So, what does sustainability mean to me? Sustainability means finding a critical balance. It means giving back and much as I take. It's about maintaining a symbiotic relationship with the Earth and with everything in it. It's recognizing that being human doesn't make me a master of the universe, rather it makes me an unimaginably small piece of a very large and humbling puzzle.
Living sustainably means thinking about options before making a decision. Whether that decision is about what toilet paper to buy, what food to eat, or what mode of transportation to use. It's about being mindful. It's about the future of life long after I'm gone.
Living sustainably is a process. You don't wake up one day, decide to live sustainably, and voila - welcome to your NEW life. Well, it didn't happen for me that way. It actually started out as a very selfish pursuit. I wanted to work less. Working less meant consuming less. Consuming less meant prioritizing. Little by little, as I fine-tuned my consumptive habits, I realized how much of an impact I have on the Earth and on others, and I wanted the money I did spend to mean something - I wanted it to stay in the local economy, I wanted quality products, and I wanted it to help people (vs. corporations). It has been a 10 year pursuit to date and year by year, I learn a little more and change accordingly.
Living sustainably is individual. What's so beautiful about the world is that we are all different, and our pursuit of sustainability will manifest itself in as many different ways are there are individuals who pursue it. There is no right answer. There is only the desire to accept the world around us as an equal; to see it for the miracle that it is.