Travel – Everyday life - Repeat: Living Green at Home and Elsewhere

 Updated March 2022.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is 'code red for humanity.' I asked myself years and years ago what can be done? What can I do? It is an ongoing process - one thing I know for sure. I should not keep on living as if nothing is happening. Everybody can do their bit. This is the full IPCC report.

It is true, in the end, governments worldwide and large companies must make changes. I by myself can't better the climate crisis. But ignoring the situation is no option for me. The latest IPCC report is just another wake-up call. Instead of sticking my head into the sand, or waiting for others to fix the situation, I started to bring on change. It is not overly expensive. Quite the opposite. In most cases, I refrain from buying unnecessary items. After years of living this lifestyle, it feels normal to me to live like this.

Earth Day is every day. These are the things I do to conserve our planet and a friendly world community. It is a work in progress. What I find unusual is that people get annoyed by somebody who cares about stuff. I don't want to feel bad for caring about people, for the environment, for living a green life and for believing in human equality. I’m also obsessed with ethical social media. What is wrong with wanting to live in a fair world? Exactly. Nothing. Inclusiveness matters. When a human gets bullied, bad-mouthed, or ignored, I stand up for them. It all goes in the same direction. I do the same for the planet. Nothing less, nothing more.

 

Collection of travel images, landscapes, pets, humans.

How do you feel about keyboard activists?

Sustaining a green lifestyle means a permanent hunt for the latest info. It never ends. The more I read the more I want to know and the more I want to do. There are many who are good with words but bad with acting accordingly. It is not a game; it is more than a trend to care about the environment. Before I buy something, I research what its impact on the environment and society at large is. I strive to do better, almost enjoying this constant state of imperfection. My ethical and eco-friendly lifestyle is a work in progress. It took me years of investigation, questioning, talks, thought, reflection, adjustments, and modifications. It would be deceptive to pretend that it can happen overnight that a home and a life become green. Far from it. It is hard work (but then it becomes easy, it becomes second nature).

 

Education and the power to vote

I believe that in our roles as consumers we have the power to make companies change their offers. It is our decision to not purchase products that harm the environment. Companies will have to listen and react sooner or later.

I would go so far as to say "caring for the environment" should be on the school curriculums. Children should learn about social justice, tolerance, diversity and how this all works in favour of our environment.

The more I read and learn about the importance of biodiversity, the use of pesticides in agriculture, and the impact microplastics have on our organisms and the environment, the less can I ignore the situation we are in. Who am I to disregard scientific facts? I am driven by a happy and positive idealism.

According to the UN, "Climate change is nowaffecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economiesand affecting lives, costing people, communities, and countries dearly todayand even more tomorrow. People are experiencing the significant impacts ofclimate change, which include changing weather patterns, rising sea level, andmore extreme weather events. The greenhouse gas emissions from human activitiesare driving climate change and continue to rise. They are now at their highestlevels in history."

It is one thing to read about it and another that we can see all of it happening in real-time already. The planet experiences warmer conditions due to human-caused climate change. Look at all the bushfires, hurricanes, and flooding, and the permafrost melting. Wildfires release more carbon into the air, which is not good. More wildfires will become a problem, they mean more carbon release, which results in warming, which means even more wildfires.

Who cares about the climate and the climate crisis?

Individual action is a great thing. It is also clear that politicians (worldwide and everywhere) need to act and offer incentives to the ones who won't change otherwise. It is challenging to do better. Everyone can and should take action and vote politicians into power who care about the climate crisis. I made up my mind, it feels easy to change. Many of these things I do make me healthier. How do I live green and responsible while travelling, and how do I live green and responsible at home? Please read on. I am a hypocrite, no doubt about it.

Real-life action is so much better than keyboard activism

I seek to connect with people that inspire me to do better. I aspire to encourage others to act. There are many keyboard activists out there on the various social media channels. Using relevant hashtags like #greenlife, #ecofriendly, #sustainable, #savetheplanet, #zerowaste, and/or #platicfree is all very well. What I cherish even more is when people jump into action and take steps to improve things in real life. We can all wait till somebody somewhere makes us change things. We all know we are in the driver’s seat of our life. That means we can start today and look forward to meeting all the others who join us later. Lead by example. Blaming others never works, it is easy, but it is lame.

