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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Austria Journal, Part 1: Energy Efficiency

Posted by admin | September 14th, 2007 | Filed under Compassionate Capitalism, Design, Sustainability, Who We Are


I recently had the chance to spend a week in Austria on a media trip focused on food, wine and design. Odd combo you say? Not really. Many Austrian chefs and wine makers are looking for, and finding, ways to merge the country’s rich culinary and viticultural history with its equally rich modern design contributions, but more on that later. While in Vienna, there was a lot to appreciate in regards to thoughtful design integrated into daily life. For starters, almost every light I encountered in non-constant use situations was on a motion sensing timer, reducing the amount of time lights were on without someone in the room. Also, literally every bathroom I saw had a low-flow toilet and motion-controlled faucets. Vienna also has a city bike program similar to the one recently introduced in Paris, and an extensive network of bike paths separated from car traffic.

The capper for me came one Saturday, when we passed this woman standing at the start of a major retail street in the city center. In case your German is a little rusty, her sandwich board is advertising the merits of compact fluorescent bulbs, and announcing that later that afternoon, you can bring your old incandescent bulbs back to the same location and swap them out for compact fluorescents, for free, courtesy of IKEA. Now that’s putting your PR where your environmental practices are.

3 Responses to “Austria Journal, Part 1: Energy Efficiency”

  • September 17, 2007 at 11:42 am | Daniel says

    While wistfully thinking of bicycling in northern Europe after reading this post, I came across this blog: http://copenhagengirlsonbikes.blogspot.com/ . It is a beautiful and often sexy documentary of bicycle culture. Forget the Escalade with the 24″ rims, it is all about 28″ rims and skirt guards (http://www.jorgandolif.com/joflash.html)!

  • September 20, 2007 at 4:17 pm | marguerite manteau-rao says

    Thanks Otis for visiting my blog and for thinking of me for you next Like Minds list. Mostly thanks for giving me food for thought for one of my posts. You just happened to touch on something that is very important to me. If I could, in another life maybe, I would become an urban (green of course!) designer . . .


  • September 21, 2007 at 4:31 pm | Otis says

    Daniel: Thanks for the great link. I love that site! They could use some better design for the site itself, but the pics are fabulous.

    Marguerite: Great to discover your blog, and glad you’re a visitor here. Check back for some more Vienna musings soon.



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