10 Tips to save money and protect the environment

Bringing your own drinking containers is a real win-win situation, because not only do you avoid packaging waste from plastic bottles or coffee-to-go cups, but you save yourself cash by bottling tap water instead of buying bottled water at the supermarket.

2. Savings tip: Never go shopping without a cloth bag

The good old jute bag is no longer a sign of the first eco-generation, but has become a popular hipster accessory. You probably have more than one stuff sack at home, too – why not deposit one at work, one in the car or under the bike seat, and one at home near your keys?. That way, you’ll definitely not forget it when you shop and you won’t have to buy a plastic or paper bag.

Small cloth bags (z. B. Natural bags**) are also suitable for packing bread and rolls at the bakery. This way you also avoid bread bags that end up in the garbage after far too short use.

3. Alternatives to plastic save environmental costs

Our oceans have become huge garbage dumps – they are swimming in plastic that does not decompose but only gets crushed and thus ends up in the stomachs of sea creatures and later on our plates again. When shopping, we can consciously choose how much plastic and packaging we buy. Therefore, choose, for example, yogurt, ketchup and mustard in a jar instead of plastic packaging.

Go shopping at the farmer’s market or unpackaged stores when possible. Even in the drugstore there is often a choice between plastic and glass packaging. As a consumer, you are an important factor in the product design of the industry with your purchasing decisions. For example, the change from light bulb to LED lamp was profitable for consumers:inside and the environment alike.

4. Deactivated standby mode saves electricity and money

This trick is almost old hat, yet many homes still have loud little red lights shining through the night. TV, DVD player or music system: Devices in standby mode consume electricity around the clock and thus contribute to about one-tenth of the electric bill. If you carefully turn off all red lights, you can save up to 120 euros a year.

5. Wash colder – and save money

Colder laundry = unclean laundry? This is not true: almost every laundry gets clean at 30 °C, just give it a try. For heavily soiled laundry, 60 °C is sufficient; temperatures above this are usually an unnecessary waste of energy. Pre-treat stubborn stains by hand instead of heating up the entire wash cycle. Read more: Washing clothes the right way: sorting, temperature, detergent

Let’s stay with cold water and energy saving: You can clean your hands just as well with cold water and soap as with warm water – and save money in the process, too. Washing your hands five times a day, using four liters of cold water each time instead of hot, saves in a 3-person household up to 75 Euro per year.

6. Onion look instead of costly sauna

In the fall and winter, we heat our homes to keep cozy in the cold and gray seasons. One degree more or less often makes a big difference, because every degree of room temperature not only increases the heating bill, but also consumes a lot of energy and generates a lot of CO2. The Federal Environment Agency therefore recommends 20 °C for the living area, 18 °C for the kitchen and 17 °C for the bedroom.

So put on some thick socks and warm yourself on the couch with a cozy blanket (or a partner) instead of turning your apartment into a sauna. Read also: 8 heating mistakes that cost money and waste energy and Correctly Heat15 tips against rising energy prices

7. Borrow instead of buying new

If you need a new outfit for an upcoming wedding or party, ask your friends if they have a suitable outfit for you. Because hand on heart: Many noble pieces in the closet are very rarely or never worn. If you borrow each other’s clothes, you’ll have a new wardrobe more often – without spending money.

Many household items and tools are also rarely used and you can also borrow them from Freund:innen – or borrow them from one of the nationwide lending stores. In addition, there are numerous Lending and exchange websites, Apps and Car sharing platforms, make temporary ownership possible.

8. Avoid chemical cleaners

Many households have a lot of different cleaning products – one for every corner of the house. Aggressive chemical cleaners can be replaced inexpensively and in an environmentally friendly way with simple home remedies such as vinegar, citric acid, soda and baking soda.

Vinegar or. vinegar essence and Citric acid are particularly well suited for descaling, but also for example to clean the toilet All-purpose cleaner, fabric softener and Toilet cleaner you can make from it.

Soda you can use as a cleaner, dishwasher and Detergent use it removes stains and cleans clogged drains. Dishwashing detergent, textile cleaner, Oven cleaner, Grout cleaner and some more you can learn by baking soda replace.

9. Repair Cafes instead of buying new

The television is broken? The vacuum cleaner doesn’t want to? Off to the garbage can and something new bought – so it happens probably more often than that things are repaired. In Repair Cafes, people looking for help and those with technical and manual skills come together and repair broken irons, lampshades, wool sweaters and more. Because often only small things are defective, which could be easily repaired or exchanged.

Look around, in many big cities there are several Repair Cafes – all over Germany there are hundreds of such free repair shops.

10. Be open and inspire others

No one is born an environmentalist:in and you can learn every day. It is important that you remain open to new suggestions, ideas and alternatives. Ultimately, such "green tips" not only protect the environment, but also change one’s own thinking about consumer habits, throwaway mentality, the value of objects and waste sustainably.

Inspire other people through your own actions to make their everyday life greener and more sustainable, without lecturing. Spending an afternoon together at the Repair Cafe or organizing a clothes swap party – living sustainably can be a lot of fun.

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