I have a fascination with knowing other people’s morning routines. Some people read celebrity gossip, I scour the internet trying to find out what strangers do when they wake. It began a few years ago when I read that Tony Robbin’s attributes much of his success to his morning routine.
Morning routines have always been elusive to me due to shift work. Nothing ruins your chances of consistently executing a routine like shifting start times and working overnights. But I finally have a consistent sleeping pattern and, therefore, a routine – and a sustainable morning routine at that!
Like most sustainable choices, it all comes down to planning and conscious action. A sustainable morning routine sets me up for a day of success while limiting my impact on the earth. Don’t forget to pin for later:
I sleep in as few clothes as possible (apart from in winter). Not only is it good for your body to keep cool while sleeping, but fewer pyjamas means less water and electricity are used to wash them, dumping less microplastic in the ocean.
6.00 A.M. – Buenos Dias
I wake up to an alarm on my phone, which I sleep with on airplane mode, and open my blinds to let in natural light (for most of the year at least). I open the app Morning Routine, which takes me through this timed list that I created:
- Review my goals – 2 minutes
- Write down three things I’m grateful for – 3 minutes
- Practice Duolingo Spanish – 15 minutes
6.20 A.M. – Make the bed
I make my bed, mainly to resist the urge of jumping back into it. My bedsheets are bamboo. I chose them because it takes 35% less water to grow than cotton and is naturally pesticide-free. They’re also heavenly soft.
My duvet covers are cotton, second-hand from a friend. My duvet and extra blanket are also second-hand, also given to me by friends. I wash my bedding once a fortnight these days, rather than weekly as I used to, to extend the life of my bedding and save resources.
6.25 A.M. – Getting zen
Now for the cliche part, I follow this short Yoga with Adrienne video and do a six-minute guided meditation using the Insights Timer app. I’m a horrendous meditator but I try to commit at least a few minutes. Getting my body moving in the morning has allowed me to cut one whole caffeinated drink from my day, saving the planet resources and myself money!
6.40 A.M. – Natural-ish beauty
I brush my teeth using a bamboo toothbrush and Georganics tooth tabs. Along with a water flosser, this has allowed me to have a mostly plastic-free oral care routine.
I wash my face using water only. I previously used facewash twice a day but trialled for a month only using it in the evening (because my face is just sitting on a clean pillow slip for eight hours) and noticed zero change. This means I only buy half as much face wash, conserving resources, plastic, and my all-time favourite, money.
I follow with a dab of this natural toner on a reuseable bamboo makeup round. I bulk-bought these on sale but I want to make my own ACV toner once they’ve run out.
This is followed by The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and their Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA. Both have zero fragrance.
6.55 A.M. – Vegan makeup + casual hair
Next is Lily Lolo’s dreamy mineral foundation. Their vegan, natural powder contains SPF which means I no longer have to apply a separate product (doing away with yet another plastic bottle). They’re currently working on refill options for their plastic containers which I, for one, can’t wait for.
Then I fill in my eyebrows with an old brown powder I’ve had for years (which appears to be bottomless as I’m nowhere near the bottom).
Finally, I brush my hair using a wooden boar bristle brush (that’s actually vegan). This is usually into a bun or a ponytail so I don’t have to straighten it (and also because I live in London where the weather often leaves me resembling Hermione Granger).
7.15 A.M. – My sustainable commute
I’ve always chosen apartments that are close enough to my place of work so I can walk there. It’s mainly because I’ve always disliked commuting and find the tube at peak hour to be a form of torture. I’m definitely privileged to be able to do this.
Not only does walking to work limit my carbon footprint dramatically, but it saves me a tonne of money, most of which goes straight into the pocket of my landlord… Plenty of people spend more waking time at work than anywhere else during their week. Therefore, considering how long your commute will be isn’t just necessary for the planet but for your own sanity.
A sustainable morning routine has allowed me to be more impactful in life and less impactful on the planet. This particular routine is a summary and I sometimes have to move things around, but you get this gist.
If you do just one thing to set yourself up for success, implement a morning routine. Whether it’s five minutes or 45, a sustainable morning routine will make all the difference to your day and your environmental impact.