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Simple yet effective ways to act on climate change – tips for everyday life

Author and Creative Sustainability student Rinna Saramäki and AaltoSDG mobile application encourage everyone to take action to mitigate climate change.
250 ilmastotekoa
The climate actions in Saramäki’s book are easy to do and can be implemented into the readers’ lifestyle without a hassle. Photo: Emma Sairanen / Aalto Sustainability Hub

In 2019, during the first year of her master’s studies in the Creative Sustainability (CS) programme, Rinna Saramäki together with her publisher Otava released  a book on 250 climate actions to save the world (‘250 ilmastotekoa joilla pelastat maailman’). The books gives readers clear and easy to follow steps for taking climate action, whilst also providing readers with the facts that the actions are based on.

Saramäki’s book is written for people who would like to act in a sustainable way, but are too busy to look up the details of every decision.

‘When people haven’t done their research, they tend to take up random habits that they believe enhance sustainability. This is not very effective,’ Saramäki notes. ‘My goal was to write a book that offers effective actions with sound background research already done for the reader.’

The writing of the book coincided with the development of  AaltoSDG mobile application. The mobile application supports Aalto University’s work on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aims to bring sustainable actions closer to people's everyday lives.

Both Saramäki’s book and AaltoSDG aim to build the users knowledge on sustainability topics alongside suggesting concrete actions.

‘I hope us students will normalize climate action in our future workplaces. The more people see climate action as a normal necessity, the easier it is to take action,’ says Saramäki.

Rinna Saramäki
‘Bigger actions have more profound long-term impacts, so we need to encourage people to participate in them. However, motivation is best maintained by completing smaller actions,’ says Saramäki. Photo: Jonne Räsänen / Otava

Sustainability during social distancing

Saramäki believes that sustainable lifestyle changes can be made during the coronavirus pandemic.

‘The current situation has showed us that we can change our habits, even in a larger scale, when we have to do so. For example, there has been a clear shift in people’s travelling habits this spring as many holiday flights and work trips have been skipped, says Saramäki. ‘This shows that we are able to learn new practices for both work and leisure.’

In addition, the newly found free time can be used to take action for the environment. For example, Sarimäki participated in the AaltoSDG biking challenge and says it was nice to get a reminder that something so common has a positive climate impact.

 ‘Now is also great time to find inspiration for cooking by trying out new climate-friendly recipes. Food is one of the largest emission sources for households,’ notes Saramäki. ‘Eating in a climate-friendly manner is no harder than eating in a greenhouse gas intensive way. The hardest part is the transition period.’

Follow Rinna Saramäki’s climate action tips on Instagram @200ilmastotekoa.

Check out the AaltoSDG app by downloading it from Apple App Store or Google Play store.

Read more https://www.aalto.fi/en/sustainability/aaltosdg-mobile-application.

AaltoSDG has been created by Aalto Sustainability Hub, Aalto University IT, Aalto University Student Union and Aalto University Campus and Real Estate (Aalto CRE) in collaboration with Geniem.

Text: Aino Saarelainen, AaltoSDG trainee and master’s student in CS & Emma Sairanen, Aalto Sustainability Hub trainee and master’s student in biotechnology

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