30th April 2022
Our personal experience – part 2
Doing a daily post this month about ecological topics has made us think about our personal lifestyle even more than before.
In the past five years, since we have embarked on this more sustainable journey, we have tried to adopt many things into our daily life. Yet, of course, we can still improve…For example, we are vegetarians, but not vegans. We still drink coffee.
Being on a cycling trip trough Europe has also put us in a difficult position, at least sometimes. It is a lot more difficult not to buy food packaged in plastic when travelling! And also finding places where to eat as vegetarians has been quite difficult sometimes.
Unfortunately, also: Quite often products that support a sustainable lifestyle are more expensive than those that are bad for our environment. This sort of makes it luxurious to do something good for our planet…. It should actually be the other way round! 😢☹️
Some personal things we want to focus on for now:
– Buying local and seasonal food (and not buying food from overseas). > It is actually quite interesting to find out which sort of food is local in the various countries we are visiting.
– When we need a piece of clothing: Always check at second hand stores first. > We have been to some amazing ones these past months!
– Sleeping mainly in our tent – thus, no room needs to be cleaned, no bed sheets and towels need to be washed because of us.
– Not buying any souvenirs, if possible. Our souvernirs are all the lovely memories we are making, all the pictures we are taking 💚
👉 Our last message in our last „April – our GREEN month“ post:
Trying a few things is better than not changing anything at all! If everyone did put an effort into changing something, we’d already get really far!
Start today! What will it be? 💚🌍☀️🎉
Lots of love ❤️
Christina & Jacob
29th April 2022
Our personal experience – part 1
As we said at the beginning of this „April – our GREEN month“ posting session: We don’t want to judge / preach / teach you, our intention is to simply inform you. And with this, hopefully, more conversations get started about this very important topic – Our planet. Our home. Our environment. 🌏🌎🌍
We personally, Christina and Jacob, have been trying to live a plastic-free life for almost five years now. The transition wasn’t easy, for sure. But after having read a lot about plastic pollution and having watched documentaries about the problems our environment has been/is facing, we just knew we couldn’t continue the way we had. And we wanted to make a positive impact.
We did our transition step by step – and over the years we have noticed that the world around us has gone/is also slowly going through a transition. There are much more non-plastic options now 💪, though not enough yet 🙏!
What were our first 3 steps of transforming our lifestyle into a more sustainable one?
1. Not buying things made of plastic anymore – neither food packaged in plastic, nor plastic objects like bowls for the kitchen.
2. Looking for grocery stores with non-plastic options and also where you can bring your own containers.
3. Exchanging all our plastic toiletries – like toothbrush, shampoo bottles, soap etc.
The journey has been exciting – especially the first few months were challenging! But it has been so much fun as well, checking out new ways of shopping for every day things! 😊🛒
Come on and hop on this journey with us! Try just one thing at a time – you’ll see you’ll feel good about it! 😊💚☀️
28th April 2022
Food – part 4: Stop Food Waste
More than 900 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year, according to a global report.
The UN Environment Programme’s Food Waste Index revealed that 17% of the food available to consumers – in shops, households and restaurants – goes directly into the bin. Some 60% of that waste is in the home.
25% of the food wasted globally could feed all 795 million undernourished people in the worldm
8% of all greenhouse gas emissions each year are due to food loss and waste
The 923 million tonnes of food being wasted each year would fill 23 million 40-tonne trucks. Bumper-to-bumper, enough to circle the Earth seven times
👉 „Stop Food Waste Day“ is about educating and igniting change.
Food waste is central to some of the key challenges facing the world today, including hunger and poverty, climate change, health and wellbeing and the sustainability of agriculture and oceans.
☝️ Tips to reduce food waste:
1. Plan your portions and buy the right amount.
2. Don’t buy food only because it’s on offer.
3. Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry. 😉
4. When eating out: Don’t order too much and finish what you ordered.
5. The ‚best before date‘, sometimes shown as BBE (best before end), is about quality and not safety. The food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best. Its flavour and texture might not be as good. You can use sensory cues to find out if the food is appropriate to eat. You could look for visible mould on bread, taste to see if biscuits/crisps are stale, or sniff/smell some dairy products with a best before date to see if they have soured.
