As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, our younger generations are spearheading new strategies to elevate awareness and activism on diverse issues. I had the opportunity to chat with one of these activists in sustainability about the work she undertakes and the platforms she uses to help spread her message – enter Antónia Mussache.
Antónia Mussache is a slow & sustainable lifestyle blogger living in Lisbon, Portugal. Her blog She Is Awake seeks, “simplicity and mindfulness in the daily chaos of our lives while taking a stand against the devastating effects of a throw-away culture.” She not only inspires people to adopt sustainable habits through her blog and Instagram posts, but also leads meaningful initiatives in local communities. Through her involvement in social platforms and community projects, Antónia hopes to empower the general public to implement sustainable changes.
Antónia was born in Angola but grew up in Lisbon, Portugal – she spent 3 years in the United Kingdom studying for a master’s degree in Project Management before returning to Lisbon. She is the founder of Lixo Zero Angola, an environmental education program that aims to alleviate period poverty by providing sustainable and durable period products, like menstrual cups and reusable pads, to local communities in Angola. To date, her program has received around 300 applications for its future ambassadors in all neighborhoods of Luanda – the capital of Angola.
Q: What inspired you to become involved in advocating for a sustainable lifestyle?
A: “She is Awake was created in 2016, while I was going on a self-discovery journey around my diet and life habits. With the new way of living to achieve my goals, I felt the need to slow down and live in a balanced rhythm that was good for my body and mind. Since then, the blog has progressed to deal with more intersectional sustainability subjects. Also, through Instagram, I have been able to share my progress on sustainability, such as what I’ve been up to, how I’m eating, and my wardrobe.”
Q: What motivated you to become a sustainable lifestyle blogger?
A: “I’ve always wanted to express my opinions and share content in an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-read way. A blog is an excellent option for this as it offers practically infinite resources and a valuable network. One of the great positive values of sustainability is the idea that we are all connected in one way or another. Therefore, it makes sense to build a network and work with different projects and people as we all hope for the same thing: a better world for future generations.
Moreover, as a sustainable lifestyle blogger, I inform readers about how to live more mindfully by referring to different subjects. I think that information can play a more effective role in reinforcing the public awareness of sustainability than just images or Instagram swipes.”
Q: What is the overarching theme of your social media content, and what’s an issue that you are most passionate about addressing?
A: “On Instagram, I touch on various topics. Sustainability is a broad field that encompasses the socio-economic to environmental to the human aspect, and I think it’s important for all these matters to be interconnected. As for my Instagram content, I tend to focus more on the socio-economic side, such as how marginalized and lower social & economic groups are impacted differently or unfairly by environmental problems. It’s crucial that we keep exploring these environmental injustice issues, and talk about ways to resolve them.”
Q: In your opinion, what was the biggest impact that your content had on our society? When did you notice that your content was triggering a real change?
A: “I would say the crowdfunding that I held through Instagram back in 2018 to purchase sustainable menstrual products for Angola’s local communities was impactful. Since I was able to go to the field and witness the results of crowdfunding firsthand, it was a tangible way to measure the social impact of my content. The initiative was able to start a conversation on a critical issue in our society – period poverty.
Menstrual products are neither cheap nor highly durable. This explains why the initiative prioritized triggering discussions around sustainable menstrual products and empowering communities to launch sustainable campaigns instead of waiting on the government to take action. Every single workshop at the site was held in hopes to attract more volunteers and enable more communities to embrace sustainability. Since I believe in the power of community action in fostering a positive change, I have an interest in growing these movements in sustainability even more. Besides, there are similar projects happening around the world right now.
Meanwhile, I was planning for a group hike back in November. The purpose of it is to inspire people to enjoy nature more. It’s free to join, and there has been only one group hiking event so far. I hope to arrange it for each season because nature can be transformative. I’m not an expert in this field, but I just want to explore, appreciate, and be more mindful of our nature. The previous hiking event was in Lisbon, Portugal. It was a day trip that lasted for 4 hours, and we joined as a group at the meeting point and went to the beach.”
Q: What future hopes/visions do you have as a sustainable lifestyle blogger and for Lixo Zero Angola?
A: “My goal as a sustainable lifestyle blogger is to be an individual who’s making a little bit of change to our society. As more people join my endeavors, I hope they can eventually evolve into a huge wave for sustainability. One day, I could be walking into the conversations and changes around sustainability; the day after, I could be carrying on the discussions, or even raising them.
As for Lixo Zero Angola, I consider its next step to be utilizing social & economic policies to spur changes at the global level. For example, this could be working closely with the Angolan government to gain access to a bigger audience and resources.”
Transitioning to a Sustainable Lifestyle
When asked what actionable steps, Antónia recommends for people trying to transition to a more sustainable lifestyle, Antónia says, “It starts within.” A firm understanding of your priorities and necessities allows you to utilize everything that you already have, instead of buying extraneous new, trendy “green” products. Also, it’s crucial to be aware that you can change your life in whatever way – using more public transportation, buying second-hand goods, or reducing meat consumption is enough to make an impact.
Antónia has also been working on the launch of her new product, Being Enough: Guided Journal. It’s a practical journal that “cuts to the heart of the problem by allowing how to reconnect with your inner self through introspection, and contemplation of what’s truly important.” You can find out more about “Being Enough: Guided Journal” and pre-order it now here.
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Want to learn more?
Slowing Down – She Is Awake
Lixo Zero Angola – Instagram