Sustainability - 10 ways how to save the environment

18.06.2018
Sarah Wirgenings

Sustainability has been an important topic for several years. No matter if in politics, for example in the SDGs, or in the private sector. Even the food we eat daily, or the furniture and accessories we buy in stores - everywhere we come across the concept of sustainability. But what can I as an individual do for the environment? In the following, we’ll answer you this question.

Of course, it’s not always easy to think of nature in your everyday life and it’s not easy to behave properly every day. However, it is possible to do a lot for the environment with very simple and inexpensive tricks to save CO2 emissions. The more people take this to their heart, the more the environment can be protected.

 

What is sustainability?

The term was first mentioned in 1713 by Hans Carl von Carlowitz in terms of forestry. He literally said, "that there is a continuous, consistent and sustainable use / because it is an indispensable thing / without which the land may not stay in its essence". This means nothing else than that you can only use resources as long as they regrow. Excessive, inconsiderate use will not preserve the stock and following generations will not be able to use it. As a result, the system will collapse and all consumptions as we know them today can no longer exist.

However, this principle can no longer be applied exclusively to forestry today. There are many more resources that need to be used sustainably. For example, the fish or oil and gas stock. Last but not least, with the discovery of climate change, attention must also be paid to the CO2 emission that is released during any use and combustion of raw materials and the use of energy. So what can each person do as an individual to relieve the environment at least a little?

10 tips for sustainability

1. Appropriate disposal

In everyday life you are quickly tempted to throw everything in the same garbage pail in public places despite the fact that you have different garbage pails in some places. However, this doesn’t help the converting and can lead to the problem that raw materials are not properly disposed of and therefore it’ll damage the environment even more. This especially applies for electrical appliances. Although most of the garbage is sorted in advance, this effort can be counteracted very easily by proper disposal.

 
2. Avoid short-haul flights

Especially when it must go quickly, the aircraft is often used. However, a flight from Hamburg to Munich alone generates 170 kilograms of CO2. A train journey takes longer, but it generates far less emissions.

3. Pay attention to the seal of quality

Seals of quality are good indicators of how various products were produced eco-friendly and sustainable. Be it in the furniture or food purchase, you can find them everywhere. Examples include: MSC or Fairtrade. Also, for the sake of the environment, you should make sure that you buy food from the region. The closer the products were grown, the less CO2 was produced during the transport.

 4. Be economical with the use of energy

Particularly with consideration to the energy budget, a lot can be done. It not only saves money, but also relives the environment greatly. Everyone who consistently heats in winter, even while they are at work, not only pays money, but also consumes important resources. The same applies to the standby mode of various devices. Also, when the TV is off, power is consumed. There are also big differences between the consumption of electrical appliances. Here, attention should be paid to the energy efficiency category in order to save a lot of energy in the long term.

 5. Spend a little bit more money

Some fair and environmentally friendly produced products also demand its price. This can be especially seen in organic products in the supermarket and on the supply chains.

But also during the transport someone sometimes gets one’s money worth. While some long-distance flights appear cheaper than train rides or public transports take longer than car rides, flights and car journeys are more environmentally harmful than the alternatives. Those who attach value on sustainability should also consider these alternatives.

 6. Respect our nature

Anyone who has ever been in a forest has certainly discovered one or another corner where fellow human beings have left their tracks in the form of garbage. But especially on main roads you’ll not be spared. Almost everywhere, garbage is ubiquitous, even though there is a garbage on almost every intersection. Also, if the way sometimes appears difficult and you must cross several roads, it would be better for the environment and also for the animals, if you are in the forest, to carry the garbage with you until you can dispose it correctly.

 7. Take the bike

While only the production of a bike implicates CO2 emissions, these occur every time you travel by car or by other public transportations. Therefore, it would be better for short travel distances, at least if the weather is good, to take the loyal bike.

 8. Use green electricity

Already many newly constructed buildings have solar panels on their roofs. They produce energy that does not produce emissions for the generation. Also alternative renewable energies such as wind power plants protect the nature. Therefore, it makes sense to switch to independent eco-providers. As a result, for a three- to four-person household, you can save up to two tons of CO2 a year.

 9. Use things multiple times

Especially when we talk about plastic, recycling is capitalized. Since plastic takes centuries to be decomposed, it is understandable that you have to pay for a plastic bag in Germany. By using the plastic bag multiple times, the investment is worth it, and the environment is spared, because then you don’t have to buy a bag for each grocery shopping.

 10. Eat less meat

Less meat is not only healthy, but also protects the environment. Mass animal husbandry is thereby weakened and fewer animals suffer. In addition, less CO2 is released. Vegetarians, for example, save around 400 kilograms a year in the climate.



BeWooden - Sarah Wirgenings
Sarah Wirgenings
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