How to save a planet

Climate protection doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are 11 simple tips for how you can save the climate effectively. And how the internet can help you.

Content

  1. Wake up, climate change is here !

    To start
  2. 1

    It’s never been easier to leave your car at home.

    To tip
  3. 2

    How to avoid a quarter-ton of CO₂ in city traffic every year with one simple trick.

    To tip
  4. 3

    Alps instead of Apulia? Can you travel with a clear climate conscience?

    To tip
  5. 4

    Set all your switches to green power. The expense: A joke. The impact: In the gigatons.

    To tip
  6. 5

    Working from home is an active measure toward climate protection.

    To tip
  7. 6

    Heat smart. It’s easy and can even save you money.

    To tip
  8. 7

    The things you don’t really need. And why you still won’t have to make sacrifices.

    To tip
  9. 8

    Reduce your carbon footprint by giving things a second life.

    To tip
  10. 9

    Don’t worry: You won’t need to eat cabbage soup every day to save the climate.

    To tip
  11. 10

    Don’t throw it away yet – It’s so easy to rescue food, yet so important to our climate.

    To tip
  12. 11

    What about the internet itself? Isn’t it a huge climate killer?

    To tip

Wake up, climate change is here !

  • Forests are burning, crops are withering, people are drowning in disastrous floods: climate change has arrived – with a speed that has even surprised some client scientists. the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) now expects global temperatures to increase by 1.5 degrees by the year 2030, ten years sooner than initially predicted. The IPCC warns: If we do not sharply reduce emissions immediately, we will fail to reach our target of keeping global warming below 2 degrees and the climate could reach a tipping point – with devastating consequences for our planet and for humanity.

We still have time to prevent the worst consequences of climate change, researchers say. But we have to act now: Average per capita CO₂ emissions must not exceed 1.5 metric tons per year. If we fail to limit global warming to 1.5-1.7 degrees Celsius by 2050, the climate will reach a tipping point and essentially put an end to the earth as we know it.

1.5 t 11.2 metric tons CO₂

To live in a way that is compatible with the climate, we have to reduce our emissions to 1.5 metric tons of CO₂ per person and year.

According to Germany’s Federal Environment Agency, every resident of Germany is responsible for an average of 11.2 metric tons of CO₂ equivalent per year.

Start big !

  • How are we supposed to do that, you might be thinking? And where should I start? Only buy strawberries in the summertime? Don’t get lost in the minutia of climate protection tips. Start big! With the big three – the three areas that can make you a “climate saver” the fastest. After all, saving the climate has never been easier, because the internet helps you!

Mobility

Saving the climate on the go ? Sure !

  • 01

    It’s never been easier to leave your car at home.

    Fancy a trip to the Baltic coast? Try it with the Blablacar app, for in­stance. A relaxing trip from Berlin to Warne­münde, for example, costs an unbeatable ten euros – with a certified driver. And you’ll help the environment, because shared emissions are halved emissions.

    Your CO₂ reduction

    What city did you last travel to by car? Enter your starting point and destination below and find out about the emissions created by the various means of transportation. *

    CO₂ emissions in kg by car
    kg CO₂ with a ride by train
    kg CO₂ with a ride on a coach
    kg CO₂ with a ride share
    kg

    That’s how many kilograms of CO₂ you’ll save on a trip from %s to %s and back by taking the bus instead of your own car. You’ll find ridesharing possibilities on the internet.

    • App BlaBlaCar
      Blablacar – Ridesharing and Busses

      It doesn’t get any cheaper or easier. You’ll also find ridesharing opportunities with certified drivers here. So you can sit back and relax while you help save the climate.

    • App Citymapper
      Citymapper – Your City Concierge

      Whether you’re traveling by bus, train, tram, bicycle, or using car/bike-sharing: Citymapper can help you get from A to B in many cities around the world, always recommending the fastest, simplest route – and takes rail strikes into account, too. The app even shows you whether you should get on the front or the back of a train to shorten transfer times.

