What makes standing by what you believe in even more powerful? Collaborating with like-minded people and turning your shared vision into reality! Anna and Marcus, founders of the sustainability focused online magazine Viertel \ Vor, took that by heart. Not only do they work together and are a couple in their private life, but also want to encourage all of us to join them in their quest for living a more aware lifestyle. Based in Brandenburg near Berlin, Anna and Marcus channel all their creative power into showcasing the work of other sustainability driven people, highlighting important issues regarding consumerism, and educating all of us about how to live a greener lifestyle – sounds like a perfect fit for our artists of the month category, doesn’t it?
With earth day just behind us, we asked Anna and Marcus all about how Viertel \ Vor started and what their wishes for the sustainability-movement are.
How did the idea for Viertel \ Vor come about?
Anna: We are both freelancers. Marcus is a video director, DOP, and a damn good photographer, too. I’m a journalist and copywriter. We were always lucky to have good assignments for large brands, agencies, magazines, and publishers. But bit by bit we realized that we often made good advertising for bad stuff. We were busy promoting things and ideas that are not truly important to us.
Marcus: Also, the always-recurring trends and the consumption lifestyle of our Western culture bored us. I can’t find anything interesting in going to a mall and don’t feel satisfied by buying anything. The whole topic of sustainability on the other hand is a real challenge that questions our whole socialization. This is much more exciting!
Anna: So, suddenly Marcus dropped one very decisive sentence: We need new role models. In a way, that’s what Viertel \ Vor is all about: People who think different. People who care about happy bees, enough trees, fresh air and clean water. Modern environmentalists who want to support our local planet while having fun! Thinking about sustainability is cool. It does not have to be complicated. It can look good, taste good, smell good, and give us and everyone around a good time.
Marcus: And we personally are happy to now be able to combine our skills with a good purpose.
How do you find a good balance between work and (private-)life?
Marcus: As a freelancer I learned over the years to stop working at a certain point and try to handle my worklife as if I would be employed somewhere. The problem is that I find so many interesting topics in my timelines that I have to think about work all the time. That’s cool, but that’s also why it’s sometimes hard to really let go. I’ll have to switch off my cell or Social Media to really calm down. The best thing for that is to work in the garden.
Anna: So true! Because, to be honest, sometimes I can’t find this balance! Since the launch of Viertel \ Vor work and life are pretty much intertwined. But it’s also more fun to work now, so sometimes it’s ok to mix up the so-called work-life-balance. Nevertheless, I’m currently trying to have one cellphone free day per week. Apart from that, we never capture real private or too special moments for our blogazine and social media, sorry! Especially moments in nature like a beautiful sundown in Brandenburg, where we mostly live, have to be enjoyed without any thoughts about Insta-Stories or stuff like that in my opinion.
What does “sustainability” mean to you?
Marcus: To make sure that we live in balance with natural resources and processes so our kids can have a good environment to live in.
Anna: For me it simply means to care. Think about what leads to what, think about what’s really important. And – most importantly: reduce! We don’t expect anyone to become totally ascetic. But a little less fast fashion items, better meat, and here and there a renouncement of plastic waste is easy to do! Example: Say no to Coffee-to-go and take your time to drink it. Or buy a nice reusable mug.
Apart from that, what can everybody do to start living a more sustainable life?
Anna: Sharp your awareness! Just start to care a little more about production conditions and materials. Buy local food or skip fast fashion. When it comes to clothes my favorite mantra is “less is more”. It’s cool to just have a few pieces – real favorites.
Marcus: It’s actually not that hard. You can switch to renewable energy anytime. You can start to shop local and without plastic anytime. You can switch to a bank that doesn’t invest into fossil fuels, weapons or shitty companies. You can do all those things right now and without any big effort. It’s your decision.
What are the small things everyone can look out for in everyday life?
Marcus: Invest your money wisely. With every Euro or Dollar you spend you support a certain company and a certain way of production. Ask yourself which companies you want to support – those who treat this planet like shit or those who care and think forward and sustainable. Again – it’s your decision.
Is there something specific everyone should know about sustainability?
Marcus: You are the one that has the power to change everything.
Where do you see the future of the sustainability-movement?
Anna: I would love for it to become sexier! Because with a little more fun and style, a lot of the harder and even much more important environment-topics could reach the mainstream much faster. Apart from that, we are sure that sustainability and a green lifestyle are more than a trend or even more than a movement. It’s a must. And it affects all of us.
Marcus: Yes. I hope that it’s not just a movement anymore but a status-quo.
By Trisha Balster