Every day I work towards my dream of a sustainable world. To reach it I focus on the positive changes I see around me. These changes are happening everywhere:
The wrinkled Italian who is building an off grid play paradise shows a happy alternative to energy intensive theme parks. The Rotterdam city farm Uit je Eigen Stad proves that people yearn for local, unsprayed vegetables. I’m volunteering at Delftse Buur, an organization that connects Delft citizens to refugees encouraging all to become ‘good neighbors’. These amazing initiatives fill my heart with hope that we are going the right way.
So what does a sustainable future look like? How will the world need to change? How will we need to change? Good questions!
A sustainable world to me is living in harmony with our surroundings and the good life for all.
We fly with 107.000 kilometers an hour through our solar system on spaceship Earth. Just like astronauts we need to be careful with our resources and living environment. Our current “dig-make- use and throw-away” mentality hits planetary boundaries. Sustainability asks from us that we work within sustainable parameters.
For instance, in a sustainable world we live from the interest of our planet, instead of getting into its debt. At the moment, every year around August humanity has used up the biocapacity our planet can renew in the whole year. From that day on, named Earth Overshoot Day, our debt to the planet starts rising. Tip: If you have the opportunity play the game Harvest to feel how this principle works.
“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Anderson
Every living being has the right to flourish. This is more than just ‘meeting our needs’ as it’s described in the world’s most famous sustainability definition. You can survive with the minimal, but, in my view, that’s not a sustainable existence. Sustainability is about creating the conditions for happy lives, for everyone.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Every journey starts with a first step. My dream is big, but by recognizing the good and investing in it I hope we’ll get there someday.
My specific contribution to a sustainable future is layered and diverse. Firstly, I work side by side with organizations to help them move towards a way of operating that can be celebrated by the world today and will be cherished by the generations of tomorrow. Another way that I contribute is by spreading my knowledge of sustainability via lectures, trainings and articles. I try to inspire and infect everyone I work for with the same hope and positivity that drives me. Finally, I believe in not only talking about sustainability, but also in acting sustainably. That’s why I eat food with a low carbon footprint (bye, bye meat), avoid travelling by airplane and try to help others.
The sooner we get to my dream world the better! A world where we live in harmony with our surroundings and where everybody can lead a good life. I can’t wait. Will you join me?