    -1,160 kg CO₂

    You can save an average of 810 kg of CO₂ each year if you use your car only half as often as before and instead take the bus, train or carpool (assuming you drive 15,000 km per year). You can save a further 350 kg of CO₂ per year if you drive the remaining 7,500 km per year in an economical manner.

    That’s 1.2 metric tons less

    I want to do more

    A mid-range car with an internal combustion engine emits 2.2 metric tons of CO₂ over ten thousand kilometers. If you drive an electric car instead and ride your bike for short distances, you can reduce your emissions by 0.5-1 metric ton per year. And if you don’t have a car, hats off to you: Around 5-15 metric tons of CO₂ are emitted during the production of a single mid-range car. By the way: To make battery production more sustainable, Tesla largely uses solar energy from its own factory roof to produce the batteries for its Model 3.

  • 02

    How to avoid a quarter-ton of CO₂ in city traffic every year with one simple trick.

    Imagine an app that gives you back two whole days' worth of your valuable time every year Surprise: It really exists! Because that’s how much time many of us spend looking for a parking space in major cities. To be more exact, it takes an average of ten minutes to find a vacant spot, according to a study by APCOA Parking. That quickly adds up to two whole days a year – two days too many. What’s more, we emit an average of 1.3 kg of carbon dioxide every time we search for a parking space.

    Be smart: start using an app to find your parking space, for example, with the Parknow app. It shows you the street segments and parking garages where you have a high probability of finding a parking space in over 330 cities in Germany and Austria. To do so, the smart Parknow algorithm uses data from vehicles that drive through the city, combined with statistical data. The result: Green, yellow, and red markings show you where you’ll most likely find a vacant space at the present time. You can already use this feature free of charge in cities like Berlin, Duisburg, Hanover, Cologne, and Reutlingen. In addition, the Parknow app saves you from having to feed a parking meter, because you can book and pay for the parking space directly in the app.

    -320 kg CO₂

    That’s how much CO₂ residents of Germany can save each year by using apps like Parknow. According to a study by Shell from 2018, you drive around the block for a whopping 41 hours every year looking for a parking space. And you emit an average of 1.3 kg of CO₂ during every ten-minute search.

    That’s 1.5 metric tons less
  • 03

    Alps instead of Apulia? Can you travel with a clear climate conscience?

    Four metric tons. That’s how much CO₂ is emitted per person on a single round-trip flight from Frankfurt to New York. Reminder: 1.5 metric tons of CO₂ is the most we can cause each year if we want to limit global warming to 1.5-1.7 degrees Celsius by 2050 and leave a livable planet behind for future generations. You don’t have to be a math wizard to understand that we need to change the way we travel. But how?

    Impact of a single long-haul flight

    4 metric tons of CO₂ are emitted by a single round-trip flight from Frankfurt to New York and back. That’s nearly three times the maximum amount we can emit and still hope to save the planet.

    Each person can only emit 1.5 metric tons of CO₂ each year if we want to avoid reaching a tipping point for the climate.

    36%

    With a single flight from Frankfurt to New York and back, you cause nearly three times as much CO₂ as you should emit the entire year.

    Choose sustainable travel alternatives and help save the climate! The good news is that the internet can help. Whether you want to relax on the beach, commune with nature, or experience exciting cities; whether you're traveling alone, with a big group, or as a family: The platform goodtravel.de will help you discover sustainably run hotels that suit your preferences in many European countries. goodtravel features hotels with natural-style architecture, for example, or hotels that offer regional, organic cuisine. A similar website, biohotels.info, helps you plan your sustainable dream vacation nearly anywhere – from a car-free North Sea island to sunny Greece. Of course, the decisive factor for the climate is getting there. After all, you won’t just find sunny beaches on the Maldives, but all over Europe, too. So save yourself from the airport stress and travel regionally whenever possible – by train, bus, or rideshare.

