Improving the world: 20 things you can start doing right away

6. "Me time": take 15 min. for yourself

Devoting some time to yourself every day is not selfish, but necessary to draw strength, to inspire yourself or simply to relax. Whether you flip through your favorite magazine, meditate, do yoga or exercise, it doesn’t matter – the main thing is that it comes from the heart.

When your batteries are full, you cope much better with life’s challenges, big and small. And: Here’s how you can collect even more ideas on how to save the world. Because that’s something we often lose in the hustle and bustle of everyday life: that we once again think about what’s really right and wrong. Read also: Just be a sloth.

7. Introduce plant day

Improving the world also means rethinking and seeing things from a different perspective. We suggest a more plant-based perspective: simply eat less meat from today on. For example, not doing anything at least one day a week, or even two or three.

You will see – your meat free day Won’t be a sacrifice, but a gain. For example, you will be able to try a new dish at least once a week, maybe even a whole new cafe or restaurant! And you’ll be surprised how many vegetarian dishes there are that aren’t just "salad" ..

8. Scented action: buy a coffee

We humans are social beings, a community. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for us to look down on individuals or social classes. The team at Suspended Coffee Germany is trying to close this gap. The idea is not new, but it is a powerful one when it comes to enabling disadvantaged people to participate in social life.

Join in and donate a coffee, a roll, a slice of pizza or a coke to a person with a low income. The principle is simple: pay for a product in advance in participating stores, which can later be picked up by a person who cannot afford the same product. So you can give back small, everyday moments of joy.

9. Think different: soap instead of shower gel& Shampoo

In the bathroom, the naked truth comes out: many shower gels, shampoos and other personal care products still contain microplastics and/or have plastic packaging. Both harm the environment.

World savers are therefore increasingly turning to the tried-and-tested (shower or hair) soap.

  1. Soap usually lasts much longer.
  2. Solid soaps are also a natural product and are particularly lipid-replenishing and mild to the skin.
  3. Shower soaps are usually packaged in an environmentally friendly way or with hardly any packaging, and the best thing is that they are very practical for on the go.

Popular and proven: Aleppo soap (also suitable for allergy sufferers), available for example at Manufactum, Waschbar and many other stores, and it replaces a shower gel very well. Solid shampoo are often also offered by discount drugstores, also without packaging. At dm, for example, there’s "Alverde Festes Shampoo", at Rossmann solid shampoo from "Foamie".

10. Improve the world with commitment

Lady Gaga recently said in an interview that she helps others when she is down and out. Follow her example and you will see – you will feel better all of a sudden! Volunteering broadens one’s horizons: socially, personally and sustainably.

To improve the world, you do not have to do great deeds. Often, all it takes is a trip to the nearest old people’s home and spending a few hours with the people there, reading to children, or doing educational work in regional groups, such as the "Do Something" program.B. with Nabu, Greenpeace, Cradle to Cradle e. V., in the animal welfare society etc.

11. Buy paper without killing trees

The whole world rails against plastic, forgetting that paper production also consumes a lot of resources and energy. We Germans are world champions in many disciplines, unfortunately also in paper consumption: In 2018, this was over 240 kg per capita – higher than in any other industrialized and emerging country of the G-20 (EU average: 182 kg).

This is also due to the fact that more and more people are ordering online, which is much Packaging waste means. For real world savers, this means ordering less or not at all online.

Most important tip: Use Recycled paper. You don’t have to cut down trees to do it. Look for the Blue Angel eco-label here. Even for laser printers, there is now recycled paper with the Blue Angel – it may not be quite as bright white as paper made from felled trees, but it has nothing to do with the gray eco-paper of the past.

12. Being political – voting

There are always people who claim that voting does not. Do it! Therefore: Find out about election programs and be sure to cast your vote – and not just every four years.

Vote in all elections – at regional, national and EU level. Read up, ask questions, discuss with family and friends and stay alert. Hot tip before every election: the Wahl-O-Mat at election-o-mat.en

13. Shopping like a do-gooder

If possible, do-gooders don’t buy fast fashion (cue Rana Plaza) or clothes made of synthetic fibers (cue microplastics). And everything else they need, they find better used than new.

The German Environmental Aid has come up with a great idea, namely the anti-consumer pyramid, and it goes like this:

Buy nothing, but use what you already have: Often you don’t need this pair of shoes, that coat, the new super smartphone ..

