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Eliza’s green cookies
Episode #81
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to give a first series of Green Business workshops at the Fachhochschule Bingen, which beautifully complement my other series of lectures about Entrepreneurship. The rules of the game for one of the final exams are the following: Students are expected to develop their dreams about an entrepreneurial activity, either profit or non-profit oriented. They need to start thinking about ideas to make their dreams come true, and finally they need to sell me their ideas, as if I were a philanthropic kind of investor, who is much more interested in the environmental and socially innovative aspects of the ideas, than on pure business outcomes… 
Of course philanthropic investors are not completely out of their minds, and expect a certain level of profitability, that is, the project idea needs to be able to cover costs, and pay reasonable salaries at some point, but it is not expected to make anyone a millionaire…The project ideas are rather supposed to build a new world, where Being has much more weight than Having, and where people collaborate with nature, rather than spoil it to obtain questionable short-term economic benefits. 
Both lectures where a success, and I especially loved Green Business, which was pure and “useless”, and did not expect any utilitarian outcome like the Entrepreneurship lectures… but in life, both aspects are interesting at some point. The students were inspired and inspiring, and started to create their own social utopias, and ecotopias… We all enjoyed our few days together, and we will keep collaborating on such refreshing projects.For some ideas technology played a secondary role, that is, rather as means to some beautiful end. In other cases technology played a central role.
Some people asked me for feedback about their ideas around electric cars, and I could not help myself, and told them, of course, what I thought… 
I am suspicious of electric cars, because they represent more of the same shit, but with different (and not essentially revolutionary) technology:
Electric cars also need to be produced, that is, you need to throw away your current car and buy a new one…
Electric cars also use metal, high-tech, and rare earths, which are also precious natural resources
Electric cars have environmentally polluting batteries, which can only be recycled up to a certain efficiency point, much lower than the recycling capabilities of organic matter 
The trend around electric cars still follows the primitive trend around individual transportation, which sucks
Individual transportation for more and more cars, be it electric cars or not, still needs motorways, and parking garages, and lots of cement and concrete based architecture 
Electric cars consume electricity, and even electricity coming from renewable sources is not to be misused: The best Watt will always be the Watt which is not consumed.
On top of all this we have our growth rates for every THING, oh dear!
Summarizing, in my own social ecotopia I reduce individual transportation to a minimum, and this minimum is lean and powered by human energy, like e.g. bikes… And, needless to say, I despise electric bikes for healthy people. 
I plead for new technologies based on product longevity, repairs, non-disruptive transformation… Example: I want to keep my computer, my smart-phone and my car for 20 years, and I expect YOU, brilliant high-tech companies, to help me achieve this goal in an environmentally and socially friendly way.
What do you say to that? Are you really innovative, or are you a chicken?

Eliza’s green cookies

Episode #81

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to give a first series of Green Business workshops at the Fachhochschule Bingen, which beautifully complement my other series of lectures about Entrepreneurship.
The rules of the game for one of the final exams are the following: Students are expected to develop their dreams about an entrepreneurial activity, either profit or non-profit oriented. They need to start thinking about ideas to make their dreams come true, and finally they need to sell me their ideas, as if I were a philanthropic kind of investor, who is much more interested in the environmental and socially innovative aspects of the ideas, than on pure business outcomes…

Of course philanthropic investors are not completely out of their minds, and expect a certain level of profitability, that is, the project idea needs to be able to cover costs, and pay reasonable salaries at some point, but it is not expected to make anyone a millionaire…
The project ideas are rather supposed to build a new world, where Being has much more weight than Having, and where people collaborate with nature, rather than spoil it to obtain questionable short-term economic benefits. 

Both lectures where a success, and I especially loved Green Business, which was pure and “useless”, and did not expect any utilitarian outcome like the Entrepreneurship lectures… but in life, both aspects are interesting at some point.
The students were inspired and inspiring, and started to create their own social utopias, and ecotopias… We all enjoyed our few days together, and we will keep collaborating on such refreshing projects.

