When the word “sustainability” is mentioned, there are often accusations, the eternal search for scapegoats and utopian ideas of a lifestyle bursting with environmental friendliness. But aren’t there essentially other values that make up this term, which has become louder andlouder in recent years, especially among us young people?
Personally, I don’t think living sustainably means blaming each other, demonizing flights, and going on a week-long environmental awareness cure à la “crash diet”. Sometimes it seemslike sustainability is an unattainable utopia, a black-and-white – you flew once this year andate a piece of meat on holidays? Guilty. You don’t go without any luxury product, treatyourself? Guilty.
However, we don’t have to go for radical abandonment – because there are increasingly somany ways and alternatives open to us to take care of our environment. Sustainability is avery present topic, especially for us as a young generation. Sometimes it almost feels as ifresponsibility is simply being passed on to us. How often have I discussed with grandma andgrandpa to leave out the fish for once – only to thunder into the “it’s always been this way, why should we change it now” wall with bare nerves and top speed. Or how often do you hearthat it’s up to us, the youth, that we have to save the world. But if you talk in school for the fourth time in a semester about how lost the planet is and how mankind seems to be “failing” , I don’t think this is the right way to encourage a sustainable lifestyle, but only a gloomy discussion of the problem.
Especially as a teenager you quickly feel confronted with the big questions of life and theproblems of the world – Corona, war, climate crisis. That’s exactly why it’s so incredibly important to stick to the solution and not the problem. When you’re busy trying to find your own way in the here and now of life, it’s really scary to think about the generations to come and everything that could (or will, if we don’t act) await us in the future. But it is not only the task of us young people to indulge in these thoughts and to look for ways to give something back to our planet bit by bit. All of us, no matter how old, can act.
Sustainability begins anew each time with a decision – like a single purchase against product waste and thus for the conservation of our resources. A simple decision; to walk instead of drive, to buy an organic product or a cloth bag. Or that we consume products that already exist – as Great by Date allows us to do. A concept that combats an authoritative problem inthe throw away society we live in: product waste. It’s companies like this that we young people are looking for: Companies that lend us a hand and enable sustainable choices. And when you think about it like that, it’s a lot more fun to know that when you buy a product, you’re making a contribution to combating the climate crisis – and without having to tie yourself upin a corset of doing without.
I personally believe that this joy is a fundamental key point. Environmental protection is more often associated with a “must” – just as school, graduation or the world of work is not rarely drummed into us as a compulsion rather than a joyful opportunity. Why not replace the “must” with a “want”? After all, isn’t our planet a great concern to all of us?