Consistently sustainable life: the Worth of a personal waiver for the protection of the environment?

“You actually have to change.” This is the Refrain of all those who would like to live a more sustainable life. Opportunities there are many: fly Less, eat less meat, less waste produce.

But the world can really save? Or great political solutions are not much more important? Katharina Beyerl, Environmental psychologist at the Potsdam Institute for transformative sustainability research.

She says: Both are important – and you can have both.

Mrs. Beyerl, if I do not buy me a plane ticket, fly the plane anyway – my resignation in the interests of sustainability, therefore, has no measurable impact. He is still useful?

Katharina Beyerl: The impact is measurable, but only on an individual level. In Global terms, the personal waiver of a plane trip or on a disposable coffee Cup has a small effect.

But the behavior of many people makes a big difference. If all think to ourselves can do nothing, then nothing changes. I believe that you can change with each decision that is made by the supply of Goods and services in the long term.

The extent to which it plays a major role, with a good example?

Beyerl: This is very important! To stay with the example of the coffee Cup: If you have in the workplace, a colleague who uses a reusable mug, and you talk to it, maybe even with others, the advantages of one, then the other colleagues can convince.

And this Convinced two or three people and then again with the – the, what is what psychologists call the social Norm is changing.

People often act as they think others expect them to. If I know that all look weird if I’d bring a disposable coffee Cup, then I let the rather.

This only applies to small things such as coffee cups or other things?

Beyerl: no, that can also be used on other things to transfer, while on vacation, for example, Is in the circle of friends more of a driving admires, or the one in the vacation to exotic places flies?

Just on the subject of travel in the dumps – and that is exactly the effect of the social Norm. One has on the one hand, the claim to yourself, to behave in an environmentally conscious; and on the other hand, you do not want to be noticed also in front of others uncomfortable.

The famous flight of shame. Where as some of the bullied feel.

Beyerl: of Course, it is unpleasant, to be the one that the grudge meets. And so, the rebel.

The thinking then, “Now!”

Beyerl: Yes. Unfortunately, the risk of polarisation is. In France, this was already with the movement of the yellow West.

As a sustainability issue was the planned increase in taxes on Diesel to the threat and led to protests. The danger is that sustainability will be dismissed as an elitist subject.

As a Hobby for people who can afford expensive organic food, rich?

Beyerl: Yes, this is the clichéd image: the SUV to the organic supermarket and then to a Yoga holiday to Bali. However, this is anything but sustainable.

Sustainability is not separated necessarily between the poor and the rich. On the one hand, people who earn a lot of consume even more – and not necessarily sustainable.

Those who can afford less, often have a smaller socio-ecological footprint. Simply because you can travel flight, or SUV not afford.

However, they are dependent on the other hand on reasonably priced products that were produced only rarely eco-friendly and fair. Therefore, it is important to how sustainability can be implemented by all and how all can benefit from it. This political framework has to change.

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The importance of consistency in this context? The principle of sustainability “All or nothing”?

Beyerl: on the one Hand, it is useful to consider how you on many levels, acting sustainably can. On the other hand sustainable behaviour in our society is consistently incredibly difficult.

Actually, we want to Love only a safe, comfortable life for us and our.

And we want to damage neither the environment nor other living beings. But that is not what we do, because our decisions have not only for ourselves, consequences.

What we eat or wear, where our electricity comes from, how we invest money – everything has an impact on others and on our environment. You can’t have everything at the same time on the screen.

What needs to happen to change this?

Beyerl: Sustainable behavior easier. I always think of the example of a mother with three children to the supermarket: The can’t think of every product, whether this is sustainable. How was it made, how is it packaged, what are the social and ecological effects has it?

Therefore, it is important that our infrastructure surrounded. In the long term, the Goods and services we consume need to be from the outset in a sustainable way. It also needs political regulation.

It is then not sensible, in these policy changes to be recognised – and to invest energy to search for the most sustainable coffee mug?

Beyerl: I think that both are important is that, as far as possible, individual sustainable behaviour should be, and that at the same time, but also corresponding changes in the framework conditions, demand must.

But what is the point if the true causes of climate change actually sit in other countries? Or in the industry?

Beyerl: It is not the industry. These are all people who decide things – the Manager, as well as the buyer. In this respect, each Individual has influence there, too. But of course it needs political regulation. For example, because production and Transport depend on in the world of fossil fuels.

And because it is still too often the case is that the profits Individual for the benefit of, the public must bear the costs, in the Form of environmental damage, for example. If these costs, however, would be priced in the sale, and would be sustainable products likely to be cheaper than non-sustainable. And that would be fairer.

And, in the meantime, we need to refrain from us from? Or numbers on it?

Beyerl: It is less about renunciation but of conscious decisions. Inexpensive and sustainable, in no way, as you grow much even, restore or re-use. And basically the biggest motivation factors for sustainability are the Experience of meaningfulness and the community.

I know of examples of initiatives to revive, through joint actions, their communities again. Be it gardens by the Creation of Blühwiesen or common vegetables.

So: to join, to see that you can actually move what political changes in demand – and not despair.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)

*The contribution of “living sustainably: Worth of a personal waiver for the protection of the environment?” is published by FitForFun. Contact with the executives here.