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Contribution Sustainability in the Household – Part II – Conscious Shopping and Avoiding Garbage

Think about your shopping behavior!

About five years ago, I personally did not think much about waste prevention or conscious shopping. I mainly acted according to my own needs and I wanted to have shop as convenient and cheap as possible. So I often shopped at discounters to meet the daily food needs. Of course, most of the time I used a free plastic bag from the cash register to pack things up.

When I went home for a little party, I bought disposable plastic dishes because it was so handy. I bought drinks in PET bottles because they were lighter and cheaper. After all, I did not have a car or a lift. Why carry heavy glass bottles with me?

Kitchen roll made of recycled paper

Please pay attention to recycled paper

On the way to work, I routinely bought a cappuccino to go in a disposable cup – usually together with a sandwich and a pretzel. Both wrapped separately…

At some point I deliberately dealt with the topic of waste prevention and resource conservation and I realized that, with some simple and equally practical things, I could not only avoid garbage, but also save money at the same time.

Here are my tips for you:

  • Always carry one or two cloth bags or bring a backpack with you. Then you do not need any more plastic bags, which now fortunately cost money.
  • It is best to buy unpackaged food (fruits and vegetables). Organic is best, of course. If organic is too expensive for you, you can still buy fruits and vegetables that are unpackaged, or go to a market near you. Fruit and vegetables naturally have a shell that can either be washed off or peeled. When you shop for unpacked fruits and vegetables, be sure to buy only what you really need, so you do not have to throw anything unused out afterwards. Of course it is especially great if you own a garden in which you have a vegetable patch – combined with a few fruit trees.
  • Do you mainly drink non-carbonated water? Then there is no simpler or cheaper option than the water from the tap. Tap water is generally checked very well and is harmless in regards to certain pollutants. If you want to be sure, you can have a sample of your water sent to the municipal utilities or waterworks for a small cost. You can test for things such as lead in the water pipes or bacteria. If you have any further questions about your drinking/tap water, contact your local health department. With distillers, it is also possible to liberate our water from lime (but also note sometimes important minerals. The cost of a distiller is not so cheap, usually from 185 € up. If you drink carbonated water, there are water bubblers with glass bottles. It comes with a gas cylinder and is sufficient for about 60 liters of mineral water.The empty gas bottles you can return to Rossmann or DM for a full exchange. Exchanging costs around 7-9 €.

Article Test report water bubbler:

Article of Utopia:

  • Buy refill packs. These are available for some cleaning agents (see my first article on sustainability in the household), spices and liquid soap etc.
  • Instead of disposable paper towels used bamboo towels. I tried it for the first time this winter and I’m thrilled. They can be washed up to 60 times!
Reusable kitchen roll

Kitchen roll for frequent use

But also cloths and make up removal pads can be made from old garments such as undershirts and T-shirts. If you do not want to give up disposable cloths, then buy those that have a Blue Angel as a seal or the rolls of paper that consist of completely recycled paper.

  • Coffee for the home: Please avoid buying a coffee capsule machine or coffee pod machine. There are now some really great coffee machines to buy that are easy to care for and are much more sustainable.
Coffee to go

Coffee to go

Coffee on the go: Two years ago, I bought a great reusable cup from KeepCup. With it you can start the journey to university or to work relaxed. If you do not like to fill your coffee at home, you can do so at the next bakery. Most sellers will take this mug. This also saves you creating packaging waste.

Tea bags can be saved, if you buy loose tea. Just a tea strainer is needed and you’ll save waste!

Tea strainer avoids tea bags

Tea strainer avoids tea bags

  • Separate your garbage! Even if you manage to avoid a lot of garbage, every household has some waste. Separate it so that it can be recycled.
  • Also, please do not throw glass in the trash, but in glass containers according to the colors. Glass can be 100% recycled. “Broken window glasses, glassware or drinking glasses, however, are not allowed on the recycling yard, as they often contain additives that are not suitable for glass recycling.” If you are proud garden or arbor owners, then a compost heap would be perfect!

More tips in the third part!

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