on striving for sustainability perfection

On Striving For Sustainability Perfection

In skiing, mountain biking, and other sports, I have realized that when you are going for something, you have to go all in. If you don’t fully commit mentally and physically, then something bad could happen.

But what about other aspects of life? Should I bring this “full send” mentality to things like diets? Or completing all the Netflix shows I have started? What about work? Or being sustainable?

Part Time Plants was built on the idea that you don’t have to go all in on a vegan or plant-based diet in order to make a change in your sustainability. So just because you aren’t living a perfectly zero-waste life, doesn’t mean that you can’t still make a difference.

If I am constantly striving for sustainability perfection while living in a society that doesn’t set me up for success, then I am going to have an anxious mind. This goal I am trying to attain will be out of reach. And I will no longer be focusing on the positives of my efforts. I will slowly shift my mindset to seeing the glass half empty.

But I don’t want negativity to conquer.

I need to realize that a positive mindset is the best way to tackle my sustainability efforts, and the only way I can do this is to have realistic expectations.

I need to realize that it’s okay to be imperfectly sustainable.

And I need to realize I should applaud my endeavors instead of condemning my shortfalls.

To combat anxiety around sustainability perfection, I have reasonable goals, as well as optional objectives.

My personal reasonable goals are things like:

Only buying drinks in aluminum cans and glass bottles.

Buying bulk vegetables and fruits

Walking to the store when I have time.

Freezing food before it goes bad.

Initially searching secondhand sites when I want “new” clothes or items

However, I also have optional ways to be sustainable.

I try to buy bulk snacks, but in the time of COVID, it’s extremely hard to find stores that are willing to maintain bulk sections. So I can’t beat myself up if I can’t find popcorn kernels in bulk. I need to celebrate the fact that I am consciously making the decision to buy popcorn kernels instead of heavily packaged microwave packets.

secondhand items and new items used for climbing outdoors
I bought new shoes and a brand new harness a couple years ago, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t sustainable choices. I also chose to buy other climbing items like clothes secondhand.

I preach the word of thrifting. And while I have got some items that I wanted secondhand, I also let myself invest in new items like a mountain bike, bike shoes,  and roller skates. I definitely tried to find all these items secondhand before resorting to buying new, and I can’t beat myself up for wanting to invest in new things that will last. And small items that have a big impact on I can spend my time to boost my mood in this crazy time in life.

It’s give and take. I can not emphasize it enough  to put your mind in a conscious consumer mindset, but don’t get yourself down if it’s not an attainable goal.

Your full-time plant eater and sustainability imperfectionist,

 

AJ

 

 

 

 

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