    Fly with a green conscience

    If there’s no avoiding flying to your destination, consider compen­sating for your flight on atmosfair.de, for example – this platform not only calculates the carbon footprint of your trip, but also lets you offset it through a voluntary climate payment. This money is invested in sustainable projects, such as the construction of solar, wind, water, and biogas energy facilities. Along with the portals Klima-Kollekte and Primaklima, atmosfair was awarded the “Very good” seal by Stiftung Warentest, a German consumer organization, in 2018.

    -482 kg CO₂

    That’s how much CO₂ you can avoid by taking a train to the Provence instead of flying from Frankfurt to Mallorca. A train trip will produce just 86 kg, while the plane to Mallorca will incur a hefty 586 kg.

    That’s 2 metric tons less
At home

A good climate starts on the couch.

  • 04

    Set all your switches to green power. The expense: A joke. The impact: In the gigatons.

    If you’d rather take it easy and follow just one tip in this guide, then follow this one: Switch to green power. Most providers let you make the switch online in just a few simple steps. The impact will be gigantic: You can save nearly half a metric ton of CO₂ on average every year. It could hardly be simpler.

    While conventional electricity from a coal-fired power plant emits 366 grams of CO₂ per kilowatt hour (according to 2020 figures from the German database company Statista), green electricity is truly clean, with a zero carbon footprint. And green electricity doesn’t have to be more expensive, either. You can even save money with the right provider.

    Watch out for fraudulent labeling

    Be careful: just because it says “green power” on the label doesn’t mean it really is. Unlike the “organic” label for food, “green” isn’t a protected term in the energy industry. That means any electricity provider can call their rates “green” and still give you coal-based electricity. Finding out who really delivers green electricity and who the rotten apples are can take some time. The seals “Green Power” or “ok power”, or even better “ok power plus”, can help guide you in Germany. It’s also important that a provider not only offers green electricity, but also pursues the energy transition through its own projects – and has been doing so for a while already. A number of institutions and web portals review green electricity providers regularly and can provide recommendations, such as the sustainability portal utopia.de.

    -710 kg CO₂

    You save around 700 kg CO₂ on average every year if you switch to green electricity. You can easily switch online with most providers in just a few steps. According to Statista, the average CO₂ emission of conventional electricity is 366 grams per kilowatt hour. With green electricity, the electricity requirement is generated in a CO₂-neutral way. Make sure you choose the right provider.

    That’s 2.7 metric tons less

    I want to do more

    You can shrink your carbon footprint even more by reducing your energy consumption. You can save more than 300 kg CO₂, for example, by deleting 1,000 spam e-mails. That’s right – they consume electricity! Because they’re saved in a data center and cause 0.3 grams for each spam e-mail, according to an estimate by The Guardian. So open your spam folder and delete every­thing! The climate will be grateful. And do it regularly.

  • 05

    Working from home is an active measure toward climate protection.

    Driving to work in commuter traffic has been proven to make you sick. It’s bad for the climate, too. Greenpeace calculates that the climate can be spared a gigantic 5.4 million metric tons of CO₂ if 40 percent of all employees in Germany worked from home two days a week instead of commuting to the office. A new study by Carbon Trust also shows how much CO₂ could be avoided by working from home just in Germany: an average of 700 kg CO₂ per person and year if we continue working from home 2.7 days per week, like we are doing during the Covid crisis.

    -700 kg CO₂e

    That’s how much greenhouse gas you can avoid per year by working from home an average of 2.7 days per week. That’s the result of a study by Carbon Trust.

    That’s 3.4 metric tons less

    I want to do more

    When you hold an online meeting with your team from home, switch off video streaming. If you have 15 hour-long meetings per week, it will cause emissions of 133 kg CO₂ equivalent per year, according to calculations by U.S. researchers.

  • 06

    Heat smart. It’s easy and can even save you money.

