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What happens to food scraps when you throw them away


You throw away food scraps like egg shells and tea bags daily, but have you ever wondered what happens to them after they are picked up by the garbage collectors?

Food scraps are very recyclable. This is because they are 100% biodegradeable, meaning they can be broken down by nature (bacteria and fungi). Nevertheless, not all food scraps end up being recycled. Still the greatest piece of the pie ends up in landfills and you would think that because it’s biodegradeable that it does not matter. But that’s not the case because they release methane gas.

When handled properly it only releases Co2 instead of methane which is less harmful. But also they recycle food in a way that produces energy or they use it to make compost which can be used in order to grow new plants releasing more oxygen in the air.

Did you know that nearly half of all fruits and vegetables produced are wasted each year? In this article you will learn exactly how food waste is recycled and what the global facts numbers are on food waste.

How food waste is recycled

As mentioned food when thrown on a landfill is not good for the environment. The best thing to do with food is eat it whenever possible. Ofcourse you won’t be eating banana peels and egg shells since they aren’t very tasty so these should be thrown away. Seperated ofcourse!

The food will be recycled using one of two ways.

  1. In-vessel composting: Here food waste plus garden waste is shredded and thrown into a container for 2 to 4 weeks while heating it to around 70 degrees to prevent bad microbes from joining in and to speed up the proces. It is then left for a 1 to 3 months before going on to be soil conditioner.
  2. Anaerobic Digestion: Here micro organisms called methanogens are being added to the waste to break down the waste and animal manure inside an enclosed tank with no oxygen. As it breaks down it gives off bio-gas which is collected and used to create heat and biofuels. It also creates bio fertilizer that can be used in farming and land regeneration.

Food waste in numbers and facts

  • One third of produced food is for human consumption.
  • We waste 1.3 billion tons of food every year globally.
  • Fruits and vegetables have the highest waste rates of all food.
  • Per capita (person) waste by consumers is around 105 kg in Europe and North America. In countries like Africa and Asia (South) each throw away 8 kg per year.
  • Large quantities of food are wasted due to quality standards that over-emphasize appearance.
  • Food waste occurs mainly at the early stages of the food value chain in developing countries. This is because they lack the technologies to handle the food properly.

Environmental impact of food waste

Global food loss and waste generate about 8% of total emissions. This is greater than the airline industry. The environmental consequences of producing food are massive. The world produces enough food to food everyone but still the amount of people not eating enough is staggering. What is going on here?

The biggest issue is that around 40% of waste happens in people’s homes where people buy ingredients they aren’t able to cook. I for sure can say I had this problem where I buy vegetables that I want to eat but can’t find the time to cook it (in time that is).

Food gets lost in the fridge or is imporoperly stored. Another big problem is misunderstanding date labels where people throw away food prematurely. The date label gives information to a date is atleast edible. This does not mean that when the date is expired it is unedible. So use your own judgement for this. Smell and inspect the food before eating it. You will get a general understanding of how certain food is supposed to smell and look.

Tips to minimize food waste

These mistakes are not that hard to fix. Here are some tips to prevent food waste:

  • Make a shopping list and consider that fruits and vegetables perish fast so don’t get to much of these.
  • Shop for fruits and vegetables twice per week instead of once per week.
  • Shop for locally produced vegetables and fruits when you can. They are usually more fresh and won’t go bad as fast.
  • Organise the fridge and refrigerator so you can keep track of what’s inside. You could introduce a system where the oldest items go on top of the shelf.
  • Cook what needs to be cooked instead of what you are in the mood for. Open the fridge and see what kind of foods are nearing their expiration date and cook those.
  • Use clever ways to reuse fruits and vegetables that are nearing it’s end by throwing them into soups and shakes.
  • You can use a home composter.

Now ofcourse this sounds like a lot of work but there is an extra advantange of not wasting many food. It saves you money, on average 100 euro’s / 100 dollars per year!

Sources

What happens to clothes when you throw them away


Most clothes end up in a landfill or are incinerated. Only a small percentage of 12% is recycled worldwide.

On average a woman has 100 pieces of clothes and men around 60. Making it on average 80 per person. So with 8 billion people, that’s 640 billion pieces of clothing worldwide.

