I have been raised sustainably, you might say. The basic idea was always to keep things that were still good as long as possible, which ultimately also applies to recycling. I have collected a few examples here to show how you can make a difference even with small habits.
Since I can remember, waste paper and used iron has been collected in my home town. The whole family collected the paper, tied it up neatly and put it on the street on the day of collection. Three or four times a year the music association collected the paper in the whole town once and twice the scrap iron. In this way the music club financed instruments, sheet music and travel. Admittedly, in the past there was far less paper on the road than today. In the meantime, communities and districts have realized that collecting old paper is a lucrative business, and in most places in Germany the public authorities have taken over the collection themselves.
I was also taught from a very young age that furniture from deceased relatives can be reused excellently. As long as they are of good stability and have an acceptable appearance. This behaviour may not please fast-moving furniture stores, but it saves the environment and your wallet. And this is where the old Swabian saying comes into play. Translated, by continuing to use the old, you don't need anything new, you can preserve the new.
At the meeting table in our office we sit on almost 30 years old and very stable Ikea chairs. These were reupholstered 12 years ago and look like new. Those who have already been to our office could convince themselves of the very good quality. Some of our visitors convinced themselves, turned the chair over and looked. Today's chairs are designed differently, and they probably won't last 30 years. Modern business has displaced sustainability.
I also have my very own approach to clothing. The latest calculations show that every German buys an average of 60 pieces of clothing a year (Quarks, 2019). That is more than 1 piece per week!
Personally, I am far below the national average. In the last few years my weight has stabilized so that I no longer grow out of my current clothes every 2 years and have to get new ones. For some years now I have been stable at less than 10 pieces of clothing per year. Admittedly, I can buy high quality products that last longer and I am not interested in fashionable innovations. My polo shirts are always in fashion for my taste.
So it was only logical that we started dealing with photovoltaics very early, at the beginning of 2000. In several steps we equipped all available areas in the family with such systems. Admittedly, most of these solar plants were purchased for tax reasons. But in the end this does not matter. In the other families we now produce several thousand kilowatt hours of green electricity per year. In my own home, we produce one and a half times as much electricity as we consume ourselves, and this despite a purely electric vehicle that is charged with the solar electricity.
These personal experiences are of course also reflected in the Merus Ring
The Merus Ring was designed to be minimalistic right from the start, with no wearing parts, no moving parts. Thus, a long service life was achieved from the mechanical side. The sealing of the aluminum by galvanization provides a very good corrosion protection. When selecting the material, aluminium, we made sure that the Ring could be reused right from the start. The Rings can be recharged again and again. This applies as long as the Rings are in good physical condition.
Another positive aspect of aluminum: If a Merus Ring reaches the end of its cycle due to mechanical damage, it is recycled. The Ring is melted down and can be reused as aluminum with almost no loss of material or quality.
The long road to broad acceptance
Like the reuse of older furniture, the Merus Ring does not really fit into today's business model, faster, higher or further.
The already intentionally sustainable approach was far ahead of its time at the end of the 90s. Only in the last years, sustainable arguments count. We hope that this trend will continue and that we can make our contribution.