Living a health and wellness lifestyle hasn’t always been quite so popular, it’s only been in the past few years, that it’s experienced rapid growth. So rapid in fact, that studies show the global wellness market is in fact now three times larger than the worldwide pharmaceutical industry. Pretty mind-blowing stuff.
Dominating that space are categories such as beauty, fitness, mindfulness and healthy eating. However the wellness industry as a whole is multi-dimensional. It evolves frequently and is heavily influenced by it’s consumers and the environment.
It’s because of this that many of those adopting wellness lifestyles, have started to turn their attention towards the health of the planet. Health & Wellness is literally turning consumers into eco warriors. Large populations and generations have spent years living their lives, without a second thought to our ecosystems. We’ve built, drilled, mined, poisoned and polluted, and were largely naive to the consequences.
Despite global warming and red flags on how we’re abusing our planet with greenhouse gas emissions, which have actually been recorded to have started way back in the 1830’s, communities are starting to wise up and take heed.
An interesting spin off from the growing health & wellness industry, is how many wellness lovers are quickly turning into planetary lovers, conscious consumers and eco warriors. It’s quickly recognisable to those seeking a wellness lifestyle – that living consciously goes hand in hand with this.
Identifying clear pathways from personal health to planetary health however isn’t the same for all. Emily Ehlers, Eco-Blogger, found her way into a more sustainable lifestyle following her studies in nutrition.
“I’ve always been green at the core, however my interest in sustainability was very much base-level (catch public transport, take your own bag etc). Given my newfound obsession in nutrition though it caused me to look long and hard at food (and it’s production) and opened a sort of Pandora’s box in my awareness. Once you know you can’t un-know. The book that affected me the most was The Ethics Of What We Eat by Peter Singer – it made me realise that everything I chose to consume had an effect on the world around me. Then it all boiled down to the famous quote – I wanted to be the change I wished to see in the world. Cliched but true 🙂 I became extremely passionate about living plastic-free and was delighted to see that what was healthiest for humans (a whole food diet) was also healthier for the planet (because whole foods are easier to obtain plastic-free).”
And she’s not alone. Fitness blogger and influencer, Zanna Van Dijk not only encourages a sustainable approach to keeping fit and healthy, but lives and breathes sustainability in her lifestyle choices also. Equally identifying we’re all learning our way and in this together, she’s even set up a conscious living group on Facebook; designed as a safe, judgement free zone, for individuals to discuss issues and share resources. And it’s a group that’s growing in numbers by the day.
“Sadly, as humans we are getting bit carried away living our modern lives and many of us don’t realise how badly we are treating our home. A huge goal of mine is to raise awareness of the environmental issues affecting Earth, and encouraging my audience to make small sustainable changes which support the survival of our beautiful home and all the diverse species that inhabit it.”
Everyones path to sustainable lifestyle choices is different of course. But there does seem to be a a common denominator: The Health and Wellness industry. With other industries quickly picking up on this and forming new trends such as ‘eco-chic’ing’ your home, all the way through to going ‘minimal’, the collective is indeed growing.
It’s not just individuals that are realising that health & wellness is now much more than what superfoods you pop in your smoothie. Brands who adopt sustainable approaches, are growing in their numbers. From cementing their roots in sustainable farming practises, brands such as Wunderworkshop are carving the way for longevity in the industry. Leading chocolate brand Pana, has long adopted the principle; ‘Love your insides, Love the Earth’ and have continued to support a wider planetary goal from the get go.
Sustainable Dish owner Diana Rodgers‘ eco loving lifestyle was developed from her love of nature at an early age and her ongoing battle with celiac disease. She always loved food and after a career in natural foods marketing, she now lives on an organic working farm.
“I was always a sick kid, with intestinal issues and underweight. It wasn’t until I was 26, when I found out I have celiac disease, that I was able to start recovering. About 10 years later, I decided to change my career and switch from natural foods marketing to being a dietitian. Then everything came together very “organically”. My husband decided to become a farmer in his 20’s for environmental reasons. I’ve always been a foodie, and after learning more about nutrition, it became clear that the best way to eat was to consume what we produced on the farm: organic vegetables, berries, and pasture-raised meats. We also offer a local seafood share through the farm. This is still the majority of my diet, and how I encourage my nutrition clients to eat this way as well.”
You Tube sensation Sadia of Pick Up Limes found her way into sustainable living, after quite an interesting wake up call. Despite studying as a dietician, it was actually popular TV series, Walking Dead, which opened her eyes! It now cements her practises as a dietician and her role as an influencer online.
“At first, the transition to health and wellness was very much me-centred. I ate foods that were typically viewed as ‘healthy’ with no regard to whether they were sustainably or ethically sourced. After a couple years into this new lifestyle, I encountered a catalyst, if you will, that triggered me to question my views and actions. It was an interesting catalyst no doubt: an episode of the TV show The Walking Dead. This episode takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where people are running out of food and are finding any means possible to survive; as such, they turn to cannibalism and go about slaughtering humans in much the same way we do other animals for our food. After the episode, I sat staring at the screen for several moments. It dawned on me that the humans too are animals, not much different than the animals we consume. We both have arms, legs, hearts and brains; we both feel pain and we both have a strong desire to live. It was at this point that my transition to health and wellness took a turn, because it was no longer me-centred, but rather, was them-centred. This is when I chose to follow a plant-based diet, and also a cruelty-free lifestyle outside of food; meaning I no longer purchase items that are made from animal products.”