On top of that the average person buys 11 to 20 pieces of clothing every year, thats 15.5 on average. These are 125 billion pieces of clothing per year.

That are a lot of clothes that aren’t being recycled and end up in landfills or in the incinerator! In the rest of this article you will learn about the lifecycle of clothing as well as how clothes are being recycled and that not all clothing is recyclable.

The lifecycle of clothes

Most clothing start at a cotton farm in either America, India or China. Here cotton seeds are sown, irrigated and grown for the fluffy balls they produce. Self-driving machines harvest these crops and get brought to a factory where the seeds are seperated from the cotton. Then they are pressed in to cotton cubes of around 225kg for each cube.

The cubes are mostly shipped to China where high tech machines blend, card, comb, pull, stretch and twist into snowy ropes of yarn called slivers.

The yarn is send to a mill where it is knit into sheets of rough grayisch fabric treated with heat an chemicals until they turn soft and white. Here the sheets are dipped into bleach and various colored dyes to create the clothing we like.

Many of these dyes are made of materials that are harmful compounds when released as for example toxic waste water.

Technologies are now so advanced that the entire proces of growing and producing fabric is almost completely automated. But only up until the point that fabric has to be sown into a garment. This often happens in a factory in Bangladesh, China, India or Turkey.

From there the garments reach people their homes where they are washed 400 times a year and use 60000 liters of water per household.

The washing machines and dryers use a lot of energy. A dryer uses 5 times more energy than the washing machine.

Important facts and numbers about clothes

Here are some interesting facts that might put into perspective into how enormous the clothing industry is and how much of a challenge it is to make the industry more sustainable.

  • The global clothing industry is worth around 3000 billion dollars. While organically grown garments are only worth 5 billion.
  • It takes 2700 liters of water to grow enough cotton for a t-shirt and cotton uses more pesticites than any other crop in the world. Less then 1% is grown without pesticides.
  • There are 5 million people working in the sowing factories that face poor conditions and a low pay.
  • Clothing productions account for 10% of the worldwide emissions.
  • Only 12% of clothing is recycled.

How clothes are being recycled taking jeans as an example

A lot of clothes are a blend of cotton, nylon and polyester. That’s why for example with jeans it isn’t possible to recycle jeans into something else completely. But they are able to use the same fabric by cutting is up and remaking it back into small threads.

Why only 12% of clothing is being recycled

The reason why only a fraction of clothes are being recycled is because most clothing consists of a blend of materials. Consider the normal 100% cotton t-shirt. It probably has a label and it is hold together by sewing threads that are made of polyester. A pair of jeans has a zipper and a variety of dyes.

The blend of these materials is one of the reasons why only a small amount of clothes are recycled. On top of that sorting textiles into different fibres and material types by hand is labour intensive.

There is a growing use of modern fabric blends that is put into clothing that makes this even harder.

Another problem is that when clothes are being shredded and turned into fibres again the fibres are of lower quality and strength and a lot of it can’t be re-used for clothing. Therefore it will be used for other items like carpets and isolation material.

Less than 1% of clothing was recycled back into other pieces of clothing.

What you can do to reduce the amount of pollution from clothes

  • Sell your old clothes
  • Donate your old clothes
  • Shop second-hand.
  • Dry clothes using a drying rack
  • Cut down on the amount of clothes that you have or buy.
  • Use old clothes as rags

Selling or donating your old clothes will give you some extra income and you will give your garments an extra life. While shopping second-hand clothing is you being to one to keep a garment “alive”.

Dry clothes using a drying rack instead of a dryer will reduce the amount of energy used maintaining your clothes.

Cutting down on the amount of the amount of clothes that you have or buy is an obvious one. However it takes some practice to do this and to be mindful of this.

Using old clothes as rags. Don’t do this with clothes that can still be worn but with clothing that wouldn’t be worn by anyone anymore.

In conclusion what happens to thrown away clothing

So in conclusion your clothes mostly end up in the landfill or are incinerated. 12% is recycled, but not into new clothes. The clothing industry is one of the major polluting industries in the world and reusing clothes is much better then throwing garments away.

