But we don’t react the way we are supposed to react when we hear that our planet, our home, the base to our lives and the reason we all exist is more and more being destroyed by us. And none other than the president of the most influential country and therefore one of the most powerful people on earth is calling the climate change a hoax. We need to change, and we know this. But there is hope. People are finally starting to rethink the past years. And the internet is the medium for a change.

The Swedish teen inspiring climate strikes

Greta Thunberg is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. The 16-years old political activist from Sweden is the creator of the ‘school strike for climate’ and one of the faces of the Climate movement. In August 2018, Thunberg, who back then had just started ninth grade, decided not to attend school until the 2018 Sweden general election after heat waves and wildfires in Sweden. She protested by sitting outside of the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) every day during school hours with the sign “Skolstreik for klimatet” (school strike for the climate). After the  elections she continued the strike on Fridays, gained worldwide attention and inspired school students across the globe to take part in student strikes. Every Friday there are thousands of students in more than 270 cities, protesting to prevent further global warming and climate change. People like Greta, so-called environmentalists, are getting more and more encouragement. They are the reason the number of people switching to climate-friendly alternatives is increasing.

My heart beats green

Louisa Dellert is an influencer from Germany. She started her Instagram-life in September 2013 with her former account name fit_trio. She got famous for being a fit girl, working hard on her six pack and for motivating others to start the fit life. But after a trip to Malta in 2016 something has changed for the 28-years old. “I wanted to take underwater photos, but there was garbage all around me”, she says. Louisa started thinking a lot about sustainability and climate change, finally launched an online shop where she sells sustainable products. After realizing that this is a great success, she published her first book: “My heart beats green”. Her 353.000 followers say Louisa changed their way of thinking and thank the Influencer for publishing her way to a sustainable lifestyle. Many of them also start to use plastic free products or, thanks to her recipe videos and her book, produce their own soap or laundry detergent.

Sustainable development

All in all – there is a noticeable change going on. People start thinking about what they are doing to the environment and start noticing the effects climate change is having on it already. The number of people standing up for a change, like Greta Thunberg and Louisa Dellert, is increasing every day. But still, this is not enough. Everyone should start to overthink their way of living and maybe try to get into a more sustainable lifestyle. I am not saying you have to stop flying immediately or get rid of all plastic products in your household – but there are some simple things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint at least a bit.

 

How to be a more sustainable person – For Beginners

Save electricity

Plug all your appliances into a power strip and turn them off completely when not in use, including your computer.

Turn off the lights

Your computer screen or TV provides a cosy glow, so turn off other lights if you do not need them.

Stop paper bank statements

Pay your bills online or via mobile.

Air dry

You do not necessarily need a hairdryer. Let your hair and clothes dry naturally instead of running a machine. And if you do your laundry, make sure the load is full!

 

Freeze your food

Freeze your fresh produce or leftovers if you do not have the chance to eat them before they go bad. This is also possible with take-away or delivered food, if you know you will not eat it the next day. You will save food and money.

BYOB

Bring your own bag when you go shopping! Pass on the plastic bag and start carrying your own reusable totes.

Use reusable cups and bottles!!

This is a thing I noticed a lot in Finland, nearly everyone is using a disposable plastic cup here. Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup! Use metal straws instead of plastic ones or do not use them at all. Cut down on waste maybe even save money at the coffee shop.

Illustrations by Marisa Eger