A window into the life of an NB Entrepreneur who is striving to simply and honestly live out a low waste lifestyle.
Earth Day has gained incredible traction all over the world in the last few years! It’s amazing that so many people are talking about it and spreading awareness of its importance. Projects all over the globe are taking place to bring back some love to this beautiful place we call home!
But how do we implement this in our real, daily life? What is the KEY to moving from the “hype” to a sustainable, conscious lifestyle? Read on.
Life is wild. You’re juggling work, buying spring flowers to keep your spirits up, trying to get in the mood to deep clean and exercise more and you’re adamant that this week there will be more veggies and less takeout.
You scrolled through that picture-perfect instagram and were reminded by that picture-perfect person that Earth Day is coming up. You see the Facebook post about the polluted ocean and perfect selfie of your neighbour who spent her afternoon weeding her eight gardens yesterday.
And suddenly “do something meaningful for Earth Day” gets added to an already wild to-do list. And that low waste lifestyle you want, seems all-too-unachievable.
WE HEAR YOU! And you’re not alone! That’s why we wanted to write about *the most* practical advice on simple ways to truly and honestly live out a low waste lifestyle.
We sat down with NB Vintage Shop Owner, Niki Burnham, to ask ALL THINGS low waste. Based out of Saint John, NB, Niki’s growing instagram shop has garnered tons of traction over the past year as she curates and restores vintage goods so they can be re-loved! We wanted to know all the detes on how this translates from a trend to a passion to a lifestyle – and we’ve got her simple, practical, down-to-earth (get it?) insight below!
“ I’ve embraced the sustainable, low waste lifestyle for about 6 or 7 years now. It really came from a place of frustration about how people buy, consume, and general mass production around the world.
The term eco-friendly is very common-place now (which is amazing) but a term I find that has resonated more with me lately is “eco-conscious” – the idea that you are more conscious of your overall decisions and life choices. It’s often the daily, routined choices which most affect the environment. Cultivating an eco-conscious lifestyle means you’re tuned-in to the daily flow of how your actions and decisions are impacting the earth.
And I need to say – I am NOT perfect! I am far from it. But in the last few years, I’ve gotten real honest with myself about how I want to show up for my world – and that’s by doing everything I can in my power to make as little a negative environmental impact as possible in my time on this planet.”
“A big part of sustainability is mindset and changing your buying habits, so I put those into practice in a few different ways:
“To be honest, I don’t have anyone I really rely on as a guide or inspiration for this. It’s hard to find people online that don’t commoditize “eco-friendly” or “low waste lifestyles” and turn it into an opportunity to sell more products.
That, in my opinion, is the opposite of low-waste, eco-conscious lifestyle.
Those metal straws… they are so popular… but the majority of them come wrapped in plastic. Have you ever considered instead, whether or not you need a straw? Like I said, it’s all about the low waste lifestyle mindset shift!”
“It was a really natural fit! When I was business planning and establishing the core values for my brand, sustainability was top of mind.
I’ve been thrifting and going to auctions and yard sales my entire life! I used to tag along with my grandparents as they scored treasures on Saturday mornings in the summer, and auctions with my parents was such an exciting experience as a kid.
What I didn’t know or realize back then – was the incredible socio and environmental impact it had!
Fast forward to today – and I use my platform to share and teach others that buying second hand is an amazing habit and cultivates a very eco conscious lifestyle!
By consciously curating items that are good quality, it shows that you can shop sustainably while still being stylish!
If I have influenced even a couple people to start second hand shopping and being more conscious with their buying decisions, I’ve done my job!”
“The first thing you should do is take a hard look at everything you already have and make a list of which things can be swapped out for a more low waste option.
Something that causes a lot of people grief and financial strain, is trying to swap everything out all at once. It can be so overwhelming! It takes time and patience to find the right options for you so don’t rush it! Wait until you run out of something to buy the new and improved eco-swap!
Again, mindset and lifestyle.”
So friends, here’s the thing – you can only do what you can do, but do what you can do.
Start with the little ways that your daily life can reflect the love you have for Mama Earth. Take a second to evaluate your mindset – this will be the foundation of all the little choices that add up to a conscious, earth-loving lifestyle.
Allow your life to be one that nourishes this planet and makes a brighter future for those behind us.
You don’t need instagram-worthy proof that you’re living it – just the confidence that your little, conscious decisions are giving back to this beautiful place we call home.
The shelves at The Wellness Exchange are consciously filled with many eco-friendly and low waste products to make a low waste lifestyle simple and accessible! Drop by our store to learn more about your earth-loving options (including Niki’s faves!) available right here in New Brunswick!
Check out Niki’s BEAUTIFUL Vintage Shop on instagram @homegrownvintage_nb