These days, the theme of sustainability is omnipresent. But what exactly does sustainability mean? How can it be implemented in all areas of daily life? In our article, you will learn how you can make many everyday objects more sustainable.
There are many definitions of the term “sustainability” in different fields. But in general, we can say that sustainability is a principle of action for the use of resources. The objective is to ensure the long-term satisfaction of needs while preserving the natural regenerative capacity of the systems concerned (especially living organisms and ecosystems). This means, for example, that only the amount of wood that will grow back permanently can be harvested.
Three guiding strategies for sustainability can be identified:
Sustainability in your own home may seem like a lot of work at first. However, with a few small changes, you can make your daily life at home more sustainable little by little.
To promote sustainability in your purchases, it is best to pay attention to the products you buy. Ideally, you should buy organic, sustainably grown and environmentally produced products. You can now find these products in every supermarket or discount store. Not only are organic products generally of better quality, but you are also helping to reduce CO2. For even more sustainable purchases, you should buy regional and seasonal products to avoid long transport routes.
Also try to avoid packaging waste as much as possible when shopping. Prefer to buy food and other products in jars, paper or other environmentally friendly packaging. Ideally, choose products that do not require packaging as often as possible.
In addition, you should only buy the foods you need. To do this, you should write a list of the products you need before each purchase and stick to it. Of course, you can always indulge outside of this list. But in general, shopping lists are very helpful to avoid losing track of what you need and ending up throwing away food. You should also sort the foods in your refrigerator by expiration date. This means that foods that are close to their expiration date are moved to the front so that they don’t languish in the back corner of your refrigerator and end up in the trash unused.
Some appliances use a lot of energy. To ensure greater sustainability in this area, you should implement the following measures:
This way, you’re not only doing something good for the environment, you can also save money. That’s because energy-saving technologies reduce your overall energy consumption.
In the city, it’s best to bike or walk short distances. Not only is it good for your health (every step makes you fit!), but it also saves you fuel and doesn’t require you to worry about finding a parking space. And you also help reduce your CO2 consumption.
If you get the chance, try biking to work or to your friends’ houses! You’ll see that the warmth of the sun on your face will feel good!
Of course, there are many other things you can do to make your home more sustainable. For example, environmentally friendly cleaning products. Fortunately, the range of these products has grown enormously in recent years. This way you can combine the usually boring cleaning with the protection of the environment. But you don’t always have to buy cleaning products: household remedies such as baking soda and vinegar can get rid of many types of dirt.
And it’s not just cleaning that can make your home more sustainable. Sorting your waste is also an important part of protecting the environment. It helps protect our environment and ensures that the right materials can be recycled.
Are you a coffee addict too? Then don’t forget to bring your own cup to go the next time you fill up on coffee. Many coffee shops and bakeries will even give you a small discount if you bring your own container. And let’s face it: sustainable coffee tastes a lot better.
Now that you’re more sustainable at home, it’s time to improve your workplace. Sustainability can be implemented in any office. After all, we spend a lot of time there, so why should sustainability stop at your doorstep?
Unfortunately, piles of paper are printed for meetings and end up in the trash. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Wouldn’t it be great to have (almost) paperless meetings? Sure, printed information is sometimes useful and can make processes or meetings more efficient. But it doesn’t always have to be the printed version:
Everyone knows in the office, we print a lot. You can reduce your company’s environmental footprint by following a few simple recommendations:
The café-kitchen has great potential in terms of sustainability. How about refillable water bottles for you and your colleagues? This way, you not only reduce plastic consumption, but you also encourage the use of tap water (which is much more sustainable!). It’s good for you, your colleagues and the environment.
When it comes to the coffee machine, you should also make sure to buy a machine that is as energy efficient as possible, as well as sustainably produced coffee. In addition, the machine should be turned off when not in use, such as on weekends.
And finally, although many people take it for granted, we mention it here: reusable rather than disposable tableware.
Discuss with your colleagues and find the right temperature for everyone. The optimal room temperature is between 20 and 22 degrees. This way, you can reduce your heating and energy costs. Excessive heating is also bad for your health. It is better to dress a little warmer and heat less. But don’t forget to ventilate. You should regularly open all windows completely for 5 to 10 minutes. On the other hand, it is bad for the environment to tilt the windows and keep heating.
In the summer, when temperatures rise, many people run their air conditioners at full blast. Almost everyone knows that these devices are real energy guzzlers. That’s why it’s best to air out the room early in the morning when it’s hot, to cool it down. Moreover, fans consume much less electricity and give the office a tropical atmosphere.
