Shannon Kenny founded MAMA ECO, driven by a desire to leave the planet in a better state than how she found it. With climate change knocking at our door, plastic waste enveloping our oceans, and an alarming increase in food-related health issues, she’s hoping all acknowledge that we are part of the problem and can choose to be part of the solution.
I truly believe that people want to live more sustainably but just don’t know where to start.
Read on as Shannon shares her journey as she aims to encourage people to buy well, so that they can buy less, and in turn, live sustainably and lower their environmental footprint.
Journey to Sustainability
Being raised on the Caribbean island of Trinidad (Trinidad is the fifth largest in the West Indies. Been here? Share your experience online) instilled a deep sense of environmental responsibility in me. From a young age, I was collecting trash on the beach and encouraging my family to conserve water and recycle.
Mama Eco came about because I realized that people wanted to live sustainably but didn’t know where to start and were overwhelmed with all the information out there. My goal with Mama Eco is to make sustainable living as easy as humanly possible so that people are excited and inspired to do it.
Mama Eco is about….
The blog offers simple solutions to sustainability. It focuses on easy-to-implement changes that people can make in their everyday lives to lower their environmental footprint. People have really responded to the positive and encouraging tone with which I present the information, and they appreciate how actionable the ideas are. For many, the blog has made them realize that they can make a difference by simply tweaking their approach to things, ratter than totally altering the way they do everything.
A greener life is easy…
Instead of trying to change the way they do everything, I always encourage people to focus on one thing at a time. First, you can focus on the items you use in the bathroom, and see if there are more sustainable alternatives to the products you are currently using. Once you feel good about that, you can move onto the kitchen, and see what you can tweak or swap to reduce food and packaging waste. And just like that, you go from one aspect of life to another, slowly making changes that, over time, have big impact. If you try to change everything at once, you will likely feel overwhelmed and quit before you even get started, and that’s simply not sustainable.
Most people use Mama Eco for finding sustainable alternatives to the products they use in everyday life. This is where the potential for impact lies. People are really keen on finding sustainable alternatives to the products that they use on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. For example, they use Mama Eco to find sustainable alternatives for brushing their teeth, shampooing their hair, storing their food, or doing their laundry. Making sustainable changes in these areas of our lives can have massive impact, simply because of the frequency with which we do them.
Sustainable living can be as small as buying a reusable bag for 99 cents instead of using single-use plastic bags for your groceries. It can involve carrying around a fork (whether plastic or metal) so that you don’t have to use single-use cutlery. It can be as simple as swapping out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush. The important point here is that its doesn’t have to be expensive.
It doesn’t have to be grand. It doesn’t have to be elitist.
Its about focusing on the things that are in your control and shifting the way to do them so that it lowers your personal footprint.
Begin off with these handy lifestyle recommendation to a greener life
1) Choose Reusables over Single-use whenever possible: always carry a reusable water bottle or coffee mug for hydration, put a reusable bag in your backpack to avoid plastic shopping bags, and stash a utensil kit and straw in your bag to ditch plastic cutlery.
2) Opt for products that come with minimal or no packaging. If you have the choice between two options, opt for the one with less packaging to minimize the waste that ends up in your trashcan. A great place to start is at the grocery where you can choose fruits and veggies without packaging.
3) Don’t be hard on yourself. By simply making a few conscious decisions, whether big or small, you can have a positive impact on the planet.
A favourite travel destination
Mexico is one of my favorite places to visit. The rich culture, the freshly made tacos, the locally sourced ingredients, and the relaxed vibe all come together to create an experience like no other.
Outside of the all-inclusives and the main tourist destinations, Mexico has this ‘mom and pop’ vibe where you can immerse yourself within and support the local culture and economy. The only thing that was difficult with visiting Mexico was the drinking water. Everyone warns you not to drink from the tap, so I reluctantly had to drink bottled water.
Three must haves for your next trip
(1) A reusable water bottle for staying hydrated and avoiding single-use plastic water bottles;
(2) a reusable bag for shopping to avoid single-use plastic bags;
(3) a lightweight utensil that you can easily carry around in your bag to avoid single-use plastic utensils.
To know more about this Zero Waste travel kit, pictured above, click here
A place, back home, worth visiting
Upstate New York is one of the most beautiful and rejuvenating places I’ve visited. The nature, the mountains, the small towns, the proximity to rivers and lakes, and the hiking are just a few of my favorite things about it. Just a short train ride out of New York City, and you can be fully immersed in nature and all that it has to offer.
Follow Mama Eco on instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/mama.eco/
Which city you’ve been to is truly Sustainable?
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