Proposed EU measures to extend product lifetime

I am happy to let you know that things are underway within the EU to ensure that products will last longer and will be easier to repair in the future. These are proposed measures at the moment, they’re not law, but they soon could be. The idea, according to the EEB (European Environmental Bureau) is to:

  1. Extend the lifetime of products
  2. Extend the availability of repair services
  3. Improve consumer information and rights
  4. Make these measures binding, not voluntary

If you live within the EU, I encourage you to contact your representatives to the EU Parliament and to ask them to support these proposed measures.

Even if this isn’t law yet, I am happy to see my own feelings on the matter mirrored by those in a position to do something about it. You may recall that I wrote an article called “Truly sustainable computing” back in August of 2015, where I proposed that desktop computers have a projected lifespan of 20 years and laptops and mobiles phones have a projected lifespan of 10 years.

The proposed EU measures would apply to every category of products, not just to computing devices, so things like cars, electronics, appliances would all be covered by the new regulations, ensuring we would once again have quality products that last a long time.

I say “once again” because those of you who are younger than me may not recall we had this sort of thing before the 1970s. The idea of “planned obsolescence” was introduced in the 1960s by manufacturers and that’s when things started to go downhill for products in terms of durability, repairability and build quality. You could still get kitchen appliances made in the late 1960s that looked and worked perfectly even in the late 2000s. You can no longer do that with today’s appliances.

It’s irresponsible in so many ways for us to generate mountains of e-waste every year and it’s doubly irresponsible for manufacturers to make them, one because they’re using the Earth’s resources without any regard for the future and two, because they make them easily breakable and disposable, contributing to the enormous amounts of waste that we generate as a race. It’s time we did something quantifiable and legally binding about this!

An interview with Brian Clement and Anna Maria Gahns-Clement

Back in March, Ligia and I attended a retreat organized by Do Good Academy on a mountaintop in the region of Brasov, Romania. At that retreat, I sat down with the co-directors of the Hippocrates Health Institute, Brian Clement and Anna Maria Gahns-Clement, for an interview that focused on the questions asked most frequently about raw food by Romanians. The interview was then featured in the July episode of De Vorba cu Ligia, one of our web shows here in Romania. Since the interview was recorded in English, I thought you might enjoy it as well.

Ligia’s Kitchen: raw vegan tiramisu

Here’s a quick video recipe from Ligia for a raw vegan tiramisu that can be made in a few minutes using a blender. Bon appetit!

Raw tiramisu

On self-driving cars

Here is a video I made about self-driving cars, and which I recorded in our VW Passat Station Wagon, which has a feature called Adaptive Cruise Control. When I got this car, I was amazed at how it could apply braking and acceleration as needed in order to keep the car at a safe distance from those in front of it. The only thing I needed to do was keep my hands on the steering wheel.

Now that self-driving cars are beginning to enter the marketplace, we’ll be able to take our hands completely off the wheel and focus on tasks that are more useful to us, such as reading, looking out the window, talking to our spouse or children, even catching up on sleep.

I’d love to see self-driving cars become mainstream, with the option of turning off the auto-pilot and driving them manually every now and then!

Dr. Eugster on aging, work and exercise

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Charles Eugster, he’s 93 years old and began working out when he was 80-something. He’s a living, breathing example of the kind of life we could all have when we’re older. In this TED Talk, he offers enlightening truths about aging as it currently is throughout the world, and as it could be.

The 1956 Maserati A6G-2000 Allemano

A lot of great cars are featured on Jay Leno’s Garage. Out of all the episodes I’ve watched over the years, this 1956 Maserati Allemano is one of my top favorites. Design-wise, it’s pretty close to perfection. And of course, it’s dark silver, which is one of my favorite car colors (our two cars are also dark silver).

1956 Maserati A6G-2000 Allemano Exterior

1956 Maserati A6G-2000 Allemano Interior

Ligia’s Kitchen: how to season cast-iron cookware

Ligia Pop

In this episode of her show, Ligia shows you how to season cast-iron cookware. We use it almost exclusively for cooking in our house. We also use some stainless steel and lead-free enamel cookware, but most of the cooked food we eat gets made in cast-iron pots and pans. The taste is better and once you get them seasoned properly, the clean-up is also easier than with other cookware, because the food doesn’t stick to them. And you’ll also get to strengthen your arms and shoulders: cast-iron dishes are heavy!

LK-059-RO-HD
Released 19-06-2017

Photos from the Bucegi Mountains

We passed through the Bucegi Mountains recently (they’re part of the Carpathians). Some of the photos you’ll see below are taken in Bușteni and the others were taken somewhere between Predeal and Râșnov. Enjoy!

Ligia’s Kitchen: lentil soup with scallions

Ligia's lentil soup

Here’s one of Ligia’s recipes for lentil soup, flavored with scallions and garnished with mint, both freshly picked from our garden. Bon appetit!

LK-058-RO-HD
Released 03-05-2017

Springtime in our garden – more photos

As promised, here are more photos of the spring blossoms in our garden.

Ligia’s Kitchen: a raw vegan glazed-chocolate cake topped with edible flowers

We upped our game for this episode of Ligia’s Kitchen and filmed it with five cameras. It was a bit nerve-wracking but the end result was worth it. Bon appetit!

Springtime in our garden

Here’s an early spring assortment of flowers and other creatures from our garden. I’ll have more in the coming weeks, as our fruit trees begin to bloom.