  1. Don’t buy anything, do it yourself: Why buy croutons or breadcrumbs, for example, when you can make them yourself from last week’s bread and rolls? Or instead of buying something new – just repair it? Repair Cafes also help people with less experience.
  2. Buy nothing, but exchange it: You want a different dress? Your MP3 player is too big for you? Instead of buying new, you could also try to trade in items you don’t need anymore. Clothing exchange parties are a good address for clothes, Ebay classifieds for everything else.
  3. Buy nothing, but borrow it: How often do you really need a drill, a hot glue gun or other equipment?? Instead of buying – just borrow! This goes with colleagues as well as with special platforms such as Grover or Otto Now. Goes by the way also with bicycles, e-bikes or cars ..
  4. Don’t buy something new, buy something used: The biggest world-deteriorator-impact has the production of new things. The ratio of harm to benefit shifts toward the latter the longer we use something. Buying used things extends their useful life – and prevents new things from having to be produced. Here is a list of used-buy portals.

14. Petitions: Small effort – big effect

You don’t like what’s happening in society? How slowly important laws are discussed, sometimes not to come into force at all? How different doesn’t happen at all, because no one yet knows it would be important? Here’s the good news: you can start a petition yourself or sign an existing one – and make the world a better place.

The German Bundestag has set up a petition committee for this purpose: As soon as a petition reaches 50 within four weeks of submission.When the petition committee reaches the number of signatures, it has to deal with the issue. There are enough platforms for this on the web, e.g.B. change.org, We act, directly from the Bundestag etc.

You can find more on this topic here:

15. Not just for Easter: Organic eggs and laying hen brothers

When it comes to eggs, we can do everything a little better: By buying an organic egg. Organic chickens have better housing conditions and better feed than chickens from so-called "floor management", which in many cases should actually be called "cage management", as for example Quark’s once explained in more detail.

You use ready-made products from the supermarket? Look at the ingredient list to see if egg is included. In many cases, egg fulfills some function. But where does the egg in the finished product come from?? Almost always from barn farming. Like, by the way, many colored eggs (because they don’t have to be labeled, so retailers don’t always use them, but often use the cheapest ones).

By the way: Because only hens lay eggs, male chicks are still shredded. The brother cock initiative shows that it can be done differently: Here the male animals are also raised. Which projects are also against chick shredding, you can find on bruderhahn.de

16. Demos: Together we are more

Environmental scientist and author Michael Kopatz pleads with his concept of eco-routine to change the situation. Then behavior also changes, he says. For this we would have to make the desired behavior routine – but we must not stop making demands on politics, also with demos. Reading tip for this: oekoroutine.en

So if you are in favor of flights becoming more expensive so that air traffic is restricted, then go to a demo against the expansion of airports.

Or you think that more ecological agriculture and species-appropriate animal husbandry should be a matter of course in our time? Then join friends and/or colleagues in a "We’ve had it!!" -demo in Berlin with. Details& Dates on we-have-it-satt.de

17. Challenge: one month boycott of ..

Surely you have heard that, for example, some large food companies have been criticized again and again for years because of questionable business practices. But as consumers we can do something here.

We can set an example, for example, by removing all of the Group’s brands from our shopping list – even if only temporarily. And that is not so difficult: An input like "<Brand name> Brands" in search engines of your choice lead you to corresponding articles, partly from Wikipedia, partly from NGOs, partly also from the corporations themselves. You’ll be surprised what brands some corporations hide behind ..

18. From person to person: becoming a donor

In contrast to other countries, Germany applies the "decision solution" for organ and tissue donation. This means that the removal of organs and tissues after death is only permissible if the deceased person has given his or her consent during his or her lifetime (or the relatives on his or her behalf).

You can give your consent during your lifetime by having an organ donor card issued. It’s quick and easy – you can order it online or pick it up at many government offices. Tips and information on organspende-info.de

Alternatively, or even complementary, you can register with the German Bone Marrow Donor Center (DKMS). How to help beat blood cancer. Becoming a stem cell donor is very easy: Request a registration kit online with cotton swabs with which you can take a cheek swab. Afterwards you only have to send the cotton swabs back together with the signed documents – and that’s it. You may not save the world, but you will probably save lives. More on dkms.en

19. Improve the world with every electricity bill

We Germans consumed 129 terawatt hours of electricity in private households in 2018 (source). We still make most of our electricity by burning lignite, coal or oil, or using nuclear fuel rods that we still don’t know how we’re going to use for the next 100.000 years of safe storage (and who will pay for it).

At least for electricity there is a clean solution: green electricity. By switching to a green energy provider, you ensure that we expand renewable energies instead of continuing to prevent them. The green electricity report by Robin Wood has recommended providers.

20. Unconventional: out-of-the-box thinking

Far too often, we tend to fall into the daily grind. So days, months or even years go by, and we do the same things over and over again – simply because that’s the way it’s always been.

Broaden your horizons. Think new, think different! Feel free to turn yourselves or your worldviews upside down for a change. For this we need inspiration. Get it – read a new magazine every now and then, listen to a podcast on a completely new topic, watch environmental and social documentaries, etc.

And don’t forget what Goethe said: "It is not enough to know, one must also apply it; it is not enough to want, one must also do it." Missionizing does not bring much, just try to lead by example.

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