What is sustainable living? And is it worth it?

If I was on trial and could only answer yes or no to the question “Is sustainable living hard?” I would answer a resounding “yes”.

But the truth, much like sustainability itself, is a lot more nuanced. The hardest part is navigating genuine sustainability and greenwashing.

And that’s exactly why Live Frankly was created. So, hopefully, we’re solving that problem by adding one brand at a time.

Sustainability isn’t simple

The second hardest thing is realising that ‘sustainability’ isn’t a black and white issue. There are so many grey areas.

Those who refuse to even consider changing their habits skip merrily through life without any fear “hypocrite” being shouted at them

Modern life isn’t set up to be sustainable. There are varying degrees of sustainability and ethics in all businesses – even the most sustainable ones. Somehow sustainability and ethics become two separate issues, which, occasionally, you have to choose between.

At Live Frankly we don’t have all the answers. What we do have is a lot of knowledge and facts. We try to present these to you in their entirety so you can make more conscious decisions.

You might not agree with everything we say or every brand we list on the site – and if you don’t, we’d like to hear why (you can reach us at hello@livefrankly.co.uk). We’re always open to learning more and having these discussions.

Sustainable living isn’t about perfection

As individuals, we’re definitely not perfect. Trying to live more sustainably can mean feeling guilty about e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. We’ve had conversations about the number of Google searches we do. How we feel about watching big-budget films because of the amount of waste they must entail. Our food/recycle/rubbish bins are a constant source of angst. Our consumption of biodynamic wine, thankfully not so much.

People expect so much more of us – which is only fair when we preach sustainable living. And we expect so much more from others working in this space, too.

Meanwhile, those who refuse to even consider changing their food or fashion habits skip merrily through life without any fear “hypocrite” being shouted at them, no matter how much devastation they leave in their wake, because they never pretended to care in the first place.

But, who said life was fair?

The trade-offs: is sustainable living worth the effort?

The trade-offs are well worth it. Sustainability is a word which evokes the assumption you are denying yourself something; or a product or experience is lacking in some way. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

The restaurants we list on the site are run by genuinely passionate people, from the chefs to the servers. The dining experience is elevated when you’re interacting with people who are proud of what they produce and genuinely care that you’re having a good time.

Whether you’re eating out or cooking at home, once you understand how much time, effort and human-power goes into growing food organically you have a whole new appreciation for how you’re fuelling your body.

The same goes for fashion. Email any one of the brands on our site and you’ll get a truly personalised response. They will bend over backwards to give you the best service possible. Buying from smaller brands means you’re often wearing something unique.

Personally, it gives us so much pleasure to know that a purchase has made a positive difference. Not just to the business owner, but to many lives along the supply chain. There’s a saying that every time you buy from a small brand someone does a happy dance. We know this to be true.

When you truly realise the dedication of these businesses to refuse to conform, to work against the odds to prove that business can be done differently and better – and to keep going despite the many challenges this throws at them – supporting them by living more sustainably is the easiest thing in the world.

About the author

Lizzie Rivera

Lizzie Rivera

Lizzie Rivera is the founder and chief purpose officer at Live Frankly. She has been writing for mainstream publications for 10 years, specialising in sustainability and ethics since 2014.


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