Stine Sonnichsen

We asked some young people in Copenhagen to share their thoughts on life, creativity and sustainability.



Article | 04:12 min read

Portrait of

Stine Sonnichsen


Copenhagen, Denmark

Still photography by

Frederik Kjeldgaard

Interviewed by

Adam Morris Philp

“I love my busy, everyday life. I love it. But sometimes I also kind of need to get away from it a little bit to actually remember what I love about it.”

My name is Stine and I’m 25 years old. I live in Copenhagen and study interactive design.

I grew up in Copenhagen. My dad was a sailor, so he was sometimes away for longer periods of time. When I was seven, after my little brother was born, we decided to move to the countryside. I had a really good childhood, and I’m really happy that I grew up surrounded by nature with the possibility to bike around and see friends all the time instead of growing up in the city.

I got to be a child for a very long time. When I compare myself to people I know who grew up in the city, I think that I had a childish mind for a longer time.

Do you have some special memories that have shaped you?

If I had to point out one thing that was meaningful to me during my childhood, it would be that I really wanted a younger sibling for many years. My mother got pregnant several times but lost each one. I remember being told, that I’m now going to be a big sister, but it never happened. I was always so disappointed and so sad.

I will always remember when she finally got pregnant and when I actually got a little brother. It was the most precious thing, the biggest gift I could imagine. I was seven years old.

I remember that I fell asleep in my parents’ bed and I woke up only because my grandmother came to the house. My dad had left because my mother was in labor, and they were gone the entire day. I was so confused and so worried that something went wrong because it did so many times. And then I just remember the next day, my dad came home and woke me up and he was like, Oh, you have a little brother, and he’s this big. He shows with his arms. It was a huge relief for me. 

Sometimes if you imagine that something will be really bad, and then it actually turns out to be the best thing, it makes that good feeling even stronger.

What makes you happy?

I realized that it makes me happy when I create. It makes me happy to work with inspiring and talented people to create something that I am proud of. I’m really trying to achieve that as much as possible right now.

What do you fear the most?

I fear losing the people I love. I actually lost my grandparents recently, and they were a big part of my family. That made me realize how much I like to spend time with my family, which is ironic now that they aren’t here anymore. It’s not something that I ever really thought about before. But I guess it just kind of hit me recently that people can disappear.

I also fear that I won’t be able to make a living off of what I love to do. I fear what my life could bring after studying.

What is important to you?

The short answer is that it’s important for me to be happy. It’s also important for me not to be stressed. For me, the feeling of happiness is very equal to the feeling of excitement – I get a tickling feeling in my chest and stomach.

What does sustainability mean to you?

For me, sustainability is small actions that can be taken every day. I like to think of sustainability as me being the focus, and not anyone else. I try not to involve anyone else in this because it’s so easy to get disappointed and it’s so easy to get lost. Whether it’s a small task of big decision, it’s easier to be motivated to do something sustainable when I focus on myself, and the actions that I can do in my everyday life.

It’s not really a question for me whether I should make the most sustainable choice or not. I think it’s obvious that whenever it makes sense for me to make a sustainable choice, I will try and make it. But with that said, I am no angel. I think it’s impossible for anyone to do everything in the most sustainable way.

It’s just super important to remember that everything counts, and even though you made some bad choices during your day, you can make up for it by making the right choice next time.

What is unique about this planet?

I try not to think about our planet in relation to other planets or other life forms because it’s too much for me to wrap my head around.

This planet is unbelievably amazing. I think we have something that is truly unique, and we just aren’t grateful enough. I actually get a little sad when thinking about Earth – we’ve destroyed it so much in my lifetime alone.

It’s evolving so fast. And it’s scary, because where are we going to be in another 25 years? Are we even going to want to make babies and families three generations after mine? I sometimes doubt so, especially if we continue to destroy it as fast as we do now.

Is nature important to you?

I have traveled a lot, and I’ve seen some amazing landscapes and stunning nature in more exotic places than Denmark. This past summer I spent a lot of time at my parent’s house, and we started to track how far we could walk. Every morning we would pack our bags and walk 20-30 kilometers. There was something truly special about those trips. It was just us and the Danish forest, no other people in sight.

Those experiences with nature are worth more to me than going to see a waterfall in Thailand. I sometimes forget that Denmark can be stunning.

It wasn’t until I moved away from it and into the city that I realized how important it is for me to be able to be surrounded by calm, green nature. I take a deep breath every time I step off the train from Copenhagen to my hometown.

Do you think there is hope?

I believe my generation is super aware and very good at taking action, and I think that the next generation is going to be better yet. I think they’re going to be even more aware of environmental issues. So yes, I think there is hope, but maybe not in my lifetime.

I highly doubt that we’re going to turn the ship around within the next few years, but I will definitely do my part to create the tiniest footprint possible. We can all do something – but we all need to do something. We especially need the politicians to help us get back on track.

I also think we would definitely have a better planet if we were all kinder to each other. It makes me sad to see how nasty people can be online, for example. I feel like this is something that is becoming a bigger and bigger problem.