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Innovations and aberrations

Oct 04, 2021 / Michael Gams, CIPRA International
Helicopter flights and Australian white wine on the one hand, an eco-museum and recycled smartphones on the other: positive and negative awards from environmental organisations point the way to a more sustainable future.
Image caption:
Repairing and reselling smartphones: a business idea that is as simple as it is sustainable. (c) Revendo AG

Promoting exemplary projects and denouncing abuses: this is what the annual “Alpine Caravan”, an initiative by the Italian environmental organisation Legambiente, stands for. Helicopter flights for tourist purposes or an 18-metre-high cross installed on a peak for advertising purposes – there has been no shortage of environmentally damaging actions this year either. And yet Legambiente is awarding more and more “Green Flags” to innovative projects of high ecological and cultural quality in the Italian Alps, such as a nature park along a river basin, the conversion of an intensively used agricultural area into a biotope, or an eco-museum for soft tourism. Vanda Bonardo, head of Legambiente in the Italian Alps and President of CIPRA Italy, comments: “This year’s 18 green flags have been awarded to a total of 226 local innovations that point the way to ecological change. These good examples show us that the Alps can play a new, central role in all of this.”

Devil’s Stone and Rock Crystal

The Swiss Alpine Initiative every year presents positive and negative awards in respect of the transport routes covered by particular products. This year’s candidates for the “Devil’s Stone” are Himalayan salt from Pakistan, wooden boards from Slovenia and white wine from South Australia. CO2 emissions would be reduced to a fraction of current levels if regional alternatives to these products were purchased. Among the candidates for the 2021 “Rock Crystal” is the Swiss company Revendo, which buys old laptops and smartphones, repairs them and puts them back into circulation. Also attracting positive attention are “Mein Küchenchef”, Switzerland’s first anti-food-waste restaurant, and Kernser Edelpilze GmbH, which grows mushrooms such as shiitake, herb mushrooms and nameko in an organic and resource-friendly manner in Switzerland.


Sources and further information: (it), (de, fr, it)