For some ideas technology played a secondary role, that is, rather as means to some beautiful end. In other cases technology played a central role.

Some people asked me for feedback about their ideas around electric cars, and I could not help myself, and told them, of course, what I thought…

I am suspicious of electric cars, because they represent more of the same shit, but with different (and not essentially revolutionary) technology:

  • Electric cars also need to be produced, that is, you need to throw away your current car and buy a new one…
  • Electric cars also use metal, high-tech, and rare earths, which are also precious natural resources
  • Electric cars have environmentally polluting batteries, which can only be recycled up to a certain efficiency point, much lower than the recycling capabilities of organic matter 
  • The trend around electric cars still follows the primitive trend around individual transportation, which sucks
  • Individual transportation for more and more cars, be it electric cars or not, still needs motorways, and parking garages, and lots of cement and concrete based architecture 
  • Electric cars consume electricity, and even electricity coming from renewable sources is not to be misused: The best Watt will always be the Watt which is not consumed.
  • On top of all this we have our growth rates for every THING, oh dear!

Summarizing, in my own social ecotopia I reduce individual transportation to a minimum, and this minimum is lean and powered by human energy, like e.g. bikes… And, needless to say, I despise electric bikes for healthy people. 

I plead for new technologies based on product longevity, repairs, non-disruptive transformation…
Example: I want to keep my computer, my smart-phone and my car for 20 years, and I expect YOU, brilliant high-tech companies, to help me achieve this goal in an environmentally and socially friendly way.

What do you say to that? Are you really innovative, or are you a chicken?

Eliza’s green cookies
Episode #80
About Herumschildkröteln, tortoising and slothing around, and further dirty things I did today…

I dedicate this episode to Peter and Jörg, apropos Gerhard Polt’s “Herumschildkröteln”. Yesterday we had a very inspiring project meeting about a creative event we are organizing, the details of which I will announce within the next months. Along the way we used the chance to philosophize around, about charming energy management, about strange and forbidden business models, about the meaning of all forms of life… 
I also learned about the Bayern version of Zen: Das Herumschildkröteln, which I was about to innocently translate  as “Tortoising around” or “Slothing around”, had I not just found out in the urban dictionary in the web that the forms above, and further related terms involving slow animals, have either dirty connotations, or are pretty much insulting.
And this falls wonderfully into place regarding the topic of my blog today.
We are not allowed to take the time, be present, be calm, be slow, without having the feeling that we are doing something wrong, dirty, and obscene!

Do you know what I did today, also feeling pretty guilty and quite ashamed at the beginning? I decided not to go to work today, even though I have mountains of stuff on my desk! I took my bike, and went to Heidelberg city center instead. I parked the bike somewhere before arriving at Bismarckplatz, and started to walk around, without hurry, without destination, without goal. It was not even a sunny day: Rather shitty-grey weather, it was. Not many people on the street, I mean walking… enough people around, stuffed inside their cars. I walked for a couple of hours, discovered a couple of art ateliers with social touch I was not aware of, I spent some time at the Uni Bibliothek, looking through windows and at the ceiling, doing nothing. I had lunch at a silent restaurant, which smells like spices and tea. I did not talk much, and I did not check my Emails much.

When I got home in the afternoon, I composed the piano piece for the animation blog today:
I’m a process…

