Green Issue

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KOSOVO 2.0

Editor-in-chief Besa Luci Photography Editor Atdhe Mulla Design Van Lennep, Amsterdam Xhansel Xhabiri, Prishtina Editors Jack Butcher Samantha Freda Michael McKenna Jerusha Rodgers Staff Writers Avdyl Gashi Dafina Halili Cristina Mari Copy Editor Wesley Schwengels Illustrations Driton Selmani

Contributors Artrit Bytyci Bojan Cvejic Alicia English Learta Hollaj Nedim Jahic Mikra Krasniqi Jelena Kulidzan Kristina Ozimec Alban Selimi Luan Shllaku Meivis Struga Fabien Techene Hana Voca Chris Wilson Photographers Donika Capriqi Fisnik Dobreci Bujar Gashi Blerta Kambo Visar Kryeziu Ferdi Limani Adem Mehmedovic Ben Njeri Kristina Ozimec Petrit Rrahmani Marko Rupena Kushtrim Ternava

Translators Leke Berisha Qerim Ondozi Stefan Veljkovic Sales Manager Sokol Loshi Financial Manager Hana Ahmeti Project Manager Uran Badivuku Publisher Kosovo Glocal Interns Linda Gjokaj Shpresa Frrokaj Magdalena Mussig

#9 GREEN SUMMER/FALL 2015

Webmaster Sprigs Board Chairman Joan de Boer Board Members Anna Di Lellio Agron Demi Printer Raster

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR BESA LUCI

— OUR GREEN ISSUE BRINGS UP a selection of points about a topic of global importance — protection of the environment. It’s a debate that was originally started more than 150 years ago, largely as a response to increased air pollution during the Industrial Revolution. Today, it addresses everything from land to air, oceans to rivers, wildlife to humans. Most significantly, the debate is now grounded on global warming and its subsequent effect of climate change. The term “global warming” was first coined in a 1975 paper by US scientist Wallace Broecker, who predicted an increase in global temperatures as a result of rising carbon dioxide levels. Nearly 40 years later, a 2014 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated with 95 percent certainty that global warming is caused by human activities — alarmingly pointing to the growing impact of the human race on our environment. This human factor is expected to be the focus of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in November and December in Paris, where officials from about 200 countries are set to meet. Proposals for the enforcement of stricter regulations are expected; ultimately, greater political commitments on the reduction of greenhouse emissions and a genuine acceptance of environmentally conscious policies will be needed in Paris from governments worldwide. Much attention is being placed on this conference, particularly because of the failures of previous similar meetings; the 2005 Kyoto Protocol and 2009 Copenhagen Conference are notable recent examples (see our story “The boiling point” page 18). But while the eyes of the world’s environmentalists, politicians and scientists are set on Paris 2015, local discussions, and actions, carry just as much weight. Worldwide, on a daily basis, countless local advocacy initiatives lobby and raise awareness about the immediate effects of climate change and the consequences that await us down the line. The extent to which such issues find their rightful place in the public debate is important. Media play a great role here. And yet to date in Kosovo, this discussion has been sorely lacking. That is why in this issue we embrace an approach that is informative, educational and practical. As global and local conversations happen all over the world (albeit, in some places to a greater degree than others), our Green issue offers an entryway to some of the gravest environmental problems and challenges facing Kosovo. On one hand, in this issue we point to the f laws in the legal framework, weak implementation of existing laws, and even how corruption networks can also play a part (see “Going against the f low” on page 51 and “The recycling reality” on page 97). On the other hand, we are continuously attuned to the fact that an informative approach is just as essential if we truly strive for environmental protection to be a part of civic advocacy and individual commitment. As such, alternative and economically sound energy production policies, responsible consumption, reduction of pollution as a health hazard, treatment of waste, and water as a human right are some of the topics at the core of this issue. As we examine the policies, their implementation and social awareness sur-

