The ripple effect
Slowly but surely, the year 2019 is picking up speed. The Twixmas hole and the New Year’s hangover are over and, next Monday at the latest, everyday life starts again for most of us. Lilli, who has been an integral part of the Tomorrow team for a few months, wrote down a few thoughts on her New Year’s resolutions.
There’s been no avoiding the overarching topic of the future in the last few weeks - whether you wanted to or not. The question of what will happen with our world now has jumped one of the title pages and newsfeeds. Even those in our society who consider climate change a hobby for the eco-warriors and hippies can no longer avoid taking the issue seriously. Not least because little Greta, with her poignant and powerful words to the participants in the climate summit in Kattowice, has dominated our social channels’ newsfeeds.
Greta urges politics and humanity to finally make a difference. She says the world needs an emergency brake. If this sounds frightening, it’s because it is. But I am sure that each of us can hit this emergency brake on a small scale. If everyone gradually changes their behaviour, reflects, changes and has more respect for our planet, we can still brake. Small and big decisions that each individual makes determine how our world will look tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. The argument often made, that it does not make a difference - whether you eat meat as a vegetarian or not, whether or not to forego a flight - is refuted by Greta and her story. After all, the world public pays close attention to her, even though she is just a girl from Sweden who, instead of going to school on Fridays, demonstrates against climate change.
Greta Thunberg proves that small and big gestures have an influence. An influence on people’s direct and indirect environments. It shows that small circles can become big. Altered gestures and decisions can affect different areas of life. Diet, transport, electricity, clothing - the list can be extended endlessly. All of these areas offer a lot of potential for change. In my understanding, however, one cannot and must not live 100 percent of the change directly in all areas in order to pull on the emergency brake. Personally, I have not eaten meat and fish for many years, but I can not do without cheese altogether. I do most of the trips by bike or train, but I still want to visit my friend in Australia and there’s no way to avoid flying. I don’t think we need to sell our cars immediately or throw our H&M jumpers out of the window. What we need to do is develop an awareness of how things are created, what they trigger, and what kind of economy we encourage with our consumption. We should consider what and who we support with our actions.
There are many great people out there who give food for thought, in print and digitally and bring certain topics to the fore. Even if you can not realise everything as consistently as Maddie of @dariadaria. The lifestyle is not as sustainable and presentable as that of our friends Anna and Marcus from the Viertelvor Magazine. Or even if you don’t have the chance to change your job and open a sustainable online shop like @louisadellert, it is important that each individual discusses sustainability with his or her peer group. For example, I have to admit that I had not spent a second studying the effects of money before hearing about Tomorrow. I simply had no idea that my lousy current account supported things that I would always take a stand against. As an activist at heart and now also as a banker, I am convinced that money is one of the everyday issues in terms of sustainability, which we can all easily change - without having to compromise. Therefore, I make the following resolutions for the New Year:
Have discussions with the people I meet. Convince them that sustainability is not just a trend. Nevertheless, do not be too strict and dogged. Celebrate role models. Deal with the world, people and money consciously.
The slow start to the year and the stumbling start after the holidays offers everyone the opportunity to reflect on how they have contributed to change themselves over the past year. How we’ve behaved towards other people. Whether you are proud of your own behaviour. Whether you’ve discussed things enough within your social environment. And for which values one would like to speak our in the near and distant future. You do not have to create the same scale in each area and expect yourself to be able to do everything right. But you should claim to initiate change and implement change. If we manage to make a change on a small scale, we can work together to pull the emergency brake that Greta talks about.