Alanna Ketler and the rest of the team at Collective Evolution hope to expand our way of thinking so that we can begin taking more conscious steps toward changing the planet.
For Alanna, who's a writer and content creator for the site, this mission has filtered into all facets of her life - including her beauty routine. Today, she limits the amount of chemicals she puts in and on her body on a daily basis.
"Many people are unaware that what is going on your skin is going into your skin as well," she says. "Not only that, but these products that contain chemicals are, for the most part, required to be tested on animals beforehand - which is completely unnecessary."
We recently checked in with Alanna to learn more about Collective Evolution and get advice on more planet-friendly habits to make you feel beautiful inside and out. Here's what she had to say:
Tell us about Collective Evolution. When and why was the organization started?
Collective Evolution is an online alternative media company that is geared toward getting people to think outside the box and question what they are being told. We focus on covering stories that you may not typically find on the mainstream news; and we are essentially trying to help bring about positive change in the world and get people to start thinking differently.
What does living a healthy, sustainable life mean for you?
Living a sustainable, healthy lifestyle is very important to me. Not only is it important for me physically, but it also does wonders for my overall mental well-being.
Why are you so passionate about evolving the way we think?
People tend to think that the things are just the way they are and they have always been like that, but this is not true. The way things are have only been this way for a century or so, and we have the full potential to change and evolve the way we are doing things on this planet. It is important to step outside the box and realize that we are capable of creating massive change if we do so. We are more powerful and have more potential than we often give ourselves credit for.
When it comes to our physical health and how we approach beauty, what do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions or myths out there today that you'd like to correct?
For both women and men, we are sold this idea that unless we look like the models in the magazine, we are not beautiful. The fact is, the vast majority of those models are Photoshopped to the point where they wouldn't even be considered real people in real life. Because of these expectations from society that women should look a certain way, women are getting increasingly more "fake" - more make-up, hair extensions, collagen injections and plastic surgery. I have noticed that most men actually prefer natural looking women and definitely don't mind some natural curve. It is important to be healthy and take care of your body, but not with the intention of looking hot. Instead, you should try to feel the best you can feel. This way, you will glow from the inside out; and this in itself is very attractive.
What do you think are some of the most surprising discoveries you or the team at CE has made about commercial cosmetics and skincare products?
I was shocked to learn that many of the chemicals in cosmetic and skincare products that are used in the USA and Canada are frequently banned in many European countries. Also, a lot of the chemicals that are being tested on animals are completely unnecessary, because they either have already been tested or there is a natural, safer alternative that could be used instead.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting health and beauty trends you're following today?
I use only natural products that haven't been tested on animals. Sometimes, people don't realize that it is actually very easy to make the switch; and if enough people did - you guessed it - they would stop testing on animals and using so many chemicals that are currently used in skincare products and cosmetics. Voting with your dollars is a concept that I am very passionate about. I have a shower filter that removes fluoride and chlorine, and I try to eat a diet that is heavy in fresh fruits and veggies! I also try to stay active, walking, running, yoga, ultimate Frisbee and getting as much sun as possible!
What are some daily rituals or habits you've developed to help make you look and feel better inside and out?
I drink 1 liter of warm lemon water every morning; this is said to be very good for your digestion and your skin. Throughout the day, I also try to drink at least 3 additional liters of water. My job includes sitting at a desk for the most part, so I try to get up and walk around as much as possible.
What are some bad habits you've broken in order to improve your health and appearance?
I feel like I am always striving to improve. My health and lifestyle are not yet where I want it to be, but I try and move forward whenever I can. Mostly, I have cut out sugar almost entirely. I rarely have sugar unless it comes from a fruit. It actually wasn't even that difficult to do! I have added walking into my daily routine (even if for only 15 minutes), especially after a meal. I have also stopped eating when I feel full instead of stuffing myself until I can barely move. I start every day with a smoothie and a green juice and have been feeling great!