5 tips for a Green World

Most people want a Green World. But how do we achieve that goal?

I recently came across this quote by Carl Sagan on the Stop Fracking Instagram account that made me stop and think. I searched for more and discovered that this man, who brought the cosmic universe in understandable language to us, gave us inspirational things to think about and maybe even make a change.

A Better World

We all notice something is in need of a thorough inspection and update in our World today. The idea of making money, a career, to have a house (with a mortgage) and a car (with a loan), fame ( & power) and buying, consuming & owning expensive "things" is just not that satisfying for most of us anymore. And we see a LOT of problems unfolding in front of our eyes.

What is going on these days? What are the issues of our generation? Why are people worried and upset?

People see that the energy supplies are drying up and we need a new way of energy. People feel they can't trust anymore what they eat. Our food system is being endangered because some big corporations are trying to change DNA structures of plants (GMO). Nature is being demolished for industries worldwide. There are worries about the Climate Change and if the air you breathe is still good enough and the water you drink from the tap is not contaminated in the future. People worry about possible nuclear bombs and terrorism. Species become extinct, people are being suppressed in countries. (Gay) people are being bullied and attacked. Even pets are legally seen as a material object, a "thing" not a living being and part of your family.

The World sometimes feels like it is messed up

And we all feel this, one way or another. Everyone wants to change something. People want less stress, less responsibilities, more time to spend with loved ones,  more happiness, greener nature, less abuse, less violence, more Peace between people and the Earth. But most people wait until others to take the lead... But why wait? All issues going on in society are influencing us all, if we want it or not. We can sit by and wait and see, or have an active attitude.

Like the quote says:

without clean air and water all our dreams and ideas for the future cannot become reality.

And if we don't speak up what we want ourselves, no one will, and money will continuously rule our World.

But it all feels like too. big. of. an. issue. to. deal. with. and. to. fix.

Where to begin? I hear you asking.

It all starts with our excessive consumption pattern of this moment. That. needs. to change. No way out.

How to start living a better, more sustainable and fulfilling life for a Green World,  without coming across as a drastic activist?

Answer: One step at a time. Here are 5 tips for a Green World Inspiration:

1.  Information is Powerful

Read and learn about things before consuming something or buying something. I read everyday all day and listen to inspirational people, experts in their field, to learn about their findings. And if you made mistakes in the past, and people are continuously pointing out all the things you do or did wrong: focus on what you do right at this moment. People will always try to find something to bring you and your good intentions down. You can start any moment to live a better and a more green life to work together with millions of others to create a Green World! (Good news huh?!) I made mistakes too, and sometimes worked with companies that are not doing so well on the ethical or sustainable level. But the money I made I now put where my mouth is. Know that every day is a new day to change your lifestyle.

2. Each time you buy something, you vote with your purchase

You can either sustain or change a situation using your power of spending. When everyone stops buying products that don't have a good ethical side to it, producers will change to fit the customers needs. It is that easy. So next time you buy something. THINK about what you are buying. And choose good stuff! For instance, if you buy cheap clothing or fast food, you are likely to vote for underpaid unethical (child) labor, depleting nature from essential minerals, contaminating drinking water and bad living conditions for animals as well as voting for a bad health of yourself, to name a few gigantic problems our World faces these days. Cheap means, the money savings have to come somewhere. So you might have a fashionable shirt you wear probably only a few times. And then throw out (creating enormous waste). Or eating a cheap meal.  The impact on yourself and the planet is so devastating you probably would think twice to purchase it if you saw all of these problems that come with that purchase unfold at once in front of your own eyes. The amount of chemicals and genetically manipulated ingredients used in the production of cheap food like products and fashion is alarming. And it is in almost all the stuff you have at home probably, unless you live under a rock. So it affects ALL OF US. Choose wisely for a Green World.

3. Think long-term, not short-term

Some people think about the short-term cost of things, in other words: what does it cost today? While I always think long-term because that is the best for a Green World. If I am healthy and stay healthy for a long time, I need less doctors for disease, less medication, and that way I save a lot of money! I believe that investing in health, by going to doctors to manage my health ,and by buying good products in the beginning will save money in the end compared to people always buying cheap food and cheap products. Cheap food gets you sick, cheap products don't last long, are unethically made, and need to be replaced all the time.  Think about your karma, your conscience.. Can you live with the situation you sustain by buying that product? Your choice if you want to save money now, or your money, your health and your karma in the end. Don't you want the best for your kids? Think about every aspect of their lives. What do you feed them, what do you make them wear, where do you let them play...what quality is the air their young developing lungs breath... each thing, each action is of an incredible importance to the rest of their lives. Be aware, be conscious. Are you protecting their future? Are you fighting for clean soil and organic food, clean air & water? Or do you just sit by and watch the big corporations & government ruining it all just for the Sake of profits? For our children and their future: you can't stay in silence, speak up and demand better & healthier products, protection of people, animals & nature and safety all along. There is enough of everything for everyone and for our future, but we are all using it up now. Pretty selfish don't you think?It is a fact that buying cheap stuff will only give you short-term happiness when purchased. And it might give you a good feeling for a moment: the ones involved in making it are not happy at all. Let's be honest here: a 1 dollar meal or 5 dollar shirt sounds like a bargain, but HOW in the world can that 1 dollar product be made with respecting people, animals & nature? Answer: no way. And the bad ingredients in cheap processed foods can help you get serious diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity to name a few. The toxins used in producing cheap fashion can cause lung & skin problems and the amount of waste created this way... forgetaboutit. If you knew that junk food, soda drinks, buying toxic clothing, shoes and other products would be harmful to your health and that of your family in the long run, would you think twice about buying the cheap, unhealthier version?

