In this day and age, it is more important than ever to integrate sustainable habits into your everyday life. By using our innovative car sharing service, you are already contributing to a more effective use of cars as existing resources and thus to a more liveable environment. Together with the team of experts from Einfach Weniger, we will show you in this blog post how you - in addition to car sharing - can shape your life sustainably and thus have a positive impact on our environment.
1. Avoid disposable products such as plastic bottles, bags and cutlery.
An important step towards more sustainability in everyday life is to avoid unnecessary packaging. Plastic films and boxes as well as disposable PET bottles can often be avoided by buying loose products or using reusable containers, for example. A 2019 study by Swiss Recycling shows that each Swiss person consumes an average of about 200 PET beverage bottles per year. With a population of about 8.6 million people, that adds up to about 1.7 billion PET bottles per year. If we as a society were able to reduce our consumption of PET bottles by just 10%, we would save about 14 million kilograms of CO2 emissions per year that would not be released into our atmosphere.
Using reusable containers for food and drink is a simple and effective way to do our bit to mitigate these figures. It doesn't take much effort to carry a reusable bottle or coffee mug, and the benefits to the planet are enormous. For example, if a steel bottle is reused 400 times (that would be 2 years of commuting to work during the week), its carbon footprint is about 0.7 grams per use compared to the disposable PET bottle, which produces 82 grams of CO2 emissions. In addition, steel is very easy to recycle and in fact fully recyclable.
2. Reduce your meat consumption or become a vegetarian/vegan.
Animal production is responsible for a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions. According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), animal agriculture causes about 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. A vegan or at least vegetarian diet can have a great positive impact on the environment, as it uses fewer resources and causes fewer emissions than a meat-based diet. In addition, intensive agriculture leads to high demand for water and deforestation to make room for pasture.
3. Buy regional and seasonal to reduce transport.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce our environmental impact is to buy regionally and seasonally. When we import food from other countries or even continents, it is often transported thousands of kilometres before it ends up on our plates. These transports require large amounts of fossil fuels, resulting in high CO2 emissions. In addition, many imported foods are grown in greenhouses, which also have high energy consumption. By buying locally and seasonally, we not only support local agriculture and strengthen the local economy, but we also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, seasonal and regional foods are often fresher and tastier because they are harvested at optimal ripeness and do not have to be transported long distances.
4. Buy second-hand clothes or donate your clothes instead of throwing them away.
The fashion industry has a huge impact on the environment, from the water and energy used in production to the amount of waste generated by throwing away clothes. By buying second-hand clothes and donating clothes you no longer need, you can help reduce the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. In addition, buying second-hand clothes can also have financial benefits as they are often cheaper than new clothes.
5. Avoid foodwaste
Food waste has many negative impacts on the environment. Food production uses many resources, including water, land and energy. When food is wasted, these resources are also wasted. In addition, food waste that ends up in landfills and rots contributes to the creation of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Through effective planning, thoughtful purchasing and careful storage of food, you can help reduce food waste and thus reduce your impact on the environment. According to a study by the Federal Office for the Environment - Bundesamt für Umwelt from 2020, around 2.6 million tonnes of food are wasted in Switzerland every year. This corresponds to about one third of all food consumed in Switzerland. The biggest wasters are private households, which are responsible for about 45% of total food waste. By reducing foodwaste, every individual can play a significant role. Be it through better planning of shopping, proper food storage or using leftovers - every measure helps.
In a world where the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, every contribution to sustainability is crucial. It is clear that we can all play an important role by making changes to our lifestyle and consumption habits. This blog post has highlighted a number of simple steps that each of us can take to live more sustainably and reduce our ecological footprint. From not using disposable products, to reducing meat consumption, to sustainable buying habits and avoiding food waste, there are numerous ways we can do our part to reduce our environmental impact.
It is important to emphasise that every step, no matter how small, counts. Sustainability does not require extremism, but rather a willingness to make conscious choices and necessary changes. It is a collective effort that must take place at both the individual and societal level. With these simple tips, we hope you will be inspired to start or continue your own journey towards a more sustainable way of living. Every contribution counts and together we can make a difference. Thank you for being part of the positive change!