Eliza’s green cookiesEpisode #79
I also have the emotional wish to live, and love, and think, and create, and BE forever. I am pretty scared about suffering, and sickness, and I am wary of the ultimate big unknown: The “NOT TO BE”. But in the meanwhile there is something that frightens me much more than death: Key Performance Indicators, also known as KPIs.Measurable KPIs scare me shitless:KPIs about economic growth, about revenues, about profits, about amount of employees “owned” by companies, about amounts of data, about amounts of sensors, about counters, about meters, about how old are we getting today, and how very much older we will get tomorrow, thanks to freaking PROGRESS!
The more I think about it, the less I have against death. Death is a pretty reasonable trick of nature, and in some cases it can be brilliant. Of course I hate it when loved people die, especially if they are under a certain age, dictated by the latest mean statistics, and average social expectations: Thou shalt not die if you’re under 81.332 years old, you sucker!I also hate to think about my own decay some time in the near or far future. I am also human, and I am also subject to the social, and cultural pressures of my time.But still, despite all the surrounding lies and half truths, I see it crystal clear: Important is not HOW LONG we live, but rather how authentic and fulfilling our lives are. Statistics and KPIs are killing us softly day in, day out. Let’s fight them!

Eliza’s green cookies
Episode #79

I also have the emotional wish to live, and love, and think, and create, and BE forever. I am pretty scared about suffering, and sickness, and I am wary of the ultimate big unknown: The “NOT TO BE”. But in the meanwhile there is something that frightens me much more than death: Key Performance Indicators, also known as KPIs.
Measurable KPIs scare me shitless:
KPIs about economic growth, about revenues, about profits, about amount of employees “owned” by companies, about amounts of data, about amounts of sensors, about counters, about meters, about how old are we getting today, and how very much older we will get tomorrow, thanks to freaking PROGRESS!

The more I think about it, the less I have against death. Death is a pretty reasonable trick of nature, and in some cases it can be brilliant.
Of course I hate it when loved people die, especially if they are under a certain age, dictated by the latest mean statistics, and average social expectations: Thou shalt not die if you’re under 81.332 years old, you sucker!
I also hate to think about my own decay some time in the near or far future. I am also human, and I am also subject to the social, and cultural pressures of my time.
But still, despite all the surrounding lies and half truths, I see it crystal clear: Important is not HOW LONG we live, but rather how authentic and fulfilling our lives are.
Statistics and KPIs are killing us softly day in, day out. Let’s fight them!

Eliza’s green cookiesEpisode #78
I was mentally designing one of my next animations around a quote from David Foster Wallace… <Short parenthesis>Since I am a greenhorn = Grünschnabel = absolute beginner, my simple animations usually take a lot of sweat, a lot of time and a lot of try and error, intermingled with a lot of fun… Meaning that you will have to wait a while until I publish this particular animation. I know you cannot wait for it… But bear with me, my dears!<End of short parenthesis>
… when I came across his perspective on “real freedom”, which involves awareness, effort and even sacrifice, opposed to the human default setting “rat race”, which rather strives for comfort, idleness, and power in an infinitely egotistic way. His ideas around “real freedom” are enlightening… Freedom, “free will”, or whatever we want to call our capacity to choose our paths in life, is not really about choosing to do what we are already inclined to do by nature, or nurture, or culture. If we are driven and inclined to do something per default, we are not choosing much, are we? I also believe that freedom is rather about choosing to do the right thing, even if it is not easy for us, even if it involves loads of work, loads of patience, loads of frustration, loads of insecurity. 
Choosing the right way, even if it is no more than a mental illusion after all, will definitely involve fun, and satisfaction as well.I also love fun, intellectual fun, physical fun, erotic pleasures, good food (by the way, ecologically grown food, and animal respecting food has a much better taste in all senses, I tell you), and adrenaline rushes from time to time… Not all the “right choices” need to involve sacrifice, but they will definitely involve effort, and will not be exactly what we want or are inclined to do per default. So, the Aliens are right…

Eliza’s green cookies
Episode #78

I was mentally designing one of my next animations around a quote from David Foster Wallace… 
<Short parenthesis>
Since I am a greenhorn = Grünschnabel = absolute beginner, my simple animations usually take a lot of sweat, a lot of time and a lot of try and error, intermingled with a lot of fun… Meaning that you will have to wait a while until I publish this particular animation. I know you cannot wait for it… But bear with me, my dears!
<End of short parenthesis>

