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Dare to fail and dare to experiment: make more sustainable choices

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By Ana Struna Bregar

· 5 min read

In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to make sustainable choices. From reducing our carbon footprint to conserving natural resources, there are many ways we can make a positive impact on the environment. However, making these changes can be challenging and may require us (individuals, companies and organizations) to step outside of our comfort zones. 

One way to embrace this challenge is by daring to fail and experiment. This means being willing to try new things, even if there’s a chance we might not succeed. It also means being open to learning from our mistakes and using them as opportunities for growth.

For example, let’s say you want to start composting at home. This can be a great way to reduce food waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. However, it can also be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. You might worry about attracting pests or creating unpleasant odors. In this situation, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to fail. Maybe your first attempt at composting doesn’t go as planned. That’s okay! Use this experience as an opportunity to learn and improve. Maybe you need to adjust the balance of materials in your compost bin or find a better location for it.

Individuals can make a difference by daring to fail and experiment in their daily lives. Sustainable choices such as reducing waste, conserving energy, and adopting a plant-based diet may require a shift in habits and routines. It is easy to feel discouraged or overwhelmed by setbacks or challenges along the way. However, it is important to remember that each small step towards sustainability counts, and setbacks should be viewed as opportunities for growth and improvement. 

Graphic on failure and success

By daring to experiment and fail, you open yourselves up to new possibilities and the potential for finding more effective and sustainable choices and living in the long run

You will learn what works and what doesn’t, and you will be able to make informed decisions about how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. So don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things. Embrace failure as a learning opportunity and keep experimenting until you find what works for you. Together, we can make a positive impact on the environment and create a more sustainable future. Each individual's actions, no matter how small, can have a significant impact on the planet.

Failure is often viewed as something negative, a setback or a mistake to be avoided at all costs. However, when it comes to sustainability, failure can be a valuable learning experience. By daring to fail, we challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of what is possible. Sustainable choices require us to step away from the conventional path and explore alternative methods that may not always yield immediate success. Embracing failure as a necessary part of the process allows us to learn from our mistakes, iterate, and improve our approach.

One area where daring to fail is crucial is in the development and use of clean technologies, that will not depend on rare materials. Transitioning away from fossil fuels is essential to combat climate change, but it requires experimentation and a willingness to take risks. We already saw many groundbreaking innovations in solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources have come about through trial and error. Researchers and inventors who dared to fail and persisted in their efforts have ultimately paved the way for cleaner and more sustainable energy solutions.

Similarly, in the realm of sustainable agriculture, daring to experiment is key. Conventional farming practices have often relied on harmful chemicals and unsustainable practices that degrade the soil and harm ecosystems. By daring to experiment with organic farming methods, regenerative agriculture, and innovative techniques, farmers can discover new ways to produce food while minimizing environmental impact. These experiments may not always yield immediate results, but they contribute to collective knowledge and can lead to breakthroughs that benefit both the planet and human well-being.

Embracing failure and experimentation fosters a culture of innovation and collaboration

It encourages individuals, organizations, and communities to share their experiences and learn from one another. Collaboration can lead to the development of new ideas and solutions that would not have been possible otherwise. By supporting and encouraging each other in our sustainability efforts, we can create a collective momentum toward a greener and more sustainable future.

In conclusion, making more sustainable choices requires us to dare to fail and dare to experiment. By stepping out of our comfort zones and challenging conventional practices, we open the door to innovative solutions that can have a positive impact on the environment. Embracing failure as a learning experience and viewing setbacks as opportunities for growth allows us to iterate and improve our approaches. Together, by daring to fail and experiment, we can create a more sustainable world for future generations.

Success is never a linear process. Embrace failures as necessary steps on the path to progress. Every pioneer in history has had to stay the course, learn from mistakes and keep going when things go wrong, as they often will.

Interface, Lessons for the future:

A wrong turn can lead to the right result.

illuminem Voices is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of leading Sustainability & Energy writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.

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About the author

Ana Struna Bregar is the CEO of CER Sustainable Business Network - a network of progressive companies and organizations accelerating the green transition in Slovenia. She holds a degree in Architecture and Urban Planning and gained knowledge in sustainability management at the University of Cambridge and the Yale School of Management.

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