rounding these topics, it becomes immediately apparent that Kosovo has a long way to go. Addressing environmental topics and any commitments to change will be a two-sided endeavor — for institutions certainly, but also for the public. Our cover story “Destroying the environment, destroying lives” (see page 24) clearly ties into this discussion. It speaks of air pollution from industrial power plants and traffic (as the deadliest form of environmental degradation); industrial and household generated waste, which place Kosovo within some of the highest waste production rates in Europe; untreated sewage that pollutes and contaminates rivers; and the ongoing destruction of forests, with more than 40 percent of public woodlands in Kosovo illegally harvested. In this regard, of alarming proportions are the grave, and sometimes even fatal, consequences that pollution has on health and human life. We have also placed particular importance on the energy sector, considering that a new lignite power plant, Kosova e Re, is all but confirmed, but the finer details of Kosovo’s energy future are still being negotiated. This project has often been a heated point of discussion and criticism, but the focus should quickly turn to scrutiny as well. On one hand, as this project is one of the bigger upcoming government capital investments, transparency and accountability should be at the forefront. Recent civil society studies presented at the conference organized by KFOS drew attention to the fact that one of the common threads among previous capital investments (such as the concession of the airport, privatization of KEDS energy distribution supply company, construction of the Kosovo-Albania highway, and failed privatization attempts of PTK) is lack of transparency. On the other hand, the construction of another lignite plant is planned in line with the shutting down of Kosovo A and the rehabilitation of Kosovo B in order to improve production and meet environmental standards, both set for 2017. As the situation currently stands, meeting these requirements on time appears to be unrealistic. But as the construction of Kosova e Re is still being debated, and proposed alternatives have emerged, a more inclusive and vocal public participation needs ground to grow (see “Power to the people” on page 54). Thus, we come back to the human factor. Discussion of environmental protection is all too quickly shrugged off or met with cynicism in Kosovo — an attitude based on apathy and lack of belief that individual actions can have an impact. While political willingness is key for prioritizing this area, the weight and importance of our civic input and possibilities for change should not be underestimated (see profiles starting on page 72 and “Small steps to save our big planet” on page 104). All too often, people in Kosovo feel that we’re just too small and irrelevant to have an effect on the global degradation of the environment. Our Green issue shows that there are no small places, and that each of us leaves behind a footprint on our planet and our well-being. That is why we hope that this issue will support the Kosovar interest in improving the everyday quality of life, by showing the ways in which protection of the environment is central to that goal. — K

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KOSOVO 2.0

GEN MO GREE

OPPO

Soon, not only wi will create a deman duction will surpa keep our economic porting trash from

The road to econo leads to trashing th


CONTENT KOSOVOTWOPOINTZERO MAGAZINE #9 GREEN SUMMER/FALL 2015

GREEN ISSUE

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TAKE A LOOK AROUND Kosovo’s wild lands offer a wide range of fun and adventure. Here’s where to start. By Kosovo 2.0

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Our greatest asset (besides the young and vital European population) seems to be our ability to generate trash, so why not use it to our favor? Let the trash be the motor to power our economic growth.

THE NETICALLY THE FUTURE OF FILTH ODIFIEDOne writer sees economic opportunity in our polluted air and EN FIELDS OF fields of trash. By Artrit Bytyci ORTUNITY This picture from a field full of garbage after the recent International Worker’s Day celebration should be seen as a sign of the will of the people. Our workers have spoken, and the message is clear. Our future lies in fields covered in garbage. From these fields, we will feed the future generations. Our children will never starve or know hunger, for our fields are full of trash. Of course, the visionary worker masses through their hive-mind have relayed ideas of a very possible future. The latest advances in genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, have given birth to a plastic-eating bacteria. It is only a matter of time before these bacterial Frankensteins, or franken-bacteria, are further tinkered with to produce human food as their metabolic byproduct. Imagine a world where bacteria eat all your trash and shit a whole meal into existence. Imagine eating beef steak with mushroom sauce all day, every day.

ill we solve our food problem, but we nd for even more trash. Our food pross our trash supply, so that in order to c engine going we’d have to start imm all over Europe.

We have all heard of forests being the lungs of our planet, but that is a childish fairytale—our planet is a rock spinning in space, not a live organism with lungs. Since ancient times, deforestation has served to signify a society has reached its peak economic development. Sometimes forests were cleared to make more room for agriculture, other times it was the hungry economic engine that required raw timber for building and manufacturing things.

COVER STORY: THE CLOUD OVER KOSOVO. The nation’s environmental problems are plenty, and there’s no easy solution. By Mikra Krasniqi

The most important use of wood in Kosovo is for heating homes during the winter months. While globally this is the most expensive way to heat your home, it only means one thing—Kosovo has reached a level of wealth and welfare to compete with the richest places in the world.

