Everything Is Connected: A Journey Through The Sustainable Living Map

by Nash Gierak

Even if you don’t identify as a ‘zero waster’, or as part of any sort of community — I agree it’s a problematic term, but useful for our purposes nonetheless! — I think most people are trying to reduce their waste in some way, or are at least aware of the issues surrounding plastic in particular.

I think many of us have found that our research, and interests, have diversified and have led us to adjacent subcultures or issues. Sometimes these things jar with each other (which I find really interesting!), but more often what attracted us to these things is because they crossover or complement each other…and this is where these intersections crop up!

I see many different approaches, each as individual as the person, and each as compelling and valid as the next.

Some people grow things; make things. Others are happy with mainstream products and choose to refill. For some people it inspires activism of some sort, or it informs their parenting style. For some it means going the natural route, and for others it’s about finding use or beauty in what they already have, or that others have discarded. It can be about being frugal, or spending more where it matters, for ethical reasons, or quality.

The hope is that this isn’t overwhelming. No one should feel that they need to cover all the bases. Picking 2 or 3 areas might be a good place to start, and that’s going to be different for everyone depending on circumstances and interests.

It’s also a way of highlighting that there is more than one option. DIY cleaning products not your thing? Maybe a refill or an eco brand instead? The great thing is, you can start at one point and never really know where you’ll end up.