In my last post I showed you five ways how you can lessen your impact on the environment while staying in Rostock. Our behaviour has a huge impact on the planet. Some places, like the oceans, are already struggling with our massive waste production. That’s why I wanted to give you another five ideas about how to be more eco-friendly. And as with last time, those are just ideas, do whatever is manageable for you. Every little bit helps!
The last post was more about what you can do, when your are out and about. This blog is more about things you can do or change while staying indoors.
- Drink tap water
In general, it is perfectly fine to drink the tap water in Germany. It is regularly controlled and holds up to the highest standards. If you have a reusable water bottle, you can even fill it up and take it out with you to avoid buying water in plastic bottles.
If you don’t have a reusable water bottle, you can easily get one, for example at denn’s Biomarkt in the Kröpeliner Tor Center (KTC). Drinking tap water can also save you some serious money. The average adult should drink around 2.5L of water per day and even if you buy the cheapest bottled water in the supermarket (for about € 0.11 per 500ml) this will sum up to €16.50 per month, just for water! For the same amount of money, you could spent a nice evening at the cinema.
However if you don’t want to drink tap water, for whatever reason, think about buying water in glass bottles rather than plastic. Glass bottles can be reused multiple times and are therefore more eco-friendly.
- Where to order food?
If you think about having a nice and cozy evening inside and ordering some food, I would really recommend to order at Call A Pizza. You can order online, which allows you to take your time to understand everything (unfortunately the website is only available in German). To order online is a good option if you don’t speak the language. And even if you speak the language a little, ordering food via the telephone can be quite challenging. Call A Pizza deliver all their food in cardboard packaging and not in those nasty styrofoam boxes. Styrofoam boxes are just another form of plastic. They are difficult to recycle and take hundreds of years to break down. Cardboard, on the other hand, can easily be recycled as long as you but it in the right bin (see point no. 5).
- Use your own mug
When having coffee (or tea) outside your home, its often best to sit down at a cafe and enjoy the moment. But since we are all busy people, you might enjoy the coffee-to-go option. Ever thoughtabout bringing your own reusable mug? Many cafes and bakeries in Rostock will fill up your own mug, so you don’t have to use a disposable one. You just have to tell them that you brought your own mug! If you don’t have a mug yet, you can easily buy one at stores like Depot, WMF or Rossmann. And the best thing about those mugs: they will keep your hot drink hot and your cold drink cold.
- Be at home
When staying at a hotel, hostel or AirBnb, behave like you would at home. Don’t take hour long showers just because you don’t have to pay for the water. Switch off any electronic devices (like the TV) and lights you don’t use. If you stay in a hotel, also think about not getting your towels changed everyday, if you don’t need to. You wouldn’t do that at home, would you? Another thing to consider would be to put the “ Please-do-not-disturb“ sign on the door even when you are out. This way your room won’t be cleaned everyday, which saves a lot of resources. And again, you don’t clean your own house/flat/room everyday, do you?
- Recycling and Flaschenpfand
As we all know, Germans love recycling and their Flaschenpfand, and so should you. Recycling in Germany is very easy, the bins a marked by colour and it only takes a minute to separate your garbage. If you want to learn more about how to separate your trash properly, check out this article! When buying plastic bottles, remember to return them to the supermarket, so they get properly recycled and you get some money back. For every bottle which is marked with the sign you see on the right you’ll get 25ct back. So if you save up your bottles and bring them back to the store all at once (like many German students do at the end of the month), it can sometimes happen that the Flaschenpfand will pay for you shopping, which will feel like it was free!