Do you want to know what happens to other categories of items that we throw away? Check out this link: https://greennova.eco/2021/08/04/where-does-your-trash-go-after-you-throw-it-away

Sources used

What happens to glass when you throw it away?


When you throw away glass it either ends up in a landfill, in a ditch or in a recycling plant depending on where and how you throw it away. Glass is for the most part very recyclable but not all glass, for example lamp bulbs and wine glass consists of different kind of glass.

In this article you will learn about the lifecycle of glass and how exactly glass is recycled. What the numbers are and what you can do to recycle glass properly.

Also some alternative tips that you can use to avoid throwing away glass because recycling isn’t zero waste. Always remember that is costs energy to recycle and therefore recycling also releases greenhouse gasses in the process.

The lifecycle of glass

First of all, let’s dive in a little more on what glass is and how it’s made. Check out this video made by the company Saint-Gobain:

Basically they explain that glass has a lifecycle of 6 stages:

  1. Extraction of raw materials
  2. Manufacturing of flat glass
  3. Transformation (shaping the glass)
  4. Construction or consuming
  5. Glazing life
  6. End of life

For the extraction of raw materials mainly sand and water is used and something called soda ash which is natrium carbonite and it reduces the melting temperatures and supports the shaping of glass.

The raw materials are shipped to factories that are called floats where they are melted in large kilns in temperatures of around 1500 degrees. Then they are coated to make stronger. After this process flat glass is created.

The flat glass is moved to a transformation factory where it is shaped into what ever is needed. Bottles, windows, pot lids.

Then the glass is shipped to the consumer, a company or a construction site.

The glazing life is the time it is being used. This can also mean reuse.

End of life is when it’s time to throw away or recycling.

Glass recycling in numbers

According to Statista the glass industry reported recycling around 27 million metric tons worldwide, which is 21% of the total glass production in that year. This does not mean 21% of glass is recycled though. Container glass accounted for the highest recycling rate amoung glass, with around 32% waste.

Volume recycled (in million metric tons)27
Percentage of glass produced that is recycled21
Recycling rate (in percentage)*35
Recycling rate of container glass (in percentage)32
Recycling rate of flat glass (in percentage)11

How glass is recycled

Glass is recycled by the following process:

Step 1: The glass is stripped from labels and other items.
Step 2: The glass is broken down
Step 3: The glass is melted
Step 4: The glass is being poured into a mold.

Important takeaways:

  • Always categorize your glass by color.
  • Glass has be broken because it melts faster.

Recylable glass and non recyclable glass

Mostly container glass is recylable. Think of glass bottles, jars, drinkware and bowls. What isn’t recyclable is glass with items attached or mixed into it like lightbulbs, car glass and wine glasses.

The positives of recycling glass

Despite the fact that recycling costs energy and releases pollutants it still is better for the environment overal. It reduces related air pollution by 20% and related water pollution by 50%.

Also recycling glass as with almost all recycling reduces the amount of landfills and that means less toxic materials end up in soil and in (drink) water.

The cost savings is in the use of energy. Compared to making glass from raw materials, cullets melt at lower temperature.

Source: https://wwf.panda.org/discover/knowledge_hub/teacher_resources/project_ideas/recycling_glass/?

The negatives of recycling glass

The disadvantages of recycling glass are that of recycling overall but not all. They are:

  • While being processed the factories do produce green house gasses.
  • Not all glass items are recyclable.
  • Glass recycling creates unemployment because there will be less jobs in the glass industry.

Now ofcourse everything has a down side but glass recycling is much much better than throwing it away. Reducing the amount of landfills is very important in order to combat climate change.

Reusing glass is always better when possible

If possible you should re use your glass if at all possible. For example if you want to throw away wine glasses think about selling them instead of throwing it away. Now ofcourse this isn’t possible for all glass, but be mindful if this is at all possible. Now that you also know that not all glass is recyclable.

