Mustermann Strasse Öko-Initiative, or Frohes Fest Familie Stephan

Struggling for Christmas ideas for your nameless apartment building co-inhabitants? I suggest you give them money and perspective, namely lower communal electricity/maintenance costs, and hope along the lines of ‘A journey of a thousand megawatts begins with a single step’ philosophy.German hallway lighting is cleverly designed to turn off after a predetermined length of time, so kudos on that. The problem still remains, however, turning one light on turns the entire building’s lights on, further aggravated by the fact it has become habit to flip the hallway light switch regardless of the natural light streaming in. I conclude this is one small example of behavior that could be easily modified simply through awareness. Thus the title, translated for our non-German speaking readers as the ‘Mustermann Street Environmental Initiative, or Happy Holidays to the Stephan Family’.

My, just the title sounds grand. And that is going to be your bread and butter. ‘What is this Environmental Initiative,’ co-inhabitants will ask themselves when they see your notice hanging in a communal area, ‘And named after my street, no less’. At that point, you’re only restricted by your imagination. ‘Study shows walking down hallway in daylight not hazardous to your health’ might be one such clever hook. ‘New study shows walking down hallway in daylight saves, on average, eleven currency units annually per building inhabitant’. ‘Bazillion studies show world going to hell if we don’t change our habits.’ Note the escalation from, a.) won’t hurt your lifestyle to b.) might even make your life better to c.) it’s now or never. But not to worry: Just getting people talking about the subject will be a great victory so at the next residents meeting when someone suggests an easier access point for bicycle storage or energy efficient lightbulbs, they will be treading on fertile ground. Happy holidays.

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