List of advice

You want to reduce the amount of waste you produce, too? Then get started with my tipps here.

Updated: Sunday, 5th of January 2014

General

  • Put a cotton bag in every handbag, bagpack, on your bike’s luggage rack and (if you have one) in your car. That way you will never or hardly ever have to grab a plastic bag anywhere again.
  • As weird as this sounds, putting an old plastic bag in your handbag, bagpack etc. might be a good idea for when you go veggie shopping. You can put things that are a little wet or dirty (like loose salads) in it instead of getting a new one.
  • Drink tap water instead of bottled water. You don’t have to carry loads of water anymore and you save quite a bit of money, too.
  • Get yourself a re-usable water bottle instead and refill it.

Grocery shopping

  • Shop in specialized shops – get fruits and veggies from the market or vegetable shops, bread and cookies from the bakery, cheese and meat from delis etc. That way you can just bring your cotton bags, your own containers etc. and avoid a lot of packaging. The fruit and veg is often tastier, cheaper and fresher.
  • Take your own plate or container to the deli counter.
  • Avoid packaged veggies and fruits and go for the packaging-free alternative
  • Avoid individually wrapped things. Instead of buying a box of individually wrapped chocolates for example, go for one bar of chocolate.
  • And/Or: Buy cardboard tissue boxes instead of a plastic pack with lots of individual plastic packs of tissues.
  • If you do buy things that come with several layers of packaging, bin them at the supermarket. Most of the big chains provide rubbish bins for excess packaging. That way you let them know you don’t need that much packaging and they are left with the problem of getting rid of it, which hopefully makes them overthink their packaging policy.
  • Avoid non-reusable bottles and go for reusable ones (and jars, for example for yoghurt) instead.
  • Buy (long-lasting) things in bulk, for example beans or rice.

Clothes shopping/Online shopping

  • Say “no” to free bags. Take your own instead.
  • Buy things secondhand.
  • When you order something online, ask for a plastic-free delivery.

Cosmetics

  • Go for cosmetics that don’t come in plastic bottles (You can get a great choice of soaps without packaging. Alles Seife is a great place to order them.)
  • Why not use soap bars instead of liquid soap in plastic bottles?
  • Ditch pre-packaged single-use cotton pads. Make your own instead and save loads of cash.
  • Say “no” to microplastics in cosmetics (most common in body scrubs and toothpaste). If it says “PEG” in the ingredients list, then there is plastic in the product.

Eating out

  • Take your own plate or container to take-aways.
  • When you order something, let them know you don’t need/want any excess packaging.
  • Don’t buy disposable plates and cutlery for picknicks, make everyone bring a plate and (“real”) forks and knives instead.

Kitchen

  • Wash and re-use jars for homemade dressings, sauces etc. You can also re-use them and turn them into containers to get your favourite dip from the deli counter.
  • Wash and re-use bottles. You can also turn them into pretty vases.
  • Soap, vinegar essence, lemon acid and baking soda is all you really need to clean. This means no plastic packaging, no chemicals and less money you have to pay.
  • Ditch pre-packaged kitchen roll and re-use old towels and t-shirts instead. You can wash them and there is absolutely no packaging involved.
  • Get (or make) yourself some re-usable napkins and tissues. You never have to spend money on these things again.
  • When you make bread cover the dough with a tea towel instead of kitchen foil.
  • Use packaging as bin bags (The bags toilet paper comes in work perfectly) instead of buying bin liners.
  • Don’t buy ziplock bags. Re-use other plastic bags/packaging instead (The bags grated cheese comes in are almost the same.).

At home

  • Put a ”No junk mail” (”Keine Werbung”) sticker on your mailbox. This leaves you with a lot less trash and of course also unwanted ads.
  • Start a veggie garden on your balcony and re-use old fruit containers as plant boxes.
  • When you order something online, let them know you don’t want the item to be wrapped in plastic. Just add this in a personal message or comment.

Got any advice, suggestions etc.? Comment on my post and help me on my quest :-)

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