Environmentally friendly living | THE HOUSE OF CO

For the sake of the environment - this is how you inhabit & protect the planet „Many pennies make a dollar“ – this saying fits the climate crisis perfectly: while transport, the energy and production industry are considered the main sources of greenhouse gases, it is also every individual who needs electricity, consume goods and wants to be mobile. One person cutting back makes no difference, but millions of people living more consciously can make a huge difference. We show you ways to live urban and sustainable - for the sake of the planet and your health!

1.      Explore the city on foot or by public transportation

We think there's hardly anything more interesting than exploring a city on foot. You might get lost and discover a wall with cool street art, end up at a flea market, or strike up a conversation with locals. Maybe you'll find your new favourite café somewhere in an inconspicuous side alley or listen to the sounds of a street musician. In any case, you'll be doing something for the planet, for your health, and you'll learn how to find your way around your neighbourhood without Google Maps. For further distances, you can rely on Berlin's excellent public transportation system.


2.      Always carry a cloth bag with you

Who hasn't experienced it? You're on your way home, you pass a supermarket and jump in because you still need bananas, milk and cereal for breakfast. A few impulse purchases are added, and because you want to carry the groceries home and don't want to juggle them; you reach for the plastic bag. Two key drawbacks: first, they have a limited lifespan - eventually even the sturdiest plastic bag will tear. Secondly, they pollute the environment considerably, as plastic is usually not degradable. A simple solution: always pack a cloth bag (jute bag) when you go out of the house! It fits in any purse or jacket pocket and looks fancier than the colourful plastic bags. If you don't have one, cloth bags are even available at most supermarkets for a few euros. Think of it as an investment, because the bag will serve you faithfully for years and will be cheaper than buying plastic bags all the time.


3.      Use eco-friendly cosmetics

Why are so many items for daily personal hygiene made of plastic and to be thrown away after a single use? Cotton swabs or disposable razors, for example. Now, there are alternatives made of paper, stainless steel or wood. Toothbrushes and nail brushes made of rapidly renewable bamboo can also be found on the shelves at drugstores. For travel, it also makes sense to use solid shampoo or refillable bottles. Also make sure that your makeup, lotions or creams do not contain microplastics. These not only harm your skin, but also the wastewater may end up in local groundwater.


4.      Avoid and separate your garbage

The beauty of the big city is that there's always a market going on somewhere. Here you can fill two needs with one deed! Not only do you support local producers who bring fresh produce directly to customers with short delivery routes (low emissions). You can buy vegetables and fruits without packaging, and because you now always carry your jute bag, you have no problem bringing them home safely. You'll also avoid a lot of trash, by the way, if you buy cereal, grains, pasta, oils, vinegars and many other shelf-stable products from a packaging-free supermarket. If you do end up with trash, which is usually not completely avoidable, make sure you separate it properly so that recyclables can be recycled.


5.      Take on home cooking

At THE HOUSE OF CO, you can turn fresh produce from the market into a delicious homemade meal. This way you know what's in it, avoid the packaging waste of pre-made or delivered meals, and you can be creative and crafty at the same time. Cooking in larger groups is especially good - that's what the spacious communal kitchens at THE HOUSE OF CO are for. This has two additional advantages: on one hand, you experience the nice community feeling - perhaps you can regularly exchange and try out recipes with your roommates. Second, it's cheaper and more environmentally friendly to cook in larger quantities, and you generally have less waste. We also find that giving up meat is easier when you cook for yourself than when you order in or grab a snack on the street. Less meat consumption seems desirable when you consider that, for example, 15,000 liters of water are needed to produce one kilogram of beef.


6.      Save eletricity

We mentioned it at the beginning: while it’s the energy industry that is responsible for most CO² emissions, it’s us humans who consume a large proportion of the electricity produced. However, there are many ways in which we can save energy in our everyday lives. Unplug all unused appliances that are otherwise on stand-by or turn off the multiple plugs. Also, it's worth turning off your refrigerator if you're going away for more than a week. Needless to say, lights should only be on in the rooms you are currently in, and turning down the display brightness on your phone, laptop or tablet will extend battery life.


7.      Local recreation instead of long-haul flights

We all want to get out, switch off and see something different. But does it always have to be a long-distance trip? Often some of the most beautiful spots are closer than we think and for the environment it is better to focus on local recreation. Around Berlin, there are various holiday regions that you can easily reach by bus or train during your stay at THE HOUSE OF CO - in some cases even by bike. For hiking, we recommend the biosphere reserve Schorfheide-Chorin, in the north of Berlin. An interesting cultural contrast to Berlin is the neighbouring city of Potsdam and if you like waterside breaks, you should make a trip to Wannsee. 

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