    According to Germany’s Federal Environment Agency, every resident of Germany emits an enormous 1.77 metric tons of CO₂ every year just from heating their homes. Up to 31 percent of this can be eliminated simply by retrofitting radiators with in­ex­pen­sive smart thermostats – as demonstrated scientifically by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics in a simulation study.

    Smart thermostats can be installed simply in just a few minutes, without needing a handyman, and the costs of the new thermostats are quickly offset by the resulting lower energy costs. What’s more, smart radiators are practical in addition to being good for the climate: They let you change the temperature via app, for example, even when you’re on the go. Automatic heating schedules are also easy to configure. After all, you don’t have to run the heating all night long to have a warm, cozy bathroom in the morning. From optimizing your heating profile to protecting your home – Smart Home from Deutsche Telekom is the solution for many everyday problems. Deutsche Telekom gives you everything from a single source, and if you ever need help, our expert staff will be happy to assist you. To ensure that your Smart Home data is secure, Deutsche Telekom stores it exclusively in data centers in Germany, where it complies with the country’s strict security standards. It’s a great way to protect the environment. Get on board!

    -549 kg CO₂

    You can save up to half a metric ton of CO₂ or more per person every year by making your radiators smart, as scientifically proven by the Fraunhofer Institute in a simulation study.

    That’s 3.9 metric tons less
Consumption

We have enough.

  • 07

    The things you don’t really need. And why you still won’t have to make sacrifices.

    An impact drill, a Phillips screwdriver, a rubber mallet – that’s what the assembly instructions say you need to assemble your new wall rack. You don’t have a drill? That’s great! Because you don’t even need it – except for 15 minutes of your life. For the rest of its useful life, it will just sit around doing nothing. The same applies to many other things you possess, from stepladder to bicycle pump to car: most of the time, all of these things are idle, gather dust, lose value, require repairs at some point, and are ultimately scrapped.

    Yet all of these things have an impact on the climate, namely from the energy required to manufacture them. The result: Every German resident is responsible for an average of 3.8 metric tons of greenhouse gases every year solely from buying new products, according to Germany’s Federal Environment Agency. This means you have a great potential to something for the environment simply by adjusting your shopping habits. If you only buy half as many things as before, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint significantly. The good news is that you still don’t have to make any sacrifices, because you can borrow or rent nearly anything quickly and easily online:

    Climate-friendly shopping

    You can borrow a drill, hammer, or stepladder from a friendly neighbor around the corner in Germany, for example, on nebenan.de. This platform, which is also available as an app, does more than just coordinate borrowing things from neighbors. From pet-sitting to organizing game nights, nebenan.de connects you with the people in your neighborhood.

    Do you need to borrow something for a longer period or simply want to try something out – an iPad, a Roomba, or a drone? Simply rent it on grover.com. This site features a wide variety of technology at inexpensive rental prices for a month or longer. According to grover, the products are either new or “like new”. The principle: You rent a product, return it at some point, and it is cleaned, disinfected, and reset to the factory settings before it is rented out again.

    Sustainable shopping with artificial intelligence

    Imagine you’re looking for a product online, such as a new pair of socks, but you want to buy one that’s especially friendly to the environment. Artificial intelligence will make this especially easy in the future: researchers at TU Berlin teamed up with Ecosia to create a green shopping assistant: “Koala”. Koala can find sustainable shopping alternatives for you with just a few clicks. Although it’s still in development, the second beta version for Google Chrome was published on August 31, 2021 for downloading and testing. As of press time (November 2021), Koala can already find sustainable smartphones, printers, laptops, headphones, shoes, jackets, dresses, t-shirts, jeans, and socks. The best part: Koala never stops machine learning and will soon be able to find climate-friendly alternatives in every product category.

