You still dream of flying?

At this time where everyone seems to try transiting to green energy, what does the air companies?

Energy consumption savings are in all heads, but it is often more a matter of gain than a matter of being sustainable for the planet. Aircraft Companies does not make it differently and the lack of international agreements on the CO2 taxation does not help. Indeed, the barrels of kerosene is growing each year. If they want to keep their profit, they will have to reduce the consumption, no miracle.


For that they choose 4 different ways of doing:

  • Lighter planes
    By saving on all the different materials of the airplane (seats, food material, …) they can expect a 30% weight reduction, which can considerably reduce the fuels consumption.
  • More modern engines
    In 2012 in France, the consumption per seat per 100km was in average of 3.7 litters. Some new engines that are currently building would be able to save 15% of gas emissions.
  • Greener fuels
    All biofuels based on different alimentary oil are tested more and more by companies, the biggest challenges are the needs in raw materials.
  • Better management of the flight paths
    Optimization of the flight and the air traffic management in airports to avoid traffic jam are the most logical solutions to reduce energy consumption without the need of new technologies.


A simple example of comparison between a car and a common plane (Airbus A350)

For a 6,800 km flight , the A350 consumed 48 tons of fuel, 6 tons per hour. And since one kilogram of kerosene equals 1.25 liters of fuel, this means that 60,000 liters of fuel have been consumed over the entire journey. If we want to risk a comparison with the car we can say that the plane has consumed nearly 900 liters of gasoline per 100 km, 180 times more than a city car (whose average consumption is around 5 liters per 100 km) but with 85 times more people on board.

Of course a lot of different factors make the comparison difficult but now that you are aware, will you say it is better to use the plane when you have other solution?



Lubna Le Bail, 2013. Le défi de l’aviation durable [online] Available at :  [Accessed the 4 January 2018], 2017. Combien consommé un avion comme l’Airbus A350 ? [online] Available at : [Accessed the 4 January 2018]

Alain Desert, 2013. Consommation énergétique des moyens de transport: De la marche à l’avion [online] Available at : [Accessed the 4 January]


Picture :


Let’s Be Honest

Let’s be honest

We all want to project ourselves as being environmentally friendly, taking actions against the subversion of our planet. But let’s be honest, what do we really do? I can only speak on behalf of my self and even though I hate to admit it my level of awareness is to a great extent larger than my actions. I’m in favour for the saying that no one can do it all but everyone can do something, and I use it frequently to assure my self that I’m at least contributing with something. However I strongly believe that taking those actions that in someway changes your way of thinking are really the ones that will make a greater change towards achieving a more sustainable life style. During the passing year I have found myself gaining an interest in beauty products especially those concerning facial care. So when I came across an article describing the issues of sea pollution and how micro plastics have caused great damages to the aquatic life I realized that I had no knowledge about it. So let me pass on my recently gained knowledge.

Micro plastics can be defined as small (<1 mm) pieces of plastic that have either been degraded in the water or flushed out with the water from households. Micro plastics that have been flushed out with the water from our homes are most commonly originated from beauty and health products but also from commodities such as toothpaste and cleansers. Due to the extremely small size of these added exfoliates they can easily pass through our filtration systems leading to them finally ending up in our seas and oceans (NOAA, 2017). Even though the subject was to new to me the issue is not a recent one, according to the United Nations Environment Program the problem of sea pollution from micro plastics was occurring even around fifty years ago (unenvironment, 2017). However in the year of 2012 the issue was still relatively unknown, with an overflow of products containing micro plastics. The problem with these microscopic particles are that the fishes don’t have the ability to distinguish these micro plastics from other eatable foods, leading to them ingesting it, thus the plastic travels from one species to another, eventually leading back to us. Statistics have shown that over 663 different species have been negatively impacted from micro plastics and that 11% of the cases have been directly related to the ingestion of micro plastics. However it is not only the fishes that suffer from us polluting the sea, the whole aquatic life is at risk. Research has found that micro plastic have now reached the deepest of corners in the world below the surface, namely the deep-sea sediment, meaning that the pollution have now started to spread across world seas continuing to affect all the levels of the ocean (Cauwenberghe et al., 2013).

