10 sustainable habits that you can easily integrate into your day
Today I'll introduce you to some simple sustainability habits. Not only do you reduce your ecological footprint, but in many cases you also save money - a win-win situation for you and the planet. :)
Some of the tips I would like to recommend to you require a bit of cognitive effort. What I mean by this is that in the beginning you have to consciously think about your own behavior and the little habits that you live out from day to day. Sometimes you also have to think about what alternatives could be considered. With a little practice, all of these things become new habits and you basically don't think about them anymore. The motto here is: Just try it out!
Of course, it also depends on your current life situation and the circumstances under which you go through your everyday life. Some of the tips may not be practical for you at the moment. Of course, that shouldn't be an excuse for doing nothing - everyone just does what they can. We can achieve a lot with this. 🤗
10 and more small, sustainable habits for your everyday life
1. Boil water
For many people, the day starts with a delicious cup of coffee or tea. We often boil a lot more water than we actually need. This means that we can save energy and resources with our first “official act” every day. If you are heating your water in the kettle, use your cup to measure the amount of water or only fill your kettle to the minimum line. It seems like an insignificant little thing; Nevertheless, a lot of energy can be saved. And for you it means virtually no additional effort, just a little more mindfulness. :)
The use of our curtains and drapes can have a big impact on the heat regulation in our home. In the winter months in our latitudes, the heating is our best friend - and that's hard to avoid. However, you can still make sure to leave the curtains open during the day on windows where the sun passes. The incoming sun's rays warm more than you think! Conversely, these windows should be covered as much as possible during the day in summer. This allows the interior spaces to be cooled without having to resort to fans or air conditioning. On the days that I forget to take care of my “curtain situation,” I always notice a huge difference in the temperature in the rooms!
3. Food waste
The amount of food that ends up in the trash is still a huge problem. I've already written a detailed blog post about the issue of food waste , so I'll just briefly touch on the most important things here.
Check your refrigerator and pantry cupboards before you go shopping. This way you avoid buying too much. Meal planning in advance is also great for avoiding excessive hoarding of vegetables and fruits (which unfortunately most often end up in the trash because they aren't eaten on time). It is also a good idea to regularly (e.g. once a month) “sort” the supplies according to expiry date (products whose best-before date is in the near future are moved to the front of the shelf or refrigerator). We often forget that a lot of food can be frozen; So that can also be a great solution.
Extra tip: A sustainable alternative to cling film are beeswax cloths (vegan alternative: “vegetable wax cloths”), which can be used several times and which you can now even get in drugstores and organic stores. Definitely try it out!
4. Eat seasonally, regionally and plant-based
Whenever possible, I try to eat seasonal, regional and of course plant-based. You can also find a lot about this topic on our blog, from vegan recipes to natural meat alternatives that you should know , to tips for a sustainable diet in general . If you are a big meat fan, then “Meat-Free Fridays” are a great place to start. Every step towards increased awareness is important and good!
5. Save water in the kitchen
Apart from boiling water itself (see tip number one), there are of course even more ways to save water in the kitchen. This includes turning off the tap whenever possible. But I don't think I need to mention that much. :) I picked up another tip from a friend: When she washes vegetables or fruit, she puts a bowl in the sink to catch the water. She then uses it to water her houseplants and also the plants in the garden. The same thing works wonderfully with unsalted water that you have heated up for cooking (but please let it cool down first!).
For a long time I considered composting irrelevant because I live in an apartment and don't have a garden. It was only the internet that taught me that you don't need a garden to make compost. Of course, composting outdoors is practical and possible on a larger scale - but you can also start composting indoors or on the balcony. The easiest option is a small composting bin for the kitchen countertop. If you have a balcony, you can try out a worm bin. If you would like to read up on the topic, I can also recommend Pinterest as well as Google - you can find lots of testimonials and “insider tips” here!
7. Preheat oven
Let's go one last time towards the kitchen and one thing that bothered me so much at some point that I just had to change something. Do you know that – you cook according to the recipe and expect 15 minutes of preparation time before the meal has to go into the oven. After all, that's what it says in the recipe. So it's perfect timing to preheat the oven. As always, the preparation, including chopping vegetables and herbs, takes longer than expected. The oven steams away - and wastes a lot of energy.
So whenever I read “preheat the oven to xy degrees” as the first step in a recipe, I don’t do it. That doesn't mean I don't preheat the oven at all - just later. If necessary, I'll just wait a few minutes before preparing the food - better than leaving the oven running for so long. In many cases, it doesn't matter if you put the food in the oven before it's completely preheated. If in doubt, you can always leave the food in longer...
Plastic sponges, cloths and brushes are cheap and practical. But unfortunately not so great for the environment. Because every time you use it, tiny plastic particles get out of the product and into the water. The alternative: cleaning aids made of wood or cellulose, some of which are even biodegradable. Such products can often be found in organic markets, but also in well-stocked drugstores.
9. Do laundry
Our laundry habits often have a greater impact on the environment than they need to. First of all, plastic particles can get into the water through the materials of our clothing, similar to when cleaning (see tip 8). Whenever possible, you should choose natural materials when buying new clothing.
In recent years, “washing cold” has become a new trend because it saves a lot of energy. After all, a large part of the total energy used when washing clothes is needed to heat the water. Basically, it makes sense to wash laundry on a colder setting rather than on a hot setting unless absolutely necessary. However, you should also keep in mind that some bacteria are only killed at a certain temperature (which is often the main reason for washing hot).
Another option is to avoid using a dryer, as it is known to use a lot of energy. Line drying for the win!
If you want to wash in a more environmentally friendly way, you should also avoid fabric softeners and switch to green detergents.
10. Save resources on books, games, DVDs, etc.
If you have children who like to play on the PC or console, then you are probably familiar with the Christmas or birthday wish lists that list one game after another. Or maybe you're a fan of games, DVDs, records or something similar yourself. For example, I love books very much.
What does this have to do with the environment? Well, all of these products consume resources and in many cases are made of plastic (especially the cases of games, Blu-Ray discs, etc.). And for all of these products there are digital alternatives that allow you to do without these very resources. Admittedly, a physical book or a “real” record definitely has more charm than an mp3 file or an eBook. But if you want to pay a little more attention to the “waste” of resources, you can make a great start here without any additional effort. After all, your wish list is fulfilled when the game is downloaded, right? This means that the game card can no longer be lost and can be accessed at any time. :)
If you would like to learn more about sustainability, healthy eating, mindfulness or family and pregnancy, check out more exciting blog articles on these topics here .