Valeria Hinojosa, a Latin American, transcends all physical barriers through her blog ‘Water Thru Skin‘, to reach people who truly care about an eco-conscious and sustainable lifestyle. By Charu Chowdhary

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(Español en comentarios☕️) Dear you: I hope you get two things straight this year. 1) You will be too much for some people. Too free-spirited. Too openminded. Too creative. Too fearless. Too passionate. Too career-driven. Too “intimidating”. BUT you will NEVER be too much for the right people! Those will walk into your universe with a tender smile, will hold your hand and will never let go. They will love you like YOU LOVE LIFE: in color and without an inch of fear! 2) It’s never too late to RECREATE yourself…as many times as you need to! There’s no guidebook on how to be a perfect human because “perfection” is NOT a synonym of being YOU! You know what is? PURPOSE. Finding your purpose will bring out the best and purest in you. And, in order to find it, you have to go out into the world and try different things on the daily until something clicks. Until something sparks and awakens the flame within you. And… if you fall trying… WONDERFUL! Welcome to the true meaning of being human! Falling does not mean you are failing. It means you are learning and building thick skin. Not trying, on the other hand, that’s failing in its saddest form. Your choice. Your precious time on earth! 🌺🦋✨ (For you tribe, with so much love! Xx Valeria) Tag whoever needs this reminder! Ps: wearing fair-trade jeans that use 99% less water, 63% less energy, and 70% less chemicals than industry standards by @eticadenim (you can also find it at @maisondemode), and a sustainable and fair-trade top by @reformation. #wordsbywts #waterthruskin #beraw #sustainableliving #consciouslifestyle

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Her phenomenal work drives scores of readers to take small, effective steps everyday. From supporting vegan and ethical brands for food and fashion, to providing first-hand accounts on how to lead a zero-waste lifestyle, Valeria’s social media is the stuff of dreams for those looking to heal themselves as well as the world.

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(Español en comentarios👇) You were given a voice for a reason, and you are given a choice EVERY DAY. Will you use them wisely? #Australia I still remember this day like it happened this morning. Marching, roaring, and using my voice to speak up for the millions of hectares of nature, firefighters and millions of animals completely annihilated by fires that could’ve been prevented in my country, #Bolivia. Last August, I added a donation page to my blog and with the help of thousands of you, friends, influencers and public figures we raised $200k in 30 days to aid Bolivia. This showed me, and hopefully the world, the magnitude of the power of social media if we use it consciously! Our world is aching on the daily and ALL OF YOU can do something about it. Become BETTER HUMANS! Kinder, connected, responsible, conscious, earth-warrior, ethical, humble, caring! Start using your own set of tools, and the passion within your soul, to protect the only home we have. Beginning with Australia! Here’s a list of all the ngos you guys sent my way in response to my last IG post. Go support them and, If you know of more, please comment below. I will also be donating 40% of all the sales from my eco store @this.lwc to one of these organizations (you guys will choose this week via a poll on my stories!)🙏🌎❤️ And PLEASE talk about this! SHARE, REPOST, TAG, CREATE your own post. Let’s all do something! @wireswildliferescue @nswrfs @wwf_australia @foodbankaus @foodbankanswact @celestebarber @salvosau @cfavic @cfsfoundation @dfes_wa @portmacquariekoalahospital @redcrossau @friends_of_the_koala

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1. Tell us about what made you give up your secure job as a private banker to be a full-time travel and lifestyle blogger?

I worked in the private banking industry for five years only to realise in my fourth year that my soul had been completely consumed by ego and greed, and I had disconnected from my essence entirely. That’s how my platform came to life as a way of venting and putting my thoughts, lifestyle and emotions in writing, and connecting with like-minded people in the process. This hobby became my career the minute I chose to leave banking in order to chase a life of passion, consciousness and freedom. I’ve been fully dedicated to @waterthruskin for the past four years now. Knowing that I get to inspire my readers to live more sustainably, mindfully, kindly, passionately and genuinely happy on a daily basis, is my motivation!

