“I’m not from here, but I lost my heart to this island a long time ago” – this is a phrase you hear again and again when you talk to people on the Greek island of Astypalea. The number of locals born here has decreased in the past decades. But tourism has opened up new sources of income and attracted new people to the island – mostly from Greece, but also from abroad. People like Bettina Mohn from Frankfurt.
Bettina, a German expatriate, first visited the island in the southern Aegean in 1982. In 1996 she moves permanently to Astypalea. Today Bettina loves to tend her large garden, where rosemary grows as tall as small trees elsewhere. Old basil bushes with woody trunks stand among fig and olive trees. Living from and with nature, understanding and respecting its gifts, is important to Bettina and has accompanied her throughout her life.
“Nature gives us everything we need if we understand it and treat it well,” Bettina says. This basic idea fits pretty well with the plan to build a sustainable mobility and energy system on the island that relies almost entirely on regionally generated electricity from the sun and wind. Astypalea is a future laboratory for decarbonization in Europe. Volkswagen is gathering important insights there, virtually in real time, on the switch to e-mobility and on the incentives needed for a sustainable lifestyle. But how do Astypalea’s residents experience this mobility and energy transition? Bettina Mohn, a German who has lived on Astypalea for over 25 years, tells us in the current issue of eMove360° magazine in german language.