Our current habits of consumption are from times when humans thought the natural resources were limitless, with our actions having no impact on the environment. As this is not the case, changing our habits to be more environmentally friendly is simply a matter of course and inevitable.
In the Paris Climate Agreement, it was agreed that limiting global warming to 1.5°C is crucial. The actions made until now won’t be enough to stop the warming to 2°C. In the next 100 years, life on Earth will change for better or worse; either because of the climate crisis or because of the changes we make to our lifestyles in order to stop global warming. (1)
In Finland, the average per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from consumption expenditure were 8.36 tonnes CO2e in 2017 (2). In Germany, the corresponding quantity per capita is 11.61 tonnes CO2e in 2017 (3).
Fewer respondents were willing to take action and make low carbon consumption choices in the fields of energy and mobility that are significant sources of greenhouse gases. However, it is crucial to find motivators for reducing the emissions in these areas that require more changes to the current lifestyles. (5)
All the sources we studied and read for this Speak of The Frog article agreed that one of the most efficient ways to reduce one’s greenhouse gas emissions is to generally consume less. We should carefully consider our purchases and think of creative ways to prolong the lifespan of our items and avoiding extra waste. It is not always necessary to buy new items when we can easily repair the old one, or avoid buying a new item altogether when one can borrow, rent, or buy second hand.
It is pointless to think that our lives in the western countries will stay the same after global heating, even taking into account that the effects are more catastrophic in the third world. However, we can all make a positive impact by normalising a new, more sustainable way to live. (1)
Changing our current lifestyle and norms of consumption doesn’t have to mean we must give up everything and give up our living standards. The concept of “good life” has always been changing and it will continue to change still. What was necessary for living in the past is not always necessary today. What we think is indispensable now, won’t necessarily be in the future.
In the end, we believe we can all agree that we enjoy clean air to breathe, new greener working places, and having more time for the most important things in life without having to think about consuming more.
Ama & Essi
Edited byAlex Burchell
Photos by Julius Töyrylä