The latest report by the environmental organisation WWF on the energy transition gives Germany poor marks. Although more than 80 percent of the newly installed energy power plants worldwide were renewable in 2020, the conversion plans in this country are proceeding rather slowly. The reasons for this are the lack of skilled workers and the low availability of land in Germany. If politicians have difficulties in achieving our climate goals, it becomes all the more important to take action ourselves. Have you ever asked yourself what you personally can contribute to the energy transition? Doesn’t make any difference, you say? You thought wrong. You can make a big difference through your own efforts. We have put together 10 tips on how you can make a contribution — easy, efficient and sustainable.
1. Be mobile — bike instead of car
Many everyday journeys can be made on a good old-fashioned bicycle. If your way to work takes you through the city, you are more flexible if you leave your car behind. This saves fossil fuels, costs less and is also sporty. It is also worth switching to public transport such as buses and trains. This also applies to longer journeys on holiday. If you look out of the train window instead of the aeroplane, you also get to see much more of the landscape.
2. Use green electricity
From which sources do you actually get your electricity? If it’s not green electricity, think about it. Ask your provider about a green electricity tariff. New providers often help you to cancel your old contract. There are also comparison portals on the internet that make it easier for you to switch. When buying green electricity, pay attention to where it comes from. If your electricity has to travel a long way to get to your socket, this reduces the eco-balance. In addition, if you choose nearby electricity producers, you will also create jobs in your region!
3. Save energy @home
Those red flashing lights on the TV or the coffee machine eat up electricity. You should unplug all appliances that are switched off in standby mode. A power strip with a toggle switch will do the trick. LED instead of halogen for your lamps. Put lasagne in the oven without preheating, only fill the kettle as much as necessary, use the “Eco” programme in the dishwasher, and so on and so forth. There are countless ways to save electricity, especially within your own four walls.
4. Heat up properly
71% of your total energy consumption at home is used for space heating.
That’s why it’s worth paying special attention to how you heat your home. Lowering the temperature by a few degrees can make a big difference at higher temperatures. Is there a room or rooms in your home where you rarely spend time? Then turn down the heat there. Also look at the time of day. You are less likely to get cold feet under the covers at night. Keep doors and shutters closed to keep the heat in. And last but not least, ventilate your home in the traditional way, instead of constantly airing it out.
5. Talk to your landlord or go self-made
If you have a good relationship with your landlord, you could suggest an ecological tenant electricity model. Information on this can be found on the internet. And if you like each other very much, think about a photovoltaic system together. If you own your own home, why not generate your own electricity? Install a solar system on the roof and a heat pump.
6. Help politicians along
Take a look at the flyer that is handed out to you in front of the supermarket every four years. Which party programme actually thinks ecologically? Who plans to invest in the energy transition? Your vote at the ballot box counts. Projects are also initiated at regional and municipal level. Maybe write a letter to the mayor.
7. Check your consumption behaviour
How long did the avocados fly all-inclusive before they ended up on the supermarket shelf and finally in your guacamole? It makes a big difference if you include locally grown and organic products in your diet. Eating less meat is already traditionally good for the environment. A veggie burger would go nicely with your second-hand smartphone.
What we eat, what we buy, what we throw away — our entire consumption behaviour has an impact on how many resources are available to us in the future.
8. Support NGOs
Everyone knows Fridays for Future. But there are also a lot of other organisations that support the protection of our climate and thus the energy transition. Scientist for Future, for example, Parents for Future, Grandmas for Future… Guinea Pigs for Future? There are many ways to find and support an NGO. Whether you take to the streets or have a penny to spare to donate, both help!
9. Make a big fuss
You have already looked at some of our tips and started to put them into practice. You can be proud of that. Show off a little when you help the environment. Tell family and friends about your efforts. Link to this blog so everyone can see it. The more people who look to you as an example, the faster the energy transition will happen.
10. Invest money in sustainability
You’ve probably already read about the benefits in our other blog posts. Investing your money in ecologically sustainable projects promotes energy policy in Germany and worldwide while improving your financial future. As always, a good place to do this is Wattify. Here you can find the impact projects you like, equipped with a unique climate-neutral blockchain. Wattify shows you transparently what impact your investments have, you keep track and control. Start now and get your return — for you and the energy transition. But remember: Investments are also always associated with risks.