Sense and Sensibility

I'm not a preacher, so I don't preach, especially about sustainable living. But in my quiet way, I definitely do my part. This big, blue globe is home to 8 billion people. It may look like Mother Nature is holding her own in the face of our polluting and looting ways, but signs have been appearing that there are cracks in her facade. I'm not sure how many years I have left on earth, but I want to enjoy fresh air, home grown veggies and fruits, the wonder of our varied vistas, and all the other goodies Earth has to offer.

I've taken several courses in agricultural practice. These always focused on sustainability and veered away from chemical practices. I'm a weed hand-puller, mostly push mower, and make kitchen pesticide and herbicide recipes. I try very hard to keep my lifestyle clean too, by eschewing plastic water bottles, composting, and driving minimally. A lot of my efforts to support sustainability are budgetary. It is just common sense to practice up-cycling in the landscape and home. It is an easy way to prevent waste and it's cheap.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no saint. I have perpetrated the crime of waste just like almost everyone else. But if you are conscious about making decisions that sustain the earth rather than plunder it, even half of the time, you are still making an impact. That is the way I approach life, and I think it is useful. By looking at the sustainability basics of economy, environment, and society, each pillar may be served individually. So whether it is making sustainable yard decor or refinishing an old piece of furniture, each decision can make a positive impact.

Change Is Hard

When I grew up, nobody spoke about sustainability. As I have aged, the idea has crept into my brain, and I have become interested in the concept. Interest turned into passion, and before I knew it things like recycling (which did not really exist when I was a kid) became habit. We older folks may resist change, but it is easier when you think about the kind of world you want to leave behind for the kids. The successive generations should get to enjoy fresh mountain air, clean drinking water, and unpolluted land.

It is getting easier to live sustainably. Companies are beginning to offer more recycled packaging, grocery stores carry more local produce, public spaces offer recycle bins, and many more systems are in place to make it easier for the general public to do their part. The key, I think, is to remember our resources are finite. If we want to keep living in a good manner, we need to preserve what we have.

Sustainable Investing

I have even incorporated sustainability in my investments. I have wind power, solar energy, and more environmentally friendly stocks. I steer clear of companies that do not promote sustainability and are chronic wasters or polluters. I'm not going to get rich, but I have peace of mind that my money is not funding anything that will harm the earth. Such small habits will add up and can benefit everyone in the long run.

Going green or practicing sustainable living is not for everyone. But little parts of it can be incorporated into society for a cumulative impact. Over time, we will all become aware of and used to the need to prevent waste. Just taking a good look at a beautiful river, or pristine beach should be all the prompting we need to keep it clean and stop tossing those plastic bottles and pandemic masks willy-nilly.

Bonnie Grant