How to be future forward and sustainable

Strangely enough, I believe one of the most future-forward things we can do as human beings is to buy less stuff.

What does that mean?

For one, being future-forward or future ready means we have to have a future in the first place. There’s no future if we don’t take care of the very home we live in.

On the other hand, one could argue that consuming less would decrease the speed of innovation and technological evolution—the very thing that would allow us to live more sustainable lives.

As consumers, we’re not so worried about the R&D of a certain project or idea as much as what we get out of it. And, if there is no immediate reward or impact, we’re less excited to get up and ready to root for it.

As you can see, there is a balance that we need to strike here and it’s between technological evolution and ourselves.

The truth is that we all spend money on things that we don’t need to be spending on (i.e. a $6 croissant, $30 dresses, sugared cereal, another pair of shoes, souvenirs, knick-knacks, party decorations, 3 winter coats). I’m not here to say that buying those things are wrong, as there is no right or wrong in living, but I’m here to say that most things people buy don’t provide happiness in the long term.

If we knew which things give us true joy and fulfillment, we would be much happier people. The good news about knowing which items give you happiness is that it often ends up being not a lot of stuff.

The average American owns 300,000 things on average. Is it possible to love and cherish all 300,000 things in your home? Sure. Is it likely? No.

My point here is that we’ve clearly accumulated too many things that we actually don’t want. We’re spending all our dollars on things that don’t bring us value, and it’s holding us back from a better future.

Back to the question, how can consuming less be one of the most future-forward things we can do?

My answer is simple: we have to be more mindful of the things we buy, and buy less stuff.

Investing in more automated technologies means we free up our most valuable resource (time) to do things that bring us value.

Buying fewer disposable goods means we also support less of the cheap, unethical supply chains out there.

Buying more AI-informed solutions means less market failure and waste.

Buying less stuff means less trash we eventually have to throw away.

Again, there’s a balance here between technological advancement and ourselves that we would benefit from being aware of, but this is my take on a sustainable future.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this too. Feel free to drop a comment. I’ll be reading!

It’s a good time to show your thanks

To my inspirations: Thank you for all the work that you do. 

To my friends: Thank you for always sharing a good laugh with me. 

To my family: Thank you for your relentless support in my upbringing and my growth.

To my teammates: Thank you for the amazing collaboration and hours we’ve relentlessly worked through. 

Being human comes with a ton of people to be thankful for. 

Thank them when you can.

Creating the ocean

Cities are capable of doing extraordinary things.

For instance, they’re capable of gathering thousands of inspired people together to generate change. If our climate strike in Toronto didn’t show that change starts with people, that we are not alone, and that we can create enormous impact together (like marching 10,000 people to make some noise), then you aren’t seeing the ocean right before your eyes. 

It’s our turn to keep the tide turning by making it our own priority to live cleaner, better lives. 

Empathy for our parks

A note reflecting on last week’s trash cleanup at Trinity Bellwoods:

Small pieces of litter (cigarette butts, bottle caps, broken glass) in big parks might feel like nothing to the everyday person, but we often forget that there are many smaller living things that use these park spaces too.

A dog or squirrel would feel much more affected by our park litter than us, simply because they are smaller and have a closer relationship to the ground.

Let’s be more empathetic to our smaller friends, and keep our parks healthy!

#1: short notes to the everyday people who do good

Voting with your dollar is one of the easiest ways to show your love and demand for something. From a small business standpoint, it means all the difference between allowing them to continue their vision and sinking under the water.

A healthier, cleaner lifestyle can be kickstarted by supporting more local markets, artisans, producers, and businesses. It’s one way to live a more giving lifestyle—not only for yourself, but for everyone involved down the supply chain.

*But, just because a business or practice is local doesn’t always mean they care.

Submit your notes to design healthier and more conscious lifestyles over at hellodoublecow@gmail.com to be featured in a future post!

Picture painting

Like each brush stroke leading to a large piece of finished artwork, the small steps and the day-to-day counts. It’s also equally as important to look to the bigger picture, where the day to day amounts to, and why it matters.

What picture are you painting?

Tea leaves and sustainability

Watching tea leaves uncurl in hot water isn’t particularly interesting. The progress takes on its own pace, and there’s no real outcome in waiting.

Likewise, waiting for culture to change takes a long time. The one thing that speeds up the process are trends, and trends come in waves which speeds up the uncurling, expanding, and brewing process. And, they don’t last for a long time.

We need lots of tea and hot water to help the culture of environmental sustainability uncurl and become stained into our lifestyles.