Adoshi: How would you explain The Green Walnuts to those who are unfamiliar? Do you have a favorite recent post?
Sophie: The Green Walnuts is a green lifestyle blog for anyone who wants to start saving resources with what they have at hand. Just as green walnuts are not ripe but still edible, most environmentally friendly alternatives are not perfect but still useful. Here, you will find simple alternatives for a sustainable lifestyle to go towards zero waste and make more intentional decisions with your time and money. It really is all about the process. Just take it step-by-step.
My most favourite recent post is actually a whole series. I try to find eco-friendly and zero waste alternatives for products that everyone can use on a daily or weekly basis. If you want to have a look, the last two items in the series are on laundry detergent and deodorant.
Adoshi: Why is Vienna such a special place to you?
Sophie: Although I was born in Vienna and have lived here almost all my life, I only realized how wonderful this city is when I started studying at university. Exploring the city by myself gave me a whole new appreciation for my hometown. The city is big enough to get lost in the different neighborhoods but small enough to bike or walk everywhere. The architecture is simply astonishing, the food is delicious, and environmental awareness is on the rise. If you want, you can easily find nature in the city. Not only is there amazing drinking water quality, but we can also roam the nearby forests or swim in the Danube. Another bonus is that since the city is in the center of Europe, you can travel easily by train or bus to all the other countries. During my travels, I have seen the environmental situation in other countries and it has made me realize how blessed we are in Vienna.
Adoshi: What made you want to live a sustainable life with less waste?
Sophie: Good question. It was definitely not an overnight process, but more like a long ongoing shift of a “fast“ to “fair“ perspective. After learning more and more about the impact we have on our planet, I made the decision to no longer be part of this ecological nightmare. Although I studied natural resource management and was surrounded by eco-conscious people, I was never very comfortable in a big group of activists. Therefore, I decided to start at home and share what I learned along the way to promote a more sustainable and ethical lifestyle. Mainly, I just wanted to show that it is possible to take care of our wonderful world without suffering from self-imposed restrictions.
Adoshi: What are some things you do to relax? Any daily routines or exercise regiments that help?
Sophie: Honestly, I love to keep myself busy. There is rarely a time when I do not have something planned, or don’t have a task in my back pocket if for some reason I do have free time on my hands. Then again, I really do not like to feel overwhelmed, so I started to implement quite a lot of routines to help me relax. On a usual day, I begin my morning with yoga or a short run and breakfast with a view over my terrace. Even if it’s just 10 minutes of yoga and a quick 10-minute breakfast, it sets a whole different tone to the day.
Then, I bike or walk to work and listen to a podcast to get a little bit of fresh air. Never underestimate the power of nature, my friends! Instant relaxant, I promise.
Routines and habits help me relax because I have fewer things to decide and stress about. Whenever I feel extremely stressed, I get quite excessive with my to-do lists, but it helps! As soon as I have everything written down, I am no longer afraid that I will forget something.
Adoshi: What are some of your go-to eco-fashion blogs?
Sophie: I don’t think anybody has ever asked me about my fashion opinion. If it wasn’t for my family and friends, I would probably run around in the most hideous clothes. For years now, I have tried to get my act together, but a well thought out style is not something that comes naturally to me. Whenever I do need new clothes, I decide on one specific type of garment and then try to find it online at a second-hand store. Even better is when it is also originally produced by an eco-fashion brand.
For me, shopping is just not something I really enjoy. However, I can certainly appreciate other people’s sense of fashion. Two blogs I follow for their recommendations and style, among other things, are reading my tea leaves and Kissen und Karma (only in German).
Adoshi: How do you take your coffee?
Sophie: Oh, I love my coffee. If I have time, I like my coffee with milk foam. At home, I make cashew, oat, or hazelnut milk. If I am at a shop and they do not have any plant-based milk (I’m avoiding cow milk more and more often), I opt for an espresso.
Adoshi: Where do you get your news from?
Sophie: I have an app from a national newspaper on my phone, I am following a lot of different newspapers and magazines on Facebook (because let’s be realistic, I will click on the Facebook app on my phone eventually), and on weekends I get the paper version of national newspapers.
I will use the paper afterwards as filling material if I send a package or make a paper bag to carry the organic waste to the compost bin a couple of blocks away.
Adoshi: Any words of advice or encouragement for those reading who think living an "eco-friendly lifestyle" would be too difficult for them?
Sophie: Just start with one step. Don’t think you have to turn your whole world upside down (Have you seen Stranger Things? Upside down is not the best option). Start with something easy, like your own shopping bag. Once this is a solid habit, look for something new. Challenge yourself a little to keep it interesting. Later on, you can try to complete a month-long challenge, avoid taking the plane for your next vacation or stop shopping for a year. Whatever you choose to do, don’t burn the candle at both ends. An eco-friendly lifestyle means sustainable living and this should apply to all aspects of your life. Every step counts.