July 12, 2021

58: Stepping Away From Hustle Culture To Make A Bigger Impact, with Manuela Barón

“There is value in the things that don’t always get rewards. It’s not up to you to save the world, but the little things you do really can save the world.” - Manuela Barón, The Girl Gone Green Manuela is a sustainability activist whose goal...


“There is value in the things that don’t always get rewards. It’s not up to you to save the world, but the little things you do really can save the world.” - Manuela Barón, The Girl Gone Green

Manuela is a sustainability activist whose goal is to communicate how everyone can help the planet. In her travels, she realized the problem the world faces – trash. That was the trigger to her lifestyle change. In this episode, Manuela maps out the path she took towards the sustainability agenda.

 

Eye-Opening Experience

At 18, Manuela transferred to Paris to figure out what she wanted to do in life. In her mind, the decision to move abroad was romanticized, but the reality was far from the expectation. Manuela was exposed to the minimalist lifestyle, from fashion to meals. She noticed that Parisian women barely wear makeup and can whip up elaborate four-course meals using a single pot. Her observation made her look inward, and that was the moment Manuela decided to explore and learn from other cultures through travel. From that, she was able to pinpoint a recurring problem wherever she goes – trash. There was plastic pollution in Morocco; cigarette butts were scattered in Paris; Vietnam has a headache with soda cans. That made Manuela think of going for sustainable living as her own initiative to lessen her impact on the global trash crisis. It was a process of trial and error, but in the end, she successfully spread her advocacy through her social media platform. 

 

Keeping It Balanced

Obsession for her newfound purpose was the flame that kept Manuela working on her advocacy. Then, a day after her college graduation, she flew to Bali, Indonesia, where she saw firsthand the plastic emergency happening there. Manuela secured a discourse with someone related to the Indonesian president regarding the situation. After that, she went to Malaysia for palm oil. Manuela was living the dream, yet there was a missing link. She was lonely, not taking care of her health, and not eating well because she was too focused on becoming plastic-free and vegan. Despite it taking a toll on her health, Manuela still ignored it and went to Thailand and Hong Kong. That went on for six months until Manuela had her breaking point and admitted to herself that she was, in fact, not well. At that moment, she realized that to continue her work, she also needs to take care of herself. Now, Manuela manages her time well, working on her advocacy while keeping herself healthy. She has also defined her boundaries of when to say no and have time to pause and rest.

 

About Manuela Barón:

Manuela Barón is a Colombian-American with a passion for sustainability. In 2015, her world travels exposed her to the earth’s plea for change. Surrounded by plastic pollution, she vowed to change her habits to help the environment.

Manuela dove straight into the challenge of going to Zero Waste. Through that journey, she learned about the magnitude of the environmental crisis. Emboldened by other environmentalists, Manuela creates visuals to teach others about the issues.

The Girl Gone Green is a platform to educate and bring awareness on eco-issues & solutions. It is a community with an emphasis on sustainability and conscious living.

Manuela is the Girl Gone Green, and everyone can make little steps towards a better world. Let’s be a conscious community!

 

Outline of the Episode:

[02:17] How sustainability became a vital part of Manuela’s life

[05:48] A positive mindset to balance everything without feeling overwhelmed

[12:20] The connection between sustainable practices and personal growth

[19:26] Boundaries on when to work on the advocacy and when to say no

[28:59] Advice for a more sustainable means to travel

[35:50] Strategies to start your journey towards a sustainable lifestyle

 

Resources:

Instagram: https://instagram.com/thegirlgonegreen/

Website: http://www.thegirlgonegreen.com/

 

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