Roosa Blom is a sustainability influencer living in Pälkäne, Finland, mother of a little boy, entrepreneur, writer and professional in sustainable fashion. We talked about everyday circular economy as well as ecological lifestyle. Roosa shares her ideas on Instagram @roosablom and on her blog that focuses on ecological living.
How did you get interested in sustainability?
I started to get interested in environmental issues at about middle school. At that time, there was still talk of "greenhouse effect". I received information about environmental issues largely from the Internet and from acquaintances of the same age via the Internet. I also had an aunt who was spirited to recycling and tuning, and with her we went to various flea markets. I probably got excited about flea markets partly for her merits and at that time you were able to make really good discoveries at the flea markets. A little later, I became particularly interested in the clothing industry and sustainability issues related to that, and set out to study the clothing industry. Ecologicalness has been a part of my life for a long time, and little by little I have developed a lifestyle that suits me. At times, I’m excited about a new ecological issue, like the Zero Waste principles, and have incorporated functional stuff into in my daily life.
How are sustainable principles visible in your daily life?
I don’t really feel like ecology is particularly evident in my life. I am so used to living this way, according to ecological values. I don’t believe in absoluteism at all, but I take ”less is more” mindset as a guideline. I don’t want to spend much, and I don’t want my life revolving around spending and consumption. For example, I don’t spend time in malls and I just buy things for necessity. I try to buy everything second-hand, for example children’s clothing and furniture are easy to find second-hand. If I buy something new, I prefer responsible, high-quality and domestic small businesses. I also borrow less frequently needed items from relatives, such as my mother, to pick up more dishes for a party, for example. I mainly use natural cosmetics and avoid unnecessary chemicals. I eat vegetarian food and game, and I’m not absolute about diet. I drive an electric car, and while it’s not a perfect ecological solution, is a better option for getting around in the countryside. I try to avoid huge transnational companies as much as possible and prefer to support small entrepreneurs. I have been an entrepreneur myself for a long time, and in 2015 I founded a clothing rental company called Luottovaate in Tampere.
Roosa shares in her blog recipes for natural alternatives to products, such as laundry detergent in the picture.
Is it easier to live in a sustainable way in the countryside?
Yes, I think the lifestyle in the countryside is a little different. In the city it may be easier to spend money unnoticed in cafes and small shopping, and the lifestyle is more focused on consumption. In the countryside, of course, nature is close by, and sea buckthorn, apple trees, pear trees and berry bushes have been growing in our yard. I also feel that life on the countryside is kind of slower. People aren’t that superficial, and not everyone needs to have the latest fashionable strollers or a great car. For example, children's play dates can also be arranged in the woods, instead of an expensive indoor playground. It feels like the lifestyle here is less consumption-centric.
Is it more difficult to live sustainably when you have a child?
I don't think so. On the other hand, when I was pregnant, I found it difficult that there are certain social norms related to having children. When you are faced with a new thing and want to offer your child only the best, it can be really hard to resist making different purchases for your baby, especially when everywhere advertises say you need this and that. For myself, ecological values limited a lot that I didn’t want to acquire something that might prove itself useless later. I’ve actually gotten almost everything used for my child. It has been challenging at times to communicate on holidays and birthdays, as I wouldn’t want a huge amount of stuff and toys as gifts for my child. My child is very happy with just a few carefully selected and desired gifts, but relatives don’t always seem to believe it.
Roosa's recipe for natural mosquito spray: fill spray bottle with water and essential oils such as tea tree, lavender or lemon. Photo is from Roosa's blog.
What motivates you to live ecologically?
Well, I think values are the most important of all; for example, it would be hard to imagine me going to buy some clothing from a fast fashion chain. I have always been an entrepreneur myself, so supporting small businesses is close to my heart. I give my money much more willingly to the family of a small business owner than to some giant businesses. Of course, buying second-hand also saves a lot of money. That is, saving money is also motivating; actually in two ways. For example, when you spend less on consumption, you can invest more. On the other hand, when my lifestyle is not expensive, I am able to work less and enjoy more free time. Finding items from flea markets also gives a wonderful feeling of discovery. I also like the personality of second-hand products and I also like to alter them to fit my style.