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“Where do you see yourself in eight years?” Me: see this photo? Multiply it by three! Mine, yours, his, hers, adopted….lost count…we all are….one big fam! 🤪😂 Feliz Christmas, everyone! Here’s a word that will help you start tomorrow and 2020 with the right mindset: GRATITUDE! It changes things. It opens doors. It brightens the world. It brings the right people and opportunities into your life. Less complaining and demanding, and more “GRACIAS VIDA”! Dream, manifest, work hard, be kind, live in color, and love deeply! ❤️✨🎄♻️ Adore you all! And yes, I have a human family too. They’re in my stories! 😋 – – – – – – – – – – – "¿Dónde te ves en ocho años?" Yo: ¿ves esta foto? ¡Multiplícala por tres! Los míos, los tuyos, los de él, los de ella, los adoptados… perdí la cuenta …todos somos…una gran familia! 🤪😂 Feliz Navidad a todos! Aquí les dejo una palabra para comenzar mañana y el 2020 con la mentalidad correcta: ¡GRATITUD! Cambia las cosas. Abre puertas. Ilumina el mundo. Trae a las personas y oportunidades adecuadas a tu vida. ¡Menos quejas y demandas y más "GRACIAS VIDA"! ¡Sueña, manifiesta, trabaja duro, sé amable, vive en color y ama profundamente! Esa es la clave. ❤️✨🎄♻️ ¡Los quiero! Y sí, también tengo una familia humana. ¡Están en mis historias! 😋 #happyholidays #waterthruskin

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2. How fulfilling has your journey been in terms of happiness and financial stability after you made the switch? 

The first year was really difficult. I went from making six figures as a banker to leaving it all and becoming a conscious and sustainable influencer when sustainability was not even a topic of discussion. Growing my audience and finding sponsors was hard, but every drop of sweat and tear was completely worth it. Not only have I been able to make a career out of being a conscious influencer, I also found my voice, peace and strength in vulnerability. My journey guided me to discover the magic of feeling comfortable in my own skin.

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(Español en comentarios. Noticias divinas!!) I got some beautiful news to share that are making me smile so big I spy extra wrinkles. The kind that give you life! 😋♻️ As of this month, my voice will be multiplied. It will become stronger. It will reach politicians, big companies, YOU, and more of us humans on this planet. I’ve been selected as one of the 20 latin-american leaders to represent @wwf, and my country Bolivia, in their fight for a new agreement that protects nature and people. Together, we will prevent further loss of forests, rivers and wildlife, and will educate the world on how to be responsible consumers and humans. Our goal is to improve our present so we can have a future, because we are all currently at risk as temperatures continue to rise. By joining @wwf as one of their #20of20, we will work together to ask governments to honor the commitments made in all international meetings when it comes to climate change and biodiversity protection! 🌎 How about this for yearend news?! We are closing 2019 with the biggest ecofriendly ribbon possible! Can’t wait to achieve this WITH YOU guys! Thank you @wwf and @wwf_bolivia! Beyond proud to be part of your family! ❤️🇧🇴🐼 Ps: go check out the incredible influencers, singers and public figures that were also selected as part of @wwf’s 20 latin-american leaders! You might recognize some names like @camilomusica @claudiabahamon @evalunamontaner @sebas and more! Link: https://genteynaturaleza2020.org #soy20del20 #COP25 #NewDealForNature

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3. What do you think are the pros and cons of being a full-time blogger?

Pros: If we use social media in a wise way, we get to influence our audience to become wiser and more connected, and create a positive ripple effect. In my case, I also get to do what I love every single day — writing, creating, public speaking, protecting nature and animals, and discovering the world.

Cons: The amount of time I spend on my phone or computer creating content. Filming, writing long captions and putting up blog posts, all this work can take about one to 10 hours per day.

It gets a little overwhelming at times. Finding the right balance and knowing when to disconnect completely, has been key in my life.

