Sustainable Changes are Usually Simple, but Not EasyJanuary 15, 2021 · Aaron Burr
❓We get the question a lot:
“What are some easy things I can do in order to help the planet?”
Of course we can give anyone some easy things to do, but what is our goal? Is our goal only to do things that are easy? Or is our goal to make changes that have an impact, that are meaningful?
✅Almost all changes that are impactful or meaningful will not be easy. They may be relatively simple, but not easy.
Many want an 👌easy life: easy changes, easy money, easy easy easy. But an easy life never leads to a 💙meaningful one, or a 🌍sustainable one for that matter. We live in a society built off of convenience, extraction, and degradation. Living a life opposite of those things will be difficult.
We know, we aren’t really selling this whole sustainable living thing too well are we.👩🏽💼
Much like there isn’t some magic 💊pill to lose all the weight, or make all the money, there also isn’t a 🧙♂️magic pill (or solution) that solves all of our sustainability issues. What would be the fun in that anyways?! Almost everything we do harms the planet, and our harm to the planet is all encompassing. This means our solutions must also be all encompassing.
We can do all that we can to eat 🥕foods that require fewer resources, but with populations growing exponentially we are going to need to completely change the way we eat, grow, and move food. The big points being…grow food that gives back to nature and don’t 🚚move it around much at all.
We can do all we can to buy sustainably made products, but if we don’t reduce our overall consumption of material goods...it won’t matter. The better alternative is to own fewer amounts of things, but make sure all of those things are thoughtfully crafted and purposeful. That’s a rather simple solution...but far from easy. Especially in a world that favors and encourages the opposite.
Living zero waste has easy parts to it: such as 💳buying reusable alternatives. That’s pretty easy. The less than easy part, the part that matters most when reducing our footprint and changing our mindset, is sticking to using those reusable alternatives. It’s choosing to relentlessly say no to straws, to-go lids, cutlery, or all the other single use products thrown at us daily.
This whole “but wait there’s more” list is ♾endless. Possibly the biggest “but wait there’s more” is climate change and once we solve it. Climate change is a little bit about helping the planet, but it’s mostly about ensuring our own survival. Sustainability and environmentalism will continue 🗓far past simply solving climate change.
Because the truth is, even if we solve climate change we will still be drastically ☢️harming the planet. We can completely end carbon emissions while continuing to deplete soil. We could maybe continue to buy the maximum amount of stuff to remain just under the threshold of carbon neutral, but our lives will still be cluttered and without much meaning. This list can too, go on forever.
So what’s the point of this article, just to bum everyone out as much as possible?☹️
Not so much. We are writing this to remind everyone of the severity of our actions. And the importance of acting now. To strive for continued action throughout our whole lives.
It’s also to deliver essentially a hard to swallow pill in the form of about 800 words. If we think we are making real changes in our lives and it feels like all sunshine and 🌈rainbows, we are probably not actually making sustainable changes. Just changes that others, or ourselves, have made us believe are sustainable.
Maybe in a way, certain changes can feel easy if we can find a good why behind them, or if we aren’t afraid of hard work. But for the most part, the changes we will make will feel like exactly that: changes. The struggles we experience are good indicators of 📈growth. They also let us know we are probably on the right track. Of course don’t forget, there are products, people, and services out there to help us along the way.
No matter the changes we make, not everyone has made them because there is struggle involved. But in the words of Bruce Lee: don’t pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.
🌿Sustainable changes aren’t necessarily additional struggle, they may just be the extra friction that we need in order to become our best self. And a big part of our best self may be making sure we create the healthiest planet to live on. 💚