A Green Lifestyle Without Any Sacrifices
Julia inspires her readers in her online magazine “Subvoyage” to live more consciously and shows that one does not have to make sacrifices. In her guest blog, she gives a personal view into her green lifestyle.
The Beginning of the Green Journey
Two years ago, I moved out from home. From the village to the big city Cologne. With my studies, a large, new phase in my life began, which gave me many liberties, but at the same time also responsibilities and important decisions. Standing on my own feet, and being able to design my life the way I like it for the first time.
How do I decorate my first own apartment? What will I cook? Which electric company do I choose? How do I design my daily life? Which transportation do I use? I took the chance and took my time in answering all these questions, in order to make conscious decisions.
In my opinion, the way to a green lifestyle is a process, a road or also a journey. For me, this journey really started two years ago.
On my journey, I get to know new and fascinating things every day. Questioning circumstances and learning new things fulfills me so much that I had the idea for my blog Subvoyage a few months ago. What started as a travel blog, is now developing to a sustainable online magazine.
I design my travels very individual. On one trip, I am fine with a few shirts and a tent over my head, on the next I want to have a specific comfort. Sustainability is always a focus, though! The same goes for my daily life. In the past months, I have made several experiences how to live sustainable, without making any sacrifices. Some of these experiences I have collected here.
The small things also bring upon change
Especially at the beginning of my journey, it was the small steps that brought me forward.
If everyone would take these small steps, they can bring upon big changes.
With substituting plastic bags with a cotton bag, one does not only save money: they look better and are sturdier.
When I leave a room, I turn off the light. For my electronics, I have a multi socket with a flip switch. Again, not only the environment is saved, but also my finances. My coffee to go does not come in paper cups anymore – instead I use a tumbler that I can use many times and clean at home.
After already only one year without paper cups, I can save 40kg CO2. And everyone can do this – without missing out on the coffee on the go.
Shop Local and Seasonal
When thinking about the intense tasting tomatoes from my last Italy trip and the delicious melons from my past Greece vacation, my mouth waters.
Fruit and vegetables, which we only now as export goods in German supermarkets, taste so much better in their origin country. They are harvested, when they are actually ripe – the trip to the consumer is not far!
Local Products do not only protect the environment, but also give an authentic view into the guest country.
What counts for travel, surely also counts for home. Germany has quite a few things to offer and the seasonal calendar tells us what is available currently. For example, in October, cauliflower, potatoes, radishes, spinach, tomatoes and apples are in season. Mushrooms can be supplied throughout the whole year by the way!
Using alternative transport: bike safari in Tanzania
Transport is a large and important role concerning sustainability. That a bike creates less emissions than a car or an airplane, is self-explanatory. Sometimes, we do not get around a specific kind of transportation, though.
Still, it pays off to look for extraordinary transport possibilities – not only at home. Riding a bike in Africa’s wilderness is impossible? Think again – it is possible and very well in fact, as I experience in Tanzania first hand.
Together with my boyfriend Yannik and our guide Abdul, I rode 200 kilometers to the highest mountain of Africa. We could not have experienced the nature of this breathtaking country any closer or more intense.
We did not miss out on anything. One reason was our support vehicle which carried our tents, food and anything one needs. Hey, a car! Yes, without it, it was not quite possible.
But the driver mostly drove ahead and waited for us with the motor shut off. In case of an emergency, he would have been there for us. But the car did not drive 8 hours a day through the scenery and instead just had a route of 60km daily. An extremely high CO2 conservation in comparison to a classic jeep safari.
Look out for the correct certificates, labels and platforms
In the cities, in supermarkets, on TV – all over we are overwhelmed with input. Input that is supposed to make us shop. “Green” is trend and the selection of organic products is growing.
Sometimes, I am overwhelmed with this extensive selection. How am I supposed to pick the right product? How should I pick the right hotel? What actually is good for me and good for the environment?
An important indication for me are sustainable labels or certificates. Online offers such as codechecker.info help me, when I want to be sure. For traveling, platforms such as Green Pearls make my decision much easier and I am always grateful for these!
“Entschleunigung” – Enjoy the moments
I love lists. I have fun sorting and organizing and record things two or three times to be sure. As much as I love to plan, I often set this aside while traveling.
It feels good to just leave things go, so that things can happen spontaneously, instead of planning every detail.
This way, moments happen that would not have happened with a plan. The lake above we discovered during our trip with a tandem through Northern Germany. Such a great place, where we did not intend to head to.
In moments like these, I take my time to embrace my environment consciously. I learn to appreciate it and it becomes clear again, why sustainability is so important to me.
My goal in life is not only to slow-down while traveling, but also in my daily life.
Green Lifestyle is Bliss
This way of life makes me many times happier than a life in opulence, hectic and waste could ever make me. In some areas, for me personally, a sacrifice goes along with it, like not eating meat. But as there are so many vegetarian dishes, it really is not a sacrifice for me.
In many areas of the green lifestyle, it is enough to see things from a different perspective.
Positive changes for us and the environment are possible – and without sacrifices.
What makes you happy in sustainable living? Where have you made the experience that a green lifestyle is not accompanied by sacrifices?