What it means to live a sustainable life
Is it enough if I pay attention to the regional origin of food or do I have to be vegan, live zero waste and support myself in order to lead a truly sustainable life? What is part of a sustainable life and what is not? Here comes my assessment.
At the beginning of my own sustainability journey, I was particularly concerned with plastic and litter. Then I implemented what I had learned as best as I could. But I quickly got the feeling that that wouldn't be enough. My inner dialogue often sounded like this:
Think about your consumer behavior. And your vegetarian diet is actually not enough. Don't you feel bad after buying the avocados? I mean, they use a huge amount of water. And it's best not to think about holiday destinations that are so far away that you have to fly there. Your cleaning products, especially detergents, are not really sustainable either; You know that now, right? Please only buy sustainable and fairly produced products, anything else would be a shame! You actually take too long to shower, and please stop wrapping gifts in plastic wrap. Why don't you start growing your own vegetables? …
The pressure of wanting to do it right
I have probably exaggerated this dialogue a little here. But anyone who has ever clicked through the Internet with the intention of learning more about sustainability or read books on the subject knows that there are countless areas of life that can be made more sustainable.
Maybe you too can relate to some of these thoughts. There is a kind of pressure to keep doing better. To optimize the next area of life. But where does the pressure come from?
With the growing interest in the environment, climate protection and sustainability in recent years, these topics have become more present in politics, for example (although not as much as I would like). In addition, there are more and more news programs, documentaries, blog articles and postings that address these matters. This can create pressure on the recipient to “have” to do better. For the society. For nature. For the animals. For our planet. For our descendants.
In my case, the pressure is probably self-imposed (that doesn't surprise me, because that's kind of my pattern; constantly putting pressure on myself...). I am an ambitious person and want to do everything as correctly and completely as possible. So I also want to be as sustainable a person as possible.
But who actually determines what it means to live sustainably? Where does sustainability begin and where does it end? When do I start living a truly sustainable life?
Experts in various fields in which sustainability plays a role will definitely have their own opinions. And that's completely okay. It would certainly be interesting to take a closer look at their assessments. But who is right when there are different opinions?
These different opinions, views and viewpoints exist in every conceivable area. For each individual there are things that are morally or ethically “right” or “wrong”.
This can also be applied to the topic of sustainability. For some, it is right to get rid of the car for climate reasons. For others it is much more important to buy local food. Still others see the greatest contribution to climate protection in a vegan diet, etc.
For me, this is exactly where the key to answering the questions mentioned above lies. We all have our own lives, have had our own experiences and have developed our own points of view and perspectives from them.
Ultimately, only we can determine what is right or wrong for us . Where a sustainable life begins for us and where it ends.
I can come to the conclusion that it is enough for me not to buy single-use plastic if possible. Or that I wo n't give up my car because it's just not feasible at the moment. Or that I will no longer eat animal products - precisely because, in my opinion, this represents the greatest added value for the planet.
Me vs. others
So it is we ourselves who have to find answers to these questions. And primarily for us. Of course, when it comes to topics that are close to your heart, you feel the need to get others involved. Wanting to convince. After all, you just have “ the real deal”; the solution, discovered. But this truth is not the truth or the solution for every person . Other people will act differently and have different priorities than you. That's okay, because everyone lives their own life. However, you first have to learn to deal with it. Learn to accept and respect that there are other opinions.
This doesn't mean that you shouldn't have conversations with people who have different opinions or that you shouldn't have discussions anymore.
But ultimately the best thing you can do is live your own truth. And possibly dragging other people along with you along the way. Not because you force your own opinion on them, but because you live your own truth .
So there's no point in putting yourself under pressure. We are all on our own individual journey. And we can decide for ourselves what is important to us and where and when we make which area of life more sustainable. It will then become clear whether we inspire others through our example. :-)
If you would like to find out more about the topics of sustainability, mindfulness, family & pregnancy or healthy eating, take a look here .