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.
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. I try living and acting according to the following principles. They can 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 everyone of us.
1. 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 once said: "I am life that wants to live, in the midst of life that wants to live.
2. 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.
3. 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 - you decide which one at the moment of purchase and consumption.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
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. 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).
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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
13. 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)