As this blog is about trying to have a sustainable lifestyle, I thought my first post should be about sustainability.
What does it mean? The dictionary meaning is easily googleable so I won’t go there. Instead, I will share how I see it, live it and apply it to my daily life. I see sustainability connected to every area of life, from travel to work, from health to love. If you want it to last, it has to be sustainable, the keyword for me is balance, keep it balanced.
Here’s a story, please follow me:
A park, a nice man selling air balloons, a little kid staring with big open eyes full of wonder. Loving parents buy their kid a big balloon. This happy family has fun playing with the balloon and lots of laughs are exchanged.
Here is another story:
End of summer, Punta Hermosa Beach in Lima, Peru. A woman walking on the shore enjoying peace, the sound of waves, the fresh clean breeze, and herself. She stops; her feet got trapped in something. It is a giant silver balloon. She kicks it off and the balloon goes back into the sea.
Fort Myers Beach, Florida, full of happy summer enthusiasts. A baby dolphin in sight comes close to the shore. It is very cute, people point at it and smile. Wait, it looks sick. People surround it trying to help him. He died. Autopsy: 2 plastic bags and a balloon.
These three stories are real, real people, real animals. The first two I’ve witnessed, the last one was on CNN News. The three of them are connected. Actually, it could be only one story in three different moments, happiness and sadness being both part of it.
I don’t want to sound dramatic or depress you. We can easily get overwhelmed with all the terrible things that happen and end up doing nothing about them. We feel impotence, which becomes resignation, and for our mental sanity we end up normalizing or ignoring these problems. I hope I direct you in the complete opposite direction. Inspire and empower you to see your actions and decisions as fundamental to changing our world.
This is sustainability for me. When I see a nice beautiful balloon, I can’t help but think of the end story. Go through all the lifecycle of anything you want/ buy/ make/ choose; if buying a balloon for you is worth the end story, go for it. It is a personal decision how far you go on the sustainability line in every area of your life.
I recycle and I am veg and I use cloth diapers but I travel and eat gluten-free, which in many cases, forces me to buy packed food instead of bulk. So, gluten-free wins over producing packaging waste and travel wins over CO2 emissions (which I hope I am compensating with all my other choices BTW). In the same line, cloth diaper wins over disposable and reused clothes wins over cute fast fashion clothes. I do my best in my possibilities and keep trying to apply more changes in my consumption and habits to do more.
My point is, draw your line, inform yourself, and choose consciously. It is very hard to be 100% sustainable living in a city. Our crazy, busy, exhausting lives don’t help us make the “good” choices BUT (I’ll go a little dramatic here) if we all just start seeing a dead dolphin when we see a balloon I think a lot will change. I want to think that most of us will choose not to buy that balloon and choose any other alternative.
Please share all your small or big actions that make a difference. I am looking forward to getting inspiration for my next posts.
PAOLA // Lima