Why should we reduce our impact on this planet and live more sustainably? Why can’t we just continue the way we are going?
When confronted with these questions by others, or my selfish side, I sometimes struggle for answers. The reason, I think, is the fact that the motivations behind living more sustainably are more abstract and less selfish compared to other goals we set ourselves. For example, we decide to exercise more or save money for a holiday to do something good for us, whereas living more sustainably is more about doing something good for the planet and other people. So why should we care?
Every now and then, my selfish side questions my quest to reduce the environmental and social impact associated with my lifestyle choices. Is this piece of plastic really going to make a difference on the landfill pile? The same question can be asked about some of my food choices, new purchases and carbon footprint.
But then the caring me speaks up and says that my consumption of food and stuff affects the livelihood of other people and has an environmental impact in faraway countries, contributing to pollution and degradation of the natural world. When I make a choice, it’s not only about me, but everyone and everything involved. This piece of plastic makes a difference on the landfill pile, especially if I think this about a piece of plastic every day and if millions of other people think exactly the same. By buying fast fashion, I support an industry that exploits people. What if this person was me?
Here, I have compiled 10 reasons for living more sustainably that make it easier to silence the devil, and rather listen to the angel on our shoulders. By knowing the why we can start the journey to a more sustainable lifestyle and use the answers as motivators to continue on this path. Whenever the devil tries to speak up, we should remember that this is not about sacrifice, but about acting responsibly; it’s about reducing the negative and maximising the positive impacts for the planet, people and us.