Christmas is round the bend and we take this occasion to present an open letter from our Founder Mirela Orlovic on the year that has been for UrbanMeisters and how we see a wonderful change in the world around us. Here’s Mirela for all of you!

Dear UrbanMeisters,

It’s our third Christmas together as a vibrant green living community and the team and I would like to use this opportunity to thank you for following and reading us, liking and sharing our posts and especially to our fabulous guest writers and contributors from our passionate community who share their knowledge and tips with the rest of us in their articles and posts.
2017 was an ‘uber’ exciting year for UrbanMeisters. We can now say we’ve officially ‘arrived’, all with your support. We made it to the ‘Olympus of Sustainability’, as I like to call it, when I was invited as a sustainable lifestyle expert and official delegate at this year’s key events for Climate Action like the United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP23 and the French President Emmanuel Macron’s One Planet Summit, and many more such important world events. These have given me immense perspective on the year gone by which I would like to share with you. The one word that best summarises 2017 for me is COLLABORATION.
Not only is UrbanMeisters all about collaboration between urban citizens who share and exchange their knowledge, it applies to the larger scheme of things as well as I saw, learnt and experienced at these prestigious world summits. It’s clear from COP23 and One Planet Summit that given the climate urgency, all of us need to get started NOW and go green. The situation is escalating fast:
Eco-friendly christmas- 7
It’s well past the time to say, ‘Oh the governments have to do this and have to do that’. The governments and other organisations of the world have clearly set out on the right track. Indeed, not all is perfect and the speed of action is not where it needs to be, but they have started. What’s more the first results are encouraging! China, one of the big polluting countries, has restricted small scale coal burning in 28 cities in provinces surrounding Beijing and air quality in the Beijing region was better in November than any previous winter month on record!
Same for cities who have for example announced the One Planet Charter, a joint campaign with Global Covenant, C40 Cities and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), which will drive commitments from cities ahead of Global Climate Acton Summit. Also cities have announced to work closely with national governments and private business sectors to mobilise global climate action under the #Cities4Climate rallying cry.
Big world institutions are going green like the World Bank, which announced it will stop financing upstream oil and gas projects after 2019 – another great step towards a low-carbon future!
And as we report every week the private sector is taking the onus of serious climate action with all the super innovative green startups we present each week like eco-fashion brands innovating on sustainable fabrics like Orange Fiber- using orange waste as raw material for fabric or Happy Genie vegan luxury handbags made out of apple waste, or even the award winning designer Krasimira Stoyneva replacing unethical real fur and polluting faux fur with synthetic hair. Beyond fashion too like the award winning zero waste packaging innovation RePack for e-commerce shipments. Or the compostable food packaging by Vegware which cuts single use plastic. Each week we bring you many such innovations that green start-ups are bringing to our lives. Even big established companies are not far behind with giants like H&M & Kering Group taking green leaps.
All of this shows the strength of cooperation, even if jerks like Trump still insist on being blind to climate change and get out of the legally binding Paris Agreement. Even that actually does not amount to much as far as American commitment to the historic pact goes, because American states, cities and top companies have signed the American Pledge reaffirming they will stick to the Paris Agreement rules. “With 90 mayors committed to Paris, with more than half of the economy specifically adopted Paris, the United States is more than half way there and on track to meet the Paris Agreement! » said John Kerry at the One Planet Summit.
The question now is, what about you? What about your friends and family? Mind you, we’ve never said you become a green guru or a sustainability preacher, but simply to motivate by example. No! We don’t want you to do produce your food and energy all by yourself (not yet anyway ;)). But do easy every switches and steps to green living. At UrbanMeisters, we present to you a multitude of handy, easy, simple solutions, so that you pick and chose which ones fit your lifestyle best. Go green and talk green so that your friends and family do the same. Thus grows the green circle as 1+1+1 makes the planet great again (to borrow Emmanuel Macron’s famous motto after Trump’s exit)!
I leave you with a green highlight of the year that touched me deeply. No, it wasn’t at any of the important and thriving world summits I attended. It was when my Mum and her students were inspired by me assisting at COP23. My Mum is a teacher in Germany and she took to regularly debriefing her students about my experiences during the climate change conference that was held in Bonn, Germany. Part of it was her immense price in my work(!!) and a huge part of it was her belief that students need to made aware of such matters and inspired for the future. Together with her students, they decided to take action as well and contribute to make this a better planet. So for their traditional X-mas party they prepared 2 drama pieces: one about the Congress of the animals, where animals united to discuss climate change and the impact on their everyday life, concluding that they will have to work together with the humans as the humans need help. And the other one was about recycling and how this is a really easy way for everybody to contribute to green living in everyday life. Here are some pictures of the plays, which may not have been grand in production but were more than that in their spirit and intention. With these super cute pics, I wish you and your beloved ones a happy, merry, safe & green Christmas.

Congress of Animals on Climate Action

Eco-friendly Christmas 1
Eco-friendly Christmas 2

Why we should re-cycle

Eco-friendly Christmas 5
Eco-friendly Christmas 3
Eco-friendly Christmas 6
So let’s COLLABORATE for a more inspiring and green 2018 by taking on a GREEN RESOLUTION MONTH challenge. Let’s together try small green steps everyday throughout the month of January 2018. Let’s not over promise- just take on at least 3 steps out the ones listed below and these baby steps will lead up to a healthier, happier lifestyle and planet 🙂

Take a challenge to do at least 3 from the following steps

  • Pledge to give up all single use plastic- cutlery, straws, bottles, take away cups.
  • Carry a re-usable water bottle to gym/office/outing.
  • Buy household supplies in bulk as far as possible.
  • Cut down on meat, poultry & processed food.
  • Will locate the nearest recycling facility near me to recycle plastic and aluminium ware and not throw it in trash.
  • Will compost my kitchen waste and leftovers.
  • Will buy recycled products as much a spossible- printer paper, kitchen rolls(and other tissue items), note books etc
  • Commute on public transport/ car pool/ walk/ bike at least 10 days of the month.
  • Resolve to wear 1 outfit 10 times in the month.
  • Donate for old clothes to charities or thrift shops not trash them.

Take the challenge with us and let’s make it a memorable Jan 2019! It’s always easier when we do things together. So take the challenge and let’s motivate each other by sharing as many comments, pics and tips with each other as possible. Upload your progress tagging @urbanmeisters on Instagram or Twitter and using#GreeningIsWinning or visit our Facebook page.
We leave you on this happy and optimistic note dear readers. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
UrbanMeisters Christmas

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