Understanding sustainable living

Here’s how I’ve come to understand my role in the world of sustainable living.

As I decided to start with the basics, googling the meaning of sustainable gave me this: “capable of being maintained at a steady level without exhausting natural resources or causing severe ecological damage.”

Sustainable the word is in fashion right now. Sustainable living, sustainable fashion and sustainable development are just some of the phrases I read almost every day on various social media platforms.

We all want to follow trends, we all want to be a part of the latest fad in some way or the other. But according to our own convenience, mind you.

Strangely, coming to the US, the land of opportunities (more like a land of excess for me), made me realize that in terms of things, I already had a lot. Be it clothes, my first love, or bags that made me happy. Or so I thought.

I don’t know if it was the continuous flooding of “sustainable” related news or my own inner turmoil that made me realize that in order to start sustainable at home, all I had to do was sit back and look at all my material possessions.

I didn’t have to go out to buy “sustainable” in order to feel like I was doing something to contribute to society.

All I had to do was understand that I already had enough. We all define “enough” based on what we never had. This time, I decided to define it based on what I already have.

It was January 1,2018 when I determined to not buy a single clothing item this year. It might sound stupid and even weird to many, but believe it or not, I feel good. I feel lighter in my head.

I have experienced the joy of rediscovering a beautiful piece of clothing was thrown away into the dark alleys of my closet.

I have discovered I can control my mind rather than let it control me. My determination has witnessed strong opposition in the form of birthdays and special occasions. But I have won. Five months and going strong.

Carrying cloth bags, accepting pre-loved clothes, toys, and books for my daughter, are just some of the ways in which I am trying to lessen the burden on our planet. It’s a long journey to banish plastic from the household as it’s ubiquitous. But for a start, we don’t drink water from plastic bottles anymore.

I am determined to learn about new ways of living with less instead of finding reasons to shop unnecessarily every time I go to a store. Let’s start sustainable living by first sustaining ourselves with what we already possess. Not a bad start eh?

Wish me luck! Would love to hear what you are doing, small or big, to leave a better world for our future generations.

Written by

Writer. Buddhist. Feminist. Looking for freelance projects.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store