One small step for you, one big step for the environment: We can all integrate these little tricks into our everyday lives and thus make the world a little greener.
Tap water instead of plastic bottles, reusable cups instead of coffee-to-rubbish and bikes instead of cars: Admittedly, these environmental tips are well known and many people are already implementing them. This post is about everyday actions that may not be as well known – but at least as effective as swinging on a bike.
- Mini rubbish in the café: from plastic straws to sugar bags
We all know the small packaged sugar cones and biscuits that you get served with tea and coffee in restaurants – that’s superfluous garbage. So use your power as a consumer and complain (kindly) about cookies that are individually packaged. Say no to sachets that can be replaced with a sugar shaker on any table.
Order your drink without a plastic straw and ask in your favorite café whether the paper towels can be exchanged for washable ones, if that is not already the case. You can also take unused napkins with you and use them as handkerchiefs. At least that way they don’t end up in the garbage unused.
- Use up leftovers and use things until the end
Cream or toothpaste tubes usually still have a lot of content, although we can no longer squeeze anything out of them. Cut open the tubes and bottles – this will often give you a few more days of the product. You can also do that:
- Glue the rest of the bar of soap to the new bar.
- Fix broken clothes; Make new clothes out of old clothes by sewing them around or keep using them as cleaning rags.
- Use misprints as scratch paper.
- Lights off, plug out: walk carefully through the apartment
Is the stove off, the window closed? Usually yes, but it is worth taking a final walk through the apartment to turn off all the lights and turn off the tap for electricity guzzlers. What many do not know: Standby often costs you more money and electricity than actually using the device in operation.
The smartphone charger also consumes power continuously when it is plugged into the socket. Therefore, unplug the kettle, charging cable and other devices from the socket when not in use. You can also switch off your WiFi router at night. In general, you can buy special socket strips with switches – they help you save electricity in everyday life.
- While walking: grab it courageously
We are often annoyed by crumpled paper cups on the roadside, tattered plastic bags in the ditch and empty cans in the forest. Take a bag with you the next time you go for a walk and simply collect some rubbish along the way. This is not only possible on World Environment Day – and some people are now turning it into a sport: Read the articles on plogging and plalking.
- On the go: don’t forget your cutlery
Most likely already have their own drinking bottle and lunch box with them. Why not pack your own cutlery as well? The ice cream seller will be amazed when you pull out your own spoon instead of the plastic spoon.
- In the supermarket: vegetable bags, of course!
Sometimes it is not that easy to save packaging waste – for example when buying fruit, vegetables or bread. Consciously choose the unwrapped salad instead of the one with a plastic cover, take your own cloth bag for fruit, vegetables and bread with you.
You can buy such cloth bags or simply sew them yourself. Laundry nets are also suitable for packaging-free shopping. You pack tomatoes, nuts and onions in it – and you also give the sellers your sack or bread basket at the bread counter.
- Packaging: keep using it cleverly
Let’s stay with packaging waste – use packaging, bags and boxes as long as you can. You can use the plastic packaging of toilet paper rolls as a garbage bag. Old newspaper or paper bags from the last purchase are suitable as a base for the organic waste. Use newsprint sparingly, because too much printing ink has no place in organic waste.
But it also works without it: after emptying the organic waste bin, you can rinse it out with a few drops of detergent and even the plastic waste basically does not need an extra bag.
- In winter: burst ventilation
Heated air is uncomfortable. But having the windows tilted while heating doesn’t make it any better, on the contrary, you heat your money straight out of the window. In the cold season, ventilation can save up to 300 kilograms of carbon dioxide and up to 70 euros compared to constantly tilted windows, according to the WWF. And: everyone can do it every day.
- Save hot water
Heating water requires a lot of energy, but a cold shower is not an option for very few. Warm water and still save water: turn off the shower while soaping up. Also, do not shower unnecessarily long – even if it is pleasant to let warm water sprinkle on you for half an hour, it is not sustainable. Incidentally, a full bath consumes around 140 liters of water; a shower only 15 liters per minute, and less with economical shower heads.
- No advertising junk: tell everyone!
Unwanted advertising mail clogs mailboxes in many households, creates a lot of garbage and wastes valuable resources. A sticker with the note “Please no advertising” stops the greatest flood of advertising. Another option against unwanted advertising is an entry in the Robinson list.
Also, check your email inbox to see which regular emails you really need. We delete many newsletters unread – then we can unsubscribe right away. World Environment Day would be an occasion.
- Expired food is usually still edible
It says “best before” and not “immediately fatal from” – the best before date is not an expiration date and many “expired” foods are still edible, tasty and healthy. So if in doubt, test with all your senses whether yogurt, juice and pasta are still good.
Some supermarkets also offer food that is about to expire cheaper or sell fruit and vegetables that no longer meet the norm at half price. Choose such products and set an example against food waste.
- Do I really need it?
Consuming less takes pressure off your wallet and the environment. Our demand – or non-demand – we determine which products can stay on the market.
Do i really need this product? Is there a more sustainable alternative to trousers, bread or detergent? Anyone who asks themselves these two questions every time they buy a new product and consumes them strategically makes a major contribution to environmental protection.