Good resolutions for a greener new year

We all know the problem: on January 1st we are highly motivated, a week later our good resolution is already becoming tiring and by the end of January we have abandoned it. Unfortunately good resolutions are often not of a lasting nature. In many cases, they are simply too big or too unspecific to be realized easily. It is much better to start with small steps and be pleased with all the small achievements. Here are 5 suggestions for a greener life in 2018.

It does not have to be Zero Waste …

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… even though this is a desirable objective. You can also start with small steps – and you will probably realize that avoiding waste is easier than you might have thought, saves money and even is fun.

The most serious problems are caused by plastic waste, so it is particularly worthwhile to start here. You always carry a cloth shopping bag with you? Great! You can go one step further by ignoring the plastic bags provided for loose fruit and vegetable and use small cotton bags or nets instead. Drinking water from glass bottles or from the tap is not only more environmentally friendly, but also more healthy than water from plastic bottles. When you’re on the move, you can use one of the convenient and stylish drinking bottles of which there is a wide range to choose from. Anyway, reusable products help to avoid a lot of waste, thus drastically reducing the carbon footprint and saving resources. For example, coffee-to-go-cups end up in the trash bin right after you have finished your coffee. In many cases, they are not even disposed of correctly so that they will not be recycled. To change this you can use your own reusable cup or thermo mug. Many shops and cafés even sell the coffee at a lower price, if you bring your own cup.

Select carefully – throw away less

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Not only packaging waste is a problem. All the things we buy and throw away unused make the mountains of trash grow further. For example, people buy huge amounts of clothes, but hardly or never wear 40 percent of these. With a little question – “Do I really need this?” – you can easily avoid mispurchases and save a lot of money. A few favorite pieces are often much better than a huge stack of fast fashion (by the way, you find more on this topic in our posts on Vintage and Doing good by means of clothing). And instead of buying new things you can simply repair the old ones. This also goes for other areas such as electric appliances or household items. In many cities, repair cafés are opening where you can exchange your knowledge and support each other.

Eat smarter

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The amounts of discarded food are especially alarming: between a third and half of the produced food is thrown away. With a small shift in your attitude you can prevent this at least in the private sphere. By drawing up a cooking plan on a regular basis and doing your shopping accordingly, you avoid buying unnecessary food. Often, food is thrown away because it has exceeded its “best before”-date, even though it is still safe to eat. However, there are some products that you can still use long after their “best before”-date, for example yoghurt or dry food such as rice or flour. In cases of doubt just trust your senses and carefully try the food. Regional fruit and vegetable is not only better for the climate due to shorter transport routes, but also keeps fresh for a longer time and suffers less damage – thus, fewer items have to be discarded prior to selling.

Gentle household cleaning

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You can also achieve a great deal by avoiding harsh chemicals. In many cases, household remedies such as vinegar, citric acid or soda are just as effective and you can even make your own laundry detergent or dishwater tablets quite easily. You will find lots of tutorials and tips on the internet, for example here. In this way, you save money, avoid packaging waste and protect the environment.

The fairer the better

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You are opposed to nuclear power? Simply switch to a green power supplier. With this simple step you can make a great difference. It is equally worthwhile to support sustainable initiatives and manufacturers, for example by buying fair trade coffee or -chocolate or regionally and organically produced meat. Maybe this requires a little more research at first, but it will pay off – after all, you can enjoy with a clear conscience. Apropos: You probably know already that on you can easily find a sustainable accommodation for your next vacation.

Are you already motivated for a greener life? There are plenty of possibilities – simply chose one you want to start with!