What does sustainability mean to you?
How can we pursue more sustainable way of living in order for us to be in harmony within ourselves and the earth we live in?Since entering the journey of motherhood, I have become increasingly aware of the amount of stuff that we buy and waste on daily basis.
For first 12 months or so, Kiki grew out of her baby clothes quicker than I could imagine. She threw more food than she gobbled. Toys. Teething gadgets. Medicines/Remedies. Books. More cuddly toys. More presents.Her first Christmas, despite both Toby and I asking families and relatives to kindly limit the gifts, she still had it all. Stocking full of tiny bits and bobs that were all lovely but had the longevity of a minute or two before it gets completely abandoned. Another cuddly toys. More books. More toys that she might need/enjoy. More clothes just because. Then it is her birthday, so more stuffs. And then there are those days where it is just special, so some more toys.
I found all of it a bit too overwhelming.
Why was my need to keep things simple and to have less not fully understood?I believe in living simple. Both for me and my family.
We live in small two bedroom flat in London.
We have enough space for our small family to comfortably habit, but what we fill any available spaces must be considered carefully in order for us to feel calm and centred.
As a family of three consciously pursuing to live small in order to live better, I continue to wonder what it means to live the sustainable life? I wonder how I can create an environment that are suitable for all of us to enjoy in harmony. What is living a family life to us? What makes us happy? What is pleasurable and what is not? What is important?We are living in a world that are completely geared up for consumerism.
Every corner we turn, we are told of the next best thing for this and that. The must haves for every occasions. The clever adverts that manipulates our insecurities and tells us that all will be fixed with such and such.
I think it is incredibly important to consume mindfully.I want to be able to justify the values of what we subscribe to, both as family and individual, whether it be a new toy/gadget, clothes, food or holidays. I also want to understand the consequences of our decision making. How our choices can impact others that surrounds us, not only people but also the environment. But I am not one to preach or criticise anybody else out there who makes different choices. I think it is important that we focus on what we can do within our own circumstances. For me, it is about doing what I can.
I want to do my bit in a hope that I can teach my child to naturally inherit the similar values knowing that we have choices and responsibilities.
Simple. Less. Better.For me, it is all down to focusing on keeping things simple.
Simplicity at its best can work real wonders to our day to day living. Stripping back the unnecessary so your can focus on what matters. For example, I know Kiki and I both benefit when we don't have toys around us. We connect better. We talk. We walk. We focus on our time together, rather than the stuffs.
Buy less often but seek out for better quality that will last.This is something that is really close to my heart.
After having birthed a human, I soon realised I didn't have a lot of time to faff about what to wear every morning. I needed the wardrobe that will work hard across the season. My shape had changed significantly and I needed clothes I can just wear without much planning that will make me feel good inside and outside. I don't own lots of clothes, but what I own has longevity both in its construction and of time.I soon realised that I could apply the same principle for Kiki and decided start my own small business. I designed couple of garments that I felt necessary, sourced beautiful cloths and have them manufactured in a small factory in UK.
They will be available to order through this site from, hopefully mid September.I am not a designer. But I have always been creative.
I wanted to create something that I felt lacked of. My visions aren't about bringing out new collections season after season. I am interested in is applying the principle of 'simple, less, better' and producing only when the needs becomes apparent.
Lately, Kiki has been talking non stop about wanting to wear pink dresses. I struggle to find one that suits our needs, so I am in process of creating one.
I enjoy slow and considerate process of creating something new. However small or big.
Shop local/small/independent where possible.
Something I started to put into practice a lot more since I started my own adventure. I have found so many small businesses through Instagram and try to support where possible.
Reduce food waste.I love food. Eating well as family is really important to me.
We nourish our body, we nourish our soul. To eat well doesn't have to cost the earth but we need to be mindful of how much we buy and waste. I cook almost everyday, except occasional takeaways or lunch/dinner out.
General rule for me, is to meal plan roughly, about 5 days worth and then I will make another plan based around what is left. I spend anything between 1 hour to two hours a day in the kitchen, either prepping or cooking, while Toby spends his time with Kiki after work. For me, this is my time to switch off and restore some peaceful mind.If I make a big batch of something for Kiki, I freeze in portion so it can be thawed quickly in single serving portion without waste.
I try to use everything top to tail if possible. It does take a little time and effort, but in return you eat better.
Grow your own.Earlier this year, I have given myself a challenge to grow couple of my own vegetables. (I used to be a serial plant killer!)
I wanted to show Kiki how vegetables grow and in return, I hoped it will help her to enjoy it more. Admittedly, I didn't grow from the seeds. But the few I attempted to grow has been a great success. And Kiki enjoyed helping me water and seeing them grow throughout summer.
We had fun with Chantenay carrots, leeks, tomatoes and Swiss chards.
I am currently planning on small selections of easy growing winter vegetables to utilise empty pots.I believe in living well and we have responsibility to live well.
For me, sustainable living is about harmony. A way of life to keep our mind, body and soul rooted to its core.
If we are well connected within, if we are able to live harmoupisouly with others and able to give a little back to everything that surrounds us, I think we can sustain calmer and peaceful living within the chaos of what life throws at us.
The true art of slow living.