No More, No Less

by Sonya Mohamed

Caring about something doesn’t always translate into action. That statement is probably something you know well, or at least have had experience with. I find this to be particularly common when it comes to sustainability, and not just in other people, but as a very real (and continuing) part of my journey too.

I remember noticing a shift in myself about four years ago. This realization of, “I sure talk about this stuff a lot, but don’t do a whole lot about it.” It wasn’t a single thing, some big dramatic event, that finally moved me into action either, but a series of small meaningful interactions. Interactions that weren’t even about sustainability, really.

A handful of friends, family and a few relative strangers pushed me to begin considering a simple question: What’s enough? It’s a beautiful question, infinite in it’s application to life and truly a core principle of sustainability. It’s a question I am utterly fascinated with and one I hope to carry with me my whole life.

My interest in it isn’t driven solely by eliminating excess and unnecessary waste but also looking at where deprivation exists, because both are equally problematic. Searching for the balance of enough – no more, no less – in all areas of my life is now what guides me. In some obvious ways, this translates into incorporating sustainable practices and habits surrounding food, water and energy. I do compost, ride my bike as often as I can, try to make mindful purchasing decisions, repurpose old or broken items, etc. Though what’s less common, but just as important, is applying this mindset to health and time. The human body, the hours in a day, and our lifespans are finite resources as well. Finding what’s enough for my physical and mental well-being within the larger context of my impact on the planet informs most of the decisions I now make, both big and small.