Practicing Imperfection

So many lifestyle changes, so little time and patience ... 

Life gets busy, and now on top of the daily to-dos, we’re being asked to make changes to our lifestyles so we can save the planet, even though big business is really the main culprit. We were born into a society that thrives on mindless consumerism and convenience, so making these changes isn’t exactly the easiest task, but it is slowly becoming more accessible!

On top of that, there seems to be a demand for perfection when it comes to going vegan/vegetarian or transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle — an “all-or-nothing” type of attitude. Sometimes it can feel like we might as well not change anything because we feel intimidated by the idea of such a drastic transition.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be the model zero-waster or a super strict vegan to make an impact. 

This is an invitation to allow yourself the space to be ~imperfect~ while taking baby steps to live healthier for yourself and the planet. 

Lao Tzu Quote

Being Imperfectly Vegan 

This can look different for everyone: Maybe you decide to go vegan but allow yourself to have non-vegan things every once in a while, or maybe you just commit to a certain number of meatless meals per week, or opt for dairy-free when it’s available. There are endless ways to do it.

In this process, it’s important to honor your body and give it what it needs. Everybody is different. Some people have a really hard time getting all the nutrition they need on a strictly vegan diet, so that is where you modify. 

For example, in my own life, I have given up dairy completely because my body does better without it, plus it feels good to not be supporting the dairy industry. I still eat meat occasionally when my body wants it, and I try my very best to make sure it is at least organic, if not free-range/grass-fed/ethically-raised when I do. I eat eggs pretty often, and always make sure to buy pasture-raised or get them from a friend I know who raises chickens in a good way. 

I know a fair amount of people who have similar dietary practices; they are mostly plant-based, but will eat something outside of that category every once in a while. They all say that it feels good to have the freedom to choose what feels best for them in each moment without the feelings of guilt or imposter syndrome that can often accompany a strict declaration of veganism. 

Practicing Zero-Waste

In yoga, we call it a practice because there is always room to learn and grow. There is no static end-goal; we simply show up and honor the needs of our bodies. 

That’s how I like to think of going zero-waste, as a practice, because there is no one way to do it, and going all-in at once can be difficult and intimidating. 

The journey to waste reduction is an ever-evolving one, as our options keep getting better and more sophisticated. It can be expensive to start from scratch, so my advice would be to take it one small change at a time. For example, you hear about a new really cool, non-toxic refillable cleaning product line, but you already have cleaning supplies in your home and don’t want them to go to waste. Write yourself a reminder to get a healthier, less-wasteful option when it is time to restock your supplies. There is no rush, and changing your lifestyle can take time. 

Maybe you want to start shopping from the bulk bins at the grocery store to cut down on packaging waste, but you don’t have any jars and/or it’s not in your budget to buy a  whole set of those aesthetically pleasing ones you see on Instagram, don’t worry! You can save and reuse jars from other things you buy. In fact, reusing glass is always better for the environment. (Don’t forget to weigh them before adding your goodies).

If you go to the grocery store and forget to bring your reusable bags, don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead make yourself a promise to do better next time, and make it easier to remember them (e.g. keep some in your car or by the door). When you’re at the checkout station *sans your favorite reusable bags*, choose paper if it’s an option, and make sure to reuse/repurpose them. 

Be creative and don’t be attached to a false idea of perfection. Just do your best. Being aware and mindful is really the most important ingredient. 

Cleaning up your lifestyle is so much more fun and rewarding when there’s no shame and guilt attached. Get out there and be creative! Allow yourself the space to be imperfect because every little bit helps. 


  • lovely to read this kind and sane approach to being wee human beings!
    recommend beautiful, intelligent, book by Tara Brach-
    “ Radical Acceptance.”. she is a joy to read.

  • Thanks for this sane and balanced perspective on making lifestyle changes. Not only are the ideas really helpful and motivating, your writing is so clear and easy to read. You have a wonderful knack of communicating profound and important ideas ins simple, accessible language. Well done!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published