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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? And this despite the fact that even in 2002 they are still responsible for environmental pollution, animal suffering or world hunger? The more one deals with the sustainable life the more often you come across things that no one needs anymore. Or things that you think should have been banned long ago. Especially in the fight against the greatest environmental problems of our time, we should deal with it.

In this article, I'll simply introduce you to 25 things that, in my opinion, are no longer up to date nowadays, but still exist.

Notice: With this article, I would like to encourage discussion and questioning, and not question industries or products across the board. I'll also try to keep it short and link you to more in-depth articles.

25 things you no longer need today

I am writing these lines because my inner barrel with the things that should have been forbidden 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 Most of the time, they are only used once and only for a period of use of 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 about 745 million animals per year.₂ Keeping animals in cramped cages is morally reprehensible and causes physical and emotional animal suffering. For example, it results in practices such as the Chick Shredding. The high water and energy consumption, the use of antibiotics, the nitrate-containing Liquid manure or the cultivation of fodder are the main drivers for the greatest environmental problems of our time.

Today's alternative: It has been proven that we could also eat a healthy plant-based diet. Those who want a soft start in the vegan diet would like, 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. The stored nuclear waste also remains forever and is 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 digitized world. Nevertheless, many people - also out of habit - enjoy briefly leafing through newspapers, which require 1.8 million tons of paper every year in Germany alone.₃ Unfortunately, paper cannot be recycled and reused forever, as it eventually becomes unusable.

Today's alternative: You can read magazines and newspapers online or use apps to read the news you are personally interested in. 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 a key ring, hood trim or coat. This is no longer in line with the times, because factory farming to produce fur is absolutely inhumane and the fur is basically not necessary for life.

Today's alternative: The renunciation of fur for moral reasons. You should also do without artificial fur, since 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 with painful methods. Small cages and constant changes of location do not allow for species-specific behavior. Instead, stress and psychosis are the order of the day. The animal circus definitely belongs to the superfluous things that no one 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

Whether recycled or not - every year we use seven billion kitchen rolls in Germany!₅ Paper that we use briefly and then simply throw away. Yet today we no longer need kitchen paper, which we also use unnecessarily to clean the Deforestation fuel

Today's alternative: A washable Cloth rag.

8. world hunger

Superfluous things that no one needs today

Around 821 million people around the world go hungry today. That is 11 percent of the world's population.₆ The World hunger to the superfluous things that absolutely no longer need to exist today. Because we are absolutely able to feed all the people in this world - there is only a distribution problem.

Today's alternative: Conscious Reduction of own food waste and the switch to a plant-based diet. It takes seven plant calories to produce one animal calorie, so we'd better eat them 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 said to be much higher.₈ These experiments are morally reprehensible and often not medically relevant. In addition, the transferability to humans is given in the fewest cases.

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 We complete a large proportion of these by air - while more than 90 percent of the world's population has never been on a plane. What's more, we only aim for a few destinations that all vacationers do. This creates the environmentally and culturally harmful Mass tourism.

Today's alternative: More aware, sustainable tourismThe company has developed a travel program in which the duration of the trip and the travel distance are in a healthy relationship 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 comes along exclusively gray in gray and offers so absolutely no life at all, just because you prefer a "time-saving garden". Birds, insects and many other animals unfortunately do not find food there. This promotes the species extinction. Therefore, pure rock gardens should be prohibited nowadays.

Today's alternative: Sustainable gardening, where nature takes over all the tasks. You are 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 safely do without today. The industry is making a fortune from these sick-making and polluting sticks of smoke. 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 with the Stop 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 make food last longer. But this, of course, creates a lot of unnecessary waste.

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

14. driving license without follow-up checks

Whether 50, 70 or 90 years old - in theory, anyone who has passed the driving test once at the age of 18 is still allowed to drive. Whether one would have to wear glasses in between or has a reduced reaction time is not checked until there has been an accident.

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

15. cheap flights

Apart from the fundamental increase in the number of air journeys worldwide, low-cost flights (low-cost carriers) are also steadily on the rise.₁₀ The low prices are likely to be a major factor in times of the global warming and extreme air pollution are no longer offered at all, as they are partly responsible for the increasing number of flights.

Today's solution: A higher tax on airfares and a tax cut 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 Besides tampons and pads, however, 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 datebecause children (and adults) can get in touch with animals in so many other ways. Zoos belong to the rather superfluous things that are no longer needed today, because they are cruelty to animals promote, animals are snatched 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 grace farms or arranged evenings in a raised hide, for example, are animal- and environmentally-friendly alternatives.

18. hunting wild animals

Both the illegal, but also the legal hunting of animals belongs in my opinion to superfluous things of our time. On the one hand because there are always accidents with walkers, on the other hand because the population of wild animals regulates itself automatically. In addition, shot animals often suffer for a long time.

It is crazy that animals threatened with extinction, such as elephants or lions may 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 ensures that the groundwater there sinks 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 make their way inexorably 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

It is sometimes so obviously superfluous things that are no longer needed today. In my opinion, battery-powered salt and pepper controls are one of them. They represent 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 colors and shapes for all kinds of purposes, although a few household products would suffice. In the process, 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 few, natural and, above all, cost-saving home 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. However, a tradition that is no longer up to date. Garbage in the environment, particulate matter in the air, accidents and the volume. In addition, the rockets are extremely expensive and you are a false example to your children. In my opinion, the New Year's Eve fireworks basically belongs to the superfluous things that you no longer need 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 just under 13 percent of Germany's 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 at home.

25. free shipping for online orders

Free returns - things we no longer need today

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

Today's alternative: Only order from environmentally friendly online stores that consciously forego 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. To change things in the world, we as consumers are in a position of power. I would like to leave you with the following two things:

  • 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 again and again. And who knows: maybe one or the other ban has already arisen over time 😉

Do you have other rather superfluous things in stock, which are no longer up to date or should be banned today? 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 think again, because he presented the background of factory farming so honestly. You're welcome to watch it.

₁ Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln: This is how many plastic bags we consume (as of May 17, 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 up to 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: DISTRIBUTION, CAUSES & CONSEQUENCES, available at [11.11.2019].

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

₈ Ärzte gegen Tierversuche e.V.: Fakten über Tierversuche, 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 trash? (2017), available at [08.04.2020].

₁₂ U. Hagmann, F. Mader: The Battle for Water Begins (Aug. 06, 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): Avoiding Returns, available at [08.04.2020].

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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

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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