Eliza’s green cookies
About wine, food, precious water, and the art of skipping the daily shower. The trick is simple: No excess.
One of my companions in the quest for minimalism in our world of excess inspired me for this cartoon a couple of days ago. He started to name a couple of figures about the amounts of water required for production of basic things like food, clothes, and the like, and when he mentioned that the production of 1 liter of wine requires around 400 liters of water, I almost blushed…
Wine is one of my regular sins…
Figures must never be taken isolated, or out of context, and I was a bit relieved when I learned that the figures about wine are not the worst…
According to some studies (one of them by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers . You can see a summary in The Guardian: about food, water, and HTML5 visualizations), chocolate and beef are the winners in the ranking. I checked a couple of other sources and they seem to agree with each other.
Chocolate requires a bit more than 17000 liters of water, and beef requires a bit more than 15000 liters of water per kg of final product.
Vegetables are the leanest creatures on earth as far as water for production is concerned.
We should not fall into the temptation of trivializing, and comparing apples and oranges. We surely need a certain amount of proteins to survive, and live with dignity as human beings, but we do not necessarily need alcohol, so I should not feel so relieved after all…
In spite of everything, today I will not preach about the horrors behind meat and food production in general. I will rather summarize things:
A humanly authentic, and ecologically intelligent, way to act in this world of stupid excess can only be based on avoiding excess. Also in the shower. One shower requires between 2 and 15 liters of water per minute depending on pressure. Therefore we need, on average, between 20 and 70 liters of water per person and day, only to comply with our over-hygienic standards. And yes, my dears, I am aware that we don’t globally save the total amount of water we individually save. This has also to do with excess… Even if we save water in our households, the infrastructure of the sewers was built so big that it regularly requires big amounts of water to be kept clean… And this ironic, and unfortunately not exceptional, fact, sucks as well, but it should not give us license to waste… Our against-excess philosophy counts high, and sooner or later it will prevail.
I also will not tire of repeating that our so called SMART initiatives, SMART goals, SMART sensors, and SMART electronic devices, are often very ecologically STUPID indeed. The omnipresent “technological solution” terror is unbearable… We hear everywhere that everything can be solved with “technology”. But we are only deceiving ourselves. With efficient technology we might make it to produce stuff using less resources and energy PER UNIT, but technology, including software, invariably supports, and promotes, continuous growth, which invariably translates into MUCH MORE, and MANY MORE UNITS, rather than less resources, less waste, and less energy in total.
Even the following Website, which is supposed to motivate us to consume LESS and waste LESS water is an example of CSS3 and HTML5 excess:
The website above is quite a piece of CSS3 art, and at the beginning I was awed, but one thing is clear: It is BIG! Why do we need to exaggerate everywhere?
Sometimes I wonder… how can I compete with so much genius all over the Web… with such perfect animations, such brilliant photographs, such great illustrations everywhere…
The answer is pretty straightforward:
I won’t play big data, big pictures, big business models, big and smart stupidity.
I will not pursue the “success” path defined by the standards of excess. I will be successful according to more authentic standards, even if they are defined by a minority.