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Living more sustainably as a single: 10 simple tips & tricks

Having a sustainable and regional lifestyle is becoming increasingly important these days. For singles, however, it can be a challenge to integrate this lifestyle into everyday life without a lot of extra effort and expense. With a few simple and efficient tips and tricks, it is possible to create an environmentally friendly, sustainable and regional lifestyle without having to spend a lot of time and money.

1. Regional & seasonal food shopping

A big step towards sustainable living is conscious food shopping. The best place to find regional and seasonal fruit and vegetables is at farmers’ markets or local stores. However, if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to visit the market, large supermarket chains now also offer regional products, which are usually labeled. To know which foods are currently in season, you can hang a seasonal calendar in your kitchen or regularly check the internet or our blog. Buying regional and seasonal fruit and vegetables and food supports the local economy, reduces the carbon footprint and avoids long transportation routes.

2. Reduce food waste

If you live alone or are single, it is difficult to shop in the right quantities and avoid wasting food. An easy way to really counteract this is a meal plan. With the plan, you only buy the food you need and can think about what you want to conjure up from the leftovers. Leftovers from the previous day can be used in creative ways. If you’re in a hurry or don’t feel like cooking, apps such as “Too Good to Go” are ideal for picking up surplus food from a restaurant or supermarket and saving it.

3. Shopping without packaging

Waste is a major problem in today’s world. In our everyday lives, packaging waste is a large part of our daily waste. At farmers’ markets or stores, it is easy to shop without packaging if you take your own bags and storage containers with you. In supermarkets it’s not quite as easy, but here too you can try to avoid packaging waste as much as possible. Some supermarkets now offer loose goods. For food, you can make sure that it is packaged in paper instead of plastic and, of course, bring your own reusable shopping bags.

4. Household cleaning products as an environmentally friendly alternative

Environmentally friendly household cleaning products in recyclable or reusable packaging make a big difference. The loose, unpackaged dishwasher tabs in a box, the glass cleaner to refill in a glass bottle and the dust cloths for washing. You can now refill your own cleaning products and detergents in large drugstore chains without any extra effort. Many of these products are not only better for the environment, but also for our health. You can easily make your own cleaning products that do not harm our skin or lungs. Vinegar, baking soda and citric acid make it easy to mix your own descaler, bathroom cleaner and other products. Essential oils such as lemon, orange or lavender can be added for a fresh scent.

All-purpose cleaner:

  • 1 part white table vinegar
  • 1 part water
  • A few drops of essential oil, for example lemon, orange, lavender or tea tree oil for the fragrance

Mix everything together and shake well. Spray onto surfaces and wipe off with a cloth.

Bathroom cleaner:

  • 1 tbsp citric acid
  • 1 cup of water

Dissolve the citric acid in the warm water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray onto limescale deposits, shower walls or fittings and rinse thoroughly with water.

WC cleaner 

  • ½ cup baking soda 
  • ½ cup of white table vinegar

Sprinkle the baking soda into the toilet and pour the vinegar over it – the mixture will start to foam. Leave to work for 10 minutes to 1 hour depending on how dirty it is and then scrub with a toilet brush.

Scouring powder with baking soda

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • optional: a few drops of essential oil (e.g. lemon, lavender or tea tree oil) for the fragrance Put the baking soda in a bowl and add the essential oils.

Mix everything together well. Now apply the mixture to the surfaces to be cleaned (e.g. sink, bathtub or hob), scrub with a damp sponge and rinse thoroughly with water.

These 4 cleaning agents are easy to make, inexpensive, environmentally friendly and, most importantly, effective for household cleaning.

5. Save energy

An environmentally friendly everyday life also means living energy-efficiently. Small measures with a big impact include LED lamps and switching off electrical appliances completely when they are not in use. Defrosting and cleaning fridges and freezers regularly to minimize consumption. Sealing doors and windows to heat efficiently are other small measures to save energy.

6. Save water

Conscious use of water is a major aspect of a sustainable lifestyle. Consciously save water by turning off the water when showering and washing your hands, soaping up and not letting it run when brushing your teeth. If you have an open space such as a balcony or garden, a simple measure is to collect rainwater for watering. The plants and the environment will be happy.

7. Public transport & bike

If you live in the city or if it is possible in the countryside, the bicycle is a great alternative to the car. Many cities now offer well-developed cycle paths so that you can get around by bike. In most cities, public transport is very well developed if cycling is not an alternative for you. For longer distances, car sharing is an environmentally friendly alternative. In the countryside, it’s not so easy to get around without a car, so it’s an option to travel together with friends, neighbors or family. A kind of DIY car sharing.

8. Conscious Consume

To integrate conscious consumption into your life, focus on quality rather than quantity. Ask yourself the question do I really need that new gadget or bag? If you answer this question with a clear yes, there are great opportunities to buy something “new”. Platforms such as Willhaben or ebay classifieds or second-hand stores are great options for sustainable consumption.

9. Urban Gardening & community gardens

Some cities offer community gardens or urban gardening projects where you can register to take part. This makes it possible to grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs even if you don’t have your own garden or balcony. Urban gardening is a great opportunity for a new hobby, relaxation and also to make new friends. It also gives you a sense of seasonality.

10. Inform & network

Urban gardening is a great way to network; there are usually other sustainability initiatives and projects in the area. In many cities, there are sustainability networks where you can network, get information and start new projects together.
With small changes in everyday life, it is possible to live sustainably and regionally without great effort. It can be that easy to make a big contribution to a sustainable future and environmental protection. To start a sustainable lifestyle, a small change is a big step in the right direction. Over time, it becomes more and more steps for our environment and at the same time you lead a conscious and fulfilling life. Every step counts!

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