4. Think quality, not quantity

While a deal of 2 or more for the price of one sounds like a great deal, it usually only comes for products that aren't really healthy or well made, and actually could be harmful to your health. While our society has the idea that "We want MORE" is the way to go, and buying lots and lots of things and owning lots and lots of things are the best for you, I believe in Less is More. Also, knowing where your products come from gives a certain extra value to the purchase, besides knowing you help a local producer and the safety of knowing who made it. That is true quality. I keep downgrading my life daily, so I can enjoy my life more without the continuous bills coming my way and the worries that come with it. So I don't have to work to keep up with the bills, and don't need that much time keeping up, and organizing my belongings. So I have more time to spend with who I love, doing what I love. It's an enlightened feeling if you can say: I don't need all that. Our family doesn't need all that. I am perfectly happy with the stuff I already have

5. Be creative

Companies have tried to make us all look the same: "We give you a lot of the same looking products and you all buy it from us, and you don't know where it is made, from what it is made and who made it". It is the easiest and cheapest for companies to produce this way. And the more you buy, the more money they make, which will only benefit a very small group of people. Also, these clothes have usually a bad carbon footprint (Think made fare away like "Made s in "INSERT SOMEWHERE IN ASIA") and create a terrible amount of waste. Just saying. Back to the "Be creative" part. I hate the idea of wearing an outfit and someone else walks by in the exact same shirt from a chain store. So I try to stay as far away. I absolutely LOVE my vintage shopping, the hunt for that one-of-a-kind piece, and buying from unique designers and local craftsmen. Less carbon footprint: a happier World. Also for furniture the same. Commodity is no fun.  Be original. Exchange products with your friends (and save money too), let people see who you truly are, choose things that are original, that are YOU. And u know what? People will recognize and praise you for your courage and your great eye and originality! Because most don't have that much originality unfortunately, but they will see it when it is in front of their own eyes. Bonus: being original and recycling products like vintage and antique is usually cheaper to purchase, create almost no waste. The clothes actually are recycled in the economy as well so worth more economically per garment (if that makes sense). It takes creativity, and we lost it somehow the past decades when industrialization and mass production came into our lives, but we can get it back!

The World is not lost yet, it can still be a Green World

We have been taught that our voice does not make a difference by the people who run the world in the Old Economy. It is quite the contrary. If you feel like you want to make a change, you can totally do that as every little bit counts.   Because all those little bits together become a big chunk. And people will notice. Companies will notice and will make a chance. Just focus, everyone has their own favorite issue they want to change. And yes, you might experience a bit of a struggle in the beginning, but easy things are no fun. Success is only satisfying when it takes effort to get to that point.

I encourage you to start changing your consuming pattern for the better. "New" isn't always better," cheap" is usually not right. If you only become more conscious about your actions, and the things you buy each day with the hard-earned money you made, we are half way there. Don't believe all advertising, some are misleading. Trust me I know. The way you consume things and leave your footprint on this Earth matters. Every positive little (green) change helps to change this society for the better. And people lead by example.

Open your mind, explore, learn, send out your message and connect with people who believe in a Green World.

And foremost: Put your money where your mouth is if you believe in a Green World. Buy from true organic & green companies, local farmers & craftsmen and buy GMO free produce.

The World is not lost yet. There are a lot of people still focusing on the money aspect of things (so last Century) But even the most corrupt and money loving people and corporations have a heart... somewhere. They just lost the right path a few decades ago, and can't seem to find it anymore. They only go for the short term profit; they lost the touch with the people who work for them, the animals and products they work with and the environment they work in. But with our efforts and little changes to a greener life we will push them to find the right path again!

Together we stand, all that is important is us, our children and our future.

Love, Lonneke

Founder Organice Your Life®

Carl Sagan quote 2


Lonneke & Wubbo Ockels by Alique

Wubbo Ockels Interview by Lonneke Engel

Prof. Dr. Wubbo J. Ockels (1946) is a brand in itself. His track record is impressive. He was the first Dutchman in Space aboard the last successful trip of the Space Shuttle challenger before it exploded on its 23rd flight. Wubbo Ockels is a physicist, a professor at TU delft University of Technology, director of ASSET (applied Sustainable Science, Engineering and technology), and not only that: Wubbo Ockels is THE man who has put sustainable energy on the agenda in the Netherlands and beyond. In addition, Wubbo Ockels has survived many life- threatening situations, including an airplane crash and having his heart stop beating for 6 minutes.

