This post has been bobbing around in my drafts for months now and I can’t quite get it together to publish it. Why? Maybe because I feel that as a travel blogger, who travels a lot and ergo flies a lot, I’m not allowed to say anything on the subject. What’s the point if I go shopping with a burlap bag and separate my trash, but I kick climate control’s butt with every flight I take?
But the fact is, my guilty conscience always flies and rides with me. On the other hand, we should then also no longer heat or eat meat, because both are responsible for the climate-destroying CO2. Life is a hamster wheel and it is hard to break out of it. Unless one withdraws completely from the worldly life and lives like in the stone age. But who can do that?
Nevertheless, I am very concerned about how thoughtlessly and thoughtlessly we humans treat our home earth and its resources every day. The list is endless and starts with the cutting down of the rainforests or the pollution of the oceans and ends with factory farming. We shit ourselves (pardon!) in the truest sense of the word into our own living room. For years, we heard that it was five to twelve and suppressed the thought of twelve o’clock. Well, I think by now it’s even five past twelve.
When I look at the mountains of packaging waste that we produce every day and that in 30 years there will be more plastic floating around in the ocean than fish, I feel sick. Then my children are not even as old as I am now. When I read how many micro-particles of plastic swim through our human blood, I get scared and anxious. When I see on TV how cruelly animals are treated, I could scream. And when I think about the fact that the sea level is rising and that the Dutch may soon be the first climate refugees, it all seems to me like a bad Hollywood science fiction movie. Most of the time, you stand there helplessly and ask yourself: And how am I, as a single little person, supposed to change anything about this??
Everybody can change something!
I often have this discussion with my 9 year old son, because I am convinced that EVERYONE can change something. And if we were all to be a little more mindful and open-eyed in our lives, we could even change a lot together. Because if z.B. If certain products are simply left on the shelves, companies will have to adapt.
Let us not fool ourselves. We are all victims of our comfort. When I have to go to 5 different stores and drive from Pontius to Pilates just to buy less packaging, it is very annoying. Because, as we all know, we don’t have time. My grandmother, on the other hand, didn’t have much packaging waste in the past and usually had to make do with what was available. Still in the 80s my grandparents lived much from their fruit and vegetables from the garden. They cooked and woke up, baked bread and cakes themselves or fetched the milk from the farmer. And every little bag has been carefully folded and recycled. Therefore my motto is: Back to the Roots. At least a little bit.
So I simply listed what I pay attention to in my everyday life. This is certainly still very much expandable, but I’m capable of learning and I’m happy about tips.
Avoid plastic as far as possible
#1 Nowadays everything seems to be shrink-wrapped in plastic. From cucumbers to school fountain pens. I try to avoid such products and only buy them if I really can’t find an alternative. Admittedly, this is not exactly easy. And above all expensive. But there are some things you can do without or simply make do with something else. In general, I also try to do without plastic utensils and look for an alternative made of wood, bamboo, glass or porcelain. Because plastic is not only garbage that rots for 500 years, but also wastes petroleum resources and secretes toxins that make us sick. With children this is not always easy, because they are known to like colorful plastic. We have what feels like 10 tons of Lego bricks at home alone. But at least they last for generations. But when it comes to cheap plastic toys made in china, I go on strike and have discussions with them. Mostly they have then also an understanding.
Buy fruit and vegetables regionally, seasonally and in bulk
#2 Especially at the discount store you can’t get anything to buy without plastic wrapping anymore, it feels like. Even bananas and kiwis are wrapped in plastic. This makes my toenails curl. Fruit and vegetables I try to buy mostly loose and then use cloth bags that I bring with me. We have several farm stores in our area, where this fortunately works quite well. In general, I try to buy as much as possible regionally and seasonally. I don’t need strawberries in winter, and if I do, I can buy them frozen. And so old vegetables like rutabaga, cabbage and Co. are quite tasty and healthy.
never leave the house without a cloth bag
#3 I’ve gotten into the habit of always having a cloth bag in my pocket so I don’t even have the embarrassment of having to buy a plastic bag. And if it happens nevertheless times, I use these then zigfach further. Until the thing practically falls apart. Stupidly I use plastic bags for the garbage can. How to get this under control, I do not know yet. But only newsprint is somehow not an alternative.
Only rarely meat and fish
#4 I would call myself a flexitarian, because I like to eat a piece of meat or fish every now and then. The emphasis here is times and I also really only buy it when I know where it comes from. So if our farmer around the corner slaughters one of his cattle once a year, which I see standing around in the meadow every day, or a chicken that has been running around happily until now, I buy it. For the chicken I gladly pay 15 €, instead of the 4.99 € in the supermarket. After all, that was a sentient being and we eat from it 2-3 days (z.B. first chicken soup then chicken fricassee then sandwich with chicken). I find plastic wrapped meat for 1,99 € from the discounter disgusting. I then always imagine the poor animals that stood bruised in their own filth, eating antibiotics and suffering. No thanks! We don’t all have to go meatless to make the world a better place. But nobody needs a schnitzel on the plate every day. Meat should not be a common food, but as in the past, in the days of Sunday roast, something special.