Sources (28th April 2022, adapted): https://www.stopfoodwasteday.com/en/index.html, https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-56271385, https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/best-before-and-use-by-dates
27th April 2022
Food – part 3: What to consume
You want to lead an environmentally friendly lifestyle and don’t know what that means regarding food and drinks?
Some basic ideas:
1. Buy locally produced products and reduce your consumption of products from overseas.
2. Drink tap water instead of buying expensive water that is bottled and has to be transported from A to B. You prefer it sparkling? There are devices that can make your tap water sparkling! The problem is the taste of tap water? You can also filter it.
3. Try to reduce your consumption of meat and fish.
4. Try to reduce your consumption of any animal products, e.g. cheese.
5. Buy organic food – Why? It is better for the environment, for flora and fauna. 1) It doesn’t allow the use of non-organic fertilizers and pesticides – this is good for our soil and insects, 2) It doesn’t allow synthetic food additives – better for our health and digestion, 3) Animals are treated better.
And as always:
Only buy what you really need.
26th April 2022
Food – part 2: Preparing food
Some ideas for saving energy:
– Use correct sizes of pots and pans for the hot plates. If it is too big, it is a waste of energy.
– Use a lid for your pots and pans.
– Try not to use the oven all the time – it is much more energy-consuming than the stove.
– When using the oven: It’s possible to switch it off before the end of the meal’s cooking time – the oven is still hot enough. This also works for pots and pans on the stove.
– Rethink preheating the oven, often it is not necessary. However, you may have to experiment a little with delicate recipes.
– Try defrosting food in the fridge or at room temperature instead of putting it into the microwave or directly into the oven / on the stove.
– Avoid opening the oven too often while cooking.
– Invest in high quality cookware. Often the conductivity is better.
– Prepare extra portions that you can easily reheat the next day – saves time and energy.
25th April 2022
Food – part 1: Buying and storing
Supermarkets lure us into buying (too) many things – they just look good or are situated in an area like at the cashpoint where it’s hard „to escape“ from them.
👉 What can we do to buy only what we really need? Some personal suggestions:
– Make a list of what you need at home.
– Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry 😉.
👉 Ideas for an environmentally friendly grocery shopping experience:
1. Bring you own bag.
2. Don’t use plastic bags for fruit and vegetable – use cloth bags instead.
3. Use containers from home for diary products / meat from the counter – just ask the staff whether filling your containers instead of using one-way bags is possible.
4. Try to avoid buying products that are packaged in plastic.
You can’t find, e.g. sweets, in any other packaging than plastic? Maybe ask yourself: Do I really need it? > We have been doing this for years and have actually cut back on lots of things. Not necessarily something bad 😉.
Are you also annoyed that the first thing you do at home is getting rid of packaging and then storing your food, e.g. rice and pasta, in a container?
👉 Why don’t you try to buy at a shop that also offers packaging-free food? You can bring your own container and fill it right in the shop!
Yes, it might be a bit more „work“, but it’s fun exploring new ways of shopping for groceries and also, you’d be surprised, many things aren’t more expensive than in a regular supermarket.
Check for packing-free shops in your neighbourhood! 😊☀️
24th April 2022
Fashion Revolution Day
Today 9 years ago, a clothing factory in Bangladesh, making clothes for some of the biggest global fashion brands and retailers, crashed. More than 1,100 people were killed and nearly 2,600 workers were injured, many of them for the rest of their lives. The workers were mostly young women.
The day before this terrible incident, the authorities forbade people to enter the building, due to danger of it crashing. The garment factory owners forced workers to go inside and work anyway. For a monthly pay of about 30€. Pure exploitation.
That’s when Fashion Revolution was born. It has become the world’s largest fashion activism movement, mobilising citizens, brands and policymakers through research, education and advocacy. We have seen some positive change across the industry in recent years. However, human rights abuses and environmental degradation remain rife. While vast numbers of the public have become more aware of these problems, many people remain in the dark, unaware that their clothes may be contributing to the climate crisis and human exploitation.
The fashion industry carries on polluting our atmosphere and water sources. Ancient forests are being cut down to create leather and textiles, animals are regularly mistreated, and landfills are piling up with disused clothes. As consumers, it’s still very difficult to find credible information about the working conditions and environmental impacts behind what we buy.
