Back in 2016, I published an interview (click the link below to read it) with the renowned Dr. Kelly Bricker, chairman of the International Eco Tourism Society. The interview tapped into trends in the tourism industry and what we as travelers can do to travel more sustainably.
It was a big success; in fact that interview has been read by more than 3.000 people, which is incredible! Cause in terms of climate change – it’s still about spreading the word to as many people as possible. We might hear about the dangers lurking around the corner every single day, but most people in this world don’t. That’s why we must keep educating ourselves, spreading the word and enforcing healthier habits every single day. We only have one Mother Earth, and I’m pretty sure she’s pretty fed up with all this.
A lot has happened since I published the interview with Dr. Kelly Bricker 3 years ago. Some of the things we don’t see or hear about in our daily lives while other things are presented to us with full force – like the recent fires in the Amazon rainforest, for example. The Amazon rainforest constitutes more than half of the rainforest area left in this world. And with the recent fires, a big chunk of that has been greatly damaged and hundreds of animal species have disappeared. While it’s normal for the Amazon rainforest to be exposed to fires in the very dry season, these recent conflagrations are naturally also linked to climate change. An abuse of nature has always – and will always – backfire (in the literal sense!) But I’m not going to talk to you about the rainforest in this post, even if I’d love to. Instead, I’ll go ahead and sum up the little initiatives we as citizens in the Western World) can implement every day to minimize our CO2 footprint. It’s for the greater good, for the sake of future generations (if we’re lucky) and for our old Mother Earth who clearly needs a break. By all means, I’m no saint myself! Living in a big city like Berlin, I too find it hard to keep focus on what truly matters in this world – simply because we don’t see the changes happening in front of us. At least not on a day-to-day basis. So this is a kind reminder that these changes are in fact happening in full speed as we speak, and trying to heal the planet is a joined effort. Below, I’m listing things that I’ve embraced in my life, so I know you can, too!
If you’d like to read about how to travel more sustainable, read the post below. It was published last year, but the points are still valid.
A quick guide to eco-friendly living
Sell your car and use public transportation instead
When I was in my early 20’s, I drove a car every single day. Being raised on the country side, a car was very much needed to get from A to B. Today, I live in a big city and no longer feel the need to drive often. As much as I love roadtrips (some of my best travel memories were made by car!), I try to minimize it where I can. Public transportation is so easy to use and not very expensive (in Berlin, at least), and if you eventually find yourself in a situation of needing a car, try car sharing or borrow one from a friend.
This is a no-brainer. When did everyone stop walking?! I LOVE walking around my city and in nature as well, so whenever it’s possible, my two feet are my preferred mode of transportation. Let’s face it; it is possible to walk nearly anywhere if you’re up for it and plan it in advance. Simply put on some good music or a podcast and go!
Eat less meat
200 years ago, the vast majority of people didn’t eat meat every day, let alone every week. And when they did, it was definitely from ‘own produce’. Meat is a modern luxury which has gone overboard.
I still believe eating meat in healthy amounts, like our forefathers did, is fine – but the current world consumption is downright alarming. Saying bye to red meat – or eating significantly less of it – actually reduces your carbon footprint quite a lot. Add on top of that reduced food waste in general and you’re already doing a great job! (Psst! Check out the app Too Good to Go if you’re into reducing food waste).
Buy used goods and recycle
Buy used, borrow and recycle. If you do that consistently, you’re making a big step in the right direction of creating a better tomorrow. Every time you need something, ask yourself: do I really need to buy this from new or can I get it used? Perhaps borrow it from a friend? Owning too much stuff isn’t only unnecessary, it definitely won’t make you happy, either. If you have children, buy used clothes for them and hand down clothes they’ve outgrown to friends and family. This is a big one in our house and I absolutely love it! Perfect if you love flea markets and bargains!
As for the recycling part, this can be applied to anything from bottles to clothing to batteries. Many things can be recycled today, but the following items can’t: plastic bags, disposable diapers, takeaway coffee cups, garden waste, bubble wrap, medical waste etc.
Use canvas bags for shopping
A few years ago, I didn’t pay too much notice to the recycling of grocery bags, but then I got wiser – and became a mom. Many larger supermarkets have already gone ahead and replaced their normal plastic bags with recyclable ones or even canvas bags. Today, I prefer using my own canvas bag when I go shopping – or buying a paper bag, if necessary.
It’t not about becoming obsessive or thinking that you should be perfect (no one is!). It’s about learning to live a more mindful life by simply putting a little more thought behind your actions – something I’m still practicing every single day. Does that sound appealing to you? Then I can recommend this book The Zero-Waste Lifestyle.
How do you approach sustainability in everyday life? Leave a comment below 🙂