Sustainability and Zero Waste – just another millenial trend? I real talk

Time and time again this question popped up in my life. Plenty of discussions have led me to really think about it. Is zero waste and sustainability just anohter trend or could it become a way of life for each and everyone?

I’ve been confronted with this question countless times. Really everybody has a different opinion on the matter. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Like I said before, I’ve been raised to care for the environment and live sustainably. It’s something that still has a big impact on my life and I am really grateful to my parents for that. We’re at that point where my dad’s asking himself what went wrong. There is me obsessing over everything sustainability and there’s my brother not bothering to think about it at all. Talk about opposites coming together!

I realized I can’t keep on living the way i did, when I moved to my first flat. It was the first time I saw how much stuff I owned. I schlepped everything into my new home and gradually tossed most things, realizing it to be junk I didn’t need or want.

Shortly after sustainability and caring for the environment got more poular. Somewhere I heared the term “zero waste” and adopted accordingly. I had planned on ditching packaging anyway.

Eversince I feel like more and more people try to make their lifestyle more sustainable. At this point companies have realized they can make a lot of money by claiming to produce sustainable. I find it hard to figure out which companies are serious about it an which ones are doing it soleyly because it sells good. Greenwashing is a common practice by now.

Borrow, don’t buy! Changing the economic system

In my opinion, we’d have to change the economic system completly. Products should be made to last and money could be made by offering extra services. Maybe it could be possible to make money by chartering or leasing devices and equipment. There is no point in owning a beamer for example if you only use it once or twice to create a cinematic atmosphere for movie night. Instead I would ask my friends if someone had a beamer or I’d try to find a company that offered renting. That is only one idea of many.

I love that so many people think about sustainability and  change their lifestyle. Please don’t get me wrong. I believe that sustainability gets a lot of attention from the media these days. Should something “more important” happen, I think the topic is going to dissapear again at least for some time. We are lucky that Greta Thunberg started and itroduced #FridaysforFuture worldwide. We all need someone to sart: a leader. There is people like me, who start on their own and try to have a small impact. But it’s simply not fast enough for saving our planet.

Climatechange and sustainability are luxuries

Us Germans are generally pretty well. That’s the reason so many of us started to care about sustainability and nature. Let’s take a look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Most of us don’t have to worry about basic human needs so we start to care about the luxuries. Our planet should not be labelled a luxury. It should be categorized with basic human needs. To us it’s luxury because there is no pricetag on the earth. It’s hard to really comprehend the cosequences of climatechange because it doesn’t effect us on a day to day basis. It’s hard to imagine a tornado on the other side of the globe is really happening when all we see is sunshine.

Then the pandemic happened

In times of fighting the worldwide pandemic this becomes ovious. When was the last time you saw a report on climate change? There is very few media coverage. Have you heard that nature is taking back Venice? Within a couple of weeks the water of the canals in Venice went crytal clear with fish and dolphins returning. It really is something beautiful that happened during this crisis.

Even my everyday life has changed since the pandemic happened. Buying groceries package-free is still a priority to me, but I don’t take a detour to go to the zero waste shop. I nearly get everything on the market and in the shops. That’s why I have more disposable packages than usual and I am not happy about it.

Then there’s the masks we are all obligated to wear. So many of them are single use and lie around the cities, on trainstastions and not in the trash cans where they belong. Before Covid-19 this would’ve been unthinkable – even outrageous. Now it’s not even seen as a big deal. At least that’s my feeling on the matter – how about you?

Health is the top priority. Nevertheless we cannot forget about climate change and climate protection! Every human can still try to do what’s within his power to live a bit more sustainable. Maybe it is even possible to boost the economy and relying on the three pillars model. In the long run we need ecological, economical and social sustainability.

Health is the top priority. Nevertheless we cannot forget about climate change and climate protection! Every human can still try to do what’s within his power to live a bit more sustainable. Maybe it is even possible to boost the economy and relying on the three pillars model. In the long run we need ecological, economical and social sustainability.

I hope the positive effect that the pandemic has on nature is here to stay. I hope sustainability isn’t all but a trend. If we can manage to not go back to old habits we can all adapt to a sustainable lifestyle . It’s something I trust in. 

What do you think? Do you reckon sustainability and zero waste is just another trend?

This post is also available in: German

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