CANSA in partnership with Germanwatch hosted a day long workshop on ‘Sustainable Lifestyles’ on 23rd March 2018 at Conference of Vasudha Foundation in Delhi. The event was an opportunity to present the draft background paper, which the team drafted as ‘living document’ that gained knowledge from various best practices.

Sustainable lifestyles can be defined differently in two countries considering the diverse socio-economic and cultural circumstances in India and Germany. Urban middle classes in both countries follow very different practices. The workshop aimed to enrich the discussion on Sustainable Production and Consumption, while also mapping the alternatives that are available but not known to the wider public.

The day long workshop started with the definition of Sustainable lifestyle that linked with environmental sustainability and focused on trends in few selected key sectors including food, mobility, energy consumption in both India and Germany. The suggestions pertaining to lifestyle pointed out in paper in line with fresh diet, renewable energy through efficient appliances such as, more use of public transport with improvement in electric vehicles in India.

An adequate waste management based on principles of three Rs (refuse, reduce, reuse, re-and upcycle) was also suggested to be included in the background paper. The workshop was attended by 40 participants from civil society, academia, bi-lateral organisations and socially responsible private sector representatives.

The keynote was delivered by Dr Kartikeya Sarabhai from CEE and Ms Zeenat Niazi from Development Alternatives, primarily focussed on accommodating the issues in the sustainable development agenda and learn from traditional practices. The two speakers also shared some examples that are documented in the Government of India named ‘Parampara’.

The session on case studies enriched the moderated discussions that facilitated framing some recommendations. The businesses promoting sustainable solutions were presented by Ms Jyoti Awasthi of Satat Sampada, as making organic vegetables and fruits available in retail; with MR Anoop Poonia from Millets of Mewar in Udaipur experimenting with Millets as a nutritious diet. Comparing consumption of meat in India with the rest of world was an interesting reflection that was presented by Ms Sadia Sohail from Henrich Boll Foundation. It discussed the idea of food safety, environment and animal welfare with water security and labour security.

Mr Gaurav Shorey from Sanskar, presented Sustainable Lifestyle as defined in Indian Culture, where he explained about importance of self resplendence in a sustainable way while highlighting the importance of the education system in both urban and rural areas to promote the idea of sustainable lifestyles.

The last technical session provided an opportunity for CANSA members to share their ongoing research and findings that can guide the background paper pf network. The two presentations by Dr Priyadarshini Karve from INECC and Mr Syed A A Ishaqi Farhan from DA shared work on climate-friendly lifestyle choices that raise the awareness of people to change the mindset that reflect in life choices.

As next steps, recommendations received will be incorporated and soon next version of paper will be available. Here is the current version of the paper.

Report compiled by Rushati Das.