| People and environment

Be eco!

No one likes to limit themselves when it comes to their personal life. This means, for example, that sometimes you want to take a shorter route to work because you are running late or that you buy a particular sausage from the butcher because you love it so much.

Autor:
Sarah Groß
Team Leader

However, when you see the effects of climate change on the news or even in person, such as the flooding disaster in North Rhine-Westphalia, or when you see how animals are treated in slaughterhouses, the thought quickly occurs to you whether it’s not possible to make a small cut in your personal life to do something about it yourself. After all, you can do a lot for the environment with just a few small eco-friendly behavioral changes.

Bicycle instead of a car

Of course, a car immediately comes to mind. To be honest, until recently I used to ride to work by car, even if I had less than 2 kilometers to go. Today, I only do it when I know I have meetings after work that I can’t get to by bike. I try to consistently do without a car, I ride my bike as often as possible (which, by the way, also serves me very well), and sometimes I use my old city scooter from years past.

Shopping in eco-friendly packaging

IMG_20210511_180124_065
There are such beautiful places in nature, and it is our job to preserve that beauty.

Another thing I have gotten rid of in my life is packaged fruit. I bought cotton eco nets that I always have in my shopping bag (and that I can use again and again, of course) and I put fruits and vegetables in them.

I also always thought it was pointless to use a plastic bag to collect plastic waste and then throw it in a plastic waste bin. Since this unfortunately cannot be avoided completely, I simply bought a garbage can made of bamboo material and there I collect the remaining plastic waste. When the garbage can is full, I go down to the container and dump the contents. By the way, I can also do something for my figure, because it is not for nothing that they say “every walk slims you down”.

Unfortunately, organic waste is a little more difficult to deal with because it makes a big mess. For this, I simply use the advertising newspapers from my mailbox, which I never read anyway. Newsprint breaks down much faster than recyclable organic waste bags. So again, it’s important to do your research in advance. Because just because it says “recyclable” doesn’t mean something is eco. Many recyclable organic waste bags take weeks or even months to decompose. And even then, there’s still some small residue left inside.

Avoiding waste and environmental impact

Also, these days I buy food much more consciously. First, I make sure it’s not heavily packaged. Milk is a good example; I rarely buy milk that is packaged in Tetrapak. I prefer to go to a neighborhood store and buy milk in glass bottles. But I also take care not to waste food. I don’t buy three different salads only to throw two of them away a few days later because they went bad. I consciously go shopping only for what is on my shopping list and planned for that week.

When it comes to hygiene products, I could actually do with a little more. There are different companies that offer reusable makeup remover swabs. If they’re dirty, you can wash them. And yes, I took this objection into consideration as well, “But washing them also causes microplastics to go down the drain and pollute our oceans!” This can be avoided if you pay attention to the detergent you use. There are now many products, from detergents to dishwashing liquids and more, that do not contain microplastic. Sure, they are 33-42 cents more expensive, but honestly, so what? I wash in an environmentally conscious way and my laundry is microplastic free, which is also much healthier for my skin.

Trees instead of microplastics

What I was able to do with detergents, I was also able to do with soap. I bought an environmentally friendly soap and shampoo for my skin and hair. And it didn’t harm my hair at all. On the contrary, they became shinier and healthier. A few years ago, such products were probably not so sophisticated. I can understand why they were wished hell back then and climate change was ridiculed. But now there are many products on the market that really do something for the environment and don’t compromise on quality. Many companies where you can buy environmentally friendly items even plant trees for every item you buy. The same is true for our Run for Trees campaign. For that reason alone, these alternative products make sense.

There are more eco options

More and more supermarkets now offer “food sharing”. This is where you can buy food cheaply shortly before closing time that would otherwise be thrown away. In turn, under “to good to go” sharing, you can buy whole dishes from restaurants for less money that would otherwise also be thrown away.

Unfortunately, I don’t have that much experience with this yet. So the next goal is already in sight.

In my opinion, it is all a matter of awareness. If you really want it and are completely convinced, you will find ways and means to live greener today. This was and is one of my personal goals for this year. I estimate that I’ve already accomplished at least 80% of it. What does it look like for you?

Foodsharing
Foodsharing

A shopping list to help you live greener:

  1. Home
  • Instead of using plastic garbage bags, use a garbage can (container) for plastic waste, preferably made of bamboo
  • Brown compost bag or newspaper for organic waste
  • Instead of a PET bottle with mineral water, you can also use the SodaStream
  • Bamboo eco butter box
  • Squeeze your own juices, for example, from two oranges and half a lemon
  1. Hygiene
  • Environmentally friendly detergent
  • Environmentally friendly dishwashing liquid (also available for dishwashers)
  • Environmentally friendly shampoo
  • Environmentally friendly shower gel/soap
  • Reusable cotton pads
  • Bamboo hair brush/comb
  • Reusable razor/shaverz
  1. Food
  • Avoid packaged foods as much as possible
  • Use beverages from glass bottles
  • Buy food only when needed
  • Buy meat from farms with proven quality
  • Limit your meat and sausage intake, try something vegetarian
  • Use cotton nets for fruits and vegetables

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