Some of us believe that living sustainably means depriving yourself of life’s joys. Being passionate about building a greener future and indulging in life’s pleasures are not mutually exclusive. Sustainability doesn’t require upending your lifestyle and going vegan overnight. Yes, you can still take a hot bubble bath at the end of a long day, go shopping with your girlfriends (who doesn’t enjoy some retail therapy?), and have a decadent meal at Soho’s new and upcoming steakhouse– all the while still caring about our environment.
Some of us live to work: being successful in our jobs and getting that promotion keeps us up at night. Many people consider a sustainable lifestyle to be too demanding: when there are only 24 hours in a day, why use our precious energy, time and effort to focus on anything but our work objectives? However, what the workaholic doesn’t realize is that living sustainably does not create added pressure or any new distractions. Rather, a little thought and a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle can have a big impact on your environmental footprint without taking any attention away from your life goals. In fact, having a sustainable mindset will likely improve your work ethic!
Some of us are stuck in a perfectionist trap. By setting such high standards for even the most mundane tasks, overtime our perfectionism becomes an obstacle to progress. In a culture that glorifies the “all or nothing” mindset, our fear of failure paralyzes us. A sustainable lifestyle appears to be out of reach because it requires too high of standards – standards that we are fearful of not meeting and then proceed to renounce altogether. However, living sustainably is not about living perfectly. There is no single metric to establish that one person is living more sustainably than another. Living sustainably is a personal journey, not an endpoint. Any progress, however small, can be consequential.