Sustainability is not…

“Sustainability is a hippie thing, just good for urban bohos and celebrities looking for good causes”

– “Oh yeah, I see what you mean, those who want to save the world by explaining to you how to live, how to work and soon they are going to tell us how to breathe! “

– “As far as I AM concerned, I don’t understand a word of THEIR sustainability thing and I do not see how it will help with paying the rent or anything!


STOP ……… stop. Do not panic. Have a seat. And breathe. Now, why don’t we try going beyond our fears and prejudice to ask ourselves a simple question: what if sustainability was not what I always thought it was?

To those who are wondering similar thoughts, Pamplemousse has been launched for you. This blog is the fruit of a HUGE desire to reassure, explain and share the POSITIVE and FUN aspects of sustainability as a project for our GENERATION, society, and organizations.

This is how we view sustainability, and it is precisely why we are starting Pamplemousse today, FOR you and hopefully WITH you.


    1) Sustainability is not … only about the environment.

At whom is this bullet aimed? Almost everyone, except for a few sustainability professionals, should be aware that sustainability is not only about the environment.. (hybrid and evolving species operating in every corner of the planet).

It is well-known that human-generated environmental issues are at the root of the concept of sustainability. The Environment we live in can be perceived as sea, landscapes, forests, mountains; but it is paramount to realize that it is also the resources and the food we consume, the air we breathe, the energy source that drives our iPhones, our cars, our computers, our medical equipment, and so much more. The degradation of our ecosystems (air pollution, scarcity of resources and livable space, the seventh continent of plastic…) has an impact on our daily lives but also on our economic models that depend on their good health. Because the environmental (my garden, my park, my plants), social (my health, my safety, my well-being), economic (my bank account) and even cultural (my philosophy and my tastes) systems are interconnected, sustainability is a cross-disciplinary and broad societal project.


    2) Sustainability is not … incomprehensible.

To whom? To my grandparents, my parents or my colleagues – and yours – who really try to understand.

The concept of sustainability is certainly multi-faceted, multidisciplinary and lacking of immediacy, but it is certainly not incomprehensible. It is very simple when you think about it: we keep using more resources than the Earth has to offer and generating more waste than the Earth can digest. So inevitably, the perspectives for tomorrow become depleted and we move in the opposite direction of true progress, i.e. progress that has a social value. The hardest thing for us is to identify is what is actually sustainable. As time passes, acting consciously becomes obvious, instinctive, and incredibly rewarding. These efforts can include keeping leftovers at the end of your meal, saving energy while operating your business, and biking for your own well-being: Most of us unknowingly have sustainable practices already.


    3) Sustainability is not … useless.

To whom? To those who think acting now is useless because it is already too late.

Obviously, today’s environmental problems are on such a grand scale and are of such urgency that we may feel discouraged, refusing to see it or change it. But we are firm believers of where there’s a will there’s a way. It is apparent that sustainability will become useless the day these challenges cease to exist. Our generation will be faced with making the very concept of sustainability obsolete. Why don’t we try to be Pascalian in our approach and take the bet that success is possible? Otherwise what would we do? Sit down and lament? Don’t you think the search for practical solutions has a thousand times more panache than a priori resignation? OK, we often only make baby steps, but the combination of our baby steps through all disciplines and generations will undoubtedly lead us to meet the challenges that need to be met. Sustainability is a multitude of small changes for a large-scale impact.


    4) Sustainability is not… a constraint.

To whom? To those who are afraid of change and balk at investing.

The binding constraint is not sustainability, but the problems it seeks to solve. For example, if you do not maintain your washing machine and it starts to leak, you will have to call the plumber and pay for the service. However, is it the plumber’s intervention that is binding or the fact of having a leak in your washing machine? Isn’t it more expensive to keep using the leaking machine (as we do now) instead of repairing or replacing it with a more efficient device? Those who embrace change and start to invest in sustainable solutions have already started saving money, gaining confidence against risks, and developing new ideas for success. Today’s enlightened investors are tomorrow’s winners. Sustainability is a great opportunity to do more with less and for longer.


    5) Sustainability is not … deeply boring. 

To whom? To all those who are looking for a job that makes sense.

There is no doubt that the moralistic brochures of your city or your company’s sustainability report listed on 200 pages of good deeds have a strong soporific potential. Currently, sustainability is completely disconnected from your preferences, your reality and your imagination, sustainability’s reputation needs to be disheveled and glamourized to reveal its intrinsically rock’n’roll nature. It is an urgent need. It is not boring to propose new ideas and technologies every day in order to be better, smarter and more beautiful. It is not boring to reinvent what does not work and to improve upon what already works. It is not boring to re-customize the expertise of yesterday in a vintage fashion sense to solve today’s issues. Sustainability is the art of connection and creativity, two assets that our generation is a priori rich of!


