So the new year is around the corner, and many of us are trying to finalise our resolutions. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’d know that for the past few weeks I’ve been on a sunscreen challenge with Avene. I’ve never been great at using it and usually only do so if I’m on the beach (mostly because of an unexpected bout of sunburn that I wish I could forget). While doing the challenge, I’ve confirmed one of my key resolutions for next year: being more eco-friendly. It’s no secret that climate change and environmental issues are urgent. But I’ll be honest with you, sometimes all that we need to do to save our planet overwhelms me. So I wanted to share three not-so-overwhelming ways of giving back to the environment.
I know many moms will agree with me on this: motherhood changes you. I know very few women who carried a baby, gave birth, went through the rollercoaster of new motherhood and not change one bit. Of course, there are still remnants of my old self there, but generally, I’m not the same person as I was five years ago. I definitely don’t have the same responsibilities or worries. One of them is the kind of world I’m leaving behind for Kai. Becoming a parent forces you to realize that at some point, we must leave this world and our children behind. It’s the nature of life. So I can’t help but hope that the world that Kai ends up living in is better than the one I brought him into. I hope people are kinder and more tolerant. I hope men and women can work together better – in all aspects of life. I hope women are respected more. And I hope the things many of us currently take for granted like running water, electricity, clean air don’t become a luxury only accessible to the select few.
I’m more discerning about my beauty products
I started looking into this when I first went natural. The research I read made me understand that there are ingredients that some brands use that aren’t healthy for us to be exposed to. Similarly, I now know that’s also the case for the environment. When I write this, it almost feels obvious, but I honestly didn’t really link that my product use and the waste they subsequently create can be harmful, especially on marine life. A lot of the products that we rinse off, ends up in the ocean, as well as the chemicals in those products. Eau Thermale Avène Sun Care products are formulated with ingredients that keep the world’s marine life in mind, making sure that the range protects our skin while minimizing the environmental damage. Their Skin Protect, Ocean Respect pledge is to donate R10 of every Avène Sun Care product sold to turtle conservation initiatives along the Southern African coast.
I may be late to this party, but I thought it worth mentioning considering I know of people and their families who still don’t recycle. When we first decided to get a new set of bins – one for biodegradable waste and another for recycling, I was feeling doubtful that I’d ever get used to separating the two. Now that we’ve been doing it for a few years, it’s become second nature. Kai doesn’t know anything else so when he goes to throw something away, he already knows which bin it goes into. If he’s unsure, he just asks. If you haven’t yet started recycling, this is a really simple way to do it. Trust me, you’ll soon get the hang of it.
We reuse, reuse, reuse
This is one of the first things I started doing, before I became that conscious about it – I stopped buying and using plastic bottles years ago. After reading the damage they can do to us, I invested in a really great insulated stainless steel bottle. If anything, this is probably the easiest change you can make. Many stores now have cute and affordable bottles you can buy. Kev has been slow to this party, but Kai and I both have a couple of reusable bottles that I take with us everywhere.
I know there are so many other ways to give back, but we have to start somewhere. I really don’t think it’s practical for everyone to completely overhaul their lifestyle overnight, but making simple decisions can make a big impact.
Save the Ocean and WIN a luxury beach holiday worth R70 000
Avène is giving away such a great treat: a luxury beach getaway that is a 5-night stay at the beautiful White Pearl Resorts in Mozambique. All you have to do is:
- Post a photo of you and your Avène sunscreen on your Instagram feed
- Tag @avene_sa
- Use #SkinProtectOceanRespect
You can check out their website for all the rules and details here.