Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Economics of Happiness

It is pointless to talk of all the crisis we are living. Better would be to know a way out. How can we dismantle the craziness that takes us to collapse? How can we recover and return to happiness?


"Going local is a powerful strategy to repair our fractured world, our ecosystem and our selves…"



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Nature is speaking… it has always been...

"The best thing a human could do for this world is to lie down and die" said a friend of mine when years ago we were debating a way forward. It has stroke me how harsh but truth this was. Human arrogance has carried us to the cliff. Humans have boosted about their cleverness but we have lost all our wisdom. What is our intelligence for when we are not wise enough to know how to use it? 

For decades Deep Ecologists have been recognizing the need of humanity to step back and to recognize other beings as more than a more or less convenient resource. They have been laughed upon. Animals, plants, rivers and lakes, forests and mountain tops have been subject to human exploitation. We have been abusing all around us and don't seem to stop. 

Today, when we stand on the cliff of little return, it is our celebrities who warn us. Perhaps this time we will listen. Perhaps this time we will reflect and will do more than rise a Facebook thumb...


My deepest reverence to you, mama Earth.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Organics with Love

When forty years ago Joseph Wilhelm and his former wife Jennifer Vermeulen started to mix muesli in their bathtub to bring healthy food products to the German market, they hardly could have imagined becoming one of the key producers and distributors of organic food in the world. It was 1972 when RAPUNZEL, named after a 19th century fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, was born. A „hippie“ dream of living the organic life soon turned into a small specialty store. 
Photo: Items from Rapunzel's first store now adorn the museum next to the production plant

Photo: Rapunzel's bus 
From a vision to produce organically cultivated muesli, nutty spreads, bread, fruit and vegetable, RAPUNZEL grew into a company with 300 full-time employees operating from a small German town Legau (Bavaria). Today, RAPUNZEL markets some 12,000 tons of organic food across the world presented in more than 450 certified products.
Yet the organic pioneer has not stopped there. Joseph Wilhelm is an untiring fair trade promoter and an active supporter of organic agriculture beyond Germany and Europe. In cooperation with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture (IFOAM), he has been cherrishing the effort of other pro-Earth and socially conscious activists with One World Award (OWA), which recognizes outstanding engagement and achievements in environment protection and fair livelihoods. Six finalists were awarded during this year's gala celebration with 800 German and international guests that are themselves engaged in sustainability, environmental protection or organic farming. 
The show was followed by a 2-day festival to celebrate RAPUNZEL'S work and this year especially their 40th anniversary. Served food was strictly vegan to have visitors reflect on the environmental impact of eating habits. Organics with love remains the core belief of the company.
  Photo: Representatives of winning projects posing for a photo 
Happy birthday RAPUNZEL and congratulations to the winners!

Photo: Hana with Maike Wilhelm (as Rapunzel) and the former Alfalfa's CEO Mark Retzloff enjoying Rapunzel's festival

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Meat today is the new asbestos, more murderous than tobacco...


We torture or kill 2 billion sentient beings every week
90% of small fish are ground up into pallets to feed our livestock
Although vegetarian, cows today are the world's largest ocean 
We torture and kill 2 billion sentient being every week
90% of small fish are ground up to feed livestock
Although vegetarian, cows today are the world's largest ocean predators
Billions of chicks get ground up alive, simply because they are male
10.000 entire species are wiped our every year because of one
50.000 litres of water are needed to produce 1kg of red beef
(Philip Wollen)


Philip Wollen is an Australian Philantropist, a former vice president of Citybank, which he left to dedicate his life to animal rights movement. He initiated Earthlings - an award winning documentary about society's tragic and unforgivable use of non human animals that are suffering for food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happiness and materialism far apart

"At present, we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP" Paul Hawken (2009)

As Club of Rome releases its historical Limits to Growth in the United States in 1972, the same year the term "gross national happiness" (GNH) is coined in the Kingdom of Bhutan. In pursuit to build an economy that would promote Bhutan's unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values, the emperor of this landlocked Himalayan country of less than one million (746,500 people today) introduced a five-year planning based on GNH. 
Slogan about Gross National Happiness in Thimphu's School of Traditional Arts

Since then, for over 40 years, the kingdom of Bhutan is placing environmental concerns and spiritual wellbeing over rampant capitalism. As Paul Hawken further states: "working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is to be rich".


Monday, April 14, 2014

Years of Living Dangerously

Hot from the owen, this is the recently released first episode of an excellently narrated documentary. An account that joins the dots for us to see the bigger picture of the consequences of our modern living based on excessive consumerism, which we claim necessary and which multiplies as the global population and hunger for Western living-style rises.