(sources, 24th April 2022, adapted:
Globalization has made many things easier to get, especially for people in Western countries.
☝️ We shouldn’t forget
– where all the things we buy come from
– that often they get produced somewhere far away and, thus, with long transportation distances
– that often the circumstances of production aren’t good at all
– that all these objects take up resources of our planet
☝️We should think more often:
Do I really need this piece of clothing?
It’s especially in the fashion industry that many people all around the world still suffer.
👉 Start today, on „Fashion Revolution Day“, and
1. don’t support fashion stores that sell clothes at an incredibly cheap price (How should anyone earn money with this? There must be something wrong!)
2. support fair clothing (check online for brands)
3. don’t buy clothes unnecessarily
4. spread the word – talk about this with others
Yes, this is frustrating, but it is so important to talk and think about this! 😒☹️
We live in a world where wealthy people let others suffer – maybe also often without thinking about it or realising it – so let’s act together now! Towards a better world for everyone! 💚🌍
Most of the clothes people wear around the world are produced under horrible circumstances. We personally really hope that YOU, US, EVERYONE will help change this – make it fair for employees and fair for our planet. ❤️
23rd April 2022
World Book Day 📙🌍
Books are something amazing! They can widen horizons, change people’s views, can entertain us, let us dive into other worlds, make us laugh and cry at the same time – thanks to so many authors all over the world! ❤️📖
Here are some personal reading recommendations – connected to our planet, our environment:
1. For children:
> Usborne Publishing: „100 things to know about SAVING THE PLANET“ / „Ich weiß jetzt 100 Dinge mehr! UMWELTSCHUTZ“
(We have found various topics with this series – in English and German and probably also in other languages.)
2. If you want to adopt your lifestyle to a more sustainable one and need ideas how to.
(They are both in German.)
> Smarticular: „Fünf Hausmittel ersetzen eine Drogerie“ [They have also got a website: www.smarticular.net – an English version is available for some topics]
> mvg Verlag: „Das Weltretter-ABC“
3. If you want to read some scientific facts, we’d suggest reading Harald Lesch. He is a German professor of Physics. You can also watch videos with him on YouTube. He doesn’t only talk about physics, but also often about the climate crisis.
> Penguin Verlag: „Wenn nicht jetzt, wann dann? Handeln für eine Welt, in der wir leben wollen“
22nd April 2022
Earth Day takes place every year on 22nd April. It’s an opportunity for people across the globe to come together, not only to celebrate the world, but also to raise awareness about how crucial it is that we take steps now to protect our precious planet.
The first ever Earth Day was held in 1970 in America when 20 million people took to the streets to protest against big environmental issues that were being ignored including oil spills, polluted rivers and air pollution. It’s thought to have inspired the modern environmental movement we have today.
The theme of this year’s event is ‚Invest in our Planet‘, and businesses, governments and citizens are being encouraged to work together and take greater responsibility for the Earth to help make a difference.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/52357230 (22nd April 2022, adapted)
21st April 2022
Almost three centuries of emissions of greenhouse gases by mankind – resulting in global warming
Since the industrial revolution (starting in 1760), and especially since the end of WWII, human activity has substantially disturbed the biological carbon cycle by modifying land use, and moreover with the recent industrial-scale mining of fossil carbon (coal, petroleum and gas extraction, and cement manufacture) from the geosphere. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had increased nearly 52% over pre-industrial levels by 2020, forcing greater atmospheric and Earth surface heating by the Sun.
The average temperature of the Earth is rising at nearly twice the rate it was 50 years ago. This rapid warming trend cannot be explained by natural cycles alone, scientists have concluded. The only way to explain the pattern is to include the effect of greenhouse gases emitted by humans.
Current levels of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide in our atmosphere are higher than at any point over the past 800,000 years, and their ability to trap heat is changing our climate in multiple ways.
Climate crisis and migration…
We need to act now! 💚
So that people don’t have to flee their home country due to it being impossible to live there anymore!
For reasons including droughts, flooding, desertification, the rising of the sea level, famine. And war resulting from all of that.
This is everyone’s planet. We are all in this together. Everyone deserves to be able to live their life where they want to.
Let’s act NOW! 🌏
Listen to „Little Boy“ by Jamaram!
19th April 2022
In the past 500 million years there have been five mass extinctions.
