By: Gio Mondragon and Liv Valinsky
There’s a lot of social pressure and anxiety that comes from activism. In our lives, there are multitudes of issues to educate ourselves on. Creating change and being educated on social matters is highly important, but we are still human. Be patient with yourself. Do what you feel capable of. Change takes time, it takes growth and understanding of the world around us. Doing the right thing is important, but it is more important to do things for the right reasons. The effort you make is just as important as the change you create.
To live as sustainably as possible is ideal, but progress takes time, and perfection is not attainable. It is important to understand that ‘completely ethical’ consumption is not available right now. We must advocate for change and educate ourselves to continue to support our planet. It is important to admit our mistakes and learn from them, allowing them to make us better people and better at living sustainably.
Sustainability is a privilege; It is a privilege to be able to prioritize healthy, ethically sourced, or eco-friendly resources due to a variety of reasons, including living-situations, finances, education, and/or community values. For many families, food options are limited and they may not be able to afford healthy and eco-friendly choices. They may have to prioritize caloric density over ethically-sourced products. Another huge privilege is time. While shopping locally and avoiding supporting companies with questionable values and views is ideal, many people have no choice but to shop from amazon and bigger companies because they don’t have the free time to peruse shops. They don’t have time to grow their own food, plant trees, participate in beach clean-ups, and find the most sustainable products. Certain diets that are perceived to be more healthy and environmentally-friendly such as vegan and vegetarian diets are expensive and can be too restrictive for some people. Sustainability is a privilege and instead of shaming others for taking care of themselves before the environment, it is important to remember that our efforts are not in vain. Every action we take brings us closer to a sustainable future that will make it easier and more accessible for everyone to live environmentally-friendly lives.
You are not alone in this fight for change. Remember, environmentalism is about change, not perfectionism. There is a whole community supporting the same causes and wanting to make a difference too. We are here to communicate, educate, learn, and experience together. Choose to lead your friends to live more sustainable lifestyles and choose to support companies that align with your beliefs. Our small actions lead to big change as we continue to protect Earth and make it safer and healthier for all of its inhabitants.