Sunday, 20 January 2008

Green caravan dreams, or how Berlin lost its mobile homes

Berlin lost a bit of it’s rebellious soul again. Since the 1st of January, most remarkable vehicles are considered illegal because of their high emissions. Until recently, the streets of Berlin were filled with old caravans, self-made buses, hippie vans, mobile homes, and gipsy style movable houses. But new, green policies declared war to the unfiltered diesel-motors. And the streets of Berlin are… cleaner.

What is presented as greening in one way, might be greenwashing in another. Strict emulsion and pollution policies in cities are a good initiative, in my opinion. But the rules only target to older models, while the new cars are not stimulated to become more greener than they are. On the contrary, the ‘green’ sticker on your car gives you the illusion, that your car is green.

As the owners of an old Volkswagen 'Bully', we are lucky to have a gasoline van with catalysator. Our bus got a ‘green’ sticker, the greenest level one can get (there is green, yellow, orange, red, and no sticker for the too dirty outcasts). But what is green about a van driving on gasoline and drinking one-on-ten?

It would be more honest to make emission restrictions for new cars ass well. While the old cars are bullied away and will find a new life in Eastern Europe or Africa, a pressure on new cars could mean something on a global level. If they would have the courage, the Berlin municipality could start to forbid or eco-tax extreme jeeps and other new, polluting car models.

We are meanwhile dreaming of new alternatives for our ‘green’ but polluting travel friend. Recently we found out about the Verdier Solar Power, a Westfalia based, high tech caravan on hybrid and hydraulic power. A wet dream for green travelers, Wesfalia hobbyists, LOHAS, and design fetishists. The red dot award winning design is still only a design, but let’s hope it will be released rather soon!

(images (c) copyright Verdier)

No comments: