Living Light
Welcome! You have found the site of the CreationKeepers team (Christ Church's Eco Church Committee), which shares ideas and experiences about how we can all lighten our environmental footprint. We do this because we see our planet and its resources at a breaking point and believe in the power of personal examples. Most weeks, we will reflect on some aspect of living, working, shopping, consuming, reading, learning, etc. These are all local experiences and can easily be adopted by others in our community. Our authors (Rosie and Monika) look forward to any comments or ideas that you may also have and want to share. Send us your ideas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Blog #71: Bee happy!

May 19, 2022
Monika Weber-Fahr
Tomorrow is World Bee Day - May 20! It's a day during which the UN and many other organizations celebrate and draw attention to the important role of pollinators for nature and life more broadly: Without the little insects flying from plant to plant most of our essential foods could not be grown. Christians have for centuries looked to and after bees, for inspiration and - rather pragmatically - for the wax they produce. Without beeswax there are no nice candles, and without candles - well, we all know how much candles mean in our services and prayer.  A year ago, here, for the LivingLight Blog, in Blog#20: Be Careful! Charlotte Wiggins and I explored the spiritual dimensions of our relationship with bees. This time around, I thought to point to a few opportunities here in town, and in the vicinity, for you yourself to explore and to get to know bees and what they do for all of us.  Check out the tips and ideas in the next paragraphs!

Picture:  It's International Bee Day this week - and in Vienna and the neighbouring counties there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about these beautiful and important pollinators, including in the Kunsthaus Wien. 

Firstly, not far from our church and still in the Third District, there is the Kunsthaus Wien - better knowns as the Hundertwasser Museum.  Some of you may know, that the Museum houses a few beehives, tended to by a local beekeeper.  That very beekeeper offers a guided tour for visitors, on May 20 at 4pm. Worthwhile checking out


Picture: Check out the ChristChurch Easter Candle - it's made from (pure, I think) Bees' Wax - and it smells beautifully, too. The wax that bees produce has been the reason why monastries have early on begun cultivating and looking after bee hives. Honey always was more of a happy product on the side..

Secondly, on Sunday, May 22nd, the Austrian Beekeeper Association or Imkerbund invites everyone for the Day of Open Beehives or Tag des Offenen Bienenstockes. Beekeeping associations across Vienna - and Austria more broadly - offer tours and opportunities to learn about and meet bees; you can go and have someone explain to you how a beehive works and what to look out for to help bees thrive. Even though the official day for this is Sunday, May 22nd, you will see from the list of events that many groups have chosen a different day, sometime in the coming weeks. If you miss the opportunity this weekend, you can thus find other locations and dates that may be more convenient.  In fact, I myself am a member of the Beekeeper Association in Gloggnitz - about an hour on the train from Vienna, in the broad direction of the Semmering mountain.  There, the Day of Open Beehives takes place in two weeks, on Sunday, June 5th - and you are all very welcome out there!  It's Pentecost on June 5th: If you feel that spending time with bee hives would be a fitting way to celebrate this beautiful holiday - do send me quick note - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - and I’ll send you the specifics.  Gloggnitz is easily reachable by train, you can even take your bicycle or combine your visit with a little hike up the mountains out there. 
Mostly, on or around World Bee Day, you will get to meet and hear about honeybees - and of course, we feel closer to them since we enjoy the many products that beekeepers are able to get from them, including honey and wax of course, but also extending to pollen, propolis and other things with medicinal value. Wildbees are both more numerous and in many ways more effective as pollinators in comparison to honey bees.  Curious?  The association Bluehendes Oesterreich offers a number of opportunities to learn more about wildbees, what they do, and how to support them - check it out!
Why all the fuss about bees - and pollinators more generally? Well, research is clear: Both as a planet - and a continent - we are loosing pollinators at alarming rates.  Beekeepers and Naturelovers are calling on all of us to do something about these concerning developments - and the good news is: Yes, we can create better space for pollinators to live and thrive!  If you want to learn more - check out some of the resources offered in this blog or contact me directly!
Inspired? Thoughts or reactions? Or ideas for forthcoming blogs?  We look forward to hearing from you - best via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Blog #70: The Repair Bonus is back - give your electric devices a second chance!

May 12, 2022
Monika Weber-Fahr
The Repair Bonus is back! Or rather: It’s grown up, from its earlier incarnation as a Vienna-only pilot. As of two weeks ago, the Bonus scheme is available again - this time for everyone in Austria! This means for you: You can now get your electrical devices fixed and it will only cost you half of what you would normally be charged (up to a limit). Some of this Blog’s readers may recall the earlier Vienna-only Reparturbonus that had run for two years under the header Vienna Fixes it: Featured in Blog#9, the Reparaturbonus at the time had mobilized thousands of Viennese to get their devices repaired rather than throw them away by offering a 50% subsidy for the repair cost (up to 100 Euro). I myself got a watch fixed, as well as toaster, but then the scheme concluded in December 2021 and I was a bit disappointed that it had ended. Well, someone noticed how successful the Viennese were - and took the scheme national: On April 25, the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology launched the now national program on a new website, ready for you to go and check it out.

