“Start changing yourself if you want to change the life around you.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Before you donate to your favorite environmental cause or volunteer to help save an endangered species, take a look at your surroundings: your home, the products you buy, the food you eat. Is your day-to-day life reflecting the principles of ecological harmony and environmental responsibility? Here are a few things to check:

  1. In 1980 the average home had three electronic devices. With the advent of computers and smartphones, that figure has risen to over 25 today. Home appliances already account for over 15% of the world’s electrical consumption. Meeting this demand will require the construction of an additional 560 coal power plants, or 230 cleaner nuclear power plants. Make sure to:
    • Buy home appliances rated A, A+ or A++ for efficiency according to their EU energy label, including light bulbs.
    • When remodeling your kitchen, make sure you purchase an induction cooktop. They consume half the energy of a normal electric cooktop and cover the extra cost within 2-3 years.
  2. These are fairly obvious, so it’s surprising how many people still don’t:
    • Choose showers over baths.
    • Wash plates immediately after using them (if possible!) – it consumes less water than if you let them sit in the sink (and make sure not to run the dishwasher until it’s completely full).
    • Drink from the tap instead of buying bottled water (make sure to have a filter!).
  1. Over 40% of heat in the winter escapes the home through the windows. It’s important to:
    • Either buy double-pane windows or purchase insulation for the winter from a hardware store.
    • Close your curtains – this also prevents the release of heat.
    • Dress warmer! No need to run that heater if you’re already warm.
  2. There are some surprising things you can do in your day-to-day life to reduce your carbon footprint:
    • Walk or bike.
    • If traveling long distances, take the train or carpool. A round-trip flight from New York to Europe is responsible for 2 to 3 tonnes of CO2 per person. The average European generates 10 tonnes a year.
  3. This one almost speaks for itself: