Okay, I am going to be honest with you - 2020 did not really start on the most positive note for the world. The terrible fire in Australia has caused loss on an immeasurable scale, I was actually in Jakarta during the worst flooding for more than a decade, another war may be in its infancy (no, I am not going to call it the beginning of WWIII because I have enough faith in humanity). Moreover, my first week was shaken by hearing of the suicide of a classmate of my sister. My heart goes out to the people who have suffered in early 2020 and offer my most sincere, deepest condolences.
"I think I'll consider January a trial-period of 2020.
My real 2020 will start in February"
This is not supposed to be a "but look on the bright-side"-post, because no one needs that.
This is supposed to be a - we'll take this as a sign that we all need to do more to make sure we leave this world better than we found it.
So here's my list for things you can consider to do in 2020, that will help make the world a better place.
1. Become Flexitarian (or Vegetarian, or Vegan, if you want and can)
This term is made fun of by both my vegetarian/vegan and my meat-eating friends (my houseparent used to call me a "veggie-maybean" - I'll take it) but I do believe that it should gain more popularity. You don't need to go completely meatless, but you may want to consider reducing your meat consumption and look at the options.
Try impossible/beyond meat substitutes
My boyfriend, a sworn meat-eater recently tried the impossible meat (a plant-based meat substitute) and ranked it to taste absolutely like real meat!
Eat less meat
If you eat meat every day, try to eat at least one meal every day without any meat. That already reduces your CO2 footprint,
Be picky where your meat comes from
Buy locally - it also reduces your carbon footprint. And you may want to consider what kind of life you would have wanted the animal you are eating to have had.
And of course, don't waste food
2. Fly less. Take the car less. Walk and Bike more.
This is definitely a note to me, myself and I. Being part of the international student community, I, unfortunately, fly a lot - simply to see family. But I am trying to at least consider not flying when I don't have to fly. I haven't seen your mother in one year - yes, I will board that plane. Do I have to fly to London for a fun get-away just because it's cheap and I have some time? Probably not.
3. Use Ecosia and plant trees when you search the internet
Talking about carbon-footprint. Here's an easy way to help this German nonprofit plant trees all over the world with the money they make from you using their search platform.
So far they have planted more than 80.000.000 trees and every second there are more!
This is one way to counteract your carbon footprint by literally just switching what you surf the internet with.
4. Buy less. Buy better.
To all those shopping queens and kings out there - why not try a thrift store? Or consider checking what the labor policies and sustainability efforts of the brands you are buying are?
And if you are ready to buy absolutely ethically - check out this website.
5. Be nice to the people around you :)
Give someone a compliment. Message people how much you care about them. Small acts of kindness don't cost anything but make the world a better place every day. Consider that other people also might have had a bad day... or maybe a really, really, really bad day.
This is the simplest of all the things on my list, but so often forgotten...
6. Apply to become part of Generation Impact
Okay, I know I have been spamming everywhere about this but I just wanted to throw that out there - do you know lot's of resources and tips how young people can make a difference? Apply to take part in Generation Impact's Collaboration sessions: https://forms.gle/c398xRrY5eUAHQrh6