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Things that no one needs today

25 superfluous things that no one needs anymore today

Do you also know superfluous Things you no longer need todaybut which still exist? Even though they are still responsible for environmental pollution, animal suffering and world hunger in 2002? The more one deals with the sustainable life the more often you come across things that nobody needs these days. Or things that you think should have been banned long ago. Especially in the fight against the biggest environmental problems of our timewe should deal with it.

In this article, I will therefore simply present 25 things that I think are no longer up to date, but which still exist.

Notice: My aim with this article is to encourage discussion and questioning and not to call industries or products into question across the board. I also try to keep it short and prefer to link you to in-depth articles.

25 things you no longer need today

I am writing these lines because my inner barrel of things that should have been banned long ago has overflowed today. Again and again, I've noticed things like this - now I'm just writing them down. Also to let off a little steam. I am sure that you will recognize yourself at least partly in it.

1. plastic bags

On average, every German uses around 24 plastic bags a year.₁ They are usually only used once and only for less than half an hour.

Today's alternative: Plastic free shopping today you can with the jute bag, a shopping basket or a backpack.

2. factory farming

In Germany alone, people live and die in the Factory farming around 745 million animals per year.₂ Keeping animals in cramped cages is morally reprehensible and causes physical and emotional suffering. For example, practices such as the Chick shredding. The high water and energy consumption, the use of antibiotics, the nitrate-containing Slurry or the cultivation of animal feed are the main the biggest environmental problems of our time.

Today's alternative: It has been proven that we could also eat a healthy plant-based diet. If you want to get off to a soft start vegan diet for example, can first of all Become a vegetarian.

3. electricity from coal and nuclear energy

Coal mining destroys entire natural landscapes and the conversion process into energy is not even effective. Stored nuclear waste also remains forever and poses a threat to our health.

Today's alternative: Green electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind, hydro and solar power in combination with conscious Saving energy in the home.

4. newspapers

We live in a digitalized world. Nevertheless, many people - also out of habit - like to leaf through newspapers, which in Germany alone require 1.8 million tons of paper every year.₃ Unfortunately, paper cannot be recycled and reused forever, as at some point it becomes unusable.

Today's alternative: You can read magazines and newspapers online or use apps designed for this purpose to read exactly the news that interests you personally. I also recommend the article with the Tips for saving paper.

5. fur fashion

About 1 billion rabbits, 2 million dogs and cats, and dozens of other Furry animals end up on the market every year as fur products.₄ Whether as key rings, hoodies or coats. This is no longer in keeping with the times, because factory farming for the production of fur is absolutely inhumane and fur is fundamentally not essential to life.

Today's alternative: Avoiding fur for moral reasons. You should also avoid fake fur, as real fur can hardly be ruled out visually, but only by testing.

6. circus with animals

Animals are "taken" from the wild and trained for human entertainment in the circus using painful methods. Small cages and constant changes of location do not allow for any species-specific behavior. Instead, stress and psychosis are the order of the day. The animal circus is definitely one of those superfluous things that nobody needs today.

Today's alternative: The circus still has a lot to offer with acrobatics, magic and clowns! (see Circus with animals - pros & cons)

7. kitchen rolls

Recycled or not, we use seven billion kitchen rolls in Germany every year!₅ Paper that we use briefly and then simply throw away. And yet we no longer need the kitchen paper that we unnecessarily use to clean the kitchen. Deforestation of the forests fuel

Today's alternative: A washable Cloth rag.

8. world hunger

Superfluous things that no one needs today

Around 821 million people worldwide go hungry today. That is 11 percent of the world's population.₆ The World hunger are among the superfluous things that absolutely no longer need to exist today. We are perfectly capable of feeding everyone in the world - there is just a distribution problem.

Today's alternative: Conscious Reduction of own food waste and switching to a plant-based diet. It takes seven plant-based calories to produce one animal-based calorie, which we should therefore eat ourselves.₇

9. animal testing

Around 3 million animals suffer and die in animal experiments every year in Germany alone. The number of unreported cases is thought to be much higher.₈ These experiments are morally reprehensible and often not medically relevant. In addition, the transferability to humans is rarely given.

Today's alternative: In vitro testing with human tissue, volunteer studies, or computer-based in silico methods. (see Animal testing + Animal testing statistics)

10. mass tourism

We Germans take around 70 million vacation trips a year.₉ A large proportion of these are by plane - while more than 90 percent of the world's population has never been on an airplane. What's more, we only fly to a few destinations that all vacationers go to. This creates the environmentally and culturally harmful Mass tourism.

