"The funny thing about sustainability is that you have to sustain it” - Ron Finley, an inspiring community gardener in Los Angeles.
The young people are the ambassadors of the future. Nowadays we are mainly growing up in the cities with sufficient connection with the nature and weak knowledge about processes in natural environment. We all live in a throw-away society strongly influenced by consumerism and idea that we can throw things away. The problem is that in the nature everything is connected. Western consumerism and not ecological solutions have an impact on Amazon forest, the greenhouse effect and help to grow the Great Pacific garbage patch – insane amount of plastic bottles, bags and other chemical sludge, discovered in the central North Pacific Ocean.
I guess, we all know this because we were taught it in schools. The issue is our consumerism habits and society in which we are raised. How can we young people deal with it? Can sustainable development on the very local level revers our societies? How can we change our life styles and protect the planet or at least our local environment from mindless and consumer manner? On the example of few initiatives, I'll show you how young people in Berlin try to implement sustainable and ecological behaviors in daily life.
Swapshop – ger. tauschladen – plenty of them are in Berlin. Is a place or occasion (f.e. during weekends at the entrance of the houses) at which articles like clothes, books, household things may be exchange. If you don't need your jumper anymore and it's still in good condition, don't throw it away. Maybe for someone it will be great, vintage, fashion jumper.
Tauschladen in Kulturlabor Trial&Error
Foodsharing.de – it's how I have fresh bananas, apples and peers every week for free. Foodsharing.de is an online platform that saves and distributes surplus food. On the website individual people, retailers and producers can offer or collect food that would otherwise be thrown away. Check on the foodsharing.de how it works and became a food-saver!
Urban gardening – the best way how to grow your own food without your own garden or allotment. As I wrote in previous article, gardening gives us opportunities of exploring the healthy lifestyle, learning the origins of food and understanding nature. It's one of the most sustainable movements in the cities. Ask your friends or use the Internet search and find the closest community garden. If there is any in your area why not set up the garden in your area?
Urban Gardens in Berlin
Upcycling – or creative reuse. Why to throw away unused lamp or chair ? It's better to use your creativity and change “trash into treasure”. You can easily experiment your handmade D.I.Y. skills and transform clothes, textile, unused furniture into something new and useful. Just use your creativity or find a place where people are doing upcycling and support beginners.
NahCafe in Kulturlabor Trial&Error
Repair Café – it's not only the place where you can find tools and materials to help you to repair what you need. It's more about repairing things together and exchange the knowledge with other people.
Repair Cafe in Kunst-stoffe
To avoid consumer chaos by sharing things we will use no longer, instead of buying, we can live more sustainable and conscious. I believe that this small daily activities are proving to successfully address the need of young people in the sense of safeness, belong, purpose and engagement. It delivers valuable insights such as natural laws of cause and effect, therefore increasing sense of responsibility on individual choices and actions. Through urban gardening, exchanges, saving foods young people also learn the advantages of choosing cooperation instead of segregation and understand the power of community.