Saturdays with Shavara
“New year, improved sustainable you”
Hello lovely green people and welcome to the first post of the roaring ‘20s! It is not uncommon to hear the term “new year, new me,” and while the sentiment behind those words is great, more often than not it’s “new year, same you.” Every year I wonder why we put so much pressure on ourselves to be “new and improved” at the start of a new year, and why instead we don’t strive for the more attainable goal of “improved?” Why do we put so much emphasis on the idea that “new or perfection” is the next step toward change and not “imperfect progress?” When we strive for progress over perfection or “new-ness”, we have a far better chance of sustaining a lifelong change behavior and actions.
Striving for a more sustainable lifestyle should not mean having your metric scale of “success” be based around perfection, but rather what you can effectively do long term. In fact, the very definition of sustainability can be defined two ways; the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed, and regarding Environmental Science; the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance. Social media is now the number one platform for disseminating information to nearly all age groups, which thankfully allows for increased conversations about the importance of conserving our natural resources and eliminating harmful practices. With all of the coverage on everything WRONG that we’re doing it can feel overwhelming on how to start living environmentally “right.” Most of us don’t expect to transform into our “new you” at the stroke of midnight of the new year, so why do we put expectations on ourselves to transform into sustainable superheroes flying through the night?
I promise you all of the above ramblings do have a point!
The question that came to mind and prompted this post is simple, “Is there an unspoken expectation that we have the ability to wake up one morning and execute living a perfectly sustainable life?” On one hand the expectations we place on ourselves may have you answering yes, but our judgment of one another is often not as harsh as that of ourselves. I thought it only right to share some easy attainable ways to make a difference that don’t require you to bust out the superhero cape so soon. New year, “better” than last year you… can remember to turn the lights off when you leave a room, switch to power strips for electronics, eat less meat, shop second hand, start a compost, plant a home or school garden, walk when you can, plant a tree, remember to grab that reusable bag when you head to the store, and so much more.
There are countless ways to lower your environmental impact, and absolutely none of them demand you to execute all aspects perfectly. The fact is that it doesn’t matter what age you are, gender, demographical background or where you’re located YOU can make a difference. Progress is measured not by how fast you get to your goal, but by not giving up and continuing to move forward. As always Reduce, Reuse and Recycle green friends and let the new decade be your best one yet!
“Be Imperfectly Vegan, Be Imperfectly Zero Waste, Be Imperfectly Plastic Free, Be Imperfectly Sustainable… Because small conscious changes are better than none at all.” - Jordan Brompton
KOB’s very own Blog Contributor,