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(Español en comentarios) That “plastic WHO?!” look! 🧐😋♻️ Let’s talk plastic bottles, shall we? We all know they are NOT biodegradable, that they will be in our planet for 500+ years, and that they are rapidly poisoning our oceans. Besides giving you guys daily tips and information on how to live more sustainably, I also like to share brands that are doing things differently! Like @getbevi, a mindful brand that is celebrating its 150 million bottle milestone, representing the 150 million plastic bottles Bevi’s BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) water refill stations have prevented from harming our planet! 🎉♻️🌎 In case you haven’t heard of Bevi, they have hydration stations at gyms, hotels, offices, and many other business giving us the easy and accessible option of creating our own sparkling, still or multi-flavored water without the use of plastic! No plastic cups and no plastic bottles allowed. You have to bring your own to get the delicious taste of Bevi! Their stations also consume 80% less energy and save 35,000 plastic bottles per machine per year! That being said, here are three #zerowaste tips from us to help you start 2020 with the right eco mindset! 1) Get yourself reusable EVERYTHING!! Especially while on-the-go. Reusable water bottle, reusable straw, reusable utensils, and cotton tote. Carry them with you 24/7. You’ll be saving at least 3 plastic items per day! 2) Look for compostable and biodegradable packaging, or simply REFUSE unnecessary packaging. 3) Urge businesses, hotels, gyms, offices to add/support water filter stations like @getbevi and join our fight in the elimination of plastic bottles. Go to my stories for more! You IN? 😍🙋🏽‍♀️#getbevi #noplastic #sustainableliving #waterthrusking #bevi #ad

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4. Can you tell us why it is important to consider an eco-conscious lifestyle and what steps can beginners take in that direction?

We all see news every day. Temperatures keep rising and we continue to experience the devastating effects of climate change. It is very easy to point fingers, blame big companies and politicians, and not change our daily actions and habits. We have a big responsibility as consumers, and humans too. Reshaping our way of living can give birth to a positive ripple effect, while also inspiring those around us to become more conscious.

It all starts with baby steps we take at home, like reducing our waste production, composting, recycling, reducing use of plastic, transitioning into a plant-based diet, carrying a reusable water bottle and bamboo utensils, carrying personal cotton bags everywhere, switching to a bamboo toothbrush instead of the ordinary plastic ones, and supporting sustainable and fair-trade brands. Research is also extremely important! I use ecosia.org as my search engine for everything. From the silliest questions to any confusion I might have about sustainability. This is how I learn every day, while also supporting Ecosia’s mission to plant trees with each search performed.

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(Español en comentarios) I took three days off social media as soon as I landed in Miami from Bali. 🙈✨ Sorry for being MIA guys but this is my way of protecting my mental health. A practice I follow every time I reach a different destination. At least 24hrs off my phone to let my mind, spirit and body adjust. Someone asked me today in my stories to share tips on mental health and mindfulness. This is it! It all starts with understanding the importance of giving yourself time and space to breathe and just… be… WITHOUT JUDGMENT (from yourself!). Moments to check in with yourself, connect and ground yourself. Another tip I want to give you is this one: social media clean up!! We spend HOURS on social media! Use that time to actually add something special to your existence rather than letting it deplete you whole. Follow accounts that inspire you to be better and more conscious on the daily, and unfollow those that add frustration, gossip and insecurities to your life. Look for accounts that will serve as a guide toward the best version of yourself, or even accounts that make you laugh and smile, plus (of course) the accounts of those you care for. ☺️🌺 Small and silly actions with beautiful impacts! Every day is your opportunity to metamorphose! Will you take it? 🚀🦋 Ps: get ready for eco conscious content coming at you this week, and tap photo for eco hotel and ethical fashion. Ps2: any of you done your 2019 social media cleanup already to start 2020 fresh? #consciouslifestyle #sustainableliving #selflove #waterthruskin

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5. When and how did you turn vegan, and what are your favourite vegan cafes from around the world?

I’ve always been a big animal and nature-lover, therefore, when I realised I could protect both with my diet, I reshaped my entire lifestyle. I first turned vegetarian 10 years ago, and five years later I turned vegan. To be 100 per cent real, is neither an easy decision nor a simple lifestyle. It’s a daily commitment to our health, planet and our own energy. I went from eating meat every day to giving it all up and metamorphosing into a conscious human being. Until today, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

Ali Pacha in La Paz, Bolivia, Sage in Bali, Indonesia, Plant Miami in Miami, Florida, Mahara Holistic Lifestyle (Boho boutique store and salon with the best vegan homemade food!) in Amsterdam, Flax and Kale in Barcelona, Spain, ABCV Kitchen in New York, Raw Love Café in Tulum, Mexico, Farmacy in London, and La Bodega Verde in Lima, Peru — are my top favourite vegan restaurants from around the world.

