Green Addict cooks an eco-dinner for friends

What I have been doing today: cooking!

It was the first shift in my new house. In the dorm where I live there’s a tradition about foodclub (Madklub). Every night somebody is in charge to cook for the other rommates (about 20 people). When my turn came, I couldn’t think of a menu but green! I took inspiration from my favorite blog against foodwaste Ecocucina and had a veggie based dinner – even though a bit of meat was there. Vegetables were purchased at KBHFF, the cooperative providing fresh seasonal products from local organic farmers.

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That shirt is mine! – The good and the bad of swap markets (Byttemarked in Copenhagen)

Just got back home from my first swap market ever – called Byttemarked in Danish, whereas Loppemarked is translation for flea market. I was there with another eco-blogger friend of mine. It’s very nice going to this sort of places with a friend, as she can tell you straight away the “leave-it”or “take-it” word. We have different styles and fashion preferences, so it was perfect as long as we were looking for different stuff. But at some point we came across a famous eco-fashion brand T-shirt (A Question Of).

There the fight began.

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Finally I got it :). Together with a few other nice clothes and accessories.

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I have a rule though. Think three times before taking something home, even if it’s for free. Plus, think again two times after you’ve tried it on. Or you’ll end up with a lot of clothes in your wardrobe you don’t really want to wear. If eventually this happens, you know what you have to do…

Just swap!

 

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fairphone-logo

Samsung vs Iphone, which smartphone performs better? A third player comes in…

In the everlasting battle between Iphone and Samsung – and all the other big names of electronics market – here comes an alternative solution named Fairphone.

It’s for people who want their smartphone to be:
• performing

• durable

• slim and light

• not too expensive

• and… made with conflict-free metals

A couple of words about Fairphone

Fairphone is different: it is a new smartphone that performs well and – at the same time – it has fair price and an ethical prodcution. Fairphone is an icon of the new way of doing business and making products, that puts value of people first – and minimizing environmental impact.

In the long term, our ultimate goal is a completely recyclable phone made from human and environmentally-friendly materials, free from plastics and toxins.

The start-up is born in Amsterdam three years ago, initially as a simple non-profit organization to raise awareness towards a more aware consumer electronics. The turnover rate of mobile phones in Europe is very high, especially in Italy, where there are more mobile phones than inhabitants.

The founder Bas Van Abel works with a group of nine people. He is passionate about open design and social innovation and managed to get the support of an investor. The supporting incubator was Waag, a creative hub for cleantech startups. Thanks to that, they were able to produce the first batch of 20.000 phones, that will be delivered in Autumn.

If you want to get one, you have to pre-order it online.

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Why I’m buying it

For the second time in the last few months, it happened I dropped my phone to the ground and instantly killed it :).

The reason for which I break up with my beloved smartphones is more or less always the same. I really love the touch screen technology, but it’s SOOO delicate, and once it’s gone the whole phone it’s gone forever (or repairing it is extremely expensive, depending on the height of the fall..)

This time, when I had to buy a new smartphone, I actually gave long thoughts to Blackberry, for the only reason it has a keyboard, so it should work even if the screen breaks. Blackberry is not my style and I won’t feel comfortable using it, though.

Then I read on the Fairphone Logbook of Changes

1/July:

We have decided to go for increased mechanical reliability. By separating the Dragontrail tempered glass (top layer) from the glass on the touch panel (bottom layer), the likelihood that the glass will break is minimal. And if it does, you’ll still be able to use your touch panel. As a consequence, the phone will be 5 grams heavier and 0.2 mm (this is only one fifth of a milimeter) thicker.

Ok, I’ll definitely take it. And I can’t wait for delivery!

 
best gelato sardinia

Extra quality Italian gelato in Villasimius (Sardinia) at Chiccheria

Spending my holidays in Sardinia, I found the best gelato shop ever. 🙂

Don’t even need to mention how delicious is their ice cream, they have an incredible range of tastes, a different special one every day, and a lot of fantasy in their creations….