Make your own cleaning and washing products
#5 Cleaning products I buy almost no more and have thanks to this and these bloggers, many helpful tips can collect. We don’t need all the chemical pesticides that pollute our water, even if we are told so by advertising. I clean almost only with citric acid, vinegar, curd soap and soda and lo and behold…. that works wonderfully. Even the toilet gets clean with it. It’s much easier and less complicated than you might think. Meanwhile I even make my own detergent. It’s so easy and cheap that you can’t help but think that you’ve been buying expensive, perfumed detergents with plastic particles for decades. As a fabric softener is suitable by the way also super quite normal vinegar. It smells zero and the laundry becomes totally soft.
Search for alternative cosmetic products
#7 Peelings, shower gels and co. are known to contain microparticles of plastic that end up in the sea again. Even the ones with sea sand on them contain plastic, which is bad for the environment and our bodies. You can find a list here . So I switched to a loofah glove for peeling and have a small sponge for the face. Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of it, because I bought it in America. But it is 1A and makes the skin velvety soft.
When showering and washing hands I switched back to the good old bar of soap. They are available in 77.000 great scents and for every skin type and do not come in a fat plastic packaging. After showering I use oils in glass bottles for creaming. I have even used organic coconut oil, which you also take for frying. Who needs body lotion in a fat plastic package?? Oil is just as effective, does not smear and absorbs immediately into the skin. At the moment I am looking for alternatives for toothpaste, shampoo and cotton buds. The last one I like to use for make-up, because I like to have mascara hanging somewhere where it doesn’t belong. But also the plastic sticks are of course total crap. Otherwise I use a microfiber cloth to remove makeup, even if there are certainly better alternatives.
Yogurt, bread and jam – make it yourself is the motto
#8 We cook daily and almost always fresh. Ready meals there is with us only once in a blue moon times. I cook jam, make our own natural yogurt and since I had to find out 1 1/2 years ago with my family in Norway admiringly that they all bake their own bread, I also do that. I found a super easy recipe a few months ago at Vanessa aka Frollein Pfau. So a bread can really bake anyone and it is even tastier and cheaper than purchased. Besides, your children will learn directly how real food tastes without artificial additives.
Avoid palm oil
#9 Try to avoid palm oil. The stuff is felt in almost everything in it. From margarine to cosmetics, from biofuel to chocolate cream. The problem is that palm oil is the rainforest killer par excellence. I now study every package when shopping and regularly get the crisis. Whether organic palm oil is better or not, remains to be seen. I do not know. Do you know products without palm oil?? Then please give it to us.
Boycott coffee capsules
#10 I admit that I got a Nespresso machine as a gift years ago and used it a lot. The coffee tasted easy, it was light and practical. The ecologically bad conscience sat however always in the neck. But now I had the thing and also did not want to throw it away. And then the machine broke down and I was almost happy. The mountains of waste that aluminum capsules produce are terrible and the prices almost grotesque. Since then I have never again purchased an electric coffee maker. Either there is the good old filter coffee as with my grandma, I use the stamp pot or the espresso maker. Tastes great and it has become my morning ritual to make my coffee at my leisure.
Switch to a bicycle
#11 Oha… a point, which I regularly take up, but which is really difficult in the countryside. Especially at winter time and with two kids in tow. And the bulk purchase makes one also not exactly with the wheel. But I am on it. Over and over again. And the spring is now also before the door, there are no excuses more.
Buy high quality products
#12 My motto here is meanwhile: less instead of more. I prefer to buy one high-quality item that will be used for a long time rather than several cheap products with a limited shelf life. It is not easy as a family, because not everyone can afford 4 bamboo toothbrushes. Neither can we. Especially with kids it often hurts, because you can expect the brood to lose the expensive stainless steel bread tin and not the cheap plastic one. That’s why we still keep the old Tupperware until they are bigger. But the good thing is that you can save money elsewhere, because 1. I do not buy any more nonsense and 2. are self-produced cleaning agents, detergents and co., much cheaper than store-bought.
#13 It may be that I am teaching my children about the environment and Co. but so what? After all, this is about her future. I tell them what artificial ingredients are in their food and why I prefer to make it myself. I ask them directly if they really need the plastic junk now, which will soon just be lying around broken in the corner anyway. I talk to them about plastic waste mountains, palm oil in Nutella jars and that we rob the orangutans their habitat. Of course, I don’t want to scare them with gloomy visions of the future, but the fact is: I am seriously concerned about their future.
So and now I am curious whether I get scolded, because I flying eco-pig it to me to write such a post presumes. How do you see this? And what do you do? Do you have any tips for everyday life?