Citizens and Artists are Promoting 1.5° Lifestyles by Playing to Their Strengths

Around the world, citizens, artists and collective initiatives are increasingly bringing the need for sustainable lifestyles to the fore. Through the Future Lifestyles Multimedia Contest, we met some of the people who are putting their strengths to use to promote 1.5-degree lifestyles and a sustainable future for their communities.

Naoto Akimoto (Akimoto-san) is a manga artist and the Yokohama based winner of the Future Lifestyles Multimedia contest. “I’ve been drawing ecology and global environment-related comics for many years,” he says, “and I began to think, ‘isn’t there something more I can do?’ I began to think about what I could do to help. Then, in the spring of 2021, I asked some of my acquaintances to join me in creating a joint manga magazine on the theme of the global environment called Mirai-taimena manga-shu.”

Akimoto-san also told us he feels it is important to use one’s diverse talents to promote sustainable lifestyles. “I think it is a good idea to use multimedia to educate people about global environmental issues… I can draw manga, so I will continue to use manga in my activities. I think that raising your voice little by little in whatever way you can, will help create an atmosphere that will change the current situation.”

Akimoto-san is using the prize money from the contest to translate the winning Manga into English. You can find the translated Manga when it is completed here and access the first (ebook/video) and second (ebook/video) issues of Mirai-taimena na manga-shu for free.

For his next project, Akimoto-san is looking for comments from people who are active in global environmental issues on what made them care about global environmental issues. You can contribute to that project here.

The Kyoto winner, FEAST, is a non-profit, research and consultancy project that launched an inspiring art installation “School Lunch 2050”. The installation aims to raise awareness and engage the public in discussions about the present food systems, possible futures, and food imaginaries.

We asked them what they’ve been up to since the contest, and in addition to continuing to present their findings from the School Lunch 2050 installation, they are facilitating a “board game jam”, where participants can design games to play on the topic of sustainable food. They are also facilitating workshops for youth leaders on food waste and loss, with 70 participants from 8 countries across Asia.

One of the founders of the initiative, Maximilian Spiegelberg, says that “overall, we need more convincing materials and stories that [show that] a 1.5-degree lifestyle does not mean a loss of living quality or freedoms, but quite the opposite.”

The São Paulo based initiative Eco-Ru, won 1st prize and is an initiative that focuses on food and services, through the promotion of healthier and more sustainable eating practices.

“We want to show our community that food can have an impact on health and environment, [and] to help people make the best choices in restaurants to favor the environment and sustainability,” they say.

The team at Eco-Ru highlighted the need for stronger partnerships. “There are several groups working towards 1.5-degree lifestyles, and if we exchange information and skills, creating a community, we will be able to achieve more results and engage more of the population.”

Verdes Marias won 2nd prize in São Paulo, and is a group of three influencers that started sharing their experience with zero waste and noticed that by sharing their experience, their audiences started to do the same. Verdes Marias strive to use their platform and social media presence to inspire more people to consider sustainable lifestyle options.

“We use the media to talk about what we can do for a more sustainable world,” they say. “Every day, we share on social media small actions that we can do to lead a more sustainable life, showing examples that we do in our lives such as composting, avoiding disposable plastic and much more.”

Verdes Marias echoed the team from Eco-Ru by saying what they think is important to scale up the impact of their work on sustainable lifestyles is more partnerships with like-minded individuals and organizations that can share and promote content even more widely.

Each of these winning individuals and initiatives has taken their own passions and strengths and used them to communicate the importance of the environment, and why and how we can shift towards sustainable lifestyles. They are setting an example for all of us.

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