Introducing Sunday Snacks with Sam and Ellie

Introducing Sunday Snacks with Sam and Ellie

Ellie and Sam Discuss the Use of the Word: Sustainability

We’ve started a new series to just share a bit of ourselves, our concerns and philosophies, and sometimes just plain silliness. Join us for


Sam loves the word sustainability! Ellie thinks it’s overused and often misunderstood. She likes the word “Nourish.” Listen to the video – or read the transcript below. Then check us out on Facebook or Youtube and leave a comment as to how YOU might define sustainability.


Hi, this is Sunday snacks with Sam N Ellie. Good morning. So we’re here to talk to you obviously about sustainability because that is one of the big things that BeyondTPandMilk is about. Now, Ellie, tell the audience a little bit about yourself.

Ellie: I’m old, I’m 77 and I’m, I’m, Sam’s stand-in grandma, But you’re also like one of my best friends. Don’t don’t let her Nope. Nope. They’re my second family, her family. I’ve done lots of things in my life. Lots of years spent doing data entry, worked in corporations – admin person, published my own publications mostly in tourism.

Sam: So in short, you’ve had an adventurous life.


Sam: All right. And that’s, I mean, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. She’s got lots of stories and they’re amazing to me. I’m 40. I have two kids. I’m married and I live in a house in the suburbs. I mean, it’s not a really exciting life, but it is definitely something that makes me happy and lights me up. And sustainability is a huge part of that for me.

Ellie: I would say your life is exciting, always on the go and always busy and your kids are always busy and everybody is always busy.

Sam: Although I don’t try to be so busy, but that’s, that’s part of being a stay at home, mom and entrepreneur, a spouse, an avid gardener, school or homeschool. I mean, the list just goes on and on, but do you do Friday game night? I do. I love game night. Our whole family loves gaming. We love having you over for game night. But that leads us to why we’re here. You know, one of the things that Ellie and I have noticed over the years is even though we have such a large age gap, we have similar and yet very different views on the world. And one of the things that I love to yabber on about is sustainability. And I don’t know that you would agree that that’s the best word.

Ellie: I just give her a hard time, because I think sustainability is one of those fad words today that means so many different things to different people.

Sam: So we’re going to try to find a way to make all the pieces fit together. Yeah. I mean, I definitely was using the word sustainability before it became popular, but you know, not everybody would agree. So how would you define sustainability?

Ellie: Well, I see it used in relation to lots of different things from, you know, our health and preserving our food and being ready for Armageddon and the apocalypse and the zombies. And we’ve certainly, you know, shared a lot of those ideas, but, but I think sustainability to me is, I guess if I were to pick a word, I would use nourish more than I would use sustain.

I just think people get it. You know, they know what your kids need to thrive. They know what your garden needs and what flowers need. We all need sunshine and water and good feelings and all those kinds of things. So I, I just think that sometimes using the latest catchword, we, we, it, it gets numb. People get numb to the phrasing and that’s, that’s really, I’m, I’m not anti-sustainability at all. I just think that sometimes in using the latest phrase we, we oftentimes will lose audience because they think we’re, oh, you know, you’re that eco person or that environmental person when I know for a fact that you’re more than that. Yeah. It’s much more complete.

Sam: Yeah. I mean, for me it does involve a lot of what you’re saying, nourishment. But sustainability does tie heavily into community, which you don’t really talk about other than the environmental nuts out there that are like, Hey, all, all of them, you know, I don’t know, kumbaya, loving together. I know don’t let me get her started Stealing my phrases. Well, let me get her started. But you know, there’s community and then,  obviously the environmental impact and there’s just so much for me, a lot of it is food. I mean, I think with my gut, right?

We call this Sunday Snacks, yeah, we already had. I had two cherry turnovers and you had a donut. I’m on like my fifth cup of coffee is fine. Water now. But like really we, you know, for me with sustainability, the crux of why I’ve always used that word has been we need as people to sustain ourselves. Like you, you even called me out on that earlier.

Ellie: You know, if we don’t sustain ourselves, we die. So why is this such a popular word? You know?

Sam: And rightly so, that’s a great point to make. And for me though, it’s not just about sustaining me to live. It’s just about sustaining every aspect of me because there’s the old concept that we inherit our land from our ancestors and that’s not exactly how I view it. I view it more along the line of the Indian proverb that we are borrowing the world from our children. And frankly, I don’t want to leave my children a crap hole. I want to make it better.

And one of the words that you brought up to me was steward. That was such an interesting concept. It’s not something I would think about. It’s an old word, but it goes along with the Indian story. Yeah. But like you said though, like, I, I wouldn’t, I want to raise my children as positive stewards of their community, of the environment of just life. So I don’t know, sustainability, I guess, holds true with the nourishment concept, but I don’t why we wouldn’t want to have a catchphrase, but yet I get so viscerally aggravated by catchphrases as well.

hands cupped, holding a flowering plant in dirt.

Ellie: Well, I, my problem isn’t with the word itself. It’s, It’s one of those catchphrases today that can mean 101 different things. And I think our audience is broader than those who just use sustainability in terms of ecology or environment. I think we think broader, for instance, when I mentioned steward in, in my growing up, even though we believe, you know, we inherited land from our predecessors, steward – being a good steward of that land for those who follow you, was the rest of that story. So that, that wasn’t just, you know, that we got it for us. It, our job was then to be good stewards to pass it on. So, so I guess that’s why I have problems with just phrases, you know, the latest popular thing. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I do believe knowing you as well as I do that, that you also think in much broader terms than that. And that’ why I think nourish whether it’s homeschooling or food or our community or each other you know, is, I think to me it’s a more human word, which is what we’re trying to accomplish with sustainability.

Sam: True.

Ellie: You know? So I think it’s a word that touches people differently, I guess maybe that is why I like that word better.

Sam: And by the way, folks, this is coming from a lady who has a bug-out bag in her back closet where I, the crazy one that uses the word sustainability, doesn’t have one.

Ellie: Yeah. Well, you know when I was younger, I was afraid that someday I would be homeless. And so a counselor told me to pack a bag with what I thought I needed. Cause I need, I knew I’d need like a couple of changes of clothes, so I could apply for jobs and look respectable and things like that. Then she said, just put it in the back of your closet and you’ll be prepared. So it’s part of our sustainability. Yeah. It is. It’s nourishing the soul, you know, when you’re, when you’re living in constant fear, you can’t function. Right. So she, she gave me an out for dealing with that. And it’s just been there ever since. And you know, I mean, Luckily I’ve made it this far without needing it

Sam: And that right there is a winner. That’s right. So we’ll leave you with that little nugget.

We would love to know what you believe is sustainability, right? I mean, you like the word nourish. I still haven’t found a better definition for the holistic manner in which I speak about sustainability, but I do like nourish. Not sure if I’m going to land there. What do you think? We’d love to hear from you in the comments? Perfect. Bye guys.

Ellie: Bye!

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