The Sustainability Project

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. A sustainable lifestyle focuses on living a life that creates the smallest environmental impact possible. In other words: use less resources; create less waste; treat the environment better.

People are overwhelmed by the idea of living more sustainably. It sounds like a lot of work because the modern American lifestyle is extremely resource dependent and wasteful. The idea of living more sustainably and making changes sounds difficult. However, I firmly believe that it does not have to be difficult. Even little changes, practiced by many people, over long periods of time, can lead to big impacts.

It may not be practical to wake up one day and say I am immediately going to begin to live a completely sustainable lifestyle. Sure, some people do pick up their lives, move to a cabin in the woods, and live off the land. It’s an inviting idea to a person set on sustainability, but for one reason or another, not everyone can do that. So here is where The Sustainability Project comes in.

The Sustainability Project is about making little changes that will not overwhelm us, but instead will show us that we can live more sustainably within our every day lives. We don’t have to do something drastic. We can make small changes to our day-to-day lives that will have a lasting impact. Each month we will focus on making one, small, sustainable change or addition to our lives.

Why Sustainability?

Each person who takes an interest in sustainability has a different reason. The common denominator is a respect for the earth and a desire to take better care of the planet that we call home.

I have always been a conservationist at heart. In a world where so many people just don’t care, I’ve always felt a strong connection to the earth. I feel more at home alone in nature than I do in the company of people. I have a strong desire to preserve the glory of the natural world. Since becoming a mother, my drive to protect the earth is stronger than ever before.

So much of our planet is destroyed each day. It breaks my heart to know that many of the most beautiful natural habitats on the planet could be (and likely will be) wiped out before my children are grown enough to appreciate them. Right now we are living in the largest mass extinction that our planet has seen in 65 million years. Whether you believe in the idea of “global warming” or not, the gruesome realities of habitat destruction and pollution are not deniable. Up to 200 species of birds, insects, plants, and mammals become extinct each day. There is a “garbage patch” floating around in the Pacific ocean that is the size of Texas and another one in the Atlantic that is almost as big.

I am not foolish enough to believe that The Sustainability Project is going to put a stop to the destruction, not by a long shot–but I am tired of feeling helpless. I am jaded by the world of non-stop consumerism and a political climate that seemingly could not possibly care any less for the environment. This project is my own way of doing a little bit of good to combat the great, big monster of planet-destruction that scares the hell out of me and breaks my heart at once.

Even if the changes that we will make are small, it is still worthwhile to get into a sustainability mindset and to become more conscious of our choices. Awareness in itself is a huge victory. Whether you choose to participate in this project along with me, or whether you choose to silently observe–I hope that it will touch you in some way. I pray that 2018 will be a year of learning for all of us. I hope that we are inspired by how easy it is to make small changes every day and to take better care of the environment.

Twelve Months, Twelve Changes

As I mentioned earlier, each month we will make one small change or addition to our lives in an effort to live more sustainably. Some of the monthly goals will not be practical for everyone depending whether they are a homeowner, renter, student, etc. so I will also work to share alternative goals for each month for those in varying situations. The base list of goals for each month is as follows.

January — Create a Capsule Wardrobe (an example for men, an example for women)

February — Stop Drinking Bottled Water, Install a Water Filter, Stop Using Disposable Cups at Home & Out

March — Install Clothesline or Drying Rack, Stop Using the Dryer

April — Start Seeds for a Garden

May — Plan a Town Clean Up Day

June — No Driving, Take the Bus, Ride a Bike, Walk

July — Nothing New, No New Purchases

August — Eat Only Locally Grown & Produced Food

September — Learn About Sustainable Fishing & Hunting Practices

October — Go Fully Vegan

November — Do Christmas Shopping All Fair-Trade or from Local Vendors

December — Plan the 2019 Sustainability Project 🌿

Keep an eye out over the next couple of weeks as I share my plans for the first month of the project and share some ideas about how you can get involved, too.

2 thoughts on “The Sustainability Project: An Introduction”

  1. Yes, yes, so much yes to this!! i cannot wait to see how this fares, and I am hoping to some of these things in my own home.

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