When you hear the term “sustainable living” what are a few things that come to mind? Do you picture someone who’s a minimalist and has a zero-waste lifestyle? Does it mean buying “green” products and opting for organic foods? Or is it using your spending power to support artisans, buying fair trade products and shopping locally? Any way you look at it, sustainable, ethical, conscious, eco-friendly – all relatively represent the same values which are support people, communities, and the environment without compromising the needs of future generations.
Everywhere you look, the word sustainable is being used in almost every aspect of business and marketing. If you search #sustainableliving on Instagram, you’ll find over 2 million posts of people sharing their lifestyle choices and zero-waste swaps to live life with more intention. There are products marketed to living plastic-free, encouraging consumers to offset the environmental impact of single-use items. There’s also been a rise in ethical fashion options and non-toxic beauty products to minimize the use of chemicals in the manufacturing process of our clothes and consumer goods. But how do these products and green incentives help offset the environmental damage that’s already occurred within the past 60 years? Is sustainable living all about looking the part instead of being a voice for change against systems that created this environmental crisis to start?
In my opinion, sustainable living has less to do with aesthetics and more to do with developing, supporting, or advocating for circular models that support the common wellbeing of man and the environment while bridging the gap for more access and equality. Living sustainably requires understanding how to be resourceful and learning new ways to use what already exists. It means being mindful of how lifestyle choices and manufacturing practices impact communities around the world and doing our part to educate ourselves and demand change. In a capitalistic society such as the United States, the spending power of the general public is what drives businesses to change for the better. Though this way of living is new to many people in western societies, it’s important to note that in order to be sustainable, you don’t need to buy anything new or come from privilege or wealth. In our efforts to move society forward, this lifestyle has to be viewed as accessible to everyone despite economic class, race, or ethnicity, to truly be sustainable.
To align my personal values with lifestyle choices, I’ve decided to use my platform to share more about conscious living and what that looks like to me. There needs to be more representation of what sustainable living is from diverse groups of people. I’ve talked about the challenges of living a sustainable life in the past and since then, my knowledge and interest surrounding the topic has evolved. With climate change at the forefront of most social and environmental topics, getting black and brown people involved in the conversation is detrimental to the success of this movement.
As this platform grows, my areas of focus will center on consumer goods, fashion, beauty, food equality, low-waste, wellness, and social justice. I also want to take a hands-on approach to and develop skills that support the longevity of being a more conscious individual. My goal isn’t to shame people or make anyone feel guilty about their lifestyle choices. This is about education and spreading awareness so others can make the right choices for the greater good. Living sustainably will look different for everyone but the most important thing is to start where you are and build from there. I look forward to sharing all that I can with you throughout this journey.