Sustaining Sustainability

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

What if I write this article then people who will have read would see me sipping on a plastic straw?

How do I mention alternatives without sounding like an uber capitalist?

Will this reinforcement make sense in the absence of technical terms, given that I’m not an Environmental Science or Biology graduate or the like?

As a Psychology degree holder, however, this I know for sure: developing behavior is long-term. It can get shorter with considerable willpower and motivation, yes, but it is not an overnight process. Not long after staring at my bathroom tiles and the dawning revelation that I have to leave for my evaluation exam, a light bulb flicked. I am still a newbie. I find myself lacking motivation sometimes. I don’t know specifics and what my next move is going to be, but so most of my readers. I am going to write a reminder for people like me.

On this day and age when anyone who has internet access is a critic, advocating (or merely verbally stating that you are participating into some big thing but low-key) can be a pain in the… tushy. Instead of giving in to the very sensible urge, that is, doing actual good, people can get intimidated then hesitate because “it’s just a plastic bag, it won’t make any difference.” In the words of ate Alyssa Capuno, 7.7 Billion coming together can make an impact in saving the environment. Together with her friends, she initiated The Loop, a community trade fair where local businesses advocating for sustainability showcase and sell their products. “Alone, we may think what we are doing is too small to make a difference, but imagine if everyone tried in their own little way,” she emphasized, “We too sometimes slip and use the plastic utensils from fast food chains whenever we forget our own.” Therefore, it doesn’t matter if your sustainability journey is imperfect. What matters is that you do your best to be consistent--that it will become habit that gets better in time. She also added, “Small gestures done with sincerity are better than big gestures done for society’s approval,” which can be true considering that the former weighs more in consistency.

I’m not going to state facts now. It’s on another article. What I can support and convey, however, is for us to do our best not to sacrifice our long-term convenience (and of our descendants’, for that matter) for the short term if possible. Observing measures in doing so is conscious effort, no doubt. But it can be learned and become part of your daily habit like putting bags down in the elevator or getting up early to win that parking spot. Whether it’s investing on a durable flask you’re eyeing or participating on your local waste segregation campaign without spending anything, do it. Like minimalism and essentialism that veer away from waste and excess, let’s make this a thing. Please? For goodness’ sake, let’s make this paper from trees or whatever worth it.

*This piece garnered a special citation for Best Science Opinion on the 2020 ICON Campus Press Awards.

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