· By Mitchell Sweeting
Perfectionism is The Enemy of Progress
A few ways I (imperfectly) live sustainably-
Yep, it's true. I am not perfect at sustainability. I don't always bring a bag to the store with me, to-go boxes with me to a restaurant, and sometimes I even get a coffee from Starbucks in a plastic cup (insert gasp here). Being perfect isn't real and when I feel pressured to do anything 100% the "right" way with no room for just being a human living a human life, I flounder and move away from that thing.
I want you to know that taking little steps towards sustainability is okay and even a small change in your day to day is enough. Small changes over time feel manageable and exciting (we all love feeling like we are accomplishing things and doing our part!) which ultimately takes the pressure off and also inspires others in our lives to show up in the same way! And the only way I have ever known how to truly get people on board with my BIG mission to save our beautiful planet is to lead by example and be gentle with my approach when showing others ways in which they can also take small steps!
Here are a few ways that I (imperfectly) live sustainably:
1. Reuse glass jars
They make excellent drinking cups, you can pack your lunch for work (large marinara jars are great for carrying soups and salads), to store leftovers (vs buying plastic Tupperware), they make lovely flower vases, and you can bring then to any bulk store and refill on your favorite products!
2. Don't waste food
Food waste is a huge (& heartbreaking) issue. If you buy it, eat it. If you order it, take it home or give it to a homeless person or bring it for a friend at work. Wasting food is a non-negotiable. Remember that you can always make or order more - slow down and allow yourself to be present with the experience of feeding your body rather than over ordering or cooking way more than you need (it's ok to not use the whole box of pasta!) We all know this and have heard this our entire lives, but this is your gentle and loving reminder to get creative with leftover food!
3. Before buying a new gadget, airfryer, tent, home good, router, phone charger, flat iron etc. ask friends if they have one that they aren't using! Likely everyone you know has an extra electronic something you need they aren't using that is sitting in their garage hoping to get rid of it! This also saves you $$ and is one less electronic/item from China that will inevitably end up in a landfill.
4. Say NO to fast fashion This one is likely the most important! Fast fashion is quite literally wrecking the planet from start to finish. Approximately 11 million tons of clothes are thrown in our landfills every single year (in the US alone) *gulp*. The waste accumulated is only part of the damage - garment workers (often women) are underpaid, not valued, and overworked. The materials and dyes used pollute our waterways killing and poisoning aquatic life. The fabrics are made from plastic and sit in a landfill for many many years. INSTEAD: 1. Shop secondhand / thrifted 2. Organize a clothing swap with friends 3. Buy from sustainable, eco-conscious brands 4. Borrow/rent clothes for an event rather than buying a dress only needed once.
I hope you are feeling inspired and excited about the ways in which you can show up differently today for our planet! We would love to hear how you are already imperfectly living sustainable.
Owner, Soul Crown Co.