Blogging, sustainability…and blogging about sustainability

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be about my sustainability journey. I wanted not only to be able to keep a record but also to share it with the wider world. I felt like I was at a significant turning-point in my life and I wanted to write to help guide my thoughts. So far, I’m really enjoying both writing and being able to connect with a whole online community that I never really knew existed before.

But I don’t always feel I have clarity about the direction the blog is heading in. Sometimes, when I’ve written a post, I wonder if it really fits the blog at all; whether you people out there reading it are wondering what this has to do with sustainability. I worry that if I stray too far from this focus the blog will come across as a rambling assortment of disjointed posts. But at the same time, I want to write about the things I’m doing, the things I’m learning, and the things that interest me. After all, this blog is ultimately about me, and my journey.

That got me thinking. What does sustainability actually mean to me? What does it mean to any of us? People have such different ideas about what it means, and maybe if I can be clear about what I mean, it will help explain what this blog is about.

I don’t want to get bogged down with dictionary definitions or anything like that. In the broadest sense, sustainability means “maintaining at a steady level”. When people talk about sustainability, they are often referring to the environment; to natural resources and ecology. But to me it’s much broader than that. It is about those things, yes, but it’s also about our behaviour and the choices we make in all aspects of our lives, not just those that directly impact the environment. For example, never eating a piece of fruit or a vegetable is not sustainable for long-term wellbeing and health, but the environment remains the same. Reading books may not help the environment (chopping down all those trees definitely won’t!), but it’s great for sustaining the mind, unwinding, and gaining inspiration, clarity and focus.

So whilst my sustainability journey is about minimising my impact on the environment, that’s only one part. It’s about creating a lifestyle that’s sustainable too. I want to be happy and healthy. I want to make ethical choices. I want to learn new things and stimulate my mind. I want to challenge myself. I want to be proud of and comfortable with the decisions I make. I want to inspire others. I want to have fun!

So I’ve decided that by explaining all of this, I will worry less about whether a post is relevant to my blog, and choose to think that if it’s something that I want to write, something that’s happened to me or something I feel I should share, then that is enough. There might be posts that you read and think, I’m not sure what that has got to do with sustainability. You may sometimes disagree with what I say and do. I’m sure there will be things I do now that I’ll cringe about in a few years time. But this blog is about finding out what works for me. I’m sure there will be things that I try, but then abandon because they are far too much effort. This isn’t a blog about my quest to live in a cave to help save the planet. I’m living here in the real world, doing what I can with what I know. As my knowledge changes, I’m sure my actions will too. Maybe my goals will too.

That’s why it’s a journey.

9 replies
  1. Chris
    Chris says:

    I’m with you: write what interests you, no one is obliged to read it. Your blog is great. I particularly love your photos (especially the ones of raw food…wow!)



  2. obibinibruni
    obibinibruni says:

    I can completely relate with what you write here! When I first started my blog, I knew I wanted mostly to talk about social and environmental justice issues, but was not finding time to research the topics I wanted to discuss. Finally, I decided to just write about something and to just start the blog, straight. Time dictates the topic, but at least there is something. And that worked wonders!
    Or at least until my blogging and job search together led me to finally create the program I ultimately wanted to create. I then spent the last year working on that, only writing a handful of posts, but now I am about to start that, I am going to finally be able to write again …yeey!

    • treadingmyownpath
      treadingmyownpath says:

      I agree Allie – just start! I’ve been writing for 2.5 years and I’ve noticed how my posts change according to my situation. When I have lots of time I can write more practical how-to guides, and when I have less time I tend to focus more on thoughts. I’d love to write more food related posts but our flat is so dark, and when I come home in the evenings I can’t take good pictures… maybe when I move I can do this again.

      I had a look on your website and blog – I’m really excited to see how your program goes! : )

      • obibinibruni
        obibinibruni says:

        What if you did black and white or sepia photos when taking them in less than ideal lighting? Or else sometimes you can edit them to look pretty good with simple software like the Microsoft Office photo editor or even …I love that website, but usually use it more to do fun collages and the like. (eg my website banner)
        Thank you so much for the compliment! If you want to get newsletters, just send me an email on my contact form:
        I will be flying out next week and within a week or two will be making my way over to Mayosa to start field work …which is the point of the program. As fun as learning about website development and nonprofit development is, this is not why I started the program!

  3. bottle recycling
    bottle recycling says:

    We are very close to what you write here! When I started my blog, I knew I mostly wanted to talk about social and environmental justice issues,
    but I couldn’t find the time to research the topics I wanted to discuss. Finally, I decided to write about something and start the blog right away.
    Time dictates the subject, but at least there is something. And it worked wonders


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