THE FOREST OF WEALTH

Burning too much wood for heating homes, coal for producing electricity, and questionable subpar diesel for making our schoolchildren immune to toxic fumes all have the byproduct of affecting breathable air quality.

You hear a lot of panic about air quality these days. So what if PM-10 particles exceed their recommended levels basically every month in all the towns across Kosovo. This

should be seen as a resource rather than a waste. We have to get up with the new thinking and figure out a smart marketing strategy on how to make a profit out of these toxic fumes.

business. Who would have thought that there would come a day when we would pay hefty money to drink the resource that technically belongs to everyone?

— The most important use of wood in Kosovo is for heating homes during the winter months. While globally this is the most expensive way to heat With deforestation following a steady trend, there are your home, it only means one people that may claim that Kosovo will need a new set of thing—Kosovo has reached a RIVERBANKS ARE FORMEDlungs. THROUGH OVER MILLIONS But let’s faceNATURAL it, we are such aPROCESSES small place, whatever pollution we produce likely to drift other level TO of wealth and welfare to OF YEARS. IN KOSOVO, IT HAS TAKEN JUSTis more 15 YEARS OFtoILLEGAL MINING countries via air currents and jet streams. What we have compete with the richest places SERIOUSLY DEGRADE THEM. KRYEZIU to doPHOTO: is worry lessVISAR about saving the Amazon as the lungs in the world. of the planet, and worry more about how to keep our prePerhaps we could trap them in bottles (like deodorants and perfumes) and sell them to societies with low PM-10 emissions. People from Scandinavian countries should not be denied their fundamental human right to decide whether they want to spray some PM-10 on themselves before hitting the town for the night.

omic development and sustainability he whole place up.

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cious toxic gasses within our borders long enough to package and sell them at a markup. Naysayers can claim that one can’t sell air, even if it’s polluted, but just look how bottled water got to be a multibillion-dollar/euro

BY14 THE NUMBERS KOSOVO 2.0

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Warning: This infographic may make you thirsty. It should also make you worried. By Fabien Techene

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BANK ROBBERY ➳

Laws haven’t stopped companies from pillaging the banks and beds of the country’s rivers. By Dafina Halili

GOING AGAINST

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CONTENT KOSOVOTWOPOINTZERO MAGAZINE #9 GREEN SUMMER/FALL 2015 RECYCLE AND DONATE

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.GET MORE ECONOMICAL WITH LIGHTING. TURN THE LIGHTS OFF WHEN YOU LEAVE A ROOM, AND ALWAYS CHECK IF YOU REALLY NEED MORE THAN ONE LAMP TURNED ON. USE ENERGY-SAVING LAMPS, WHICH YOU CAN FIND EASILY IN THE SUPERMARKET. THESE LAMPS SAVE UP TO 80 PERCENT OF ENERGY COMPARED TO CONVENTIONAL LAMPS AND THEY HAVE A MUCH LONGER LIFE SPAN. TRUE, THEY ARE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THE CONVENTIONAL ONES, BUT IN THE LONG RUN THE PURCHASE IS WORTH IT, BECAUSE YOU WILL SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY.

.TRY TO AVOID STANDBY MODE WHEN USING YOUR TWO TICKETS TO PARADISE

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ELECTRONIC DEVICES. DON'T LEAVE YOUR CHARGERS

Two new ecotourism businesses Kosovo’s PLUGGED INare WHENputting YOU ARE NOT CHARGING YOUR PHONE OR LAPTOP, AShurting THIS USES it. ENERGY AS WELL. DON’T USE wilderness in the spotlightYOUR without THE STANDBY OPTION ON YOUR TV OR OTHER DEVICES. IF YOU By Dafina Halili DON’T USE THEM, TURN THEM OFF; BETTER YET, UNPLUG THEM.

STANDBY DOESN’T USE A LOT OF ENERGY EVERY DAY, BUT OVER THE YEARS IT ADDS UP.

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.DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN ALSO SAVE ENERGY WHILE COOKING? USE A LID FOR YOUR PAN, THIS WAY YOU WASTE ONE-THIRD LESS ENERGY THAN BY COOKING WITHOUT A LID — AND IT’S FASTER, AS WELL. IF YOU HAVE A WATER BOILER, ALWAYS USE IT, AS THIS USES LESS ENERGY THAN BOILING WATER ON THE STOVE.

