Think about a sustainable habit you have wanted to develop (e.g. use public transport, reusable facemasks etc.). What has stopped you or made it difficult to do it?
AASYP Digital Dialogues wants to hear your voice, so please share your opinions and experiences. Try to keep your response focused on one idea per comment. If you have multiple ideas, post additional responses. Be mindful of readers and how your words could be interpreted differently. Make sure to reread before posting and check for clarity.
We have members from across the ASEAN-Australia region. Read about different ideas, experiences, and be sure to like and follow posts that interest you. Dig deeper and make real connections by asking other members questions about their opinions and experiences. The goal here is to understand each other more and not get into a debate.
What has stopped me from adopting a sustainable lifestyle all boils down to my environment and positionally. I grew up in a family that didn't understand that their actions affected the environment. My family didn't recycle, we would throw out perfectly good food or we would buy materials for decoration that would never be used again and weren't designed for reuse. Not only that, I wasn't really shown in school how my actions affected my environment and myself. In my teen years, I only exercised when I was forced to and I never slept the minimum 8 hours a night and I wondered why I always felt sick or tired.
It wasn't until I moved out of home, went to university three hours away and engulfed myself with people who did live a sustainable life. I educated myself and saw I impacted the world. I began sleeping early, getting 8 hours a night, going for walks, buying food locally, learning how to recycle, understanding what fast fashion was and all. These little things have all become a part of my lifestyle. It is like breathing now.
There are moments and days where it has been difficult. Going home to an environment that doesn't value the same things/lifestyle as I do, or living within a society that doesn't encourage resources that can be circulated. Sometimes it doesn't feel like I am creating change and it can be easier just to buy that single plastic water bottle than look for water for my reusable bottle. But I need to remember small changes all contribute to the larger change.
As with the rest of the world, poverty and scarcity of access to readily-available resources.
I always love to consume organic products, but the markets charge higher prices than the ordinary ones. So sometimes I have to make or grow it by myself to save money. Besides, in my country, not all sustainable lifestyles are considered appropriate. For me, buying clothes from thrift stores is fine and more environmentally friendly, but not for my mom and family. She always thinks secondhand clothes are only for poor people and she stops me from going thrifting. So still, I can’t easily adopt the sustainable lifestyle the way I want.
I think it can come down to convenience. For example, I normally try to cook my meals, grow food, and plan meals ahead of time so that I can reduce my single use packaging consumption. Sometimes, when the week gets busy, and I need to grab something on the run, it can be easier to grab the packaged food and a takeaway coffee. It's definitely a habit I am trying to break.
I personally find it disheartening to think that even when I engage with sustainable waste management (e.g. composting /worm farming, separating rubbish etc.), there is no transparency on what actually happens to my separated recycling and soft plastics. While I still diligently sort and manage my rubbish, I think this lack of transparency can make it tougher to engage others with adopting better waste practices. I would love to see this improve as more countries take their commitment to recycling more seriously. Perhaps it could help to have some kind of incentive for the private sector to use recycled goods?
The context/setting of one's life probably is a major contributing factor why its hard to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. I've always wanted to segregate my trash but at the same time, in a lot of establishments, I've found that they have a single bin under a compartment with two holes. Basically, these holes are labeled and meant to make you separate your trash but they end up in the same bin. On a national level, adopting a sustainable lifestyle that is environmentally conscious and friendly is not incentivized, as opposed to owning more cars, using coal as a source of energy, or simply buying more bottled water. Hence, it's quite hard.