The Question That I Often Asked Myself: Why Being Sustainable?

The Question That I Often Asked Myself: Why Being Sustainable?

Sustainability development and sustainable lifestyle are popular social trends in the society nowadays. If you are one of those who have been embracing this sustainability trend, have you ever questioned yourself, asking “why am I doing all this?” Yes;))) or No:(((

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Don’t know about your answer,  but I do. I ask myself often and keep reflecting on my answer.

The universal definition of the term “Sustainability” is that we “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs”. But seeing this notion being applied everywhere, in business marketing, corporate communication, product promotion and so on, it now seemed a bit of a cliché to me. For me, the reason why I embrace sustainability in my daily life is rather simple. Not influenced by my peers, not for Instagram-able photos or videos and as a trend promoted by influencers.


I do it because I love the nature. I appreciate the beauty and diversity of it. I appreciate every creatures and lives in it. I truly appreciate how lovable the nature is.



The diversity and creativity of Mother Nature

One of the biggest reason why I appreciate nature is that I can always be awed by its creativity. The innovation and creativity of human are so limited. Since ancient times, human gets inspiration from the nature. From architectural design and construction, to scientific discovery, or creation of arts, nature dwells in every page of the human civilisation. 

If I now ask you to draw me ten different flowers, will it be kind of a struggle to you? But I saw these 12 different species of flowers in only one of the small garden areas in the City Botanic Gardens, while all belong to the same Hibiscus Family. Very often, I look at leaves and flowers, and sincerely wonder, how is this possible for the nature to have such diversity. 


What if sustainability was not in our future development and planning?

Three years ago, I joined a Marine tourism course held by the Hong Kong Ecotourism and Travels Professional Training Center. In one of the classes, our lecturer told us his experience in participating in environmental movement in all the years.

He told us, when he was still a researcher, he has seen countless of starfish at the Starfish Bay (a cool place in Hong Kong, check it out if you’re interested), but now, there’s no more.

He told us, ten years ago, when he’s still doing the research of Chinese White Dolphin, the recorded number of the Dolphin which lived in Hong kong was about 200. But then, ten years later, the recorded number dropped to only 47. 

He also told us, how they try to oppose to and fight back to the development plan for the artificial beach at Lung Mei (before the development plan, another cool place in Hong Kong). They have spent days and nights at the site, taking photos, observing, documenting hundreds of precious marine and tidal species to prove to the government the rich biodiversity and ecological value of the site. They even proposed a win-win idea to the government. But eventually, their efforts were in vain. The development plan remained unchanged and have destroyed the habitat of the spotted seahorse, mud shrimp, grass puffer and so on endangered species.

This is what will happen if sustainability ain’t something we put into consideration of our development. These, are what we will be losing. Some are irreversible, leaving permanent scars on the planet. 

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To wrap up my very personal, super subjective reason on why should we, every human being embrace a more sustainable mindset, I’d leave you with a 5-day challenge. If you find yourself can’t relate to the sustainability lifestyle, if you see no reason of doing it, or if you want to find a better motivation of being sustainable, let’s give it a try!


D – 1: The texture of the nature 

As the beginning of the challenge, let’s start with something simple – try to observe the texture and shape of the nature around you.

For something you can really touch:

  • A leaf
  • The petals of a flower
  • The rigidness of a piece of wood
  • Lying on the grass, feel the earth and soil as well
  • Roughness of a rock
  • The rain
  • If you have a pet at home, feel his warmth, his texture and the rhythm of his breathing





For things you can’t actually touch:

  • Texture of the clouds
  • Sunbeam
  • The breeze
  • Try to imagine the texture of a wave’s spray




D – 2: Smell it

Today, let’s try to focus on your nose. Have you ever noticed what the natural environment around you smells like? If today’s a sunny day, try to breath in the breezes that’s filled with sunlight. If today’s a cloudy or rainy one, can you smell the difference in the air, comparing to days with nice weather? Sometimes I fell like I can smell the difference in humidity, difference between days and nights, or the changes of seasons. If you want something less subtle for your observation, I definitely suggest going for flowers. Lily, sweet olive, mandarin flower are some of my favourites. 



For me, other than flower, I also like the smell of fallen leaves in autumn! 






D – 3: Listen and immerse yourself in it

One of my favourite activities is going to the seaside and listen to the splashing of waves. The up washes and backwashes, the rhythms in between can always calm my mind and my heart. If it will take you too long to reach the coast, you can try to listen to the wind, to the swirling leaves, to the creatures.

As long as you close your eyes and focus, you can probably find out that despite all the noises in the hustling city, there’s many more other sound which lives together with us on the planet.


D – 4: Learn something interesting about it

If you think you have already gotten enough from the nature, you are wrong, for sure. There’s too many thing you probably don’t know about it.

Elephants’ pregnancy period can be up to 22 months!

In Japan, petals of the skeleton flower become transparent after raining!

The occurrence of a single Whale Fall can provides food and nutrients to organisms, in the deep ocean and on the seabed, for decades!


And this is what the footprint of a seagull looks like on the beach!




Find yourself an interesting fact of the environment or wildlife that you haven’t heard of before.


D – 5: Music recommendation

Today, let’s go check out one of my favourite songs. It’s “Colour Of The Wind” from the Disney cartoon, Pocahontas, sang by Judy Kuhn. Other than winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, what it touches me the most was the lyrics. 

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Definitely go check out this good old song and let it question you;) The link will lead you to the original version of the song, but I personally love Vanessa Williams’s and Connie Talbot’s versions as well!

Last but not least, congratulations on coming to the end of it. Like what the lyrics said, I hope, if not paint, you can at least see the coloraturas of the wind. Observe the amazing bits in the nature., see how lovable and amazing they are and you may find the answer to the question of “why being sustainable”.

*All photographs are original.