    -1,900 kg CO₂

    Wow, that’s a lot: You can reduce your annual CO₂ footprint by nearly two metric tons on average by buying only half of the new products you normally buy. Accept this challenge and before you buy something in future, think about whether you really need it all the time or if it might be better to borrow or rent it.

    That’s 5.8 metric tons less

    I want to do more

    You can really do a lot for the environment by not owning your own car and instead sharing one with others, for example, with “We Share” or “Share Now”. What’s the difference? A lot: The production of a mid-range car causes an estimated 5-15 metric tons of CO₂ emissions.

  • 08

    Reduce your carbon footprint by giving things a second life.

    When you hear “climate killers”, do you think of planes and cruise ships first? Surprise! The fashion industry is a bigger climate killer than both of those combined: it is responsible for an estimated 10% of worldwide CO₂ emissions, according to information from the European Parliament – a real heavyweight.

    The fast fashion trend makes this even worse for the climate: the fashion industry is launching new collections ever faster, making us believe that we constantly need new clothes. At the same time, residents of Germany throw away 60 percent of new clothes after just one year, as calculated by study authors in “Nature Climate Change”.

    Wear oil and eat plastic?

    People have an incredible weakness for clothes made of petroleum: plastics make up 60% of all new fabrics. And they are produced primarily from petroleum. From polyester shirt to nylon sports pants – we clothe ourselves with petroleum products. This isn’t only a question of personal health, either. Our plastic fashion has a double impact on the environment: A polyester shirt results in three times more greenhouse gases than its cotton counterpart. What’s more, our plastic clothes are littering the world’s oceans: Every time we wash them, we release hundreds of thousands of microscopic plastic particles from our t-shirts and sweatpants. According to an EU study, a simple scarf made of synthetic fabrics releases 300,000 of these microplastics, which then flow into the oceans through sewer systems. The result: 35 percent of the gigantic garbage patches (or trash vortexes) between the continents are made up of microplastics from our petroleum clothing.

    These particles are then eaten by fish, which can end up on our dinner plates – a lose-lose situation. As researchers from the University of Arizona have discovered, nearly all of us have microplastics in our lungs, livers, and kidneys. They are even found in mineral water, and even if this is sold in glass bottles.

    How to make a difference

    The good news: Changing our consumer habits is the key to significantly reducing worldwide CO₂ emissions. You can use this key by thinking about whether you really need that new piece of apparel, and will really wear it, whenever you go shopping. And if you really do need that new shirt, don’t buy polyester. Instead, buy clothes made of organic cotton. The best solution by far: buy second-hand clothing, ideally made of natural fibers, for example at the popular exchange platform vinted.de The impact on your CO₂ footprint will be huge. And you’ll likely improve your health, too, because used clothing has already been washed many times, so it contains far fewer of the harmful chemicals that are often contained in new clothes.

    -327 kg CO₂

    That’s how much people in the EU can reduce their CO₂ foot­print on average by halving their purchases of new clothes. Ac­cording to the European Environment Agency, every individual in the EU was responsible for 654 kg of CO₂ emis­sions due solely to their textile purchases. What’s more, by not buying new clothes constantly, we will also make a major contri­bution toward fighting waste and pollution of drinking water.

    That’s 6.1 metric tons less

    I want to do more

    In addition to clothes, we can prevent a great deal of CO₂ emissions with digital devices, too. According to Jens Gröger from Germany’s Oeko-Institut, for example, the production of a new flat screen TV causes around 1,000 kg CO₂. A smartphone is responsible for 100 kg. One way to shrink your CO₂ footprint is by buying a refurbished smartphone from Deutsche Telekom. These refurbished, inspected, like-new smartphones will be available to buy from Deutsche Telekom starting in December 2021. You can buy a refurbished TV or laptop from asgoodasnew.de for example.

  • 2.1 kg CO₂ Cotton
    5.5 kg CO₂ Polyester

    Clothes made of polyester, or artificial fibers, create nearly three times the CO₂ emissions during its production compared to cotton clothing. What’s more, every load of laundry washes hundreds of thousands of microplastic particles into the oceans through our sewer systems. Buy clothes made of organic cotton! You’ll not only be protecting the environment, but your own health, too.

