Guide to Sustainable Living


In collaboration with Ana Rahlves

Guide to Sustainable Living

I am no sustainability expert and don’t really discuss this topic often, but I’ve been slowly dropping minor habits that actually caused big waste to our environment. What triggered the switch were the horrible statistics that involved my constant visits to coffee shops and almost daily grocery shopping trips. I realized I was a big part of the problem, and only thought about myself—I didn’t think of the way I was affecting the health of our environment. I now focus on finding sustainable living life hacks everyday, it’s actually fun if you make it a challenge!

Ana Rahlves ( @anarahlves )

Ana Rahlves (@anarahlves)

As previously stated, I am no sustainable living guru and wanted to bring someone along who fully dedicates their life to making this planet a greener place.

Meet Sustainability Expert, Ana Rahlves!

I met Ana through the nonprofit women’s surf organization, Wahine Kai. Since the very beginning of our friendship, Ana has been a forward thinker about sustainability and has finally convinced me to join her quest towards a cleaner Earth. Throughout her sustainability journey, she has gotten involved with eco-brands such as MONA Swimwear, and Newport Beach’s Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.


Guide to Sustainable Living



I love long showers specially during Winter time—they are just so relaxing and peaceful! Since my life is anything but that I try to cherish that solo time to the fullest by listening to my podcasts, or by just enjoying the soothing sound of the water dropping for longer than someone should…


I have now compromised with myself and instead of playing five songs (each are basically two minutes long), I focus on one. Once that song is close to ending I know it’s time to wrap it up, wash off my hair products, and reach for a towel. It might not be perfectly sustainable, but it’s a start.

Ana’s advice:

“Close the tap when you are not using water, for example while shampooing (yes you can be a bit cold, so do it fast!), and while brushing your teeth. When washing dishes only open the tap for rinsing.”


Saying no to unnecessary waste might be an uncomfortable conversation to have, just keep in mind that your decisions as insignificant as they might seem can make a big change.

  • Look, I go through this as well and sometimes I just can’t help myself—my excuses usually consist of:

    • I forgot my steel straw + coffee cup at home

    • They already placed the lid on top of my drink

    • I don’t have a sustainable boba straw and they don’t provide one at the store

    • I am driving on the freeway and can’t deal with a topless coffee

Ana’s Advice:

“Take time to yourself and enjoy the delight of having a cup of coffee to stay. Ask the barista to serve your coffee on a real mug, sit back and relax for 5 minutes. You are doing more that just giving time to yourself, you are also giving the planet the gift of less waste. Did you know that most of the paper cups that coffee shops use are not recyclable?”

switch out your commute

If you don’t want to sit through traffic one day, try biking! It might take longer, but it could easily turn into a fun ride through the city—it could also be the right move towards a more active lifestyle.

sell and swap fashion

If you happen to buy fast fashion, sell it afterwards on an app. More $$$ straight to your pocket than selling it at a thrift store!

If you want to go the more unique route:

  • Thrift + Vintage Shops are full of undiscovered treasures: You can refer to my online vintage shopping guide if you want to go the digital way

  • Fair Trade and Ethical Brands: What’s more chic than purchasing fashion that was actually made from great sources with sustainable materials?

  • Goodwill: This is a store that gives you a 50/50 chance of treasure hunting success. You either walk out with nothing, or with a cool old school Polaroid camera and a vintage Fendi purse—both situations actually happened to friends of mine.



Used more plastic than you’re proud of during week? Recycle.

If you live in Southern California, there’s a BIG chance that a place near you has a recycling station.



Farmers Markets are probably my favorite thing to attend to on Sundays, specially the one in Leucadia.

HOT TIP: Get the coconut peanut butter, it’s the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted and it comes in a cute mason jar that you can utilize over and over again!

Besides being able to support local businesses, you’ll know where the food actually came from and won’t walk out with multiple plastic containers and secretive pesticides on your products.

Don’t be a napkin WASTE MACHINe

Says the queen of the bad habit… I’ll be the first to admit that I love grabbing as many napkins as I can before even seating down to eat my food, and desperately need to change that bad habit.

Hey, at least I am acknowledging it.


Go Digital

The phone that you have in your hands is basically a computer and your own personal assistant, hats off to Steve Jobs. With this object you can literally save so much waste and even get a step closer to fully going paper free—so insane right?!

Take advantage of your notes app and create grocery shopping lists there. If you’re tired of flipping through your planner to find out what you have booked this month, utilize the calendar app.

These tips can save so much paper from being wasted and trees from being chopped down (yes, I went there). If you happen to love purchasing cute planners every January, make sure to recycle it before buying a new one the following year!