So many people say it is too expensive to live a green life. The greener you live the less money you are going to spend. Have you ever thought about how expensive it is to not live a green life? Quality comes at a price. One needs to remember that somebody somewhere pays for the I need to buy everything as cheap as possible. You become more conscious of how you spend, and you start to buy less. Your relationship with goods will change over time. I know there are all the ones out there who will say that what I do is all nonsense, and nothing is ever good enough. They are the same ones who would say people of my sort are dreamers. I keep on envisioning and trying hard to change things regardless.

The richest 10 percent emit the most carbon

I am just as annoyed as the next person about the fact that the richest people emit the most carbon. "The richest 10 percent accounted for over half (52 percent) of the emissions added to the atmosphere between 1990 and 2015." See Oxfam's report Confronting Carbon Inequality. What can we do? Stomp our feet in the ground and make somebody tell them off? I sincerely hope governments interested in a healthy future regulate this. Until then I keep on doing what I can do.

It is helpful if everyone starts somewhere, it is better than doing nothing at all but complaining all the time. If I want to change the world, I must take the first step. I put a lot of time and energy into it. Again, I’m not saying it is easy. What I know for sure is that it is an enjoyable and exhilarating journey. I love to learn about how to do better.

Every time we consume, we use carbon

Urbanisation, deforestation, agriculture, and energy use are major issues the environment faces worldwide. Every time I am about to buy more things, I think of everyone and everything big and small. I remember the penguins I saw at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town, and I picture the lions I saw in the Kalahari in South Africa. I remember the Koalas sitting high up in the branches of Eucalyptus trees in Australia. I hold myself accountable. Which impact has my purchase on the environment? Which impact has my purchase on other people? Something I ask myself all the time. I changed my thinking.

When I read that a big corporation buys an established certified organic brand, I start searching for other independent and eco-friendly brands. I don’t want to support large companies that harm communities and the environment. Many large retailers now sell their wares as green, in which reality is everything but (green). Research their policies and try to figure out whether you share their values.

I replace products over time. Throwing away stuff I already own doesn't make much sense to me (it is not sustainable to buy new things). I could do so much more to live a green life, and I’m working on it all the time. One of my biggest worries is air travel. I 'flight shame' myself, I'm aware that I fly too often.

Living sustainable while travelling?

The World needs eco-friendly airlines. Travelling is a lifestyle. It fuels curiosity. It is somewhat destructive for societies worldwide when people stay at home all the time. There will come a time when people get too preoccupied with themselves. As a result, they might stop caring about the ones around them. In the worst case, people will no longer have an idea who these others are. Some already tend to think small (living on their little island). People who see only themselves. Unable to be empathic, or to accept the perspective of others. To some, it is inconceivable that others who live elsewhere want them to be well. They care only about themselves. Some want to build walls, want to speak only their language, and want to support only their culture. How dull is that? There is a whole world out there.

Many things I know I learned while travelling. To me, it is outright negligent to stay put in one place. I'm scared of how many populists are being followed blindly by enthusiastic voters. What binds them together is the dream of building new walls and borders. Fear mongers unite. That is all rubbish. The more connected we are in this world, the better we understand each other. The more we know about each other, the more we care about each other's wellbeing. The more we know the more we care about the environment. Even if the oceans, the forests, and the rivers are all in far-flung and often exotic locations.

Leaders (some of them) plan to introduce a tax on CO2. Consumers worry about these pending higher taxes. Introducing an aviation tax/carbon tax, where tourists pay a tax on the pollution they generate, helps. The people who can afford to fly will do so in the future regardless of it. Why can we not change the attitude of passengers and airlines? Would it not make more sense to aim to fly green(er)?

