Why I Chose The Sustainable Lifestyle – Guest Post by Benjamin Kolenović
My focus of late on the stories we tell ourselves and the beliefs we identify with — by letting them direct our lives accordingly — provides a great opportunity to share such a story and belief. Without judgment, of course, because we all need some sort of belief to give us guidance in life. It’s simply how our brain functions, and does its best job too. Thus, when choosing what to believe, while there’s always a choice, why not go for a sustainable story? That way, the planet profits from our beliefs as well! When reading Benjamin Kolenović’s story, you’ll see how this is a win-win choice.
Everything starts with you. Sounds a bit cliché, doesn’t it? But individual people have impacted the way others see the world many times throughout history and have revolutionized many industries. Businesses, laws, and traditions change every day to accommodate people’s lifestyles. This is basically the argument towards people who say one person can not change the world. To quote one of my favorite actors (Robin Williams) “words and ideas can change the world”.
But how does this change happen? How is it possible that a few people’s sustainable lifestyle changes will counteract billion dollar industries that are earth’s greatest polluters? Well, we have become more aware of sustainability issues as people, and we have learned to make smart choices. With the availability of information that the internet provides, it’s quite simple to identify what is actually sustainable.
When you’re young you don’t really think about the consequences of your actions. What you eat, where you dress, if you reuse things, if you recycle, etc. But getting older comes with a great reality check. Your health, your integrity and what you believe in come to play and you just can’t turn a blind eye to everything. You start to think about the future and the quality of life you want to have. Suddenly it hits you. The life you’re living is not sustainable at all.
My personal journey with sustainability started somewhere in college. I had started to become more aware of the earth’s climate change, of air pollution and recycling possibilities, but taking a few business classes really opened my eyes to the reality of it. Unfortunately, the things students are taught in those classes are outdated and contain a very old understanding of business continuity and profit. All of these things got me thinking. How are businesses going to continue to grow and increase their profits if they are exhausting their resources?
In the next year I got onto reading about sustainability, about all it’s different aspects and I learned a lot about the way people accommodate their lifestyles to be more sustainable. That is when I understood sustainability at its core.
My interest in this field grew as I started learning more about the food industry in general. Food is a big part of my life and a very important sustainability issue. The way we produce food is quite far away from sustainable practices. Not only does it contribute to our unhealthy eating habits, but it’s also one of the largest contributors to the carbon footprint. The United States food waste alone could feed world hunger. So the way we produce is not the only problem, the way we distribute it is also a factor.
Over the years, the sustainability issue had had a large impact in the way I live my life. It has made me aware of the importance of using everything I have in a more reasonable way, of treating the planet better and of a potential career in sustainability.
A new way of living could mean a better quality of life, and a longer one for our planet. Whenever I see things getting done in this area I feel so happy, but we have such a long way to go still. We are far from being sustainable now, but we can change that. Only when we respect today, will we be able to enjoy the future.
My name is Benjamin. I am reaching out on behalf of SUMAS, which is a Sustainability Business School, located in Switzerland. The aim of SUMAS is to educate managers that will take responsible decisions, which will have a delicate impact on the world. Respect for the environment, sustainability and green marketing are the pillars over which our work is built.