You are probably living under a rock if you haven’t caught on to this trend yet. Do I really have to state that Americans use 500 MILLION plastic straws every day? Just do the Earth a favor, refuse plastic straws and replace them with sustainable ones!

Ana’s Main tips

“Educate yourself. While it can be tremendously overwhelming, the only way in which we can stop the environmental crisis is by understanding it. Start by choosing a topic that interests you, for example climate change, plastic pollution, deforestation etc, and give yourself some time to read, research and understand more about it. Then, take action!

Join a local non-profit that works on solutions for that specific topic, roll-up your sleeves, and start helping the planet.”


Guide to Sustainable Living


  1. @mamaeatsplants

    I was first introduced to the concept of a plant based lifestyle through her buzzfeed video feature: This Family Tries To Not Make Trash. She made me realize how much useless thrash I compile on a daily basis and showed me ways to avoid making those same mistakes again.

  2. @zerowastememes

    Do you want to get informed about what to avoid in a zero waste lifestyle and laugh at a meme or two? Give this account a try.

  3. @surfrider

    The Surfrider Foundation USA is a U.S. 501 grassroots non-profit environmental organization that works to protect and preserve the world's oceans, waves and beaches. If you want to find out about a beach clean up near you, Surfrider Foundation is your best bet!

  4. @fairtradecertified

    Hands down the best resource on fair trade. This instagram showcases quality fair trade products that improve lives, and protect the environment.

  5. @drainstoocean

    Drains to Ocean is a grass roots, non-profit organization with a mission to keep pollution from flowing into our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Their mission statement is “We believe that every drain matters”. This local nonprofit organization is also a wonderful resource for beach clean ups around your area!

  6. @fash_rev

    Have you ever asked a brand  #WhoMadeMyClothes? Fashion Revolution’s mission is to keep that question constantly in your mind. They are a global movement calling for greater transparency in the fashion industry. Fashion Revolution keeps me informed about what is really going on in the fast fashion world—let’s just say, it’s the opposite of what they show you on visual displays!


Guide to Sustainable Living



    I am actually a proud ambassador of Relovv and couldn’t be more excited to spread the word about it. They merge sustainability and style by curating only the best of the best relovved items, so you'll always find something special and affordable. Each “relovv” reduces an item’s eco-footprint by 73%! #ReduceReuseRelovv

    Get 10% off every order for the first 24 hours with code: gabrielaperegrina

  2. Poshmark

    The OG app for online selling and probably the one with the most positive feedback from friends who currently have an account with them.

    Get $5 when you sign up with code: GABYPEREGRINA


    An online marketplace that exclusively buys and sales women’s luxury and designer contemporary fashion.

  4. DEPOP

    Poshmark but make it trendy. An online marketplace by creatives to creatives! If you’re tired of going through pages and pages of items, depop does the job for you by curating fashion that actually fits your style. Their staff picks are my go-to!

  5. Goodonyou

    The Good On You app allows you to check brand ratings while you’re shopping. Discover ethical and sustainable fashion labels from around the world, and get exclusive offers from the best brands on the app!


Guide to Sustainable Living


Ana’s Advice:

“Prioritize locally sourced products. Transportation of goods is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases.

Prioritize products that do not require excessive amounts of water to produce.

Check out for sustainable labels such as Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).”


Guide to Sustainable Living


“My main advice to anyone who wants to have a more environmentally responsible lifestyle is to educate yourself about the most critical issues facing the planet, and to start by making small changes.

For example, shopping less fast fashion products, using your clothes longer, and shopping only from responsible companies will really make an impact on our CO2 emissions count.

We all know the low prices on the tag are a big temptation, but before making the decision of shopping for fast fashion, ask yourself: Do I really need this item? Or am I trying to convince myself that I need it? Can I wear something that I already have in my closet? Can I use this item for a long time, or is it too trendy to even think about using it next year?

Maybe learning that 85% of textiles are sent to landfill will help you making better shopping decisions. In addition, most textile fabrics are made out of plastic (polyester, nylon, acrylic, etc), which means that they will last for a long time before starting to degrade and that they will send microplastics to our ocean once you start washing them.

Finally, keeping a positive attitude is very important. While learning about the environmental crisis can feel frustrating, focusing on the solutions will help you keeping a positive mindset. Don’t forget that we can do this together!”


Guide to Sustainable Living

thank you!

I hope this guide serves you as a base to start your journey towards a greener lifestyle, there’s no better time to start being more eco-conscious than now.

If you have sustainability tips to add, I would love to hear them in the comments.

Thank you so much for letting me share my guide to sustainable living with all of you, and thanks Ana for all your wise advice!


Gabriela Peregrina