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No need for words when you have an intuitive and enlightened third eye! That’s the secret weapon.☺️👁 Hello Miami!! I’m back home for a few weeks and ready to share with you content and brands fueled by sustainability and consciousness! Especially during this Holiday season. Let’s become responsible consumers, please! Less waste creation (in US each person creates 4lbs of waste per day!), more supporting the right brands, more empowering artisans, more RESEARCH! @ecosia people! Plant trees for each search performed. And…dress sustainably and ethically. Always! 🙏♻️ like this one-of-a-kind hat handmade by the talented @pachamamabohemian who also uses upcycled materials for her products! Go check her out! And my jeans? 99% less water than industry standard, 63% less energy usage and 70% less chemicals by @eticadenim. You can also find them on @maisondemode! T-shirt? “Borrowed” it from my sister’s closet. 😋 Ps: how can I help with your eco-Holiday research? What questions do you have? Comment below! – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – No se necesitan palabras cuando tienes un tercer ojo intuitivo e iluminado! Esa es el arma secreta. 👁☺️ Hola Miami! Ya de regreso a casa por unas semanas y estoy listísima para compartir con ustedes contenido y marcas energizadas por la sostenibilidad y la conciencia! Especialmente durante esta temporada de fiestas. ¡Seamos consumidores responsables, por favor! Menos creación de basura, más apoyo a las marcas correctas, más apoyo a artesanos, y más INVESTIGACIÓN! @ecosia gente! Planten árboles por cada búsqueda realizada. Y … vístanse de forma sostenible y ética. ¡Siempre! 🙏♻️ Este sombrero único hecho a mano por la talentosa @pachamamabohemian que también usa materiales reciclados para sus productos! Vayan a verla! ¿Y mis jeans? Usó 99% menos agua que el estándar de la industria, 63% menos energía y 70% menos químicos por @eticadenim. ¡También puedes encontrarlos en @maisondemode! ¿Camiseta? La tomé “prestada” del closet de mi hermana. 😋 Ps: ¿cómo puedo ayudarlos con su investigación de fiestas eco? ¿Qué preguntas tiene? Comenten! 👇 #sustainableliving #lifestylewithaconscience #consciousholidays #waterthruskin

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6. You’ve been to India. Any experience that you’d like to share, and anything you would recommend to your fellow travellers?

The South. Always! I’ve travelled all over India. From the Himalayas to New Delhi to Goa, and the places and people I truly connected with, were in Gokarna, Kerala, Puducherry and Auroville. Gorgeous gems surrounded by nature, overflowing with kindhearted humans, and sharing India’s culture at its purest, as a woman, I also felt looked after in all these places.

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I sometimes wonder why we miss people we didn’t get to know enough. Humans who were in our lives for limited seconds but whose presence made us sigh so deeply we chose to engrave them in our souls. A future together was not in our cards. Yet we love them. We feel them. Those sweet caresses that come back to life during pink sunsets. In the reflection of water. In our prayers. Reliving them makes us giggle. Those smiles we miss deeply. In silence. Here’s to them! For they keep our hearts open. 🌺✨ – – – – – – – – – – – – – A veces medito el por qué es que extrañamos a personas que ni llegamos a conocer lo suficiente? Personas que estuvieron por segundos contados en nuestras vidas pero fueron suspiros tan profundos que quedaron grabados en el alma. Un futuro juntos no estaba en nuestras cartas. Pero igual se las quiere. Se las siente. Esas caricias que regresan del olvido en los atardeceres. En el reflejo del agua. En nuestros rezos. Revivirlas nos hace reír con ternura. Las sonrisas que extrañamos. En silencio. Por ellas! Porque nos mantienen con el corazón abierto. 🌺✨ #lovealways #livedeeply #waterthruskin #wordsbywts

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7. Can you name your top countries that truly support and encourage eco-tourism and what is it that you think that they’re doing right?

Costa Rica uses renewable energy, sustainable architecture and regulations that protect our oceans and nature. Every eco hotel I visited in Peru was deeply focused on educating guests and staff on the importance of protecting and preserving nature; Netherlands’ goals and regulation focuses on reducing waste production, increasing their use of renewable energy, and promoting a circular economy. India has one of the Utopian cities in the world, Auroville. This city has over 2,500 residents and thrives on solar and wind energy, sustainable architecture, bartering, no politics, no currency and an acceptance of all religions.

