5 sustainable June goals

5 sustainable june goalsHey guys, June is around the corner! Can you believe it? I feel that 2017 is slipping by in a second, wasn’t Christmas just last week? After lots of travel in April and May, I’ll actually be home in Bonn all month. I set myself a few sustainable June goals and challenges. I can’t wait for summer to finally arrive and this is the perfect time to slow down and just enjoy.

My sustainable June goals

+ Turn my home into an urban jungle: I want to take nature inside and decorate with plants instead of plastic. At the moment I only have one ponytail palm and a tiny cactus in my apartment. This needs to change, so I will definitely head to the nursery a couple of times this month.

+ Go offline for one day of the week: I’ve wanted to start doing this for ages! For one day of the week, probably Sunday, I want to switch off my phone, computer, everything with a screen. I’ve been glued to my laptop lately (guilty!), so this will hopefully give me some headspace again. And save energy as well, of course ;)

+ Have one vegan day a week: I’ll be honest, right now, veganism wouldn’t be the right fit for me. I truly love my cheese and latte art! But I want to cut back and be more conscious about it, so one vegan day a week is a small start. Let’s see where I’ll go from there!

+ Take my ill-fitting clothes to the taylor: I’ve got a big pile of clothes at home that I don’t wear because they don’t really fit. Instead of letting them further collect dust or throwing them away, I finally want to take them to the taylor. This is sustainable in two ways: I won’t buy new clothes AND there’s less waste out there.

+ Make my own iced tea: Homemade iced tea is so good! It tastes a lot better than the kind bought at the store and it’s much healthier too. If you have any great recipes, please share!

These are my sustainable June goals! What are you working on this month? Feel free to tell me in the comments :)

5 ways to start small today (and chill)

5 ways to start small today
Making the switch to a sustainable lifestyle is hard. There are so many options, so many opinions and – it’s more expensive. I get that. It’s still totally worth it though. So today, I’m sharing five small ways with you that will hopefully help you chill and live a bit more sustainably (without having to struggle):

Make a change and chill

Allow yourself to experiment | It takes time to make the switch. It is hard. For me, for example, switching to natural cosmetics is a process of several years (the chemicals do have a purpose after all). I struggle with a lot of allergies, especially while using natural cosmetics. So I’m trying and trying to find products my skin and hair tolerate (and sometimes switch back to drugstore products as well). I don’t give up though because I care about supporting products that don’t put a toll on the environment!

Don’t try to start fresh | Just because you are committed to live a sustainable lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your old stuff anymore. It is tempting to just purge and start with a clean slate, but this just puts a lot of pressure on your wallet and doesn’t really serve anybody.

Find out what you care about most | No sweatshops? Organic? Vegan? Locally produced? There is a lot to consider when it comes to conscious consumerism. I know a lot of people (and me too) who just give up because you can never do it ‘perfectly’. So forget perfect for a moment, choose the cause you care most about (for me, it’s the sweatshops) and stay committed to that one. Everything else is just an added bonus.

Buy organic what you eat most often | I read this tip on Me & Orla the other day and it makes so much sense: If you can’t buy all your groceries at the organic store, commit to buying what you consume most and go to a normal grocery store for the rest. For me, that’s milk, bread and coffee. You can always start buying more organic items, but it’s all about starting small.

Keep a flexible mind | Always stay open to learning more about how to do good in the way you consume. It is a very complex topic and there’s so many different influences to consider, so it’s very important to stay open to new ways of doing business.

Just do it! An interview with LJ Originals

Interview with LJ Originals | Hanna's Places

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Lisa, the creator behind jewellery brand LJ Originals. She is a great friend of mine, really creative and her jewellery (and the idea behind it) is just stunning. She took the leap and followed her dream and founded her own brand last year. Now she’s telling us more about it and her beautiful vision about it:

What was your vision behind founding LJ Originals?