So much energy gets put into endless talks about CO2 taxes. Politicians should determine that airlines start developing eco-friendly planes. Meanwhile, airlines should plan routes better and stop servicing domestic flights. Tourists can take the train. Hard to believe. Some are flying short distances of 550 kilometres between towns.

I dream of an eco-friendly and sustainable airline. Lightweight seats, plastic-free packaging and furniture, organic catering, alternative fuels. Airlines should produce far less CO2. Good things take time. Let’s hope green airlines are going to be a reality sooner than later. Of course, many say environmentally friendly airline travel isn’t possible. Do you remember stories about all the ones who said flying isn’t possible? We know they were wrong.

Support local - everywhere

Starbucks is a big franchise corporation, who now also cooperates with Nestle. Franchises destroy cultural diversity. Small independent coffee shops cannot compete against them. The same goes for the likes of Costa Coffee (owned by Coca Cola), Pret a Manger or Krispy Kreme (owned by JAB Holding). It is all the same boring stuff. All these cafés are run by multinationals. They could not care less about your local neighbourhood. Why would any consumer support a company that sees neighbourhoods as part of their investment portfolio is beyond me? Would it not be lovely to have lots of artisan shops in our town centres? All the ones who buy stuff at a franchise do not care enough about their community, they do not care enough about our environment, they do not care enough about equal opportunities.

I only visit independent coffee shops and restaurants. I seize opportunities and often buy products from them to take home with me. I do this while away on a trip, and also at home. If you buy homemade jam or honey from the region you visited, it is also a good souvenir. It gets me nicely through any occurring travel blues.

What about a green life at your final travel destination?

Mass tourism is a thing. Travelling off-season is a great way to take away stress from destinations. Museums, galleries, cafés, and restaurants are sort of near-empty off-season.

I pack my stuff into a sustainably produced travel-holdall. The company is family-owned and cares about working conditions. They use recycled wares and no PVC.

I buy locally produced wares. I stay at owner-run businesses and try to avoid large hotel chains whenever possible. At hotels and guesthouses, I make sure to bring a reusable water bottle, soap, and shampoo- and conditioning bar. I won't use products in plastic bottles provided. I rent the smallest available car.

I make a point of sitting down at a café for coffee, and even if only for a few minutes. It is beautiful to discover a new (old) habit and to sit down at a café. We all know that we have a problem with generating too much waste. It is foolish carrying a drink in a paper cup while strolling through town. It is old fashioned; it is what people did at the beginning of the new millennium. The excuse that we do not know it any better is obsolete these days.

When I'm at a café and the drink gets served in a cardboard cup, I let the barista know it makes me unhappy. Friendly feedback. The last time I bought a takeaway coffee in a paper cup was well over a year ago. As hard as I try, sometimes I have to admit that I don't have a choice. On road trips, I carry a reusable coffee cup. It is always surprising how excited servers get when they see me bringing a cup. It tells us that it is still somewhat unusual to bring one.

Good news from the European Commission: “From 3 July 2021, single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks and cotton buds … and cups, food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene, and all products made of oxo-degradable plastic … cannot be placed on the markets of the EU Member States.”

Social Media and being fair - respect is key

People travel. People want to show where they visited. This is a complicated one. Before we share locations on social media, we should always think about what this might mean for these locations and locals. Are they going to be overrun by tourists? We might only have a few followers; they might share it further and it can multiply. How are visitors and/or tourists going to behave? Are they leaving litter? Are they trampling the local flora? Are they disturbing the local fauna? We all heard about certain streets in Paris or London, where locals started complaining about a lack of privacy since visitors are posing in their streets and with their front doors thanks to social media.

One example is Hallstatt in Austria. Locals there even rent out Dirndls to tourists to take photos in them.

Often, these places are struggling with huge crowds of people, mountains of rubbish, and too many cars.

I always ask myself, what can be done better? What can I do better? I stop using the exact location on posts I publish. When taking photos, I make sure to not leave any rubbish behind. I make sure to never intrude on personal space. With everything we do in life, it is best to think of other humans and wildlife, we share this world with. It might not bring change; it might be a step in the right direction. Think about respect, and about the impact before you share on social media.

