Today, sustainability is everywhere. It is part of the so-called neo-ecology. It is characterized by resource-conserving, sustainable actions and economic activity. Without correction, today's lifestyle would end in an ecological catastrophe. As a consequence, there is a threat of economic and, consequently, social collapse. Politicians, entrepreneurs and consumers have recognized this. But how can sustainability, profit and consumption be combined? It certainly requires a rethink. Sustainability is a matter of attitude and is associated with renunciation.
What is meant by sustainability
In short, sustainability means behaving in an ecologically, economically and socially responsible manner. Future generations should find an environment worth living in with fair social conditions. The three pillars of sustainability are to be considered equally important. All measures derived from them should be economically efficient, socially just and ecologically sustainable. You can find out more about the three-pillar model in the article "Sustainable companies are more successful".
Agenda 2030 with the roadmap for the future
In Agenda 2030, the United Nations set itself 17 sustainable goals. The so-called SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are directed at politics, companies, the private sector, science, and every individual. The roadmap for the future calls on all countries to orient themselves to the five Ps (People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, Partnership). They should also enable future generations to live in dignity while preserving all natural resources in the long term.
Why sustainability is important
Politics can define the framework conditions for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, each individual is required to make his or her contribution. Only by integrating sustainability into our everyday lives can we preserve a unique biodiversity, natural environment and healthy atmosphere. This resolution requires a change in consumer behavior and responsible production along the entire value chain. But of course, brands are also called upon and can exert influence through an honest and transparent sustainability strategy .
Implementing sustainability in everyday life
Sustainability in everyday life means nothing other than acting consciously. It is up to you to select products and stores. Your consumer behavior pollutes the atmosphere with harmful substances or relieves it of greenhouse gases. It is up to you to choose or produce sustainable products. You then have them transported by an environmentally friendly parcel service provider. Consistent sustainability ensures a neutral eco-balance.
Sustainability in nutrition
Eating consciously has a positive impact on your health, society, the economy and the environment. But what is the basis of a sustainable diet? The basis is a plant-based mixed diet with fresh, seasonal, regional and minimally processed foods. This significantly reduces CO2 emissions compared to a meat-based diet. Plant-based products require less land and water. However, a complete renunciation of meat would be counterproductive in terms of sustainability. Grassland for grazing binds carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Converting it to cropland would release large amounts of CO2. When choosing your meat and sausage products, pay attention to organic animal husbandry. Sustainable agriculture has its price. It does not use nitrogen fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and concentrated feed. Fair wages are inextricably linked to sustainable nutrition. Ultimately, everyone benefits from this: soil, water, climate, plants, animals and people.
Sustainability has also arrived in the fashion industry. It is increasingly using organic cotton and natural fibers. In addition, fashion houses are paying more attention to social standards in manufacturing. Those who still have the cliché of baggy, coarse hemp clothes in mind are being proven wrong. Sustainable clothing made from natural fibers has shed its "gray mouse" image and shines in trendy colors. Another sustainable trend is vegan sandals. They are considered to be hard-wearing and durable. You can choose between different raw materials such as breathable hemp, water-repellent cork, versatile pomace or skin-friendly organic cotton. End consumers find it difficult to check the production conditions. Reputable sustainability seals such as Fairtrade, GOTS or IVN offer orientation.
Sustainably produced cosmetics
Sustainable care products are becoming increasingly popular in everyday life. Manufacturers usually rely on organic ingredients. They also avoid animal testing. Since packaging also plays a major role in cosmetic products, their consistency is changing. They are mainly more solid and wrapped in glass or cardboard. Don't be fooled when it comes to sustainable cosmetics. Orient yourself to the following criteria:
- Organic cultivation of the raw materials
- No fragrances or preservatives
- Free from mineral oil and microplastics
- Without animal testing or animal ingredients
- Independent seal like BDIH, Ecocert, Vegan Society
A little tip: The organic cultivation of raw materials alone is no guarantee of sustainability. It only confirms that the products are free of herbicides or pesticides. Sustainable raw materials also include fair trade and climate-neutral transport by specialized parcel service providers.
In your free time, your everyday life usually takes place within your own four walls. Here it is up to you to furnish yourself individually and sustainably. Choose recyclable furniture and accessories that are made from natural materials and conserve resources. For example, go for bamboo, wood, metal or stone. Immaculate, industrially produced furniture was yesterday, today sustainability matters. Simply refurbish old pieces. With craftsmanship and creativity, you can create a very individual interior. From old you make new with a little sanding and painting. This is how you create very personal tables, benches or chests. The trend towards eat-in kitchens fits in with sustainable nutrition. The new desire to cook is displacing convenience products. Even kitchen accessories are sustainably made from wood, bamboo or edible materials. Hygienic countertops are made of granite or wood with natural surface coatings.
