PanKa’s (18) entrY

“It is never possible to live a fully environmentally conscious life, but it is possible to discipline ourselves and to be modest.”

I have repeatedly tried to formulate, write down and express my thoughts on climate change, a better future, and the future in general. Somehow I didn’t get to the end, I always stopped after a longer thought because I felt too much weight and couldn’t bear it. I still struggle with it, but I decided to overcome my own fears and finally express them. My biggest fears are: that my child may not have the opportunity to live, that recently born people will suffer from the mistakes of our generation, that creatures, fungi, and virtually everything will be destroyed if we, the people responsible do not act. But how can we change anything? Is it worth it at all? Is one person enough to have a different outcome? Yes, only we can help ourselves.

I can say that I am lucky that my family has been living an environmentally conscious lifestyle since I was alive. Essentially, this is what I grew up in with my siblings. I am not saying here that we have never bought a straw, never packed the pastries in nylon bags, but we always paid attention to the extent and I think that may be a key concept. The extent. Everything is allowed to a certain extent. Just think about it: you can eat, but only to a certain extent, because you will feel bad, you can buy clothes, but only to a certain extent, you can express your opinion, but only within certain bounds. If I turn it around: Is it possible to pollute the environment to a certain extent? It does not sound too promising, right? However, it is never possible to live a fully environmentally conscious life, but it is possible to discipline ourselves and to moderate.

My mother, born Ágnes Ruzsonyi, opened a package-free shop in Budaörs at the end of 2015 with my older brother Márk Monostori-Kalovits. The aim, of course, was to protect and restore our Earth. In Hungary, this was the first business that favored conscious shopping and zero waste, and was not only different from other stores that paper bags replaced nylons. The devoted shoppers could buy seeds in bottles they brought from home, they could buy linen bags and they could put pastries in them, they could acquire homemade cosmetics, put fruits and vegetables in little baskets, just come in and talk, because it was also a community where people could be themselves and share their thoughts with each other on anything. “NoPack is community. NoPack is conscious shopping. NoPack is zero waste. Nopack is fair trade. Nopack is the change. Nopack is YOU are – WE Are!” -this text can still be found on the deactivated Facebook page. Of course, like all novelties, the store had haters and doubters which my family members had heroically endured. They tried to ignore the sarcastic, hurtful comments and replied only to those regarding whom they saw that they did not understand what was happening to our Earth, and attacked because of this. They didn’t want to force anyone to change their lifestyle immediately, but many people were still skeptical.

At this time, I spent my last year as a private student in my elementary school, concentrating on the exams. In the morning, I helped in the store, worked the cash register, cleaned and talked to customers, who listened with great interest to my opinion regarding my mother’s suddenly implemented plan and the business. I usually spent my afternoons studying diligently, with sheets of previous entrance exams, and training with my horse in the evening.

Then luck shined on me again half a year later, when I was invited to a high school oral exam, where they asked me precisely about environmental awareness. At first it went lamely and slowly, because anyone who knows me knows how difficult it is for me to talk to strangers in stressful situations. But the committee was terribly patient and kind towards me, so they gave me a few minutes to start over and reformulate my thoughts. I told them all the important things that I thought they should know about noPack, and then I wanted to get to the global climate change and the international issues that are becoming more and more pressing, but they wanted to know more. All three of them had glittering eyes and they almost demanded from me to tell more. Needless to say, I was a little bit over the 10 minutes that were set out, so when I came out I found myself before my mom’s eyes full of tears. I asked her what was wrong, and she replied that she heard everything and she is so proud of me that I can grasp this problem at such a young age and I feel its weight.

 Unfortunately, after this period, the store had to close for family and personal reasons, but since then, there has been a huge change in our lives, both humanly and personally and as a family. We knew what we could do to make our environment cleaner and it was a power that we could control.However, the focus is not on superiority, but on the fact that we did it all on our own and though the fully “green” life is still far away, it might not even be achieved in this century, but we get closer and closer every day to the solution, to a better life. To the future.

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