RETHINK: The First Step to Leading a Sustainable Lifestyle
Text by Eugenia Chow
Sustainable living is a lifelong journey. In adopting a sustainable lifestyle, we should strive to incorporate all three pillars of sustainability into our actions. This involves attaining social, ecological, and economical needs without compromising these factors for future generations.
One aspect of living sustainably lies in minimizing our impact on the environment. We can do this by integrating measures of rethinking, reducing, reusing, recycling, and repurposing into our lifestyle—in that particular order. Rethinking the way we shop and reducing the amount we consume should precede any efforts to reuse or recycle. As consumers, we hold power in how we make the most of the resources that we have, and by creating circularity in our habits, we can strive towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
On the other hand, living sustainably involves supporting production that is both ecological and ethical. Not only does this mean production with a lower carbon footprint, but this also extends to ensuring that supply chains are ethical. While the types of fibers used and the amount of energy expended to make our clothes are both important considerations when it comes to sustainability, the evidence of fair trade and fair treatment of workers can be a starting point when examining the production end sustainability of a brand.
Linear Vs Circular Economy
The current way we treat most products is in a linear fashion. This model follows the process of take, make, consume, and waste. It stems from a disposable mindset and ultimately results in a lot of unnecessary waste. Instead, we should look towards extending the lifespan of our products. Rather than viewing things as single-use items, we should introduce concepts of repairing and reusing and work towards building a circular economy. This way, every link in the value chain is preserved for as long as possible and ‘waste’ can be transformed into something purposeful.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Eugenia is passionate about environmental justice and social responsibility. As a strong believer that individual actions carry tremendous weight, she runs a blog and Instagram page (@eugreenia), writing about how to live more consciously in Hong Kong. She also loves eating, exploring, or baking up some vegan goods!