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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Simple Measures: Living Sustainably

Mar 31, 2021 12:48PM ● By Shae Marcus

by Matt Preston

There are many great ways to live in a sustainable manner, all that can be engaged with a positive energy and headspace. However, sometimes it may seem a bit daunting in doing so, as there’s a lot of information out there on how to live that kind of life. And because using a broad brush when it comes to people’s lives rarely makes sense, such lifestyle practices vary from person to person. When it comes to being single versus married with children, the gap is even wider, if for no other reason than how conscious living manifests.

 One great starting point is minimalism and all that it represents. Let’s take Blake for example; he’s a single guy who drives a Corolla, while his friends, the Smiths, are a young family of six, with four under 10 years old, with a mini-van that takes them around.

 Now Blake doesn’t have to look much further than his general surroundings to see the most obvious way he manifests his minimalism. With the exception of his furniture, he can pretty much pack his life away in his Corolla. There’s more than enough trunk and back space to store his things as he goes from point A to B, and it could all be packed in an hour or so. It takes the Smiths at least one hour alone from the point when they decide they want to go out, and that’s if they can even agree on where to go.

 This makes Blake smile, of course, as he’s more than happy to point this out to his friends, as he houses down a pizza as his dinner before he goes to the big game. The Smiths try their best to get their friend to eat better and healthier which is how their sustainable living enters the picture. Early on, they realized that one way they could reduce their footprint, if only in a small way, was to create a garden to grow their own food.

 t didn’t take long before they realized what a great way this is to live, as now they can actually take control of what they’re consuming. And what better way to share this way of life by not just bringing it to their friends and neighbors, but creating a community garden for everyone. Blake was happy to share it on his Instagram account, of course, but his other single friends were out and about enjoying their standard American diet. The Smiths, however, are able to engage the community in a way that can’t be done at the local pizza eatery, as last time anyone checked pizzas don’t exactly grow on trees.

 And while that can be such a great way to engage one’s physical energy, it can be very easy to neglect the misuse of energy in the electrical and technical form. See, energy also doesn’t grow on trees, but the Smiths sure do put out a lot of it during the month. Whether this is due to lights being left on or other electronic devices being used all the time, among other areas, the end result is still the same—a high energy bill and a lot of wasteWhen Blake is in his living room watching TV, perhaps with a lady friend who wanted to stream and relax, or whatever it’s currently called; everything else is essentially in gray mode. Keeping a zero-energy balance is far easier for Blake as he can easily give back by simply walking a day or two to work or the local discotech. For the Smiths to reach zero energy balance, they’d all have to pull rickshaws every night, with the fear they might be fired due to appropriating a cultural job that’s not exactly associated with the name Smith or the country of Ireland.

 However, neither one gets away scot-free, at least when it comes to online purchases.  They’re all about sustainable living and energy until it comes down to a big faceless conglomerate giving them free shipping if they order by 7 p.m. And whether its vans, drones or even cargo ships, they all tend to change the topic when opening their latest Bluetooth headphones or childproof iPad.

At the end of the day though, they all try their best to do what they can for the world around them. They don’t get caught up in the politics or negative energy that can so often pollute these topics, because that’s not the way in which any of them want to engage their energy … which is ironically what Blake said when asked by the Smiths if he and his lady friend are going to start their own family; that he’s not looking to engage his energy in that regard, considering how tired he gets from walking to work and all.

Matt Preston is a creative and professional writer from Gloucester Township in South Jersey. Writing is one of his passions, body, mind and soul wellness one of his goals, and belief in destiny his continual motivation. His website and podcast can be found