So what’s this ‘Sustainable’ word?
The term “sustainable” is showing up everywhere, but what are we actually referring to here?
To sustain is to maintain a certain rate or level. Currently and most commonly, sustainability is used in the context of the environment; avoiding the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain ecological balance. And the recent rapid increase in popularity of this plastic free, eco living movement has been born from an urgency for global environmental sustainability.
We are seeing the market flood with appealing, attractive ways to be green with a positive influx of eco friendly products & eco friendly homeware transforming our living habits and pulling us from the impulsive, automatic way many of us have consumed for years. "Waste Free" or "Zero Waste Living" is becoming a well-understood concept popularised by the reusable shopping bag, the bamboo toothbrush and the metal straw. The times are changing and to be a conscious consumer is the new ‘norm’ - gone are the days of weird looks when you bring your own container to a restaurant! And this is a massive step in the right direction.
So what aspects of environmental sustainability must we actually be concerned about? Once we become aware of one issue, must we educate ourselves on them all? How do we live ensuring we are preserving every natural ‘resource’ that is in danger of depletion? And how on EARTH do we figure out how to do that? The easiest way to answer these questions is to look through the widest lens first before honing in to discover which of our living habits may ask too much of our natural resources and which eco friendly alternatives can we switch to today to drastically change as we educate ourselves on the rest. We are seeing more and more people living plastic free, cutting out the foods causing most damage to our environment, choosing organic and looking at other consumer streams.
Almost all environmental issues fit into two categories; Resource Scarcity and Climate Change. These cover everything from deforestation, biodiversity loss, atmospheric pollution, land and ocean contamination to water scarcity and land clearing. These seem like broad topics, and it is hard to imagine how our daily actions are linked to these massive issues but if we look through the lens of what we, as humans and consumers actually have the ability to change, we see where our energy is best invested.
A very major and very current concern are fossil fuels (an overused, depleting, irreplaceable resource). These are used to run vehicles, power our homes and factories that make consumable items, make plastics, clothes, shoes, cleaning products, and the list continues. We may unknowingly rely on these many times per day. Are they simply impossible to avoid? Definitely not. We just need to know how to replace these things with other, more brilliant and thoughtful alternatives and learn to reduce our use until fossil fuels are replaced entirely. And that is where My Eco House comes in. We are the solution and we can begin the biggest changes from our homes. The more we learn, the more power we create, and remember, WE as consumers HAVE the power. The market becomes what we demand and the industries that are not up to our ethical standards dissolve if they don’t move into this more conscious climate.
To live sustainably is to think critically about the negative impacts of our lifestyle and how to lessen this. You can think of it as reducing our environmental footprint and increasing our positive environmental handprint, resulting in ways that our actions can actually benefit the planet!