Every person in Germany currently causes an average of 7.9 tonnes ofCO2 per year. In order to protect the environment and climate for future generations, we would have to drastically reduce to two tonnes of carbon dioxide per capita per year.
Some people consume a lot of energy, others less. Some pay attention to their consumption, others may not have given it much thought yet. Everyone is different, but they all have one thing in common: habits can be changed. The sum of small changes alone leads to bigCO2 savings if many people join in.
And climate protection is not that difficult in Münsterland: change your electricity provider and use green electricity, leave your car at home more often to walk or cycle short distances, go on holiday in the region or simply buy regional products. If everyone makes a small contribution, the world will be a little better.
You want to know what yourCO2 footprint actually looks like? You can do that on the website of the Federal Environment Agency. There you have to answer questions on the topics of living, consumption, nutrition or mobility and you will then receive your personalCO2 balance.
You too can help to make Münsterland a climate country! We'll give you a few tips:
Not all green electricity is the same: only certified tariffs reliably supply electricity from the sun, wind and water. They also support great renewable energy projects. By switching to certified green electricity, the German electricity mix is changing towards a positive future with your support.
Not only does switching to green electricity help phase out coal. Your money can also produce energy locally - for example as a contribution to a citizens' energy cooperative. Power generation is no longer in the hands of large corporations. Anyone can join a cooperative. This also promotes community. There are almost 350 projects in NRW:
Nothing saves moreCO2 than switching to green electricity. Switching is very easy. There is not a single second of power failure. And anyone can switch electricity - regardless of whether they own or rent. One kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity causes as muchCO2:
Tomatoes taste best in August. That's when they come straight from the field. Strawberry tart is delicious in June and lamb's lettuce in winter. Everything has its time and that even increases the anticipation. You can get fresh produce from Münsterland in many supermarkets, in organic and farm shops and, of course, at the weekly market. And short distances are good for the climate and the wallet. You can also recognise regional products by the Münsterland seal.
Trees have never been so important. They turn exhaust gases into oxygen - every child knows that. Forests are indispensable as hugeCO2 sinks. But never before have trees been so endangered: they fall for palm oil, fodder soya and paper, and almost every second tree ends up in a paper factory. So even jungle giants end up as toilet paper.
Paper does not have to be made from wood. After all, what do we separate our waste paper for - at home, in the office or at school? If we use recycled paper, the trees stay in the forest and much less energy, water and chemicals are wasted. Toilet paper, kitchen rolls, exercise books and printing paper simply always come with the Blue Angel. You can rely on it: the Blue Angel is the oldest environmental label in the world. It guarantees 100 per cent recycled paper content and the highest quality, for example in printing.
Just take your last electricity bill and compare it with your friends. On average, everyone uses about 1400 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year, some are much lower and save enormously. An old refrigerator sometimes consumes twice as much.
The free ecoGator app helps you compare different appliances.
Sort out second refrigerators: Second refrigerators in the basement are often completely outdated appliances that significantly increase the electricity bill. Looking extensively at the contents of the fridge is expensive. The cold literally falls out.
Save hot water: Those who have to heat their water with electricity should do one thing above all: use less hot water. Economy showerheads and aerators work wonders. Under-the-sink boilers use a lot of energy because they keep the water at a constant temperature. Electronically controlled instantaneous water heaters are better. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology supports replacement with 100 euros.
90 degrees and pre-wash are out: Yourwashing machine uses most of its electricity to heat the water. So the lower the temperature, the better. This is also the secret of eco-programmes: by using low temperatures, much less electricity is consumed despite longer running times. A full drum should be standard.
Air conditioners waste a lot of energy: better: open all windows in the morning and evening and make sure there is a draught. During the day, lower the shutters and keep the heat out. Or use a fan if necessary.
Just one click to protect the climate: In standby mode, electronic devices draw energy hour after hour. With a power strip you can immediately and significantly reduce your electricity bill.
Become Sherlock Holmes: track down the electronic money wasters in your home. Electricity meters can be rented free of charge from your local authority.
Unplug your smartphone from the socket as soon as it is charged. And always switch off the GPS module when it is not in use. Switch off the Internet router not only while you are on holiday, but also at night if you can do without your landline phone. This regular rebooting even supports its proper functioning.
Lower the heating - put on your jumper! One degree less room temperature saves six percent heating energy. That's a lot. So: In autumn and winter, simply put on a jumper over your T-shirt or a cosy woollen jacket.
Every year, the use of the internet produces as many emissions worldwide as air traffic. And computers and laptops also eat up a lot of energy. However, small changes and technical tricks can reduce this power consumption:
All search engines consume an extremely large amount of energy with their servers. Green search engines, however, consistently use electricity from renewable sources, and in addition they invest a large part of their income in tree plantations in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. So if you use search engines like Ecosia and Co. you are doing good.
A multimedia PC consumes seven times more electricity than a laptop with comparable equipment. Tablets and mobile phones consume even less electricity. Always close all applications that are not needed to reduce computing power and electricity consumption. Give your monitor a break during your lunch break. By the way, it is not necessary to close applications for this. Be selective with films, songs and series, because streaming is extremely power-hungry. Every year, videos from on-demand services, YouTube and social media cause more than 300 million tonnes ofCO2 - as much as the whole of Spain emits in a year. 80 per cent of global data traffic consists of video data. Better: Select films more selectively and watch less. And go to the cinema or theatre with friends again. It's fun and supports our cultural landscape.
Especially those who work a lot in a home office can save emissions here and there. Tips for climate-friendly office work can be found here on the website of the EnergyAgency.NRW.
There are certainly opportunities in your town or municipality to make Münsterland a climate land together. Perhaps as a member of an environmental association, a climate alliance, an environmental advisory board, Fridays for future, Parents for future, and so on. Or you are simply a good neighbour and like to share:
A drill is used for an average of three minutes. A car sits around 23 out of 24 hours a day. Car, drill, shredder - you can really borrow everything. And there is room in the cellar. In addition to this relief, there is guaranteed to be a big plus in your account, because you only pay for what you use.
When we do things together, it usually goes faster, is more fun and works better. Operating a PV system or a heating network together, sharing a car or setting up a car pool, cultivating a garden together or living together, going on a bicycle tour, planning a hiking tour ...
Second-hand shops, recycling exchanges and Oxfam shops offer a high-quality and attractive range of second-hand furniture, clothes, books and household goods. Such shops preserve values. They develop ideas. They cooperate with art and culture and initiate educational projects, for example workshops for school classes.
Products that are only needed seasonally, such as the scarifier for the lawn in spring, the youth bed for a certain stage of life or clothes for a certain occasion. All this already exists today and can be our future.
In a repair café, you can have your hi-fi system, bicycle or toys repaired. A repair café is a collectively organised form of self-help. Volunteers offer their knowledge free of charge because they are interested in technology, DIY and handicrafts. In a place like this, coffee and cake are just as important as screwdrivers and soldering irons. This strengthens the neighbourhood and mutual support.
Whether as a mother, father, grandmother or grandfather, as a teacher, in a day-care centre or as a pastor ... We can all ride a bicycle, use recycled paper, switch to green electricity, eat less meat, stop flying, invest money without carbon - and be role models for our children.