What Do Sustainability and Wellness Have in Common?


Earlier this month, we hosted a live webinar where Professor Lisa Warman talked with guest speaker Annemarie Sampson about the intersection of wellness and sustainability.

Annemarie, from Mission Driven Wellness, promotes a holistic approach to wellness that includes how we interact with the planet as well as our personal, home, and work communities. Update: Annemarie now operates SustainableLife with wellness coaching and training consulting.

A lot was covered during this valuable discussion and below are a few of our favorite topics pulled from the webinar.

Lisa Warman: Within the sustainability movement, there are often instances of “shaming” people for not recycling enough, not being vegan enough, etc. How can we encourage people to live more sustainably without “sustainability shaming”?


Annemarie Sampson: That’s a great question. With zero waste living, first and foremost people have to realize that this is not a competition there are no winners. It’s about everybody doing their part. Nobody’s actions, large or small, should ever be dismissed.

I think we just need to recognize that as humans, we’re not perfect. We need to make sure that we are praising ourselves and praising others. If we do this all in a sense of community, it just feels better.

Lisa: We have lots of products and packaging in our lives from food packaging, personal care products, health products, and more. What are some tips to be more mindful in our purchasing so that both the products & packaging are safe and sustainable?


Annemarie: A couple of best practices. First of all, follow the money. Understand where companies invest their time, energy, and resources. The other thing is to follow the parent company. I think people are a little unaware of how few choices as consumers we actually have. For example, Burt’s Bees is actually owned by Clorox. L’oreal owns Pureology and The Body Shop. They own a list of so many others. As a matter of fact, 7 beauty companies own 97% of the beauty products that you are shopping for.

Then, understand that packaging, manufacturing, and distribution are all part of the equation. People talk a lot about ingredients, and I’m not going to say that ingredients aren’t important. But if you don’t understand the way something is being manufactured, packaged, and distributed, that can actually have a larger impact as it relates to our carbon footprint and sustainability.

Lisa: Some sustainability tips assume people have a certain level of privilege such as being able to buy organic food, more expensive clothing that lasts longer, etc. What are some sustainability tips that are affordable and accessible to everyone?


Annemarie: If we’re talking about best practices or tips, the whole idea of doing more with less. Going back to the fact that we are a capitalistic society and we do consume things. Just paying attention to do we really need that? Do we really need that lipstick from Amazon to come tomorrow? Ask yourself those questions. 

As a side note there, financial wellness is a part. We know that people who are financially stressed have significantly higher health risks. Buying less allows you to have a better handle on your finances, so it does all work together.

Other tips: Buying in bulk, cooking in bulk. Washing your clothes in cold water saves resources and money. All of those little things start to add up. I think sometimes we forget about the little things.

To hear Lisa and Annemarie’s full discussion, you can watch their webinar recording (and all of our other free webinars) by signing up here. This webinar will be listed under “2021 Sustainability Webinars”.

Some of the topics discussed in the full webinar are:

  • Sustainable packaging
  • Sourcing sustainable products
  • Circular economies
  • How to run a sustainable business
  • And more!

We hope you enjoyed this conversation, and if there are any other topics on sustainability and wellness that you would like us to write about, let us know in the comments.

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.