Human beings might be the reason for a sixth one.
If we were only endangering ourselves… but there are so many other living beings that are suffering or even going extinct because of our doing or our not doing!
It’s time to act now! 💚🌍 https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/mass-extinction (19th April 2022, adapted)
Listen to this song by Beans on Toast: ‚Extinction No. 6‘
18th April is 2022
Clothing: Waste pyramid 💚
REFUSE ✋: Say no to going with fashion all the time – as mostly it’s short-lived, not environmentally friendly and not traded in a fair manner.
REDUCE ↘️: Buy less clothes! Simply ask yourself „Do I really need this T-shirt/… or do I have enough already?“ Sleeping on it for a night might also help before ordering online.
REUSE 🔄: Wear your clothes for as long as possible.
REPAIR: Repair your clothes when necessary and don’t just throw them away.
RECYCLE ♻️: When you really don’t need/want a piece of clothing anymore, don’t just throw it away – give it to somebody you know/a second hand shop/sell it at a flea market. Someone else might be happy with it!
17th April 2022
Clothing: Fair and environmentally friendly 💚🌍
We already know: Buying second hand is better than buying something new.
If you want to buy new clothes, what can you do to make your purchase a little better?
1. Choose clothing brands that are FAIR
= brands helping create safer and better working conditions and transparency in the fashion industry
2. Choose clothing brands that are ECOLOGICALLY FRIENDLY
= brands paying attention to reduced pollution in production, regional production, shorter distances of transportation, regional materials, natural materials, recycled materials, minimizing textile waste, a reduction of harmful substances in our clothes
We should all try to buy less clothes containing plastic (Polyester, Elasthan, Polyacryl) – because of formation of microplastic particles when using and washing them. And more clothes made of natural materials.
👉 Check online for brands that stick to these two criteria!
👉 Picture below: the most important logos (source: https://fair-einkaufen.com/media/image/b4/e8/ac/fairtrade-kleidung-siegel-ueberblick.png, 17th April 2022)
16th April 2022
Clothing: Buy second hand
We all need clothes. Every day. And we all want to feel comfortable in them and feel good.
A good thing: You don’t need fashion or new clothes for that!
Unfortunately, the clothing/fashion industry is trying to manipulate us by telling us what to wear and wants us to buy new things every season.
This isn’t healthy for our planet and humanity – why?
1. Too many clothes are produced – a waste of material and energy.
2. Needing a lot of clothes also leads to fast production = people working in production work too long shifts under bad working conditions as the majority of clothes are produced in countries with a low standard of regulations. ⚡ The Western World profits of somebody else’s misery!
3. People, especially teenagers, feel under pressure of constantly buying new things according to fashion.
👉 Buy your clothes second hand to break these habits! Buy second hand so that less new clothes get produced and thrown away!
👉 Check for second hand shops in your area!
15th April 2022
Clothing: Buy locally 🌍
Being able to see and feel the quality of a piece of clothing is one of the first major bonuses of shopping in real life and not on the internet. You can feel how soft or rough a fabric is when it might actually look the opposite.
By shopping locally, you can contribute to the growth of the local community and protect the planet. 💚
The items do not need to be packaged individually, which safes waste.
They do not need to be sent to your personal address, which safes fuel and reduces emissions.
Also, when shopping online, the chances that you might not like the item / it does not fit are high – and many people tend to send it back, which again uses packaging and requires fuel. That is not a problem when you actually go to a shop and try it on.
👉 Check out the local stores in your neighbourhood and don’t forget to bring a tote bag! 😎
14th April 2022
Change to greener sources of energy.
Not only now, when there is, sadly for another time, a war raging in Europe and you personally think about becoming more independent from the sole aggressor of this war, you should consider switching your energy supplier. 👉 From drawing your electricity from some dirty and outdated source to a more sustainable and future-oriented one.
What options/types are there?
1. Green energy comes from natural sources, such as the sun and wind.
2. Renewable energy comes from sources that are constantly and naturally renewed (hence the name), such as wind power and solar energy. Renewable energy is also often called sustainable energy.
Renewable energy sources are the opposite of fossil fuels, like coal and gas, which are a finite energy source. Plus, the burning of fossil fuels to release energy is a cause of climate change – due to emission of greenhouse gases.
