For several years I am collaborating with a travel agency, that already really saved guests and me in various difficult situations. A good travel agency is worth gold, especially when it comes to travels like ours, with sometimes quite unforeseen developments. A travel agency which is caring for you like a family member is in such a case of very high value. If we still want to have such travel agencies in the future, the clients, the travelers, can now be of big support. Read more
Cleaning my archive I found some videos, which we made 2016 in East Greenland – at the end of my last voyage to the villages. In the fascinating scenery of Isortoq I contemplate about the time at this wonderful place. The thoughts I am telling there fit very well into the weird times which we are living right now. Whoever gets curious after the video and has some spare time for reading – it is a pleasure for me, to send you my book “Heute gehen wir Wale fangen” and also my other books with a personal signature. Stay healthy!
On our mountains we have already the first snow. That means, we can talk about Christmas presents. If you want to create something personal, it is anyway about time to start by now. I collected some ideas for plastic free presents, which can anyway help with some next steps into a more plastic free life. To give to your loved ones – or for your own wish list!
Shoes, helmets, shower gel bottles: In 2019, we continued the Citizen Science Beach Litter project for the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). Together with our guests we collected garbage on two islands in the Hinlopen Strait in Spitsbergen, with very different results. Part of this litter is now on its way again – to be analyzed in Germany.
“It doesn’t make any difference” – I hear this sentence often when I talk about plastic avoidance in everyday life. While I used to argue that everything we do helps, I’ve changed my mind. I meet so many people who care about the smallest crumb of microplastic. At the same time, decisions are still being made elsewhere that outweigh million-fold these tedious plastic savings. That is why this text has now become a provocation: We have to stop mixing creams and to start thinking bigger. We have to become more aggressive, pool our energy, take action where greater benefits can be expected. Because we are running out of time.
If you don’t have knowledge, you cannot act. That is why I am so enthusiastic about the many practical apps that are now available: With their help, you can find out about the ingredientsof almost any product in a matter of seconds, what is good and bad about these substances and whether the product as a whole is good or harmful. You can learn all this just by scanning the barcode. If you scan some of the products you use at home in your daily life with these free apps, you will be amazed at what you will learn. As a first step towards a life with less plastic, I therefore recommend you simply look up what you already have on your shelves. Then you can decide whether you want to continue using these products or, if necessary, look for alternatives.
When I started getting involved with plastic a few years ago, I was still a novelty on the scene. Most people were not even aware of the problem. Fortunately, that has today now changed. I am so glad that I did not let myself get dissuaded in my fight against plastic waste in the early days – because it is truly wonderful how much interest the project and I now get, how much support I get and what wonderful people I have encountered as a result. This makes me so happy! And this is why the next stage is now coming: I am starting a series about plastic because I am constantly being asked the same questions: What alternatives are there to plastic? What can I do and do alone? What exactly is the deal with microplastics, with glass versus plastic bottles or with sewage treatment plants in Germany? In this series I’ll show you what I’ve changed in my life myself – you can just copy it and save yourself the hassle of searching for solutions. It is much easier (and often cheaper) than you think!
Two and a half years of work, three trips, many conversations – and now it is there, my new book “Today we go whaling…” In it, East Greenlanders tell me how it is at this cold end of the world, in a world somewhere between tradition and modern life. I spent a total of three months in East Greenland. My experience was both one of joy, and one of sadness. And this is how I put the story to paper.
What a nice reward for all our work: We have cleaned several beaches in Spitsbergen within a project for the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research. We weighed, counted and categorized the litter – and our data collection is now published in a scientific paper: at the Marine Pollution Bulletin!
All who followed this blog know about it – during the last Arctic Season I carried out a Citizen Science Project on Spitsbergen about Anthropogenic Marine Litter, for the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven. Lots of guests on our expedition cruises helped with the project, and we were able to collect and count lots of garbage. After return, we could now have a look at the data and make a first resume. But first of all, a big thank you goes out to all participants! You were great!