How about green roommates in your office? And no, I’m not talking about little men from outer space. Office plants have many positive aspects. They filter dust and air pollutants, regulate humidity. They also reduce the noise level in the office. This promotes concentration and gives your office a more friendly and individual look. So what are you waiting for? Head to your nearest home improvement or plant store and get some miracle green plants for your office!
The next step to more sustainability in the office: buy reusable and sustainable office supplies. Buy refillable soaps and detergents for your office to save on unnecessary packaging, especially for large orders.
Other options include pens and pencils made from recycled materials and toilet paper, which may not look fancy, but serves its purpose.
Of course, you must be careful not to waste office supplies.
Sorting waste at the office
What many people already do at home should also apply to the office: Waste separation. Find a central location for trash cans and place a properly labelled garbage can for each type of waste. Here, it’s not just residual waste and paper waste in the office. Include options for organic waste, plastic waste, batteries and, if necessary, a collection point for returnable bottles.
Clear labelling and a central location make waste separation a walk in the park for everyone. This way, you gain another sustainability bonus.
There are also simple rules for saving electricity in the office. After a productive day at the office, you’re not the only one who needs a break – your trusty computer does too. Turn it off before you leave the office and don’t forget to turn off the screen! In fact, it’s a good idea to turn off the screen for just 30 minutes: Before you take your well-deserved lunch break, put it in power-saving mode and turn off the screen.
The same goes for office lights. During the day, they should be turned on as little as possible, especially in rooms that are not in constant use. For you and your colleagues to promote sustainability in the future without much thought, it is useful to install motion sensors in rooms such as restrooms and kitchen cafes. This way, no one will be able to forget to turn off the lights in that area.
In addition, it is advisable to equip all lamps with energy-saving bulbs or LEDs.
Avoid traveling for every business meeting. Thanks to ever-improving technology, many things can be done virtually these days. Of course, technology also produces CO2 emissions, but not on the same scale as planes, trains, buses and cars. Plus, you save travel time and can fall asleep in your favorite bed at night.
And if you still must travel, we recommend taking the bus and/or train.
Everyone loves a vacation, and with good reason. No matter how you spend your vacation, whether it’s an active vacation in the mountains or lounging on the beach, you should also think about the sustainability aspect when planning. So that these beautiful places on our planet are also preserved for future generations.
Just as with business travel, you should avoid air travel as much as possible when it comes to vacations. Choose destinations that are close to home or accessible by bus or train. Of course, you shouldn’t avoid long-distance travel altogether, but you should minimize the number of trips. And when you go on vacation, donate to a charity project that reforests or rainforests. That way, you can offset the environmental damage of your flight.
To be truly sustainable on vacation, you should take a closer look at the hotels or accommodations in your destination. There are many companies that are consciously committed to sustainability and, more importantly, sustainable tourism. Take advantage of these offers!
You should also avoid all-inclusive vacations. They are very popular, but unfortunately have little to do with sustainability. Most of the time, only the big tourism companies are supported and not the local population. Also, the food at these resorts is usually not very sustainable and there is a lot of food waste.
For many, it is unthinkable to go on vacation without a rental car. Sure, a rental car gives you maximum flexibility, but it’s a drawback in terms of sustainability. Instead, use public transport in the vacation country in question, in order to discover many things and have great experiences.
If you still can’t do without a car on vacation, check out local carpooling offers.
No matter where you vacation, make sure to buy locally or use services provided by locals. These practices are generally more sustainable and, depending on the country, many people can feed their families with the money earned. You also get to know new people and experience local life firsthand. When shopping, however, be sure to bring eco-friendly bags (cloth, for example) or store goods in your backpack to avoid unnecessary plastic waste.
By supporting local offerings, you are not only promoting sustainability, but also offering people a way to use tourism in their country in a positive way.
Of course, sustainability is also very close to our hearts at Standsome. That’s why we only use FSC-certified wood to produce our Standsomes. In addition, we package all our products without plastic and in recycled/recyclable materials and we ship them in climate neutral conditions.
And that’s not all: for every Standsome sold, we donate to non-profit organizations that plant trees in North Americas backyard. The amount per sale donated by Standsome is enough to plant a tree and take care of it for a year.
At first, all this information and advice may seem overwhelming, but don’t worry. You don’t have to implement everything right away; start with small steps that you can easily incorporate into your daily life. You can build on them later and continue to strengthen your sustainability!