Are they eco? Of course, best quality for the people means good for the environment.

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They minimize production waste, they are able to save 60.000 liters of water every year and most of their suppliers are local. In addition, they explore the surrounding to find typical plants and products of the region to get inspired for new tastes. For example, Cannonau wine and Pecorino cheese from Sardinia, Lavander and Honey from Maremma, and fresh Lemongrass and Ginger collected on a trip to Bali.

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Gelato is the traditional Italian way of doing ice cream. The founder Manuele Presenti, head of the Chiccheria international school of ice cream, comes from a family of pastry chef and he puts the same over-accuracy and passion in preparing every taste.

If you come around Villasimius (Sardinia, Italy) or Marina di Grosseto (Tuscany, Italy) don’t miss out a visit to Chiccheria!

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Rubycup, the only sustainable menstrual cup with built in social project

Dear girls, how do you manage our monthly ‘blessing’ in the most sustainable way?

First I started preferring organic cotton pads eto the regular ones. However even if the kind of material used is more sustainable itself, still the volume of use-and-throw-out garbage isn’t decreasing. Not to mention every time you have to buy new ones and spend money on it.

My small change

I decided to switch to menstrual cup instead, that in Scandinavia and UK is quite popular among young women. But there are so many on the market and apparently they are all the same. Which one should I choose then?

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Listening to the little geek in me , I had a look at technical specifications and had no doubts about it: I bought Rubycup! Made with 100% top Medical Grade Silicone, it’s the only one with a ‘built-in’ social project. I bought mine at EcoEgo or you can shop it online.

The non-profit project aims to help poor women in developing countries with no access to clean pads and insufficient hygienic conditions. They are forced to humiliate themselves once a month using cow dung, dirty rugs, ash and all sorts of non-hygienic and health endangering trash materials.

Toast to Rubycup!

SAMSUNG

PS: I’ve just donated to The 12th Right Indiegogo campaign to support health and dignity  of thousands of women employed in dismeal fashoin factories in Bangladesh. See the story here.

Why giving up with sugar in your diet?

I’ve heard people saying “sugar is a poison for the body” and this kind of stuff, but as I don’t really suffer from diabetes (yet!), why should I bother in giving up with sugar?

3 reasons for doing it

1. Watch this brief docufilm published today on The Guardian about sugar crops in Cambodia supplying 90% of European market.

2. As the last book from the from the American author Moss explains, Salt Sugar and Fat are dangerous for our healt, especially when mixed together in processed food.

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3. Sugar is addictive, like the more you have the more you want of it. Sugar is also the main responsible of those annoying ‘holes’ you feel in your stomach when you are starving. The expectation should be no sugar no starving any more.

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My small change

Avoiding completely sugar is not easy, as drinking bitter coffee and herbal tea won’t save us. Sugar is already added to most of the beverages we like to enjoy, especially in the summertime – juices, fizzing drinks, lemonades, milkshakes, etc – and both in sweet and salted baked products we buy.So my suggestion would be

AVOID SUGAR

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and USE DATES INSTEAD…!

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To have an overview of the different existing types of sugar read here.

To have an overview of the alternatives, just look around you and dare experiment in your kitchen!

Interview to the guru founder of Transition Towns, get inspired!

Rob Hopkins at Degrowth Conference in Venice tells us what is Transition about and how easily you can start the movement in your own town.

Thanks Rob for the interview!

Alla Conferenza sulla Decrescita tenutasi a Venezia, ho chiesto a Rob Hopkins di spiegarci il successo delle Transition Twons (città in Transizione – sito italiano) e quali sono i primi passi da compiere per chi comincia.

[Watch more interviews here]

Ecological Economics course in Oxford

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The Ecological Economics course I’ve attended in Oxford (17 – 21 December 2012) finally is over and this is how I feel roughly speaking:

  • cheated
  • frustrated
  • robbed
  • never enjoyed it

If you are thinking of applying to the next edition of the course – maybe you found this post because you wanted to investigate a little further on the winter / summer school held in Oxford by Dr. Stanislav Shmelev – I would highly recommend not to waste your time and your money on it.