Read more about Ethical Social Media.

Technology and being green?

Talking about technology. Our online activity is harming the planet too. Every time I sent an email, I think again about whether it is needed. I also unsubscribed from newsletters I no longer read. On the other hand, I don’t buy papers in print but read the online versions.

Generally, what about a green life at home?

It is all these little things combined. I live in a flat. I buy certified green electricity from my utility provider. My electricity comes from renewable energy sources. I use energy-efficient light bulbs. I don’t own a TV. I switch off the lights when I leave a room. I unplug unused chargers. I use cloth napkins. I use a dishwasher and only start it if it is fully loaded. I load up the washing machine, an energy-efficient model, and wash at 30C. I dry my clothes on a clothesline and never owned a tumble dryer in my life.

With the winter months comes the need for heating. It usually would start each year around some day in October (depending on which hemisphere you live in, it would be May). I push the time I heat my home as far back as possible. A sweater works wonders. I make sure to air rooms sufficiently, several times per day for a few moments, and not in a way that wastes heat from rooms. If I leave home, I turn off the heating (depending on how long I am going to be away, at times it is better to leave it on than to start all over again). I also turn the heating off overnight. I live in a well-insulated house that allows me to do this. I sealed all my windows and doors to avoid cold air leaking in. My heaters are not hidden by furniture or fabric, they are free to do what they have to do without any restrictions.

Let us go into detail. What about a green bathroom and personal hygiene?

Most of the time, I take quick showers, and yes, it is hard in winter. I replaced all towels with certified organic cotton towels. I only replaced them when they needed to be replaced, and not just because it sounds good. They are made from organic cotton, and labelled as socially and ecologically sustainably produced.

The odd truth is that natural cosmetic is not necessarily vegan. Vegan cosmetic is not always natural nor produced cruelty-free. I always check the labels. When you start researching, you realize that there is so much to learn and to know. You know best what is important to you. I pay attention to whether companies use certified organic ingredients and produce cruelty-free.

I use recycled toilet paper and no cotton buds. Remember that photo of the seahorse clinging to that cotton bud? I started using menstrual cups. I’m not a fan yet.

My moisturizer, face mask, body lotion, deodorant, shampoo bar, and soap bar, are all certified organic and not tested on animals. No need to buy shampoo, conditioner and/or shower gel in plastic bottles.

I contacted a globally known company that produces the moisturizer and face mask I use. I thought it would be great to visit the farm from where they source some of their ingredients. The farm is in South Africa. I visit the region once a year. I already have been given the opportunity to visit a Rooibos tea farm, to see where my favourite tea grows. The answer from the cosmetic company was No. Ever since I have had this weird feeling about them. How arrogant. Do they have something to hide? I have been buying from them for almost two decades. Their behaviour has tarnished my belief in them, their arrogance has taken away some of the love I felt for their products. Every single day, in the morning and at night when I apply their products, I remember how rude they behaved. They created a lot of negative vibes. It isn't timely anymore. What about transparency?

I replaced toothpaste with teeth cleaning tablets that come in plastic-free packaging. As far as my check goes, they are medically reliable (my dentist confirmed this). I replaced the face cleansing milk with an organic soap bar. I sometimes use Argan oil that comes in a glass bottle. I’m a fan of Argan Oil ever since I visited a Cooperative between Essaouira and Sidikouaki in Morocco. Read about this adventure here. I also use a face cleansing soap bar.

I use certified organic nail polish. It is 14 free, cruelty-free and vegan, packaged in recycled material. It took so long to find this one. A personal-care company bought the brand I liked so far. A multinational food and drink processing conglomerate corporation holds stakes in that personal-care company. So, it is not a product I’d want to use any longer. Read about these situations, it happens with many green organic brands, and form your own opinion.

My bathroom gets cleaned with vinegar that comes in a glass bottle (of concern is that it has a plastic lid though). I add a dollop of biodegradable dishwashing liquid, and I must admit that I was suspicious at first. By now, I am a fan. Why do so many chemical and harmful cleaning products flood the market when they are certainly not needed to keep things clean?