But that doesn’t stop this optimistic “Energy Hero”. He started many international power projects including the Superbus, the Ecolution Ship, the Nuon Solar team challenge, and most recently his “Happy Energy” project. He does all this while dancing his way through life and enjoying it to the utmost, surrounding himself with the young people of our future, sometimes even at the Supperclub in Amsterdam. It certainly doesn’t seem like he’s going to stop anytime soon. “optimism is a responsibility one cannot win without” is his motto, along with “if the world ends today, I’ll be ok because i am happy with the way I lived my life”. OYL is ready to get a lesson in living a sustainable, successful, and happy life.

OYL-Magazine-Cover

Interview Lonneke Engel with Wubbo Ockels

Let’s go back to the beginning when it all started. You were the first Dutch person to go into Space. Have you always been interested in going to Space?

I wasn’t particularly interested in Space in the beginning. in reality, what happened was that one day, I came across an advertisement from the European Space Agency (ESA), looking for people who would want to go “to Space”. I signed up. I think it was a bit of a coincidence. I think I was a difficult student in school. I was even thrown out of High School at some point, but I followed my own talent for physics, and later on I even graduated Cum Laude from the University, and that got me the chance to go to Space. I think you need a bit of luck in your life, and to be able to catch opportunities when they come your way.

Wubbo Ockels by photographer AliqueYou went to Space in a space shuttle about 26 years years ago, in 1985. Can you tell us what it feels like to travel there, and to see things from that perspective?

The take off was really intense. But then, you get the first view of the Earth, and it is overwhelming - you feel extraterrestrial. it is something you have to experience to understand. on that note: I have ambivalent feelings about commercial Space travel. When you see the Earth like that, you get an even stronger desire to protect our planet. But on the other hand, we travel too much already. it is a consuming activity and one that is bad for the environment. Do we really need to start regular flights into Space? don’t people just want to escape their environment for something new? that is something we should think about. But the view is amazing, that is for sure.

Wubbo Ockels by Alique

Perhaps there is some inherent risk in flying to Space as well? I mean, The flight you were on was the 22nd flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger, flight STS-61a. That was the last successful flight of the Challenger before it exploded mid-flight killing 7 crew members including your roommate Dick Scobee. It was one of the great “challenges” in your life so far. How did you react to it when you heard the news? Did you feel like you escaped a disaster? And will flying into space always be dangerous?

I learned about the Challenger’s disaster when I saw film crews at my house. I asked my wife if there was something wrong with our kids. I was relieved to discover that that was not the case. then I was told about the explosion and about the death of the 7 crew members, and the passing of my roommate, Dick. I felt really sad. My 2nd emotion later on was that I got angry. As it turned out, there was a design flaw in the solid rocket boosters that could have been prevented. Later, we found out that
of the 23 flights of the challenger, 8 had issues with this problem, including my flight. So this disaster could have struck on any one of those flights. So yes, I feel extremely lucky that I am still here. Later on, I was impressed by NASA - they did some very good and thorough research on the Challenger.

One of the reasons NASA sends Space Shuttles (although now the program is almost discontinued), is to do experiments. What do you think has been the most important result to come from those experiments?

I think the Hubble Telescope has given us so many insights and beautiful images of the Universe. It might have raised more questions than answers. On my flight I was most fascinated by the Human Being experiments, like awareness of state and position, and reflexes, etc. take the “Gaze Experiment”: When you focus on a spot, and close your eyes, you know where it is when you are on Earth. But in Space, you can’t do it. It has to do with time maybe? it made me think differently the rest of my life, and it made me think differently about our notion of time.

What do you think the future of Space travel will be?

In the next 20 years, commercial Space flights will grow enormously. But we can’t afford the rocket launches since they require large amounts of fuel and are hazardous to our environment. So, I think we are going to use cables to basically “lift” us into Space, using nano tubes made of strong fibers. I think this technique will also be developed more in the coming years. I might go on one of the first commercial flights that will take off from Curaçao, but only on the condition that they use their profits to clean up Curaçao and make it a nicer place.

Do you believe in life outside of Earth?

I think it is unacceptable that we think we are the only ones who are aware of the “Cosmos”. Extraterrestrial life is all around us. We just see what we know around us: Earth type parts of the Universe. Since Galilei, we have built instruments to learn more about the Universe, but for instance, the Egyptians thought he Earth was the center of the Universe and Galilei thought it is the Sun. Our interpretation of what we see changes when we learn new facts but our eyes still see the same. Now we think we are in a non-specific place in the Galaxy. Suppose you ask the old Egyptians: “is there another Earth?” they would answer: “wrong question, the Earth is the center!” and when you would ask Galilei:”is there another Sun?”, he would answer similarly. I compare that to asking today: is there another now? Is there another time? I think other lives have different time and that is why we don’t see them (yet). Everything is related to the present time but I am curious about what we can do with another notion of time.