Energy: sustainably save costs
Every individual can find ways to reduce energy consumption in everyday life. The maxim is to save energy with the right energy sources. First, identify the energy guzzlers in your household. These can be old ovens, stoves, refrigerators or washing machines. A look at your electricity provider often reveals further savings potential. Owners of old properties often waste a lot of energy due to poor insulation. Energy consultants help to define sensible, energy-efficient measures. This applies to roof and facade insulation as well as the replacement of windows and doors. This alone will save you half of your heating costs. A sustainable heating system with modern condensing technology offers further savings. If you decide on a combination of pellet heating or a heat pump with a solar system, the investment can be high. The KfW Bank promotes energy-efficient renovation with low-interest loans.
Environmentally friendly travel
Sustainable travel means arriving at your vacation destination with low CO2 emissions. Airplanes and cruise ships are considered major polluters. They emit a lot of carbon dioxide, but bring many people to their vacation destination. Those who already own an e-car can use this for European destinations. An alternative is to avoid long-distance travel. Short distances or environmentally friendly means of transport reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. How about a round trip by bicycle? Sustainability doesn't stop at the destination. As a responsible tourist, you should avoid using your car whenever possible. Depending on the destination, environmentally friendly alternatives are available. These include trains, buses, bicycles and ferries. You can also cover some distances on foot. You can even choose accommodation with sustainability in mind. Nature lovers opt for a camping vacation. If you want to be pampered in a hotel, you are looking for accommodation for sustainable travel. Agritourism is ideal for eco-tourists.
Sustainable mobility in everyday life
Mobility is part of our everyday lives. Whether we're traveling for work, going shopping, or meeting up with friends, we need a means of transportation. The car, or more precisely the combustion engine, still dominates. It costs us a lot and pollutes our climate. If you can't do without your car completely, choose a climate-friendly option. Pay attention to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. An electric car is more expensive to buy, less expensive to maintain and more environmentally friendly. If you live in the city, you can switch to car sharing, public transport or e-bikes. Researchers and developers are already working on new drive technologies. Prototypes exist for drives with fuel cells, air or hydrogen. It remains to be seen which ones are suitable for everyday use. Innovative vehicle technology will be a path to sustainable mobility in the future. Today, the main focus is on the conscious choice of means of transport.
Sustainability with recycling
Avoiding waste is the optimal approach to sustainability. This is not always possible. The alternative is to reuse materials. One of the biggest environmental offenders is disposable plastic packaging. Plastic does not decompose, it does not biodegrade. Plastic decomposes into microparticles that end up in the sea and enter our food chain again via marine animals. Therefore, in everyday life, it is better to use reusable packaging and recycled products. Particularly sustainable are completely recyclable materials such as batteries, electronic devices, glass, leather, jewelry, shoes and textiles.
Sustainability in transport
Quite commonplace and familiar today are online orders and deliveries by logistics partners. At the end of the value chain, the delivery, there is no reason to forgo sustainability. The decisive factor is choosing the right partner. The article "Sustainable shipping service providers in comparison" offers you some orientation. By making a conscious decision in favor of a green parcel service provider such as Liefergrün, you are focusing on environmentally friendly delivery. The goal is greater mobility with less traffic and CO2 emissions. This saves resources and is also cost-efficient. Sustainable consumers choose an online store that ships the ordered goods in an environmentally friendly way. Depending on the delivery area, this could be e-vehicles, e-trikes or e-bikes for the last mile. Choosing the right, sustainable shipping service provider pays off for retailers, customers, and the environment.
Living sustainability: Disadvantages
Sustainability is associated with a renunciation of convenience and consumption. Sustainable products and services are booming in all sectors. However, CO2 emissions are not falling at the same rate. This would require the majority of society to behave sustainably. However, this often fails because of our own demands. Who likes to do without hard-earned comfort? Do you really need all the electrical appliances in your household? An electric clothes dryer, for example, can easily be replaced by drying in the fresh air. Instead of traveling to the end of the world by plane, spend your vacation in your own country. Traveling and shopping consciously, whether for food, energy or mobility, is a hassle. But sustainability requires exactly that: less consumption, exchange or buy used or repair and extend the life cycle.
Today, you can find sustainable alternatives in every area. There are many small adjustments in everyday life that make all the difference. It is crucial to consume consciously and to deal with manufacturing processes, ingredients, transport routes and seals. By consciously selecting raw materials, products and means of transport, you make an active contribution to environmental protection and to a future worth living. Choosing a green parcel service provider like Liefergrün is already a step in the right direction.