To go (or not to go) on a sustainability diet?

Yesterday in the lecture we discussed about sustainable consumption and how people often see themselves as greener consumers than they really are. I believe this applies also  to many other situations where people are evaluating their own behavior. It’s hard to analyse yourself critically and people tend to embellish their behavior even to themselves. In part this is due to vague evaluation criteria and not keeping track of one’s consumption, but also because people try to simplify the complex world. Less is more, although more is the truth.

I recognize this embellishing feature in myself too. So I decided to calculate my environmental impact and try to be as truthful as I could. I used a site called “climate diet” and the calculations showed that thought my impact on the climate is lower than average, there would be much to improve. Maybe I should go on a climate diet… Lifestyle is a huge factor in the environmental impact. It is much easier to be green when you are a student living in Helsinki city center, having quite limited financial resources (can’t consume that much) and using only public transportation, than to be a family of four living rural areas of Finland, having two cars and a house.

The carbon footprint calculators are known two all of us, but is there a calculator that counts your impact on social sustainability? At least I didn’t found one. It could be quite hard to execute though, but definitely interesting!

In the end I’d like to, just shortly, comment on an other post. I would somewhat disagree with a mention that Jörg wrote on his blog “At the moment the problem is that many people don’t see sustainable behavior as necessary requirement for our society to function”. I believe that there is a lot of people, at least in the developed countries, who understand the need for sustainability. The problem is the implication of it. There is not good enough technologies yet and not enough peer pressure.




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