After your work in the field of Aerospace, you shifted your interest towards sustainable engineering and technology. Where did this interest come from?

Really, Space is not so unique. But Earth is unique. if you could see it from Space, you’d know what I mean. The Earth has the blue of water, the green of trees, and so on. I learned that the Earth is beautiful and that we have to take care of it. I was always an inventor my whole life. I like to think outside of the box, and some say it might also be my handicap. In 1972, I had an eye-opening moment when I read “The Limits to Growth” by the Club of Rome. In 1996, I started inventing again, and in 2004, I got a professorship in Sustainability at the University of delft. I enjoy working on different projects, and with a new way of looking at data.

You like To Travel. What is your favorite place on Earth to travel to?

I used to travel a lot, but I have cut down on it recently. I also think there are many beautiful places to visit close to home. I like the “Waddeneilanden” (islands north of the Netherlands), I like Amsterdam, and I also loved Big Bend National park in Texas when I lived there for 4 years. I think many people travel now just to change the scenery, like they escape from their own reality. We might need to restrict our travel because it is not good for the environment.

What do you think the situation of Earth is as of now? What do you think we should all do for Earth in the coming years?

I think we still have a way of doing business on Earth where profit is the driving force. The Earth has been suffering because of it. I see that we have to make a change in our mindset. We need a different culture. There is also a big potential for recycling products, and we can still improve in capturing heat from existing buildings and products to heat our houses. there is a lot of potential to do better, but we all have to look at ourselves and change our ways. For instance, in my opinion, a car using the commonly used fuel is so old-fashioned. I think if you want to make the world a better place you need to embrace the future. Electric cars will make tremendous progress, and you will see many more on the streets in the coming years as batteries get better and the total production of electric cars becomes more sustainable. And once you realize the true beauty of a car is not the noisy engine, but rather the silence of an electric car, we will have made the right shift. I think we have all gone too far with certain ways of capturing energy, including nuclear energy.It is the arrogance of the industrial revolution. This way of getting energy is too big for human kind. That’s also why I started the Happy Energy movement as a new way, a new paradigm in looking for energy, that does not harm people, animals, or the Earth.

What is your mission with Happy Energy?

I want to encourage young people - the people of the future - to think about sustainable energy and to help them set up projects that use renewable energy sources. I embrace new ways of communication like social media to get them excited.

Wubbo Ockels by photographer Alique

Can you tell us a bit about the projects you are you working on and what you think the World of sustainability will look like?

I have been working on a lot of different projects over the past years. They are all in some way related to new ways of using certain types of energy. Some are successful and went into production, others were just ideas. Iworked from 1994-1998
on the Euromoon 2000 project by the ESA. We as Europe mark a space in history so this project would have been an extension
of that. The idea was that we put an extraterrestrial station on the moon, and use the moon for energy. One idea was putting up solar panels there that would give us year-round solar energy. We would live there through village robots in what is called “telepresence” so, while not actually living there.

I also worked on the “laddermill” concept, that is an attempt to “ grab wind energy” high up in the sky.

The “Superbus” concept will make a difference for travel over roads, with luxury transportation to wherever the passenger wants to go (usually zipcode to zipcode travel).

What can you suggest  for someone who wants to become more sustainable? What can he or she do to start?

First of all, I encourage people who want to become more sustainable, to go to people who have the knowledge. Education is key. learn how you can do better. also, I think solar panels will flood the world in the coming years as they become cheaper. They are a great way of capturing energy that is basically free. So, adding that to your house is a great step forward. maybe countries should encourage their citizens to use more renewable energy sources. and companies can be more forward in giving suggestions to their buyers.

What countries do you think are doing well on that subject, and what countries can improve?

Germany is doing well. their government has made a clear decision to promote sustainability. They have about 350,000 people working now in the sustainable sector. My own country, the Netherlands, is really not focusing on green ways at all and I wish they did. As it turns out, doing business with green ethics in the end will be at least as profitable as not thinking about it. So there is no reason not to do it. China will also probably save the world. their government is different than in the Western world, and they keep a long political strategy. When they open a coal mine, they already plan for its closure in the future. the essence of sustainability is the treasure of the future. not just thinking: “it’s so far away, let’s only think short- term”.

The mind shift, what should that be?

Right now, society seems to be largely managed by fear. People communicate with prejudgement that has to do with fear, and they use that fear to set up more armies, boundaries, walls, etc. We need to learn how to communicate with each other based on trust. When we all live without fear - and are positive - life becomes more beautiful. and we can all live with happy energy from within ourselves.