With this in mind I am trying to take action starting with what is the easiest, me. I have actively started looking for what the products that I buy and use contains, and here is a list on what ingredients to watch out for:

• Polythylene (PE)
• Polypropylene (PP)
• Polythylene terephthalate (PET)
• Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)
• Polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE), (theguardian, 2016)

Since we are living in a social climate where overconsumption is a fact it is therefore not only important to try to consume less but also to make sure that the products you do consume are at least not harming the nature.


Cauwenberghe, L.V.,Vanreusel, A.,Colin, J.M.,Janssen, R., 2013. Microplastic pollution in deep sea sediment. Environmental pollution, 182, p. 496.
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The Guardian, 2016. Microplastics: which beauty brands are safe to use? [online] Available at:< which-beauty-brands-are-safe-to-use> [Accessed 26 December 2017].

UN environment, 2017. UN declares war on ocean plastic [online] Available at:< declares-war-ocean-plastic> [Accessed 26 December 2017].

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2017. [online] Available at:<> [Accessed 26 December 2017].

Resource, 2017. Eunomia to lead study on ocean microplastics [online] Available at:< microplastics-11774> [Accessed 3 January 2018]


Nuclear Power Plants – Are they safer in France?

The usage of renewable energy is one of the most trending topics in the field of sustainability. Many countries decided to give up nuclear power plants to focus completely on water- or wind power. Switzerland decided to phase out by the year 2029 (Tagesanzeiger, 2016). The phase-out would be much more difficult for some other countries. The USA, followed by France and Japan, have the highest number of operating nuclear plants (World Energy Council). The highest Dependency, however, has France with a more than 70% share of total usage (IAEA, 2016), rather than the USA or Japan which sell most of their produced energy.

In the last decade, especially in 2011, we often read about the nuclear incidents in Fukushima Japan. This tragedy had a global impact as it is seen as the trigger for many countries to decide not to rely on nuclear power plants for any longer; they are simply too dangerous, and another huge problem is the radioactive waste it produces alongside the energy. Other than the Japanese-, the French nuclear powers were not in the news as much due to the caused accidents. Are they safer than those in Fukushima?

Triggered by the accident of 2011, Japan decided to phase-out nuclear power as well. They intend to finish by 2030, while tripling the renewable energies (Reuters, 2012). This step is only reasonable given Japan’s nuclear history (power accidents, bombing). Because of the high dependency, France did not decide to join Switzerland and Japan for the phase-out. However, they plan to decrease the %- share to 50% instead of the 70% (Reuters, 2012)

The French nuclear powers are not necessarily safer than those in Japan. Of course, working conditions and standards differ among the countries. Yet, Japan had enough knowledge and expertise to operate the power plant just as safe as France. The reason why the tragedy in Fukushima happened in the first place was the geographical location of Japan. Japan is an island located on the very edge of the pacific- and Eurasian- continental plate. These plates constantly move (Plate tectonics) a therefore cause earthquakes which then cause Tsunamis, a huge water wave that floods the costal areas. The powerplants are not safer in France, it is only the environment that makes those in Japan more dangerous are “Fukushima Daiichi” was exposed to a Tsunami and that was the main cause of the accident. It is therefore difficult to compare the two countries. Different safety regulations must apply in different geographical locations. The question is: would the French powerplants have been destroyed by the Tsunami as well? Was the location of the powerplants in Fukushima chosen badly? Was it all preventable or just terrible mood of mother nature?