The terms ‘green energy’ and ‘renewable energy’ are often used interchangeably, but there is one essential and sometimes confusing difference between them: While most green energy sources are also renewable, not all renewable energy sources are considered entirely green.
Take, for example, hydropower. While hydropower – energy generated from fast-flowing water – is renewable, some people argue that the process of generating vast amounts of power from water is not actually green, because of the industrialisation and deforestation involved in the process of building large hydro dams.
3. Clean energy is energy that, when used, does not pollute the atmosphere; creating little or no greenhouse gases.
Once again, there are clear crossovers between clean energy, green energy and renewable energy.
Here’s an easy way to differentiate between them:
Clean energy = clean air
Green energy = sources from nature
Renewable energy = recyclable sources
Inform yourselves about greener energies and use only as little energy as possible 💚🌍
sources (12th April, adapted):
13th April 2022
Housing: Some environmentally friendly habits
Generally speaking, what can we all do in our homes to adopt an environmentally friendly lifestyle? 💚🌏
– Insulation: If you build a new house, renovate a house or a flat, pay attention to insulation. This makes a big difference in keeping your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. And it helps you save energy. Investing money in this is definitely worthwhile! 👌
– Heating: Turn it down during the night and when you are absent during the day.
– Windows: Open them completely to let some fresh air in! It’s better to do it once in a while like this than having it open just a little but all the time (in German we call this „Stoßlüften“).
– Lights💡: Don’t forget to switch them off 😉.
– Don’t leave anything on standby. This consumes energy unnecessarily.
– Dishwasher/washing machine: Use the „eco“ button. It often takes longer than other programmes, but saves energy!
– Tumble dryer: Try not to have one at all. Not using one does not only save energy, but as always – less demand means it gets produced less.
12th April 2022
Things/Habits that are good for the environment 🌍
– Install a water saving shower head 🚿 > ⚡check first: it’s not always compatible with the boiler!
– Showers: Take short ones to save water 💦 and don’t shower every day – your skin will like that, too! 🙂 Also: don’t use too much hot water – it’s bad for your skin and it needs lots of energy to heat.
– Bathtub: Don’t use it too often – it consumes an incredible amount of water! 💦 > Good alternative for kids: buy a plug for the shower! So when taking a shower the water is saved and it feels like a small bathtub 😉.
– Heating in bathroom: usually the warmest room – don’t switch the heating off completely when absent/during the night, just turn it down.
– Toilet: if available, use the flush button for „little water“.
– Stop using toilet paper and kitchen roll made from fresh fibre. Use recycled ones instead.
– Always best: Opening the window completely for a short period of time instead of only a little for a longer time (in German we call this „Stoßlüften“).
– Something to think about: Do you really need to blow dry your hair? Letting it dry naturally is better for your hair and the environment.
Don’t take it for granted that we have clean and warm water available all the time! 💚
11th April 2022
Bathroom: Reducing plastic
We are used to buying toiletries that are easy and convenient to get and to use – and we often don’t think about their content, production and packaging.
Why should we change that? 🤔
1. Many products we use in the bathroom contain microplastic. This ends up in our body and pollutes our rivers/lakes/oceans. 👉 Check your toiletries, you’d be surprised where to find it …!
2. Bathroom products are usually packaged in plastic – often these containers cannot be recycled. And also quite often plastic waste somehow ends in our rivers, lakes and oceans and affects the environment, animals become extinct because they feed from it or get tangled in it.
What other options do we have? SOME of our personal suggestions 😎💚
– Use products that are 100% biodegradable – these don’t contain harmful substances, thus, don’t harm us and don’t pollute our nature > they can even be used when camping 👌
– Use soaps for cleaning your body and washing your hair. We, Christina and Jacob, have been doing this for years and are big fans! It’s also very easy for travelling 🚲
– Use wooden toothbrushes > less waste and nice feeling in your hands
– Use a wooden comb > better for your hair and the environment
– Dental floss: Use refill-containers for it and biodegradable dental floss
– Deodorant: Use one that is in a paper container > spray bottles are particularly difficult to recycle
– Lip balm: Use one that is in a paper container and pay attention to microplastic
👉 On holiday: Don’t take free shampoo etc. from hotels, which is usually packaged in plastic bags > simply bring your own!
