I am talking here about each individual and again about all those who do not have problems to cover their basic needs. Do we reflect on the global crisis and adapt our actions or do we suppress it and just carry on as before? Or do we resign, believing that our small contribution cannot save the planet while everyone else continues as before? My impression is that an increasing number of people are at least reflecting on the situation, but only a fraction of those are actually changing their lifestyles towards a sustainable one. And then there is the large mass that neither reflects nor changes anything.
On the contrary, most wealthy people continue to increase their ecological footprint with even bigger houses and cars, even more air travel, even more clothes and so on. The core of all our actions must be determined by the question of how large the ecological footprint we leave behind is. Do I absolutely have to travel by car, or can I take the train, subway or bus? Why not ride a bicycle for shorter distances? Do I have to travel long distances by plane, or can I take a train within a smaller radius? Do colleagues have to travel from all over the country and in the worst case from all over the world for business meetings or can’t we meet in a virtual meeting room?
During the Corona pandemic this worked wonderfully, now everyone is jumping on a plane or in a car again, further heating up the climate. Do I have to eat animal products every day or can I keep it to a minimum. Many people are unfortunately not at all aware that we are destroying the rainforest with our excessive consumption of animal products. Yes, it is people in South America who are cutting down the forest. But we are driving them with our demand for animal products, which can only be produced in such masses with the help of soy. Here are the key words for the behaviors with which we individuals can already make a huge difference:
Travel by plane -> Travel by train
Travel by car -> Travel by public transport or by bicycle
Consumption of animal products -> Plant-based food
Face-to-face meetings -> Virtual meetings
Home office -> Commuting
New clothes -> something hanging in the closet
For these few items that have a significant impact on the climate, we don’t need politicians or new technologies. We only need ourselves. The mindset must no longer be “I’m great because I drive a big car” but “I’m proud to ride a bike or use public transportation”. We need to start despising those who enjoy a „great“ lifestyle instead of admiring them.