«The 11 European Youth Goals summarise the issues that affect young people in Europe and (…) that show in which areas change still has to happen so that young people in Europe can use their full potential.»
10. Sustainable Green Europe
This goal refers to achieving a society in which all young people are environmentally active, educated and able to make a difference in their everyday lives.
I know this is such a big topic and sometimes we feel like that as a single person we can’t do enough. But the truth is that we can. Because if every single one of us takes the action, at the end we can make a big difference all together. I’m going to give you some examples about simple actions that I follow in my everyday life to try to make our planet a bit more sustainable and clean.
Buying local and seasonal products, preferably on a market, at a farmer in your town, from the bakery, butcher or fisherman. For example, talking about fruits and vegetables I really don’t see the point why we need to have strawberries or melons in winter time coming from the other side of the world. The beauty of eating seasonal and local is that throughout the year you have this bunch of variety. And it also makes every single fruit and vegetable more special.
Eating everything but in a moderate way. Have you asked yourself why there are so many vegetarians and vegans nowadays? My answer to this is that when there is one extreme there has also to be the opposite extreme. This means that as there are so many people that eat meat every day, that there has also to be the complete meat avoiders to make sure that there is some balance. In my opinion the right way would be a balanced diet for everyone but I’m not going to dig deep into this topic today. Fact is that the production of meat and other animal products has come to a point where it is neither environmentally nor ethically sustainable…
Avoiding plastic. I know this is a big challenge sometimes, mostly also related to economic possibilities, but try. I’m happy that supermarkets at least got to understand that packing bio fruits and vegetables in plastic packaging to be recognized as such is just contradictory. Nowadays you have everywhere this reusable net-bags for fruits and veggies and they are just great, not only to avoid plastic bags, but also because they let their content breath. I also never saw the point why we need to have plastic in between cheese or ham slices. Also if you live in a country where you can drink tab water, just do so instead of buying plastic bottles. Even if you can’t drink the water directly from the tab, you can cook it first. And if you need a bottle just get one of those aluminium ones. And of course there is much more you can do.
Avoiding palm oil. Since some years I don’t buy any products that contain palm oil to contribute to avoid the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest due to the plantations of palms for the palm oil production. It’s incredible in which products you can find it. It’s basically everywhere. I think it’s a real shame that known brands like Ferrero don’t change the ingredients of their products (like Nutella) to avoid the use of palm oil. A good example is Tuc that some years ago switched to sunflower oil for their salty crackers.
Returning system. I think this should exist in every country: a returning system for bottles and glasses. I don’t understand why such a little amount of countries in Europe has adopted this system. In my eyes it’s perfect to avoid a big part of plastic and other trash. I mean from juice, over water, to tomato sauce, milk, yoghurt, and so on, everything can already be found in glass containers, so why not creating a returning system for all these?
Well I guess there is much more to say, and much more you can do but I guess the most important is that everyone contributes in some way. We all should be interested in making a difference to enhance not only our own quality of life, but as well the one of future generations. We should be aware of the consequences of our actions and make responsible choices in every matter of our life, to empower a sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle amongst our society.