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When your sustainable changes

There isn't one prescriptive way of living sustainably --

That's why The Sustainable Fox exists, really; to help others discover what their sustainable looks like. It's why bringing an intersectional lens to the challenges any client faces is so important... and why finding the answers on your own can be hard...

Old fashioned metal scales (or a balance) on a table top in front of a blue wall. The scales are positioned on the right side of the frame and is balanced so both trays are level.

Because living sustainably isn't just about lowering your carbon footprint or voting with your dollar -- it's about finding a balance you can actually maintain and which inspires yourself. A balance that considers your economic situation, access needs, neighbourhood...

But sometimes, through no fault of our own, something on the scale of our personal balance changes and throws all of our carefully crafted routines, systems, feelings, and best intentions crashing down. When this happens, what is sustainable for us will change.

Full frame of what looks like either a dark marble slab, or thin dark sheets of sea ice. Crack lines run through it, appearing almost line break lines in an x-ray.

"Whether this change is temporary or long-lasting, what's important is to be gentle and honest with yourself" is what I would tell a client... but why is it so much harder to take your own advice?

I've had a challenging spring, and I've had to compromise with myself... a lot. I've had to change expectations of what I can accomplish, ask for a lot more help, and be willing to receive whatever comes (or doesn't come) of that request. And I've been so privileged to have a supportive community around me through a challenging series of unrelated health events that meant my ability to do my work or care for myself was drastically reduced for several weeks.

I feel like I missed spring. A season where I normally get a lot of my prep for the summer done. I've let the socials and blog space go quiet. Event season is upon us and I've left connections halfway connected. Every corner of the yard I care for is in need of care... dishes and laundry are piled high in my living space, a couple houseplants might not make it... but my body has done its job of healing.

It's okay.

A sky at sunset. The bottom left half of the frame is filled with deep lilac and mauve cloud while the upper right half is soft pinks and hazy yellow.

  • My sustainable changed for several weeks, and that's okay.

  • It's going to take me some time and further support to reach balance like I held before, and that's okay.

  • I missed some fun stuff I wanted to contribute to/do, and that's okay.

  • I made more waste than usual, and that's okay.

It's okay to not be at your best. It's okay for your best to look entirely different from someone else's. It's okay for your best to change.

Just remember to keep the environment in mind when building your balance.

With love,


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PS. I wrote this post because it's important for the sustainability movement to talk about access needs. They matter and folks with them shouldn't be excluded from environmental spaces, discussions, and solution building because of waste those accommodations might produce. Further, solutions presented for access needs often produce waste because they are the cheapest and least systemically altering option available. Solutions founded in lived experience AND values based understanding (like environmentalism) are needed on every front to create a world where we can all effectively make sustainable choices for both ourselves and the planet.


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