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“Connection to nature and empathy to all living beings are the most important things to teach kids”

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

We interviewed Satu Tani from Helsinki. She shares on her Instagram @satujauusioperhe inspiring thoughts related to reducing consumption, repairing things and raising kids on the era of ecological crisis.

How did you become interested in a sustainable way of life?

It has certainly been a long process that started as a junior high school student. That’s when I started thinking about my own values, for example, with regard to animal rights, influenced by some friends who were a little older. In the school recycling was discussed and I tried to bring these lessons home as well.

I have had a desire to do the right thing and respect nature since I was a child. Childhood forest trips and berry picking strengthened the nature connection. There was also a certain amount of frugality in the home and things were repaired a lot, for example. As a child, it felt like dad knew how to fix everything. Gradually, I learned more about the environmental issues and, for example, started buying almost everything used.

How do you aim to raise children to a more sustainable lifestyle?

We have a blended family with children of different ages. At home, we talk a lot about climate issues through the positive, although of course negative things and, for example, fear of the future comes from school and the media. However, we try to emphasise to children their own agency and the fact that they can also actively do things for the future, which will make them feel better. Strengthening the connection to nature is also, in my opinion, of paramount importance, because then you will have a deeper understanding of why it is worth defending nature. Of course, in our home we recycle and clothes are purchased more often second hand than new. We have explained to our children why we do things at home in a certain way, and as a general rule, they agree with the reasoning.

Repairing a backpack

What motivates you to make ecological choices?

I do not want to consume a huge amount of natural resources and catalyze the climate crisis. I want to live up to my values ​​and allow change for the better to happen through my daily life and also affect the people around me. Actions also increase active hope for the future, as I may feel that I am contributing to the change. Knowledge of the urgency of the needed climate action also motivates action. This lifestyle feels good anyway, and for my part, I want to be normalising a more modest but rewarding lifestyle. Many ecological choices also support health: cycling and vegetarian food, for example, bring more well-being. I have also gained a lot of peace of mind as I have pondered the difference between need and want, and managed to break free from the pursuit of useless matter and longing for it.

How is Circular Economy visible in your family's everyday life?

In many ways, for example:

♻ Fanatic recycling and waste separation

♻ Clothes and purchases are made second-hand and only after serious consideration

♻ Repairing and using repair services, learning new repair skills, shoemaker services

♻ Reusable products (we haven't had kitchen paper for years, for example)

♻ Electronics, clothing, etc. are used up. Still, sometimes there are misses, and then it's better to put goods in circulation and be used by others and not leave them laying in the warehouse.

♻ If a car is needed, for example, it can be rented

♻ Generally minimising consumption. You can live with less without compromising your quality of life.💚


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