A year of being green is over and yet there is so much left to say, to write, to do!
On the one hand, trying for 365 days to think of distinct ways of engaging with the environment or being sustainable was tougher than I expected: turns out that after you’ve switched off the tap and unused lights, the next steps to sustainability can be quite big! Nonetheless, at the same time being sustainable is getting easier, as appliances use less electricity, as the national electricity grids are filled with more renewable energy, as people around us join in, and together we make bigger contributions to conserving the environment and being sustainable.
On that note, where I originally intended these 365 days to be filled purely with advice on how to be more sustainable, from daily things like giving organic food a go, using re-usable boxes to keep leftovers in, bringing your own mug to work and no longer using reusable cups, running clothes washes only as necessary, and buying goods made out of recycled materials. To bigger scale changes, such as developing skills for a career in support of sustainability or changing our diets away from fish and meat intensive choices to more plant-based choices.
However, I quickly became aware that for me, being “green” isn’t just about these practical lifestyle changes, but extends to embracing nature as a part of our lives; appreciating the trees, the parks, the small things and the big, being aware of the issues conservationists and the environment face, lending a helping hand or voice to try to reduce the damage humans often inflict upon natural environments. Thus I tried to share this passion through describing the many conservation groups out there, such as SPOTS for threatened species, the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation for rare species, or the inspirational new Save Vietnam’s Wildlife.
But then, I think being green or sustainable differs (and can and should differ!) per person: for some it may mean incorporating nature and environmental philosophy into every aspect of their lives; for others it may mean following national regulations regarding recycling, buying green electricity, and supporting sustainable practices as to prevent climate change because of the threats it poses to human systems and stability.
In conclusion: There’s 365 days in a year (well, kind of), there’s definitely at least 365 ways to be green (definitely). There’s easy ways, and there’s tougher ways. For some, certain approaches to being green may be easier than others. But here we go, let’s try going from being green to being greener still!