September 26, 2016

CBQuality: Thoughts on Sustainability

Claire of shared with us her thoughts on Sustainability. Check it our below and Follow her on instagram @CBQuality
Thoughts on Sustainability // 
There was a time I was living on an organic produce farm in upstate New York, after years spent in college deeply involved in food advocacy work. My fascination with food ways, how we use food, and the current state of industrialized food production had given me much to write about and study. I even wrote this lovely piece on “sustainable and local practices, a food based call to action.” Though I am no longer on the farm, the methodology of living in such an environment matter to me now, more than ever. 
When we hear the word sustainable, I think people’s immediate reaction is something to do with food, farming. “Sustainable agriculture” is perhaps the most commonly uttered phrase, and in other circles it goes as far as to include textiles, and any products we use…are they “sustainable” items, created through sustainable practices?” 
Though I could go into all the reasons why caring about sustainability matters, perhaps the most pressing and overlooked concern is the social responsibility involved in the care and keeping of ourselves and other humans. 
The last time I used the word sustainable was during a discussion about a relationship. An interpersonal situation that was not “sustainable," as are many of the coping mechanisms and habits we develop also are. They might be working for now, but we know we can’t keep living like this. Much like farming practices that will eventually ruin the land, animal life, workers welfare, and the economy, we are starting to make changes to better the earth. 
But are we bettering the humans, their insides and the quality of life that exists before all material goods? 
Sustainability to me includes all living things, and consists of things we can maintain for the long run. Does your lifestyle have longevity? Being a wellness professional with a passion for mental health, and the mind behind all our doings, I strongly believe wellness and the bettering of the self needs to be part of your sustainability practices. 
When I talk about wellness, people want a list of what they can do to be and feel the best they can. I always say, it has to be small parts of your lifestyle that add up over time, sustainable wellness if you will. Certainly that includes being a conscious consumer, and knowing where your food comes from, how your clothes are produced, and what you are putting on and in your body. Everything should be good to eat/wear/see, but also good to think. As sustainability is about being mindful, of people, environments, and all beings. It’s also about reducing harm, preservation, and appreciation. Think about how you reduce harm to yourself, your body, your mental state. How do you preserve the self? How do you appreciate the self? Mindfulness is simply about being more aware, and searching inward instead of giving into outward cravings. 
In doing these things, we create a human population taking more kind and conscious practices not only with the environment but with each other and with ourselves. Empathy and wellness starts from the inside. Organic local food, ethical farming, harm-free clothing, and other sustainable methods and products gild the lily here. They are parts of living but not entirely how one makes a life. We make a life by our internal dialogues, how well we feel, and how deeply we love. 
Sustainability is as much about how we live and treat ourselves, as it is the decisions we make in what we consume. Good people, strong communities, and conscious living starts on the inside and spreads to all we do.