Would you like to know what happens to other materials different then glass? Check out our other article about most household items and what happens to them when you throw it away here: https://greennova.net/where-does-your-trash-go-after-you-throw-it-away/

Sources used:

  • https://www.recovery-worldwide.com/en/artikel/glass-recycling-current-market-trends_3248774.html
  • https://www.statista.com/statistics/1055604/key-figures-glass-recycling-globally/.
  • https://wwf.panda.org/discover/knowledge_hub/teacher_resources/project_ideas/recycling_glass/?
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhpc0UULjDU
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOKT6crXtFE
  • https://www.ciner.us.com/soda-ash-spotlight-the-glass-manufacturing-industry/#:~:text=Specifically%2C%20soda%20ash%20is%20used,shaping%20of%20the%20glass%20item.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Container_glass

Where does your trash go after you throw it away?


In general when you throw away trash it can either be processed into some new product or it can be destroyed. Ofcourse where your trash goes after you throw it away varies on what kind of trash it is and if there still is something valuable to be made from your trash.

In this article you will find all the different kinds of item categories and what happens to these categories in general and we will leave you with a note on what is better than recycling in the first place.

So read on to discover what really happens to the different kinds of trash you throw away.

What happens to food scraps when you throw it away?

Roughly speaking food scraps either end up in the ground or on a compost pile. The latter being the more favorable option. The reason why you food scraps to end up on a compost pile is because bugs and bacteria will eat the compost and turn it into carbon dioxide instead of toxic methane gas. This sounds counter intuitive because you don’t want carbon dioxide, however when food scraps are properly processed they can be used as fertilizer and therefore can be used to create more trees and plants.

In 2020 in the US, only 5% of all the food scraps went to compost piles and 95% ended up in the ground producing methane. The Vermont’s Act no 148. promised to have all the food scraps go to compost heap in 2020. However in a report of vermont.gov released in 2019 the increase in the amount of compost heaps did grow but only by 9% in 2017. The EPA(Environment Protection Agency) mentioned that only 4.1% of all the food waste is being composted in 2018. So basically when you are in the US your food waste is not being processed properly in general. Find out how other countries are doing here.

You can take matter into your own hands by getting your own compost heap. Use this compost as your fertilizer for your plants.

What happens to disposed clothes?

Many people think that all their clothes that they dispose of in the correct way end up being recycled. The truth is that only a small fraction of clothes is being recycled or reused. For example in the US only 15% is recycled according to the EPA. Also the amount of textile waste almost doubled there:

1960197019801990200020052010201520172018
Textile created in tons1,7502,0502,5405,8409,50011,50013,22016,06016,89017,030
Recycled Textile50601606601,3201,8302,0502,4602,5702,510
Combustion with Energy Recovery10508801,8802,1102,2703,0603,1703,220
Landfilled1,7101,9702,3204,2706,2807,5708,90010,54011,15011,300
1960-2018 Data on Textiles in MSW by Weight (in thousands of U.S. tons) Source: epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling-textiles

In other countries this isn’t much different. All around 15 to 20%. You can check out this table on Labfresh.eu for a more in depth analysis in Europe countries.

Why is this? According to an article of the BBC it is beacuse the Fashion industry uses materials that aren’t well good for recycling. They are made from a blend of yarns filaments, plastics and metals. A pair of pants for example is made of cotton yarn a zipper, threads and different dyes. This makes it complex to seperate and reuse these materials. The complexer it is the more energy and resources are required to recycle.

What happens to glass when you throw it away?

In general glass tends to be either melted down and recycled or thrown into a garbage dump. When you throw away glass it depends on if the glass is broken or not on how it is handled. It also depends on the type of glass, wine and drinking glasses, light bulbs and container glass of for example beers have different melting points than normal glass of for example pot lids. So don’t throw these shards in the recycling bin, wrap them and place in the garbage can. Wrap them because you can hurt the workers handling the glass.

Recyclable glass:

Glass jars and bottles, medicine bottles, parfume bottles, creme jars, jars with herbs or baby food. Cleaning the jars and bottles is allowed. Small bottles and jars are also recylable: for example medicine bottles, perfume bottles, cream jars and jars containing herbs or baby food. Scraping is welcome, rinsing or washing up is not necessary. Washing dishes at home takes more energy than in the glass factory. Put the cap or lid back on the bottle or jar. Metal lids and caps are allowed in the glass container, the metal is later fished out of the glass. You can throw plastic lids in the plastic bin on the spot.

