Sustainability Journal: Activist and Influencer Valeria Hinojosa Shares Her Tips for a Green Lifestyle
"Sustainability. For some reason, the world has associated it with perfection. They look at activists, conscious public figures and eco-influencers, and assume they were born with a magical trait," reflects activist and influencer Valeria Hinojosa. “People assume, 'They all know what they are saying or doing 24/7,' or, 'They have mastered the art of living sustainably!' Well, I am here to show you the other side of the coin. Yes, I have been an eco-conscious influencer promoting sustainability on my platforms for over five years, but I was not born this way." The Bolivian beauty, 31, creator of the blog Water Thru Skin, shares her unique journey and tips with People CHICA.
"Being aware of the impact of my actions on nature was not something I learned in high school or in college, and especially not during my past life as a private banker!" she says. "I had to research my way into a more mindful lifestyle — Google, Ecosia, Elliot for Water — I use all search engines on the daily, watch as many documentaries as possible, and read every good Earth book out there. I learn something new every day and then look for ways to transform my habits into more eco-responsible ones!"
"Our planet’s status changes by the second," explains Hinojosa. "Sustainability should not be scary, intimidating or overwhelming. It is a powerful commitment that, when done with the right nonjudgmental mentality, transforms itself into a genuinely happy lifestyle — lifestyle with a conscience! Whether you choose to make it adventurous, hippie or luxurious, options exist for all."
"This month, I moved into a new home and have been bringing it to life in an earth-friendly and ethical way," she says. "From supporting sustainable and fair-trade brands, to saying yes to secondhand pieces, to painting my walls with nontoxic paint, to recreating old pieces into completely new ones — here’s what a 'Lifestyle with a Conscience' looks like, and the essence behind this trademarked motto of mine."
Hinojosa shares some details from a typical day and names some of the products she swears by.
1. I wake up, then practice some breath work and flow on my Ayurvedic mat by Bennd Yoga with the help of my biodegradable cork block by Yoloha Yoga.
2. I make myself a delicious cup of organic and Rainforest Alliance–certified coffee (that comes in an in-home compostable bag!) by Chikmonk.
3. I walk my dogs and pick up after them with in-home compostable bags from Pet n Pet.
4. While I wait for the shower to warm up, I place a vase or bowl on the floor to collect all the non-used water for watering my plants.
5. I take a 4-minute shower timed by a 4-minute song of my choice, and use my nontoxic and cruelty-free bath products.
6. I hop out once the song is over, grab my organic cotton towel, and repeat some words of affirmation while I apply my nontoxic beauty products by Weleda, organic makeup by Vapor Organics, and nontoxic essential oil perfume by Esscentials by Scent Beauty.
7. I get dressed in clothing made by sustainable and fair-trade brands.
8. I've changed old incandescent light bulbs to LED bulbs to reduce my energy consumption (and save some cash in the process).
9. I painted my walls with nontoxic paint by Smog Armor that also purifies the air.
10. I've added as many indoor plants as possible to absorb toxins and uplift the vibes in my new home.
11. I hung an old wood pallet I collected from Home Depot’s trash to use as my new wine holder.
12. I hung natural fiber curtains in my room, have fair-trade linen sheets by West Elm on my bed.
13. I take a break and make myself a plant-based meal with zero-waste produce from my nearest farmer's market and the Hungry Harvest.
TAKE A BREATH
14. I put all veggie scraps and food leftovers in the freezer, and when possible take them to the nearest compost site (found using the ShareWaste app).
15. I take another break to make myself an adaptogenic organic coffee and take my natural supplements by Dr. Vim's.
16. I learn what can be recycled and how with the help of the Recycle Coach app.
"I could go on for hours, but I think you get the feel of it, right? Options are limitless when it comes to protecting something as precious as nature and your health," Hinojosa, who is vegan and a yogi, concludes. "Sustainability is not boring nor complicated. It can be anything you choose to make of it. All you have to do is start looking at life a little differently, think outside the box, and take the jump! Don’t strive for perfection. Instead, aim at becoming a human you can be proud of every day — caring, conscious, awoke, inspired, passionate, connected, less robotic, and more alive. A responsible human and consumer. If I can do it, so can you!"