Well, you know, it starts with sustainable self and self-responsibility.
Understanding what sustainability means to you and taking self-responsibility to create a realistic eco-living action plan isn’t as challenging as it seems. Let’s talk now about how you can get the right tools to carve time out for strategic planning.
If you are confused by sustainability, then you aren’t alone! Sustainability has been hijacked as a marketing buzz word which has diluted its meaning. For our purposes we will take sustainability back to the key ideal of being able to ‘sustain’ something moving forwards. Many well-meaning sustainability efforts fall short. Aiming for a solar powered home is not a realistic goal if you can’t economically afford it yet. Just as buying a home-gardening set up isn’t a responsible move if your home environment is a studio apartment with no direct sunlight and you are a socially active person with no time to look after it. Well-meaning gestures like this, often fall short of our expectations. Usually because we haven’t taken stock of the scale of our ideas, the scope of their impact on our day to day life, and what it might mean to our resolve, if these ideas were to fall short of our expectations or not eventuate.
When we look at sustaining self for an eco-friendly life, we need to consider how we can create balance between the three pillars of sustainability; social, environmental, and economic. Carving out time for self-responsibility for sustainability requires us to look realistically at all three pillars and choose achievable eco-lifestyle changes. The fourth contributor, the sustainable self is the sustainable spirit. That little fire that resides in all of us that is fuelled by our core values and often burns bright. When we act on this passion without much forethought or planning, we can end up disappointed with the outcomes.
This doesn’t leave us feeling good! And while some of us may learn, change and press forward, many will put their passion fuelled attempts- be it solar powered living or gardening- in the ‘too hard’ basket and move on. The true path to sustainable self is to find that passion- but take the path one step at a time. Responsibly reviewing your economic, social and environmental constraints, opportunities and weaknesses and planning within them will see your spirit remain strong and your resolve steadfast. A passionate solar power lover on limited funds might start small with a solar powered phone charger, using that phone to investigate solar power incentives or green power providers in their area. Our time poor garden lover might realise that they can get their garden and social fix by joining a community garden if they spent some time investigating responsibly. This considered focus will not only do you good in creating sustainable self-balance, it also serves our collective growth of consciousness and earth-friendly impact on the planet.
Katie Roberts is an environmental scientist, researcher, writer, and teacher with master’s studies in Sustainability Education.
Image credit @studiosteww