Paul - Eat less meat, Love each other more, Breathe

Paul helps more of us consume consciously by making plastic-free shopping a reality with Nude Foods in Cape Town. Read on to find out more about his thoughts on conscious consumption, sustainability and living a zero-waste lifestyle. 

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Where are you from and what brought you to Cape Town?

I moved here from Johannesburg five years ago, in pursuit of a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.

What does sustainability mean to you?

Living in a way that is aligned with your own well-being, with the well-being of those around you, and with the well-being of your immediate and extended surroundings.

What are you passionate about? Food, yoga, hiking, forests, innovation.

How do you consume consciously?

I have been vegan for the past six years. This lifestyle has made me super aware of how I consume as well as what I consume. It is also what led me to pursue a plastic-free lifestyle.   

What else could you do to consume more consciously?

I personally could consume much less, especially when it comes to food. I love food and am most definitely guilty of overindulging on occasion. Clothing is another area we should be looking at. I support local small designers and producers and also repurpose clothing as much as possible.

When did you become more conscious of your consumption?

About six years ago. I went through a major lifestyle change. I overhauled everything from diet, to lifestyle, to how I lived, worked and exercised.  

What brought about the change? 

I suffered adrenal burnout and was forced to relook at my life and lifestyle.

How would more people becoming conscious of their consumption change the world?

If conscious consumption where to reach a critical mass, then this would become the norm. I look very forward to seeing the day this happens – I do believe it’s coming a lot sooner than any of us realise. The ripple effect would be powerful and our lives and the world would begin to look very different.

What’s the easiest part of consuming consciously?

It just feels right. When you’re conscious of your consumption and your actions it is much easier to remain in the true flow of life. It helps you live cleaner, lighter and be truer to yourself.

What’s the hardest part of consuming consciously?  

Patience. Both with yourself and with those around you. Old habits take a long time to change, and new healthier habits also take time to set.

What are your top 3 practical changes?

  • Shop at neighbourhood and farmers markets where possible
  • Refuse plastic bags, straws and non-compostable take-out packaging
  • Swop to bamboo toothbrushes and reusable shopper bags  

What are the biggest challenges we face today in our consumption?

As modern humans, we are completely addicted to convenience. The reason so many supermarkets over package their products is to perpetuate this addiction. I think this has also made us very disconnected from the things that we buy, especially our foodstuffs.

When we measure out exactly how much of each product we need – like in a packaging-free store or a farmers market, we become a lot more conscious of just how much we really need. This forces us to be more mindful and to consume more consciously.

What do you do?

I’m the founder and owner of Nude Foods. I run the day-to-day operations of the business.

If the whole world was listening, what would you say?

  • Eat less meat
  • Love each other more
  • Breathe
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