My vision behind founding LJ was to create a brand that utilised my skills as a jeweller as a platform I could use to share a culture of value and worth. I heard once that a girl is told 268 times before she is 12 that she is not good enough and, while the accuracy of that statistic could be debated, it sparked something in me to do whatever I could to make the statistic as small as possible. Every person is valuable and I may not be the biggest voice but I have a responsibility to at least be a voice against the other noise that women hear berating them every day.

What dreams do you have for the future you’re excited to work on?

Wow that’s a big question. I have massive dreams to play a more proactive part in reaching girls or women who really have had their confidence and value stripped away through traumatic events and help them rebuild it and realise that regardless of what those things tell them they are, they are so valuable and have so much worth.

An interview with LJ Originals | Hanna's Places Interview with LJ Originals | Hanna's Places

Is there one social/environmental issue you’re passionate about?

I actually studied my masters in sustainability and environmental studies. While I am still working on a more environmentally friendly model for my business, I believe we have a responsibility to steward the natural resources we have well. My biggest social issue, as you can probably tell is to make sure that every girl or woman hears at least once that they are loved, precious, beautiful and valuable. Over the first few months of the year, I had the honour of partnering with Urban Justice in Glasgow to go into local high schools and teach young girls the Shine course which focuses on worth, value, strength and purpose. It was unbelievable rewarding to spend this time with the girls and to see the transformation in them by the end of the course.

Do you know one simple step we can take towards living more green?

It’s actually really simple. I think our throw away culture can sometimes cause us to feel some kind of endorphin rush from buying something new and disposable instead of reusing our resources from even the little things such as buying our lunch everyday. My collection is based on a variation of the traditional granulation technique where I use lots of small granules joined together to build a much bigger surface and I think this is actually really reflective of our efforts to become sustainable or more effectively protect our environment. Yes bigger companies and governments have a massive part to play and a great responsibility to minimise their impact but the buck doesn’t solely lie with them, it’s our responsibility to recycle, be less wasteful with energy and materials. I mean even only putting the amount of water you need in the kettle for your tea makes a difference.

Advice for people who want to start following their dreams?

Just do it. One thought that stuck with me when I was deciding to launch LJ was that there were people on the other side of that I was doing. Even if it was only one of my social media followers or just that one buyer who needed to hear that they were loved and valuable, who was I to withhold that from them or not do anything in my power so that they heard that. You being small doesn’t serve the world. Yes, be sensible, be wise and do what you need to do to survive but if there’s a need that you see, chances are you are the solution.

Thank you so much Lisa! If you want to get some beautiful LJ Originals for yourself (or a friend) you can check out her shop over here. Or follow on Facebook or Instagram!

How to get a plastic-free kitchen

How to enjoy traveling by train

People waiting for their train | Hanna's Places I’m going to London today! Oh happy day :) And for the first time ever, I’ve decided not to hop on a plane, but go by train (I’m actually on that train right now). If you’re wondering why, here’s five reasons why traveling by train is so much more enjoyable:

1 | It’s better for the environment. Obviously.

2 | If you’re traveling between cities and short distances, it’s often faster and cheaper. Of course, the actual flight might be shorter, but getting to the airport, arriving early, getting away from the airport into the city is a much bigger hassle. For example, I’ll arrive at St. Pancras today and don’t have to spend money and 1-2 hours to get from Stansted to the city. So good!

3 | You can take as much stuff as you want to (and as you’re able to carry). There’s no regulations, no forbidden goods, no need for tiny shampoo bottles – if you can carry your suitcase, you can take it (and don’t have to worry about the weight of your souvenirs).

4 | You can bring snacks, drinks and coffee! No need to get dehydrated or spend 10 € on a bottle of water – bring your own drink, get cosy with a few nice travel snacks and a warm cup of coffee and enjoy the ride! My favourites: A nice pastry, a sandwich and maybe some nuts – filling, yummy and easy to eat :)

5 | You can work: just get a seat with a table and you can work a bit, write down your thoughts, plan exciting projects – something about the atmosphere on the ICE makes working while traveling real fun in my opinion and I always get really inspired.

What about you? Have you ever traveled long distance by train? What’s your favourite mode of transportation on holiday?

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