Thomas Hochleitner: Because less is actually more

Thomas Hochleitner: Because less is actually more
Thomas Hochleitner, teacher at the HTL Vöcklabruck
Image: private

When it comes to climate protection, Thomas Hochleitner misses one term in the debate: thrift. “We could improve so many things if we just restricted ourselves a little,” says the 47-year-old process engineer, who teaches building and energy technology at the HTL Vöcklabruck. “In addition, as a lecturer, I have a special responsibility. I cannot demand a commitment to climate protection from my students if I come to school in a big car.”

That’s why Hochleitner started cycling to work three years ago. It is eleven kilometers from his home town of Haunolding to school. A total of 22 kilometers and 50 minutes of cycling every day. The technician drives almost all year round, only when there is snow and ice does he leave the bike and sit in his electric car. “But cycling is much nicer,” he says. Because the joke of the matter is: “Those who protect the climate don’t lose. They gain quality of life.”

You could describe Hochleitner as a climate protection freak. The family of six goes on vacation by train, sustainability also plays a big role in nutrition – and of course the HTL professor uses his technical knowledge to do something for the climate. He founded one of the first renewable energy communities in Upper Austria in Haunolding and passes on the electricity he produces with his large photovoltaic system (20 kWp) to his neighbors at low cost. And he also has a hand in the efforts to produce hydrogen from solar power in the Vöckla-Ager region and store it for the winter.

“Complaining isn’t enough,” says the engineer with a doctorate. “It’s about doing something.” After the interview, Hochleitner cycled to the Vöcklabruck Open Cultural Center: He works there on a voluntary basis in the repair café and repaired an umbrella yesterday.

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