Sustainability, environmental protection and conscious consumption – that often sounds like a lot of effort, loss of time and inconvenience. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With these ten simple tips everyone can make their everyday life a little greener and save money.
1. Save money on drinking: the bottle is always with you
We also want to have a sip of water or a waking coffee on the way. Pack yourself a refillable bottle or a thermo mug that you can fill with tap water or coffee on the go. This little extra grip on your own bottle requires a little rethinking, but as with many things, routine will quickly set in there and you will no longer go out of the house without a bottle or mug.
Bringing your own drinking container is a real win-win situation, because not only do you avoid packaging waste with plastic bottles or coffee-to-go cups, but at many coffee shops you save a few cents if you have coffee in your own Cups.
The better choice: tap water instead of purchased water from plastic bottles. (© Esther Hildebrandt – Fotolia.com)
2. Saving tip: Never go shopping without a fabric bag
The good old jute bag is no longer a figurehead of the first eco-generation, but has become a popular hipster accessory. You may also have more than one cloth bag at home – deposit one at work, one in the car or under the bike seat, and at home near the key. So you will never forget him when shopping and you do not need to buy a plastic bag.
Small fabric bags (e.g. **) are also suitable for packing bread and rolls in the baker’s. In this way, you also avoid bakery bags that end up in the trash after being used too short.
3. Alternatives to plastic save environmental costs
Our oceans have become huge garbage dumps – they swim in plastic, which does not decompose, but only shreds and thus ends up in the stomachs of the sea animals and later on our plates.
When shopping, we can consciously choose how much plastic and packaging we also buy. For example, choose yogurt, ketchup and mustard in a glass instead of the plastic packaging. If possible, go shopping at the weekly market or in unwrapped shops. In the drugstore, too, there is often a choice between plastic and glass packaging. As a consumer, your purchase decisions are an important factor in industrial product design. For example, the change from light bulb to LED lamp makes sense for consumers and the environment alike.
This is what shopping in the unpacked shop looks like. (Photo © Unwrapped Kiel / Berit Ladewig)
4. Deactivated standby mode saves electricity and hard cash
This trick is almost an old hat, but in many apartments there are still little red lights shining through the night. TV, DVD player or music system: Devices in standby mode consume electricity around the clock and thus contribute to about a tenth of the electricity bill. If you carefully turn off all red lights, you can save up to 120 euros a year.
Switch off standby mode: saves energy and money (Photo: © Imaginis – Fotolia.com)
5. Wash colder – and save money
Colder laundry = dirty laundry? That’s not true: Because at 30 ° C almost every wash gets clean, just give it a try. 60 ° C is sufficient for heavily soiled laundry; temperatures above this are usually an unnecessary waste of energy. Treat stubborn stains by hand rather than heating up the entire wash cycle. This is how you wash laundry sustainably.
Let’s stick to cold water and save energy: with cold water and soap, you can clean your hands just as well as with warm water – and also save money. If you wash your hands five times a day and thereby use four liters of cold instead of warm water, you save in a 3-person household up to 75 euros annually.
6. Onion look instead of expensive sauna landscape
In autumn and winter we heat our apartments to make it comfortable in the cold and gray seasons. One degree more or less often makes a big difference, because every degree of room temperature not only makes heating costs more expensive, it also consumes a lot of energy and causes a lot of CO2. The Federal Environment Agency therefore recommends 20 ° C for the living area, 18 ° C for the kitchen and 17 ° C for the bedroom.
So it’s better to put on a pair of thick socks and warm yourself on the couch with a cozy blanket (or a partner) instead of turning the apartment into a sauna.
Heating always turned up? That wastes energy and money. (Photo: © Gudellaphoto – Fotolia.com)
7. Borrow instead of buying new
Should it be a new dress for an upcoming wedding or party, then ask friends if they have a suitable one for you. Because hand on heart: Many fine items in the wardrobe are very rarely or not worn at all. Those who borrow clothes from each other often have new wardrobes – without spending money.
Many household items and tools are also rarely used and you can also borrow them from friends – or in one of the Germany-wide Leihläden borrow. There are also numerous rental and exchange websites, apps and Car-sharing platforms, that make it possible to own for a while.
8. Avoid chemical cleaners
Many households have a lot of different cleaning agents – one for every corner in the house. Aggressive chemical cleaners can be replaced inexpensively and environmentally friendly with simple household remedies such as vinegar, citric acid, soda and baking soda.
Vinegar or vinegar essence and citric acid are particularly good for decalcify, but also for example all-purpose cleaners, fabric softeners and WC cleaner you can make it. soda you can as cleaning, rinsing and laundry detergent use it removes stains and cleans clogged drains. Detergent, textile cleaner, oven cleaner, Grout cleaner and you can do a lot more bicarbonate of soda replace.
This is how cleaning with home remedies looks like. (Photo: © Utopia)
9. Repair cafes instead of buying new ones
The DVD player is broken? The vacuum cleaner doesn’t want anymore either? Put it in the garbage can and buy something new – it probably happens more often than things are repaired. In repair cafés, people looking for help and those with technical and technical skills come together and repair broken irons, lampshades and wool sweaters. Because often only small things are defective that could easily be repaired or exchanged.
Take a look around, there are several repair cafes in many large cities – there are hundreds of such free repair shops throughout Germany.
10. Be open and inspire others
Nobody was born an environmentalist and you can learn something new every day. It is important that you remain open to new suggestions, food for thought and alternatives. Ultimately, such "green tips" not only protect the environment, but also change your own thinking about consumption habits, throw-away mentality, the value of objects and waste.
Through your own actions, inspire other people to make their everyday lives greener and more sustainable without teaching. Spend an afternoon in the Repair Café or organize a clothing exchange party – living sustainably can be really fun.
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