Sustainability Isn't a DestinationMarch 17, 2021 · Aaron Burr
So, you’ve finally made it.⌛️ You’ve reached the point of maximum sustainability! You don’t only wear the eco-warrior achievement,🏆 you live it every day. There is seemingly nothing else to change in your life or outside of it, in order to help the planet. Life is good, and now you can focus on other things.
Well listen, there may be a finishing point if one has an end goal in mind for sustainability, but that’s only if this designated point is what’s right for you. It’s true there is a certain point we reach that is the most aligned with our values. And if this point truly feels like it’s enough for now, then great!
However, let’s not confuse choosing to reach a certain point with having no new ways to contribute and help the planet or better ourselves. Also, let’s emphasize the for now so that we know we can always continue forward should we realize we want to be doing more.
🔎It’s important that we distinguish between two major roles in our sustainability journey: the role of our own personal lives, and the role of how we can be of service to others and the outer world.
Our inward world
It’s true, there’s a lot to be done in our personal lives (both sustainably and otherwise) until we can be in a position of true service and giving back. We should be patient with ourselves and take care of us first.💚 Maybe that sounds selfish, but if we aren’t first taken care of then how are we to care for others or the planet in the long run?
Think that feels like too much of an indirect way towards a better planet?🌍 Well let’s take it even a step further. Our changes we make must come from a place of abundance, not lack. Otherwise, we will be living our lives wondering what could have been. Put another way, strictly speaking about our inward journey: we have to take care of our essentials before we can begin to focus on minimizing, going zero waste, or living an eco friendly life.
AKA: someone's sustainable journey may have reached a point where they are growing their own 🥬food on their lawn, they produce little to no trash, and so on. While someone else’s journey may look like paying off their 🧾debts, or eating healthier, and in general just finding more abundance in the areas that are lacking
No one part of someone's journey is better than the other person’s, and both deserve praise. This plays into the idea of sustainability being a journey because there are so many facets to living an eco friendly life, and establishing all these things takes a pretty darn long time. ⏰
🙏🏽We must be the change we wish to see in the world, this is the only sustainable model possible for an eco friendly society. If everyone just tried to make everyone else more eco friendly, no one would do it. But if we all focused on ourselves, think about the impact we would have. That being said, there’s a lot to be involved with in the world around us. And these actions that we choose to take to help our community, will certainly count towards our footprint and individual impact.
We can do what we can to help others, to help our community, and the natural world around us. Even if those outward actions are only a part of our total actions as an individual. We can work on a community garden and get fresh food to people in need; we can start a zero waste club, or any other club for that matter; we can become more involved with local government; the world needs a lot, and so the list goes on.
What’s good about having two roles is that we can focus on a certain role when we feel like we have exhausted the other. If that is what feels right for us. There is always more work to be done, because we humans are a long way from how the ☘️natural world intended us to be.
We should ask ourselves if we’ve reached a point of possible stopping because that’s where our values are aligned, or is it simply because we are in a rut? Maybe we’ve been focusing on certain areas of our lives and we’ve forgotten to consider others.🧐 Maybe it’s time to let the creativity flow again, which by the way is easier if we have help. Check out some ideas from our blog. Here’s one for our personal lives, and here's one for our community.
Keep in mind that this timeline and journey serves as more of a guide or blueprint that doesn’t require anyone to follow it. Some of us may have enough essentials taken care of where we can begin to minimize and focus more on sustainability. Some of us may even prefer mixing all three together: personal changes, sustainability changes, and community changes. Because doing all three a lot of times adds variety and feels better. But what feels better for some, may feel 😰overwhelming for others. In that case it may be better to become more focused on a certain area we need.
Many times, the pursuit of something, or the ↗direction of a certain goal, produces more positive outcomes than the actual goal itself. If our goal is to lose a certain amount of weight, then sure it will be satisfying when we reach it, but what about everything else we’ve gained? To get there we’ve probably had to eat healthier, 💪🏽exercise and sleep more, stress less, and so on. All of those things of course having a multitude of benefits alone.
It’s a great thing to strive for goals, and it’s rewarding when we achieve them. But 99.9% of our time in life will not be spent achieving goals, it will be spent moving towards them. So sit back, take in all you can of this beautiful journey. Congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come, be excited for where you’re headed, and breathe in the smell of the flowers which are only blooming right this moment. 🌸