The term “Sustainability“ is nowadays one of the most valued ones in our society. It describes the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. While the ability to meet those needs might seem simple it hides a complex system. This system is the so called “Triangle Of Sustainability“.
The Triangle Of Sustainability is a perfect illustration of what sustainability is and how it works. Sustainability is not a subject or a discipline. But a paradigm, i.e. a way of thinking, taking decisions and acting. The triangle shape shows the importance of the three areas of life that need to be taken into account for a sustainable consumption behaviour. The three areas are the ecological, the economical and the social aspects.
The main title of our project is “Sustainable Consumption: Eco(nomical)“. The term “eco(nomical) “ stands for two different aspects which we had to take into account. “Eco“ refers to the ecology and “nomical“ refers to the economy.
Our current consumption patterns are unsustainable and damaging the environment. We rapidly deplete and distribute our natural resources unequally. And this contributes to already existing social problems such as poverty and inequality. To put it in a nutshell, adjusting our current consumption behaviour will not only benefit the environment but also us as a society.
Solution: Nana – Natural and Renewable (German: Nachwachsend)
Our solution for a more sustainable consumption behaviour would be the promotion of the “Nanabox“ lunch boxes.
The abbreviation of the term “Nana“ stands for the German terms “natürlich nachwachsend“ which basically means naturally renewable. These sustainable lunch boxes which are made by the brand “ajaa!“ are made out of bioplastics based on sugar molasses, natural minerals and wax. Mineral oil and plasticisers are not included.
The lunchboxes are…
To make the lunchboxes more attractive for the consumers and also include the economical aspect in our project we came with the idea of using sustainable laser engravings. The sustainable laser engravings are washable and permanent like brand-marked wood in comparison to printed biological colours which are not washable and rub off easily.
For our main target group, which are children in the kindergarten and elementary school age, we created 3 different designs suitable for their age and interests.
With small steps we want to make the Nanaboxes more popular in our region and spread our idea for a more sustainable consumption behaviour.
The Paris Climate Agreement stipulates greater engagement of civil society. This involvement is a precondition for transforming the current lifestyle of society into a more sustainable way of living so that the ambitious climate goals can be reached. Apart from climate protection, the United Nations define other “Sustainable Development Goals“(SDGs) which also include sustainable consumption and sustainable production. The implementation of these goals within the European Union (EU) was introduced in November 2016. Based on the SDGs, Germany has also recently published an updated version of its sustainable development strategy.
But what does sustainable consumption actually mean? Is sustainable consumption economically acceptable or is it linked to growth deficits? Do we need to do without or can we combine sustainable with economic goals? How can we ensure that ecological and social goals are reached efficiently?
The topic “Sustainable Consumption: Eco(nomical)?” was proposed by researchers of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. The YES! teams are supported by the researcher Christiane Reif.
This topic has been chosen by the YES! team of the Friedrich-List-Schule Mannheim. Learn more about the YES! 2017 Team of the Friedrich-List-Schule Mannheim and visit their profile page.