Wednesday, July 06, 2022

don't sweat the small stuff

i've always endeavoured to be as "sustainable" with my lifestyles as I can be - I don't know how I ended up like this, but it's obvious why.

the last few years have seen me intensify my focus: not only have I tried to apply this to my own life, but also those around me, and use my social influence to widen my impact as well.

it seems though, that the biggest limiting factor at the moment is myself!

I've concluded that in my focus on trying to squeeze sustainability into every corner of my life, i might have overdone things, and it's limiting my ability to reach others.

a simple example: my insistence on minimizing heating use now has turned it into a bit of a domestic conflict. shruti now seems to view heating as a guilty pleasure instead of something that needs to be used responsibly and appropriately. this is not a productive state to be in.

also, focusing too much on myself and too little on others means I've limited my impact to one person!

it doesn't matter if I only use the car twise a month, when my neighbours use both their cars twice a day, for short journeys (which are the worst of all!)

it doesn't matter if i cycle everywhere, if everyone else thinks cycling is dangerous and i'm some sort of freak (because I probably seem quite a risk-taker to most people, with my motorcycling and all!)

I think a more productive use of my effort would be to talk about how people can make small changes that would make a big impact when many people follow them.

for example: reducing and reusing over recycling and disposing. I think everyone understands the benefits of recycling, but not many seem to realize that recycling is only slightly better than disposing stuff! reducing consumption of any item (whether it's packaging, or the product itself!) beats recycling by miles - as much as 100x depending on the product. it's more sustainable to responsibly drive a 15 year old well-maintained car than a swanky new electric "green" one! making two grocery trips a week on cycle is better than one a week in a fuel-burning vehicle.

but even in the above example, i need to make sure my message isn't an extreme one! consumption does not need to be guilty - it just needs to be as sustainable as it can be. with time, the needle will move, and we will find new ways to improve. there's no point going to extreme extents or trying to convince people to go to extremes, if they cannot sustain it.

anyway, feels like i'm going off on a rant - time to log off and think about how I can help everyone make small changes. good night!

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