… when I came across his perspective on “real freedom”, which involves awareness, effort and even sacrifice, opposed to the human default setting “rat race”, which rather strives for comfort, idleness, and power in an infinitely egotistic way. 
His ideas around “real freedom” are enlightening… Freedom, “free will”, or whatever we want to call our capacity to choose our paths in life, is not really about choosing to do what we are already inclined to do by nature, or nurture, or culture. 
If we are driven and inclined to do something per default, we are not choosing much, are we? 
I also believe that freedom is rather about choosing to do the right thing, even if it is not easy for us, even if it involves loads of work, loads of patience, loads of frustration, loads of insecurity. 

Choosing the right way, even if it is no more than a mental illusion after all, will definitely involve fun, and satisfaction as well.
I also love fun, intellectual fun, physical fun, erotic pleasures, good food (by the way, ecologically grown food, and animal respecting food has a much better taste in all senses, I tell you), and adrenaline rushes from time to time… 
Not all the “right choices” need to involve sacrifice, but they will definitely involve effort, and will not be exactly what we want or are inclined to do per default. 
So, the Aliens are right…

Eliza’s green cookiesEpisode #77
I&#8217;ll keep preaching about LESS things, and less modularization of knowledge, and less industrialization of goods and thoughts, and less speed, and MORE creativity, and more holistic perspectives, and more humanity in science and technology, and more serenity and calmness&#8230; Preaching until the end of time, not only to you, but also to myself&#8230;
I am also a humble daughter of a time of abundance, money deification, insensitivity, and void&#8230; trying to escape our hopeless fate, and trying to take you with me on this often solitary adventure.

Eliza’s green cookies
Episode #77

I’ll keep preaching about LESS things, and less modularization of knowledge, and less industrialization of goods and thoughts, and less speed, and MORE creativity, and more holistic perspectives, and more humanity in science and technology, and more serenity and calmness… Preaching until the end of time, not only to you, but also to myself…

I am also a humble daughter of a time of abundance, money deification, insensitivity, and void… trying to escape our hopeless fate, and trying to take you with me on this often solitary adventure.

sense (from Theo)

this job does make real sense - Respect !

Gemma’s answer: The comment above comes from a good colleague and refers to our latest Green Building project: Thanks, Theo!

Enjoy the results of our latest Green Building project! I am proud of our team in Barcelona for making all this happen.

Enjoy the results of our latest Green Building project! I am proud of our team in Barcelona for making all this happen.

Eliza&#8217;s green cookiesEpisode #76
We hear all over from &#8220;enlightened&#8221; politicians, industry, press, and people on the street, that we need sustainable growth.
What an oxymoron!
What bullshit! 
Oh, dear!

Eliza’s green cookies
Episode #76

We hear all over from “enlightened” politicians, industry, press, and people on the street, that we need sustainable growth.

What an oxymoron!

What bullshit! 

Oh, dear!

Leather horrors, consumption horrors

A couple of days ago I watched a new documentary film about the ecological and social horrors around the leather industry. The reported facts were not new to me, but they were nonetheless depressing, and highly “disillusioning” (“enttäuschend”) in the To Have or To Be? sense. 

This is the link to the ZDF report I watched (in German):

Gift auf unserer Haut

And this is a link to related information around the leather industry by the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) organization (in English):

The Leather Industry

I despise the way how we are continuously manipulated and biased by the press and the media and the industry, in all possible directions, even those we are in favor of.

I am afraid of our growing incapacity to feel horrified by such reports as the ones above. We are saturated with information and horrors and sometimes we no longer know what to believe, even from “serious” channels. But some facts are undeniable…

We have no longer an authentic connection to what we need and don’t need in order to live and enjoy our lives. Most of us would probably starve if left alone and isolated in a small community. Our industrialized communities have lost the capacity to locally farm, produce clothes, and shoes, and furniture, and energy… and  enjoy our lives with simpler, local blessings.

