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Quality vs. quantity

As consumers we have the power of choice and we should not under-estimate this power. In an effort to combat the big problems in today’s world, we as the consumer have a relatively easy and effective role to play. The power of better product selection.

The following are a few brief thoughts on what you may take into consideration:

Quality, it is self-evident that better quality products generally have a longer useful life and in addition in most cases due to their longer useful life have a lower impact on the environment.

Chemical make-up, we really should demand to know what is in our products. Taking it a step further, we should demand to have the chemical components of the product explained in an interpretable manner, as the average consumer is not a chemist major.

Origin, we should take note of where the products are produced. This can get complicated when products have lots of components that could potentially come from all over the globe. A simple logo stating how many kilometers to the nearest 100th kilometer the components and product has travelled to sit on the shop shelf would help consumers make informed purchasing decisions.

Need vs. want, the most difficult product selection decision by far. How many times have you bought something in the spur of the moment, only to realize later that, you do not really need it and basically just wasted your money? It has happened to me a good few times and I am sure it has happened to you too! So let’s try and not buy stuff that when we stop and think for a whole 60 seconds about it, we really do not need. As that is just wasting our natural resources at the end of the day.


First impressions

So far Beijing is a really fascinating place and it seems the city never sleeps. It has a very massive feel to it as the skyscrapers rise around you. Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City are also stunningly huge and show some of the incredible achievements of the Chinese culture. At night the city turns into an illuminated neon jungle.

My first impressions of Tsinghua University are no less stunning. The university has a student population of about 40,000 from all parts of the world studying various disciplines. The campus is huge and it incorporates buildings which include modern architectural structures, traditional Chinese buildings as well as buildings which have a communist feel to them. People here are all very friendly and I'm astounded at everyone having a high focus on fitness. Wherever you look you can see the Chinese training or playing sports. They seem to put a great emphasis on a high level of discipline and seem to try to apply it to all wakes of life. I can say that at least for the people here at this university. 


What is “Green” in 200 words?

Anyone and everyone, without any precise or concise definition or explanation, are currently using the term “Green”. So, here is what I think the definition should include:

For a person, company, organization, industry or government (entity) to be Green, means it has no CO2 and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions or negative impact on the environment, and in fact to be truly Green the entity should have negative CO2 and GHG emissions. Hence, the entity would actually through its activities have a positive impact on the environment, at each and every point.

I challenge all of you to use this definition when critically judging for yourselves if something is Green or not! As “green washing” is everywhere, and we should not allow entities to try to convince us that they are Green, when they are talking utter nonsense. Naturally we cannot go from where we are today to being Green in 1 day or 1 month, but in 75 months we need to be there!

Change brings opportunities with it, such as new markets, so coming from a business school we should be able to see these opportunities in change. Please, keep you educated minds and opportunity seeking eyes open!


Class Composition

I have been in Beijing for about a week now and now it is time to start to get serious. That's right today was the first day of class. Today I will give you my first impressions of class at Tsinghua University. The first thing that is immediately apparent is that the classes are bigger as compare to the EBS. Typically the classes here have about 50 or so students. This can be positive especially in his situation because most of the students in class are also a foreign exchange semester. The level of diversity is no issue if concern for as most classes at the EBS had a similar level of diversity. It is however possible to see a difference in the composition of the diversity. Here there is a higher level of Asian representation in the classroom. Unfortunately the number of Chinese students in class is less than what I maybe expected but they are present. I definitely look forward to working with all of the class members.  


Starting in China

So let me start by saying that china really is a completely different world. Upon arrival I was quickly introduced to the unique driving culture. I have never seen anything like it before in my life. To me, a proper German driver; it seems like there is no order whatsoever. Traffic laws are mere suggestions here as one lane can quickly turn into a three lane. During our student orientation we were informed that it is theoretically no problem to rent a car in China. However, it is unadvisable unless a person is truly familiar with the driving habits of the Chinese. It is really survival of the fittest on the road here but somehow everything just flows. I think the Chinese have applied the concept of feng shui to getting through traffic. I think the key is to just keep going and flowing and everything should be fine. Now I bought a bike so I am slowly getting accustomed to it because bike traffic is similar. 

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