Sustainability - not just for software

The eight principle of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development encourages sustainability - working in a way that we could "maintain a constant pace indefinitely". Although this blog post is generally about agility, I want to take a detour here: What we do with our planet is definitely not sustainable. We can't continue at this pace for long!


I am currently visiting Ha Long Bay, one of the most beautiful places on earth - if you haven't been here, you will surely enjoy the trip.


The boat tour through the islands is exciting - this is just one of the beautiful tropical islands you can look at. Some can even be explored:
A beautiful tropical island - in danger!

Okay, enough advertising. The beauty of this paradise is already fading - because of things happening somewhere else on this planet: And you and me have a share in this.

The pictures I took from this place look very similar to the picture people a generation ago would have taken - except for one small, almost invisible thing. Almost!

Let me zoom in on this shoreline for you:
The light freckles in the water - everything plastic garbage!

What you see floating in the water here is plastic garbage, brought here from all across the globe: be it America, Europe - or wherever.

The cost of our action reaches far across the globe and into the future.

Every coffee we might enjoy on our way to the office, every instant meal we consume, every snack we grab at the corner of a street, even groceries wrapped in disposable plastic. They all contribute to the problem.

The consequences of our choices are so distant and elusive that we fail to remember that they exist. Our actions create a problem somewhere else on the world, and we do have a responsibility both towards the environment we live in, the people elsewhere who have to put up with the trash we create for them to deal with, and towards our children who may never know the beauty that had been there just a single generation ago.

Here is the suggestion - it's not new, but still a good reminder:

  • Think twice before using disposables. 
  • Use paper or jute bags instead of plastic bags. 
  • Use paper cups instead of plastic cups.
  • Leave that plastic straw where it is - drink from the cup! 
  • If you're in a position of making or calling for choices what your company should use, opt for bio-degradable (e.g., paper, wood) or reusable material.
  • Make your office kitchen and your homes plastic-free.
The bag hanging in that tree - it could be yours!


We can easily work and live at a much more sustainable pace, even without sacrificing comfort.
It just requires some thought.

Let's live at a sustainable pace!

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