Lukas Preining: Writer
Interviewer: Could you please briefly introduce yourself and state in one sentence what your sustainable habit is?
Lukas: My name is Lukas Preining, I am 21 years old, I study Geography at the University of Vienna and I’ve lived abroad for a number of years. I enjoy the mountains and forests of Vienna, try to go hiking as often as I can and have been training wilderness survival at a dedicated institution in Tyrol for the last 12 years.
The main sustainable habit I want to focus on is composting and growing my own produce in a semi-sustainable cycle.
Interviewer: What is your inspiration for the habit you learned and why do you think it’s important to keep on doing it?
Lukas: My great grandfather was an avid gardener and passed this passion on to my mother, who passed it on to me. We compost all the organic waste from our household and use the results as the foundation of our vegetable patches. The compost usually decomposes for about a year, before it is buried underneath the old soil, so that the roots of the produce we grow on the flower beds can reach the nutrient-rich soil while ensuring that it continues to be actively decomposed by earthworms and other bugs, releasing the nutrients into the soil and allowing the produce to grow. We also fill the vegetable patches with other decomposable waste from the garden, such as cut grass, branches and hedge trimmings. This creates a semi-sustainable cycle that only requires water and care to produce vegetables for us to consume in summer, reducing the amount of fresh produce we need to purchase during the summer months to nearly zero. I think it’s important to continue doing this and to pass it on, as it reduces the carbon footprint caused by the transportation of produce to our home to zero, creates a thriving ecosystem in our garden and eliminates the need for fertilizers, thereby avoiding pollution of the groundwater and ecosystem due to excess nitrates or other nutrients in the ground.