Text and photo: Susanne Grohs-von Reichenbach
No, we have never been lonely prophets in the desert. And we only sometimes keep in touch with dreamers. Our start-up Think Digital Green, and with it our utopia of CO2-neutral digital applications, can be encountered quite simply in the real world.
But things were not always well-meaning there. Our utopia is something like breaking into paradise: Until now, for most of us, the digital world has been hype, aesthetically-glamorous, convenient, omnipresent, and somehow a plus for the environment. After all, less paper is printed out and we can meet virtually whenever we want. I thought so as well – until I fell helter-skelter in love with the utopia of a CO2 neutral digital world and Think digital Green! Imagine, it’s quite a shock: Suddenly someone comes along, turns the familiar world upside down and tells of disproportionately large digital CO2 footprints in business and private everyday life. On the other hand, there are also opportunities to massively reduce the average emissions of a good 1 ton of CO2 per person and year. Tons per year and person are also possible – only this time for the benefit of the environment. In our previous events, most of the participants were immediately interested in learning more and taking action themselves. But some asked:
WHERE IS THIS? WHO SAYS THAT? REAL UTOPIA!
When something new comes along and habits are challenged, our brain reflexively tries to bail us out. It warns, doubts, slows down the unknown. I know this only too well myself. Because what can’t be, can’t be … you know. In order to convince skeptics and remove inner blocks, for us it was clear that we needed measured values. And figures that show that the CO2-lighter digital world is a plus, both ecologically and economically. A scientifically based model with facts was calculated. The result is the Think Digital Green Assistant.
A UTOPIA IS BEING WEIGHED
Now we know for sure: It is immediately possible for each of us, without any sacrifice, to save up to 80 percent of the CO2 usually emitted in a year through our digital behavior. That’s what our Think Digital Green wizard balanced, which can derive weight figures for each immediately applicable saving per year. So it’s possible to quantify what you’re doing for the climate if, for example, you take part in a video conference with your camera on or off. You want to know the difference right away? With the camera on, we produce just under 600 grams of CO2 per hour; without the camera, 40 grams. So if we know the difference, we can use the camera more consciously. And that applies to many areas. Whether it’s email or using WhatsApp, there are measurable CO2 savings to be made. Quite simply.
MATH GAMES, OR HOW DOES UTOPIA MAKE IT INTO OUR HEARTS?
We can’t smell CO2, catch it or really imagine it. CO2 has to be “translated”. Does it help you to know that 1 ton of CO2 corresponds to a cube with an edge length of about 8 meters? That we are allowed to emit a maximum of about 2 tons of it, so that the 1.5 degree target would be achievable? At the same time, much depends on this “intangible” greenhouse gas for the habitability of our planet.
So we looked for a way to make numbers, technical systems and the operation of devices more tangible. And we did it with three nice people. Let me introduce you. Max, Karl and Nala are our protagonists, who move through everyday digital life without and with their Think Digital Green assistants. You can see their very different results in the picture. Anyone who looks over their shoulder in one of our lecture sessions and gets to know them a little better will begin to take an interest in them and their digital habits. That’s how an idea that’s new at first suddenly moves closer into our midst. Tangible, illustrated, weighed and understandable. Then the world of numbers touches the world of our dreams. This is how utopias grow into our everyday life. Gently, compatible with daily life and always towards the light.