Non-recyclable glass:

Glass other than packaging glass such as tea glasses, wine glasses, other drinking glasses, (oven) dishes, vases and decorative bottles is not suitable for the glass container, but belongs in the garbage can with residual waste. Tea glasses and oven dishes are made of heat-resistant glass. This ‘toughened’ glass has a different melting point than packaging glass and disrupts recycling. Crystal also does not belong in the glass container because it has a different composition. The difference between glass types is not easy to see. That is why these types of glass are not allowed in the glass container.

What happens to metals when thrown away?

In short all scrap metal end up in a scrap metal yard. The metals are crushed and melted in a furnace and turned into ingots. The longer explaination is that different metals are recycled differently.

For example aluminium has a melting point of 660oC.

The step by step process for aluminum is:

  1. Shredding the aluminium to remove coloured coating.
  2. They are melted in a furnace
  3. The molten metal is poured into ingot casts to set. Each ingot could make atleast 1.5 million aluminium cans!

how copper is recycled step by step:

  1. They crush and grind the copper to loosen all attached materials to the copper.
  2. A conveying device deliver the mixture of copper an plastic to a vibrating device while removing dust particles.
  3. The vibrating device seperates the copper from plastic.
  4. They collect the copper and plastic seperatly.

Not all scrap metal can be recycled, it has to be at least 50% metal. So even if it has other materials surrounding it, it’s still worth to recycle.

What happens to plastic when you throw it away?

Overall there are three important journeys for plastic. When you throw plastic away in a trash can most of it ends up in a landfill where they mix with rain water releasing the toxic material called leachate which can move into ground water and soil. Poisioning for example water reservoirs. It can take a single water bottle 1000 years to decompose.

The second journey of a water bottle could be that it ends up in stream of water that mostly end up in the ocean and when they do they float to a place in the ocean called a garbage patch of which there are 6. Animals get stuck in the plastic soup or worse they eat it and they pass it up the food chain and eventually into the fish that you eat. Plastic doesn’t degrade but it does break down into micro plastics which will circulate the oceans for a long time.

The third journey for plastic is to a recycling center where the plastic are squeezed flat and turned into a block that are being shredded into tiny pieces that can be remolded into anything.

Watch this video for more:

What happens to cartboard and paper when you throw it away?

Paper and cardboard do not harm the environment when thrown away because they are biodegradable. If seperated correctly they end up back to a paper factory or they will be burnt in order to create energy. If not seperated correctly the paper and cardboard will end up in a landfill.

The full process of recycling cartboard and paper:

  1. First they seperate the cartboard and paper
  2. They shred the paper and cardboard.
  3. The cardboard and paper is put into a pulp machine to break down the cardboard into fibers.
  4. The mixture is pressed through a screen to remove contaminants
  5. The paper is cleaned by being spun on a cyclinder.
  6. The pulp is sent through a machine that puts it onto a conveyor belt where the water will be removed so that the fibers can bond together.
  7. Heated rollers dry the mixture and the mixture will be put onto large rolls which can be used to create new products.

What happens to cars when it gets old?

Old cars go to the junk jard. Here they will be scrapped for useful parts and the carcasses of the cars will be crushed and recycled. The carcasses are mostly various kinds of metal (75%), plastic and fluids (25%). Metals like copper, lead, aluminum and even platinum and palladium.

Cars have to go to a de-pollution process where workers remove hazardous materials from the car. Materials like car batteries, tyres, catalytic converters and air bags.

After these materials are removed the cars go to expert car scrappers to seperate metals, plastics and fibres. After this is finished the cars can be crushed and melted down and they will undergo the same treatment as scrap metal.. because it is scrap metal by then!

What happens to electronics when you get rid of it?

Unfortunately most electronics still end up in landfills or incinerated wasting metals and releasing toxic chemicals. In the US when you take electronics to a recycler about 80% of that material will be shipped to countries like China or India. The process of recycling electronics is mostly very toxic and the workers that have to do the recycling often have no protection. For example they are cooking printed circuit boards and breathe in all the retardants and the leads. This doesn’t happen in all countries but

Reusing is always the best option for stuff ofcourse but this is not always possible. Electronics can be recycled properly by a reputable recycler however. They seperate metals from plastics and treat them appropriately. In order to find these recyclers however you are going to have to do a good due dilligence process.

