I picked up a few loaves of bread today at our bakery, a third generation family business with the fourth generation having just joined their team. Last year our baker changed his use of flour, working with a German farmer to abolish any additives. He recently changed his product range more drastically, no longer baking tin loaves and only baking floor breads, which is something he can do throughout the day ensuring less waste and unsold bread. Today he told me how these steps will help him fully switch to renewable energy. Abolishing baking tins reduces the amount of energy he needs significantly. “Now I don’t also have to heat up many kilos of steel in every baking run, I only need to heat up the loaves.” That reduced energy need allows him to switch from gas heated ovens to fully electric ones. The switch to only electric energy makes it possible to switch to solar in turn. He’s now calculating if his own ample and neighbour’s roofspace will be able to generate enough electricity for him to (store and) use for his baking, taking into account his now reduced energy need. He realises it will mean a difference in his day rhythm as well, and in the size and demands made of his team. I was quite impressed how casually he talked about these plans, and I doubt it is known to e.g. regional government who are always talking about the importance of energy transition that there are artisans and entrepreneurs out there already leading the way on their own accord.

Our local gas station has a charity support system instead of a loyalty points system. Early last week I mentioned it to Patrick when we met in London, in a conversation about the various channels charities have to reach people. He asked me for pictures of the system, and today I needed to get some gas for the car, so I took some.

Next to the cash register there’s a large ‘score board’ that cycles through screens showing charities with the biggest donations, or showing different categories of charities and the accumulated donations this year.

The ‘scoreboard’ of “Tank & Schenk”, which rhymes and means ‘fill up and donate’. The screen here is showing donations to national charities. At the bottom is the total donated, some 33.000 Euro

When you pay, there’s a tablet on the counter where you get the option to choose any local club/charity or national charity to donate your points to. The local list contains all the clubs and associations in the village and city (like the football club, or the carnival club etc), and all museums, music venues and marching bands in the city and region, as well as local charities such as foodbanks, homeless shelters etc.

My 40 points mentioned at the top can be donated to various categories. Local music, local sports clubs, local cultural institutions, local charities, and underneath (smaller) national charities

Opening the list of local cultural groups and institutions

When you select a charity you get a thank you screen that also shows you how much that specific charity already received this year.

This time I selected the museum in the birth home of Piet Mondriaan, which brought the total donation to 78,41 Euro