Less demand = less production = better for the environment!
The plastic-free/plastic-less world has developed a lot in the past few years! Nowadays, you can find all these products in many shops – not only in organic and packaging free shops, but also in any chemist’s shop!
Have a look and have fun exploring! ☀️😊
Another option could be: Making products yourselves 😊 There are many helpful websites with recipes – have a look!
10th April 2022
Offset your carbon footprint / CO2 compensation
Humanity lives on our Planet Earth as if we had more than one planet to live on.
Some people/countries use much more resources than our planet can offer us within one year. And some parts of the world then suffer from it more than others.
Every time we get into a car, onto a bus/tram/train/ferry/plane, this means of transportation produces greenhouse gases and requires energy.
We cannot live without making use of different means of transportation – but we all should reduce it!
You want to do something good and compensate your carbon footprint, e.g. after a ferry ride or a flight?
There are many websites where you can do this! We, for examples, have used climatefair.de for our ferry rides to and from Mallorca – this helped us a bit with our bad conscience for having used a ferry at all. The money is spent on various environmentally and/or socially friendly projects.
Other examples for German organisations are „atmosfair“ and „primaklima“. Have a look for your country!
👉Avoiding is much better than compensating, of course!
👉And it also shouldn’t be used as a justification to continue travelling as in the past, without a care! 💚🌏🚲
9th April 2022
Means of transportation 🚲🚝🚊🚗🚌🛳️✈️
As we are travelling at the moment, we often think and talk about this.
We all know it, we just need to put it into practice…😉💪
1.Walk and cycle to get from A to B.
2.Use public transportation.
3.Leave your car at home.
1.Using your car.
> Do you really need a car to get from A to B?
> Try not to drive on your own (do carpooling) and try to stick to reduced speed. This reduces your emissions of CO2.
> Maybe you don’t need to own a car at all! Consider the option of „carsharing“. Maybe sometimes renting a car is enough, too. And if you buy a car: buy second hand!
> They don’t only emit greenhouse gases, but also disturb animals in the oceans.
3.Try to avoid flying.
Cycling and walking to get from A to B isn’t only healthy, it is a good way for letting your thoughts pass by and for letting you notice things in your surroundings more.
Try it a bit more often! 😊
8th April 2022
About a month ago, the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly took place in Nairobi.
The resolution is to end plastic pollution and forge an international legally binding agreement by 2024.
This agreement addresses the full lifecycle of plastic from source to sea. Plastic production has risen exponentially in the last decades and now amounts to some 400 million tons per year– a figure set to double by 2040.
It isn’t yet legally binding! But it might be a good start into the right direction! 💚
Pieces of plastic and microplastic are everywhere – in our oceans, in the arctic ice, in the Mariana Trench. It has been found on mountains that are more than 3,000m high, in the placenta of pregnant women and now also in human blood.
About two loads of lorries land in rivers, lakes and oceans every minute!
Avoid using plastic and producing plastic waste as much as possible. For yourselves and every organism on this planet. 🌏💚
[sources: https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/what-you-need-know-about-plastic-pollution-resolution, 7th April 2022
https://www.zeit.de/wissen/umwelt/2022-02/plastikmuell-wwf-awi-studie-uno-abkommen, 7th April 2022]
7th April 2022
World Health Day 2022: Our planet, our health 🌍💚
WHO estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes. This includes the climate crisis which is the single biggest health threat facing humanity. The climate crisis is also a health crisis.
The present design of the economy leads to inequitable distribution of income, wealth and power, with too many people still living in poverty and instability. A well-being economy has human well-being, equity and ecological sustainability as its goals. These goals are translated into long-term investments, well-being budgets, social protection and legal and fiscal strategies. Breaking these cycles of destruction for the planet and human health requires legislative action, corporate reform and individuals to be supported and incentivized to make healthy choices.[source: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2022, 7th April 2022]
6th April 2022
Waste pyramid – Number 5: RECYCLE
Why is recycling the waste we produce important?
1. The more we recycle the less waste arrives at landfills. Once it is there, it can contaminate the soil and release gases.
2. Recycling can turn waste into something useable again. This also means that not as many products are produced from scratch. E.g. glas bottles, some plastic bottles.
