Why Sustainable Living is Hard

Don’t waste. Don’t use so much energy. Stop creating. Reduce, reduce, reduce.

While I am all for putting an immediate stop on pollution and overall environmental deterioration, I also believe that sometimes the way we talk about these subjects can be a little uninspiring.

Who really wants to do LESS production? Or to STOP using things? I think abundance is a living being’s right (yes, not a just human right).

Sustainable living is hard because it is hard to not use plastic when it is ubiquitous. Sustainable living is hard because I kinda need to drive my car to work. It’s hard to find a home that operates on 100% renewable electricity. Heck, it’s hard to make renewable energy sustainable!

Sustainable living is hard because there are deeply embedded systems within the physical and cultural make up of society that make it hard.

Desiring abundance is, I think, natural. Of course, though, there are limits to growth that we must obey. That is also what makes sustainable living hard.

We have not yet reached our limit to the point where it affects all of our day to day lives in a very matter of fact, significant matter.

Although, when we look closely, high prices for basic necessities like food, water, and heat, can tell us that something is not quite right.

I was having a conversation with my little sister the other day. She is taking an Environmental Ethics course in college. She was preaching to the choir (me) about all of the problems in agriculture. She told me: “Tiff. I used to think you were crazy and I never really understood why you cared so much about all of these problems. But now, I see it. Now, all I can think is why doesn’t everyone else care???”.

Sustainable living is hard because we don’t see it. These problems are hidden. The way we raise animals, create energy, grow crops, produce machinery, put our waste, and treat the world at large is out of sight, and out of mind.

Yes, it’s hard. But it is NOT impossible. When more people like my sister wake up and smell the coal ash fumes and swine manure reservoirs, sustainable living will become easy because society will make it that way. Little by little.


That’s all for now.

In Soil We Trust,



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