let’s take a look at few examples:  

  • Polyhydroxy Stearic Acid: Upfront, this may sound like an intimidating, harsh chemical that is probably bad for you. On the contrary, it is just an extract of Castor oil & is a natural occurring wax.

  • Similarly, Glycolic acid is found in several natural substances like sugarcane and citrus fruits yet can’t be used in its natural form unless treated synthetically first.

‘Vegan’ Daily Essentials:

Another noteworthy step in establishing change has led to the global phenomenon of veganism. Extending beyond food, several sustainability advocates adopt a vegan approach to daily use products too, but that may not be enough to ascertain that your choices serve their purpose correctly.

When it comes to ‘vegan’ daily-use products, the presence of a ‘cruelty-free’ certification along with earth-friendly packaging is the perfect combination of a truly sustainable vegan brand.

Now that you are equipped with some basics, when trying to adopt a toxic-chemical free daily lifestyle, here is what you must primarily look out for, when making a switch to natural daily-use necessities:

Beauty & Skin-care:

Investing in organic make-up & skin-care brands, is a wiser option for those choosing to go natural. They are made using plant-based colouring agents & organic essential oils. Such compositions often help treat the skin while serving its cosmetic purpose. Try naturally-made lip balms and face oils or choose from a list of brands that appeal to your skin’s specific needs by visiting our website and browsing from a range of natural moisturizers, face washes, scrubs & more. 

Cruelty Free Skin Care Products

Cleaning agents:

For the home & kitchen:

Generic cleansing agents, like floor and dish cleaners tend to contain toxic chemicals like Parabens, Sulphates, Aluminium & Lead. All these have been linked to health complications and environmental degradation. Instead, opt for cleansers made naturally, using plant-based extracts like citrus peels for the home.

For You:

Similar to the organic home cleaning agents, you can adopt personal hygiene products made with pure herbal formulations instead of over-the-counter brands that may falsely advertise as ‘chemical-free’. Instead, you can switch to organic body cleansers made naturally. These include natural soaps, body scrubs and washes.

For the Hair:

Try switching to organic shampoo bars made of natural ingredients like neem and coconut oil.

Ocean Friendly Cleaning Agents

2. Sustainability & Food: Going Organic

Organic foods are those types of produce that grown and prepared without the use of harmful pesticides, antibiotics or genetic modifications. These foods are not interfered with any external, artificial growth or taste boosters, hence retaining their natural elements.

The use of excessive pesticides in fields all year round, has not only affected the soil, but also contributed the contamination of the groundwater and neighbouring water bodies. In fact, one of the leading causes of lead contamination in groundwater has been the over-use of toxic agro-chemicals. This in-turn also gives rise to harmful diseases in humans.

Food that is cultivated organically, not only provides unadulterated, pure nutrition from its food value, but the sustainable farming practises used to grow and harvest these crops maintain the fertility and sanctity of the soil and connected earth elements.

When opting for a holistically sustainable lifestyle, making active buying and consumption decisions based on the methods used to develop them, plays a crucial role. When it comes to your daily food intake, making a responsible choice of supporting farms that practise sustainability and grow local is the right way to begin.

Not only limited to raw foods and vegetables, several conscious-living, clean food companies have now developed a range of packaged foods and condiments, using natural methods and organic ingredients. They are crafted and packaged responsibly, avoiding the use of any external additives or preservatives.

You can check out Brown Living’s range of organic foods such as spreads, baked chips, premium nut butters, spices, honey and more, to help you transition seamlessly into an organic lifestyle!

3. Breaking Down Ethical Fashion

Another important aspect of the eco-conscious lifestyle is the industry of ‘clothing, fashion and apparel’. Slow fashion, sustainable clothing, organic fabric, plant-based dyes- these are some of the most common terms we come across in the world of conscious clothing.

To help you understand sustainable clothing, you must first find your viable choices, identify certain crucial factors on your clothing labels and know your brand’s practises.

Here are a few things to get you started:

Fabrics:

Truly sustainable clothing is made using fabrics that have minimal to no pressure on earthly resources. Look for clothing and accessories made of organic, low-impact fibres like. Be it daily wear shirts, kurtas, loungewear or even athleisure wear, Brown Living has a long list of brands that adopt earth-friendly materials to make your clothing choices truly sustainable.

Plant-based dyes:

Synthetic dyes are strong pollutants. Ensure that your clothing is dyed using natural forms of colour from plant extracts such as Indigo, Henna, Beetroot extracts, Turmeric, and other such ‘vegetable dyes’.
Now, several local apparel brands have realigned towards this practice, making slow fashion an end-to-end conscious and planet-friendly endeavour.

Fair-trade practices:

With growing sustainability awareness, fair-trade clothing has emerged as a leading choice in fashion. An often overlooked but important aspect to slow fashion is ethical working conditions in the industry, eco-friendly production processes, earth-friendly packaging and requisite certifications. When opting for sustainable fashion brands, do your research and shop for brands with GOTS certifications. These brands can be truly ascertained as sustainable as it ensures the use of fair-trade practices, 100% organic raw materials and ethical labour conditions among other best practices. 

Since the world of sustainability is not a small one, there is always going to be something more to learn. The guidelines above are aimed to help you identify the initials of sustainability in all aspects of life.

Be it our home décorbath linens, gardening tools or even our daily-use stationery, there are Earth-friendly alternatives for almost all our consumption needs

We learn as we go, and each small change you make today, you will carve the foundations of a greener planet of the future.

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