How to make your daily routine more sustainable?
More and more people realize that their daily routine has a big impact on the environment. From the coffee you drink in the morning to the way you do your groceries, almost everything you do uses natural resources and creates pollution. Why not make it a New Year’s resolution to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle? Of course that can be challenging, especially when you live in a country that is not your own. But here are just a few tips for you to consider:
Setting your thermostat at 19 centigrade during the day, and 15 centigrade at night or when you are away from home, helps to save a lot of energy. Likewise, taking shorter and cooler showers can save a lot of hot water and energy. A 7-minute shower uses approximately 55 litres of water! Instead try getting out after 5 or even 3 minutes. You will feel equally clean and refreshed. Finally, many electronic devices, including televisions and printers, use standby power, while it’s really only a small effort to unplug them when you are not using them.
When you think of the Netherlands, one of the first things that come to mind is probably bikes. In a nation with 17 million inhabitants, there are as many as 23 million two-wheelers! Using a bicycle is especially useful in larger cities, where many areas are difficult to reach by car. And by cycling, you're not only helping the environment, but also your own health! Of course, the Dutch weather does not always permit biking. Fortunately, there is also a diverse range of sustainable public transport options. So sit back, catch up on some reading, listen to your favourite playlist, or just enjoy some good old people-watching.
When you go out shopping, take along some reusable bags instead of plastic ones. Try to eat locally and seasonally; it's not only better for the environment but also your wallet! Check the labels on your products and look out for labels like “Fairtrade” and “Planet Proof”. Also, the drinking water in the Netherlands is among the cleanest in Europe, so there’s really no need to stock up on bottled water. In need of a closet refresh? Why not try out your local “Kringloop” or thrift shop! Opting for vintage or second-hand is one of the easiest ways to shop sustainably. Do you get overwhelmed by endless racks of clothes? Try out “Vinted”, an online marketplace for buying and selling clothing. The perfect way to find a unique piece or give your old sweater a new life!
Waste and Recycling:
Up to one-third of all the food produced worldwide is currently being thrown away, much of it while it is still perfectly safe to eat. “Too Good to Go” connects people with local
restaurants, bakeries and supermarkets that sell leftover products approaching their "best before" date. Through the app, you can easily order and pick up products, at a considerable discount. So it’s a win for both consumers and the planet! There are bottle banks for glass bottles all over the country, but if you really want to go Dutch, you can exchange plastic bottles for money! Read on the bottle whether it is refundable and exchange it at special vending machines in your nearest supermarket. You get a coupon that
you can then use to pay your groceries!