The hardest product to find to this day is biodegradable certified organic sunscreen. Not only is the question of the right sun factor protection rattling me come summer. I look for sun protection that is organic and comes without nanoparticles. I do not want to use chemical sun protection that will harm my health and the environment. There are certified organic versions, but the level of protection is questionable. Years ago, I read that some National Parks won’t let tourists in when they use conventional sunscreen. They expect visitors to bring and use biodegradable products. That made me think of why I would use conventional stuff still? Complicated, and to date, I am still searching for the one.

Let us look at it more closely. What about a green kitchen and what about food?

This needed lots of testing. Same here as in the bathroom. I find out that I get results when I clean with vinegar and biodegradable dishwashing lotion. One would easily win a 'who has the cleanest house' competition. In case you are into this type of entertainment.

I drink tap water and won't buy plastic water bottles. There is not a single straw in my household. If somebody's health asks them to use a straw, it is a different story. I replaced all conventional synthetic/plastic sponges with natural alternatives. I haven't eaten meat or fish, nothing that has got a parent, in over two decades. I can’t stand the taste and smell of fast food and won't buy it. I won't even go to a fast-food outlet to use the loo (it is only fair on them, why use the loos without consuming anything). Let's say I want to eat Pizza. Why would I order fast food at my place? Again, it comes in unnecessary packaging. I would sit down at a restaurant or cook it at home.

In summer, I buy ice cream in a waffle. It is the little things, remember. I won't need a plastic bowl nor a plastic spoon. I had many discussions with ice-cream parlours. Why would they still sell ice cream in plastic containers? It is down to us consumers to not order these anymore. Another thing I found out along the way. We all know these ice cream parlours that showcase wares in the form of colourful mountains. A mountain of ice cream is an indicator of quality. Mountains contain artificial colours and flavours, preservatives, and emulsifiers. Without additives, no one can form ice cream into a mountain.

It happens that I forget to carry a refillable water bottle. When outside, I avoid buying bottled water. I often feel outright silly and get a bit angry. I put so much thought into the best way to buy water, while some politicians ignore the climate crisis. I dream of more options. San Francisco Airport plans to become a 'zero waste airport' by 2021. From 20th August 2020, all businesses have to stop selling plastic water bottles. Tourists can buy water in reusable or compostable materials. It shows that change is possible. Where there is a will, there is a way.

What about shopping green – Clothes

Over previous years I started to buy less and fewer clothes and shoes. At the beginning of 2019, I stopped buying fast-fashion. I unfollowed all fast-fashion chains on social media. Being one who in the past treated shopping like a hobby, I decided to stop. When I travel, I love to buy from local independent shops who design their clothes. Every time I walk past one of the fast-fashion chains, I see how much 'landfill' there is on the clothes rails. I read under what conditions people produce clothes. I see under what conditions people sell these clothes. That puts me off buying more. Today, I can say that I bought one pair of boots and one denim, but apart from that, I still haven’t bought any fashion at all. Nothing at all. It is complicated, I love fashion, but I do not want to buy stuff that brings harm to others or the environment.

There is this desire to be admired. The idea is that if one follows the example of celebrity's styles one will just be that. People should rethink their ideals. Check their attitudes and ask themselves why they feel this necessary. Once and for all we should scrap the word retail therapy from our vocabulary, or better, from how we see the world. It is a rather odd word anyway. Think of the people who need therapy to get help with mental health problems. No one deserves to be made fun of - Buy a new jumper and that will fix you. Retail therapy? No, thank you.

Everyone says it is worth spending more on purchases that are going to last longer. Better than buying cheaper products that fall apart. In return for the fair price I pay, I expect ethical fashion brands (in theory) to provide quality. I bought a fair-priced denim from a sustainable fashion brand. After only a few washes, it started to look more and more unwearable. Eight years ago, I bought a cheap fast-fashion denim, and it looks as good as new. Things take time, so I am going to give the sustainable fashion brand another try in the future. I am aware that my thriftiness (or aim to get a good deal) has to be paid for by somebody. I look for quality and remember that the makers are only human too, errors can happen.

