8 Roadblocks to Sustainable Living
If one has to take a poll, everyone would say that they would like to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. But what stops us all, except a handful, to lead that kind of a life? Here, we have attempted to list down some of reasons which hold us back from living a more sustainable life.
Inconvenience – If giving back clothes were as easy as ordering them – everyone would’ve given back. But it isn’t. The digitised economy has made it really easy for people to consume. People are not inclined to go out of the way to practice green living. But I believe in the coming years, we will see start-ups coming out with solutions to pick up stuff from your doorstep and dispose them appropriately. Some have started emerging.
Cost consciousness – Sustainable living should make economic sense. Price is at the heart of every decision we take. For eg. by sending bills on emails, do you think companies are trying to go green or they are merely trying to save on postal expenses. These same companies will be reluctant to adopt green practices if the cost to implement goes up reasonably.
Lack of Time – In this Hyper Speed world, we hardly have time to be with family. It is unreasonable to expect people to spare time and become Zero-waste crusaders.
Easy Living – We all want to protect the environment but without sacrificing comfort. For the majority, it will not matter if the mangroves are cut down for making a sea link if they can reach home half an hour earlier.
Lack of Awareness – Palm Oil is omnipresent – in soaps, biscuits, chocolates, samosas. But till we know that our need for Palm Oil is fulfilled by cutting down precious Rain forests, will our conscience prick? Once we become aware about the impact, then will we be receptive to look for change.
Unavailability of Alternatives – In many cases alternatives are not available. If there is an alternative available, then either it will be cost prohibitive, inconvenient, or there will be some other reason. For example, Electric cars are available, but electric infrastructure is missing.
Increasing Aspirations – We are in a consumption boom led by increasing incomes, higher borrowing and influence of western culture. Also, social media creates demand due to the FOMO factor. The number of fashionistas, wanderlusts and foodies has increased significantly in the past few years. Higher the consumption, higher is the strain on resources & higher the waste.
Downright Greed – Money corrupts us all. Monetary benefits will, in majority cases, be prioritised over doing the right thing in the right way.
The above roadblocks make us believe that in order for people at large adopt a sustainable lifestyle, an ecosystem based on sound economics and easy user interface has to be developed. The existing style of consumption and disposal will need to change but without hurting the wallet & being inconvenient.