To start healing the planet, we don’t need a handful of people doing sustainability perfectly.
Instead, we need a million people doing it imperfectly.
Being at the extremes of the spectrum is never easy, and more importantly never sustainable.
If you want to lead a lifestyle that’s easy on the planet, you need to make it easy on yourself first. Otherwise, you will give up after a few weeks.
At least I did that on multiple occasions before settling into a lifestyle that works for now and lets me incrementally improve on it.
More People Need to be Intentional
At the core of everything is people’s intention to live a life that is good for the planet.
That means people need to at least consider their environmental footprint when eating, buying, throwing away, and just going about their daily activities.
Just by becoming intentional, doesn’t mean they will have to make decisions that are beneficial for the planet all the time. That’s not realistic.
However, by being intentional, more often than not they will reach some kind of a balance between their personal needs, convenience, and what’s good for the environment.
The All-or-Nothing Mentality
Making environmentally friendly decisions doesn’t require an all-or-nothing approach.
It’s natural to sometimes take decisions that are good for you and your time, rather than the environment. And that’s fine.
With an all-or-nothing mentality, it becomes easier to justify every “negative” decision you make, after the first time you mess up. It’s easy to just say “Oh well, I messed up already. What’s the point?”.
Such a mentality is unnecessary and unsustainable.
Instead, make environmentally friendly decisions whenever you can. If we have a few million people doing just that, it’s much better than the world we live in today where some people do this perfectly and others don’t give a sh*t.
Public Shaming Does Not Help
Environment awareness is at an all-time high right now with the prevalence of social media.
As people follow and keep up with more of this kind of content, lots of people start committing publicly to living a sustainable life. That’s amazing!
Fast forward a few months, when a lot of that motivation wanes away, they start adding things to their life “that is not sustainable”.
People notice and of course, with the internet being the internet, they start publicly shaming these people for their inconsistency, and even hypocrisy.
This just amplifies the all-or-nothing mentality that I already explained is not sustainable. A combination of these two drive these initially highly motivated people away from living a life that is “mostly sustainable”.
Public shaming does not help. It’s rude. It’s unnecessary. Instead, just motivate people to do their best and lend them some encouragement when you see them making decisions otherwise.
Live Your Life. Let People Adopt What They Want To.
The best thing you can do is live the life that works for you.
Lead an intentional life and more often than not try to make environmentally conscious decisions.
The best way to inspire people to do the same is by leading by example.
Once people see you doing things that are good for the environment and do not disrupt your daily life too much, they will adopt some of these decisions for their own lives.
That’s how you can create a network effect of people making “tiny decisions” in their regular lives that helps our planet heal.
Adopt Practices That Make Sense for You
Saving the planet does not have to be too difficult…or expensive.
You don’t need to buy expensive sustainable clothes. Just buy less and use them more often.
You don’t need to buy organic if you think you will exceed your grocery budget. Just offset that by buying as much locally as possible.
You don’t need to go vegan. Just start having a meatless Monday or a couple of days in the week when you don’t eat meat.
You don’t need to move away from physical books towards e-books. Just buy used whenever you can. Just FYI, I do a horrible job at this…and that’s okay.
The bottom line is don’t try to live perfectly. Adopt sustainable practices that make sense for you and fit your lifestyle.
That will inspire others and create a network effect that helps the planet.
I hope you found this a valuable read and have some takeaways that you can go ahead and implement in your wonderful lives.
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