Food

Achieving a good climate is like stealing someone’s heart: It goes through the stomach.

  • 09

    Don’t worry: You won’t need to eat cabbage soup every day to save the climate.

    Admittedly, we could skip the “food” chapter if we all stopped eating meat. Meat causes both heated debates and a warmer climate: according to Friends of the Earth Germany, around 15 percent of global CO₂ emissions could be eliminated if we all removed meat from our diets.

    If all of us had to pay the true cost of meat production, including the damage it causes to the climate, the environment, and public health, many wouldn’t be able to afford it any more. A number of studies calculate the true cost of foods. Although their exact findings vary, they all agree that meat production places a much greater burden on the environment, and thus much higher costs, than vegetables. According to a study by Trucost, a consulting and analysis firm, conducted on behalf of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a kilo of meat would have to be 9.34 euros more expensive if all externalities were taken into account.

    burger 19 kg

    The actual climate costs for a single burger with 100 grams of beef patty are around €13, and the CO₂e emissions are 19 kg, as Philipp Bruck from the Green Party has calculated.

    In addition to emitting CO₂, meat production also harms the environment in other ways: The environmental organization “Robin Wood” estimates that 6,000 rain forest trees are cut down every second to meet the increasing demand for arable land, which is needed to grow feed for livestock. Rain forests are essential to our climate and survival, however. Firstly, because they absorb a major share of CO₂ emissions, making them crucial to stabilizing the climate. Secondly, because they produce the oxygen we need to live.

    And if that wasn’t enough: After deforestation, the land is often used to cultivate soy monocultures, in which countries like Brazil often use highly hazardous pesticides. But if you think we should point fingers at Brazil, you’re wrong:

    it is we Europeans who take the sad, second-place trophy in worldwide tropical forest deforestation. We are responsible for 16% of global tropical forest clearing, even more than the U.S. and India – as shown in a recent WWF report. Germany takes first place in Europe. It’s time to stop destroying nature. The good news is that you already hold the key: in your behavior as a consumer.

    6000 trees

    That’s how many rain forest trees we cut down every second, according to an estimate by “Robin Wood”. If we continue unchanged, earth will have no rain forests left in 30-40 years. We Europeans are the vice world champions when it comes to the worldwide destruction of tropical forests.

    Tasty and good for the climate

    As we said, don’t worry: You won’t have to eat cabbage soup every day. But there is getting around the fact that we need to reduce our meat consumption. But taking this step will make a huge reduction in your carbon footprint: An Oxford study by Poore & Nemecek from 2018, published in Science, proved that switching to a vegan diet shrinks your CO₂e footprint by a full 2 metric tons.

    Eine vegane Ernährung ist wahrscheinlich der beste Weg, um die Umwelt nachhaltig zu entlasten, nicht nur in Bezug auf den Ausstoß von Treibhaus­gasen, sondern auch im Hinblick auf die globale Versauerung der Böden, die Überdüngung, die Land­nutzung und den Wasser­verbrauch. Das hat einen viel größeren Effekt, als nicht mehr mit dem Flugzeug zu fliegen oder ein Elektroauto zu kaufen.

    The good news: You can make a major contribution simply by eating less meat. The dietary revolution has already started in Germany. At 57.3 kg per capita, meat consumption in 2020 was at its lowest level since the start of recording in 1989, according to the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food.

