Flexing my mussels
In case it hasn't been clear, I am transitioning into a more sustainable way of living. I'm doing this for the long haul.
As much as I now know, there will always be new things about sustainable living to discover: new methods and new challenges. For starters, I have cravings and habits that I have to get over or control (oh dear sashimi, how I love you). These challenges will keep coming.
The best thing about my job as a journalist is that I will never stop learning or stop being surprised. Today was one of those instances: I picked up mussels for dinner -- one of my favorite shellfish and one of the easiest to cook -- not realizing this cheaper-than-chips, flavorful and nutrient-packed animal protein may be the most sustainable meat in the world (I know Alternet has been posting a lot of clickbait articles on Facebook recently, but this is worth the read).
I made the switch to specialize in writing about sustainability because I believe what we do in the present affects our future. If it is within my control, I would like for us to have a good future.
I'm not forcing it, however: I'm only writing about sustainability where it makes sense to apply it. It has actually been quite easy to find the angles. I'm not one to preach -- I don't believe in changing minds by force or by asking someone to switch their entire life in a second. Heck, I'm still transitioning in mine. But I do believe change has to start somewhere, and some change is better than none. I also believe that we don't have to live in extremes: little changes go a long way.
So, you see, I'm making little changes.
Living sustainably is mostly about living a natural way of life to ensure we prolong our (good) circumstances. It can be applied to more than just what we consume -- it can be practiced in financial, travel, even luxurious terms. (I have pitched and written editorial articles in these topics.) We've only come to rely on the amenities we now have in life because someone invented them. For example, plastic was great invention, but Leo Hendrik Baekeland, its inventor, was probably not aware these bags will never biodegrade, and that they would become massive, harmful floating islands (the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it is called). That is not to say Baekeland was wrong to invent it -- he acted on the consequences he knew at that time. It was an amazing invention as it was cheap, viable, and it brought endless possibilities.
But choices and moves like these have their consequences, and with the amount of information we possess and the communication we partake in, we now know better and are able to help each other do better.
My job as a journalist has always been to inform, so my switch to writing about sustainability has come quite naturally. Today's moment was an affirming one, as I believe being sustainable is about making informed decisions and I know I'm getting there with the type of questions I now pose. Looking at the bigger picture, I realize I'm actually not specializing: I'm broadening my scope. And I'm just beginning to flex my mussels.