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Busting the 5 Biggest Sustainable Living Myths

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14. November 2022
Busting the 5 Biggest Sustainable Living Myths 1 Veronika Mikec je redna študentka, pisateljica blogov in bodoča revolucionarka.
Busting the 5 Biggest Sustainable Living Myths 1 Veronika Mikec is a full-time student, writer, and future revolutionary.

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In the past couple of years, sustainability has become a major topic in all parts of life – home living, business management, and even diet. And while many of us are thrilled that more and more people are becoming interested in a different, greener lifestyle, there’s still a bunch of misinformation floating around, especially when it comes to everyday topics. Sustainable living myths are alive and well, spreading false news to anyone that will listen, and ultimately damaging the sustainability movement that has recently started gaining traction.

However, it’s clear that people are on a mission to help save the planet, one step at a time. Whether this includes changes in one’s lifestyle or simply educating others on the issues we face, both contribute greatly to the cause. For our part, we’ve decided to tackle some of the most widespread rumours and myths surrounding sustainable living, attempting to clear up any confusion on the topic itself, and inspiring our readers to take action in any way possible.

Here’s some of the most important false information to be on the lookout for.

Myth #1 Luxury Is Not Sustainable

Perhaps the reason luxury and prestigious brands come across as unsustainable is that some of the most well known ones prioritise money over the environment. And don’t get us wrong – there are certainly brands out there that don’t seem to care whether their company produces already a percentage of the world’s trash. But it should be noted that there are ones that understand the importance of running a green business, although there are very few. Nevertheless, luxury goods can be deemed sustainable if research is done prior to buying the items.

Certainly, the most unsustainable aspect of luxury goods is that often those that purchase it only use it once or twice in their lifetime (think about designer clothing, for example). And while the vast majority of people, who take environmental pollution seriously, boycott both brands that continue to offer such pieces and people who buy them, it is nearly impossible to convince these companies to try a greener approach. This is because many of them hold a lot of power over the few people who buy from them, meaning they can afford to continue with their business model without losing profits.

Myth #2 Carbon Offsetting Will Help End Global Warming

First off, what is carbon offsetting? The term refers to a state where the created emissions are balanced out (offset) by the green initiatives that absorb those same emissions. These initiatives are usually renewable energy projects that lessen the production of carbon, or simply planting trees which will, in years, absorb the carbon dioxide. Of course, carbon offsetting is more or less a consideration only businesses take, so they are able to call themselves carbon-neutral.

But the issue with carbon offsetting is that it ignores the actual issue, which is the need to reduce the emissions being created in the first place. All things considered, carbon offsetting or calling oneself carbon-neutral is, in a way, a form of greenwashing as it does nothing of substance to actually combat global warming. This is a very passive approach to sustainability, while what is needed is being proactive by actively lessening the amount of carbon dioxide we create.

Myth #3 You Have to Be Rich to Live Sustainably

When it comes to building a sustainable lifestyle, oftentimes one has to cash out more than they would otherwise if buying less eco-friendly alternatives. This is because producing high quality green products comes with added costs in the production itself, and often in the transportation as well. And while it’s definitely easier to lead a sustainable lifestyle with a couple more digits in your bank account, there are other ways to achieve this type of living.

For one, you can always participate in the reusing and repurposing movement, where old items are given new life with a little help from their owners – this is sometimes even more sustainable than buying eco-friendly items! Plus, there’s tonnes of tips and tricks on how to upcycle old items you find at home, and ways of leading a greener life in general. Remember that even the tiniest changes make a difference, so even if you can’t afford to purchase ‘green’ items, know you’re still contributing greatly.

Myth #4 Recycling Will End Plastic Pollution

While recycling is an important part of the environment saving progress, it does not address the root cause of the issue of plastic waste. Instead, we should be focusing on reducing our use of plastic wherever possible; and, where not, we should be reusing it (as we already do with plastic food containers). As long as we keep repurposing it we’re preventing it from entering the recycling stage, which is only a step away from ending up in the landfill. How come?

Well, once plastic waste enters the recycling stage, it gets divided into two groups: plastic that can and cannot be recycled. The latter poses the biggest problem, as it is simply discarded in huge landfills, contributing to the ever-growing plastic pollution. As for recyclable plastic, it must be noted that recycling it requires a high energy expenditure (which is, once again, not environmentally friendly) to melt before being able to reuse it.

Myth #5 One Person Cannot Make a Difference

This argument is used everywhere where people want to absolve themselves of responsibility – voting, speaking up about injustices, and living sustainably. But what these people don’t take into consideration is that every person in the world feels as if their contribution won’t even make a dent in the global scale of things – so, we simply just sit and wait for things to get better. But who’s going to do that? The millions upon millions of people that think their choices and actions don’t matter? Or will it be the brave few, who know that each voice carries power?

If all people of the world followed the same mindset of doubting their power, our society would cease to be. But if even just one person spoke up against the unsustainable way of living, they may inspire others and cause an avalanche of changes that’ll lead to a revolution in how we treat our planet. It’s not that one person cannot make a difference – in fact, all it takes is one person.

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