After one entire full time week passed stretching time between tea-breaks and lunch-breaks, listening to hot air superficial and too general lecture-like discourses, neither relevant content was taught to me, nor practical ecological economics tools, nor even applied case studies.

Besides, please keep in mind Dr. Stanislav Shmelev is not a “professor” (in the British meaning of the term), his course is not endorsed by the University of Oxford, Environment Europe is defined as “a sustainability think-tank based in Oxford, UK” yet there there have been no achievements so far.  Finally in my opinion it is such a shame the course is suggested on the International Ecological Economics website among the “education opportunities”: education?? This makes me also think ISEE might not be a qualified international association as it claimed.

If you have attended a similar course, or if you want more info about my experience, you are more than welcome to leave a comment below. Thanks!

Sustainable diets: cereal cropping

Originally published on Slowear Journal on Nov 21st

Thanks to Francesca Stignani for translation

Leggi in italiano

More cereals, less meat, and a lot of fruits and vegetables. The sustainable diet, which is good for our health as well as for the environment, has a lot in common with the vegetarian diet, starting from the huge consumption of cereals.

Yet how sustainable is it to grow cereals? As with any other kind of extensive farming, thanks to phytochemistry and integrated farming there have been quite a few improvements in the pesticide containment rate. However, we need to do more, which is exactly what is happening today.

Italy has  been the first country to ever patent a method called “Riso secondo natura” (nature-wise rice), developed by Molinia farmers. The method includes a series of “natural” techniques allowing the firm to spare around 50% of the water needed for irrigation and up to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. Along with the use of three innovative machineries, the only real innovation brought along by this method lies in following the rhythms of nature and its cycles.

As for wheat – the most common cereal in our diet – the search for sustainability starts already from the seed. A famous Italian pasta manufacturer has been examining the farmland and the atmospheric conditions near its plants and mills, selecting the most suitable wheat plants in order to obtain a good yeld with very limited artificial interventions. Moreover, since the fields are very close to the factories, these experimental crops are super-sustainable.

Another example of natural farming comes from Poggio del farro, a formerly abandoned farm surrounded by the Tuscan hills which has recently been renovated and currently produces organic emmer. The crops are so excellent that they get sold before they have even grown!

•  Hope you enjoyed the article!  •
[New Sustainable Agriculture Model]

On., ma se il mondo è a una svolta perchè siamo ancora tutti fermi?

 

 

Una domanda diretta, perché il PIL non basta più?

Noi siamo basati come società sulla produzione materiale che ha il PIL come indicatore dittatoriale, ma su questo PIL noi abbiamo anche posto la condizione che debba essere sempre crescente. […]

Quali sono le linee guida per una società “oltre il PIL”?

Possiamo impostare la nuova società basandoci sul concetto di bene comune, cioè di ciò che è sganciato dalla proprietà ma che è comunque di importanza centrale, perché sono le strutture comuni, la sanità, le scuole, la sicurezza, a contribuire al benessere delle persone. L’aiuto non sarà loro negato nei momenti di debolezza, di povertà e malattia. Vorrei fare un esempio in riferimento allo stato del Buthan, di cui parlo anche nel libro. Il Buthan è stato il primo al mondo a dotarsi di un indice che misurasse la Felicità Interna Lorda slegato dalle quantificazioni economiche e finanziarie. […]

Qual è la svolta che tutti attendiamo?

Il problema, o la svolta, come l’abbiamo chiamato, è essere persuasi che la persona è realmente centrale quindi noi dobbiamo sforzarci di mettere la persona in grado di capire che cosa sta succedendo ed entrare nelle decisioni dell’intera società: questo significa inclusione. Le parole chiave sono due a) la centralità e dignità della persona b) la sostenibilità della nostra civiltà. Per la dignità della persona, dobbiamo dare la capacità di includere la persona in tutti i processi decisionali. […]

Leggi l’intervista completa a Vittorio Prodi, pubblicata su .eco

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