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.LAST BUT NOT LEAST, LET’S TALK ABOUT HEATING (ADMITTEDLY, IT IS SUMMER AND TOO HOT TO EVEN THINK ABOUT HEATING, BUT WINTER WILL BE HERE SOONER THAN WE THINK). WITH THE RIGHT METHOD OF HEATING, YOU CAN SAVE A LOT OF ENERGY. DON’T LET YOUR FLAT COOL DOWN WHEN YOU’RE AWAY - HEATING AN APARTMENT FROM ZERO REQUIRES MUCH MORE ENERGY THAN MAINTAINING A STEADY TEMPERATURE. AND YOUR FLAT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A SAUNA: 18 DEGREES IN THE BEDROOM AND 20 IN THE LIVING ROOM IS ENOUGH. IF YOU ARE COLD, PUT ON WARM SOCKS AND A PULLOVER. TO GET FRESH AIR, DON’T CONSTANTLY CRACK THE WINDOW — SLIGHTLY-OPENED WINDOWS ARE REAL ENERGY HOGS — BUT OPEN THE WHOLE WINDOW FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES EVERY TWO OR THREE HOURS.

BENEFITS:

RAYS OF HOPE

Solar energy firm’s founder sees a bright future in IT DOESN’T TAKE ANY EFFORT TO TURN OFF THE renewable resources. LIGHT OR TO PUT A LID ON YOUR PAN, BUT IT HAS A HUGE EFFECT ON YOUR ENERGY USE. BY USING By Cristina Mari LESS ENERGY YOU WILL HELP REDUCE POLLUTION, AND, AS ENERGY IS NOT CHEAP, YOU CAN ALSO SAVE A LOT OF MONEY.

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TURN YOUR GARBAGE GREEN

Saving the world is a big project, but there are a lot of small things you can do to help out. — According to the science magazine NatureI, by 2025 theBy Magdalena Mussig world’s population will produce 6 million tons of trash each day (just picture a line of garbage trucks 5,000 kilometersand Linda Gjokaj long). This is an almost unimaginable amount of trash. Before we choke on it, we had better reduce its unfathomable total, and one way to do so is through recycling. Each day we throw away empty bottles, glass, paper, aluminum cans or household items. All those things, while useless to us, are actually still very valuable and can be recycled. In Kosovo there are six companies that gather recyclable items. Here’s how to contact them: SRI Kosova: This company collects recyclable waste, such as paper, plastic bottles and cans, and prepares them for recycling. It is located in the industrial area in the direction of Fushe Kosova. Contact: 044 148 608 or valdet.azemi@sri.ag. Plastika SHPK: This company in Podujevo recycles plastic and also collects from offices and organizations. Contact: 038 534 549 EnvriCon Environmental Consulting Services: This service specializes in dangerous waste, but also collects bottles, cardboard, paper, batteries, and car batteries. Contact: 044 194 666 or envricon@gmail.com. In case you don’t have time to bring your trash to one of these companies, you can still help recycle. There are a lot of workers in Kosovo’s informal job market who search dumpsters to gather metal, glass and plastic that they can resell. So if you separate your garbage at home by dividing plastic bottles from cans, this is already a small contribution to recycling. You’re also helping the surrounding area to clean up its act. If you have old books, furniture or clothes that you want to get rid of, you can donate them. Here’s how to do it: You can bring old books to 7Arte bookstore and cultural center in Mitrovica. Even if you are not based in Mitrovica,

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BORN TO BE WILD?

More than 20 years since making wilderness a priority, Montenegro still faces environmental struggles. By Jelena Kulidzan

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— RASPBERRY According to the science magazine NatureI, by 2025 the world’s population DREAMS will produce 6 million tons of trash each After being day (just picture a line of garbage trucks displaced by war, 5,000 kilometers long). returning Bosnian refugees start anew KOSOVO 2.0 by planting crops. By Nedim Jahic

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A STARTUP FOR SOCIETY

Businessman’s latest plan: Get companies on board with recycling and reuse. By Cristina Mari 6

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COMMENTARY: IT'S TIME FOR ACTION Kosovo has the structure needed for a greener future, it just needs to take the next step. By Luan Shllaku

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Think you can’t have an impact? This magazine is here to show you why that’s wrong. By Besa Luci

HEATED DEBATE All countries, including Kosovo, are affected by climate change. All countries, including Kosovo, must act to stop it. By Dafina Halili

THE 'BLACK STAIN'