Picture:  The Repair Bonus is back!  Just go to and click on the button on the bottom right - Reparaturbon erstellen - it will take you to the next steps to get your bonus voucher. And then all you need to do is take the device you want to have repaired to one of the designated repair stores.

Getting your repair bonus voucher is really simple and all online. You start by going to  There is a button on the bottom right of the landing page picture Raparaturbon erstellen: You click there, get to a place where you give them your personal details (they need this to check that you actually live in Austria), and from there you get to a place where you can create your Reparaturbonus (click on Bon erstellen).  The system will create a pdf for you and it will send the Bonus voucher to you by email.  Attention: The voucher is only valid for three weeks - so you got to act on your intention reasonably fast.  What happens next is that you figure out which Partner Repair Shop in your neighbourhood can do the repairs: You click on Partnerbetrieb finden, enter your postal code and bang, you have a list of eligible repair shops right in front of you. You take your Bonus and your device to the repair shop of your choice, go over there, and you are in business. The Reparaturbonus will offer a 50% subsidy for repairs of any electronic device up to 200 Euro AND it will also subsidize up to 30 Euro that getting an estimate may cost. The shop will only charge you the final cost and handle the subsidy application directly, on your behalf.  What does that mean? Simple: If a repair would cost 300 Euros, you only pay 150 Euros!!  


Picture: Success!  I got my voucher - electronically - and can now take it to the repair shop, together with our hot water kettle that is in desperate need for repairs.

Intrigued?  Well that’s the whole purpose of the scheme.  The idea is to get citizens used to getting things repaired again, to somewhat turn back the clock to a time when resources were scarce even in the richer countries and people, both for necessity and by mentality, would always look to repair something before considering throwing it away.   The repair bonus is funded by the Austrian Government and with support of 130 Million Euros coming from the Next Generation EU pandemic rescue fund.  The intended results?  Less waste, less CO2, and more business for local repair shops.  In fact, some 1,200 shops across Austria accept the voucher - I can see that this would give a boost to these much needed small enterprises.
Will it work?  Will citizens change their behavior and throw away less? Well, it worked in Vienna - the pilot version of the Repair Bonus that was undertaken here had been a success:  Over 35,000 items were repaired, saving some 850 tons of CO2 emissions, according to some estimates. The scheme at the time only subsidized repairs with 100 Euros but it had been beautifully simple: If you are checking out the new national program, you will find pretty much all features repeated here. Others have been looking to learn from Vienna, too: The ORF reported that the Vienna Repair Bonus is now considered in other countries also, including in the US - by the city of Portland.
In Austria, repiaring an electric household device is now effectively at half price. Will you consider this before throwing something away?  Let’s say good-bye to the Throw-Away Society we have so become used to - and let’s welcome going back to a repair-friendly world.
Inspired? Thoughts or reactions? Or ideas for forthcoming blogs?  We look forward to hearing from you - best via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Blog #69: Depo Days and the Green World Tour - the Weekend in Vienna

May 5, 2022
Monika Weber-Fahr
Spring is finally here, and most of you are surely planning to spend at least part of the weekend in the outdoors - in or outside of Vienna.  Nevertheless you might want to consider including two activities in your schedule that may involve more than a walk in nature: The Vienna Depo Days and the Green World Tour. What are they?
The Depo Days run from 10 am till 8pm (on Sunday: 7pm) and take place at the Deponie Rautenweg in the 22nd district, Vienna’s only municipal landfill and Austria’s largest. Why spend a gorgeous spring day at a landfill?  Easy: Because there you will find activities offered that will be fun, insightful, and you will walk away inspired!  Vienna’s notoriously popular (no joke!) waste management team - the “48ers” - have put together a program designed to both entertain and offer great opportunities for learning.  You can get a tour - across what seems to be one of the most professionally managed landfills (no smells promised) - both in a mini-train or with a guide that will actually explain what’s going on there.  The tours include a visit with the landfill goats. Yes, you read it right, MA48 deploys goats - mostly to have them graze the large green areas, but also as a contribution to biodiversity protection since the specific kind - Pinzgauer Ziegen - had been endangered for some time. When you visit, you will find that the landfill offers a home to live to many plants and animals including the crested lark, a protected species. Finally, you might get the opportunity to visit the Escape Rooms in the House of Mist, essentially a mini-tour full of riddles to solve, and you can check out all the vehicles that the 48ers use, both historic and modern.  On top of all of this, there is of course music and Austrian street food, so go - check it out - it all takes place on Rautenweg 83!