Everybody is talking about it, things are changing and we have become increasingly aware of the impact of our daily consumption. We can do better! We have asked ourselves, how we can be more responsible as consumers and make better choices that aren’t harmful for the planet and for society.
“Achieving economic growth and sustainable development requires that we urgently reduce our ecological footprint by changing the way we produce and consume goods and resources. Agriculture is the biggest user of water worldwide, and irrigation now claims close to 70 percent of all freshwater for human use.” explains the United Nations Development Programme.
In order to stress how important change is, here are some numbers:
1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted every year, while almost 2 billion people go hungry or undernourished.
The food sector accounts for around 22 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, largely from the conversion of forests into farmland.
Globally, 2 billion people are overweight or obese.
Only 3 percent of the world’s water is fresh (drinkable), and humans are using it faster than nature can replenish it.
If people everywhere switched to energy efficient lightbulbs, the world would save US$120 billion annually.
One-fifth of the world’s final energy consumption in 2013 was from renewable sources.
The term ‘sustainable consumption’ refers to the environmental and social dimensions of how we purchase goods and services.
There are three dimensions within that concept:
- Buying better, greener products
- Consuming better and wasting less
- Throwing away better and recycling
Here are some tips on how to consume responsibly:
1. Chose eco-friendly transport
Ride your bike if the weather is nice. And if cars are unavoidable, why not use a car share service in order to reduce the impact on resources? In Berlin, Clever Shuttle and Berlkönig offer ridepooling via apps that provide affordable and eco-friendly door-to-door transportation. Jelbi (who participated in our Better Together Award programme earlier this year), also located in Berlin, give you a great overview of all mobility options. 😉
2. Plan your grocery shopping
What are you going to eat this week? Be as accurate in your estimations as possible before you shop for groceries. Find out in advance about special food requirements of your guests, should you throw a dinner party. As a result, you’ll be able to minimise food waste. Even better: pick up some rescued food from Sir Plus. Need something delivering? Then order a bike courier from Impact Hub Berlin members, Imagine Cargo.
3. Think before you print
Rather than printing paper materials, leaflets or your travel expense lists, send out information digitally via email or other platforms. There are some great tools to use like WeTransfer for sending large files, and software like debitoor that helps with paperwork for freelancers.
4. Bring your own
There are more and more clever solutions to the packaging problem. Reusable is the magic word. Beautifully designed soulbottles are made of glass. Kivanta makes reusable lunchboxes of any size. Little Bee Fresh create beeswax wrapping paper to replace plastic clingfilm.
5. Buy local
Buy food and products that weren’t shipped half way across the world. And buy less of the stuff that travels far (we’re thinking of avocados or coconut oil here). If you’re in Berlin and want to find out where to buy local, Findeling is a great source.
6. Swap clothes or buy second hand
Most of us tend to buy too much to wear, so private sales and swaps can be a great way to get ‘new’ clothes or to get rid of the ones you no longer need or want. eBay is a great place to sell, or use apps like Vinted, which let you sell and swap clothes, shoes and accessories.
Impact Hub Berlin is a catalyst for social innovation – we are a community, a consultancy and a creative space.This is the indispensible, inspirational and practical guide to being resourceful by design within the home. Save money, save the planet and stay ahead in the style stakes. If something’s going spare, there’s a use for it somewhere.