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RIVER OF NIGHTMARES

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21ST-CENTURY TRASH

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'MOST POLLUTED CITY IN EUROPE'

A stone’s throw from a power plant, the settlement of Plemetina is a forgotten, polluted place. By Learta Hollaj

CANCER CITY Decades of being exposed to ash and other pollutants are taking a serious toll in Obiliq. By Alban Selimi

AN ENERGETIC DEBATE Many roadblocks exist, but a better power grid is needed for Kosovo’s economic development. By Alicia English

FIXING THE FARMS EU integration could help our agriculture industry — but only if we invest in it first. By Hana Voca

INSPIRATION FROM AFAR Greek program, Egyptian architect lead Prishtina woman to start a smart development program. By Dafina Halili

SEEDS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH Prishtina businessman believes local farms could be the key to fiscal maturity. By Avdyl Gashi

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In Albania, polluted water isn’t just hurting the nation’s estuaries, it’s threatening tourists. By Meivis Struga In an age of electronics, Serbia tries to catch up to European recycling rules. By Bojan Cvejic In Macedonia, environmental activists are outraged that a remediation plan remains only on paper. By Kristina Ozimec

CHIEF CONCERNS No one sector is responsible for hurting Kosovo’s environment, but these sites may be the worst. By Cristina Mari and Avdyl Gashi

MAKING IT LAST Kosovo’s lack of a recycling program is costly and harmful. It’s time for a change. By Chris Wilson

ORGANIC OPTIONS These Kosovo-grown products are more than trendy — they’re good for you. By Shpresa Frrokaj

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GREEN INITIATIVES

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ECO DOCS

How to get clean. We highlight four local initiatives that are trying hard to clean up our country. By Avdyl Gashi From dolphin hunting to GMOs, these five fi lms might raise your environmental awareness. By Cristina Mari

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GET OUT AND GO WILD PUT ON YOUR HIKING BOOTS AND GRAB YOUR MOUNTAIN BIKES — IT'S TIME TO GET A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

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PAGE 100

LIQENAT

PAGE 118

SHTYPEQ

MIRUSHA

PREVALLA

BROD, DRAGASH

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PAGE 22 APART FROM THE DUST, TRASH, AIR POLLUTION AND CONCRETE THAT MANY CITIES IN KOSOVO HAVE IN COMMON, THIS COUNTRY ALSO HAS MUCH TO OFFER. OUR WILD LANDS HAVE DIVERSE FLORA AND FAUNA, ENCHANTING LAKES, MOUNTAINS FOR HIKING AND VIRGIN NATURE. THESE PLACES PROVIDE A VAST RANGE OF OPPORTUNITIES, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU ARE AN EXPERIENCED MOUNTAIN CLIMBER, PASSIONATE ABOUT HIKING IN NEW LANDSCAPES OR JUST CURIOUS WHILE HITTING THE ROAD THIS SUMMER AND LOOKING FOR A NEW EXPERIENCE.

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HERE’S A LIST OF FIVE RECOMMENDED PLACES TO VISIT, THEIR RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES AND TIPS ON HOW TO GET THERE. FOR A HIKE, DON’T FORGET TO TAKE THE ESSENTIALS: WATER, FOOD, COMPASS, A LIGHT SOURCE, FIRST AID KIT, AND THIS KOSOVO 2.0 GUIDE. ONE THING TO BEAR IN MIND — NOT ALL THE MOUNTAINS HAVE SIGNS FOR THE WALKING TRAILS, SO DON’T SHY AWAY FROM ASKING PEOPLE ONCE YOU’RE THERE. —K

KOSOVO 2.0


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THE (POLLUTED) LAND OF OPPORTUNITY

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EMBRACING OUR GARBAGE IS THE REAL KEY TO CLEANING UP ECONOMICALLY

TEXT BY ARTRIT BYTYCI / ILLUSTRATION BY VAN LENNEP

N TODAY’S competitive global markets, environmental issues are a great hinderance for jumpstarting economies. But there are some pioneers who take the extra effort of combining environment with business. Elon Musk (founder of PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla Motors, and as of May, Tesla Energy) has achieved vast success with electric cars and giant batteries for homes to make solar power feasible and efficient. Of course, he is a person who understands the futility of his efforts (to single-handedly prevent Earth’s environmental decline), and that’s why he is obsessed with space rockets and plans to build a human colony on Mars. Call it an insurance policy for when our planet will be unable to sustain life as a result of human interference.

