Up to 60% don’t understand the word “Sustainability”

What is one of our biggest challenges in the transition to sustainability?

Eco-illiteracy. And that people don’t understand the word “su-stain-a-bi-li-ty”.

It’s foremost a cultural and educational problem: a condition fed by the lack of teaching “cause and effect”, and the inability to understand the natural systems that make life on Earth possible.

Up to 60% of people in America and the EU don’t under what they read in the newspaper. But just because you’re smart enough to understand why sustainability matters does not mean you will act upon it.

What will then?

Feelings. Emotions. Logic. Compassion. Empathy. Education – those words that are not accepted in a scientific world of words. But we cannot solve the climate crisis with technology only. We must be able to communicate the challenge in a language that everyone understands.




I’m just about to launch Redefine.xyz – an online co-created platform and dictionary that will provide everybody tools to communicate sustainability.

In the first hour we received 7 redefinitions of the word “Sustainability”: Smart, Flourishing, Sustention, Regenerative, the strength of carrying, and durability.

What does that tell us? That there is a need for communicating differently. A need for words that creates images related to nature and mind; smart, flourishing, strength.

I will blog more about ecoliteracy in the days to come! In the meantime, please go to http://redefine.xyz and help fill up the dictionary.

The official launch will happen in the first week of May!

If you’re interested in blogging for Redefine.xyz with ideas, information, tools and tips and tricks on how to visualize and communicate sustainability don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Kajsa Li Paludan

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