The month of love is officially here and I could not be more excited. There’s nothing I love more than love. But, if I had to choose, sustainability and self-care would tie for a close second.
Allow me to introduce myself! My name is Kasey Dreier. I’m an environmental engineer and a self-care strategist for badass women. I studied sustainability at Stanford and learned about self-care after a couple of life-threatening experiences in my twenties woke me the “f” up.
That’s why when my friends at Wolven Threads asked me to guest blog two articles this month on how to love the planet and how to love yourself I about peed my pants. (Don’t worry I didn’t.)
Not only are these two of my favorite topics, they are also intricately connected to one another.
What do I mean by that?
I mean that we tend to treat the planet how we treat ourselves and vice versa. For example, when I’m feeling confident and mindful, I love to cook creative meals using the ingredients from my CSA box; de-clutter my apartment; and go for luxurious walks to local coffee shops. On the other hand, when I’m feeling stressed and exhausted, I have a tendency to eat out more often, buy things I don’t need, and drive my car to save time and anxiety. Each of those activities has an impact on the planet’s well-being and on my well-being.
To me, taking care of the planet and taking care of myself are two sides of the same coin. So here are 14 ways to take care of the planet, that just so happen to be good for you too!
- Get a library card and use it! Reading is a great way to learn creative sustainability tips and tricks, not to mention ignite your imagination in general! Reading a library book is a simple way to show the planet some love.
- Next time you get the urge to wanderlust, choose a destination that you can drive to. A road trip emits less greenhouse gases than a plane trip, which is better for the climate. It is also a great way to fall in-love with your local piece of this big old planet! Bonus: it’s good for your budget too!
- After you rinse your toothbrush, but before you brush your teeth, turn off the water. While you’re brushing your teeth (with the water off) list 20 things that you’re grateful for (inside of your head). Then gurgle, spit, turn the water back on, and rinse.
- Take a Lyft Line. Once again, better on your wallet and better for the planet. It’s not as big of an inconvenience as it feels in your head. Promise!
Buy and sell your clothes consignment style. My favorite app is Poshmark. Make some money on the side while you make the planet sigh in relief!
Mother Earth understands that sometimes you need to treat yo’ self and buy new clothes. She just asks that you keep it sustainable and fashionable when you do. Read up on your favorite brands. (You’re in luck, Wolven Threads is known for their commitment to sustainable design!).
- Get a water bottle and stay hydrated! I personally love my pink Swell Bottle. If you’re not sure whether your tap water is drinkable or not, research it. In the United States, the source of your tap water and its quality are publicly available information. (You also want to consider the age and material of the pipes in your home, apartment, or office building--those factors affect the quality of the water coming out of your sink. When in doubt, buy a water filter!)
While you’re enjoying your locally brewed tap water, give someone else the chance to do the same! 2.1 billion people lack access to safe water and 4.5 billion lack access to adequate sanitation. Women and children spend more than four hours walking for water each day and more than 840,000 people die each year from water-related diseases. That’s why I donate money to organizations like Water For People that promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services sustained by strong communities, businesses, and governments.
Set a goal to plan and cook one more meal at home each week. Being mindful about our meals is relatively easy, good for our wallet, good for our weight, and great for the planet! Food is the number one thing in America’s landfills and it contributes to climate pollution more than all of the cars in Georgia. In fact, 40% of the food produced in the United States goes into the garbage. Our eating habits have real impacts on the environment!
- Better still, join a community garden or start a garden of your own! The less distance food has to travel to get to your table, the less environmental impact it has, yay! Plus, it turns out gardening is a terrific way to manage stress! And guess what?! When we are less stressed out, it’s easier to lose weight (in case that’s a goal you have!).
- Walk an errand. Humans are so funny. We always say, “I’m going to go run errands.” But we don’t actually run. We drive. So I say choose one errand per week that you can safety walk to do. Then, walk that errand like a sustainability rock star!
- Volunteer for a weekend beautification project in your local community. Connecting to our neighbors and own backyards makes us feel more compelled to protect and respect it.
- Adopt a rescue animal. Our animal friends are a big part of this planet. They deserve our love and protection too. Plus, they tend to make us better humans. For example, I adopted my dog, Tucker, six years ago. He’s been the best thing to ever happen to me. Because of him I’m a healthier, happier, less anxious human. Mostly because he makes me take him on walks, hike, and pet him, which give me endorphins and oxytocin. It’s great!
- My favorite way to show the planet I love her is to play with her! It turns out, I’m as much a part of Mother Earth as the vegetables I grow, the animals I rescue, and the trails I hike. I’m not separate. I’m the same. When I connect to nature, it’s like returning home to myself. So get outside and play in this giant playground we have the privilege to call home.
Oh man, I just gave myself so many good ideas! Excuse me while I go execute some!
For more self-care tips stay tuned for Kasey’s Valentine’s Day guest blog on self-love. In the meantime, follow her on Instagram and sign-up for her newsletter.
Kasey Dreier wrote the book on burnout, literally. By the time she was 28 she had two Stanford engineering degrees, a professional engineering license, was earning six-figures as an executive directing the global rebrand of a 26,000 person Fortune 500 company, had survived two life-threatening experiences, and taught yoga on the side.
She was "living the dream." And she was M.I.S.E.R.A.B.L.E.
One day, sitting in her therapist's office, balling her eyes out, she choked out the words, "When will I ever feel like enough?"
It was at that moment she decided that if this was "living the dream," she desperately needed a better dream.
So she launched the rebrand and gave her notice with no backup plan. She spent the next three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars of her own net worth traveling, going to therapy, working with coaches, and getting an advanced certification in Yoga Psychology. She devoured self-help, self-love content courses for breakfast. Eventually, she hacked together a simple, sustainable self-care strategy that helps her crush her goals without crushing her soul.
Now Kasey motivates and coaches women on how to build their own self-care strategies without having to quit their jobs and spend their entire life savings like she did. As Kasey puts it, “Women are finally starting to play crucial roles in our economy, politics, and society. We cannot afford to have them burnout!” Her self-care strategy framework empowers badass, inspiring women to make their well-being (especially sleep!) their most important To-Do item. That way they can continue to do their badass, inspiring work in this world.