Fashion makers/marketers/sellers are great at greenwashing. They sell us their goods as organic, ethical, responsibly made when it is not true. We as customers are buying their lies. Often one hasn’t got the time or is simply too lazy to check where goods are made and how. It is tiring to demand transparency when I go shopping. In an ideal happy world, shop assistants would welcome me with open arms and engage in a long and warm chat about who and where a piece of garment was made. To be honest, it doesn’t happen. It is always awkward trying to engage shop assistants in that type of talk. A lot needs to change.

Every time we customers are about to buy a new item of clothes; we should be aware that this ends up in landfill in one form or other. Before I buy, I think about what I am going to do with the piece when I cannot wear it any longer. Can it be upcycled? The more I think about this, the less I want to buy new stuff. I think (again) about the quality and for how long I'll use something before buying a new piece. There is certainly no impulse buying for me anymore. Come winter, come summer, I inspect my wardrobe to see what I have. Sometimes we can forget what can be combined how to give outfits a new spin. I try to figure out whether the item I want to buy can be part of different outfits. I check whether it goes with (for example) handbags, bags, shoes, I already own.

To not harm worker's health, my health, and the environment with toxic chemicals, I stay away from clothing that is dry clean only. EPA has classified tetrachloroethylene as likely to be carcinogenic to humans.

What about shopping green - Groceries?

I carry several cotton bags and do not use plastic carrier bags. I do not buy stuff at online retailers and support independent shops. One reason is to not support an unjust system. I am also avoiding producing unnecessary packaging that comes with online purchases. Now with Covid-19, I order fresh fruit and vegetables from a farm shop to be delivered to my doorstep and I buy all other certified organic food staples online, also to be delivered at home. I buy and can these days order everything at shops which sell certified organic wares. Conveniently, there are those shops available in Melbourne as well as in Berlin. It makes life simple for me. What would I do if I lived in a town without these? I don't know. I imagine it takes a lot of effort, to find these shops.

What lands in my shopping trolley? Certified organic fruit and vegetables. Fairtrade products, as in coffee and chocolate, and bananas. I bring a cotton bread bag when I buy fresh bread, and I don’t buy plastic-wrapped things. As I said in the beginning, it is difficult. I often leave shops without products from my shopping list. Another example is the almond milk-(substitute). It needs a high amount of water to produce. Cow’s milk needs even more water per litre. I stick to oat milk (-substitute), which is a good green option. I buy all ground espresso from a local speciality coffee shop.

You know one can buy these reusable vegetable mesh bags at most grocery stores these days. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that some contain polyester. Why oh why, where is the point in that? Same goes for these tiny soap bags to use in the shower (some I saw were also made with polyester). Best to always check the labels.

I'm not that keen on processed food. Albeit this is not entirely true. I would buy bread and jam. Yet, I often make homemade ones, and even my own bread. Over the years, and with a bit of planning, I am at a point where I only buy what I need. There is no food wastage at my house. It is possible.

Is an environmentally friendly life possible? What is the best way to communicate with someone who doesn't believe that we all need to change things?

Me aiming to live a green life sounds complicated, and it sometimes is difficult. The fact alone that many goods aren’t available to buy without packaging makes me buy less stuff. That is irritating but a positive at the same time. Over the years it became a habit to research companies and products and to check labels. It feels good to know that I am a conscious consumer. Zero waste is hard to achieve, but that fact won’t hold me back from doing anything. The more we talk about this the better. I’m not a fan of moral finger-pointing. I know that people get very defensive towards somebody who is into a green lifestyle. They feel caught red-handed when they aren’t. It is exhausting. We are not in a competition about who lives the greenest life. I wish we could be all more relaxed and listen to each other. Together we can further improve and change our minds and behaviours. I know of so many things I could do better. Hope dies last.

I’m searching for good ways to communicate with someone who doesn't believe that we need to change. The best way to get through to people is by delivering details and facts. It must be inclusive. There is no reason to belittle others or shy them away by putting lots of pressure on them. Do ask "Have you heard of the zero-waste movement?" instead of demand “You have to go zero waste.”