Projects

1994-1998 Euro Moon

A plan to bring a European-built lander to the south pole of the moon. The special landing site was called “Peak of Eternal Light” because this elevated part of the rim of the Shakleton crater is always lit by the Sun.The presence of frozen water in the crater would, combined with the permanent presence of solar energy, be the ideal place for the first extraterrestrial outpost. A mission was designed with support from most of the European Space industry, combined with a student satellite, Lunarsat. The lack of full political support ended the project.

2001- present Nuon Solar Team

The Nuon Solar team works to make the fastest solar energy powered vehicle out there
called “Nuna” to compete in the World Solar challenge in Australia every two years. They have won gold four times and silver once so far already! www.nuonsolarteam.com. This year Nuna 6 will start on the 16th october. Wubbo’s role is advisor/coach to the team.

2007-2011 Ecolution

An autonomous sailing ship that provides a home to live in, using two big turbines to produce energy (stored in 12000 kg battery banks) during sailing. The modern two- mast aero rig allows for short hand sailing. full redundancy gives a high level of reliability and avoids time urgency.

Wubbo Ockels by photographer Alique

2008 Laddermill

Because wind power is one of the biggest growing sources of energy, the laddermill concept was born: a large number of kites are lifted into the air (up to 30,000 feet) and are held together by a cable moving in a loop with downward and upward motion to capture wind energy. A small version with one “pumping” kite (25m2) was created and can produce up to 20 kW of power.

2010 Nederland2050

A petition to have dutch people sign for a sustainable and 100% clean country by 2050. (previously known as Ladies First): www.nederland2050.nl

2010 Superbus

A new method of sustainable transportation is possible with the Superbus. It is a 15 meter long electrically powered vehicle that can go up to 250km an hour and will be used as flexible public transportation, traveling based on the needs of the passengers instead of relying on fixed routes. It provides seating for 23 passengers. in order to improve comfort and to allow individuality, it has 8 doors per side and it looks like it came out of a Batman movie! www. superbusproject.com/

2009 TEDx Talk on time and gravity

a new hypothesis was developed, turning around the roles of aging and time in physics. The talk is based on the personal experience of the difference between Space and Earth, and on the studies done by his Phd student, Suzanne Nooij on subjects exposed to hyper g (2-3g) in a centrifuge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaV-GeAPSlE

2008-2010 Natuurlijk Afsluitdijk

Two natural dikes are placed, made of sand taken out of an artificial lake for storing energy. The space in between the two dikes provides new nature fishing grounds, tourism and agriculture. A reverse osmosis power plant was proposed mixing the fresh water with saline water before releasing it to the sea, lowering the impact on nature.On the existing dike, a Superbus track is planned. The plan has been worked out in a consortium of Royal Haskoning, Lieversen, Van Oord, Rabobank, and Eneco.

Wubbo Ockels by photographer Alique

2011 Happy Energy

A young initiative that advocates a positive and sustainable culture. One which strives for a society that makes maximum use of recyclable products and clean energy, using the Happy Energy logo as the new universal symbol for sustainability. The Wubbo Ockels Happy Energy fund is a fund to support young people who are working in the field of sustainability. www.happyenergy.com

Amsterdam, May 21st 2011

 

Wubbo Ockels March 28th 1946 –  May 18th 2014

Wubo Ockels - Goodbye with a Smile

See also:

OYL Circle of Five by Wubbo Ockels, May 21st 2011

OYL Checklist - Wubbo Ockels May 21st 2011

Wubbo Ockels: Goodbye with a Smile May 18th 2014

Read Wubbo Ockels’ In Memoriam on the website of Happy Energy.

Interview by Lonneke Engel. Photos by Alique. Copyright Organice Your Life®


water drop

Water!

The earth consists of 70 % water. Your body weight is between 45% and 75% water: you need it to live. It hydrates cells, lungs, and thins blood. Because of water having this important role in the body, It is important to make sure you do not get dehydrated.

In these times, everybody seems to be always running around, running on coffee. Coffee actually dehydrates your body, just like flying, breathing, sweating and alcohol.

It is important to drink between 4-8 glasses of water a day and also food that consists of a lot of water, like fruits and vegetables. Soda and tea also do not count for water. Water can heal, even the worst hangovers can get better with a few glasses of water, since this replenishes the cells which alcohol has dried out. Keep a bottle of water around you at all times, and drink from it regularly.

I usually start the day with a big glass of (hot) water with some lemon juice. This cleanses the toxins out of your insides and your skin. Skin looks much better when drinking a lot of water. And as another plus, drinking water makes you fill up and prevents overeating. So a lot of good stories about water, something we should care about.

Clean drinking water is our most precious asset! It is more valuable than jewelry, money or other assets. And we should all care about it like it is. That means care for our drinking water supplies, and trying to get as many people to have access to clean drinking water. Because once we lose drinking water to pollution, fracking or other manmade mistakes, there is not a way back. Again: water is essential to life on Earth.

