“What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”-Henry David Thoreau
I’ve recently entered this new stage in my life where I’m finding extreme significance in taking care of Mother Earth. But that’s pretty broad. It’s easy to “care” and not really do anything about it. It takes no time and effort to appreciate the world you live in, but when it comes to taking responsibility as a fellow earth citizen and choosing to go fully “green”? Not a simple transition.
I’ve always been a green girl. But – finally – I’ve hopped aboard the eco-conscious boat. I’m finding the alternative path to living a sustainable lifestyle.
So what is sustainable lifestyle?
For me, it’s a branch of “alternative” lifestyle, therefore should really be included in normal day-to-day routine. Sustainability focuses on reusing products to reduce waste, choosing quality material as opposed to plastic, styrofoam, paper, and metal and finding local business alternatives to purchase from as opposed to big chain retails that do not have the environments’ best interest at heart.
Sustainability focuses on quality rather than cheapness. It aims to be a “conscious consumer” rather than one that mindlessly buys the most convenient need at the store.
It also goes the other way around: conscious producer. Sustainable practice encourages people to grow their own food, make their own products and focus on living a waste-free life.
In short, sustainability means doing everything in your daily life with an eco-conscious mentality.
And it doesn’t just benefit the Earth, it also benefits you. Your health depends on quality foods, household products and overall environment. Most foods are heavily processed, and even vegetables are raised in mega farms that are focused on mass production, not the quality of the foods. If you want to learn a tad more on the subject, I recommend you read this lengthy but useful article here, which details the widespread issue in Western society about toxins in our food.
It’s all about co-existing
Sustainability is a practice that allows humans to not only care for nature, but to live by its rules, to co-exist with the earth. We humans are naturally attuned to it, but have become inundated by an industrial and corporate-driven world. As a result, we’ve lost touch with the natural one. Sustainability focuses on re-aligning with the biological rhythm of the earth and ourselves. Both are intrinsically interwoven, which means that by adapting to the natural world we can live a cleaner, healthier and better life – for ourselves and for the planet.
But it bursts our convenience bubble
Living sustainably means sustaining the wellbeing of your life and the Earth’s as well. But it’s not an easy transition for someone who’s only ever known convenience their whole lives – myself included. It’s a giant step for most of us. But I have good news on that front: living a sustainable lifestyle can actually be fun! It’s not a struggle, as opposed to what it may sound like. When you feel like you have the power to make your own consumer and personal decisions based on doing good for the planet, it can actually feel quite fulfilling. Plus, having to think outside the box on a daily basis, you put yourself in a position that works your creative juices.
There are definite caveats, such as most of us having limited financial freedom to go about buying the highest quality products. That’ll be discussed in one of my next blogs, I promise.
So, sustainability is all about:
- using glass/reusable material instead of paper, plastic, styrofoam, metal
- eating a seasonal & plant-based diet (limited meat, dairy & processed food intake)
- buying locally sourced products
- making/growing your own products
- supporting small or sustainable (eco-conscious) businesses
- reducing waste
- using/producing less chemicals
- walking & biking more, driving less
- striving to get creative and find alternative everyday solutions
I’m hoping the day will come soon enough when living sustainably becomes a trend. Society’s all about trends, right? So until it becomes a fad to “go green” and take part in preserving our home, I’ll continue to encourage, support and live by this lifestyle.