Our collaborator from Romania, Agnes Tolescu, interviewed Luca, a young professional who moved to Prague. What inspires him to lead a sustainable lifestyle? Read on to find out…
Tell us a few words about yourself.
I am a 28 years old human being from the south of Italy. I have lived my first 18 years in Trani, close to Bari and then moved to Pescara to study architecture. My greatest motivation to study this subject was the huge impact that architects and especially urbanists can have on our cities and everyday life. I have moved to Prague 2 years ago to gain some experience in an international office and live in an active and stimulating European capital. So far so good!
When did you first learn about sustainability and what is your favorite topic?
I don’t know if I have ever learned about sustainability, I don’t think it is something you can learn about. It’s a vision or perspective on the world, on how things work and how they could work differently. It’s something you can maturate, by growing and developing yourself every day, learning about the world with a wide-open.
What motivated you to come to the first edition of sustainability evening?
I have heard before about zero waste. For me it was some very progressive idea that I should have catched up with, like a natural step forward in my personal development. So as soon as I have found the event and read “zero waste” I had to read no more ☺
What did you learn there and what was the general vibe of the event?
It basically changed my life. I have always cared about the big picture, rather than the small details. The documentary has expanded my views in a way that I had to change completely my lifestyle. I don’t think there has been any other single event in my life that has changed me so much. But, I have to say that probably I was ready within to take this big step toward zero waste, I just didn’t know yet. The topic about waste production just perfectly connects all my main ideas and values, I have finally found a link that I was previously missing. It connects with my view on our capitalistic, consumerist, neo-liberal- throw-away society and all its destructive effects on our environment/society as opposed to a more fair, bottom-up, sustainable, circular model. All things I have been researching about for many years.
The vibe of the event was great, I have enjoyed all the stands and especially the debate before and after the documentary.
What did you change in your day to day habits following what you learnt?
I have changed really a lot, but I was ready for all these changes. I always wanted to compost for instance. I was already going to the market but now I have switched to reusable textile bags, also reusing some that I already had at home, and bringing containers for fish and meat. My consumption of meat was already low, but now I buy just from the farmer. I cook everyday because I don’t want to eat outside, since it usually involves waste production. I have found a way to source all my food and beverages without packaging, little by little. The only things I still buy in a supermarket are pasta, parmesan, toilet paper and toothpaste. I am very close to be zero waste, and I don’t mean recycling, I mean really zero waste production at all and it wasn’t complicated at all.
It’s very hard for me to buy something new now, so I always look for used stuff, if I actually need something and I make a lot of attention to what I buy and what can I do with it after it’s of no use anymore. If I go to a bar/pub/club/event and there is beer served in plastic, my craving for beer just dissolves. I am not sacrificing anything, it’s just that I don’t want it anymore, because my desire in that moment is less important than the common good. And I could go on for hours.
How did you decide to join RespON and what is the main thing you would like to change?
I thought it was just about time for me to do some real action and get involved with people that are trying to make a change in the local community. I feel I have a big debt towards them for giving me the chance of opening my eyes. I just can’t believe I was a passive consumer like everyone else, just one year ago. I think there are so many people out there in my same condition, they are just waiting for someone to open their eyes. This is my goal.
How would an ideal sustainable world look to you?
Seriously to answer to this question I would have to write a book, you have no idea how far I have been going with my mind since it was finally opened. Now I don’t see sustainability as the final step anymore. Humanity can go so much beyond if we just stop focusing and spending all our resources, time and knowledge on things that do not matter at all. If just we could finally realize that we are all a big family and come together as a whole, we could solve this environmental disaster in no time. Sustainability then would become just an obvious thing for everyone and there would be no need to talk about it anymore.
What would you suggest to someone that wants to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle?
The most important thing is knowledge. You need to know why you want to make this change, why it is important for you and for the planet. You need to know what is happening in the world, what are the challenges we are facing and what solutions are being implemented. Because knowing is caring and caring is acting. Once you know, then your view on the world will be forever changed and you’ll notice by yourself, that there is no way back 😀 But it is a good thing.
Don’t feel overwhelmed, don’t overdo. Focus on the things you can change in the short run, rejoice for your successes and then start to focus on new, more ambitious goals. Be optimistic. Be inspiring for others. Don’t let yourself down when you look around yourself, I know the situation seems different but things are going to change. The future belongs to people like us, that care about others and the world… everyone else will simply have to adapt. Trust me!