Unveiling the Importance of Sustainable Well-Being Education

The intersection between individual health and environmental stewardship holds significant promise for creating positive change on a larger scale. The SWEPPP project is an initiative for helping such a constructive transformation.


Did you know that not walking an hour per day is considered a high health risk? [1]

After years of working in sustainable management, I found myself increasingly drawn to the lifestyle aspect of the field. It began with a stack of books - titles like "How Not To Die"[2], "We Are the Weather" [3] or “How Bad Are Bananas” [4] - that opened my eyes to the profound impact of everyday choices on health and the environment. As I delved deeper into these pages, I couldn't help but share the fascinating tidbits with my family and friends, sparking conversations with enthusiastic exclamations of "Did you know that…". I found that many of the tips from these books required minimal effort to incorporate into the daily routine.

Of course, our living environment and the people we share it with impact our lifestyle and our motivation to enact positive changes. I feel fortunate to reside in a city and be part of a community that actively promotes mindful living. Berlin, where I live, is committed to achieving climate neutrality by 2045 [5]. Nearly 40% of the city is adorned with natural spaces such as parks, forests, rivers, and lakes [6],providing ample opportunities for residents to ‘connect with nature’. Moreover, Berlin boasts a bike-friendly infrastructure, making it convenient for people to commute sustainably and to meet daily exercise requirements, at least to some extent. Additionally, many cafes and restaurants in the city offer plant-based food options, reflecting a commitment to healthy and environmentally friendly practices.

With access to knowledge and the support of a supportive community and environment, I steadily integrated healthier lifestyle choices into my daily routine. By doing so, I not only improved my health but also felt a sense of contribution to the environment.

While I understand that individual actions for the well-being of our planet may seem insignificant, and that we need systematic change in various areas, I firmly believe in the collective impact of millions, as the saying goes, “We don’t need a handful of people doing [zero waste] perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly". [7]

After reflecting on this personal journey towards embracing sustainable well-being-an approach that integrates personal, professional and planetary well-being-it became evident that the intersection between individual health and environmental stewardship holds significant promise for creating positive change on a larger scale; the SWEPPP project is an initiative for helping such a constructive transformation and I’m thrilled to be part of the project team.

Throughout our project, we'll be sharing captivating posts that delve into different facets of sustainable well-being. In this first blog post, allow me to introduce you to our project, its purpose, and the intriguing content you can anticipate from SWEPPP!

In today's ever-evolving landscape, the effects of COVID-19 and global conflicts have reshaped our lives, impacting millions worldwide. From remote work-induced social isolation to rising living costs, stress has become a pervasive force, impacting mental and physical well-being. The Eurofound report, for instance, highlights a growing concern about depression, signaling the urgent need for action [8]. According to the European Economic and Social Committee, a new vision of prosperity for people and the environment is required for the post-pandemic recovery, one that integrates economic, environmental, and social elements [9].

In this context, raising awareness and supporting individuals for behavioral change towards leading healthier and sustainable lifestyles are crucial. Education plays a pivotal role here, helping individuals understand the links between their own well-being and that of our planet; guiding them through available tools and methods to promote well-being; and by providing opportunities to learn by practicing and gaining essential skills.

At the forefront of this is the SWEPPP project. By addressing well-being across three key dimensions -personal, professional, and planetary- SWEPPP aims to empower individuals to thrive while positively impacting the environment. By emphasizing the integration of knowledge and skills, SWEPPP aims to catalyze behavioral changes and foster healthier lifestyles. Our approach includes a comprehensive training curriculum, e-learning courses built on micro-credentials, and accessible guides. While our primary focus is on university students and teachers, we endeavor to reach a broader audience by designing our outputs in modular and scalable formats.

The SWEPPP team is committed to helping foster sustainable, resilient societies and embracing the digital age responsibly. By recognizing the impact of digital technologies on our lives, both positive and negative, the SWEPPP project tries to ensure that no aspect of our well-being is left unaddressed.

In essence, SWEPPP embodies a holistic approach to well-being, bridging individual welfare with environmental stewardship. Join us as we embark on a journey towards a healthier, more sustainable future for all. Together, we can make a difference!

Author: Ela Kurtcu, EMG


[1] Exercise as Medicine

[2] "How Not to Die" by Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM with Gene Stone

[3] "We Are The Weather" by Jonathan Safran Foer

[4] “How bad Are Bananas” by Mike Berners-Lee

[5] Climate Neutral Berlin

[6] Green Connectivity

[7] “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” quote by Anne-Marie Bonneau

[8] Living Working and Covid 19

[9] Wellbeing Economy