Lauraburger

Lauraburger

Laura Burger Chakraborty pursues a Master in Environmental Sciences at ETH Zurich. She currently works as an intern for the Swiss Government on a project to assess the state of the soil quality and the extent of human impact on the soil in the country. Laura was ETHZ delegate at the World Student Environmental Summit 2010, and worked as a volunteer for the International Caux Conferences. While she believes that environmental issues are global, she is also convinced that local action is crucial. She took part in awareness raising events in Zurich where she participated in familiarizing the 2000Watt society concept and the issue of micro-pollutants. Laura has a passion for India, which she visited in many circumstances, e.g. as an exchange student or a volunteer in a local NGO. She has a great interest for sustainable society systems and wants to work on innovative solutions to environmental problems in emerging countries. To complement her usual work routine, Laura likes to spend time on sport activities, reading, and when time permits, traveling.

Recent Posts

Not in Kenya to charge for a basic human right – Vestergaard Frandsen’s CEO on its Life Straw

Laura Burger reports from the International Environment House in Geneva where two short documentaries were screened, “When the Water Ends” and Carbon for Water, which focus on the subject of health, lack of clean water and climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa, Friday 28 October. Includes an interview with the CEO of Vestergaard Frandsen a venture that states to create life-saving products for the most vulnerable. Carbon for Water & The Life Straw – Interview with Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, CEO Vestergaard Frandsen by Studentreporter

“We are the 99%”. This is called out at the major financial hubs around the world – from the Wall Street in New York to the Paradeplatz in Zurich, occupied by people who are concerned about and unsatisfied with our economic system, ruled by institutions that control most of the wealth of the world. But what are the alternatives?

Can we set priorities between Health and Climate Change? An entrepreneurial approach to tackle the Millenium Development Goals

Laura Burger reports from the International Environment House in Geneva where two short documentaries were screened, “When the Water Ends” and Carbon for Water, which focus on the subject of health, lack of clean water and climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa, Friday 28 October. The United Nations launched a large Millennium Campaign in 2000. Eight goals were chosen to improve dramatically the state of the world by the year 2015. Today, increasingly more people have a sceptical view on this campaign. Four years are left, but the chances that any of the goals is met are very low.

Youth, the world is yours

children-around-the-world2

This is a post for young people. During three full days, the future of resources has been discussed at the World Resource Forum. The average age of the active participants of the conference is rather high. This means: these people debating on the future of our society are not the ones who will see their previsions take place or not! The ones who will experience the reality, are the young inhabitants of this Earth.

iPhone: an endangered species?

Eat-the-world

Most bacteria can eat different types of molecules, however a lot of them like sugar primarily. When the sugar is over, they switch to the next type of food available. Societies are not so different. When the resources are depleted, they have to switch. They go through a transition, until they have adapted to the new conditions.

Solar, sweet solar

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Today I attended a presentation on a very concrete topic: self-efficiency with photovoltaic and hydrogen. Michael Schubert works for Fronius International GmbH, which proposes the model of a self-sufficient house based in Central Europe. One major problem of solar energy is the storage. Here, Fronius International proposes a storage system based on hydrogen gas:

 

The roof top of the house is covered with photovoltaic panels which produce electricity. This electricity is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen gas is stored at a high pressure, and converted back to electricity when required. If the heat waste is used for heating, the process efficiency is said to be >80%!

Should we have a choice?

Proportional Ecol Footprint

As citizen of Switzerland, an industrialized country, I wonder what my country can contribute to the problem of resource scarcity. We have a strong responsibility towards the other inhabitants of this Earth, since Switzerland’s footprint is more than four times larger than its biocapacity. We need to initiate a drastic change in our way of consumption. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? But what do I do for this?

Considering our society as an ecosystem

Prof. Dr. Martina Fischer-Kowalski

Let us imagine a simple ecosystem. A seed germinates in the presence of sunlight and water. It becomes a tall tree while taking up nutrients from the soil with the help of other microorganisms. When the tree dies, its degradation releases the nutrients back to the soil, which are taken up by other growing trees and other micro-organisms, until they die and release the nutrients again … You will find many such closed loops in the nature. Now imagine that our society is also an ecosystem. We take up our resources – fuel, water, etc.