Raphael Rousseau / PhD student and teaching assistant

ELIC – UCLouvain / Geography

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

There is no doubt among scientists that the Earth encounters many environmental and climate changes. There is clear evidence that many animal and plant species have already disappeared or saw their numbers decrease in the last decades. These changes are often too quick to allow the species to adapt.
My main concern is that the richest people, who are often the main contributors to climate change, have more possibilities to deal with its effects than the poorest.
I consider that I belong to one of the wealthiest group of people in the world, and I realize that I do not always act in a sustainable way. They are many ways to adopt an environmentally-friendly behavior, but this multiplicity is also paradoxically discouraging because it gives me the impression that my actions do not have substantial impacts or that they will not suffice.
Moreover, it is also psychologically tough because it requires changing some habits. I decided not to buy a car and to avoid its use. For small travels, I prefer walking or riding a bicycle. Public transportations offer an effective alternative for longer travels, but their offer must be strengthened and made affordable for everyone. They are indeed less flexible than the car, but I do not need a personal car every day and for every travel. For some rare occasions, car-sharing allows me to have this flexibility without producing a new car.
I try to limit the purchase of new objects by using instead second-hand (books, clothes) or reusable (metal bottle, bags) objects. With my colleagues, we developed a collective compost. Separating organic waste is an easy action to implement. Collective compost allows everyone to do it as a community and for free. I often go on the internet, for work or leisure, but I prefer to use Ecosia, an Internet search engine which makes donations to reforestation NGOs.
As consumers, we can directly influence companies. For example, if we decide not buying food in overpacks, the companies will have no choice but to adapt their production. I think we must encourage politics to favor and implement environmentally-friendly actions and make them affordable for everyone. I admire the young students who are expressing their awareness and determination during their weekly protests. We cannot always expect changes to come to us, but we have the possibility to force them with our actions.

Originally posted 2018-06-03 12:38:45.

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