I also want a global world, with integrated, self-sufficient local communities working together with other communities all over the world, and exchanging things which are worth exchanging, and this includes ideas, art, processes, and less THINGS. It would be a big community of communities of equals, instead of the current global world, where we minimize our local social and ecological problems only at the cost of growing such problems exponentially somewhere else.  

Eliza’s green cookiesEpisode #75
Rereading To Have or To Be? by Erich Fromm, feeling a bit like an alien&#8230; Feeling sad, because we have learned so little since the book was published in the 1970&#8217;s&#8230; because we have learned so little since the beginning of humankind.Feeling refreshed because there is still a chance&#8230;

Eliza’s green cookies
Episode #75

Rereading To Have or To Be? by Erich Fromm, feeling a bit like an alien… Feeling sad, because we have learned so little since the book was published in the 1970’s… because we have learned so little since the beginning of humankind.
Feeling refreshed because there is still a chance…

FlyPink’s environmental message to the world…

Logo WeeDooCare

Eliza’s green cookies
Episode #74

If you cannot display swf files, See Fly Pink’s message as mp4

Eliza’s green cookiesEpisode #73
Below is a summary of the ecologically retarded advice we get most of the time, from software vendors, from consumer product vendors, from the dentist, from the General Practitioner, from Medical Doctors, from politicians, from governments, from car dealers, from almost every industry branch:  
IF you have the smallest CRACK somewhere THEN       REPLACE the WHOLE OR BUY a NEW ONE       AND       NEVER REPAIR cause it&#8217;s not cheaper and we don&#8217;t do it anywayEND
Stupid economy &#8230; 

Eliza’s green cookies
Episode #73

Below is a summary of the ecologically retarded advice we get most of the time, from software vendors, from consumer product vendors, from the dentist, from the General Practitioner, from Medical Doctors, from politicians, from governments, from car dealers, from almost every industry branch:  

IF you have the smallest CRACK somewhere THEN
       REPLACE the WHOLE OR BUY a NEW ONE
       AND
       NEVER REPAIR cause it’s not cheaper and we don’t do it anyway
END

Stupid economy … 

Eliza&#8217;s green cookiesEpisode #72
There are different ways to address environmental issues. Some people are passionate about protecting whales, some others demonstrate against deployment of nuclear waste, others ride their bikes as much as they can to reduce car pollution, others are vegan&#8230; A couple of days ago they showed a Gasland documentary about fracking on TV. I already knew a bit about the dangers of fracking, but the most frustrating part is that fracking is only one more example of environmental raping out of a long, long list. 
I created the drawing above with the question marks everywhere to express my confusion and frustration&#8230;
What bothers me still is that my calling is not as focused and crystal clear as it is for other environmentally conscious people&#8230; I do not feel called to, say, save whales, although I highly value the efforts of people doing it with passion. I am still looking for my own way, and my calling is still fuzzy, and full of question marks. I intuitively feel that my contribution has to do with integration, spreading of knowledge, broadcasting&#8230; maybe with a touch of art and software here and there&#8230; I am not yet proud of my strategy, even though I already achieved a couple of small things.
Such &#8220;downs&#8221; as the one I am feeling today are part of life, and it is valid to be down from time to time, to be able to get up again. 

Eliza’s green cookies
Episode #72

There are different ways to address environmental issues. Some people are passionate about protecting whales, some others demonstrate against deployment of nuclear waste, others ride their bikes as much as they can to reduce car pollution, others are vegan… A couple of days ago they showed a Gasland documentary about fracking on TV. I already knew a bit about the dangers of fracking, but the most frustrating part is that fracking is only one more example of environmental raping out of a long, long list. 

I created the drawing above with the question marks everywhere to express my confusion and frustration…

What bothers me still is that my calling is not as focused and crystal clear as it is for other environmentally conscious people… I do not feel called to, say, save whales, although I highly value the efforts of people doing it with passion. I am still looking for my own way, and my calling is still fuzzy, and full of question marks. I intuitively feel that my contribution has to do with integration, spreading of knowledge, broadcasting… maybe with a touch of art and software here and there… I am not yet proud of my strategy, even though I already achieved a couple of small things.

