Dear friends we are happy to share with you impressions from the "Respect the Planet" event on 02.10.2015.

...One could think, it was an international Sustainability Summit! We had representatives from Belarus, Germany, India, Italy, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, discussing the topic “Sustainability in everyday life” this Friday evening in the cozy and creative ambience of the Interkulturelle Bühne e.V.

We were just 12 people, but we had the needed diversity in respect of different origin, background, knowledge and experience and we had the shared vision for the planet to stay healthy and good for living on it for all the species including humans in the long term.

Having this all, we had an incredible evening with a lot of conversations that matter, sharing our knowledge, concerns, good examples of small and big steps in the everyday life of each of us to support sustainable lifestyle. Instead of blaming the governments and companies, we were focusing on our role as consumers, at our small contribution to the better world with the conscious decisions in everyday life. What lifestyle is sustainable? Which lifestyle do I maintain? Which lifestyle is good for me? It came also at some point to the very basic questions, like:

What things and stuff do I really need to be happy and satisfied? (e.g. do I really need birthday cake candles, packed in a lot of plastic, for 30 seconds fun? Were our ancestors less happy celebrating without it?)

When are we doing buying decisions acting as marketing victims instead of as conscious humans? (e.g. buying water from faraway instead of drinking tap water same quality; changing digital gadgets too fast when the new model is on the market; or buying clothes or shoes just to wear them once etc.)

Some steps we discussed were common sense, but it was still good to remind ourselves about them and to encourage ourselves to continue to do them (e.g. to use reusable bag for shopping, riding bicycle, buy less but better quality long-lasting staff etc.). Others steps were quite innovative, like to buy only unpacked products in special stores or to say the girls, that they are beautiful just as they are and do not need all this decorative cosmetics at all - hey, it is a step with the triple win effect 1) good for environment (less chemicals, less plastic, less resources usage), 2) good for health (no chemicals for skin, less cancer risk etc.) 3) good relationship - girls are happy to hear that they are beautiful like they are :)

We went home taking with us gifts of shared experiences and new ideas as well as a question, which wish or vision we have for our planet Earth for the next 15 years? What villages or cities do we want to live in, what environment we want for our children? And what each of us can do to contribute to the realization of this vision for the world? We reminded ourselves, that change always starts small. And we as consumers and citizens should not underestimate neither our impact nor our power for positive change.

Small steps matter, as well as small events do :)

Thank you everyone for having joined us and please keep on doing your small steps and inspire each other further to make the world a better place!

Your TAA-team