There are a handful of different definitions for sustainability. To me, sustainability is about finding ways to meet my needs without compromising the needs of my community. When I say “my community” I am referring to the people and environment I share my life with.

While I was a MercyWorker my community helped foster my understanding of sustainability as a life-long value.  My community helped me realize that when I sustain myself, I can sustain others, who can then sustain those around them in order to create a more sustainable world. I spent my MercyWorks year exploring different ways to sustain myself and my own life choices in a way that will empower me to make long- term sustainable changes.

“I am grateful that MercyWorks gave me the space to learn this so that I can help others find ways they can be intentionally sustainable too.”

As I completed my MercyWorks year, I knew I wanted to continue my passion for sustainability. Aside from incorporating small changes into my life to build a more sustainable lifestyle, I found a passion in urban agriculture and horticultural therapy. There is something wholesome about growing your own food and sharing a meal fresh from the earth. There is something to be proud of when you are able to keep a plant alive. There is responsibility, awareness, and empathy developed when challenged with giving back to the earth.

Working with plants is a practice that I have continued to utilized when working with youth at Mercy Home. I love empowering them to practice responsibility by caring for a plant. I love challenging them to think about how they are affecting the planet. I love watching them make conscious choices to make sustainable changes. It gives me hope that the next generation will be willing to put in the effort to make earth a more sustainable and enjoyable place.  At the end of the day, living sustainably takes effort, not intention. I am grateful that MercyWorks gave me the space to learn this so that I can help others find ways they can be intentionally sustainable too.