It is only natural that we should make the best use of the nature around us (including trash and pollution as its greatest resources) and evolve our businesses practices to adapt to that environment. Kosovo is, in a sense, Europe’s final frontier, and we should do the impossible to preserve Kosovo’s status as an isolated eco-socioeconomic reservation. With dirty streets littered with trash, our disregard for the environment, lack of state interference, frontier mentality, deregulation and a culture of aggressive entrepreneurship, Kosovo has the flexibility to try things deemed too radical for anyplace else.

Luckily, Kosovo has a very receptive climate for economic growth because of its plentiful resources (mainly in the form of a young, European-branded unemployed population willing to become a cheap workforce) and a total disregard for the environment. This guide will focus on figuring out the best way of merging Kosovo’s environment with economic growth and sustainability.

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HOME ECONOMICS AND THE CHAINS OF CLEANLINESS

We can all agree that Kosovo’s homes are a model of cleanliness. Entire hours of the day can be spent cleaning and tidying up the places we live in. As you run your finger along the spotless and dustless surfaces of your sparkling furniture, you are overcome with feelings of pride and accomplishment. A similar historical instance where this has happened is in Victorian-era navies. Admirals and commodores made sailors obsessively scrub the surfaces of boats and ships in order to keep them busy during long sea voyages and to prevent mutiny. Therefore an obsession with cleanliness could be seen as a form of control and subjugation. Even though this preoccupation with cleanliness of our own homes seems like a good thing, it has proven to be detrimental for Kosovo’s economy. It is estimated that about half of the entire population is obsessed with home cleanliness and tidiness, so much so that constant upkeep of these homes is considered a full time job. While it certainly contributes to a decrease in unemployment (if you are busy all day cleaning and dusting your home, you have neither the time nor energy to look for a job),

I believe that it is a waste of a very valuable resource — people. Whenever the issue of Kosovo’s economy and investments comes up, rather than speaking in numbers of imports, exports, or natural resources that could potentially fuel the economy, the conversation is always diverted towards the greatest resource — a youthful and European-minded workforce. Now consider doubling this resource. You should immediately give up your obsession with cleanliness, which has kept our virtuous people from reaching our economic potentials. The economic recovery starts with you and your home as an extension of yourself. This is best done by starting to trash your own home. Only then will you be truly free to pursue your economic dreams.

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KOSOVO 2.0


FRACTAL MATHEMATICS OF STREET BOUNDARIES

— Evaporating from the wet pavement, the aroma of the summer f lowers followed me as I walked down the pavement, and upon stepping on the road, it mixed with the fragrance of cat piss, decomposing rodent guts and a half-rotten pear. Street cleanliness is neither an issue of will, nor one of civility (or lack thereof ), but should be seen as a way Kosovars perceive boundaries. As a people with a strong sense of personal property, it would be deemed very dishonorable to encroach on someone else’s personal property, even if that property is defined as public space. It is as if they see an invisible sign cautioning “Mos e prek, pronë publike / Do not touch, public property.” The best thing the city or municipality could do is create special signs out of dry erase material. “Mos e prek

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It is a great misconception that as soon as you get outside your home’s front gates, the garbage starts piling up. But consider the timeless tradition of cleaning the stretch of the street in front of your door daily. I still remember how my neighbor would sweep the pavement along her property every morning. As a morning chill blew the fallen leaves under her dress, she moved her broom over the golden dust that had accumulated overnight and swept it away onto the asphalt that was getting warmer with the rising sun. She’d bring out the water hose and wash the filth off the street in what was the final act of its ablution ceremony. Evaporating from the wet pavement, the aroma of the summer flowers followed me as I walked down the pavement, and upon stepping on the road, it mixed with the fragrance of cat piss, decomposing rodent guts and a half-rotten pear. This exponential piling up of garbage the farther you move from someone’s property is actually quite beautiful, for it is an invisible application of fractal mathematics. It is a manifestation of the geometry of life.

/ Do not touch: ______________ (enter name of entity to whom the property temporarily belongs).” The writing should last for about a day. Ideally, early in the mornings, people, inspired by the sense of competition, would rush to occupy their favorite stretches of public land which they’d upkeep for a day, and repeat the exercise once the imaginary lease expires the next morning. While the respect for private property is the basic economic principle upon which accumulation of wealth is based on, think of it as a creative architectural experiment blurring the boundaries between the inside and the outside of your home. A mere mind trick. The only adverse effect this strategy might have is that you might end up treating the inside of your home like the outside. Doing so would only reinforce our recommendations from the previous section, Home Economics.

