Guilt, Shame and Sustainability

When I started the journey to be more conscious about what I consume and about the waste I create, I was always overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and shame. That if I don’t do everything ‘perfectly’ in the most sustainable way, I am failing our Planet Earth!

For example, in spite of making all the efforts to buy items packed in an eco-friendly manner, there are few grocery items that we require which are always packed in plastic. When I looked at my bin filled with all the plastic packaging that had to go for recycling, I felt helpless as I compared it to the zero-waste bloggers who fit their trash for a year in a small mason jar! That was disheartening and I asked myself ‘Is there a point in doing this?’

Until I realised that, zero-waste lifestyle solutions are not a ‘one-size-fits-all’. Many of the eco-friendly alternatives are not accessible to a lot of people. We all come from different economic, geographic and cultural backgrounds and our access to resources and our requirements are unique to us. What works for me, may not work for you! We need to tailor our own low waste journey. So instead of obsessively focusing only on the harmful effects of some aspects of your lifestyle, focus on where YOU can MAKE CHANGES and create a POSITIVE IMPACT.

I shifted my focus to reducing my consumption and not always relying on recycling and composting. Because if I always keep recycling as an option, I will continue to consume at the same rate. I ask myself ‘Do I really really need it?’. By owning less, I chose happiness and it opened up more room for what is important.
I am working on not beating myself up over the times I fail, but to continue reducing my carbon footprint in all the ways I can. We should focus on DOING GOOD and taking POSITIVE STEPS than feeling frustrated about what is beyond our control.

As Dr. Jane Goodall​ once said, ‘I like to envision the whole world as a jigsaw puzzle. If you look at the whole picture, it is overwhelming and terrifying, but if you work on your little part of the jigsaw and know that people all over the world are working on their little bits,that’s what will give you hope’ ♥️

2 Comments Add yours

  1. It is hard to try to solve all the problems at once. I take 2 or 3 ways I want to change and work on those until the become habit. This usually takes about 3 weeks, then I start on another if you try to do it all at once you will fail and become discouraged. Good for you recognizing that we all have our own journey doing what we can to make a difference.

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    1. Thank you! And you are absolutely right. A lifestyle change cannot be made overnight and we need to realise that ❤

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