Five Surprising Sustainability Hacks

We should all contribute to lowering our carbon footprint as a society. Here are some small changes you might not have thought of yet

Before You Wash, Zip


An easy way to make clothes more sustainable is to keep wearing them for longer. Make sure they stay in as-new condition by washing them with care. Avoid temperatures above 30°, close zippers, button-up, fasten any Velcro and turn your clothes inside out. That way, solid and scratchy parts are less likely to catch on to other pieces of clothing or the machine drum. For added protection, wash delicates in a laundry bag or a good, old-fashioned pillowcase!

Don’t Wash Your Denim


Washing a pair of jeans causes damage to the material each time and is a waste of water. New, raw denim is best given a good six months before washing. The longer you can leave it, the better it will look. That way, the indigo will have worn off in places where you make natural creases by sitting and using your pockets, giving the jeans an authentic look and feel.

Put it in Airplane Mode


Charging your phone while it’s in airplane mode uses less energy and refills your battery faster. Activating airplane mode throughout the day makes your battery last way longer and helps you save your brain’s energy to focus on tasks as well.

Be Mindful With Emails


The electricity used for sending a typical email accounts for 4g of CO2 emissions. If you attach a picture to it, that carbon footprint jumps to an average of 50g as it requires extra storage and takes longer to transmit. Over the course of a year, each of us adds roughly 136kg of CO2 to our footprint by sending emails. That equals driving from Hamburg to Berlin in a car, with lots of traffic. In the future, try talking to your coworkers in person instead of sending an email. It’s great for the climate of both your office and the planet. Extra points if you declutter your inbox regularly as all stored emails use electricity. 

Stop the Standby – Turn it Off


Standby buttons on many appliances use up to 90 percent of their normal power in standby mode. Eight percent of the total electricity used in our homes comes from appliances left on standby. That’s the equivalent of around two power stations' worth of electricity each year. What can you do? Unplug chargeable devices, turn off appliances in standby, including your monitors, phone and laptop.