Simplifying Sustainability: What Does Sustainable Living Mean to Me?
Off late, I have been deliberately trying to slow down the pace of my days to live more consciously. I ended up spending endless hours on the internet rifling through various blogs, reading multiple books, listening to expert opinions, so much so that any background music has also now been replaced by podcasts on sustainability. All with the single-minded purpose of understanding the core of conscious-living: sustainability.
At a macro level, sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. These needs are – environmental, social and economic.
However, it’s a much larger idea.
Remember school days, when Value Education classes meant leisure periods. While I mostly took the subject for granted but not the values. Also, recollect how our grandparents and parents live(d)? Each item at home was valued, be it a flower-vase or a doormat. Even today, one of my old denim skirts hangs in the kitchen as a sturdy bag. It was ably upcycled. Being a younger one, I was often passed down the books, clothes along with dolls. These hand-me-downs were always in a good condition.
Nowadays, we buy, relish and forget, only to buy again.
Ever wondered where did that passing around, repurposing, reusing something till its end of life kind of ethos disappear?
To me, sustainability is about reliving those values, seeking beyond selflessness. It doesn’t imply you have to pick between being a hippie or hip, or buy more. Rather, focus on the process of production and end-of-life of the product, as much we contemplate its usage.
It implies respect for people, the community, and its supply chain; respect for the planet, recognizing that resources are finite; and generating profits that arise from adhering to these principles.*
Simply put – . And sure, we need urgent and collaborative government action to achieve large scale changes, but we can all play our part in all the little choices we make in our daily lives. In fact, we must, because the earth happens to be our only hope (Elon Musk’s Mars ventures notwithstanding! :P).
Sumedha – Your Eco Storyteller