The content we cover this month ties together the approach we take to guide your year of sustainable action in our Self-Coaching planner, with some of the free resources that exist on this website.
Join us now as we start with an exploration of what sustainability REALLY means (in its wicked complex glory), understand how your Sustainable Self fits into the picture, identify what your values are and how they can be used as a navigational system, and scale the wicked complexity back to simple, easy to implement actionable steps for sustainable living success.
Your Sustainable action plan simplified!
Let’s get started.
This post is your part of our ‘Sustainability Simplified’ content. If you love it, click the ‘back’ button for more information about living life in Sustainable Style.
BRAVELY EXPLORE COMPLEXITY
Welcome to the first of four stops on our path to simplify sustainability
We hear the term ‘Sustainability’ used often in news and media. In some instances, it’s been overused to the point that people baulk at it choosing to use alternatives like ‘mindful’ or ‘conscious’. Sustainability is an umbrella term that, despite its rather specific origins in forestry management, has been used to cover many approaches to living a more people and planet-friendly life. Its broad application has made for easy adoption (especially by marketing folks) but this has been somewhat detrimental to those wishing to navigate the media and marketing hype to take action for a better future. Sustainable living products, news, and marketing can be confusing at best, rife with greenwash at its sneakiest, and – at worst- completely overwhelming.
To illustrate this, we reviewed just FOUR online documents on ‘How to do Sustainable Marketing’ posts and recorded the key terms used. In the review of just four short pages, we populated a word cloud of more than forty different terms that are covered by the umbrella of sustainability.
It’s hard to quantify how this translates for the individual as each of us have different news, media and advertising consumption patterns, but recent (non-scientific as science moves slower due to peer review processes so it’s hard to find journals that have up-to-the-minute stats) surveys have found the average Australian has around 5.5 hours of phone screen time each day*. Depending on how you use your phone or other media, the global averages in Jan 2021 being just under 7 hours per day of the internet, nearly 3.5 hours of TV (streaming and broadcast), just under 2.5 hours of social media, 2 hours of reading news (online and physical print), and around an hour a day of music streaming, broadcast radio, podcasts, and gaming, every one of these avenues is an avenue of delivering news, media, ideas, and advertising to your senses.
While we don’t actively think about every tidbit of information that is thrown our way (and there’s no way we would want to with how much news and media is being made each day), we often subconsciously absorb some of what’s being presented, which, over time, creates a narrative within our minds that we may not have actively chosen. This subconscious narrative, when scaled up, can create collective social norms that can go many generations unchallenged. We might like to think about recent examples that challenge subconscious narratives or embedded biases with the #MeToo movement and #BlackLivesMatter. Our online platforms, specifically social media, are a double-edged sword. In one instance they facilitate access to educational material, level the playing field by giving everyone a voice, and offer endless opportunities to challenge for change and take action. On the other hand, many of the tools we use are operated by global merchants trading in consumer attention, what we see is underpinned by mysterious algorithms that can have a self-affirming echo-chamber effect on what we see in our feeds and search results, and at the most-extreme have resulted in election tampering, privacy breaches, and genocide. Whether deemed ‘good’, ‘evil’ or on the sliding grey-scale of somewhere between, there is one thing we can all agree on, there are lots online and it’s VERY overwhelming and confusing trying to navigate it.
Given the fact that the online space is an endless stream of ever-updated things and that sustainability is an overarching term that encompasses so many of the ideas circulated in news and media. When we try to live in Sustainable Style without a plan or guidance, it can be an overwhelming or seemingly impossible task. This is why, after more than a decade of writing, researching, and communicating for sustainability, environmental science and digital media, we created a simple strategy for life in Sustainable Style that has you celebrating your action outcomes daily, weekly and quarterly.
Let’s look at how we turn this cloud of online noise, that’s filled with equal parts opportunity and overwhelm into a workable action plan for sustainable living that kicks eco-overwhelm to the curb!
OUR FREE MAGAZINE
It’s the comprehensive monthly highlight of the suite of tools we have designed to help simplify sustainability so you can take action on the things you care about (minus the eco-overwhelm). The content ties together our ‘Take Action’ focus theme. In a fast-paced media-saturated landscape, we hope that this way of sharing will provide you access to all our useful tools, without feeling lost or overwhelmed. Each month the latest copy of the magazine and our most recent resources are sent to your inbox (you will only receive one email a month from us). You will get reminders via our social media channels of what content we’re championing throughout the month.
We hope that you enjoy getting your Sustainable Style fix in this easy-to-read format and that it gives you a break from the abundance of social media updates and overflowing inboxes we now navigate daily