Lifestyle, sustainability and identity

The time has come to completely renew my corporate website. The progress in my personal life and the developments in climate science urged me to change the course of my enterprise. Until 2018 I developed several ideas to promote a sustainable lifestyle, but the impact was lower than I expected. Some initiatives even didn’t make it to real life projects.
Since 5 years I’m a full-time researcher in the field of sustainable lifestyles and during that period I followed the climate news on a daily basis. At the start of my research the situation seemed alarming, but I thought that the effects of climate change would affect me firstly at the end of my life. That perspective changed dramatically. Messages about extreme weather events entered the news reports on TV, websites and social media more frequently and the year 2023 is a showcase of climate disasters1 around the world.
Realizing that this is just the start, with only 1.2 degrees warming2, we can expect a lot more damage and more suffering. It won’t take long before we reach 1.5 degrees warming3, bringing more disasters and economic loss. Recently climate scientists concluded that the Paris goals are out of sight and even the 2.0 degrees target4 is almost impossible to reach. We’re heading towards 3.0 degrees and we ‘all’ know what catastrophies that will bring.
How to change this sucidal course of humanity is a big question. According to the main stream opinion, the fault is to be found in our economic system, the polluting industry, governmental neglect and other ‘system’ failures. So the answer to the climate crisis lies in sustainable energy instead of fossil, strict emission regulation by governments, improving industrial technologies to limit CO2-emission and promote sustainable transport. And the best remedy is transforming the world economy from linear, take-make-waste, to circular, where waste is a new resource.
Structural overlooked is the main player in the ecological problems we are facing now: the consumer. Five billion consumers together are a disaster for the planet. And simply put: one consumer brings damage. The lifestyle of the modern consumer is destructive. Every day the consumer is affecting the climate, polluting the environment and destroying nature. Fossil addiction is the main cause of the impact and the diet is another.
The modern consumer is unaware of his role in the ecological problems and doesn’t realise how he affects the future of his children and grandchildren. It’s no surprise that few people view the obvious solution: transforming the destructive lifestyle into a planet-friendly one.

The shift from consumer to citizen is a truly big idea

Dame Fiona Reynolds

  1. Without climate change, these extreme weather events would not have happened | ↩︎
  2. With global warming of just 1.2°C, why has the weather gotten so extreme? | ↩︎
  3. Earth surpasses critical warming threshold, officials say |
  4. NASA Study Reveals Compounding Climate Risks at Two Degrees |