One of the most powerful habits we can adopt is the ability to be sustainable as citizen of this awesome planet. As the population grows the world gets smaller and smaller, as our future becomes increasingly connected. The people, businesses, organizations and NGOs we are all citizens of one planet, and this linkage places an increasing responsibility on each one of us to not only take ownership for our actions, but also share in our appreciation for this planet. Long-term sustainability hinges on our mutual collaboration.
However, over time, mostly as a result of globalization, creating cheap and readily available consumer goods and services, we have developed many bad habits resulting in over consumption and rapidly increasing energy use. We have also accepted the idea of having and doing whatever we want, when we want. But as the world’s population expands we are facing a critical breaking point in our future.
The only way sustainable living is possible in this constantly evolving consumer world is through our ability to change habits, until those little behavioural changes becomes habits we will never become successful on the climate change fight, posing a number of challenging to our well-being. An individual is based on needs and values, and we should be developing new practices every single day, which should create a brighter future for our family.
A sustainable world will require commitment and support from each of us, we need each other to live a satisfying life, a big part of sustainable living is the idea of giving back. A life that is deeply satisfying, fulfilling and appealing because it is socially, environmentally and economically responsible. This should be about making changes and informed decisions, which seeks to improve the quality of life for our future generations. There is truly no one fit all definition for sustainable living since it’s about making decisions which gives an individual unique leverage to drive positive change.
Multinational corporations like Unilever and Nestle who have implemented sustainable living as part of their operations by developing and implementing new business practices. These two companies understand that our world is changing and climate change is here, especially in a world where profitability is no longer good enough, consumers are placing increasing pressure on these companies to become active marshals of planet Earth. Honestly they are forced to create a sustainable environment because the availability of their raw materials depends on the cooperation of the environment.
The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan aims to double the size of their business while reducing their environmental footprint, creating positive social impact. By working in partnerships with governments and organization to help change the world these initiatives includes deforestation and climate change; water, sanitation and hygiene; and sustainable agriculture and smallholder farmers.
According to Neil Hawkins the three components of the triple bottom line which are people, planet and profit they must be clear and consistently present for companies to sustain their pursuits over the long-term, hence the advancing interest of organizations in the environment.
We are faced with rising temperatures, water shortages, scarce food supply being further strained by rapidly expanding cities and unprecedented population growth also resulting in a challenge for basic sanitation and hygiene. Let us just say that climate change is disrupting our lives, business and economies for example water shortage in Guyana and United States, flash flooding in India and the list goes on, so why not follow in the footsteps of companies like Unilever and Nestle and develop habits that would sustain us in the long haul.
So here are the top tips for developing sustainable habits:
- Set realistic and achievable goals – what this does is allow you to appreciate and measures your progress, helping you to feel a sense of accomplishment. By setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation according to Mind Tools, which would better equip you to focus on acquisition of appropriate knowledge, as it helps you to organize your time and resources so that you can make the most of your life.
- Organize your life – I know this could be quite difficult because it often feels like there’s not enough hours in the day, but do you know that by organizing your life you can get back those hours you lose, cluster is most often the result of indecision some of the most organized people make list and set realistic goals. Clear out every thing and work one area at a time, remember to set small task that would lead to accomplishing the overall goal. It is understood that life can be so hectic these days, so by adopting a number of tactics that works well with your lifestyle can make a big difference. KeepinSpring states that keeping a to do lists and other information written somewhere allows you to look back at it anytime.
- Take time to reflect on your day – You should reflect on all the good things that happened during the day and all of the things you accomplished during that day, be proud of your self every small step is a step closer to developing sustainable habits. This help you to learn from your mistakes, if we do not reflect on our mistakes we are doomed to repeat them, but by reflecting on those mistakes and recognizing what went wrong, so you can develop strategies to fix it.
- Get rid of junk – Do not feel bad about purging your life. Ask your self these key questions, do I need this? When was the last time I used this item? Will I use this item in the next year? If your answers sound like this No, No, and No then it is time to toss that item out. Be honest with yourself and do not forget to recycle.
- Educate yourself and find support – keep up the research while you focus on achieving your goals. There are many amazing organizations and people out there working towards the same goals as you. Find them and support them, while they teach and support you, consider joining a social group can be very rewarding, others that went before can teach you from their mistakes, forums, blogs and local groups consist of a very interactive group of people who are making a collective effort to educate their peers and make positive change. A group of people is significantly more powerful than an individual.
- Make yourself accountable – If you have not been accomplishing as much as you know you should lately then you should continue reading, when a person is accountable to someone else, they tend to get thing done and reach their goals. This is called social expectation.
“R. J. Rummel Social Behavior Expert states that we live within a structure of social expectations, of belief, awareness, and apprehension of how others will react to our behavior, respond to our acts, play their roles in this human theater.“
Simply talking about our goals are not good enough but instead we need to commit to specific actions that will move our goals forward and make an agreement with someone to hold us accountable for these actions to bring sustainable habits in our everyday life.