Starting Holes with Spider Webs
We live in exciting times. Depending on your perspective, you may interpret this phase as times of doom or times of departure. The current situation gives many people the feeling that they are overwhelmed by faster and faster developments. The recurring feeling is that you yourself are too small and your influence is not significant enough to cause change.
In addition, there is an almost chronic feeling of being overwhelmed by ever new problem areas and constantly emerging new issues that need to be dealt with. Just having turned vegan and dropping short-haul flights, you are suddenly no longer allowed to eat avocados and sweet potatoes. There is aluminum in the deodorant, even electric cars need a dirty battery and suddenly you are also told that all your sports clothing is made of plastic.
Of course, it is not surprising that this makes people feel overwhelmed and inhibited.
But there are also countless opportunities for us.
2019 - the year of awareness
While 2019 felt and probably scientifically proven was the year of consciousness, 2020 must be the year of activism. Last year, vegan lifestyle, climate change, flight shame, plastic in the sea or increasing right-wing radicalism were suddenly on the radar of a broader public.
Literature, mass media, podcasts and television programs dealt with these and other topics, the timelines in social media were overflowing with admonishing, but also often helpless words.
In many Western countries you can still see a huge gap between asking for change and really changing something. Take Germany for example. The Zurich insurance published a representative study which showed a significant imbalance between awareness and taking action. Especially in terms of travel, mobility, the use of electric devices (e.g. smartphones), and fashion, people are not acting in a sustainable way. A NYC weekend, the latest iPhone, and the new sneaker release seem too seducing. Especially young people show this mismatch. Older generations do not understand how people could go on the street for Fridays for Future but are not acting accordingly in each and every part of their life.
2020 - the year of taking action
In 2020, it is therefore up to all of us to take the next step. Awareness is fundament, but alone it is of little value - the starting holes in which we are standing (or sitting) are already covered with spider webs.
How can we transport the positive energy, from the knowledge just acquired, coupled with increasing displeasure, to a certain call-to-action and, last but not least, the necessary action?
Just as we can get rid of every bad habit through counteracting routines, we also have to develop routines together in order to get into a state of departure.
Because let's be honest: it has never been easier to find out about the problems of our time and, of course, about some obvious solutions. There are so many examples. Today, on the Internet, we can find information on many companies in the world and about their supply chains, production sites, company policies, advertising ethics and employee treatment.
And be ensured that you don't have to dig deep to be revolted. The consumers still vote with their feet and only the products that are bought are successful.
That is why we, at runamics, want to create a platform with you in which we explain, among other things, how you can help determine how things work in our world through your consumption.
Above all, however, everything we do is about clearly demonstrating that many small steps are more effective than one big one, which is never taken at all.
Eco-Shaming doesn´t help anyone
We won't complain about the vegan who scandalously wears leather shoes, or about the plastic-free teacher who drives to work by car. Eco-shaming really doesn't help anyone.
We want to support the many small steps and strengthen the visible desire of more and more people, who want to change something.
Do not let yourself be stopped by people who smile at your first small changes and make comparisons with »whataboutism«, to distract from their own shortcomings.
The criticism will seldom come from people who are looking for change themselves and took their first steps, but only from those who are too lazy or too comfortable to question their own consumption habits.
Let us take 2019 as a great year of learning, in which, firstly, a whole generation seems to have woken up and, secondly, in which large parts of the population have started to change their political thinking.
And now, we take 2020, which only started a few days ago, and start to apply our knowledge.
With every consumer decision, we vote on how long clothes should last, how necessary the fifth summer jacket is, and how much microplastics from our shampoos, detergents or running clothes end up in the sea. And let's also vote on how many comment bars on social media we leave to climate change deniers, right-wing activists and demagogues. We decide whether 500 or 15,000 people express their protest at demonstrations against climate change, lobby politics or right-wing radicalism in our village, city, or country.
(Image by Palash Jain)