Granola guide: How to fit the PNW lifestyle | Arts & Entertainment

The Pacific Northwest is known worldwide for its many famous features — the Space Needle, Olympic National Forest, Tillamook Ice Cream and being home to where the “Twilight” franchise was based, just to name a few.

But if the Pacific Northwest is known for anything, it’s the granola lifestyle. 

Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines the adjective as “eating healthy food, supporting the protection of the environment and having liberal views.” Though Oxford notes that it is typically used negatively in the political sphere, you will hear the term used throughout your time in the PNW in a largely positive or teasing manner. 

In some spheres, calling someone granola likely means they frequently participate in one or more of the following activities: being outdoors, hiking, rock climbing, skiing or snowboarding, biking, white water rafting, identifying local flora and fauna, mycology, indoor plant raising, gardening, homesteading, etc.

To be fair, the granola lifestyle encompasses all of the above that the PNW is known for (though maybe not the Space Needle). Therefore, it makes sense that such a nature-focused lifestyle thrives in this environment. 

A byproduct of this lifestyle is the granola girl style — a sort of hippie-lite way of dressing, looking the eco-conscious part. 

The granola girl aesthetic is one commonly seen in the PNW. Local brands like The Great PNW and Cutees Print Shop take this in stride and incorporate it into their brand by including local flora and fauna or using earthy colors. 

For those looking to add some crunch into their wardrobe, stock up on fleeces, beanies and clothing in earth tones. Colorful jewelry and bandanas also help with accessorizing. 

Fleeces are phenomenal year round, but especially come in handy during winter. Patagonia uses recycled materials to make their fleece pullovers and offers many colors and styles. Check out Patagonia’s WornWear site or ThredUp for resale fleeces that may be available slightly used at a more affordable price.

Boots are essential for Spokane winters, and a good pair looks and feels great anywhere from Downtown Spokane to the mountain. For those looking to splurge, Blundstone is a reliable company that makes sturdy and comfortable boots made for the wear and tear of an adventurous life. 

On the other side of the creek, sandals are a must-have for the spring and summer seasons. Birkenstocks are great for all purposes, but Chacos and Tevas tend to be better suited for outdoor activities. 

Aside from fashion, a large part of the granola life revolves around environmentalism. Though it can be a facade one uses to justify the hippie look, most granola folks in the PNW make active efforts to help the environment.

Reusable water bottles are an essential for anyone looking to incorporate some easy eco-conscious actions into their day. Nalgene and Hydroflask have been unofficially deemed granola by society’s opinion, but Contigo is also a great option. Style and price doesn’t matter here, just make sure to actually use the bottle instead of letting it collect dust on the top shelf. Pro-tip: stickers are an easy way to customize your bottle to minimize the risk of accidentally swapping with someone. 

For those without COG access, a cute lunch box with reusable containers can make packing your own lunch more exciting. Not only does packing your own food save money in the long run, but it also cuts down on waste by using the food you have and avoiding the waste that comes with takeout.  

Reusable straws and utensils are easy to incorporate into daily life to avoid plastic waste. Though they are easily found at local grocery stores like Huckleberry’s and Main Market Co-Op, keep an eye out for environmental groups on campus that are giving them out for free.

Sydney Fluker is the editor-in-chief. Follow them on X: @sydneymfluker.