Unveiling hypocrisy: a path to conscious sustainability

By Carlijn Teunissen

I have something on my mind that I feel compelled to share. It’s been bothering me for a while and has stopped me from speaking up about it. I want to talk about sustainability, choices, and the issue of hypocrisy. I’ll take you on my journey from being a hypocrite to becoming more aware of my choices. 

Three people having lunch ate a office cafeteria.

Acknowledging personal hypocrisy

I was a dedicated vegetarian for four years, determined to do my part for a better world. However, during a 4-month journey from Africa to America, I wanted to taste and experience everything from every place I visited. I flew across the world and left a considerable ecological footprint behind, making me realize I was a hypocrite. 

white background with two bowls of hot meals and eight small bowls of toppings.

An honest self-reflection

The term “hypocrite” is often avoided or used to criticize others. But let’s be honest; we’re all sometimes hypocritical in our pursuit of sustainability. During my journey, I saw the consequences of tourism and the visible effects of climate change in the countries I visited. I couldn’t ignore these realities anymore and was forced to confront my own contradictions. 

Privilege, perspective, and a shift in awareness

As an Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG) Project Manager at Join Program, I had to be honest with myself. I advocate for sustainability but didn’t always make the most sustainable choices during my journey. Nevertheless, this realization made me understand the importance of awareness. We’re lucky to live in the Netherlands with unprecedented opportunities, but not everyone has the same privilege. I met local people who could only dream of international travel during my journey, which made me realize that awareness is crucial. It’s not about being perfect but understanding how our actions can impact the world globally. 

Forging a path to a sustainable future

As I return to my role as an ESG Project Manager, I feel more driven than ever. Awareness is the key to sustainability. We’re all hypocritical sometimes, but we can transform this into positive change. Let’s make conscious choices, one step at a time, and strive for more awareness, more responsibility, and a more sustainable planet. 

Carlijn Teunissen is ESG Project Manager at Join Program, and is on a journey for a more conscious and sustainable life.

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