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THE NEIGHBORHOOD ENERGY GENERATOR

Sustained economic development will require higher amounts of electricity. Until now, we have supplemented this energy deficit with our little portable generators (agregats) in backyards or in front of our homes. But with oil prices constantly rising, we need to find alternate sources of energy. Right now, solar and wind are popular contenders around the world, but they are doomed to fail in Kosovo. With all the smog being pumped out of Kosovo’s coal power plants, it is predicted that soon it will be impossible for the sun’s rays to penetrate the thick, black clouds. This will make solar power unfeasible. Thick dust particles will also jam the rotor blades of wind turbines, requiring an increased use of lubricants, which would make the whole endeavor monetarily unfavorable. Therefore, we shouldn’t look to foreign solutions for our domestic problems. The solution to our energy crisis should come from within, with the resources already at our disposal. Making use of all our resources is the basis of sustainability. Our quest for clean electricity should be focused on utilizing the so called “dirty” electricity.

Walking through the neighborhood, everyone has witnessed different miracles of nature at least once. My favorite is letting go of a plastic bag full of garbage from the fifth floor. It always follows a path downward toward the ground, instead of keepi ng shooting up in af loat in midair, or perhaps the sky. More than 300 years after Isaac and the laws of Newton explained gravity mot ion, I a m st i l l amazed at the miracle of a trashbag in freefall. We already live in a finely tuned universe, we shou ld m a ke good use of it. Sources close company tell me to approach this T hey a l ready for their newest this ver y ing trash,

to a new start-up that they are going problem creatively. have a patent pending invention, which utilizes unique law of nature involvheights and gravity.

hope to achieve. All we have to do is make a special type of plastic trash bag from a charged magnetic material (perhaps by using nanotechnology—the magic of our age whose environmental impacts we cannot even comprehend at this early stage). The entire neighborhood has to be covered in some sort of electromagnetic radiation, but this could easily be achieved by fine-tuning the radio pollution already being emitted from all the wireless internet routers in the neighborhood. When you throw these charged bags from the fifth floor, they will produce electric current as they pass through the electromagnetic field. Although the current produced would be miniscule in size, the science is sound (if you don’t believe me, consult Tesla or just research what they call in physics the Right Hand Rule). Because we expect an exponential increase of the trash-throwing habit in the years to come, all the miniscule electric charges would add up to a machine that could produce electricity to power your entire neighborhood. And the best part is, it would use trash to do so.

Utilizing gravity as an economic force is as close to inventing a perpetual motion machine as we could ever

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KOSOVO 2.0


THE SOUND OF THE CITY

Have you ever entered a room that was enveloped in complete silence? I did once, and I almost went crazy. I kept hearing my own thoughts aloud. It was like being trapped inside an insane asylum. As humans living in crowded cityscapes, we have evolved to embrace and love noise. For one, it provides us the important benefit of silencing our own crazy thoughts, thus making us more productive. Unfortunately, with the upcoming “dirty” energy revolutions, we will inevitably see a decrease in noise pollution coming from the portable gas generators that we have grown to love. (I still have a lingering idyllic memory of dreams I had under the 35-kilowatt agregat powering the neighborhood Internet cafe at 3 in the morning.)

— As humans living in crowded cityscapes, we have evolved to embrace and love noise. For one, it provides us the important benefit of silencing our own crazy thoughts, thus making us more productive.

But don’t fret. According to our calculations, the number of roads being paved all around Kosovo suggests that the increase in traffic will compensate and fulfill our need for noise pollution. Unfortunately, an increase in traffic is projected to endanger the wildlife in the cities. And here I am talking about packs of stray street dogs. Proper legislation is necessary to protect these ferociously peaceful, rabid animals. We must do everything to protect their natural habitats — garbage dumps and trashy city streets.

“What would be the economic benefit?” you might ask. Well, sometimes it is not about the money. We have to preserve the current environment, if not for us, then at least for our children.

Something has to take the place of the humming of the diminishing portable generators, and wouldn't it be amazing for that sound to be the howl of a thousand dog-wolves behind your neighborhood’s garbage dump, singing the symphony of the full moon at 4 in the morning?

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