Learning about sustainability… and facebook

Sunday morning, Berlin.

Over the last couple of weeks I have managed to adjust my facebook feed to actually show things I am interested in. I might be one of the last people to realize how to properly use the “likes” on pages you are interested in. Every page you like on facebook – and I am not talking about your friends profiles, but about facebook pages like “Nature”, “Dancing in the dark” etc. – shows up on your newsfeed. Means between all your friends posting a picture out of an airplane titled “high above the clouds” or their most recent meal, the pages you liked also slip in their latest posts.

When I joined facebook in 2008 or something I was all excited about all my friends everyday lives. By now I have realized that we all do pretty much the same. And facebook can by no means substitute REAL conversation. I really hate it when I ask a friend “Hey, how was your vacation?” and he/she answers with “Haven´t you seen my pictures on facebook?”. eeeehhhmmm… OK, I am going little off topic here.

What I wanted to write about was sustainability. Or actually and topic YOU are really interested in. I am interested in changing the world by finding sustainable ways of living. Therefore I am following many many pages on facebook posting stuff about these topics. And oh do I suddenly love my newsfeed again! Facebook has a new purpose – for me at least. Here are two of my favorite pages to follow:

http://www.sustainableamerica.org/
Sustainable America is a page mostly concerned with the American food industry.

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http://sustainableman.org/

They collect and post things about basically anything related with sustainability from engineering approaches to sustainable ways to produce clothes. Food for thought.

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Money fasting

During the past month I engaged in an activity known to most students – money fasting. What does that mean? Well, you simply don´t have any money.

I gotta admit that the last time I was on a strict money diet was quite some time ago. Let´s say I somehow always managed to save up for things I wanted and plan my funds accordingly.

But the past month was different. It all started with a business trip in a small yellow car. Sounds innocent? Well, the car is not to blame actually. This is how it all happened: After a long work-day I managed to put my wallet on top of the car and drove off. The poor wallet then fell off the roof and was left on an highway somewhere in the Netherlands. The wallet was hit by cars until an angelic wallet lover found it and sent it back to Germany. From Germany it was sent to my dutch office just for me to find out that I could not use any of its content because the cards were all smashed and cracked!

Then we all went on a business trip to the US – me without any money! Crossing the border was like in a bad movie:
Lady at the immigration: “Ms, how much money are you bringing to the United States?” me: “zero.” Her: “But you did bring credit cards” me: “nope”
Well, I managed to enter the country and luckily my co-workers gave me some cash so I could eat. Back in Germany it took another two weeks to get a new bank card. The new card arrived two days ago and I can´t believe my freshly gained freedom!

Where I am going with this story is: It sounds pretty bad not to have any money. But actually it is managable. Everything is managable. It´s just a matter of perspective. And I got to say, I kind of enjoyed not having any other choice than not to consume. Buying stuff was not even an option. I was just happy to have enough for food and train rides to work.

And isn´t that what fasting is all about? Practicing abstinence from a certain thing for a while in order to be able to appreciate it more? I definitely enjoy it not having to turn every penny around. And I am also more aware of the freedom I have. Thank you everybody! I appreciate all the help that I´ve received during the past weeks!