I’ve said this before in my posts, but it needs to be said again.
This is about the journey, not the destination.
This goal of ours to lower the impact we have on our environment is a lofty one and we might not see the results for years and years. Hell, we might not see the results until we’re long dead. But it doesn’t matter we shouldn’t try to accomplish it.
Every step we take towards that goal is worth it.
The problem, of course, is with the instant gratification culture that we live in. Everything around us becomes all about the instant results, accomplishing your goals as fast as possible with as little effort as possible.
Just look at all the fad diets promising incredible weight loss thanks to one simple trick, or investment opportunities that will have you earning six figures a month from home, by working a couple of hours a day (or, you know, not working at all).
Here’s the problem though:
Sustainability is not a fad diet and it won’t make you rich overnight.
And that’s not the problem.
The problem is us and the way our brains strive to have it all, immediately, because that’s how we trained ourselves to want things. And if we can’t have it all right now, we (more often than not) give up.
Meanwhile, the key to success here is to
Be as sustainable as you can be.
Sustainability looks different to different people.
A farmer living in a tiny house in the middle of a beautiful forest in New Zeland will be more sustainable than little old me living in a huge city in Poland.
My ability to be sustainable will be different than that of an American living in New York, or an influencer traveling all over the world.
Me, with my well planned public transport, will be able to be sustainable in different areas than a student in London with access to Farmer’s Markets and bulk stores. Poor working mom of three in an urban area of the United States might not be able to pick unpackaged food or choose cleaning supplies that are more sustainable, especially if those are more expensive.
Some people don’t have access to meat from sustainable farms. Some people can’t give up their car. Some people can’t reduce their waste. Some people need straws.
We cannot measure our success in the field of sustainability by comparing ourselves to other people.
You can only be as sustainable as your circumstances allow you to be.
I can’t eliminate plastic packaging from my life at the moment, because it’s too prevalent in Poland. I can recycle and choose glass or no containers where possible, but I can’t eliminate it completely.
I can use public transport, instead of a car (in fact I don’t have a car at all), because it’s really good in the city I live in and in my country in general. But I’m not going to judge people in, for example, the US, where the public transport is unreliable and practically non-existent.
I can’t completely eliminate animal products from my diet (something I discussed in the past), but I can eat less of them whenever possible.
I can’t grow my own food because I live in the middle of a city in a tiny dark apartment that doesn’t have much light or space. But you better believe I will start doing that when I move into my own apartment because light and space for herbs and plants is one of the criteria I’m putting a lot of focus on.
I can bring my own lunch to work. I can do my best to preserve water and not use it wastefully.
And most importantly:
I can continue to learn and grow as a person. I can dedicate time to research and figuring out new ways of being sustainable. More sustainable than I am right now.
And so can you.
What are the ways you’re sustainable? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter and Instagram! Maybe those are ideas I can incorporate in my current situation! 🙂