Living a sustainable lifestyle is no longer an option.. The ongoing energy and climate crises are forcing people to rethink their everyday lifestyle choices. Small actions like the type of car you drive, how much energy you use, and what you buy have a big impact on the environment. Therefore, it is not surprising that ethical consumption is gaining traction. People are becoming more conscious of the quantity and quality of things they consume and adopting more sustainable lifestyles.
Less, but Better
We live in an era of abundance. Technological advancements have made it easy to mass produce and automate goods at scale without significantly raising production costs. As a result, commodities have become cheaper; yet the availability of cheap goods has led to overconsumption and record levels of waste generation. To make matters worse, it is today cheaper to buy a new product than to repair its equivalent used one.
In a report published by the Hot or Cool Institute, the authors conclude that “unless sustainable lifestyles move from a side topic to the centre of global frameworks on climate change, biodiversity, and resource scarcity – then social tensions and political disruptions will become a mainstay of the world as it grapples with the consequences of a fast-changing climate.”
It is clear that for us to realistically combat environmental degradation, we must change our lifestyles and make better choices by buying less, but better products. Functional products that are sustainably made. A viable way to reduce consumption is by only acquiring products that are essential and serve a need.
Sustainable Everyday Luxuries
We all appreciate the finer things in life; things that are well-made and of excellent quality. There is a great pleasure we derive from looking at objects that are meticulously designed, moulded, and crafted by hand. Objects that are functional and made to last. But how can we encourage people to buy fewer but better products?
A common misconception prevailing today is that in order to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, we must put an end to buying new things. It is thought that to fight overconsumption, we must stop shopping altogether. But this is foolhardy. Unless you are a monk cloistered in a temple, it is impossible not to consume products – old or new.
A more realistic and balanced approach that could allure more people would be to make sustainably made high-quality items – raw organic tea, handwrought jewellery, and artisanal perfumes – readily available. People can enjoy such products without harbouring a guilty conscience. Moreover, many such sustainable products are made by small family-owned businesses that are committed to creating a positive social impact.
Leading a sustainable lifestyle is neither hard nor expensive. But it does require discipline and a strong willingness to live the good life.