8. Can you throw some light on what happens in the Bali retreat you conduct every year and who is it for?

I host a retreat in Bali every year to give an introduction on conscious lifestyle. We normally have 15 to 20 people of age group 20-50 years, all looking to learn more about living in sync with nature, people and one’s own essence. Seven days at an eco-friendly hotel powered by the 12-metre waterfall underneath the bungalows, organic vegan food, yoga, chakra activating meditation, painting classes, Balinese workshops, plant dyeing classes, flower offering ceremony, volunteering, and much more. This retreat feels like a hug to the soul!

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(Español en comentarios) I have some news! Who’s ready? ☺️🌺♻️ My “Lifestyle with A Conscience™” retreat in Bali 2020 is finally open! My fourth retreat in this paradise! I was waiting until January to announce it but received so many messages from you that we decided to open it for booking sooner. Like…yesterday sooner… and 10 spots have already been booked. Only 8 spots left, world! Join us for some sustainable, holistic, natural, and transforming magic. Picture this: eco hotel powered by a waterfall (yes, this waterfall), organic vegan meals, yoga every morning, chakra activating meditations, crystal healing workshop, sustainable living workshop, Balinese workshops, massage, organic coffee 24/7, a class to dye clothes with plant colors, a visit to a Balinese school and more surprises I have planned for you! An intro into my world and an opportunity for you to experience how easy and beautiful it is to live in tune with nature and your essence! Link to book in my bio. Tag your eco travel buddies here and go go go! #lifestylewithaconscience #sustainableliving #balilife #baliretreat #waterthruskin

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9. If you had to pick one lifestyle change that can truly have a positive impact on one’s well-being, what would you choose?

Losing the fear of travelling alone or spending time by ourselves. In solitude. In silence. It is during those precious moments that we get to listen to (and talk to) ourselves and understand where the pain comes from, what triggers our genuine happiness, and what ignites the fire in our souls. We get to listen to our inner voice without the noise or judgment from the world and, to me, that is the most powerful antidote for our well-being.

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Me…jumping into life and 2020 in a complete state of gratitude because of YOU! In less than 48 hours, we received over 150 orders for my new book…all coming from you! 🙈😻🦋 I’m speechless, and can’t wait for you to receive this eco sacred book, and for your hearts to connect with it! I truly hope this little piece of my world brings some magical dust into yours! Love you sooo! THANK YOU for your constant support and kindness!🌺 To order your copy, click the link in my bio. 📚Ps: question! Any of you getting it as a gift for the Holidays? We’re thinking of adding a beautiful sustainable book cover/envelope to save you guys the wrapping hassle (AND that unnecessary waste production! 😋🙈♻️). Comment below and let us know please. Xx – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Yo … saltando hacia la vida y el 2020 en un completo estado de gratitud gracias a USTEDES! En menos de 48 horas, recibimos más de 150 pedidos de mi nuevo libro! 🙈😻 Estoy sin palabras y contando minutos para que reciban este libro eco sagrado y que sus corazones conecten con él! Realmente espero que este pequeño pedazo de mi mundo traiga un poco de chispa mágica al suyo! Los quiero tanto! ¡GRACIAS por su constante apoyo y ternura! 🌺 Para pedir tu copia, haz clic en el enlace de mi biografía. 📚Ps: pregunta! ¿Alguno de ustedes lo compro como regalo para las fiestas? Estamos pensando en agregarle una funda/sobre sostenible para ahorrarles la molestia de envolverlo (y esa innecesaria producción de basura! 😋🙈♻️). Comenten abajo y avísennos por favor. Xx #likewaterthroughskin #sustainableliving #soulfood #foodforthought #waterthruskin

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10. What can people expect from your book Water Through Skin

It’s a book with 111 pages of words I wrote to myself during moments I needed them the most. To either uplift my spirit or engrave precious days and emotions, I wanted to relive every time I read those words. Each book also has vegan recipes, DIY rituals and is printed with vegetable ink on 100 per cent recycled paper, and plants a tree in Bolivia – my home country.

Related: Varanasi To Become The First City With Zero Discharge Of Pollutants In Ganga