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.