Yesterday, I sat sewing and listening to the radio. I heard Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, argue that the retirement age in a country should not be the same for everyone. He argued that it should rather be a matter of how many years you’ve worked, because people working low-income jobs start working earlier, while academics start working later. Looking at years worked would make it fairer.

This morning as I scrolled my phone in bed, I saw not only one but two people on my Facebook, selling everything they own to live unconventional lives. One of them was moving to Bali and the other one into a van. I don’t know how they are going to support themselves financially but I assume they have jobs they can do remotely.

I started thinking of my parents. They have very similar backgrounds but very different experiences from working. My mom worked as an assistant nurse in elderly care with many heavy lifts, while my dad had the opportunity to work an office job with a better salary and conditions than my mom ever had. Life has definitely treated them differently, also after retiring.

I couldn’t help but wonder: What will happen to society as we know it if more of us fulfill ourselves with less work and more time to live? Would we consume less and live more sustainable lives? Personally, I hope for a societal change where the opportunities to choose a sustainable life are attainable for more people. To slow down shouldn’t be a privilege.

Alejandra Cerda Ojensa is a Swedish sustainability blogger based in Copenhagen. She loves sustainable fashion, plant-based food, natural wines and music, and writes a column for Scan Magazine about sustainable lifestyle.


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