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Meet Ariel Ouziel of Sustainably Kind

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ariel Ouziel.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in the heart of Los Angeles, where you see endless amounts of concrete but not much wildlife. I can remember the day I was first immersed in a natural setting untouched by humans, or at least that’s what it felt like to an 8-year-old. It was during an elementary school field trip to the Ballona Wetlands, where our teacher took us for a volunteer day in an effort to try to expose us to something new. It introduced me to diverse ecosystems and taught me the importance of biodiversity. This was the idea of eco vs ego. That day changed my life and kick-started me into environmental advocacy.

In college, I went on to study Environmental Studies, where I spent time with like-minded individuals. We would discuss the varying ways humans interact with their environment and how it can be improved. As soon as I left these groups and had similar discussions with friends, family, or acquaintances, I learned that the general public did not have the basic knowledge of what sustainability truly meant. Yet, they all seemed eager to learn how they can help.

A few years went by where friends would tell me that a conversation we had changed the way they chose to eat, shop, or think about the planet. This brought me more joy than anything else. That was when I realized I had the ability to bring my passion into my work. I wanted to help people learn to think in a different way than society has taught them. For example, thinking through where every material comes from and the amount they consume. This goes against the idea of trends and consumption.

This has led me to start Sustainably Kind where we focus on environmental consulting, both for individuals and brands.

When was the last time you stopped to think about your impact on the world around you?

Sustainably Kind started because I knew I wanted to help people learn how their everyday life choices could make a positive impact on the environment. Currently, everyone hears stressful facts about the human effect on the planet, but it’s harder to find actionable steps that everyone can take. I wanted to fill that gap and provide easy to follow, everyday, actionable steps for the public.

With individuals, I focus on the way we think about our actions, and then I transition into taking a look into the household. Again, I walk through actionable steps that individuals can recognize in their daily lives.

When it comes to brands, I focus on sustainable business practices. This can be anything in the process from design and materials, packaging, ingredients, manufacture, suppliers and shipping.

During these processes, we will simplify your life and most likely, save some money along the way.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not quite. It took me nine years from graduating to starting Sustainably Kind and realizing that this is my purpose. Not only have people tried to convince me otherwise, but they have been adamant that I will fail.

However, I have chosen to believe in myself and my business. I trust that the public will recognize the importance of the information I am providing and want to grow with me.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Sustainably Kind is all about making a difference. I work one on one with individuals to help them live a more zero waste lifestyle through conscious action.

For example, I teach my clients to always think twice before purchasing an item by asking themselves a few simple questions. These questions will determine if the item is truly needed or just a splurge. Another way to be conscious about the items you purchase is making sure you understand the full impact the item has on the planet. For example, a simple cotton t-shirt might not seem like a huge deal. But would you still purchase it if you knew it took 2,700 liters of water to produce, not to mention the energy and transportation emissions?

I do my best to bring this awareness to light for everyday people. This can be utilized in any aspect of their life, but I never pressure my clients to change habits they aren’t ready for. This will only lead to failure, and I want to make everyone feel comfortable and confident in this lifestyle.

I focus on education and the way we think about the process first. Then we perform a home audit to recognize habits. From there, we move forward with actions that can be taken.

To date, I am most proud of my work on a beauty line where the focus was not just quality products but sustainability. Throughout the process the environment was taken into account, from eco-ingredients, materials, and suppliers used. Although no product will be perfect, this was a huge step for the beauty industry.

I think that what sets me apart is that I am realistic with both brands and individuals. I do not try to make every situation perfect, as that’s not reality. We can all change and do our best, but perfection is not the goal. The goal is growth and learning.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
For my business, it doesn’t matter what city you are in. We all contribute to climate change, and we can learn what actions to take to combat this issue.

I have realized that the majority of people want to help combat the effect humans are having on the planet. This goes for any city or country.

I am currently working on a course that anyone around the world can take online to help guide them toward a more zero waste lifestyle. These will be a bit more generic than my one on one consulting sessions. However, this will allow anyone in the world to improve the way they live.

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