Sustainability is an important word for me in my life. My mental balance over capitalism and rational consumption of goods leads me for a rational and full sense of living. That means that I myself feel better when I consume only the things that I need. I need myself to have a balance with the world, the community and environment.
The more mature I get the more I realize that this sustainability can only be done by taking a personal approach to it and caring that our acts and behavior will have a direct impact in the others and the environment. Therefore, I care more about my actions and its impact. And these are some specific actions I have taken in my life to become more sustainable. Hereby my comments to a sustainable better living with all my respect to the matter and my humble opinion.
1.- Moderate Consumption and debt reduction.
I buy what I need. That means that we should carefully care that for example food is not wasted in our fridge when there are millions of people without access to it. But it also means that I buy the Shirts I need for the year and same with the rest of things. Ask yourself before buying anything. Do I really need this? What could I do with this money?. By reducing consumption also indirectly we are reducing debt and by having less debt we feel less anxious and more confortable in life. These are obvious comments but they take their importance in the day to day basis.
2.- Sell what you do not need, do not throw it to the bin.
Of course this is strongly based on my negotiation skills and my hobbie to sell my staff every now and then, that means it matches with my personality. But selling your staff has a double purpose. You ensure that it will be used again and secondly you are motivating the second hand market which allows to match more production of goods with existing ones. And I need to say I love bargaining and I love to see all kind of people different to me happy about staff that I do not use anymore and listening to new stories about what they are going to do with that piece of furniture or that jacket.And finally it also helps to recover me financially when I buy new clothes or pieces of furniture.
3.- Keep Yourself healthy.
If you are healthy the world will be healthy. I realized that because of my business trips I was traveling too much and not taking care of what I ate when I ate. It ended up in some digestive problems and overweight that needed doctor attention. The doctor was clear that I needed both to loose some weight and secondly analyse my intolerances (lactose for sure, and possible sensitivity to Gluten). I felt very much confused until she told me that 6 to 7 people everyday came with the same digestive problems. Furthermore, I was shocked by realizing that the answer to my problems had been always there 1 meter away from me. The mediterranean diet. I am mediterranean. My mother tought me how to eat well. And something had happened on the way that I started to eat fat. Now it was time to come back to my roots. And since I am in a mediterranean strict diet I am really a happier person and people around me see it and enjoy it. Sustainability is also being happy and making your community happy. Feeling better about yourself is a contagious thing.
4.- Buy Local
I am not a patriotic person and I like to consider myself a person of the world, but it really annoys me that food or other basic goods need to go around the world to sit in my dish. Specially living in Barcelona a city with very much variety of tasty and colorful food. So I decided to put effort in eating local ecological and organic food. I know it is much more expensive, but have you considered the extra paid for medicines I was paying for digestive problems or all the money eating out for example. With all my respect to food industry these days food in general is much more artificial and toxic for the body that in the past because of the additives give to produce in mass production. By using local ecological and BIO food I re-discovered some tastes, smells and flavour that were lost in this mass production food I was eating. As an example, a tomato that smells and tastes like a tomato, with just a piece of salt and strong natural olive oil it is one of the most tasty dishes in the world. I stopped eating it because the taste was like plastic. Now I enjoy it again.
7.- Recycle or die.
If we do not recycle of care about the environment we will all die. I read these days that one of the biggest concerns right now for the next years is the availability of clean water. I am seriously concerned about plastics on the other hand. Think about the plastic island size of Spain in the oceans wandering around, do you think it would never reach us? let us run away from not recycling plastics before it is too late. And the good thing of buying in a organic food store is that they use a lot of cristal recipients. So I use the cristal recipients as much as possible because I know they are easy to recycle and I use them also to keep processed food, avoiding with it to buy new plastic storage recipients. Finally I use made-of-banana bags to recycle organic food (orange peels, rests of food, coffee already used, etc..) and I recycle it into local recycle bins (Barcelona is good on it these days). It requires a bit of my attention to recycle all types of materials but there are many things that require my attention in my life, so one more in my life would be no problem.
8.- Help the Others.
I love the word “Can I help you” it provokes automatically a smile. It means attention and caring about the others. Helping people is the most beautiful thing in life and if you do it for free even better. I a the person that thinks that it is not always needed to put a name of an organization for helping people. One can help oneself on a daily basis. Help your neighbor, help someone lost on the street, help giving an address, help financially needed people, help your colleagues at work in their personal life. The fantastic feeling of being proud of yourself is not comparable with any other feeling. I hope this does not sound pedantic because I write it how I feel it not how it should be read. It comes from the heart the will of helping the others.
9.- Introduce plants in your life.
We all know the benefits of the plants towards CO2 and so on. I know the disadvantages of the mosquitos and sometimes smell when I fertilize them. But what I did not realized is that by having plants (I cannot have animals because of my traveling), by having plants I care about a living thing. I take new responsibilities, and I watch them grow. It motivates me to increase the garden but also it motivates me that with my effort something nice and beautiful is growing. In a similar way my Friend tell me about the personal urban gardens and how to grow your own ecological tomatoes. Again my traveling does not allow me but I strongly recommend it.
Finally I am not anybody to give so strong advices in life, I just want to motivate people to have more sustainable lives in some small things on their day to day lives.