Date posted:August 12, 2020

Sustainable Lifestyles

There are many people for whom Covid-19 has suddenly upended their working life and workstyle. Especially for those used to a daily commute to the office, working remotely is a dramatic change. It also seems to be driving a mental shift back to local communities and suburbs.

To tell the truth, since I’ve been living something akin to a "remote work lifestyle" from the countryside or suburbs for a good while now, I’ve experienced little significant change at a personal level. However, I’ve noticed a big change in what I hear discussed in my neighborhood.

Previously, if you had talked about growing peanuts or green soybeans in your garden or allotment in the suburbs of Chiba, you’d have been met with various subtle responses along the lines of "...Oh, so you’re retired already?" Nowadays, you’re likely to hear a far larger proportion of distinctly positive reactions: "I envy you!" "How lovely!" "I’d like to try my hand at that!"

If you’re able to work remotely, then you can live, and work from, almost anywhere, while gaining back all the time previously spent on your commute as free time for yourself. A little early morning weeding and a breakfast of rice balls at the allotment can precede your day’s work, and then, when you reach a good point to wrap up your tasks for the day, you can harvest a few soybeans in the evening and enjoy them with a beer that night... Since Covid-19, choosing such a lifestyle seems a more definite possibility now.

For someone like me who wants to live among nature in the countryside, this lifestyle can be my "Sustainable lifestyle", while for those who want to enjoy life surrounded by the arts, culture, and fine dining, living in the heart of the city would be their ideal lifestyle.

In short, to each their own. Each of us should pursue a lifestyle that is sustainable for us, and perhaps a blessing of Covid-19 is that it has presented us with an opportunity to think about such things more actively.