Living Sustainably

If not now, when?

7. What can I do?


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The question of what each one of us can do to make the world a more sustainable place is not easy to answer.

Maybe we individuals can make the greatest difference,

  • if we take other people with us on the path to sustainable development,
  • if we act together and network locally and globally,
  • if we push for fundamental changes in politics, so that it listens again to the voice of the people and not only to the voice of the big companies and banks,
  • if we reduce our collective consumption by just ten percent, because that would already have a major impact on many of the most polluting activities of our economy.
    Translated from Graeme Maxton. 2018. Change! Warum wir eine radikale Wende brauchen. 

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It is important that now many people tackle individual behavioural changes. But these will only become effective together with structural changes in our society. 

We need both systemic transformation and individual behavioural changes. One without the other will not get us to the necessary scale of change at the necessary pace.
Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac. 2020. The Future We Choose - Surviving the Climate Crisis.

Take five actions


Each of us can immediately take 5 measures, making an effective contribution to the protection of the environment and climate. 

1. Demand radical reforms from politics.

Vote for politicians who are committed to an effective, sustainable climate and environmental protection.

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2. Consume less.

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3. Less time sitting in the car and on the plane.

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4. Eat less meat and dairy products.

© Estrada Anton | Shutterstock, Inc. [US] 2018  

5. Plant a tree.
Or support one of the many projects that plant trees worldwide. 

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Realign my lifestyle


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First

Question my consumption in everyday life, on vacation and in my free time.  

In addition to my basic daily needs, only consume what gives me real added value

Ask me the highly topical question: To Have or to Be?

In his book 'To Have or to Be' [1976], Erich Fromm describes the prerequisites for a fundamental change in the economy, politics and society in order to overcome the present crisis and to move from an orientation towards having to one towards being. 

Second

Align my lifestyle with a good balance between quality and quantity. 

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The consumption-oriented lifestyle in the rich countries is pursued from many people worldwide, but it is probably not an attractive option for our children and grandchildren:

  • first, because we are thereby causing large and sometimes irreversible damage to nature and it mostly affects many people in other regions of the world.
  • second, because the price we pay in our lives is disproportionately high compared to the benefits gained, this being increasingly felt by the suffering of so many wealthy people in industrialised countries. 

The question arises: What philosophy of life is behind the insatiability of us who live so stubbornly and so dispassionately and morosely at the expense of others and the environment? 
Translated from: Gabriela Simon: Mehr Genuss! Mehr Faulheit! Mehr Schlendrian! Die Zeit Nr. 42/1992

Third

Pay more attention to the environment.

© Depositphotos | lilmallugirl  

For example with 

Fourth

Experience the richness of nature. 

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All of us need very personal experiences outdoors in the «richness» of nature. 
Because we humans only protect what we appreciate and we only appreciate what we really know.


Finally and
tongue-in-cheek

Only when the last tree has been cleared,
the last river poisoned,
the last fish trapped,
will we realise
that we cannot eat money.

Source: Unknown

First and last

Mahatma Gandhi