Such “downs” as the one I am feeling today are part of life, and it is valid to be down from time to time, to be able to get up again. 

Eliza&#8217;s green cookiesEpisode #71
"The others" ecological benchmark
Sometimes I create a few cartoons in advance to compensate for those times when I have not much time for anything. I created the one above in December 2012, and decided to publish it today because it fits an exciting conversation we had yesterday with Dani and Lluís regarding the &#8220;power of the neighbors&#8221; as potential ecological drivers.
What is it that motivates people most?Money? Sex? Political clout? Possessions? Well, probably those above contribute a bit to our daily motivation, but what seems to influence us a hell of a lot, according to several findings around the psychology of the brain, is what &#8220;the others&#8221; think or do. And let&#8217;s be realistic: If we swim against the current, we are also, ironically, being influenced by what &#8220;the others&#8221; think or do.
I was not overly surprised when I heard the hypothesis that we may have developed human intelligence in our highly convoluted brains, in order to deal with the high complexity of our social relationships. Some behavioral experiments also show that people tend to behave more ethically whenever they feel &#8220;observed&#8221;.
One of the ways to motivate ourselves to act more ecologically can certainly be to compare ourselves with &#8221;the others&#8221;, with the goal of beating and outperforming the neighbors, of course. A first, simple benchmark could be around saving energy.Could this be the beginning of an ecological consciousness trip, together with all &#8220;the others&#8221;? 

Eliza’s green cookies
Episode #71

"The others" ecological benchmark

Sometimes I create a few cartoons in advance to compensate for those times when I have not much time for anything. I created the one above in December 2012, and decided to publish it today because it fits an exciting conversation we had yesterday with Dani and Lluís regarding the “power of the neighbors” as potential ecological drivers.

What is it that motivates people most?
Money? Sex? Political clout? Possessions?
Well, probably those above contribute a bit to our daily motivation, but what seems to influence us a hell of a lot, according to several findings around the psychology of the brain, is what “the others” think or do. And let’s be realistic: If we swim against the current, we are also, ironically, being influenced by what “the others” think or do.

I was not overly surprised when I heard the hypothesis that we may have developed human intelligence in our highly convoluted brains, in order to deal with the high complexity of our social relationships. Some behavioral experiments also show that people tend to behave more ethically whenever they feel “observed”.

One of the ways to motivate ourselves to act more ecologically can certainly be to compare ourselves with ”the others”, with the goal of beating and outperforming the neighbors, of course. A first, simple benchmark could be around saving energy.
Could this be the beginning of an ecological consciousness trip, together with all “the others”

