To change the direction of sustainable practice in America the whole idea and the entire way in which we talk about “sustainability” must change. I will feel happy when one day we can stop talking about whether a product is sustainable, or safe, or recyclable, because that is just the way that every thing is. Imagine a world where you can feel good about every object that is made, sold, bought or consumed. Would that not be amazing and wonderful? This is the utopian ideal that I aim to pursue and direct others towards.
It is both incredibly easy and infinitely hard for this to happen.
It is easy because why would anyone not want a lifestyle that is safe and self-sustaining to them, their children, and their environment?—and I do not just mean the natural environment here—I am including our built environs, cities, towns, our neighbors, along with the natural places.
It is hard because we have constructed an entire society around the concept of destroying, polluting, and poisoning ourselves and our planet. We have built and grown communities with the car as the central being and not people. We have decided replacing object is easier than repairing them. Disposability and “convenience” reign supreme.
This is going to have to change. But it does not have to change too much. We need not stop consuming, we just need to consume the right things—our idea of consuming needs to take a new shape. We needn’t just stop all the things that we do (though we definitely need to stop some of them), but we definitely need to change the ways we are doing them.
I’ll try to prepare some ideas moving forward that illuminate and expand on these thoughts.