Patrick Gerin / Professor

UCLouvain / Biosciences engineering

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

My concerns

  • The misinformation of many of my fellow citizens about the impacts (for or against the environment) of everyday actions that are now considered “normal” (and which were not until the 1960s).
  • The lack of vision of our political “leaders” (rather “followers”), whose positions/decisions accumulate the disadvantages of the energy transition, rather than building on its advantages (economic, social, environmental).
    Personal actions
  • Energy: I designed a very well insulated house, with 100% renewable domestic hot water and heating (solar + wood, double combustion boiler (= “clean”), + green electricity via a citizen cooperative). Part of my garden is used to cover all my wood needs while providing a biodiversity refuge.
  • Mobility: Without access to biomethane fuel, my family drives with LPG. On Highways, I restrict my speed to 100-105 km/h.
  • Diet: reasoned reduction in meat consumption, justification to children of refusing carnivorous pets.
  • Water: I designed the water supply based on a very large rainwater storage, covering all the family’s needs (+ reduction of downstream flooding), distribution water limited to drinking, shower and urinal to limit water consumption. Refusal of waterproofed spaces around the house.
  • Wastewater: Since the sewer on my street flows directly untreated into a river, I completely autonomously purify my wastewater and recycle the nutrients rather than discharge or destroy them.
  • Waste: all biodegradable kitchen and garden waste is recycled into humus (vegetable garden and fruit trees); sorting has reduced the production of “mixed” waste to about 1 bag every 3 weeks (family of 6 people); everything else is recycled.
  • Biodiversity: part of my garden is managed in late mowing with visible diversification of the flora; I have introduced a hedge with more than 20 native leafy woody species around the garden.
    Difficulties
  • Registered for 20 years on carpooling sites, I have only been able to make it happen temporarily with a neighbour.
  • Electric power consumption that no longer decreases, despite all efforts.
  • Motivate my wife and children to take concrete actions (or accept them positively).
    Key transition factors
  • Access to more transparent information on the societal and environmental impacts of each of our choices, to accept that some of our aspirations must remain dreams, because they have too much impact
%d bloggers like this: