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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 the biggest environmental sins in everyday life? "Get started, live sustainably!" - it's always so easy to say. But how can you start and improve if you don't know exactly what you've been doing "wrong" so far?

So it is extremely helpful to know the ecological sins of mankind in everyday behavior. Every one of us has committed them or is committing them. That's not a deal breaker. But if you know your ecological missteps, you should at least try to commit them less often or not at all in 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!

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 about by chance. Our everyday behavior has created them - in other words, what we eat, buy, tell others about or idolize. To become part of their solutionit is therefore extremely important to get to know the biggest environmental sins in everyday life. I will introduce them to you in more detail below.

1. use disposable plastic

Around 320,000 disposable cups for hot drinks are used every hour in Germany alonewhich fill the dustbins after only a short period of consumption.1 Then there's plastic cutlery, disposable grills, disposable cotton pads, disposable coffee capsules and tons of other throwaway stuff.

We have become comfortable - and leave in our Disposable society prefer to turn crude oil 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 only benefits one party: the industry. The costs are borne by people, animals and our planet. Because a large proportion 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 why the Mass tourism a a decisive share of the man-made greenhouse gases carries.

Flights from Frankfurt to Cancun in Mexico and back, for example, generate around 3.25 tons of CO2 per person as direct greenhouse gas emission. For 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. Those who belong to this 10 percent should understand that flying is not a "bus ride", but should only be an alternative for exceptional situations.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

3. waste excessive amounts of water

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

Water is a vital resource whose availability is decreasing in many parts of the world. Long showers, multiple toilet flushes or watering the garden not only pushes local water resources to their 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.

The extent of the environmental sin of direct and indirect water consumption in combination 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 the water when soaping up.
  • Install water-saving appliances and fittings.
  • Consume plant products instead of animal products and Conserve resources.
  • Prefer regional, seasonal and organic foods.
  • Water the garden in the 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 are shopping ourselves out of our minds. Whereas in the past there were spring/summer and fall/winter trends, today new collections come out every week it feels like. Who buys and needs all this? The Fast Fashion Industry creates almost only losers:inside.

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

Of course, this environmental sin in everyday life affects not only our clothing purchases, but also our consumer behavior and the way we consume. 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 global warming at. The food sector is responsible for around 40 percent of European greenhouse gas emissions.5 These are caused, for example, by transportation, the digestion of ruminants, and the Deforestation of the forests for the cultivation of fodder and the creation of pastureland.

In addition, among other things, the Contamination of soil and water by pollutants from insecticides and fertilizers from agriculture.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

6. buy fruit and vegetables out of season

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

But in order to enjoy many of them outside their normal growing season, they must be either 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 quantities of CO2, which pollute the global climate. A real ecological misstep in our everyday lives.

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 them and enjoy them out of season.
  • Create your own vegetable garden and produce seasonal produce yourself.

7. throw away food

According to data from the Federal Statistical Office, around 78 kilograms of food waste per capita per 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. Every food product that is thrown away also represents the water, land and energy costs incurred in its production, processing, packaging, transportation and disposal.

Not to be forgotten are also the countless animals that have 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 shopping so that you don't buy 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% of electricity in Germany was generated from renewable energies - that is a good figure.7 However, it also means conversely that the The majority comes from limited and environmentally harmful sourcessuch as nuclear or coal-fired power.

Anyone who still runs their household on electricity generated by radioactive radiation or the combustion of fossil fuels is committing an environmental sin every day. Especially the Open-cast mining destroys entire landscapes - also in their own environment.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

9. excessive waste of electricity and thermal energy

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

What you can do about this environmental sin:

  • Give preference to 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 explain this in more 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, 10 billion of which 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 end up in soil and water. Many animals also mistake the stumps for food and die in agony. 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 any other environmental sins in everyday life that we commit unconsciously out of habit? Then, as always, feel free to write me a comment.

Know and reduce environmental sins in everyday life

The list of these daily environmental sins is basically endless. 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 adapt your personal behavior, in order to Integrate environmental protection into your everyday life and to help other people do the same.

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

Mahatma Gandhi (more at Environmental protection quotes)

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

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

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


  1. Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.: Good cups - bad cups, 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 can I travel? | Odysso - Knowledge on SWR. YouTube, 12.05.2019, Web, 17.05.2023 at 18:56, in: ↩︎
  4. Federal Environment Agency: Water use in private households (as at: 14.10.2022), available at [22.05.2023]. ↩︎
  5. Klima-Kollekte - Kirchlicher Kompensationsfonds gemeinnützige GmbH: Nutrition as a key driver of climate change, available at [22.05.2023]. ↩︎
  6. Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL): Food waste in private households scrutinized (as of 10.11.2022), available at [23.05.2023]. ↩︎
  7. Federal Government: Questions and answers on the energy transition Share of renewable energies 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 23.02.2019). [23.05.2023]. ↩︎
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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.

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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