Recyling isn’t zero waste!

So to summarize. Recycling isn’t the holy grail solution that will fix everything. This is because recycling is costly and not always possible for each and every item. Reusing stuff is always the better option and also to reduce the amount of stuff that you use so recycling is not needed in the first place!

How to save energy: 30 ways to be more energy efficient


Many of us want to be more energy-efficient. Whether you want to because you try to help save the planet, save money on your electricity bill or both, being more energy efficient has many benefits. If you clicked on this article you probably want to save energy, but don’t know where to start. Luckily, there are many easy ways to save energy that you could implement TODAY. Some you might already do, while others are new to you. While going through this article, please remember that every little change helps. No matter how small and insignificant they might look at first, their impact will show over time.

1. Use a water descaler

Using a water descaler will reduce the effects of hard water like scale buildup on your plumbing and appliances, dry skin and hair and stained bathtubs. A water descaler is not the same thing as a water softener like most people assume. Water softeners are meant to change the chemical composition of the water, whereas a water descaler reduces the effects of the suspended minerals found in water.
A water descaler will help you live more sustainably for several reasons. For example, by reducing the scale buildup in your plumbing and appliances, this device extends their lives. Another reason your water descaler is considered sustainable is that it can descale your current systems. This means that there’s no need to replace what you already have, which in turn means you won’t be adding to the demand for materials for said systems. A different big advantage can be found in the health aspect of your water. Because the descaler only targets the suspended minerals in the water, it won’t interfere with the quality of the water. Aside from that, there are no dangerous chemicals involved in using a water descaler, so you can use the water as drinking water.

2. Use the right insulation

Insulating your home properly is beneficial to both the environment and your wallet, especially long term. On average, around 54% of yearly home utility bills consist of heating and cooling costs. But what if you could simply reduce these costs by reducing your heat loss? By insulating your walls with the right materials you can reduce heat loss by up to 67%. If you also insulate your attic, you can prevent up to another 40% of heat loss.
There are 4 common types of insulation: spray foam insulation, fibreglass insulation, mineral wool insulation and cellulose insulation. The type of insulation that’s most effective for your home depends on the we3ather conditions outside. All 4 types have their own pro’s and cons, so it’s advised to consult a local company to help you choose the right insulation materials for your home.

3. Use solar panels if you have the funds.

We all know that solar panels are an expensive investment. Even though they pay themselves back over time, not everyone has the money to afford the initial cost. Luckily, more and more governments of several countries are concerned with the environmental crisis we are facing. Because of this, some governments distribute funds to aid people who want to make their homes more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Contact your local municipality to get informed about the options available for you.
That being said, the reason solar panels are more environmentally friendly than traditional electricity is fairly simple: Solar energy doesn’t produce any waste, like electricity won from oil and coal would. It’s also much more sustainable for the future because it doesn’t rely on raw materials that we’ll eventually run out of.

4. Unplug battery chargers or use battery chargers that turn themselves off:

https://www.amazon.com/Charger-BULL-Charging-Foldable-Multiple/dp/B08DKB1DGP/ref=sr_1_3?
dchild=1&keywords=auto+shut+off+phone+charger&qid=1627377183&sr=8-3

When your device has finished charging, it will NOT automatically cut off the power supply if the device is plugged in. This causes damage to your device’s battery and reduces its lifespan significantly. By investing in a battery charger that turns itself off, or setting reminders for yourself to unplug your devices, your devices will last longer and are therefore much more sustainable.

5. Take shorter or (partially) cold showers, or turn the water pressure a little lower.

How taking a shorter shower impacts your water usage speaks for itself. But have you thought about how much energy you can save by taking shorter, colder or less powerful showers? It’s not just the water itself that gets wasted by taking an unnecessarily long shower. The water you use needs to be heated and there is a constant amount of water pressure that needs to be maintained for every second you are showering. By simply reducing your time in the shower you can already make a significant difference. If you want to take it a step further, bringing down the temperature and water pressure is the way to go!

6. Use electric cooking (preferably in combination with solar panels)

By reducing the amount of gas you use while cooking, you are less reliant on fossil fuels that are polluting our planet. Especially if you generate your own electricity by using solar panels, switching to electric cooking will save you a significant amount of money yearly.

