Sustainability

In the summer of 2018, I got into sustainability because I experienced the hottest summer ever in my home state (a record that was topped again in 2019). At that time, I got my first pedelec and started cycling again after years of abstinence, I (consciously) ate vegan food for the first time at World Food Trip, where I also got inspired to work towards zero-waste. These experiences inspired me to reflect on and research about my personal footprint and to look for ways to reduce it.

Here is a collection of things I have read/bought/done/created/changed so far in order to make my life more sustainable. I do not want to convert anyone, but hope that this serves as an inspiration to change your life in certain details and achieving sustainability (see the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for a high-level inspiration). The following will name a few brands, so here is a disclaimer: I am not getting any provision and I am not making advertisements. I just want to point you to companies/brands that (IMHO) act sustainably or produce sustainable goods.

Mobility

  • I got a pedelec in April 2018 and in the first 12 months drove 2000km (using the support modes sensibly). Thereby, I replaced various paths I would usually travel by car.
  • I can recommend the Radfunk podcast for German-speaking people that want to learn more about everyday cycling in Germany.
  • Finally, I also made sure that (apart from a handful of exceptions) every commute to work in 2018/19 was by train or cycle.
  • I signed the #unter1000 voluntary commitment by Scientists for Future.

Food

  • I have a harvest share at the community-supported agriculture (SoLaWi) in Limbach.
  • I have never been a big consumer of meat, especially because I don't like any food that looks like an animal or has hardly eadible parts. I experiment with vegan food, but do not consider myself as a pure vegetarian or vegan. Instead, I changed my default to eat vegetarian food, i.e. I also opt in for vegetarian food on seminars and any other occasions. In consequence, I am typically eating about 300g of meat every week, which is also what many sources recommend (e.g. WCRF).
  • I bake my own bread, following the great recipes by Plötz.

Home

  • I revisited my heating system and made sure it's not too warm.
  • I checked with my local energy supplier and changed into a tariff that incorporates only renewables.
  • I reduced plastic waste so that I now fill one bag every 6 weeks (before it were 4), without reducing how often I cook or do other things. I can recommend the following (German) resources: Better Life Without Plastic, Don't Waste Be Happy.
  • I use solid, package-free soaps; wooden toothbrushes as well as diverse products from Frosch.

Cloth

  • I buy from sustainable brands, such as Wijld or Vaude.
  • I donate old clothes (I wear everything really long) to a local social shop.

Tech

  • Checking and optimizing the carbon footprint of this website:
  • I am a Signal Star, as I donate monthly to Signal.
  • I use the Ecosia search engine on all my devices to plant trees while searching.
  • I use the Firefox browser on all my devices as they take privacy serious.
  • I prefer Matrix and Signal over WhatsApp and other proprietary messengers.

Nature

  • A worm system recycles our biological waste into natural fertilizer.
  • Our balcony hosts a) a watering place for birds and bees, b) various herbs and wild weeds that are attractive for insects.
  • I am a proud proprietor of an insect hotel.
  • I gifted a Bienenretter godparenthood.
  • I am a member of the Generation Forest.
  • I have a Saartenvielfalt share.

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