“ÄSSBAR”-fresh from yesterday

Even today food is not distributed equally around the Earth. While some regions have too little food, others experience an oversupply. In Switzerland there is an overabundance of food and 1/3 of the food supplied each year lands in the trash. Almost half of the food waste is caused by the consumers and 17% by the retail and gastronomy sector. This is a considerable amount of waste for a small country like Switzerland. But we already have a set goal to reduce the food waste with the “UN Sustainable Development Goals” where the waste of food should be cut in half by 2030. But if nobody of us starts to use their resources more carefully and does not let them go to waste, nothing will change. And I believe that food waste is something that everyone can help prevent, we just need to adjust our behaviour and habits.

A couple of days ago I was walking past this interesting store called Ässbar. The concept of this store is simple. They collect all the baked goods from bakeries around the store, which those would have thrown away, and sell them for half the price. The Ässbar has a decent range of Products which changes every day, since it is always different what food left from the day before in the bakeries. In 2016 the Ässbar already prevented 250 tons of food going to waste and reduced the environmental impact by 225 tons of CO2. I think this is a great solution against food waste and there is a lot more potential to prevent food waste in different areas of our society.

So we all should start utilizing such services like the Ässbar and start to consume food which might not be fresh from today but are still edible.

By Nicole Siegenthaler

Sources (visited 24.11.17):



Sustainable fashion: One step in the right direction

What is the problem?

The textile industry is one of the biggest sectors when it comes to pollution and waste-generating. The usage of pesticides, fertilizers and water for the production of our clothes is huge. Also, the part of recycling is not as easily as in other sectors. The greatest challenge is to separate the mechanical (cotton and wool) and chemical fibre (polyester and nylon). Even if recycling would be possible, a lot of unwanted clothing ends up in dumpsters.

What is doing H&M against that?

Since 2013 H&M has the global “Garment Collecting-Initiative”. Bring your old clothes and give them a second life. So, the loop can be closed.

How it works: 99 % rewear (Second-hand goods), recycle (new textile fibres or used as damping and insulating materials) or reuse (other products like cleaning cloths) and
1 % used to produce energy.
H&M has also a collection with clothing which are made out of
20- 30 % recycled fibres 
It is a step in the right direction but is it enough?

What else can be done?

It is important to work with suppliers to increase the recycling of polyester and nylon or finding alternatives to use it. Only if the supply chain works sustainable the retail stores have more possibilities to close the loop of the textile industry.


Sources: (7.12.2017) (7.12.2017) (6.12.2017)

Source Picture: (6.12.2017)

Grameen Danone – alleviate malnutrition and poverty

The venture Grameen Danone Foods follows the concept of Social Business. A Social Business was defined by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus as a Business which aim it is to maximize social value, instead of profit maximization. Even so, the company should get self-sustaining at minimum. If profits are generated they all flow back into the company to address the social goal. No profits flow back to investors or shareholders (Yunus 2010).

Together with the former CEO of Danone, Yunus founded the Grameen Danone Food company, which goal it is to alleviate malnutrition of children in Bangladesh and also to alleviate the poverty in the land. In Bangladesh about 41% of the children have problems in their development, because of malnutrition (Deutschlandfunk Kultur 2014).

To address those problems, they created a yogurt with the most important nutrients in it and started to sell this yogurt. They sold the yogurt at an affordable price, because most of the people there are very poor. The company went through up and downs in the last 10 years, but is selling know 100 000 cups daily (Danone Communities 2017). With that, they alleviate the problem of malnutrition.

Source: (Danone Communities 2017)

Furthermore, they created jobs in two forms. On one hand, they employed local people for working in the company. On the other hand, they buy the milk for the production from local farmers, so farmers can earn more money (The Grameen Creative Lab 2017).

Please klick on the following link, to watch the video about Grameen Danone:




Yunus, M. & Weber, K., 2010. Social Business. Von der Vision zur Tat, Deutschland: Hanser Fachbuch

Danone Communities 2017 (online)

The Grameen Creative Lab 2017 (online)

Deutschlandfunk Kultur 2014 (online)


Danone Communities 2017 (online)