14 Things to Do or Consider after Sustainability & Sadhana
You are wired as an inherently Sustainable Being, and you have every reason to feel positive about the future of humanity and our planet!
Sustainability is a gigantic topic, and like everyone was sharing during Friday’s Sustainability & Sadhana discussion, it’s almost an impossibly endless search for “perfect.” The topic isn’t helped by the overwhelming messages of doom from the media, where you’re not exactly left feeling uplifted.
For sure, images and facts of humanity’s impact on the planet can provide sparks of inspiration, (like the sea turtle and plastic straw example,) but when you allow sadness to turn into the heaviness of fear or judgment, that negative energy holds your passion down and you’re limiting the potential of your contribution to the world.
14 TIPS FOR SUSTAINABILITY, INSPIRED FOR YOU
After our conversation, my body and mind were flooded with inspiration. I scribbled down the following tips and reflections. I hope even one of these ideas will help you feel grounded in the vastness of Sustainability. <3
Research Blogs or Influencers for tips on Sustainable Living.
Choose what feels good for the “you” you are today, and resist the temptation to judge other options. With grains of salt, here are a few of the folks I follow on IG:
@theminimalists (podcast + blog)
@studyhall.earth (UN Sustainability Study Hall)
@greendreamerpodcast (hosted by @KameaChayne)
Take inventory of what you’RE doing today and choose to feel good about it!
When you tell yourself you’re not doing enough, you’re programming yourself into negativity. Instead, recognize the abundance of your sustainability, today, and put that goodness into the world.
Choose 1-3 actions to add to your existing sustainability efforts.
Look at your desired efforts and identify the items that nag you to tip them over the edge. Observe the barriers that prevent you from acting on those items, then name 1-3 things you can do to practice removing those barriers. It sounds like goal-setting because it is. Put a date on it, commit to practicing it consistently for 5 days and see how you feel! You can always choose something else if that doesn’t feel aligned.
Practice a Sustainable Mindset.
Your mindset creates your reality, and that’s not just a catchy phrase. It’s philosophy (Kacee talked about this,) and it’s quantum physics, (one principle is called the Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.) Create a habit of looking at the world and yourself as sustainable and balanced.
Look at the world through a lens of a Sustainability Model. The three prong Venn Diagram is a great start - the balance of Eco, Social, and Economic interests. The 8 Pillar Approach that I mentioned is good, too. (If you’re interested, tell me!) Anything that asks you to consider perspectives outside your immediate lens will help you cultivate a sustainable mindset.
Look inside yourself. You are the universe and anything you do to yourself, you’re doing to the planet, too. Use meditation to relate to the elements. (I have a guide for this. LMK.) See yourself in everything and use your empathy to identify your relationship to Sustainability.
Understand how the Economy relates to Sustainability.
Our economy is simply the system we use to trade environmental and human resources. When the “value” of resources is misaligned with reality, the outcome of the trade is imbalanced.
Purchase Carbon Offsets for your behaviors.
This will help you more accurately account for the resources your life is consuming. Start small. Choose one activity to offset - perhaps driving your car or your electricity usage. Commit to paying your offsets for 3-6 months and evaluate. Maybe you add another category of your lifestyle to offset. Two examples of offset organizations are Terrapass and Cool Effect.
Regularly call your Senators and Representatives.
It could be weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, whatever - but, regular communication creates the most impact. Tell them, “we need to have economic tools that better account for our environmental and social externalities.” Offer some examples: Carbon Tax, Emission Standards, Renewable Energy Standards, Healthcare Affordability Solutions, Regulations on Chemicals used in Food Industry. There are countless ways the government can advocate for Sustainability. YOUR VOICE MATTERS.
Choose human power over motor power when you can.
For example, ride a pedal bike or walk instead of drive a car or electric scooter (those scooters take more power than your bike, y’all. Then again, how much energy does it take to ride your bike…food, water, etc? Oh the spiral. lol. )
Be aware of your emotional health with Sustainability.
Empathy is the reason you’re able to feel for other animals and people, and is how you recognize yourselves as part of something greater than your individuality. However, overactive empathy strips you of your power and sends you into fear and guilt. Remember that fear and guilt are not emotions of action. When this happens, center yourself on your Truth and take inspired, positive action to lift yourself into a more balanced state of mind.
always Practice Kindness to yourself and others.
Non-judgment is contagious through every single thing you do in life. When you stop judging other people, or yourself, for their decisions about sustainability, and instead you trust everyone is doing the best they can with where they’re at, you open energy to do more good.
Product choices: Tips to Remember
Fewer materials in a product = Easier to recycle
The entire Life Cycle of a product is what matters: Creation - Sourcing - Manufacturing - Utility/Function Value - End of Life.
Sustainability is more than Eco, (or any single factor,) it’s a cycle of energy.
Eventually, all things will complete a life cycle of balance, the question becomes about the distance that cycle must cover. Perhaps the sustainability we’re after is a balance that minimizes harm and increases efficiency, creating a tighter cycle of energy. The vastness of Sustainability is often condensed into Eco, alone, because it’s easier for our minds to wrap around a more narrow factor. The value of our eco-system is great, but when it comes to Sustainability, it’s an incomplete view.
You’re a piece of the solution, but are not responsible to solve it all.
Your job is to hold faith that your curiosity for sustainability blended with your Truth is what is “right,” and that someone else’s Truth is part of the solution, too. Practice an open mind so you’re ready to support other people’s Truth roles and are able to accept support for your Truth, too.
The entire System must Change.
Regardless of how much sustainable living you do, there will always be someone who won’t consciously choose the value of sustainability because it goes against what they fundamentally believe. Mass change is realized as conventional products and services are priced higher than those that honor sustainability, (i.e. a more accurate valuation of resources.) This happens through the following:
Supply and Demand. Reminder: Don’t demand perfection. Demand awareness and consciousness. Over time, this does tip the scale.
Example: With Bogobrush, the production cost of our first product in 2015 was more that 10x the cost of a conventional manual toothbrush. With demand, we’ve reduced our costs by more than 65%. Now, we can market to larger stores, reach more people, and create a ripple effect through the supply chain making this technology more accessible to the world. It’s not perfect, it’s progress.
Political Effort. See #7 above. :)
Economic Theories - Philosophers and Economists are dreaming up entirely new ways of valuing the world. My favorite model, so far, is called Thermoeconomics, where “value” is literally based on the amount of energy in a good or service.
when it comes down to it, just honor your [big ‘s’] self
Trust that the Universe has balance under control, and because you’re part of it, you’re designed to fit. Tap into your Higher Truth, follow your instinct to question and learn, evolve forward through inspired action, and start again.
Don’t fear. We’ve got this!
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P.S. This is just a list. Please don’t let it feel like a complete solution or a checklist you must do to be sustainable. It’s not. :)