Last week the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted just 40 miles away from the Tongan capital of Nuku’alofa. The true damage and human cost of the eruption is still pending, but our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected. Although we’re over 10,000 miles from the volcano, it's a constant reminder of how we’re all under Mother Nature’s thumb and ignorance to this should be at our own peril. Whether this was natural or part of the wider shift in our climate, who knows? It’s probably too early to tell and in all seriousness, doesn’t change a thing.
We will never use plight to promote our brand or product, that I promise. When something like this happens, our role as a business should be to support in any way we can.
I don’t know about you, but this decade sure feels like it could be a rough one. That said, we can’t allow ourselves to drop the ball or let climate fatigue (or whatever fancy phrase we have now) set in. We can’t give up, even if 2021 seemed like a sustainable clusterf**k - we need to kick things off differently. We want to offer you some short, sweet and practical support to keep this green punk revolution coordinated and momentous.
Consider this a useful resource to ensure Mother Nature knows we’re still here, fighting the good fight. Here’s 5 grenades you can throw at life today, to keep things moving:
This is the perfect time of year to reassess habits and create systems that foster a more responsible way of living. It’s better for the planet and it’s better for you. Whether it’s being more mindful of where your daily purchases come from, what they're cased in or how to dispose of them, create simple systems to make sustainable living simple. Refillable water bottles over single use plastic ones, bulk purchases of bathroom products for the year, eco-subscriptions, compostable coffee pods and tea bags - you name it - it’s never been more accessible to be green (at least in the West).
Remember, money is power.
Whether we like it or not, where we spend our money is an investment into the businesses we support. If you don’t like the reputation, culture or leadership of a business, the best way to encourage change is by not buying from them. Although it seems obvious, it can be tough. The past 2-3 years have seen a surge in green(er) banks, circular fashion houses and waste-free household products to name but a few. It’s time for us to start using these services and put our money where our values sit. Unfortunately, some (not all) of these alternatives come with an increase in costs and risk. As we at a&b know, making the world waste-free is never going to be easy. As we strive to make our products more affordable, have no doubt that the brands that don’t make responsible living affordable will not survive. Support the ones you love, ignore the ones you don’t.
Get outside. Go offline.
As if you needed me to tell you, get outside and go offline. I spent way too much time indoors in 2021. These four walls may be cosy, but they don’t foster creativity and keep you sane. It’s over publicised, but giving yourself time to walk and decompress from your day-to-day is underrated. Block 30-60 minutes out of your day to focus your curiosity, refresh and reboot. I’m the last person to advocate for meditation, but I've started this year and it feels like it’s working. Focusing on your breathing and raising the drawbridge to the internal noise is not just for zen yoga types. Anyone who lives in the city, has a high volume lifestyle or doesn’t know how to relax needs to learn to pause ever so often.
Food glorious food.
We’re in full Veganuary flow. Admittedly, I'm not a HUGE fan, but partaking in fads or yearly activities like this is a form of progress. However, it’s not going to help you master a consistent and efficient eco-friendly lifestyle. Acting like the person you want to become everyday, with every decision is a much more effective way to solve problems and live happier. For me it means not eating meat everyday, but also not eating strictly non-animal products. There’s beauty in the balance and I don't believe the future has to be binary. Make greener choices with your food that works for you.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Don’t skip this one, it’s the most important. Society is manufactured to manipulate every decision we make and make it for us. I should know, that’s what marketing is (hypocrisy acknowledged). Being hard on yourself about poor decisions or not being perfect only perpetuates a decline. Accept the situation, be present in it and learn from it. It’s the only way to grow. Someone once told me that no matter who you are, you will experience failure and rejection considerably more than success and acceptance. This is the reality and it’s character building. Accept we will make mistakes because we’re humans and we’re imperfect. After all, who would want to be perfect? It looks pretty fucking boring.
Hope this helps,