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Tips for more sustainability in everyday life

Hiking signpost with a view of Lake Reschen

Whether at home, when shopping, travelling or on the daily commute to work – even small steps towards sustainability can make a difference. And that does not mean having to do without everything immediately, but it is more about focusing on rethinking, possible alternatives and what is feasible.

You do not have to become a master in sustainability straight away – even a few small permanent changes in everyday life make such a valuable contribution to a healthy environment. After all, we only have one planet! We at Eurohike put our thinking caps on and researched very simple tips and ideas that can be easily implemented in everyday life and at the same time do something good for our environment.

Hiking signpost with a view of Lake Reschen

Sustainability in the modern world

What exactly does sustainability mean? The term stands for conscious use of available, renewable resources, as well as mindfulness and personal responsibility with regard to our environment. This includes not only the use of sustainable cleaning agents, environmentally conscious food shopping, the use of renewable energy sources or the conscious approach to travel, but also fair working and living conditions for people worldwide. At best, only as much should be taken from nature as we humans actually need. A best-practice principle that the Aborigines in Australia have been successfully implementing, but unfortunately little attention is paid in today’s world.  

Save water for our environment

Reuse instead of wasting

Whether it is the weekly grocery shopping, choosing the energy provider, the means of transport or shopping for clothes – in each of these areas there is an opportunity to avoid wasting resources and potential to protect the environment. Refillable bottles, Tupperware, beeswax wraps or reusable products, for instance, are the perfect way to avoid waste at home or when shopping. Do you enjoy handicrafts? Maybe try upcycling. This is about upgrading old furniture and giving it a new life.

Choosing your own wardrobe sustainably? It is possible. The conscious purchase of clothing – whether used or new – is essential, as is the selection of garments made of sustainable materials. Did you know that more than 100 billion items of clothing are produced every year and that they are disposed of after only ten uses? We Austrians buy an average of 19 kilos of clothing a year – much of it is never worn. The textile industry produces more CO2 than the cruise industry and air travel. Maybe you can just trade a piece of clothing with friends instead of buying something new, recycling it or throwing it away?

This is how eco-friendly shopping works

Especially when shopping for groceries, there are many ways to protect not only the environment but also your own wallet. Before going shopping, the contents of the refrigerator needs to be examined carefully in order to be able to create a need-based shopping list. One well-thought-out purchase per week would be ideal instead of many small purchases. And with proper food storage, food can last even longer. In order not to produce unnecessary waste, it is important to rely on reusable shopping bags such as a cloth bag and to avoid small and disposable packaging wherever possible. It is best to put the cloth bag in your handbag or in the car.

Food directly from the region

Sustainable & regional enjoyment

When you arrive at the supermarket, you should focus on local and seasonal products and choose regional and local organic food. Especially with the choice of ‚animal welfare‘-products, one relies on regional products and species-appropriate animal husbandry. Vegetables from your own garden taste even better. A raised bed, for instance, is not a lot of work and provides wonderfully fresh salad and lots of crispy fresh vegetables during the summer months. A fruit tree in the garden is also a way of supplying your own household with fresh fruit and it also looks beautiful. And if the fruit or vegetables are no longer quite as crisp and fresh, there are numerous options for further sensible processing, such as a soothing soup or a healthy smoothie. Alternatively, most foods can also be frozen.

Vegetables and salad from the raised bed

Did you know

… that about 1.3 billion tons of food – that is 1/3 of all food in the world – is thrown away every year? With the mobile app the Too Good To Go‘-initiative offers its customers the opportunity to order and collect surplus and still edible food from nearby restaurants and shops at a reduced price. Important tip: Always question the best before date of food and check for yourself whether it might still be edible.

Vegetables from the own garden

Mobility with a clear conscience

About 40 percent of all journeys by car are shorter than five kilometres. That sounds like a distance that can also be wonderfully covered by bicycle. After all, the bicycle is the most climate-friendly means of transport in the world, gets your body going and makes you feel happy in the fresh air. That sounds like a wonderful way to start the working day or to spend a day off. Not only is it good for your body and mind, it is also environmentally friendly. If the route is to be covered by car, carpooling is a great idea, which can be organised online at share-now.com or eloop.at, for instance.

Sustainable mobility by bike

Sustainable holidays in Europe: transport, regionality and local resources

The topic of sustainability is also playing an increasingly important role in holiday planning. Instead of roaming far away, a holiday in one of the nearby destinations in Europe offers a wonderful holiday experience with countless opportunities for active travelers and those looking for peace and quiet. Whether on an individual hiking holiday, a hiking holiday with children, hiking with a dog, island hiking or coastal hiking or just relaxing in one of the beautiful lake areas in Austria – the fantastic travel destinations in Europe have so much to offer.

Numerous holiday destinations can be easily reached by public transport and guest cards ensure the necessary mobility in the holiday destination on-site. Once you have arrived at your holiday home, you can do a lot of good for the local economy and the environment by choosing regional food or inns with a focus on regionality. Whether you are taking a water-saving shower or reusing towels, you can also ensure that water, which is such a valuable resource, is used consciously in your holiday accommodation. As you can see, sustainability also works wonderfully when travelling.

Our conclusion

Be a little critical when you next go grocery shopping, on your next shopping tour or when planning your vacation. Questioning your own purchasing and consumption behaviour is already a step towards a more sustainable future. Replace the next car ride with a bicycle or switch to carpooling? Perfect! And as already mentioned at the beginning, it is the small steps that slowly but permanently protect our planet.

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