In the "age of rights" for humans we have forgotten our responsibility. We all fall victims to our inability to see and account for the our disconnection with the nature. Unless we fix our understanding of the world of nature, of which we are an inseparable part, we will make the history as the next extinct species.

Time is counting…

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Next Economy

Those who follow my blog might have noticed substantial inactivity. Yes, I stopped posting articles, mainly out of despair. So much to say, what first, and how? Even if I wrote every day, we would not cover all the complexities of the self-destructive system that humans have created out of greed.

As the speed of natural devastation picks up and the response to the natural rampage becomes short,  obsolete, and mostly non-systemic, many who strive to keep this precious Earth alive with all its beauties become speechless. But as a famous quote whose author I do not recall states "there is no time to be a pessimist", we must now, more than ever, reflect on our actions and their consequences. We must now rethink our way forward.

If the way forward is based on understanding our need for biological sustainability, since without biological sustainability there is no other sustainability, I let you ponder on this way forward for the outbursting population of 7 billion. 


Words of a long time environmentalist and conservationist, Doug Tompkins who, together with his wife Kris and a large team of people dedicated to preserving our nature, have embarked on a challenging path. They have been able to succeed, so why can't we all?

Related articles: 
Picasso's organic landscapes by Douglas Tompkins
Why tree hugging makes sense
Give yourself a present - find who you are

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Enjoy nature friendly holidays


My mum's eco-tree made of naturally fallen branches found in the local forest. She tied them up and adorned with homemade gingerbread, natural fibre laces.

While half of the nation feasts on carp fish, my grandmother's 91st Xmas spent with a delicious, frugal and nature friendly Xmas dinner as she has always been used to: eating mushroom soup and a porridge.     This year I join her for traditional Xmas candle light stories.

May all people be happy, healthy, safe and in peace now and always. May we be kind and respectful to all beings.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Give yourself a present: find who who you are....

Do we ever ask the most important question of our life? Are we ever questioning our assumptions, labels, descriptions that we or others gave us? When we ask, we tend to run into many misconceptions which effect our actions. 

This holidays give yourself the most delightful present: ask and find who you are. :-)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tiding up the unsustainable mess?

Have you wondered what might be the "solutions" to the mess we have created on this planet? Annie points out we need to refocus, start thinking differently, and change the rules of the game. Different people might be up for a different strategy from shifts of individual values to circular economy. Here is Annie's food for thought. Watch for yourself...

Video: Annie Leonard, The Story of Solutions


Monday, July 29, 2013

Prospering business of green


It is always good to remind yourself why you do what you do, why are you in business and what matters. 


You might be familiar with the work of Yvon Chouinard, a legendary climber, environmentalist and a  founder of an outdoor clothing company Patagonia. In this video Yvon proves that ecological responsibility doesn't contradict economic success. Let's be part of the solution.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Change your way of thinking, change your world!

You are what your deep, driving desire is. 
As your desire is, so is your will. 
As your will is, so is your deed. 
As you deed is, so is your destiny.
                              (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad)


There is nothing impossible, we just shall change our way of thinking. There is always a different way, another possibility... Can you see it?

Keep it sunny side up!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Wastefulness reinvented - think in circles

Why every time we do something we need to pollute?
Why every time we eat something there is so much waste produced from transportation, packaging...?
Why every time you want to buy new jeans there is such a huge environmental footprint?
Why every time we talk sustainability we think about making less bad rather than making all cycle good?

Why there has to be a beginning and an end? Would not a cycle be better?

It is all about our way of thinking. Can we rethink our ways of doing?


Best ideas are simple! :-)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fish friendly marinated sardine carpaccio (raw)

This goes back to my years in Spain when I fell in love with the Mediterranean cuisine. However, much of their delights are fish and meat based. One of those dishes being marinated sardines, which is simply delicious. 

Without wanting to engage in the “is it healthy to eat fish these days” and “can one be regarded as a true lover of the nature when consuming animals” rhetoric, I adopted an all-in-one approach. Rethinking that sardine “tapa” and creating a nutritive, healthy, ethical and simply raw alternative.

If you would like to venture into this, you will need:
1 baby zucchini 
virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
crashed garlic
seaweed (e.g. sheet for sushi role or other that you like)
marine salt



Slice the zucchini with a peeler into thin, almost transparent slices, and place them onto a dish. Spread a very little amount of crashed or finely chopped garlic on the first layer and cover with more zucchini slices. Pour a little amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil to cover the zucchini so they marinate for a couple of hours before serving (alternatively you can mix the marinate vinegar, oil, salt, and garlic before soaking your zucchini). Your zucchini needs to be soft once marinated. A little while before serving, sprinkle the zucchini with the seaweed which will give it a fish taste. I cut mine in stripes. Best roll up and eat with chopsticks (reusable, non-plastic and ivory-free ones, please :-)


Enjoy and let me know how you green your recipes :-)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wearing your food - sustainable fashion

We live in exciting times where our challenges become a fuel for creations. Upcycling is where art, innovation, fun and caring for the environment marry: creating new from old, repurposing the not-needed, wearing our waste.

