I’m An Imperfect Solutionist… And That’s Okay
Being a Solutionist means focusing not just on the problems, but on the solutions that we can use to address our planet’s issues. At Planet Home, anyone can join the Solutionist movement. As long as you are willing to take active steps and make positive changes to lessen your impact on the planet.
A Solutionist maintains a positive mindset and views setbacks as opportunities for growth. Whether it is how we eat, make, move, or live, we are always striving for better solutions.
Additionally, Planet Home has built a community of Solutionists from around the globe composed of hundreds of speakers, performers, hosts, and chefs contributing their knowledge and expertise to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Normalize Being Imperfect
On the very first day of my Environment and Society course, my professor asked us to share our eco-confessions with the class. An odd yet powerful way to begin the semester, I shared the story of how my best friend and I broke our pact to eat a completely plant based diet.
Back in high school, my best friend and I were determined to go vegan. The first few months, we were relatively successful although my diet consisted mostly of thin mints and oreos (two foods I was pleasantly surprised to learn were vegan!) However, about three months into this endeavor, during an after school event I grabbed a slice of cheese pizza and ran to the nearest exit.
Sitting shamefully on the top of a stairwell trying to devour the slice as fast as I could before anyone caught me, I looked down to find my best friend cramming down a reuben sandwich. I emerged from hiding to reveal myself to him and after realizing how hungry and desperate we both were we broke out in laughter.
Sharing this experience with my class and getting to hear their eco-disaster stories was a hilarious yet humbling reminder that even amongst self identified Solutionists, perfection is unattainable.
For this reason, I prefer to call myself an imperfect Solutionist simply trying my best to live as consciously as I can. I am going to make mistakes, that much is inevitable. But if I embrace those mistakes and practice self compassion, I believe my journey will be a lot more smooth sailing.
Another important lesson I learned from this experience was that being an imperfect Solutionist can still make a positive impact. Rather than going vegan cold turkey, try swapping out meat options for one plant based meal per week. Eating plant based just one day a week can help save approximately 40lbs of grain, 1100 gallons of water, 30 square feet of forest, and one animal.
Influencers Embracing Imperfection
Isaias Hernandez (@queerbrownvegan on Instagram) is an environmental educator who understands the importance of coming to terms with imperfection. In a post from earlier this year Hernandez shares his experience working in the field of environmental education.
He writes “During my early environmental work, I held people dear to me on pillars rather than treating them as living beings.” He continues “Recognizing flaws in our work and ourselves is a personal journey, but you get to define how you want to work on those things.”
In her book “The Imperfect Environmentalist: A Practical Guide to Clearing Your Body, Detoxing Your Home, and Saving the Earth (Without Losing Your Mind)” actress, director, producer, and author Sara Gilbert shares how confronting climate change can be overwhelming, but making small positive changes everyday can truly have a significant impact on the planet.
So remember the words of fictional popstar Hannah Montana, nobody’s perfect! Solutions look different for everyone, and for many of us it can look like taking small steps in the right direction. Celebrate the little victories and don’t let the eco-anxiety or self doubt discourage you from becoming a Solutionist!