7. Use infra-red heating (preferably in combination with solar panels)

The use of infra-red heating, or an IR panel, has many advantages. The most important ones in terms of sustainability are that it takes less energy than a traditional radiator as well as that it needs no maintenance because there are no moving parts inside the panels.

8. Turn off power strips or use advanced power strips like this one:

9. Turn off lights when you are not in the room or use an automatic light sensor.

If you are not in the room, there is simply no need to have the lights turned on. By turning the lights off if you are leaving the room for more than just one minute, you can save a lot of electricity and therefore money.

10. Fill up the dishwasher as much as possible.

By filling up the dishwasher to full capacity you reduce the number of times you have to run it. There is no need to run the dishwasher every day if you have enough clean cutlery and plates in your kitchen. By putting off running it until it is stacked to full capacity, you get more clean dishes for the same amount of water, electricity and time as you usually would.

11. Grow your own food with a vegetable garden.

Just imagine the journey of a simple carrot. Think about how much pesticides are needed to keep it safe while it’s growing. With the number of crops, a farmer has to look after, pesticides are the only way to keep them all protected. If you grow your own food at home, you have a much smaller field to protect, meaning it’s much easier to protect your food without resorting to pesticides.
Now think about how much gas is needed to transport a storebought carrot from the farm to the packaging factory, store, and house. If you grow your own food, all of the gas need for transportation is cut out of the equation.

12. Eat less meat.

Meat is one of the most harmful products to the environment due to the number of greenhouse gasses that are released during the production process. By consuming less meat, or even no meat at all, you contribute to lowering the demand for meat. If there’s less demand, production can be downscaled which results in fewer greenhouse gasses being released.

13. Use your window shades.

This one is pretty straightforward. If you use your window shades to keep the sun and warmth out before it gets too hot inside, you won’t need to use an air conditioning system as much, or you could at least use a less intense setting.

14. Don’t throw away left-over foods. Put them in a container.

I’m positive this scenario happened to pretty much everyone: you intended to cook pasta for one, but you accidentally made enough for your entire neighbourhood. This results in many people throwing out perfectly good food. If you put leftover food in a storage container and put it in the fridge or freeze it, you can easily eat it another day. This will save time, money and the environment.

15. Clean the dryer from dryer lint before every use.

Not only will this lengthen the lifespan of your dryer, but it might also save your life. If you don’t clean out the dryer lint before every use, it will lead to the airflow being restricted. Not only does this cause the drying efficiency to go down significantly, but it’s also a serious fire hazard. Dryer lint is highly combustible and the reduced airflow leads to more heat inside the machine.

16. Add aerators to your faucets.

An aerator is a small filter looking thing that you can put on the end of your faucet. It adds some air to the water which causes you to use less water while still experiencing the same amount of water pressure.

17. Turn off your water heater if you plan on leaving home for a few days.

Even if the water heater is not heating any water, it still takes some electricity to be on. If you leave home, there’s no need to have it turned on and waste electricity on it.

18. Do full loads of clothes in the washing machine.

This one is the same as for the dishwasher: if you load it up to full capacity, you won’t have to run it as often. And if you don’t have to run it as often, you use less water and electricity. Be sure not to exceed the maximum amount of weight your washer can handle though since this can be a fire hazard and shorten the lifespan of your washer.

19. Air-dry dishes

This is another straightforward one. You can just let the air do what a dishwasher would do, without the electricity those appliances need.

20. Air-dry clothes

Just like air-drying dishes, air-drying clothes will save you a tonne of electricity. It might take some more time, but your clothes will smell a lot fresher too. Especially if you have the opportunity to hang your laundry outside.

21. Use an automatic thermostat.

An automatic thermostat monitors the temperature of your home. This means that it will turn the heaters on automatically when they are needed, and turn them off when they’re not. This keeps your home at an enjoyable temperature, you don’t have to worry about the heaters, and it saves energy for every time you would have forgotten to turn it off.

22. Use low-flow faucets and showerheads.

By using low-flow faucets and showerheads you can save gallons of water every year, while you likely won’t even notice the difference in water flow yourself.

