Here at Opus Mind, we believe in the intersection between mindfulness and sustainability. Earth Day is a national holiday where people come together and reflect on why climate change and global warming is rapidly damaging our planet. Although it is great to have people recognizing the issues, we must view everyday as Earth Day in order to make positive changes. With small steps, we can positively impact mother nature.
Thus, in honor of Earth Day 2021, we sat down with Amelia Easley, founder and host of Sustainability Of, to chat about the importance of implementing a sustainable lifestyle.
Amelia is currently a fourth year student at Santa Clara University, studying Environmental Studies, Economics and Sustainability. Amelia was inspired to help others learn about sustainability through creating a podcast!
Sustainability Of is a podcast dedicated to everything sustainability! From discussing heavily researched topics within the sustainability industry to interviews with founders of sustainability brands, it’s truly the one-stop-shop for you to learn about sustainability. The podcast has over 500 monthly listeners, and growing as more people are curious about sustainability.
What inspired you to start your podcast about sustainability and how has the podcast journey impacted your life?
I fell down a rabbit hole researching sustainability in the fashion industry. After learning about mass production, ethics of the industry, and how the supply chain works, I was frustrated with the lack of care for mother nature. The wasteful system is very scary and shocking to hear about. I created this podcast as a way for me to connect with brands and founders who are passionate about positively changing the world. I have met so many amazing individuals through the podcast and couldn’t be more thankful for. People from the audience have messaged me talking about their own passion about sustainability and it truly warms my heart to hear that I have impacted so many people!
A lot of people are interested in being more eco-friendly, but struggle to get started due to the overwhelming amount of information. What advice would you give to them? What are some actions they can take today that would help?
My advice would be to pick 1 industry that you’re super passionate about and start there. Whether that’s fashion, cooking, or lifestyle habits, it’s a lot easier to dive into sustainability when it’s an area of your life that brings you joy.
From there, start one step at a time and dig into sustainability actions or alternatives you can commit to. For example, if you love fashion, start by questioning your intentions when making a purchase on your next shopping trip! We live in a world where we are constantly buying on impulse, in order to shift away from that, we have to be clear on WHY we are making the purchase.
Ask yourself these questions: “Will this piece last me for years to come?”
“Am I buying this because I need it or on impulse due to the advertising?”
“If it’s for a one-time event, can I ask to borrow from my friends instead?”
What does slow living mean to you and how can slow living reduce waste on the planet?
To me, slow living means quality over quantity. It doesn’t mean that we always need to buy better things, but being more mindful with WHAT we are purchasing. As consumers, we are constantly being bombarded with advertisements that make us want to buy for no good reason. Most of the time, our purchases are purely due to desire, not necessity. For example, when I know I need a pair of black jeans, I tell myself not to be tempted when I see cute blue jeans that I probably already have similarly.
Here at Opus Mind, we’re passionate about amplifying the intersection between mindfulness and sustainability. In your opinion, why is mindfulness important for one’s commitment to sustainability?
In my opinion, there is no way someone can be sustainable without having clear intentions of what they are purchasing. For a person to have clear intentions on what they are purchasing to nourish the Earth, they have to first look inwards and be mindful of their actions.
Earlier, we spoke about impulse buying and it really goes back to mindfulness. You must be mindful and self-aware of your thoughts to resist the impulse. That’s how you truly become more sustainable over time. Asking questions and being thoughtful about small actions is necessary to embody a sustainable lifestyle and mindset.
What are three eco-friendly items in your home that you cannot live without?
First, my shampoo bar! There is absolutely no way I can live without my shampoo bar. A few places I like to go to for my shampoo bar is Eco Roots, The Source Zero, and The Zero Waste Store.
Next are the clothes in my wardrobe. My closet consists of mainly basics and timeless pieces that are easy to rewear without it being noticeable. I stray away from buying clothes with too much pattern because it’s difficult to rewear. I stick with minimalist clothes that typically last a few years. Some of my favorite brands are Boyish Jeans, Foundationals, and Aritzia. These brands have items that last me a very long time.
Lastly, my reusable tumbler! I always refill it in the mornings and throughout the day to stay hydrated. Although I encourage everyone to bring a reusable tumbler or glass to grab coffee, I know it’s really hard with covid. What I recommend is purchasing the coffee grounds from your favorite local coffee shop and making it at home to both save money and be more sustainable.
Thank you so much for reading through this interview with Amelia. Learn more about Amelia’s podcast here: https://sustainabilityofpodcast.com/. We hope you take the time to celebrate Earth Day with us, not only today, but every day as being greener is necessary for a better world!
Blog by Nancy Nguyen
Born and raised in Northern California, Nancy believes that conscious consumerism is important for a sustainable future. Without mindfulness and self-awareness, it is impossible to implement a sustainable lifestyle. It starts with one’s thoughts and awareness that leads to taking action.