Love, Lonneke


Vegetarian meat

mc2burger & chicken satay sandwich

If you change from eating meat to a vegetarian diet, it is a big change. But it is worth it. But what happens is that you usually crave some kinds of meat still. I changed about 8 years ago to an 90% vegetarian diet, with a bit of good fish once a while. But I still missed eating a good hamburger (not the ones from fast-food restaurants FYI) once a while . I am still not sure if it was because of the meat, or the bun and all the toppings that accompany a good burger.... Besides that, the texture of chicken meat I did like too so I craved that too.

We all know the truth about that most people eat TOO MUCH MEAT and that that's not good for our health. We just don't need that much protein. Also, the way we produce meat is so devastating for our environment, and the abuse of the animals is so common and awful, that The Earth needs a change if we want our kids to live on a livable planet with clean water, air and biodiversity. Even if you don't eat meat for just 1 day a week, you can drastically reduce your carbon footprint. The amount of energy it takes to produce one piece of meat on your plate is mind-blowing. And the carbon footprint of a meat eating person is many, many times higher than that of a vegetarian person. So if you want to help make a difference (remember every little effort counts if you add them all up!) you can do that by switching your meat dishes and using meat replacement products if you crave the flavor and texture of the meat.

Because there is a solution for these cravings! Until now vegetarian substitutes for meat where not that great to put it middy, and therefore some vegetarians were a bit sad. But thankfully some people took matters in their own hands and started to find new, all plant based, meat substitutes!

There is a vegetarian butcher in The Hague, the Netherlands. (yes that is a VEGETARIAN butcher, meaning: without animals being hurt, but with all the good taste) "De Vegetarische Slager". I already wrote about them once before and you can read that story HERE. They are in fact the first of their kind in the World. Mark Bittman, the renowned food critic from the NY Times even came to visit the shop once, and loved what he discovered.

So Animal cruelty free, vegetarian friendly, that sounds good to me! I love their products and they sell their prepackaged products already in 200+ stores all across the Netherlands, in health food stores but even mainstream supermarkets are joining in. (You can also order online.)

I spoke to Paul Bom, who is one of the geniuses behind the products, and who is present at their concept store in The Hague at the Spui 167A almost everyday. (across from the City Hall of the Hague). I asked him if their products include soy and if yes, if they are GMO free. He said thesoy used is organic and also gmo free! One other thing they use a lot is a plant called "Lupin" for their meat-like products.

The taste and texture of their products is really good. The chicken pieces are great to fool people thinking they eat real chicken. They also have a range of shawarma (shoarma in Dutch) made of lupin, minced meat, meat balls, and even have a selection of non-fish products. Also the fish products are great to fool someone. I LOVE the non-tuna spread "Tonyn". The mackarel one tastes like mackarel but is a bit too strong for me.

In the store you can buy all these meat products, as well as ready-to-go meals (love the typical dutch dish "Hutspot", a mix of mashed potatoes, onions & carrots accompanied by a meatball in a sauce). You can also buy super foods, olive oils, wines and juices. All of course organic.

The recently introduced their new "mc2burger", which is the name of their hamburger, to the people of France, at an exhibition in Paris. (The name is derived from E=MC2 from Einstein). I think the taste is really good as I got a sneak peak from their burger when I visited The Hague for work.

Besides that I am obsessed with their bread roll made of lupin, with their fake chicken in satay sauce! It is a bit naughty, meaning not that great for the thighs, but very delicious. Hey, models eat bad food too once a while ;-) See picture on top!

Also, today marks the opening of the first ever all vegetarian snackbar, also in the Hague. The MC2burger is available under the name "Vegabom" as well as other "Vegetarische Slager" products.  News item about the opening(In Dutch.)

You can follow de Vegetarische Snackbar on Twitter: @Vegasnackbar

and also "De Vegetarische Slager" on Twitter: @Vegaslager  & Paul Bom: @PaulBom,

I love it that people all around the World are thinking twice about the products they eat, and try to create new delicious vegetarian foods & dishes that can get the pressure off the Planet a little bit.

Love, Lonneke

 


Lonneke & Wubbo Ockels by Alique

Wubbo Ockels and his Universe of Happy Energy

Lonneke & Wubbo Ockels by AliqueProf. Dr. Wubbo J. Ockels (1946) is a brand in itself. His track record is impressive. He was the first Dutchman in Space aboard the last successful trip of the Space Shuttle Challenger before it exploded on its 23rd flight. Wubbo Ockels is a physicist, a professor at TU Delft University of Technology, director of ASSET (Applied Sustainable Science, Engineering and Technology), and not only that: Wubbo Ockels is THE man who has put sustainable energy on the agenda in the Netherlands and beyond. In addition, Wubbo Ockels has survived many life- threatening situations, including an airplane crash and having his heart stop beating for 6 minutes. But that doesn’t stop this optimistic “Energy Hero”. He started many international, power projects including the Superbus, the Ecolution Ship, the Nuon Solar Team Challenge, and most recently his “Happy Energy” project. He does all this while dancing his way through life and enjoying it to the utmost, surrounding himself with the young people of our future, sometimes even at the Supperclub in Amsterdam. And it certainly doesn’t seem like he’s going to stop anytime soon. “Optimism is a responsibility one cannot win without” is his motto, along with “If the world ends today, I’ll be ok because I am happy with the way I lived my life”. OYL is ready to get a lesson in living a sustainable, successful, and happy life. Interview by Lonneke Engel. Pictures by Alique.