23. Use the right size burner when cooking.

It’s not about how the burner benefits the pan, but also about how the pan benefits the burner when cooking. A proper sized pan for your heater will use all the heat it provides. While a too-small pan lets most of the heat escape into thin air.

24. Toss a dry towel in the dryer with your clothes.

By doing this, you allow the towel to soak up some of the water from the clothes. This makes your clothes dry much faster, therefore saving energy as you don’t need to use the dryer for as long.

25. Unplug your second fridge.

Ask yourself: do you really need a second fridge in the first place? Probably not. If you think you do, you are most likely getting too many groceries in one go. Using your car to go to the grocery store an extra time a week will impact the environment a lot less than running a second fridge 24/7.

26. Skip the heat-dry setting for the dishwasher.

Personally, I don’t understand why dishwashers even need this setting, unless they are used in a restaurant that needs to re-use their plates multiple times a night. When your dishwasher is done, you can just open it and let the fresh air dry your dishes for you. That way you don’t have to use unnecessary electricity.

27. Use a dishwasher.

It saves you 5000 gallons of hot water per year. The electricity it costs to run the device in a year comes nowhere near these costs.

28. Open curtains facing the sun.

Similarly to closing the curtains to keep the warmth out in the summer, you can also open them to let the warmth in during the colder seasons. By letting your home warm up by sunlight, you can turn down your heater a notch.

29.Turn Use battery saving mode on your laptop and other devices.

By using the energy-saving mode on devices like your laptop or your smartphone, you can get more use out of the battery. You won’t even notice the difference when using your devices because the energy-saving mode only turns off processes that happen behind the scenes. Since your battery last longer, you won’t have to charge it as often. This in turn lengthens the lifespan of your device’s battery.

30. Keep plants in your home.

Plants are natural air purifiers. They supply clean air in your home without needing any form of electricity. This means you won’t need to use an electric air purifier, which in turn saves a lot of money and electricity. Aside from their function as air purifiers, plants are great to use for decor in your home. And if you’re willing to be extra sustainable: propagate plants you or your friends and family already have instead of buying new ones. Caring for plants might seem overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, there are only upsides to having them.

What is carbon profiling


Carbon profiling is the process of determining how many carbon is released creating and maintaining a product or a service.

When you do a quick Google search you will get an answer that carbon profiling is a mathematical process that calculates how much carbon dioxide is put into the atmosphere per m2 of space in a building over one year. All the other articles out there also focus on architecture.

However carbon profiling can be done for pretty much anything. Take for example a flask of mayonaise. It consists of the container and the mayonaise which consists of mainly vinegar or lemon juice and egg yolk. Now the question becomes how we’re these ingredients produced and what amount of carbon was released doing so?

In the rest of this article we will cover the difference between carbon profiling and carbon footprint and how carbon profiling is done in simple terms.

The difference between carbon profiling and carbon footprint

When researching the topic there was not a lot to find on the subject that is because the term carbon footprint is the more used term. The terms are used pretty much interchangeably.

How is the carbon profile of people and stuff measured?

There are different ways of calculating the carbon profile of certain things. Take for example a person to measure the carbon footprint of this person you will have to look at their behavior and ask the following questions:

  • How many people do they live with?
  • What is the size of their home?
  • What kinds of food do they eat?
  • How much water do they use?
  • How many household purchases do they make?
  • How much waste do they produce?
  • Do they recycle?
  • Do they have a car?
  • Do they have solar panels?

As you can see this can get quite complicated. We found an article that goed more in depth about all the calculation per different kinds of product if you are interested: http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/calculate-your-carbon-footprint#BhmwL4703H1wofIi.99

Do you want to measure your own carbon profile? You can go to https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/#/questionnaire to do just that.

How to reduce a carbon profile?

Quite simply put, to reduce something you first need to measure it. Because if you know that for example eating to much meat is bad for the environment then when you know this you can do something about it. For products, let’s take the mayonaise for example it depends on what kind of suppliers the ingredients come from. How do they produce the energy to make the products and how do they transport it. Where is it from? If it’s local it doesn’t have to travel all over the world just to reach you.

As you can see this can get quite complex but the right place to start is by measuring what is going on and by thinking logically.