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My Journey to Sustainability

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

My journey to sustainability began on 11th December 2022, the day I walked into the office of EcoDhaga as their new digital marketing intern. One of the first few things I learned about was the UN 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and how EcoDhaga was contributing toward them, specifically SDG 8 and SDG 12.

As someone from a medical background, I had minimal knowledge about sustainability. I was doing the usual, “switching off the lights after leaving my room”, “not littering”, “trying to avoid plastic”, etc., which made me believe I was “woke”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not belittling my practices, but this was my understanding of sustainability 6 months ago. Now working as their digital marketing intern, I had to intensively research various aspects of the fashion industry and its impact on climate change. This opened an entirely new world to me.

During my research, I went through articles that highlighted how the impacts of climate change on different sectors of society are interrelated.

However, I also noticed sustainable practices around me in my office. To sight a few examples, I observed Sanjana reusing the RO water to water her plants and Ashni shopping minimally, only when necessary.

Now, I realize that climate change is alarming but there’s also so much we can individually do to take positive climate action.

So the key is not perfection, but progress. It's an ongoing process and like any journey, the hardest part is being patient and getting started.

“The climate emergency demands action from all of us. We need to get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and everyone has a role to play.”

Niklas Hagelberg, UNEP’s Climate Change Coordinator

What you can do:

  1. Start Small: It’s overwhelming at first and so tempting to just change everything. That is exhausting and can lead to mistakes. Be patient, take your time to do research, and make it a little less daunting by changing maybe one small thing every week or month. Something as small as gift wrapping a present yourself with available jute cloth and ribbons, or shopping secondhand, could be a start.

  2. Do Your Research: Follow trusted sources and stay up to date. Try to learn what makes a product sustainable. Something that has really helped me do this, is signing up for email subscriptions - very easy and low-effort ways to stay in the loop! Here are a few articles I found useful while starting out my journey in understanding climate change & its effects:

    1. UNEP Climate Action Note | Data you need to know

    2. 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius of additional global warming: Does it make a difference?

    3. 10 ways you can help fight the climate crisis

  3. Get Creative: If you’re an avid social media user like me, you can document your journey and start a series on Instagram by posting 1 story a day about “ 1 sustainable thing I did today.” It’s exciting, boosts you, and helps promote sustainability amongst your peers.

  4. While doing my research I also heard some great talks that really inspired me to take positive climate action. Here are a few really insightful and eye-opening talks that you all will definitely take away from, just as I did.

    1. Why I live a zero waste life | Lauren Singer | TEDxTeen

    2. The Wardrobe To Die For | Lucy Siegle | TEDxSalford

    3. The Ugly Truth Of Fast Fashion | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj | Netflix

    4. The disarming case to act right now on climate change | Greta Thunberg

I’ve been on my sustainability journey for a while. I still don’t have everything down pat and do see lots of opportunities to further my sustainable practices. But over time, there are a lot of things I have learned, especially looking back on my journey.

It’s not a one-and-done achievement. But like they say “ Small steps can lead to big changes.”


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