We can only fight climate change together

A paradise consisting of more than 300 islands in the south-Pacific Ocean, Fiji is often celebrated for its white sandy beaches, blue lagoons and tropical rainforests. However, this might not all be the same in a few years. With ocean levels around the country rising at a rate of 6mm per year and temperatures increasing at a rate of 0.15 degrees per decade Fiji faces severe environmental problems. For example, rising sea levels have led to several islands being flooded which has not only led towards the destruction of property but has also resulted in the loss of lives. In 2016, Fiji was also struck by Cyclone Winston, the most severe cyclone ever recorded in the southern hemisphere. Winston caused damages worth millions of dollars and led to the death of 42 civilians. What’s worse is that experts predict that due to climate change these cyclones will not just become stronger but will also increase in frequency.

Luckily, The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) which took place between the 6th and the 17th of November in Bonn, Germany was being presided over by the Government of Fiji. While the main focus of the convention was on writing a rulebook for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the problem Fiji faces due to climate change played an integral part of the UNFCC. Although all countries must fight the fight against climate change together, Fiji’s situation demands immediate attention. It requires considerable international investments from friendly nations to support its damaged economy and fight climate change.

The world’s two largest economies i.e. The United States of America and People’s Republic of China had the highest CO2 emissions, one of the leading causes of rapid climate change. The effect these CO2 emissions have on the environment can be seen clearly on small island nations such as Fiji. It is safe to say that a mutual agreement on the collective deduction of CO2 emissions is needed by the UN member states. Such conferences are important as they stress on the importance of increased cooperation between member states in order to reduce CO2 emissions.

In my honest opinion, currently, climate change is the biggest challenge humanity faces. While I believe that the answer to climate change lies in educating individuals on its effects I also believe that if adequate measures are not taken in time, countries such as Fiji might cease to exist. I am sure we can fight climate change once we finally take that responsibility and act all together.


Slezak, M., 2017. Fiji told it must spend billions to adapt to climate change. theguardian  Online, 27.11.2017.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2017. Online, 27.11.2017.

Zoll, P., 2017. Eine Stimme für die gefährdeten Inseln des Südpazifiks. NZZ Online, 27.11.2017. 

Pumpipumpe – a sharing community

Did you know, that a drilling machine is only used during 13 minutes in its whole life? Nonetheless, according to a German study, about half of the population in Germany possesses a drilling machine. (cf. Statista GmbH 2017)

Since 2014 there is a Swiss association called Pumpipumpe that «stands up for a conscious use of our consumer goods and wants to improve social interaction in urban neighborhoods». They promote the sharing of rarely used personal belongings. (cf. Pumpipumpe 2017)
So that a drilling machine would be used a bit longer than 13 minutes only!

Some time ago I spotted the association in my sisters’ neighborhood via their letterbox-stickers. Pumpipumpe offers stickers with items such as a pump, a grill, a sewing machine or a drilling machine and always the sticker with the label «You can borrow all this from me». The system is as simple as it sounds: You only have to stick the items you would like to lend on your letterbox and your neighbor knows from then on, what you would have to offer. Additionally, Pumpipumpe offers a map on their website, where you can see who offers which item – and this all over the world!

The stickers for YOUR letterbox!

What is so inventious about this idea is not only the sharing aspect, but also the aim to improve the social interaction in urban neighborhoods. In these days, Switzerland has quite a range of sharing platforms and communities, but only few have a special focus on social interaction (cf. Sharecon 2017). With Pumpipumpe you not only save money – by not having to buy your own drilling machine – and contribute to a more sustainable environment but you will also meet new people. And who knows, they might be even helpful drilling the hole!



  • Lilian Laub (2017)

How to get rid of cooking oil properly

Oil for salad dressings, oil for roasting, oil for frying etc.: nearly every household has cooking oil at its disposal. Moreover, many foodstuffs like olives, vegetables or fish are pickled in oil.  So far, so good! But what to do with the residual oil?

While talking with friends and colleagues about cooking I realized that many people do not know how to get rid of cooking oil properly. They just dump it into the sink. When I heard about this I was shocked. That is the reason why I have chosen to write my blog post on the disposal of cooking oil and I hope that the article informs people and makes them aware of this disastrous issue.

Throwing cooking oil away into the sewerage system causes huge problems. It pollutes the drinking water (only one drop of oil contaminates 1000 litres of water!), blocks the drains and the sewers, leads to bad smells, attracts rats and cockroaches which climb into the sanitary system, increases the cleaning effort needed at purification plants which leads to higher energy consumption etc. The list of negative effects of carelessly discarding oil is long. Hence it is all the more pleasing that the disposing of oil is very easy:

  • Large amounts of cooking oil can be poured into an old bottle which you do not use anymore and then be brought to the recycling centre. The collected oil can be recycled and reused e.g. at Biofuel plants, where it is possible to make energy out of old cooking oil.
  • Combined oils (e.g. salad dressing) can’t be reused. They can be filled in an old bottle and then put into the normal rubbish bin.
  • To preserve the sanitation system and vital drinking water it is also important that small amounts of oil aren’t put down the sink. Therefore it is necessary to wipe the cooking utensils before washing the dishes with kitchen paper or, even better, with used serviettes which you set aside for this purpose.

In conclusion, I would like to encourage everybody to dispose of unused and used oil in the right way. This practice, on one hand, is neither time consuming nor costly, but on the other hand makes a big difference in saving our planet which we only have once.



How To Recycle Cooking Oil
Wertstoffe – Oel
Flüssige und Oelige Abfälle
Wertstoff Sammelstellen
Altes Olivenoel nicht sorglos wegkippen

Sources Pictures:
Cooking Oil Dumpster

Start of the New Sustainability Blog of the BFH Business School

Today, the new blog Sustainable Business of the BFH Business School is released. This blog is managed by students and lecturers of the BFH Business School and is aimed to build bridges between the class room and the real world out there.  Primarily, it is a platform where information and thoughts about the latest reports,  articles, ideas, experiences, insights, observations etc. can be shared with class mates, colleagues and interested external people.  Furthermore, it should also give some insights to the class room activities of the two modules IMD3 – Global Corporate Sustainability and NAWI – Nachhaltige Wirtschaft.  The blog Sustainable Business is a bilingual blog.

Enjoy reading!!