Let less be more in 2020!

It’s that time of the year again – when we are about to take a break and spend a hopefully relaxing and energy-charging Christmas holiday with those closest and dearest to us. It’s also the time of the year when we can make sound choices with what we give to others, wish from others for ourselves, what we choose to do and where, what we eat, etc. Now it is truly the time to deliberate and make smart sustainable choices to prioritise quality, authentic, local, and personalised options.

At the core here is being aware of our habits – breaking those that are not sustainable and adopting those that are. Let me remind you of the classic R’s of sustainability that can help to identify what habits you could have more, in the new year. Reconsider if you really need the stuff you are considering to get, Reduce the stuff you have and believe you need, Reuse and Recycle to avoid single use items and sort, Replenish and Refill whenever possible, Rethink before you buy stuff for you and others, Replant, Restore and Recover to avoid causing damage to the world, Rot i.e. compost food waste, Reinvent to engage in divergent/out-of-the-box thinking and view your actions from different perspectives, and Respect the world and ecosystem around us and think about any effects your actions might have. I am sure that we all can do more at least of Reconsidering, Reducing, Restoring and Respecting, in the coming year.

What I am sure that we also in the new year could strive for is a healthy work-life balance.

What I am sure that we also in the new year could strive for is a healthy work-life balance. Wouldn’t it be nice to continue or finally achieve a sound balance between personal life, professional life, and family life? For many of us that would mean devoting more time in the new year to the things that in the end matter the most. It would basically mean living a simpler life with fewer belongings, having shorter work hours, stronger relationships and more social interactions, spending less and consciously, and choosing products that are practical, well made, and environmentally friendly.

Now there is an excellent opportunity to start doing some or all of the above in case you up until now mainly have been just thinking about them. Choose what you want to do, keep the good reasons in mind, be realistic and start with smaller steps, think about potential obstacles in advance and come up with solutions for how to deal with them, talk about your new habits with others, learn more, and if you experience a setback, then try again. Remember, you are not only sustainable and climate smart, but you will also introduce possibilities and time for new experiences and improve the quality of your life in 2020.

Wishing all CERS friends a Magical Holiday Season and a Wonderful New Year 2020!

If you want to read more and for information on what websites I used please see for example:

Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen
Professor