We all live in this world together. What people do in the country or town XY will affect people who live in the country or town ZW or vice versa. I know I have to change so much more. One can only do so much at a time. Every little step helps. And with every step I take, I start to think of what I can change in the future. It is a process. I feel that I am on the way into the right direction. Never stop exploring. Live green at home and elsewhere.

Collection of travel photography, street art, animals, landscapes, food, architecture.

Overview: Living Green at Home and Elsewhere

 

1.    Before buying something, research what its impact on the environment and society at large is

2.    Vote politicians into power who care about the climate crisis

3.    Buy quality (lasts longer)

4.    Buy from independent and eco-friendly brands

5.    Replace products over time, it is not sustainable to buy new things just because

6.    Travel with airlines who care

7.    Say no to domestic flights

8.    Support local restaurants and coffee shops (at home and elsewhere), say not to franchises

9.    Sit down at a café for coffee (slow down)

10. Carry a reusable coffee cup

11. Buy locally grown and produced products

12. Travel off-season

13. Use a sustainably produced suitcase/bag

14. Carry a reusable cotton shopping bag

15. Stay at owner-run hotels and guesthouses

16. Carry a reusable water bottle

17. Drink tap water

18. Travel with you own soap, and shampoo- and conditioning bar (say no to mini plastic bottles at hotels)

19. Rent the smallest available car

20. Before you share locations on social media think about possible negative consequences

21. Do not litter

22. Leave the local flora alone

23. Leave animals alone Wildlife is Wildlife

24. Respect locals and their space, ask before taking photos

25. Think before you send E-Mails

26. Unsubscribe from newsletters

27. Don’t buy papers in print, subscribe to online versions

28. Buy certified green electricity

29. Use energy-efficient light bulbs

30. Switch off the lights when you leave a room

31. Unplug unused chargers

32. Use cloth napkins

33. Use a dishwasher and only start it if it is fully loaded

34. Load up the washing machine, an energy-efficient model, and wash at 30C

35. Dry clothes on a clothesline

36. Air rooms sufficiently

37. Push the time to heat your home as far back as possible (wear a sweater)

38. Turn off the heating When you leave home (depending for how long you leave)

39. Turn the heating off overnight

40. Insulate your home (seal doors and windows)

41. Do not hide heaters by furniture or fabric

42. Take quick showers

43. Replace towels with certified organic cotton towels (over time)

44. Use recycled toilet paper

45. No more cotton buds

46. Use menstrual cups

47. Buy cruelty free and certified organic moisturizer, face mask, body lotion, deodorant, shampoo bar, and soap bar

48. Use certified organic shampoo, conditioner and/or shower gel, face cleansing bars

49. Replace toothpaste with teeth cleaning tablets

50. Use certified organic nail polish that is 14 free

51. Use biodegradable certified organic sunscreen

52. Clean with vinegar and biodegradable dishwashing liquid

53. Replace conventional synthetic/plastic sponges with natural alternatives

54. Say no to single use straws (unless you have to use them)

55. Don’t eat meat or fish (or eat less if you can’t help it)

56. Say no to fast-food (and fast-food chains)

57. Buy ice cream in a waffle (no plastic cup or spoon)

58. Buy less and fewer clothes and shoes, and if you do, say no to fast fashion and buy sustainable options (research brands)

59. unfollow all fast-fashion chains on social media

60. Buy from local independent shops who design their clothes

61. Support independent farm shops

62. Buy certified organic food staples

63. Buy certified organic fruit and vegetables

64. Buy Fairtrade products

65. Carry a cotton bread bag when buying fresh bread

66. Consume oat milk instead of cow’s milk

67. Use reusable vegetable mesh bags (instead of plastic ones)

68. Make your own bread

69. Make your own jam

70. Cook your own meals

71. Eat what you buy and cook (avoid food wastage)

72. Ask questions. Always. Research and check new regulations, laws, findings.

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From Berlin with love