Hundreds projects have been presented where waste played the role of clothing. Repurposed plastic dresses, or paper fashion. They all point out to the fact that headless consumerism is uncool. While one could argue what is the "right level of consumerism", one thing is clear to most: Our rate of consuming supersedes, by far, our waste management efforts. 

Plastic bottles wedding dress, Ecouterre

Heaps of trash, even if redistributed or recycled at current rate, will not diminish if we do not cut on the speed at which we acquire our stuff. That makes me wonder what would world look like if our economy functioned in a closed circular loop just like nature where the old is a base of something new. Seemingly, the only solution to our wastefulness of all kinds...

A fashion designer, Hoyan Ip rises an interesting food for thought in claiming there is not much new in the fashion industry, most trends are re-interpreted season by season. With her Bio-Trimmings project she asks interesting questions and acts on what has been lately brought to our attention from many corners: wasted food. So can we wear our food waste?


Hoyan Ip's repurposed food

"As there are more and more designers emerging, there is very little we can do to dispose of the unwanted clothes ethically especially when you realise such sensitivity and thought has gone into making a garment. The solution is to re-use the clothes, de-brand them, repair them and wear them. However, for those who swear by iconic brands such as Chanel may disagree on what this project proposes. It changes the psychology of consumers on what we think about brands." 

The question is whether "adding products made from wasted food de-value the brand or add value to it because of its ethical reasons. Trimmings such as buttons, metal buckles and zips are all manufactured industrially where there are concerns on the impact it has on the environment as it consumes a lot of energy and fuel." (Source: Hoyan Ip)

To me, consuming is uncool. A new fashion is to care. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Picasso's organic landscapes by Douglas Tompkins

When I met Douglas Tompkins and spoke to him over a delicious but frugal Country-Life vegetarian dinner, I was amazed how his values resonated with mine. 

It was even more amazing that although I missed his contributions to the 2013 German BioFach congress forum where he was one of the panelist of the "Imagine... - the beauty of organic farming", I virtually "bumped" into him later in Prague. Both of us were supposed to be elsewhere. Whether this is a coincidence or a destiny, his documentary presentation swept me off my feet. The unparalleled beauty that he and his team created by, what he calls, "painting the landscapes", has showed before only in my dreams.

Douglas Tompkins is an American environmentalist, conservationist and a former owner of two clothing companies, The North Face (outdoor outfit) and the ESPRIT. In 1989, he left the business arena to dedicate himself to environmental activism and land conservation. Together with his wife, Kristine Tompkins, over those years, he has conserved some 8,100 km2 of wilderness, in Patagonia (the southern part of Chile), as well as in Argentina. He currently runs four foundations dedicated to conservation.

Described as a deep ecologist, he believes that true ecological sustainability and species extinction can be achieved only through rethinking our values where nature is no longer seen merely as a commodity for human exploitation and profit. Rather it must be seen as "a partner and model in all human enterprise".
Video: Laguna Blanca, 20min

Deep ecologists see the main culprits for current state of Earth in:
• "The loss of traditional knowledge, values, and ethics of behavior that celebrate the intrinsic value and sacredness of the natural world" and instead dwells on an "assumption of human superiority to other life forms"
• The prevailing economic and development paradigms of the modern world" which is "fundamentally incompatible with ecological sustainability on a finite Earth"
• "Technology worship and an unlimited faith in the virtues of science; the modern paradigm that technological development is inevitable, invariably good, and to be equated with progress and human destiny. From this, we are left dangerously uncritical, blind to profound problems that technology has wrought, and in a state of passivity that confounds democracy."
• Overpopulation                                Source: Foundation for deep ecology
When I saw his documentary Laguna Blanca, I sighed: "This is what it looks like when dreams come true!"

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Business of creating miracle: our way forward...

As we are awakening, our purpose becomes more obvious to us. 

Thank you, Charlie for sharing your vision.


Video: Sacred Economics with Charles Eisenstein - 12min documentary

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Forget the climate change, mind what is on your plate...


As dumpster diving becomes a popular sport and bin cooking is a perfect adept for the next bestseller, climate change might be of a secondary interest to some environmentalists.

„Tell me what is in your bin and I tell you who you are!“ comes to mind when the issue of food waste is discussed.

Storing pig feed in household bins Europe-wide has become a standard, with 89 million tons of food being tossed away on the continent each year. A Western trend where wastefulness is an accepted paradigm. 

