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Environmental sins – The 10 biggest, ecological missteps of our everyday life

Environmental Sins – The 10 Biggest, Ecological Missteps Of Everyday Life

What are actually the biggest environmental sins in everyday life? "Start, live sustainably!" - that is always so easy to say. But how can you start and improve if you don't even know exactly what you have done "wrong" so far.

So it is extremely helpful to know the eco-sins of mankind in everyday behavior. Every one of us has committed them or is committing them. That's not a big deal. But those who know their ecological missteps should at least try to commit them less often or not at all in the future.

In this article, I would like to introduce you to some of the biggest environmental sins in everyday life and show you what you can do to eliminate them. Let's go!

Here you can find a short overview in advance:

  1. Use disposable plastic
  2. Flying with the plane
  3. Waste water excessively
  4. Consume fast fashion
  5. Eat meat and other animal products
  6. Buy fruits and vegetables out of season
  7. Throw away food
  8. Use electricity from fossil fuels
  9. Excessively waste electricity and thermal energy
  10. Smoke cigarettes and throw them on the floor

The 10 biggest environmental sins in everyday life

Environmental sins in everyday life - single-use plastic

The biggest environmental problems of our time do not come from nowhere. Our everyday behavior has caused them - that is, what we eat, buy, tell others or idolize. To become part of their solutionIt is therefore extremely important to get to know the biggest environmental sins in everyday life. In the following, I will now present them to you in more detail.

1. use disposable plastic

Every hour, around 320,000 disposable cups for hot drinks are consumed in Germany aloneIn addition, there are plastic cutlery, disposable barbecues, disposable cotton pads, disposable coffee capsules, and vast amounts of other disposable stuff.

We have become comfortable - and let in our Disposable society prefer to turn petroleum into cheap disposable products over a long production process instead of using reusable products, such as porcelain coffee cups or stainless steel cutlery, and washing them briefly.

In the end, disposable plastic benefits only one thing: industry. The costs are borne by people, animals and our planet. Because a large part ends up as Plastic waste in the environment.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

2. fly with the airplane

In 2019, there were around 47 million flights in global aviation.₂ They are the main reason that mainly the Mass tourism a a decisive share of the man-made greenhouse gases wears.

For example, the flights from Frankfurt to Cancun in Mexico and back generate around 3.25 metric tons of CO2 per person as direct greenhouse gas emission. By comparison, this corresponds to about 16 months of average driving.₃ (More at Tourism statistics)

Only about ten percent of all people in the world have ever had the chance to sit in an airplane.₄ Anyone who belongs to this 10 percent should understand that flying is not "taking the bus," but should only be an alternative for exceptional situations.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

3. waste excessive amount of water

Water waste is one of the biggest environmental sins of everyday life

Water is a vital resource whose availability is declining in many parts of the world. Long showers, multiple flushing of the toilet or watering the garden not only pushes the local water supply to its limits, but also requires large amounts of energy to purify and transport the water.

However, we consumers primarily consume water indirectly in the course of our Food productionthat we eat or at the Clothing manufacturethat we carry.

How big the environmental sin of direct and indirect water consumption in combination actually is is shown by the so-called Water footprint. Every German consumes 2,628 cubic meters of water per year - that's about 7,000 liters per day.₄

What you can do about this environmental sin:

  • Take shorter showers and turn off water when soaping up.
  • Install water-efficient appliances and fixtures.
  • Consume plant products instead of animal products and Conserve resources.
  • Prefer regional, seasonal and organic foods.
  • Water garden in cooler morning or evening hours.

Recommendation: More Tips for saving water at home can be found in the detailed linked article.

4. consume fast fashion

We store ourselves out of our minds. While there used to be spring/summer and fall/winter trends, today new collections come out at what feels like weekly intervals. Who buys and needs it all? The Fast Fashion Industry creates almost only losers:inside.

In the end, only industry wins - consumers and nature pay the price. Because the goods are usually of inferior quality and often have to be bought again. The resulting textile waste and the discharged chemicals from the factories poison the environment.

Of course, this environmental sin in everyday life affects by far not only our clothing purchases, but also quite fundamentally our consumer behavior or the Buying unnecessary things.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

5. eat meat and other animal products

Eating meat is a great climate and environmental sin

Global meat consumption is steadily increasing. This fact contributes significantly to the global warming at. Indeed, the food sector is responsible for about 40 percent of European greenhouse gas emissions.₅ These are caused, for example, by transports, the digestion of ruminants, and the Deforestation released for the cultivation of fodder and the creation of grazing land.

In addition, among other things, the Soil and water contamination by pollutants from insecticides and fertilizers from agriculture.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

6. buy fruits and vegetables out of season

We live as in the Cockaigne and have become accustomed to being able to get everything at any time - including food.

But to enjoy many of them outside their normal growing season, they must either be grown in energy-intensive greenhouses or transported over long distances be achieved. This does not work without massive energy consumption and the emission of large amounts of CO2, which pollute the global climate. A real, ecological misstep of our everyday life.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

  • Orient to the seasonal calendar and food seasonal shopping.
  • Subscribe to vegetable boxes with seasonal vegetables from local farmers.
  • Freeze food or ferment and enjoy them out of season.
  • Grow your own vegetable garden and produce seasonally yourself.