Today's alternative: More aware, sustainable tourismwhere travel time and distance are in a healthy balance and environmental protection is a top priority. (see also Zero Waste Journey + Sustainable souvenirs)

11. pure rock gardens

A garden with a few stones is cool! But not if it's all gray in gray and offers absolutely no life at all, just because you prefer a "time-saving garden". Unfortunately, birds, insects and many other animals can't find any food there. This promotes the species extinction. That is why pure rock gardens should be banned nowadays.

Today's alternative: Sustainable gardeningwhere nature does all the work. You will be rewarded with birdsong and a garden full of life. (see also: Bird friendly garden)

12. cigarettes

For me, cigarettes are one of the superfluous things that you can confidently do without today. The industry is making a killing from these disease-causing and environmentally harmful cigarettes. The Cigarette butts in the environment are among the most carelessly discarded objects of our time.

Today's alternative: Giving up smoking cigarettes for health and environmental reasons. Who wants to quit Quit smoking can also simultaneously save money through sustainability!

13. cling film

Today, we are far too hasty in using plastic cling film to protect our To preserve food for longer. But of course this creates a lot of unnecessary waste.

Today's alternative: Plasticfree lifestyle is easier today than ever before. Plastic films, for example, can be Beeswax cloths be replaced. (see also: Make your own beeswax cloths)

14. driving license without follow-up checks

Whether you are 50, 70 or 90 years old - in theory, anyone who has passed their driving test at the age of 18 is still allowed to drive. Whether you need to wear glasses or have a reduced reaction time is only checked if there has been an accident.

Today's solution: In Italy, for example, all drivers under 50 are checked every ten years. From the age of 50, it must be extended or renewed every five years. It becomes even stricter from the age of 70. (Recommendation: sustainable driving and car free living)

15. cheap flights

In addition to the general increase in the number of flights worldwide, low-cost carriers are also on the rise.₁₀ The low prices are likely to continue to increase in times of the coronavirus pandemic. global warming and extreme air pollution are no longer offered at all, as they are partly responsible for the rising number of flights.

Today's solution: A higher tax on air fares and a tax reduction on rail fares. (Recommendation: CO2 compensation for flights)

16. tampons & pads

More than 45 billion menstrual products are used and thrown away worldwide every year.₁₁ In addition to tampons and pads, there are hundreds of other disposable products that we can avoid these days. Be it plastic cups or disposable cotton pads.

Today's alternative: Today there is the Menstrual cup. Recommendation for avoiding single-use plastic: reusable instead of single-use - and the Zero Waste Lifestyle)

17. zoos

Lion zoo - things that are no longer fashionable today.
A lion is kept in a few square meters at Nuremberg Zoo / © PETA Deutschland e.V.

Nowadays Zoos no longer up to dateas children (and adults) can connect with animals in so many other ways. Zoos are one of those rather superfluous things that are no longer needed today because they Cruelty to animals animals from the wild and also pose a danger to humans.

Today's alternative: Wildlife parks that are close to nature and cover large areas, visits to wildlife sanctuaries or arranged evenings on a raised hide, for example, are animal and environmentally friendly alternatives.

18. hunting wild animals

In my opinion, both illegal and legal hunting of animals is one of the superfluous things of our time. On the one hand because there are always accidents involving people out walking, and on the other because the population of wild animals is automatically regulated. In addition, animals that have been shot often suffer for a long time.

It is crazy that animals threatened with extinction, such as elephants or lions, can be shot and even imported as part of hunting tourism.

Today's alternative: The ban on hunting to the Animal protection.

19. water in plastic bottles

Nestlé pumps 750,000 cubic meters of water out of the ground every year in the French town of Vitell alone.₁₂ This causes the groundwater there to sink and the local people have no water. In my opinion, the privatization of water sources (see Nestlé criticism) and the sale of water in plastic bottles (especially without a deposit) is no longer in keeping with the times.

Today's alternative: Having your own reusable water bottle and consuming Tap water instead of water from plastic bottles. With this you can also save real money.

20. microplastics in consumer products

Microplastics is a fairly invisible but massive environmental problem. In Germany, it is still permitted to mix the small plastic particles into cosmetics such as scrubs or other care products like shampoos. Through our drains, they inexorably make their way into our rivers and the sea. (see also: Microplastics in the sea)

Today's alternative: Avoid Products with microplasticsby reading the barcode of a product with the App Codecheck briefly. Then you can see exactly whether it contains microplastics or not.

