Why do I do what I do and how to do it better: changing habits

Climate-KIC summer school student Tessa Leferink blogs about her lessons on the second part of The Journey in Trondheim, Norway.

We are in Trondheim, Norway for the second part of Journey 5, 2016. During these past two weeks of the Journey many new insights came to me, and it is time to reflect again.

Questioning your own daily habits

In my first blog  I wrote about asking “Why?” and “How to?”, when observing the world around us. One then starts to notice inefficiencies or inconsistencies, and thinks out of the box for solutions. I would like to build further on this and share my new learned lesson: ask these questions to question your own daily habits.

Public bathroom insights

In one of the many inspiring workshops here up in Scandinavia this week, we did an exercise and discussed our public bathroom visits. Odd? Kind of. Useful? Definitely. Not only was it a good exercise in testing one’s assumptions when considering, say, designing new public toilets, it mainly made me realise how little we tend to question our own routines. It turned out there is a whole range of possibilities when it comes to visiting public bathrooms, depending on your own personal beliefs and habits.

Smarter ways of going about it

Try it yourself. Just ask any friend, family-member or flatmate to talk about a daily habit of choice. Let them do the talking, for at least five minutes. You can discover the differences in not only bathroom visits, but also morning routines, commuting methods, running errands, taking notes or even sorting laundry. You may find smarter ways of going about it. Have an informal chat. It may make it easier to then ask yourself: Why do I do it like this? How could I do it differently? Better?

Leading by example

Being sustainable has a lot to do with having sustainable habits. Building them in your daily routing makes it effortless. There are always compromises to be made between convenience, costs and CO2-emission. Dare to make these choices wisely and challenge the routines that make little sense. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by smart students now that lead by example. If we all realise that daily habits do add up over the weeks, months and years, their impact on the planet becomes significant.


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