Saving Old-growth Forests

The devastating deforestation of the old-growth forests across Asia, Africa and America is a terrible waste and painful to witness. Even worse is the realization that this has already happened in Europe. Almost all original forests have been razed and burned as charcoal to drive the industrial revolutions and population … Continue reading

Electric Cars Coming…

China is clearly world leading in electric scooters. 100 million electric scooters roll on the streets, silently zooming around. Last year, they sold 20 million scooters, and the price ranges from 700-3000 RMB (90-400 euro). The e-scooter technology is now being scaled up to micro-cars. This is a fantastic development, … Continue reading

Ginger Ale – Homemade Happiness

A healthy sweet-and-sour softdrink for sunny days – what is better than homemade ginger ale? I always thought that home-bottled softdrinks = SodaStreamer, which is doubly dubious after the revelation that those machines are made on the occupied Palestine Territories. However, in the last few months we have experienced another … Continue reading

The Tragedy of the Plastic Bags

In the village of Banjar Ngis, like in every village across South East Asia where we have been, the plastic bag has made its entrance. It provides watertight protection and bright color branding for potato chips, shampoo and instant coffee. The marketeers and product developers of Unilever, Mars, Procter& Gamble … Continue reading

Permaculture Pioneers

Xiao Zhu and Thomas are leading the way in the sustainable farming practice called “Permaculture” in China. Three hours south of Shanghai, in the beautiful village Xiatushan is the mountainside where they are establishing the Hangzhou Institute of Permaculture. Permaculture is an ecological farming/gardening philosophy originating from Australia (by Mollison … Continue reading

Wrap it!

Pack those Flowers?   With transportation being a challenge for us (we mostly use a taxi or bike to go around in Shanghai), we love the possibility of buying things we need on Taobao, a very popular online shopping website in China. Delivered to our house, almost everything comes in … Continue reading

Wood into Food

Eat a tree? Forests are fantastic for capturing sunlight and carbon dioxide, much better than any traditional agricultural cropland. Rain is absorbed and sunshine is intercepted at various levels, from the canopy down to the leaf litter on the ground. From a food point of view, it may seem scarce … Continue reading

Soil

The soil is the mother of the earth. Soil is where food comes from.Today we are destroying soils at a scale never seen before. Soil is damaged by synthetic fertilizers and insecticides, which kills the life forms in the soil, and by mechanical tilling/plowing. In the last forty years, we … Continue reading

Vegetarian

There are many good reasons to eat more plants and less animals: Ethical – care for the animals we (do not) eat. Today there is a lot of suffering in the industrial agriculture. Little of the meat we can get in supermarkets and in restaurants comes from animals raised in … Continue reading