I am very confident that my sustainability journey and eco-positive lifestyle make me the happiest version of myself. But there is one dark side of this eco-positive lifestyle. This dark side does not have much to do me, but it has everything to do with the people surrounding me. Today I want to open up about this dark side, because I like to be brutally honest on this blog. I’ll tell you about: the loneliness of an eco-positive lifestyle.
Before I talk about the loneliness and what I mean by that I want to make something clear. I am happy. I am privileged and I have an amazing life. This has not changed due to my eco-positive lifestyle. In fact, I think an eco-positive has made me much happier. I live in line with my values and I live a life full of compassion. That makes me grateful every day and it gives my life purpose. I also enjoy sharing more about this lifestyle and thriving to do better every day. So don’t take this post the wrong way, I am happy and this is partly due to this eco-positive lifestyle.
Off to the loneliness that comes with this eco-positive lifestyle. This is going to sound arrogant, but I don’t mean it that way. The thing is: I don’t know anyone like me. I mean this in the sense of an eco-positive lifestyle. Of course no two persons are alike. But I do not know anybody in real life that lives a eco-positive lifestyle. And I barely know any people who have committed to one of the things that I have committed myself to. Not in a moderate way, eating less meat or buying secondhand clothing sometimes. No, I mean people who are as dedicated as me. And that can be in just one aspect of my eco-positive lifestyle.
But as I said, I barely know someone who is like me in that sense. I know two vegans, one of them not so well actually. I do not know anybody in real life who decided to stop flying. Nobody who took the pledge to stop buying fast fashion. Same goes for stuff, nobody in real life who took the pledge to barely buy any stuff new. None of my friends go to climate protests. Not one single person who takes a zero waste lifestyle as serious as me. I know that people around me try in some ways, but there’s just nobody like me. That feels lonely.
The fact that people around me do not live an eco-positive lifestyle (I dare to say that nobody I know lives within the earth’s capacity) is saddening and I have to watch their behavior. This is extremely painful if I have to be honest. Especially on the end of a holiday I notice that this takes a toll on my mood. The most painful thing for me personally is to watch people I love eat dead animals. Especially on holidays where I see their dietary patterns from up close is painful. They eat dead animals on a daily basis.
This is painful because I know the dark side behind it. I have seen footage of slaughterhouses so often and know what’s behind those meals. When I see people eating dead animals I can’t help but to think of that individual who was so terrified because they were abused and killed. And that goes with most aspects of this eco-positive lifestyle. Fast fashion is a good example too. When I see flatmates or good friends show their new clothing, which is fast fashion 99% of the time, I feel pain for the individual (child) who is almost starving to death, working 12 hours a day 7 days a week under horrible conditions to make those clothes. This also goes with jewelry, smoking, flying, cars, etc.
Not with me
You get my point. It’s all just horrendous to watch because I know the truth behind all these products or the behavior. But there’s another thing that makes me feel lonely. I know how urgent all these problems are. The climate crisis is real and killing people already. But seeing how nobody in my own circle adapts to these problems to change things and show compassion is astounding. Hearing family member say that they’re not the ones who should change, but how it’s always someone or something else is saddening (I wrote more about that responsibility here). It feels like I am the only one taking matters serious and the only one who is actually doing everything they can to change things. I am not perfect either, but I try my best.
But I know, I am not alone. I have so many examples and people with me in this fight. However, almost everybody that is with me I only see online. It’s not my personal circle. No friends or family. But maybe that’s also my fault. Whenever I make new friends I just go by how I feel around people. Whether we have fun together and make effort for each other. But I don’t know if I want to change that. I love my friends. And I also love my family.
Maybe I should look for more friends inside the sustainability movement. But right now I am happy with my circle and I don’t want any more friends who live at a 2 hour distance from me, because I already have enough of those haha. So maybe it’s my own fault too, I don’t surround myself with people who take sustainability and compassion as serious as me. The price I pay for that is loneliness.
Do you experience loneliness due to your eco-positive lifestyle?
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