3. Recycling doesn’t need as much energy as producing something new. And less greenhouse gases are emitted.
4. The more a country recycles, the more it is independent from other countries and their resources.
👉 Recycling is handled differently in every country! Check out the regulations in your area!
And something to think about:
Germany is Europe’s number one country for exporting plastic waste!
Why? It is cheaper to recycle it in other countries (mainly as people earn less there). Germany wants to get rid of plastic waste with reduced quality (which cannot be recycled as well as good quality plastic waste).
> Yes, the industry and governments need to make recycling more attractive. Yet, the consumer can help let the quote of recycling rise – by recycling and by their consumer behaviour.
Produce as little waste as possible 💚
And if you produce waste – recycle as much as possible! Everything you don’t recycle and you simply put in the „general waste bin“, gets burned or ends up in a landfill.
[source: https://www.quarks.de/umwelt/muell/das-solltest-du-ueber-recycling-wissen/#l%C3%B6sung2, 6th April 2022, adapted]
5th April 2022
Waste pyramid – Number 4: REPAIR
Repairing broken things used to be very normal until some decades ago.
Now many people can afford buying the item again immediately, instead of repairing it. And, very unfortunately, often it is cheaper to buy the item again instead of getting it fixed. 😒
Repairing items is essential in our world of limited goods and resources. 🌏
Some ideas how to go about it:
– Repair it yourself if you are able to and know how to. Youtube is a good source for explaining videos 😉.
– Ask a friend/family member/neighbour. Who knows, maybe they are just the right person for it! 🤓
– Go to a professional to get it repaired. > E.g. to tailor for a complicated hole in your dress.
– Repair café: These are becoming more and more popular in Germany. You do the repairing yourself, the café offers the tools, and the qualified staff helps you if you need assistance. 👉 Check online whether there’s one in your neighbourhood!
It would be a waste to throw away an item just because you don’t know how to repair it – take the time to find a suitable solution for your problem! 💕
4th April 2022
Waste pyramid – Number 3: REUSE
REUSE – Why?
To avoid objects being thrown away and somehow ending up in our oceans /air / soil. Simply to avoid producing waste. We don’t have infinite resources on this planet… 🌏
1. Buy second hand.
> There are great local and online shops where you can do that! In Germany, for example: „Vinted“ for clothes, „Ebay Kleinanzeigen“ for pretty much anything.
2. Give things you don’t need anymore to others. > To people you know, to charity shops or second hand shops, or sell them at a flea market. Someone else might be happy with them and you might even get a little money out of it!
3. Receiving/Accepting/Buying one-way objects. How can you REUSE them? Some ideas:
– plastic bag: use it as a container for your rubbish at home
– glass jars: use them as ‚boxes‘ for a present, to take food with you to work, to store food at home, as a pencil case, to freeze sth (careful: only round glasses, other shapes might burst in the freezer)
– coffee grounds: dry it and then use it as fertilizer for (some) plants
– letter envelopes: use them as notepads
– kitchen sponge: wash it in the washing machine with your clothes and use it again
– wrapping paper you receive with a present: Reuse it for a present you give to someone. We haven’t bought any wrapping paper in 5 years and it works out quite well 😉
– tin foil > This is especially bad as it takes hundreds of years to degrade! It would be best not to use it at all. If you do – REUSE it as much as possible!
👉 Best case, of course:
Don’t buy things you don’t need
buy long-lasting items instead of single-use items.
Every little helps! 💚
3rd April 2022
Waste pyramid – Number 2: REDUCE
This is quite simple and very difficult at the same time:
Reduce your habits of consumption.
Every purchase you make = consumption of materials and goods. Reducing your purchases is very effective because: lower demand downsizes the production – and, thus, the use of materials and energy.
What can you do?
1. Buy less new things.
2. Travel less by car, ferry and especially by plane.
3. Reduce your consumption of non-regional food, e.g. bananas/avocados/coffee/chocolate from overseas.
4. Reduce your use of plastic packaging. This concerns almost every part of our life, particularly food and online purchases.
5. Reduce your consumption of animal products, especially of meat.
6. Food: Buy only what you really need. With this, you reduce your food waste.
The list could be endless…
Just try and think about your buying/travelling habits a bit more 😉💚.
2nd April 2022
You might have heard of the 3 R’s in a so-called „Waste pyramid“. Some also say there are 5 R’s – we stick to that. So the following 5 posts are going to be about this.