Lonneke- Let’s go back to the beginning when it all started. You were the first Dutch person to go into space. Have you always been interested in going to space?

Wubbo: I wasn’t particularly interested in Space in the beginning. In reality, what happened was that one day, I came across an advertisement from the European Space Agency (ESA), looking for people who would want to go “to Space”. I signed up. I think it was a bit of a coincidence. I think I was a difficult student in school. I was even thrown out of High School at some point, but I followed my own talent for Physics, and later on I even graduated Cum Laude from the University, and that got me the chance to go to Space. I think you need a bit of luck in your life, and to be able to catch opportunities when they come your way.

Wubbo Ockels by Alique

 

L: You went to space in a Space Shuttle about 26 years ago, in 1985. can you tell us what it feels Like to travel there, and see things from that perspective?

W: The take off was really intense. But then, you get the first view of the Earth, and it is overwhelming - you feel extraterrestrial. It is something you have to experience to understand. On that note: I have ambivalent feelings about commercial space travel. When you see the Earth like that, you get an even stronger desire to protect our planet. But on the other hand, we travel too much already. It is a consuming activity and one that is bad for the environment. Do we really need to start regular flights into Space? Don’t people just want to escape their environment for something new? That is something we should think about. But the view is amazing, that is for sure.

L: Perhaps there is some inherent risk in flying to space as well? I mean, the flight you were on was the 22nd flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger, flight sts-61a. that was the last successful flight of the Challenger before it exploded mid-flight killing 7 crew members including your roommate Dick Scobee. it was one of the great “challenges” in your life so far. how did you react to it when you heard the news? Did you feel like you escaped a disaster? Will fLying into space always be dangerous?

W: I learned about the Challenger’s disaster when I saw film crews at my house. I asked my wife if there was something wrong with our kids. I was relieved to discover that that was not the case. Then I was told about the explosion and about the death of the 7 crew members, and the passing of my roommate, Dick. I felt really sad. My 2nd emotion later on was that I got angry. As it turned out, there was a design flaw in the solid rocket boosters that could have been prevented. Later, we found out that of the 23 flights of the Challenger, 8 had issues with this problem, including my flight. So this disaster could have struck on any one of those flights. So yes, I feel extremely lucky that I am still here. Later on, I was impressed by NASA - they did some very good and thorough research on the Challenger.

L: One of the reasons NASA sends Space Shuttles (although now the program is almost discontinued), is to do experiments. What do you think has been the most important result to come from those experiments?

W: I think the Hubble Telescope has given us so many insights and beautiful images of the Universe. It might have raised more questions than answers. In my flight I was most fascinated by the Human Being experiments, like awareness of state and position, and reflexes, etc. Take the “Gaze Experiment”: When you focus on a spot, and close your eyes, you know where it is when you are on Earth. But in Space, you can’t do it. It has to do with time maybe? It made me think differently the rest of my life, and it made me think differently about our notion of time.

L: what do you think the future of space travel will be?

W: In the next 20 years, commercial Space flights will grow enormously. But we can’t afford the rocket launches since they require large amounts of fuel and are hazardous to our environment. So, I think we are going to use cables to basically “lift” us into Space, using nano tubes made of strong fibers. I think this technique will also be developed more in the coming years. I might go on one of the first commercial flights that will take off from Curaçao, but only on the condition that they use their profits to clean up Curaçao and make it a nicer place.

L: Do you believe in life outside of Earth?

W: I think it is unacceptable that we think we are the only ones who are aware of the “Cosmos”. Extraterrestrial life is all around us. We just see what we know around us: Earth type parts of the Universe. Since Galilei, we have built instruments to learn more about the Universe, but for instance, the Egyptians thought the Earth was the center of the Universe and Galilei thought it is the Sun. Our interpretation of what we see changes when we learn new facts but our eyes still see the same. Now we think we are in a non-specific place in the Galaxy. Suppose you ask the old Egyptians: “Is there another Earth?” They would answer: “wrong question, the Earth is the center!” and when you would ask Galilei:”Is there another Sun?”, he would answer similarly. I compare that to asking today: Is there another Now? Is there another Time? I think others lives have different time and that is why we don’t see them (yet). - everything is related to the present time but I am curious about what we can do with another notion of time.

L: After your work in the field of Aerospace, you shifted your interest towards sustainable engineering and technology. Where did this interest come from?

