I like to think that even some of our so-called shitty habits have the potential to do a little good. That was part of the motivation behind starting LIFEWHILE, in fact. Learning and helping others to make little, manageable tweaks that can contribute to a bigger change.
Will binge watching Real Housewives have a positive global impact? Probably not. But that’s okay! Balance, people...balance. Other indulgences, though, can be made more socially-conscious pretty easily. Here's how:
1. Sleeping In
You snooze, you...donate to charity...? There are few things more satisfying than that moment when you give yourself permission to shamelessly turn your alarm off and snuggle back into bed. Turns out, that 'bad habit' actually has the potential to do some serious good. Enter: the iPhone app iCukoo, an alarm clock that automatically donates to a predetermined charity of your choice every time you snooze. Download the user-friendly app and start feeling a little less guilty about lingering in bed/sleeping through workouts/extending your naps/generally never wanting to leave your pillow.
Binge watching Breaking Bad or indulging in the latest season of House of Cards (...which was insane) is always fun, but a subscription to Netflix also means you have access to tons of informative and, yes, still super entertaining documentaries that are worth checking out. Docs are an easy way to for all of us to experience a different human perspective than the ones we’re used to. That kind of open mindedness and embracing of differences tends to result in compassion, something our little world can definitely use more of at the moment. Favorite documentaries streaming right now on Netflix: Living on One Dollar, Virunga, The True Cost, and The Act of Killing.
Whether you’re someone who’s functional with just a cup or two of coffee, or you straight up cannot ‘adult’ without a latte an hour, the kind of coffee you drink is worth giving more thought to. The reality is that most of the big brand coffee shops you see sprinkled around your city (including the one where this article is being written...~meta~) are not implementing fair trade practices as consistently as they could be. Of course, sometimes convenience is going to outweigh social consciousness, (and again, that's okay!) but as often as you can, especially at home, try to check out other options. There are lots of ethically-sourced, Fair Trade certified brands that produce delicious coffee while cultivating lasting relationships with their communities. Agape Roasting, for example, donates 100% of its profits to charity. 100%! Not to mention, they make damn good coffee. Full list of our favorite do-good coffee brands is here.
4. Online Shopping
The fact that we live in a world where you can purchase everything from pizza to swimwear to area rugs, all while lazily sipping a glass of wine and wearing sweatpants, is downright Jetson-esque. What a time to be alive, amirite?
But, it's not all futuristic utopia and Sauv Blanc. Online shopping can be a super slippery slope that lots of us have fallen down a couple of times. Your bank account and already-overflowing closet? Yeah, they’re really not fans of this habit, but sometimes impulse outweighs rationale. When that happens, try going to a socially-conscious fashion marketplace instead of your usual digital stomping ground. Not only will you scoop up stuff that fewer people will be strutting around in, you'll also be doing some good. Sites like The Little Market (co-founded by Lauren Conrad, so you can be sure it’s cute) work with local artisans from various countries to create gorgeous, 100% fair trade accessories, gifts and home goods. I also love Modavanti, an online marketplace where you can get everything from on-trend activewear to beauty products to organic bedding. Every brand sold on the site has been vetted by Modavanti to ensure it promotes sustainability. So before you fall into the abyss of Forever 21 (...been there, often) consider exploring all the options out there that are as ethical as they are fashionable.
Any other 'bad' habits you guys battle with? If you do end up trying these tweaks, be sure to let us know how it goes!