The Good Trade: A Resource on Sustainable and Conscious Living
When I moved to Redding three years ago, I was introduced to a very different way of life that still affects my lifestyle choices today. I was born and raised in the Bay Area, so I had never known or experienced what small town life was like. While I missed the Bay, I started getting used to a slower pace of life. One that allowed time to pause and reflect and make better, more intentional choices. I find that in busier cities, it’s hard for us to slow down and make time for the moments in life that can’t be measured by money or work. We get caught up with what’s going around us, and we believe that the faster we go, the more successful we’ll be. But this isn’t always the case.
Living in Redding, I started becoming more mindful of what I consumed (both internally and externally). I became aware of how our choices greatly impact the planet and the other humans I share this planet with. The zero waste movement is a prime example of this. Now, I’m far from going completely zero waste. But I'm consciously taking steps toward it. I remember to bring my reusable bags when I go shopping, and I tote around metal straws. I buy in bulk wherever I can, and bring my own jars/bags to do so. I use glass or metal tumblers when I need to bring my water/drinks on the go. I’m transitioning over to skincare/makeup lines that are organic/natural, and promote sustainable packaging and cruelty-free products. In general, I’m also trying to declutter and reduce wherever I can.
Fashion. That’s been a hard one for me. Yes, I still do shop “fast fashion” sometimes. I worked in retail on and off for about 5 years, so it was convenient to purchase from that particular store/brand. I left my retail job behind at the end of 2018, and I’m trying to be more conscious about my fashion choices now. I seek out brands that are fair trade and ethical, or thrift and buy second-hand as much as possible. I also try to repurpose old clothes whenever I can. (Donating to local shelters and organizations, using old t-shirts as rags or cleaning cloths, etc.)
I’ve also taken an interest in things that are less external and more internal. This falls more into "conscious living" than "sustainable living". As someone who has struggled a lot emotionally and mentally, I take a great personal interest in all things self-care. While this can definitely include physical things like taking time to rest, getting a massage, or eating at a great restaurant, there’s more to it than that. One way I've been helping myself is to understand my personality type and how I'm wired. My version of self care won’t necessarily work for someone else. Learning more about my own personality type and tendencies has helped me figure out what I need mentally and emotionally. It’s helped me understand why I make decisions the way I do, and how to work with people with personalities that are very different from mine. Having time to actually dive into this area of health and wellness has motivated me to seek a more balanced emotional life for myself but in my relationship with others as well.
While there’s still so many areas of my life where I know I can make changes, I remind myself not to get discouraged. Switching to a sustainable and conscious way of life is a process that can't be rushed. If you’re interested in living a sustainable lifestyle, it can get overwhelming once you start doing some research. (The rabbit hole that is Google!) Don’t think that you have to change everything all at once! Take it step by step.
One of the companies that has been an inspiration and resource to me through this lifestyle change is The Good Trade. According to their website,
“The Good Trade was built on the fundamental idea that consumers are capable of driving significant social change through their everyday purchases, consumer preferences and lifestyle choices.”
They have been a treasure trove of resources for those interested in sustainable and conscious living. I especially love that they cover a wide range of topics, including travel, wellness, natural home products, and social impact. Whether you’re looking for information on impact investing or switching to a sustainable diet, The Good Trade has you covered.
While I find all their articles interesting and worth a read, here’s a few of my favorites:
- I first learned about capsule wardrobes three years ago when I moved to Redding. Since then, I’ve made more of an effort to simplify my wardrobe and pare it down to the essentials. As I got rid of old pieces and invested in new, I realized how freeing it was to have a smaller closet of items I actually loved and wore. This article explains a little about the history of the capsule wardrobe and the ideas it’s meant to embrace.
- What does it mean to eat sustainably? If you’re just starting to dig into a sustainable diet, this one’s for you! It gives you some easy ways to make changes to your diet that will not only be better for the environment, but better for your body as well.
- Okay, let’s be real here. Who else hated sunscreen growing up? My first sunscreen memory was my parents slathering on the Coppertone sunscreen. (You know, the one that came in the bright pink bottle.) When I reached my mid-20s, I started to think that maybe it was time to get serious about sunscreen again. Especially for my face. (Wrinkles and all that.) But I had the hardest time finding something with a smell and texture I/my skin liked. And then later on, finding a natural and/or organic one felt impossible. Well, The Good Trade compiled a list of their favorite organic and cruelty-free sunscreens. If you’ve been looking for a good sunscreen, check it out and start protecting your beautiful skin!
- One thing that I don’t give a lot of conscious thought to is the packaging of my skincare, makeup, and toiletry items. Most things are made of plastic, come wrapped in plastic, or have plastic containers, and it can be hard to find sustainable alternatives. If you're wondering about ways to go plastic free in the bathroom, give this a read.
- Like many others, I’ve experienced the grief of losing someone during the holidays. I’ve also experienced the complex feelings of having people walk out of my life or having to walk away myself. For most of my adult life, the holiday season has been hard to navigate. Whether you’re the one grieving or you know someone who’s grieving, this article gives some valuable insight and tips on how to handle grief during the holidays.
- Any other creatives out there suffer from imposter syndrome? I feel this a lot, especially since I'm still new to the creative business world. The Good Trade shares some steps we can take to stop feeling like imposters and start gaining confidence in ourselves instead.