21. salt and pepper shaker with batteries

Sometimes there are such obviously superfluous things that are no longer needed today. In my opinion, battery-operated salt and pepper taxes are one of them. They stand for the increasing convenience in our society.

Today's alternative: Salt and pepper can be super grinded with one hand movement with a manual control without batteries. A Energy saving tip of the simple variety.

22. chemical cleaning agents

We spend far too much money on unnatural cleaning products in all shapes and colors for all kinds of purposes, even though a few household products would suffice. In doing so, we inhale toxic substances and endanger the health of our skin.

Today's alternative: It takes nowadays with Baking soda, Washing soda or vinegar essence, there are only a few natural and, above all, cost-saving household remedies to replace a drugstore. (See Home remedy + Soda applications + Washing soda applications + DIY Household Blog)

23. new year rockets

Yes, it is a tradition. But a tradition that is no longer in keeping with the times. Waste in the environment, fine dust in the air, accidents and the noise. What's more, the rockets are extremely expensive and you're setting the wrong example for your children. In my opinion, New Year's Eve fireworks are basically one of those superfluous things that are no longer needed today.

Today's alternative: The New Year's Eve without fireworks out of respect for animals, people and the environment. There are now more and more light shows that are quiet, harmless and yet unique.

24. exports of plastic waste from industrialized countries

Did you know that almost 13% of German packaging waste from 2018 was exported abroad? ₁₃ This export is considered "recycled" and reinforces Germany's image as the "recycling world champion" - wrongly, of course.

Today's solution: We need a European ban on the export of plastic waste. This will encourage everyone to produce less waste, as the waste problem will remain in our own country.

25th free shipping for online orders

Free returns - things we no longer need today

280,000,000 parcel returns were made in German online retail alone in 2018.₁₄ Of course, this is mainly due to the fact that many providers offer free return shipping. Customers are happy to take advantage of this and, for example, order items of clothing that they simply want to try on once and then send back free of charge.

Today's alternative: Only order from environmentally friendly online stores that deliberately do without free shipping for their customers. As a customer, you should also contribute to this, consciously avoid returns and only order things you really need.

Superfluous things that we no longer need today

Did you recognize yourself in some of these, in my opinion, superfluous things? I can well understand that. As consumers, we are in a position of power to change things in the world. I would like to share the following two things with you in this regard:

  • Reduce demand after things that no one needs today by avoiding them.
  • Raise your voice and support or start online petitions against grievances in our society.

I will check this article from time to time. And who knows: maybe one or two bans have already come up over time 😉

Do you have any other rather superfluous things in store that are no longer up to date or should be banned? Then just write me a comment.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: As you surely noticed, there were a lot of things here that had to do with the Animal welfare to do. Me has the Dominion film and made me rethink my views because he presented the background to factory farming so honestly. You are welcome to watch it.

₁ Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln: This is how many plastic bags we use (as of 17.05.2019), available at [08.04.2020].

₂ Albert Schweitzer Foundation: Factory farming (as of 2017), available at [14.01.2020].

₃ Statista GmbH: Consumption of printing paper for newspapers until 2017, available at [08.04.2020].

₄ PETA Deutschland e.V.: The truth about fur: 10 shocking facts! (as of October 2018), available at [08.04.2020].

₅ P. Carstens: Gigantic kitchen roll consumption: It could be reduced so easily, available at [08.04.2020].

₆ Welthungerhilfe (2019): HUNGER: PREVENTION, CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES, available at [11.11.2019].

₇ Brot für die Welt, Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung e.V.: Meat consumption, available at [08.04.2020].

₈ Ärzte gegen Tierversuche e.V.: Facts about animal testing, available at [07.04.2020].

₉ WWF Germany: Environmental pollution through tourism? Better to travel sustainably! | WWF Germany. YouTube, 28.07.2016, Web, 10.03.2020 at 21:50, in:

₁₀ Statista GmbH: Low Cost Carrier, available at [08.04.2020].

₁₁ erdbeerwoche GmbH: What's the problem with waste? (2017), available at [08.04.2020].

₁₂ U. Hagmann, F. Mader: The fight for water begins (06.08.2019), [08.04.2020].

₁₃ BUND (2019): Plastic Atlas 2019 - Facts and figures about a world full of plastic, 2nd edition, July 2019, p.36.

₁₄ German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE): Avoid returns, available at [08.04.2020].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

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.

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