7. throw away food

According to data from the Federal Statistical Office, around 78 kilograms of food waste per capita and year in Germany in the waste of private households.₆

Food waste is not only a waste of well-earned moneybut also from natural resources. Any food that is thrown away also represents the water, land and energy costs involved in its production, processing, packaging, transportation and disposal.

Not to be forgotten are also the countless animals that died not only in agony, but also completely in vain for human food production. are.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

  • Plan meals and groceries to avoid buying anything superfluous.
  • Do not take the best before date too seriously and rely on senses.
  • Store food properly and Utilize leftovers.
  • Support food rescue initiatives. (e.g. Food Sharing)

8. use electricity from nuclear energy or fossil fuels.

Opencast mining to extract coal is a climate sin

In 2022, around 46 percent of electricity in Germany was generated from renewable energies - that's a good figure.₇ However, it also means, by implication, that the predominantly from sources that are only available to a limited extent and are harmful to the environmentsuch as nuclear or coal-fired power.

Those who still run their households on electricity generated by radioactive radiation or the burning of fossil fuels are committing an environmental sin every day. Especially the Open pit mining destroys entire landscapes - also in their own environment.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

9. excessive waste of electricity and heat energy

One problem is the origin of electricity in the home, the other is its excessive waste, which is caused mainly by more and more household technology, entertainment media and poor thermal insulation comes. The high heat and power consumption leads to increased greenhouse gas emissions - even more so if the energy still comes from fossil fuels.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

  • Prefer modern heating technology, energy-efficient appliances and LED lighting.
  • Use natural lighting and ventilation whenever possible.
  • Also times cold showers and get the circulation going.
  • Install motion detectors and use lights only when needed.
  • For a sustainable thermal insulation of the walls.

Recommendation: These and more Energy saving tips I'll explain it to you again in detail in the linked blog post.

10. smoke cigarettes and throw them on the floor

Cigarettes are among the biggest environmental sins in everyday life

Every day, 15 billion cigarettes are consumed worldwide, of which 10 billion are disposed of in nature.₈ Cigarette butts in the environment are logically a massive problem as a result.

The Filters are not biodegradable and the Toxins enter soils and waters. Many animals also mistake the stumps for food and die in agony from them. Anyone who smokes and disposes of their cigarette butts in nature is therefore committing a major environmental sin - usually on a daily basis.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

Can you think of other environmental sins in everyday life that people tend to commit unconsciously out of habit? Then, as always, feel free to write me a comment.

Knowing and specifically reducing environmental sins in everyday life

The list of these daily environmental sins can basically be continued indefinitely. For example, with the creation of a lifeless gravel garden, which contributes significantly to the species extinction contributes.

But in this post you have at least once met some of the most serious of their guild. Use the knowledge now to adjust your personal behavior, in order to Integrate environmental protection into your everyday life and to help other people do the same.

"Be yourself the change you wish to see in this world."

Mahatma Gandhi (more at Environmental protection quotes)

Do you have questions, tips or suggestions about the environmental sins of everyday life? Or do you know any other real environmental and climate killers? Then I'm really looking forward to your comments!

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: Change is often very difficult for us humans. I'll explain why that is and how you can make change easier for yourself next in the linked blog post.

₁ Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.: Gute Becher - schlechte Becher, available at [17.05.2023].

₂ Statista GmbH: Number of flights in global aviation from 2014 to 2022 (as of March 2023), available at [17.05.2023].

₃ Südwestrundfunk; SWR: Cruise ship, plane or car - how much am I allowed to travel? | Odysso - Wissen im SWR. YouTube, 12.05.2019, Web, 17.05.2023 at 18:56, in:

₄ Federal Environment Agency: Water use by private households (as of 14.10.2022), available at [22.05.2023].

₅ Klima-Kollekte - Kirchlicher Kompensationsfonds gemeinnützige GmbH: Ernährung als wesentlicher Treiber des Klimawandels, available at [22.05.2023].

₆ Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL): Food waste in private households put under the microscope (as of 10.11.2022), available at [23.05.2023].

₇ German government: Questions and answers on the energy transition Share of renewables continues to rise (as of 03.04.2023), available at [23.05.2023].

₈ J. Görsch: 7000 chemicals and indestructible: 10 billion butts land on the ground every day (as of Feb. 23, 2019). [23.05.2023].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!


Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

2 thoughts on “Umweltsünden – Die 10 größten, ökologischen Fehltritte des Alltags”

  1. Actually, these are quite simple things and not so costly to replace. On the contrary. Only with the example of airplane one sees now on the basis of Corona what there and who hangs there everything to it, gainfully employed persons, people in the vacation regions, the economy etc.. If it becomes more ecological and more expensive, that would be progress.
    Everyone but also everyone can contribute something.

    1. Christoph Schulz

      I agree! It's not about destroying industries, but about making them more ecological in a targeted way.
      Stay sustainable,

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