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The biggest environmental sins in everyday life

The 6 biggest environmental sins in 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 know exactly what you have done "wrong" so far? It is extremely helpful to get 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 them should try to consciously reduce them in the future.

In this article, I would now like to introduce you to some of these environmental sins in everyday life.

  1. Use disposable plastic
  2. Airplane flying
  3. Consume fast fashion
  4. Eat meat
  5. Use electricity from fossil fuels
  6. Smoke cigarettes

Notice: I don't want to step on anyone's toes here - on the contrary. I simply want to introduce you and other people with whom you share this article to the things that put the greatest strain on our environment in everyday life and, for that very reason, also hold enormous potential for improvement.

The biggest environmental sins in everyday life

The biggest environmental problems of our time do not come about by chance. Our everyday behavior has caused them - that is, what we eat, buy, tell others about or idolize. To become part of their solution, it is therefore enormously important to learn about the biggest environmental sins in everyday life. Let's go!

Tip: I'll give you a tip or two here each to reduce environmental sin. If you want to switch directly to the solutions, then just look at the detailed post with the best Tips for environmental protection in everyday life.

1. use disposable plastic

Environmental sins in everyday life - single-use plastic

Every hour, around 320,000 disposable cups for hot drinks are consumed in Germany alone, filling the trash cans after a short time of consumption.₁ Then there are plastic cutlery, disposable grills, disposable cotton pads, disposable coffee capsules and vast amounts of other throwaway stuff. We have become comfortable - and prefer to have petroleum turned into cheap disposable products over a long production process instead of using reusable products, such as coffee cups or stainless steel cutlery, and giving them a quick rinse. 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 airplane

In 2018, there were around 46 million flights in global aviation - and the trend is rising.₂ They are the reason why tourism contributes a decisive share to man-made greenhouse gases. Flights from Frankfurt to Cancun in Mexico and back, for example, generate around 3.25 metric tons of CO2 per person as direct greenhouse gas emissions. By way of comparison, this corresponds to around 16 months of average driving.₄ (More at Tourism statistics)

Only about ten percent of the people in the world have ever had the chance to sit in your airplane.₃ Those who belong to this 10 percent should understand that flying is not "taking the bus" - but only an alternative when it is really necessary.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

Can you think of any other ideas? Then, as always, feel free to write me a comment.

3. 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 every week. Fashion giant Zara brings out about 12,000 new designs a year - who needs all that? In the end, the industry earns money with it, too - consumers and the environment pay for it.

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:

4. eat meat

Eco-sins in everyday life - meat

Global meat consumption is steadily increasing. This circumstance is essential for the global warming responsible. Indeed, the food sector is responsible for about 40 percent of European greenhouse gas emissions.₆ These are caused, for example, by transports, the digestion of ruminants, and the Deforestation released for the cultivation of animal feed and the creation of grazing land. Added to this, among other things, is the contamination of soils and waters by pollutants from insecticides and fertilizers from agriculture.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

5. use electricity from nuclear energy or fossil fuels.

In 2018, 40.4 percent of electricity in Germany was generated from renewable energies - that's a good figure.₇ However, it also means, conversely, that almost 60 percent comes from sources that are only available to a limited extent and are harmful to the environment, such as nuclear or coal-fired power. Who still throws his household with such energy sources, commits daily an environmental sin. Fortunately, this one is easy to fix.

What you can do about this environmental sin:

6. smoke cigarettes

Every day, 15 billion cigarettes are consumed worldwide, of which 10 billion are disposed of in the environment.₈ Cigarette butts in the environment are subsequently a massive problem. The filters are not biodegradable and the toxins get into the soil and water. Many animals also mistake the stumps for food. Anyone who smokes and disposes of their cigarette butts in nature is therefore committing a major environmental sin - probably even 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.

Know and reduce environmental sins in everyday life

Cigarette butts - environmental sin in everyday life

The list of these daily environmental sins can be continued basically indefinitely. For example, with the creation of a lifeless, pure stone garden. But in this post, you've at least once learned about some of the most serious of their guild. Use the knowledge to make your personal behavior more sustainable - and to educate others.

Do you have questions, tips or suggestions regarding the environmental sins in everyday life? Then send us a comment!

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: Change is often very difficult for us humans. If you need some more motivation and inspiration, be sure to check out my list of Quotes about change an.

₁ Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.: Gute Becher - schlechte Becher, available at [14.05.2020].

₂ Statista GmbH (2018): Number of flights in global aviation from 2014 to 2018 (as of 2019). [10.03.2020].

₃ Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e. V. (BUND): The true cost of flying: climate killers. [10.03.2020].

₄ Südwestrundfunk; SWR: Cruise ship, plane or car - how much am I allowed to travel? | Odysso - Wissen im SWR. YouTube, 12.05.2019, Web, 10.03.2020 at 21:56, in:

₅ L. Wehrli: 15 Shocking Facts About Fast Fashion (as of Nov. 13, 2018), available at [10.03.2020].

₆ Klima-Kollekte - Kirchlicher Kompensationsfonds gemeinnützige GmbH: Ernährung als wesentlicher Treiber des Klimawandels, available at [07.05.2020].

₇ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Share of green electricity in Germany exceeded 40 percent for the first time in 2018 (as at: 03.01.2019). [09.08.2019].

₈ J. Görsch: 7000 chemicals and indestructible: 10 billion butts land on the ground every day (as of Feb. 23, 2019). [09.08.2019].

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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 “Die 6 größten Umweltsünden im Alltag”

  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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