It’s OK to have a Complicated Relationship with Sustainability
Let’s be real, if I were to define my relationship with the planet as if it were a Facebook status, it’d be: It’s Complicated.
As an entrepreneur leading an earth-friendly brand, I put a lot of pressure on myself to live the life I preach, but I am nowhere near perfect. I don’t live a strict raw vegan life, I occasionally find myself stuck using a single use fork or plate, and I’m definitely not like the incredible Zero Waste Shop founder that can fit all her trash from a year in a tiny mason jar (props to you, you’re incredibly inspiring!). I often find myself feeling a lot of guilt if I get a coffee out and don't use my own cup or if I Uber somewhere that I definitely could’ve walked/taken public transport to if I had planned accordingly.
Recently, I realized it wasn’t productive to have such an anxiety-filled relationship with the daunting word of “sustainability”. When I created viv as an earth-friendly brand, it wasn’t about making others feel guilty for all the time they spent using regular plastic filled pads, or shunning individuals for using a plastic straw. It’s about voting with your dollars and making small steps in your life that you can slowly implement and feel really good about. For example, we chose disposable yet biodegradable products initially to help menstruators feel like they can make an incredibly easy swap without sacrificing the comfort of using what they’re used to, especially during a time as annoying as your period.
I often think of Viv like an older sister that I look up to. She’s bold, daring, willing to question the status quo, and oftentimes she’s pushing you a tiny bit out of your comfort zone to make you better. Viv for sure isn’t judgemental or exclusive. Even if you use 5 plastic water bottles a day and drive a hummer or you’re a zero-waste raw vegan, Viv would welcome you with open arms equally. That’s the brand I’m building, not one that brings any more anxiety into your life.
Yes, one plastic bag, one plastic straw, one Uber ride, one steak, all of those do make an impact on our planet, but the most important thing is that you’re aware and you’re trying. Similar to binge eating a ton of junk food one night, it’s not productive to dwell on it, instead, simply try to improve next time.
This Earth Day is an odd one and our minds may be elsewhere. The thing is, that’s OK, and feeling extreme guilt or anxiety around not being the most sustainable person you know is not what Earth Day is about. It’s about being thankful for all the Earth provides for us and thinking of ways you can participate in doing your part, like: voting (especially via mail), adding a plant based meal into your typically meat heavy diet, and well...many more that we’ve listed on our past blog post here.
Earth Day isn’t about looking back on what we could’ve done, it’s about taking a deep breath of fresh air, and looking forward to what we can do to preserve it.