Wayne Visser, an inspiring speaker, academic professor in Antwerp University and expert in Circular Economy and Sustainable Leadership once said that:
“No one is too small to have an impact and no action is too trivial to matter”.
Let’s face it. Only by taking action you can create impact. Just thinking about it, doesn’t create a change. You must act! Its our choice what change we wish to see.
I believe that words have a huge power. What we repeatedly say to ourselves will eventually come true. Writing down those thoughts, reflecting our current behavior on them and making a plan of realistic actions will lead us closer to our personal goals.
“Less is more”
Six months ago I wrote about sustainable consumption and my sustainable lifestyle journey giving you a glimpse on what changes I have done. At the end of the post I made myself a personal sustainability action plan. Now it’s about time to make an update on the progress, the ups and downs and review the goals for the next six months by adding up to the existing goals.
Below is the list of the goals I had on my personal sustainability action plan six months ago and my realistic assessment on where I am at achieving the goals. At the end I will come up with a revised list of goals that I will engage myself for the next six months.
Instead of concentrating on the problems I choose to concentrate on the solutions. What I can do, I do. By cutting personal impacts into smaller junks or themes, it makes the solutions more concrete and purposeful to achieve. Not to forget your Why-factor, because that is what holds your focus right and keeps you going.
1. I take better care of my clothes, shoes, bags and accessories by maintaining them and repairing them to make them look and last longer
- I use what I have. I have used only what I already have during the last six months. It’s sustainable, gives joy and saves money.
- I take care of my belongings. Good quality lasts longer but it requires care. My favorite shoes and bags get regular maintenance.
2. I verify that a new product I buy is sustainably produced and can be recycled
- I reduce buying new stuff. My shopping behavior changed 14 months ago when I heavily reduced it. I invest in products that are for multiple purposes and I know I will use for a long time.
- I engage “less is more”-mindset. Better have one perfect than ten imperfect.
- I invest in genuinely sustainable brands. I buy from sustainable brands who are purpose-driven, resource efficient and transparent and whose values I identify myself with (this requires doing research of the brand).
3. I gradually change into more plant-based diet favoring seasonal and local fruits and vegetables
- I increase the amount of seasonal greens in my diet. I wanted to know everything about organic farming so I visited an Eco-farm in Malta in February. It was an eyes-opening experience and I will definitely continue supporting small Eco-farmers by eating clean food. When you eat organic fruits and vegetables, you eat always local and seasonal.
4. I start using only micro-plastic free cosmetics and shower products
- I change using micro-plastic free personal care products. This was realized only partially because it took months to finish my existing products.
- I do research for micro-plastic free personal care products. The hair care and cosmetics brands I am using now and being very satisfied with are Bareminerals, Hohde Cosmetics, Seasonly, Alterna, Authentic Beauty Concept and Caudalie.
5. I reduce single-use plastics by avoiding buying plastic packaging
- I buy fruits, vegetables and bread in bulk. What comes to other goods, I will continue finding ways to buy more in bulk.
- I avoid buying plastic packaging. Avoiding plastic packaging has become more and more easy because businesses are changing to environment-friendly packaging alternatives. Not all of them though. Keep carrying my textile bags with me helps too.
6. Next time I fly I will compensate the emissions I create
- I compensate the carbon footprint of my flights. I have compensated some of my flights since the last six months. Mostly through the carbon offsetting programs of the airlines. Due to the unreliable and uncertain reputation of some carbon offsetting platforms, I stopped doing this at least for now. So, I am looking for alternative ways to compensate.
Updated personal Sustainability Action Plan for May-October 2020
- I keep researching and educating myself about sustainable living even more. I want to learn more about nutrition, well-being and sustainability relationship.
- I buy products that give back to the planet. I pay more attention to the sustainability, reusability and recyclability of the new products I buy.
- I continuously add more plant-based goods to my diet and buy locally produced organic greens when possible. I recycle my biowaste.
- I want to learn to make one personal care product myself.
- I keep reducing single-use plastics and find personal care products in reusable or degradable packaging.
- Reduce international travelling and increase domestic travelling.
Why not making your own sustainability action plan today?
“Be Smart. Live Sustainably.”
3 Replies to “Personal sustainability action plan – six month update”
I am so grateful for your article. Much thanks again. Michel Gothart Aldric
This is very inspiring! And so many takeaways I can try to integrate into my routine as well. Another similar resource I find interesting is the Sustainabilitist Hub, which tackles personal sustainability from the standpoint of character development, goal fulfillment, health and diet.