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  MY 13 COMMANDMENTS - SUSTAINABLE EVERYDAY ROUTINES
first version 2017, was since then multiple times revised and sharpened
 

My 13 Commandments is Matthias Fritsch's personal tool for trying out the path to a sustainable society in everyday life. Since even small steps can have a strong effect on everyday habits through constant routine, there is a very great potential for positive changes here.

If a person changes a daily habit, then this constant change becomes significant in its sum after one year. If many people change certain habits at the same time and create a critical mass, the effect becomes fundamental and can lead to social change.

 

  1. generate humus & return carbon to the soil

  2. collect your urine & feces and bring nutrients back to the fields

  3. reduce meat & dairy products

  4. eat plants from the neighborhood

  5. cook and process your food yourself

  6. produce and save energy

  7. use your body for transportation

  8. keep the environment clean

  9. avoid plastic & harmful materials

10. reduce, divide & use things several times

11. think globally, act locally

12. do not stop learning & share your knowledge

13. respect the life around you

   
  Practical examples and solutions from Matthias:
 

1. generate humus & return carbon to the soil

With this cost-effective DIY system (approx. 12 euros), enough humus can always be produced in the living room for all plants within an apartment. The system works for years and is completely odourless when used correctly.

Humifizierer
 

2. collect your urine & feces and bring nutrients back to the fields

Without the need for extra space and with the help of functional furniture made of recycled materials, compost from kitchen waste can also be produced in the city apartment or a compost toilet can be operated.

ecopolis furniture
composting furniture
 

4. eat plants from the neighborhood

Wild plants grow everywhere around the corner. If they don't grow on a busy road or on contaminated soil, the city offers healthy greenery that doesn't have to be transported from far away and just has to be picked. As pureed soup you can also prepare harder herbs with spices of your personal taste for delicious head and snacks.

Hot Smoothie
Hot Smoothies
 

5. cook and process your food yourself

Self-grown, collected or other vegetables, which are available in abundance, e.g. due to seasonal surpluses, can be preserved long-term and energy-saving by old techniques of fermentation and stored for later consumption.

Aesthetic Fermentation
Fermentation
 

12. do not stop learning and share your knowledge with others

In these tours in Berlin knowledge is shared and projects in the neighborhood and surroundings are presented in which future aspirations elsewhere have already become living present.

Skyline Berlin
Utopia Berlin
   
 

WHY 13 COMMANDMENTS?

A sustainable society leaves its environment and culture in the same or better conditions. 'We are dwarves on the shoulders of giants' and will eventually be part of the giants that future generations will build on. The following principles should help to ensure that the future is not worse than the present. At the moment the scientific consensus is that we urgently need to change our habits. How fast we can do this as a society depends directly on every of us.

1. produce humus & return carbon to the soil
Worldwide, mankind is destroying the fertile soil that is the basis for our food production. Help to rebuild a fertile humus layer and return carbon to the soil!
Tools: humus generators in every home, Terra Preta for permanent humus, Kon-Tiki for charcoal production

2. collect your urine & feces and bring nutrients back to the fields
Helps to close the nutrient cycles. At the moment we are unfortunately flushing valuable nutrients through our water toilet system into the water cycle, where they have no place and clarification is very expensive and energy-intensive. It would be better to send them back where they come from: to the fields and forests. In cities, an infrastructure still needs to be developed to collect, compost and process urine and excrement on a large scale. In private, anyone can start now: Compost toilets and pouring with gold water (10% urine & 90% water mix, per person & year approx. 200qm floor area are needed for spreading)

3. reduce meat and dairy products
According to current projections, up to 51% of all man-made CO2 emissions can be attributed directly or indirectly to livestock farming. As a result, eating little or no meat would already meet half of our most pressing climate change targets. Eat meat only on special occasions.

4. eat plants from the neighbourhood
Use plants from the region and immediate vicinity. Collect and grow your own food and support local producers. Proceed in a habitat-conserving manner. Opportunities: City gardens, vegetables on the windowsill & on the wall, don't throw away any food, but cook hot smooties from leaves, stems and second-rate but unspoilt food that you wouldn't eat otherwise.

5. cook and process your food yourself
Keep control of your food. We are what we eat. Learn to cook, ferment and enjoy industrially processed food only on special occasions.

6. produce and save energy where you live
Decentralize the energy grid, reduce transmission losses, produce energy with simple technologies that you can master. 50% of our energy consumption at home is used for heating. Put on one more garment instead of turning up the heating.
Possibilities: small solar and wind energy plants, Bio-Meiler and various off-grid alternatives.
Efficiency and sufficiency must go hand in hand to prevent rebound effects. Surf the Internet with low resolution and low bit rates for media, as less power and infrastructure is required for transmission & caching (Link).

7. use your body for transportation
Look at everyday transport as sports exercises. Activities: Walking, running, carrying, cycling, stairs instead of elevators.
The fewer transport machines and routes you use, the less this infrastructure needs to be rebuilt and maintained.

8. keep the environment clean
Artificial man-made materials often damage the environment. Leave your environment cleaner than you found it, and when you collect your rubbish, take the opportunity to remove some rubbish left behind by other people.

9. avoid plastic & harmful materials
Reduce your waste production to a minimum. Plastic, in particular, is currently a major threat to ecosystems and ends up in large quantities in the ocean, where it decomposes into microparticles, causes a lot of damage to animals, combines with other pollutants and ultimately returns to our food cycle. Use plastic more than once and packaging materials that are made of only one material and therefore easier to recycle or even better biodegradable plastic alternatives.

10. reduce, divide & use things several times
Live with less and enjoy the associated free space and leisure time, less consumption, less work, less technology, save water, energy and raw materials. How? Share what you have with other people, give away, make more sustainable holidays, recycle materials, buy used goods, collect usable on the street, offer your help & tools to others.

11. think global, act local
Demand determines supply. Question what you consume. Every consumer action and every cent spent causes an expenditure of resources, energy, transport & labour somewhere in the world. The profit and the associated taxes benefit a certain person, company, organization, municipality and form of government - which one do you decide at the moment of purchase and consumption?

12. do not stop learning and share your knowledge with others
Keep trying to learn new things. Be independent and understand the big connections and systems. Question arguments of others and research their content of reason and truth yourself.

13. be grateful to live & respect the life around you
We're all mortal. Rejoice every morning that you are alive. Respect other people, animals and plants around you. Albert Schweitzer already said: "I am life that wants to live, in the midst of life that wants to live.