As a consultant, I constantly come up against the problem of sustainability blind spots. People want to change. They want to live a more sustainable way of life. But they all have what I like to call ‘sustainability blind spots’. The truth of the matter is that, no matter how sustainable we believe ourselves to be, most of us have them.
The problem is that most of us live in bubbles. We tend, if not shaken out of our comfort zones, to forge a rut and stay within it. We do what is easy rather than what is right. And tend not to see things clearly when we are close to them. But unfortunately, sustainability is all about looking closely at all the elements in our everyday lives.
So how do we eliminate those blind spots? How do we avoid being the person who recycles and tries to do the right thing – but who throws away vast mountains of food waste each year? What can we do to avoid being that person who gives to charity, and cares deeply, but harms workers across the world and contributes to our climate crisis through their fashion choices? How can we avoid being the electric car driving eco-warrior who contributes to our global problems by eating the wrong things? Or working for those who contribute to environmental destruction?
Harping on about sustainability can, I know, help rather than hinder. Green fatigue simply encourages us to switch off. The key, I believe, is to try to look at our lives with fresh eyes. We need to step back, and look more dispassionately at our daily patterns, at the choices we make and the things we buy. In my consultancy work, I can offer exercises to help you do just that.
We tend to become blind to things that we believe to be outside our immediate sphere of control. So using our voices and feeling more empowered is also crucial. How can you begin to feel more empowered? How can you begin to take back control?
Eliminating sustainability blind spots is sometimes simply about a lack of knowledge. You might simply not know that you are doing harm. But more often, it is simply that you have not yet thought to look at that particular facet of your life.
Does your make-up do harm? What about your jewellery? Or your other accessories? Have you got a sustainable bank account? There are a hundred small decisions we make every day that can do untold harm. Even when the big pieces of the puzzle fall into place, there are still a lot of smaller issues to consider. By looking carefully at each and every one, we can begin to forge a better future for us all.
Need help to find and eliminate your sustainability blind spots? Please do feel free to get in touch.