Earth is getting warmer and warmer - that is a fact. Due to our increased energy consumption, the greenhouse effect is heating up the Earth. Natural disasters such as storms or floods, melting polar caps and rising sea levels are consequences that we will be struggling with in the near future.
What you can do
You can actively protect the environment in your apartment, room or flat share. Even small measures taken by you and your flatmates will pay off. Less energy consumption means less CO2 production - within your own four walls and worldwide. Not only will you do something good for the environment, but you also make sure that the rents in your house remain affordable!
Here are some tips on how you can help protect our climate without sacrificing comfort.
If you completely switch off electrical appliances after use, you can save up to 50% on electricity. HiFi systems, televisions, computers, etc. are real power guzzlers in stand-by mode. Every year, the stand-by function alone wastes almost 4 billion euros worth of electricity in Germany. Power strips with a main switch are a practical solution for this.
These can be used where the light is on continuously for more than an hour. Compared to conventional light bulbs, they are 80% more economical. They last about 15 times longer than normal bulbs which justifies the higher purchase cost.
When no one is in the common rooms and stairwells, the lighting can be switched off.
Water is a precious commodity
Long showers are nice but expensive and leaving the water on while soaping up is also a waste. Brushing your teeth while the water is running wastes about 15 to 20 litres of water per minute. The short toilet flush button can help save a third of daily water consumption. Even with small amounts of dishes, doing the washing up in a water-filled sink is more economical than under running water.
It makes sense to fully load a washing machine, since it uses as much water and electricity as a small load of laundry. Just by choosing the right temperature you can save money. Usually 30 - 40°C is sufficient; more than 60°C is hardly ever necessary. Energy consumption can be reduced further by not choosing the pre-wash cycle. And another tip: use your washing powder sparingly and avoid using fabric softener.
Less is often more
A comfortable room temperature is around 20 - 21°C. You can do this by setting the thermostat to a medium setting.
During longer absences, even if it is only a weekend, you can significantly reduce energy consumption by lowering the room temperature. A reduction of only 1°C reduces consumption by 6%. Temperatures of 12 - 15°C are sufficient to prevent the room from cooling down too much in your absence.
If you keep the window open when the heating is on, you’re heating the street. It is better to ventilate briefly but properly: Open the window completely for a few minutes a couple times a day while the heat is turned off.
It is best to vent the steam after cooking or a hot shower by opening the windows completely, otherwise steam can cause damp and mildew stains. In a three-person household, cooking and showering releases up to 14 litres of steam every day.
Lid on the pot
Cooking without a lid is like heating with an open window. If you put a lid on when cooking, you can save up to 25% of the energy. Also the pot should not be smaller than the hotplate so that the heat is used effectively. If the cooker or oven is switched off early, the remaining heat is sufficient to finish cooking. Vegetables cook more gently in the steam bath. Filling a pot with only a little water at the bottom is usually enough. The water boils faster, everything stays crisp and fresh and rich in vitamins. And another tip: kettles save a lot of time and energy. A kettle boils a litre of water in two and a half minutes - a cooker needs six minutes for the same.