Christine SpitenComment

2016 - Upgrade your default settings!

Christine SpitenComment
2016 - Upgrade your default settings!

Photo by Mads Oftedal Schwencke

This post is written by my good friend Simen Knudsen, and translated by moi:

The cultural default settings are outdated. In 2016, it's time to upgrade! 

When you get a new smartphone, laptop or other digital gadgets they come with some default settings. Once you start fiddling, modify the settings to give it your personal touch. You place your background image of some buddies, favorite song as a ringtone, download the apps you want: Spotify for music, Whitagram for editing, Tinder for dating, etc. And that makes your thingy somehow a little more "you".

This can also be transmitted to how we live our own lives and how society works. Because we are programmed with some cultural default settings, and then we modify them to fit for us and our personal lives. But part of the settings you and I originally got, unfortunately expired. My New Year's resolution is to replace some of the outdated settings, which is bad for me and the world, with new settings that are better for me and more sustainable for the world.

Veggie burger with bacon

Picture from  MatFraHagen  - the guys who prove that vegeterian food is NOT just a bad imitation of meat.. (sorry for stealing your picture!)

Picture from MatFraHagen - the guys who prove that vegeterian food is NOT just a bad imitation of meat.. (sorry for stealing your picture!)

The average Norwegian's meat consumption is not sustainable. Meat production is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and destruction of the ocean. 2016 is the year to cut down on meat. I emphasize cutting down, not cutting out. Why? Because of mutton stew, lamb ribs, liver pate, sausages on the grill and mom's chicken salad. There are too many good meat meals that friends and family are excited about making and that they should be allowed, with me at the table. Just not every day.

The goal is to have meals with good predominance of green and minimal meat. As to order a veggie burger with bacon. It may seem like a paradoxical order, but it's tasty and reduces meat consumption by well over 80 percent. Life should be like a veggie burger with bacon..





The new consumer law

Buying new is probably one of the most unimaginative things one can do. This includes everything from clothing to sports equipment and interior. In addition, most environmental problems comes down to an excessive consumption of bits and bobs we do not really need. Today our consumption habits are set to that if we need something then the solution is a trip to the mall or IKEA, while the exact stuff we need is abounding us in countless of second-hand shops, local markets and online. And the stuff you'll get there is in addition something with soul.

Usually it is not the thing itself you need, it's the service or experience it provides. Therefore, we should explore whether we can borrow or rent before we consider buying anything. Maybe we can even repair something we already have? Or create something?


I think that optimally world should not have to produce an additional thing just because of me. In 2016, therefore consumer kjøret on rehabilitation, and I left with a new priority hierarchy for my consumption pattern: first fix, exchange, loan, or create, before I buy used or new.

Low-carbon vacation 

Fake advertising poster made by activists in connection with the climate negotiations in Paris. Click on the picture to read more about it.

Fake advertising poster made by activists in connection with the climate negotiations in Paris. Click on the picture to read more about it.

My biggest contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is air travel. And it's generally one of the largest personal greenhouse gas contributions for Norwegians. Eg. one flight Oslo-Bali-Oslo provides almost as much CO2 emissions as the annual average cost per person in the world: 4.5 tons (see CO2 calculator here) vs. 4.9 tonnes of CO2.

In addition the rest of our emissions makes us Norwegians end up at around 10 tons in annual personal emissions. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against that one should go out and experience new cultures and places. But the fact that I will have a CO2 footprint far above average just because I have to go on the annual surf trips to Bali, France and Lofoten, and not to forget your weekend in NY, is neither solidarity nor fair.


In 2016 I cut down on air travel and will improve on enjoying local adventures that do not require as much pollution. My future travels are planned on the basis of opportunities to travel by train, collective transport, and buddy driving. If I absolutely must fly, it is important to stay long, rather than fly often on short trips. But fortunately there are lots of good surf just a roadtrip west, a lot of good snow a train ride north, and lots of good paddling a short bus ride south. Aircraft emissions will be more than halved and I can't wait to explore the neighbourhood. Go Norwaii!


Co-founded and running global business strategy, brand and professional relations for Blueye Robotics, a company that has developed the Blueye Pioneer underwater drone that allow you to explore 150 meters below the ocean’s surface.

With a mission to empower ocean exploration and increase awareness about the health of marine environment and wildlife. 

Has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as 30 under 30 most important Tech Founders in 2018, Norway’s 50 most important female tech founders 2017 and 2018, Top 10 Norwegian Female Tech-Entrepreneurs 2018 and received The 2018 Womenomics Technology Award 2018.