Sustainability professional feeling the weight of the world? You’re not alone! EOG’s Katy Stevens shares how we can beat despair – and dare to act in hope.

There’s a simple reason why most people working with sustainability choose to do so. Not riches or fame, but usually because we care. We care about nature, and we care about people. We feel deeply connected to our natural environment, its wildness and beauty, and we want to protect that at all costs. Or because we can empathize with those working in our supply chains and want them to flourish and live healthy, enjoyable lives.

At times the work is frustrating, and some- times desperate. We know what needs to be done, we spend our days busily working on projects that show some real tangible impact, and then WHAM… We read about the reduction of renewable energy incentives, or increased fossil fuel subsidies, or that child labor is on the rise; developments that go against everything we are trying to achieve, usually driven by greed and arrogance. The very personality traits that first drew us into this line of work can then make us especially sensitive to the harsh realities.

I know I’m not alone, and the rollercoaster of emotions is both real and raw. Then, last month, at the European Outdoor Summit, I felt a glimmer of hope when I saw the reaction of the attendees to the idea of degrowth. Of course, this is a difficult concept to sell to business leaders, but they were genuinely excited about where this conversation could go next.

Then my hope peaked listening to Simon Anholt talk about how we need a plan for the whole world to agree on a new set of values and skills that every country can teach its children, to raise a new generation that makes the world work. As Simon put it, “If we only have the patience to work for one generation on building the behaviors and knowledge that underpin the solutions to these gigantic problems, we can defeat them all.”

I’m still on the hope-high, and as I try to figure out next steps, I’m closing the newspapers and going outside to walk, to think, and to hope.


Lead Photo: hillie-chan/Unsplash


Katy Stevens
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

More Stories

“Degrowth” was the next great thing – until it happened

While many focus on shaving off a gram of CO2 here and adding a circular design feature there, EOG’s Katy Stevens wonders if we shouldn’t instead tackle the industry’s overproduction of products – where as much as 40% goes to waste.

By Gabriel Arthur

Gore: Just care for your product

Gore-Tex products are made to last. But users need to do their part too. By properly caring for your products, you can continue to love them for longer.


Visions from the Changemakers: Gina Lovett, Environmental Initiatives Manager, Patagonia EMEA

How can outdoor companies navigate and steer in the right directions? And not get swamped in the daily operations? In this interview, Suston Editor-in-chief Gabriel Arthur discusses activism, goals and impact with Gina Lovett from Patagonia.

By Gabriel Arthur

Is the Planetary Boundaries framework the new sustainability paradigm?

Find out what the Planetary Boundaries framework means for sustainability in the outdoor industry.

By Jonathan Eidse

More News