Eliza&#8217;s green cookiesEpisode #70
Nothing in excess
"Nothing in excess" is one of the phrases carved into the Delphi temple dedicated to Apollo, and attributed to the The Seven Sages of Greece 2500 years ago. I came to this particular sentence thanks to Ian McCallum&#8217;s book "Ecological Intelligence". 500 years later, in his letters to his mother during his exile, Seneca wrote that "human beings do not require much to live". This idea is probably as old as human consciousness, and it is recurrent throughout philosophy and history&#8230; but we have not internalized it yet. We are doing just the opposite. We grow exponentially, and always crave for more, and more, and more. 
I am currently on a business trip in the US. I am not an airlines frequent traveler. I try to minimize my flights, and the corresponding amount of kerosene, as much as possible. This is my first long flight this year, and I decided to undertake this trip because it was important for my business, even though it partly contradicts some of my ecological beliefs. I am human, and therefore not fully consistent, although I try to be as consistent as possible within my human and cultural limitations&#8230; 
This is my first time in the US after 3 years, and even though these facts are not new to me, I cannot avoid being shocked at the waste and excess I find everywhere, tightly interweaved with the very nice and innovative people around.
Everything is BIG, everything is MORE:
My hotel bed, where at least 3 people could sleep in,
the amount of cars, and the conspicuous lack of public transportation and walking lanes (I am in Orlando, where this is especially striking),
the wasting amount of kWh energy invested in unhealthy 24x7 air conditioning everywhere,
the amount of packaging waste (coffee-to-go, fast food&#8230;),
the amount of water being used for not-so-important-things, such as, e.g. swimming pools and the like, even in desert-like areas where water is actually scarce
the amount of sugar and calories in industrial food&#8230;
I will fly back to Germany tomorrow with mixed feelings. On the one side, I am happy about the great people I have met, the things I have learned, the business opportunities I have developed. On the other side, I am sad at having been part of a game I do not enjoy playing: The game of waste, the game of excess.
Unfortunately, the game of excess is not really much better in the rest of the world. The industrial world, everywhere, does not stop craving for more. Some so-called &#8220;green companies&#8221; may conveniently deceive themselves into believing that &#8220;efficiency approaches and technology&#8221; will solve sustainability problems. But &#8220;efficiency&#8221; alone will not solve anything: It will rather make room for MORE products and MORE and FASTER shipments, and MORE and FASTER consumption.
The only way to address our environmental, and social problems is to educate ourselves to authentically DO NOTHING IN EXCESS. I believe education is one of the keys to enlightenment.

Eliza’s green cookies
Episode #70

Nothing in excess

"Nothing in excess" is one of the phrases carved into the Delphi temple dedicated to Apollo, and attributed to the The Seven Sages of Greece 2500 years ago. I came to this particular sentence thanks to Ian McCallum’s book "Ecological Intelligence". 500 years later, in his letters to his mother during his exile, Seneca wrote that "human beings do not require much to live". 
This idea is probably as old as human consciousness, and it is recurrent throughout philosophy and history… but we have not internalized it yet. We are doing just the opposite. We grow exponentially, and always crave for more, and more, and more. 

I am currently on a business trip in the US. I am not an airlines frequent traveler. I try to minimize my flights, and the corresponding amount of kerosene, as much as possible. This is my first long flight this year, and I decided to undertake this trip because it was important for my business, even though it partly contradicts some of my ecological beliefs. I am human, and therefore not fully consistent, although I try to be as consistent as possible within my human and cultural limitations… 

This is my first time in the US after 3 years, and even though these facts are not new to me, I cannot avoid being shocked at the waste and excess I find everywhere, tightly interweaved with the very nice and innovative people around.

Everything is BIG, everything is MORE:

  • My hotel bed, where at least 3 people could sleep in,
  • the amount of cars, and the conspicuous lack of public transportation and walking lanes (I am in Orlando, where this is especially striking),
  • the wasting amount of kWh energy invested in unhealthy 24x7 air conditioning everywhere,
  • the amount of packaging waste (coffee-to-go, fast food…),
  • the amount of water being used for not-so-important-things, such as, e.g. swimming pools and the like, even in desert-like areas where water is actually scarce
  • the amount of sugar and calories in industrial food…

I will fly back to Germany tomorrow with mixed feelings. On the one side, I am happy about the great people I have met, the things I have learned, the business opportunities I have developed. On the other side, I am sad at having been part of a game I do not enjoy playing: The game of waste, the game of excess.

Unfortunately, the game of excess is not really much better in the rest of the world. The industrial world, everywhere, does not stop craving for more. Some so-called “green companies” may conveniently deceive themselves into believing that “efficiency approaches and technology” will solve sustainability problems. But “efficiency” alone will not solve anything: It will rather make room for MORE products and MORE and FASTER shipments, and MORE and FASTER consumption.

The only way to address our environmental, and social problems is to educate ourselves to authentically DO NOTHING IN EXCESS. I believe education is one of the keys to enlightenment.