    6) Sustainability is not…the private ground of idealists and ecologists.

To whom? To those who feel definitely not concerned or entitled to act.

Why is refusing to saw off the branch on which we are sitting supposed to be more moral than pragmatic? You could rather see it this way: we are all sitting on the same branch and it is progressively breaking under the weight of our choices. Everyone is at risk of falling. Fortunately, some people decide to stop sawing to repair our branch while others blindly continue to cut. It is this lack of collective commitment that guarantees an incomprehensible, useless, and profoundly bleak future. Let’s activate our tools, our brains, and our imagination to save the current state of affairs! ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL PEOPLE, without you, there is no value added or perceived. Ingenious ENGINEERS, there is a whole physical world to reinvent. JOURNALISTS, WRITERS, there are so many investigations to conduct and fundamental issues to relay on a daily basis! ARTISTS, designers of all stripes, you will be the impetus and sensitive voice of the required cultural change. CRAFTSMEN, TEACHERS, GARDENERS, ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES, COOKS, PARENTS, SCIENTISTS … nobody knows better than you how to make things better, at your level and in your field. Pamplemousse supports sustainability for all.


Sustainability: we could endlessly seek the exact definition of the concept.

Instead, we propose for you to board on to the Pamplemousse train, to EXPLORE post after post the IDEAS and PROJECTS of an emerging generation, driven by the logic of sustainability in its modes of thinking, of working, of moving and of entertaining. Let us start immediately discovering the much-touted innovative solutions and enthusiastic PEOPLE who are building a reality that restores hope! See you next week.

Patchwork of Smart Art

When words fail to explain the urgency of sustainable actions, the use of any other form of expression and creativity becomes essential. Diagrams, images, rhymes, anecdotes, cartoons, short movies can help us to understand and assimilate the environmental and social issues in a sensitive, humoristic and visual way.

For the ordinary citizen, Bansky’s picture says more about global warming than the invaluable reports and predictions of sea level rise delivered by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The virtual world of Avatar better tells the current trade-off between economy and ecology values ​​evoked by French philosopher André Comte-Sponville than any Sustainability for Dummies. The out-of-the box infographics by British David McCandless deliciously activate our visual intelligence to decipher the world, its proportions and its (im)balances.

Given the urgency, creators of all stripes are emerging to address the challenge of communicating sustainability issues. Delighted with this evolution, the Pamplemousse team has selected a series of key art works and events we invite you to explore:

  • 145 countries responded to the challenge launched by the FAO (Food & Agriculture Organization) for the Milano World’s Fair: to represent the theme Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life through the creation of thematic spaces, facilities and architectural works. You have until November 2015 to discover the territory building designed by the XTU architecture firm for the Pavilion of France and other tasty results of this international exhibition.
  • One of Brazilian artist Vik Muniz’s initiatives is presented in the documentary Waste Land. For his photographs, the artist stages militant workers of the vast landfills in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro; each of them interprets a famous painting’s character before placing the bottle caps collected during its day of waste collection on their large-screen projected portrait. Cap after cap, each person becomes an actor of its own life, rediscovers his own face and learns respect for himself. It is a very rich project that mixes issues of identity, self-respect and awareness of the consequences of all disposable and hyper-consumption.
  • Ice and The Sky, which closed the 2015 Cannes Film Festival is a documentary by Luc Jaquet that tells the story of glaciologist Claude Lorius. The scientist was moved to tears on the night of the screening for the recognition that the work and discoveries of his life will save so many others.
  • In 2015, the contest Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year, also organized by the Royal Geographical Society, gathered pictures of pure awareness on the state of the planet. Good news: your smart phone can become your best ally for this type of sustainable action.

Land art, infographics, songs (Respire Mickey 3D), ecodesign, comics are all existing or emerging modes of artistic expression and are beginning to deal with our fundamental subjects.

Beyond the professional initiatives, sustainability offers designated problematic for amateur artists to explore, for civic engagement and individual creativity to bloom and for the advent of a top-down approach of value creation . That’s why we challenged 4 amateur cartoonists to help us to visually translate an extract from our first post:

 “We are all sitting on the same branch, progressively breaking under the weight of our choices. Everyone is at risk of falling. However, some people decide to stop sawing to repair our branch and branch it out while others blindly continue to cut. “

The result? An amazing collection of drawings as diverse as the visions of their authors. Let the pencils talk and to all our present and future contributors: great job!