A new world of Sustainable Abundance is possible
Prosperity and wealth have always been directly linked to having more and more things. Fortunately, many of us have realized that this is not actually right. In fact, we know that if everyone had as much stuff as the average American, there would be 7 billion very unhappy people living on a very unhealthy planet.
As a result of this awareness, we have seen a growing number of ecological movements that focus on reminding us on the impending doom and disaster if we do not go green, revamp our consumption patterns, and practice detachment from materialism. No wonder some of us feel guilty when buying a new electronic gadget that will help us stay connected on the go, or a new bike or toy for our well-behaved and deserving kid. This seems to simply contradict our birthright to live in abundance.
Building our new sustainable future does not necessarily mean denying all the technological progress achieved so far and depriving ourselves and loved ones from wondrous things conceived by human ingenuity. Nor does it mean giving up our careers in the city, moving to the countryside, and starting to grow our own food.
There is a middle path whereby we can create a world filled with abundance for everyone, having sustainability as a core value. As noted by Joe Tankersley, a storyteller and futurist, this is not based on a far-fetched green utopia but grounded in what is already possible.
Does this mean that we can go buy that new electronic gadget without any guilt? Possibly. As long as, we make conscious decisions when buying the new gadget, and any other “thing”, for that matter. We can choose among brands and models the one that is built to last longer, is made of recycled materials, and/or is produced by an environmentally and socially responsible company.
It does, however, mean that certain things will just have to go, like Hummers and MacMansions. In their place there will be new things designed and built in such a way that will have both beauty and utility, use renewable sources, last as long as possible and be repurposed when their usefulness has ended.
A new world of Sustainable Abundance depends on us. However, as we create it we don’t have to feel guilty or bad as we go about living our lives. We are entitled to enjoying ourselves in the transition!
So, how do we know if what we are buying or hiring is sustainable? Aside from spending some time doing research, we can rely on a new kind of expertise that is here to stay.
Sustainability standards, green certification, and eco-labeling are part of a whole new area of expertise that is growing and can definitely help us make more conscious decisions as consumers. Third-party certification is an essential tool in helping us build our new world of Sustainable Abundance.
It doesn’t mean that we will have to start subscribing to their newsletters or search for the products we want on their websites, nor having to set aside money from our budgets to pay green premiums. Some of us might have done it, however producers and retailers are the ones having to pay expert advice and ensuring they are duly certified.
Sustainable products (and services) are already becoming mainstream. Take health food for example. It is no longer exclusive to high-end stores like Whole Foods. In fact, Costco’s revenue from organic products is projected to exceed $4 billion this year, overcoming Whole Foods’ market leadership in the US. This is unprecedented and is a concrete example of how we, as consumers, have already reshaped the market demand for food.
Together we are creating a better, more sustainable world. As such, building a new world of Sustainable Abundance is not only possible, it is already happening.
Exercising our birthright to Sustainable Abundance. Namastê!