One of the biggest hurdles in moving toward a more sustainable and circular lifestyle is the feeling of not doing enough, or feeling that if your lifestyle isn’t completely zero waste then what’s the point. For me, thoughts like this have made the approach to eco-friendly living overwhelming and sometimes even unapproachable: if i can’t change everything, then I guess I’ll change nothing. If you have been or are in the same boat, where sustainability is not emotionally sustainable because it induces or worsens anxiety, here’s how I have found a mentally healthy relationship to sustainability.

Any carbon-reducing, zero-wasting lifestyle changes you decide to implement are important for the simple fact that you are deciding to develop habits that consciously have a positive impact not just for you but for the future generations who can learn the same habits from you. 

While reducing your personal carbon footprint can only aid the cause, industries and countries generate a large percentage of carbon emissions–this is happening on a global scale. So the package of kraft slices that you buy for your sandwiches to save money on, won’t be the undoing of the planet. Change needs to happen on both a personal level and on a much larger global and governmental scale. 

However you decide what your approach to sustainability is, the benefits are developing an awareness of your relationship to consumerism and choosing to live consciously in this way about ____ (fill in the blank). For some, they may decide to eat meat only on the weekends; which overall reduces the amount of meat they invest in as well as develops their affection for vegetables! If extreme lifestyle changes won’t contribute to an emotionally and mentally sustainable practice, then change what you can. A greener, more environmentally conscious form of sustainability is only helpful if you can emotionally, mentally, financially sustain it. 

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