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How does one live more sustainably?

written by
sortin team

December 1, 2023

Sustainable living is becoming more of a buzzword with each passing day. How do you, as a person or a collective of people, cut to the chase and learn what actionable steps you can take to contribute to the wellbeing of our planet as a whole?

First, let us agree that every tiny step counts.

It is easy to think we as individuals are powerless to combat this huge global problem when we see corporations shamelessly squandering natural resources and polluting the earth driven by nothing but economic greed. If you take one look at the stats, it can be pretty depressing when you find that the average cement manufacturer emits more CO2 in a month than you could in your lifetime.

I’m guessing you have heard of the Butterfly Effect. Many different versions of the tale have the same underlying message - a tiny change can have dramatic consequences on a complex, interconnected system with the passage of time.

It is when we as consumers realise that we hold purchasing power, that the possibility of actual sustainable change begins to feel real. Businesses and corporations are driven by consumer demand. Governments and policy makers are democratically elected by people, at least in most developed and developing parts of the world.

One small tap can hardly drain an ocean sized bucket, but a million taps can definitely speed things up. We must not underestimate the power of collective action.

If we as a collective of consumers promote sustainable businesses and elect policy makers committed to sustainable development, the world will have to adapt.

Next, let’s agree that all of this sounds quite rosy, at least in our heads.

We live in the real world. We are driven more by the promise of a reward than by noble motivations of saving the world. We might care a lot about how fast fashion harms the environment, but it’s just so convenient. And CHEAPER.

A lot of fashion brands today are touting “slow fashion” mantras and how their “sustainable” practices affect Mother Earth less than the likes of H&M and you-know-who-else. The only problem is most of these brands come with pretty hefty price tags. 

We seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Not really though. Remember purchasing power? If you’re reading this, chances are you belong to the top 10% of consumers in our country, in terms of purchasing power. In a country like India, that number is close to 140 million. 

If even 1% of that number of people collectively demand that sustainable consumer products become more affordable, will businesses and governments have any other choice?

Think about it.