Climate change is one of the biggest global problems. And at the moment we are also dealing with the “energy crisis”. We give you six simple tips that will make your everyday life greener and more energy-efficient, while also saving you a lot of money.
Tip 1: We all know that mangoes, papayas or lychees don’t grow in Germany. These are usually transported to our home country by truck, ship or even plane. The ecological footprint of non-regional products is therefore very bad. You live more sustainably by sourcing local and seasonal groceries. Because honestly, do you really need to be drinking a mango smoothie or baking a pineapple pie in December? Food labels allow you to quickly check the product’s country of origin.
Tip 2: Food waste is a big problem in our society. Every year we Germans throw away 82 kilograms of food worth 235 euros. That’s how money ends up in the trash every year. You should therefore plan your shopping so that you throw away as little food as possible unnecessarily. And if the milk from the 6-pack, bread or vegetables are left over, then register with “food sharing” platforms to save the fresh food from being thrown away. These initiatives then distribute your groceries to people in need, who are happy about every fresh apple. So little effort, but it achieves a lot if everyone around the world strives for a more sustainable life.
And now let’s be honest: Even if you plan your shopping regularly, you’ve probably experienced the situation that the fridge is full to bursting just before your holiday, haven’t you?
Tip 3: Leaving the car at home and taking the bike or the train is not only good for your physical health, but also for your wallet and the environment. If one of your New Year’s goals for 2023 is “more sport”, then kill two birds with one stone with this tip. After the 9-euro ticket was so popular last summer, the 49-euro ticket will soon (from around March 2023) come and replace it with a comparable model. At the beginning of a new year, there are often feedback talks or salary negotiations. Does that apply to you? Then this “job ticket” could be a possible requirement for your salary negotiation.
Tip 4: Saving electricity not only reduces your ecological footprint, but also saves a lot of money. Therefore, when buying new electrical appliances, such as refrigerators, vacuum cleaners or washing machines, pay particular attention to the energy label. Do you really need a washing machine just for yourself? If not, consider sharing it with other roommates or tenants in the house.
Do you take an hour lunch break while working or studying? Then turn off your computer during this time. Do you like working from home? Then get your increased energy consumption back with the home office flat rate in your next tax return!
Last but not least, you can replace your light bulbs with LEDs and save energy here too. If you haven’t already switched to green electricity, now is a good time. You can use the comparison portal page Check24 to compare different green electricity suppliers. These few tips will also help you save energy and live more sustainably.
Tip 5: We encounter plastic everywhere in everyday life. To live sustainably, buy as few plastic-packaged products as possible. You can also take your own cotton bag with you when you go shopping. This prevents you from having to take another plastic bag with you from the supermarket every time and at the same time saves space in your closet.
However, microplastics can also be found in textiles. When washing synthetic clothing such as fleece jackets or sports textiles, tiny fibers (= microplastics) are released and get into the oceans via the wastewater. Hence…
But you can avoid plastic waste not only when washing, but also when visiting a restaurant or with the delivery service:
From this year onwards, restaurants, cafés, bars or delivery services will not only have to offer disposable, but also reusable alternatives for out-of-home sales. You decide in which packaging alternative your food or drinks are delivered or picked up. But: The green alternative must not be more expensive than the disposable version! Therefore, a deposit system is foreseeable. But: The companies do not have to take back the packaging boxes of other companies and companies that have a sales area of up to 80 m 2 are even excluded from this EU regulation. What does that mean for you? It is best to always have your reusable TO-GO cup and a Tupperware box ready in your backpack or handbag.
Tip 6: One last simple tip that will make your life greener and more sustainable is to put “Do not post ads” on your mailbox. Because many households do without advertising, the number of prints decreases and you help to drastically reduce paper waste every year.
This article was written by Alisha Ogidan
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The original of this post “How to live more sustainably and save a lot of money at the same time” comes from Kleingeldhelden.