W: Really, Space is not so unique. But Earth is unique. If you could see it from Space, you’d know what I mean. The Earth has the blue of water, the green of trees, and so on. I learned that the earth is beautiful and that we have to take care of it. I was always an inventor my whole life. I like to think outside of the box, and some say it might also be my handicap. In 1972, I had an eye-opening moment when I read “The Limits to Growth” by the Club of Rome. In 1996, I started inventing again, and in 2004, I got a Professorship in Sustainability at the University of Delft. I enjoy working on different projects, and with a new way of looking at data.

Wubbo Ockels by Alique

L: You Like to travel. what is your favorite place on Earth to travel to?

W: I used to travel a lot, but I have cut down on it recently. I also think there are many beautiful places to visit close to home. I like the “Waddeneilanden” (islands north of the Netherlands), I like Amsterdam, and I also loved Big Band National Park in Texas when I lived there for 4 years. I think many people travel now just to change the scenery, like they escape from their own reality. We might need to restrict our travel because it is not good for the environment.

L: What do you think the situation of Earth is as of now? What do you think we should all do for Earth in the coming years?

W: I think we still have a way of doing business on Earth where profit is the driving force. The Earth has been suffering because of it. I see that we have to make a change in our mindset. We need a different culture... There is also a big potential for recycling products, and we can still improve in capturing heat from existing buildings and products to heat our houses. There is a lot of potential to do better, but we all have to look at ourselves and change our ways. For instance, in my opinion a car using the commonly used fuel is so old-fashioned. I think if you wantto make the world a better place you need to embrace the future. Electric cars will make tremendous progress, and you will see many more on the streets in the coming years as batteries get better and the total production of electric cars becomes more sustainable. And once you realize the true beauty of a car is not the noisy engine, but rather the silence of an electric car, we will have made the right shift. I think we have all gone too far with certain ways of capturing energy, including nuclear energy. It is the arrogance of the Industrial Revolution. This way of getting energy is too big for human kind. That’s also why I started the Happy Energy movement as a new way, a new paradigm in looking for energy, that does not harm people, animals, or the Earth.

Wubbo Ockels by Alique

L: What is your mission with Happy Energy?

W: I want to encourage young people - the people of the future - to think about sustainable energy and to help them set up projects that use renewable energy sources. I embrace new ways of communication like social media to get them excited.

L: Can you tell us a bit about the projects you are working on and what you think the world of sustainability will look like?

W: I have been working on a lot of different projects over the past years. They are all in some way related to new ways of using certain types of energy. Some are successful and went into production, others were just ideas. I worked from 1994-1998 on the Euromoon 2000 project from the ESA. We as Europe mark a space in history so this project would have been an extension of that. The idea was that we put an extraterrestrial station on the moon, and use the moon for energy. One idea was putting up solar panels there that would give us year-round solar energy. We would live there through village robots in what is called “telepresence” so, while not actually living there. I also worked on the “LadderMill” concept, that is an attempt to “grab wind energy” high up in the sky. The “Superbus” concept will make a difference for travel over roads, with luxury transportation to wherever the passenger wants to go (usually zipcode to zipcode travel).

L: What can you suggest for someone who wants to become more sustainable? What can he or she do to start?

W: First of all, I encourage people who want to become more sustainable, to go to people who have the knowledge. Education is key. Learn how you can do better. Also, I think solar panels will flood the world in the coming years as they become cheaper. They are a great way of capturing energy that is basically free. So, adding that to your house is a great step forward. Maybe countries should encourage their citizens to use more renewable energy sources. And companies can be more forward in giving suggestions to their buyers.

L: What countries do you think are doing well on that subject and what countries can improve?

W: Germany is doing well. Their government has made a clear decision to promote sustainability. They have about 350,000 people working now in the sustainable sector. My own country, the Netherlands, is really not focusing on green ways at all and I wish they did. As it turns out, doing business with green ethics in the end will be at least as profitable as not thinking about it. So there is no reason not to do it. China will also probably save the world. Their government is different than in the Western world, and they keep a long political strategy. When they open a coalmine, they already plan for its closure in the future. The essence of sustainability is the treasure of the future. Not just thinking: “it’s so far away, let’s only think short- term”.

L: The Mind Shift, what should that be?

W: Right now, society seems to be largely managed by fear. People communicate with prejudgement that has to do with fear, and they use that fear to set up more armies, boundaries, walls, etc. We need to learn howto communicate with each other based on trust. When we all live without fear - and are positive - life becomes more beautiful. And we can all live with happy energy from within ourselves. - May 21st 2011

www.happyenergy.com

Lonneke & Wubbo Ockels by AliqueRead more about Wubbo Ockels, how he "Organices" his Life, his favorite things and all of his inspiring projects including the Ecolution, the Nuon Solar Team and the Superbus in Organice Your Life® magazine 6. Read it here!.

All pictures copyright by Organice Your Life® and Alique