Happy new year, Adventurers! How much fairness and respect do you get from yourself? I say, it’s time to check.

Happy new year, dear reader!
I hope you and yours had a good start into 2018.
I hope you were able to leave behind whatever hurt you in 2017 and keep only the wisdom gained.
I wish you to have found and nurtured kindness, love and the sense of harmony needed to make your life more beautiful and healthy.

There’s a reason why I’m writing this post now, Mid-January, when the celebrations are over, the winter’s still in its cold and boring prime, we’re back at work and have abandoned, frustrated, half of our new year’s resolutions.

I’m here to remind you that you can go a different route. Still. Today. Everyday.

And boy, do even the “greenest” of us need a healthier, more balanced, way of life!
This is also what inspired me to write this post.

Green Is In.
Is Green In?

2017 has been a rough year for many friends and likeminded “greenies” – burnouts were not uncommon, beloved brands gave up, emotions boiled over. Between growing as a person, making a living and fighting for what’s good and right in a world that appears warped sometimes, there is a lot of room for frustration.

But why frustration? Even if you aknowledge all the problems, it’s obvious that the green tide is here, which is good news.

The prosumers, the activists, the eco-savvy millennials, the idealistic new start-up founders, they are all here and the hunger for sustainable, fair, healthy products is as huge as never before! The green boom is here! We won!

Nah, not so fast. When something becomes a business, the rules of the game change.

While greenwashing is not a novelty, there will be more fancy brands and loud voices pretending to be much greener than they truly are to compete with the lower voices of genuine pioneers and trailblazers. And based on many long hours spent talking to experts from different industries, from new enterpreneurs, engaged consumers and insiders to CEOs, authors and bloggers as well as on my personal research, I know that these worries are real.

While authentic green companies will always struggle – they need to balance fair pay, sustainable sourcing and many other high standards they are stubbornly passionate to living up to –, there are companies that will take it easier, will gain great visibility with business savvy and just a dash of sparkling green nonchalance. The so growing industry will also need new standards. Will these be strong or watered-down?

While authentic green influencers will question their knowledge, their beliefs with everything they’re learning, there will be many new voices to incessantly feed you fun and fancy green PR stories and argue that “every small bit of change helps”. And even though this phrase has become too ubiquitous to be anything more than a commonplace remark, they’re not even lying – it does help. Above all, it helps drive sales.

But Nath, isn’t that true – doesn’t every small bit, each baby step help? you may ask.

Look, of course they kind of do. But only if it sums up in the end. Single-use paper bags are not much better than single-use plastic bags. Organic cotton is still cotton, a resource-intensive fibre to produce.
And a Christmas-time donation to a reforestation programme doesn’t pardon a year of long-haul flights.

And when you look at the data, you realise that the time for “baby steps” may well be over. Plastic/ microplastic pollution, toxins and endocrine disruptors in the environment, massive deforestation, the rise of monocrops, the question of who owns our food

Of course, the nexus of all economic, political and social influences that shape the current status quo can’t be shown here in all complexity. Let’s just agree that green is big these days.

Ironically, going big is a double-sided sword. You need the mass market to establish green standards on one hand. And on the other hand, the scalability of genuinely green products and solutions is a problem. Go big or go home is the law for success in business and media, but the thing is: nature can’t go big, not by this definition. Nature is abundance and variety. Nature is not abundance of a few sought-after things.

But when green becomes an industry, the standards change. The top notch super-green, super-fair standard though is just like nature – not fully scalable.

But hey, didn’t I say we’d talk about a healthy way of life for us on the green side of life?

Easing Into 2018:
Nurture the Ecofair Self

To face the changes, the challenges and to keep supporting those genuinely green products, communities and voices, all you need to do as a consumer, a writer or an entrepreneur is start right where you are. Forget the reality check you just read for a moment, because it was bitter. Feel the sting – but now let it go.

Because friends, you and I, we must each nurture our Ecofair Self.

The Ecofair Self is my philosophy of treating myself in a sustainable, fair, healthy way that I want to share with you in my first post of 2018.

Many of us who wear ethical clothes, use organic skincare, and sleep in green hotels don’t have the habit of supporting ourselves the way we support ecofair companies and sustainable lifestyle. This needs to change. And this is why you need the Ecofair Self manifesto.

The Ecofair Self is eco-savvy:
The ecology of your self needs to be protected and nourished, just like that of any natural environment. You are a tiny microcosm connected with other worlds, tiny and huge.

You take care of your body, of your soul, of your mind; you protect and nourish your most precious and valuable, non-renewable resources: your time, your health, your passion, your compassion and your creativity.
Consider the possibility that things which appear loud and desirable – like that “cool” clique, the hottest club in town, the latest it-bag, whatever it may be – only appear loud and desirable. Maybe in reality they are just stand-ins for something else that you truly desire. Maybe your genuine wish is to create and not to consume? To belong to a likeminded group? Is your desire to be free, bold, and happy – but all you’re being sold is an expensive surrogate?

Ask yourself this: what non-renewable ressources are you trading in to fulfill those desires? Will being with a certain group of people, will possessing certain things be worth those resources and will it nourish your passion, your happiness, your health, your creativity in return?

The Ecofair Self is fair and honest:
Respect, kindness, generosity, appreciation – let them grow stronger everyday, let them illuminate your face from within like no highlighter could. Respect yourself, be kind to yourself, challenge yourself and appreciate the gifts you bring to the table. Do this, and you’ll be able to respect, to be kind, generous and honouring towards others. You’ll also experience respect, generosity, appreciation and kindness.

Like a truly beautiful woman who can see and compliment beauty in others, you’ll discover that honouring and respecting others doesn’t mean you’re devaluing or demeaning yourself. It means you’re uplifting others and bringing them to a place of respect, kindness and generosity.

The Ecofair Self is a connected self:
You disconnect from the tech and connect with the people. You reconnect with nature. You listen to yourself and can bear solitude and silence rather than comparing, desparing and giving in to a fit of FOMO.

Instead of looking at the reflection of your loved ones in the smartphone – like a strange modern Perseus afraid to be turned to stone by Medusa – the Ecofair Self seeks eye contact and takes in the conversation.

The Ecofair Self is a force of Nature:
When you are honest in appreciating your gifts and weaknesses, acknowledging yourself for who you truly are, catering to your needs and nourishing your unique blend of talents, you will become unafraid of whatever comes your way.

You will honour the uniqueness in yourself and in others. You’ll remain friendly but you won’t bow your head to fads, peer pressure, or society standards. You will be in control of your thoughts and feelings. You’ll feel more inspired and you’ll experience intense sparks of ingenuity in your creative and everyday endeavours. You’ll see clearer and you’ll understand others better, recognising the truth behind the words and growing more sensible to new ideas.
You will feel a wholeness and a freedom that you haven’t dared to feel before.

Welcome to the Ecofair Side.
We have cookies, too.

tl;dr
By truly respecting yourself you will gain access to an infitite source of strength and inspiration needed to stand for and to demand highest ethical and sustainability standards.