Number 1: REFUSE
This is probably the hardest part of all, but also the most important one as it can reduce the production of so many things.
Here are some things we have been refusing or trying to refuse for a while when someone has offered them to us.
These are our personal ideas – they can be a starting point:
1. Refuse a plastic bag in a shop.
> Bring your own bag instead. This also works for paper bags in a bakery (just try to remember to bring a cloth bag).
2. Refuse the plastic straw in your drink / plastic spoon in your coffee or your ice-cream / plastic cutlery. In the EU, this shouldn’t happen a lot anymore anyway since the „Single Use Plastic Directive“, which says that single use plastic products like cutlery can’t be produced and sold anymore in the EU.
> Bring your own cutlery instead (maybe also from your work’s kitchen when you get take-away for your lunch).
3. Refuse 1.the one-way cup and 2.the plastic lid when you buy a hot beverage for take-away.
> Bring your own reusable cup – they are usually a lot nicer and often you get a discount.
> OR use a „recup“: You buy a reusable cup with your hot beverage (you pay a deposit) and you can give it back in any shop taking part in this deposit system. This is quite common in Germany.
4. Bring a food container when you pick up your take-away.
> „rebowl“ is getting quite big now in Germany (same system as „recup“).
5. Refuse to receive free advertisement in your letter box.
> Put a sign with „No advertisement, please“ onto your letter box. Paper, printing colour, water and energy are wasted in big amounts here!
6. Refuse free things when you are walking around/travelling – getting something for free doesn’t mean you have to take it. Often we just throw it away shortly afterwards.
> E.g. flyers / free magazines, free headphones on a plane, free soaps and shampoos in a hotel, free drinks in a plastic bottle in your hotel room.
7. When eating out: Refuse to use sugar / to eat the biscuit with your drink when it is in plastic bags. Or the ketchup / mustard / mayonnaise / salt packaged in tiny portions.
With this, the gastronomy business uses huge amounts of single-packaged food, producing an enormous amount of waste.
8. Refuse to get new towels every day when staying at a hotel/hostel.
> Doing laundry takes up lots of energy and water.
If you have the choice, always refuse using plastic!
Try one tomorrow, you’ll see you will feel good about it! 💚
1st April 2022
We know that the topic of „The environment / climate“ is very vast and that it seems to be too big to get into. It is also very abstract and can be quite frightening.
☝️Changes in your everyday life concerning your environmental conscience don’t have to happen over night. Take one step at a time.
Our message for today:
Talk about environmental topics with others instead of looking away! 💚🌍
31st March 2022
April – our GREEN month
First of all:
We are not trying to teach you, we are not trying to preach to you, we just want to give you some ideas and share our thoughts. 😊
„Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.“ This means that we use a lot more than Earth can provide us with. (https://www.overshootday.org/about-earth-overshoot-day/, 30th March 2022)
Last year, Earth Overshoot Day was on 29th July – in comparison to that, in 2001 it was on 21st September. And in 1970 it was on 30th December. (https://www.overshootday.org/newsroom/past-earth-overshoot-days/, 30th March 2022).
This said, it is obvious we all need to take action to stop this from getting any worse!
During the whole month of April 2022 we are going to publish posts concerning the environment – every day you are going to find ideas and little steps that you can adopt into your life and, thus, make it a little greener. 🌍
We are not saying it is easy to change your routines, we know it isn’t! It is necessary though that we all start acting towards a more environmentally friendly lifestyle!
Yes, governments need to act and make regulations on a grand scale. Unfortunately, politicians and governments have failed in this matter so far. It is our personal belief that, hence, every single person can make a change – we can all decide what to do every single day!
You might think „What difference can I make as an individual?“ – just think about it: there are 7 billion individuals on our planet. Multiplied, we can make a lot happen! 💪
Most governments and people are against migration. But their actions and lifestyles encourage migration – isn’t this contradictory? What about tackling the root causes of migration instead?
People will leave their home countries due to climate change and due to conflicts resulting from climate change – and that’s on all of us, especially in the Western World!
You can start today. Right now. Just think about your everyday life and how you can make a positive change – for others, for yourself, and for our planet.
We are all in this together.
Christina & Jacob