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Five steps to a sustainable self

Global Sustainability Institute

Faculty: Science and Engineering
Category: Student blogs

6 April 2015

Headshot of Grace Philip

We know that if we want a world that is safe, fair and long-lasting, we need to become sustainable – that is, we need to be the change that we want to see. Only then will we have the power to resist the problems of a future world, whatever that may look like. Grace Philip, EfS Coordinator, shows us five steps

1. Be hopeful

Try not to don't get bogged down in cynicism. Yes, there is doom-and-gloom, but things are already starting to change: politicians are agreeing on sustainable development goals and big businesses are under pressure to take responsibility for communities and the environment. Things can change, because they have already started to.

2. Do stuff

What you do adds up to make a difference. Whether it's turning off the light, choosing Fairtrade chocolate or riding your bike, what you do with your time and money can contribute to a better society, a safer environment and a stronger economy.

3. Get at 'them'

The role of those in power is clear: do the right thing. Our job is to 'get at' governments and companies and demand they change with us. Sign petitions, join societies or tweet politicians - challenge the powerful to safeguard your future.

4. Learn about you

Nobody is an island. What you do where you are has an impact elsewhere. What you wear, what you eat and the technology you use are all examples of how trade and consumption connects us all. So take the time to learn about your life in a global system, then consider the kind of impact that you want to have and gain the skills to help you get there.

5. Have fun

Don't think that sustainability is about what you can and can't do. It is about enjoying life while also thinking ahead, so that you can continue to enjoy it in the future. The world is full of rich cultures and experiences to embrace – let's have fun with them and, of course, keep them.

There you have it – you can 'bee' the change. But, if you only do one thing, make sure it's to remember: the environment is only one part of it. Sustainability is about creating the world that works for you, others and the future.

By Grace Philip
EfS Coordinator


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