Discarded fish alone amounts to as much as 30 million tones/year 
(UNEP, 2012)

Why not? What is not forbidden, is allowed. More so, if wasting is free of charge.

World leaders‘ myopic „growth“ rhetoric surpasses the logic of our system: worldwide, we produce enough to feed 12 billion, only to dump half of it. Is this a remedy for depression? Another planned obsolescence? Or can we just not do the numbers? 

In a world of 7 billion where one billion people starve and another 1.4 billion are overweight, we blame underproduction for world hunger, creating a justification for Monsanto’s crimes: more pesticides, more food. More GMO, more food security...

One sided political interests, citizens’ blindness and fading ethical values prevent a five-in-one solution. Cutting your food waste will:

-stimulate resource conservation
-eradicate world hunger
-shrink landfills (fewer plastic carrier bags, packaging of processed food. "In the USA, organic waste is the second highest component of landfills" - UNEP, 2012)
-reduce global warming (by cutting transport and storage of food that never makes it to our plates, as well as cutting methane emissions from food waste) 
-ensure food security 

With activists like Tristram Stuart at the front and the UNEP on their side, can this trend be reverted? Can uncovering the food waste scandal change our wasteful habits? 

Hope rises but the task is much too big. Each and every one of us must lift the lid of our garbage bins, dig into our consciences, and put into action what our grandmothers told us long ago „food is not to be wasted, there are far too many going hungry in this world“.

...or is there just too much on our plates?

It all starts with our thinking, it is all about our attitude. Can we be inspired by nature where everything is a source rather than waste?

You have the power to change because nothing is waste until you throw it. It is up to you to re-thing food waste! 


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Planned obsolescence - another unjudged crime


A few years back I was irritated that my not so old gadget broke down. "How could that be, it is almost new!" I exclaimed. My friend smiled saying "things are made to break down, ideally, before you reach your home from the retail shop". I laughed thinking it seemed like it. Little did I know that there was a term and a whole strategy behind such an idea.

Planned obsolescence, a term known to environmentalists, those who inquire about our ways of living or economists who know this term as a golden rule for depreciation. In industrial design this is "a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, [...] unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time. Planned obsolescence has potential benefits for a producer because to obtain continuing use of the product the consumer is under pressure to purchase again, whether from the same manufacturer (a replacement part or a newer model), or from a competitor which might also rely on planned obsolescence." (Wikipedia)

Perhaps in 1950s, when the idea was popularized by an American industrial designer, Brooks Stevens and when the world's population was roughly 2,5 billion, built-in obsolescence could have been "excused" or ignored. Nonetheless, today when the population mark has passed 7 billion and is expected to grow over 9 billion by 2050, this practice is a crime!

Obscolescence might be hidden under the "fashion" claims or functionality failure. Does your IPhone 3G no longer allows updates for main applications such as Viber, Skype or Whats App? Do you get a messages "only higher versions of your Apple gadget support this product?" Then you know what this means, body. The next version is out! Better? No, shinier...

What happens tech once its trash?
No matter how much upcycling and repairing we do, no matter how green we attempt to be, if we do not stand up to such shallow practices that impact grossly on our planet. It is frightening to see how we have became accomplices of such strategies without even noticing. The cancer of the society slowly spreading through our consumption. Planned obscolescence is part of today's business curricula, while sustainability has not reached or is only timidly tapping into the classroom of future innovators, managers and leaders at large. We all have fallen victims of this culture, we all have been sinning to smaller or bigger degree through promoting and being silent about wastefulness. 

As we indulge in new fashion, as we update our gadgets, appliances or our outfits, we are supporting crimes against Earth! Complacent with the claims of our retailers "...it all gets recycled, don't worry", we destine our trash to hidden landfills further ashore that leaches toxic substances into the land, water streams and air.


The light bulb conspiracy (trailer) 
Movie on the birth of Planned Obsolescence here (Spanish), 52min

Ecocide is a crime, and so should be Planned Obsolescence!

RELATED: Life sentence for Ecocide!
The story behind electronics

Monday, February 4, 2013

Life sentence for Ecocide?

We cannot achieve any change towards sustainability, if polluting is free of charge, or even promoted and subsidized (e.g. landfill subsidies), while sustainable practices are discriminated. 

How can we let those who get rich on exploiting the Earth - our common property and the condition of our lives - to get away with their irresponsible actions? 

Ecocide is a crime:
-against nature 
-against humanity 
-against future generations
-against peace 

It is time (or even well overdue) that we spoke and acted on such issues. Now you can vote to make Ecocide crime in the EU! Please sign the petition here

Details of citizens' initiative to be backed by at least one million EU citizens can be found here.

Polly Higgins - Ecocide, the 5th crime against peace