    One in ten people lead a vegetarian lifestyle, twice as many as in the previous year. Two percent are vegan, which also represents a doubling of the previous year’s figure. In fact, according to a dietary report from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture, more than half of all people claim to be “flexitarians” – people who intentionally eat meat-free on occasion. That means there’s at least a 50-percent chance that your neighbor is already on board for the dietary revolution.

    map

    Happy Cow

    If you have trouble imagining how good many meat replacement products taste – as well as vegetarian and vegan food in general – we recommend the Happy Cow app. It shows you the best restaurants, cafes, and stores for vegetarian and vegan food near you – no matter what continent you’re currently on. You can decide how strictly you want to filter your search: from “veggie-friendly” to “vegetarian” and “vegan”. There’s plenty to choose from. Why not give it a try right now? The climate will thank you.

    -1,500 kg CO₂e

    That’s how much you’ll save if you limit your meat consumption to 15 kg a year. Incidentally, that’s the quantity recommended by the international EAT-Lancet Commission. Or use a simple rule of thumb: Do it like your grandparents did – they typically ate meat once a week. Even better, of course, would be to eliminate meat from your diet completely. Oxford researcher Joseph Poore crunched the numbers: You’ll avoid two metric tons of greenhouse gases, including 670 kg of CO₂, every year by switching to a vegan diet. And if you still buy meat, buy local and organic. Air-freighted meat is the top climate killer by far.

    That’s 7.6 metric tons less

    I want to do more

    Help prevent tropical deforestation! Above and beyond your own consumer behavior, you can support environmental protection organizations, advocate for stopping the clearing of rain forests, and . Even better: You can use the internet to plant trees actively – just by making Ecosia the standard search engine in your browser. Ecosia makes a contribution toward reforestation for every search. You’ll plant one tree on average for every 45 search requests.

  • 10

    Don’t throw it away yet – It’s so easy to rescue food, yet so important to our climate.

    Imagine all of South America, all of North America, and all of Europe as one huge farm. All farmland and grazing areas. That’s essentially our current situation, because we need half of earth’s habitable surface just to produce our food. There’s only one catch: Nearly everything that we produce on the area of South America ends up in the trash. It’s no joke. One third of all food we produce ends up in trash bins instead of people’s stomachs, according to an estimate by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). That means we use a land area the size of South America, at great effort and with highly hazardous pesticides in some places, to produce garbage. From field to trash can. But that’s not quite right: we first fly and ship a large share of it all over the world before we throw it away – with Brazilian bananas and Argentine sirloin steaks, for example. Our current food waste represents a slow but sure death.

    Not cool

    Among foodstuffs, throwing away meat has the greatest impact on the climate by far. According to Germany’s Heinrich Böll Foundation, the equivalent of around 230,000 cows is thrown away in Germany every year – as sausage and meat products. We have to stop! So let’s get down to it – how can we do better? Easily, once again with the help of smart apps and the internet.

    How to rescue food

    You can rescue food while shopping for groceries, for example, by buying from motatos.de. Founded by three friends in Sweden, Motatos is now launching in Germany – after its successful debut in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark – letting you buy products with long remaining shelf lives for very little money. From pasta to dog food: You’ll find almost a full supermarket product range at motatos.de and will help the climate a lot with every purchase. By the way, according to the company’s own information, they’ve already rescued 11,000 metric tons of food from being discarded. That's really good. Why not help them?

    Too Good To Go

    The Too Good To Go app also gives you an easy way to rescue food. Restaurants and businesses like bakeries and cafes offer unsold food at very low prices. If you decide on a baker, for example, you can choose how many portions you want to pick up and when. At Too Good To Go, you’ll always get “magic bags”, as the site owners put it, that come in a standard size. So you never know what you’re going to get. In return, you’ll get the magic bags for a fraction of the regular price.

    Too good for the trash

    Did you make too much tomato sauce or buy too many carrots again? Put it in the freezer. And if your freezer is already holding bean casserole and chile con carne, and you want to use it all quickly, you’ll find recipes for eve­ry­thing in your freezer on zugutfuerdietonne.de. It’s also available as an app.

    Foodsharing

    Another ingenious platform for food rescue is foodsharing.de. “The Fairteiler is filled to the brim with the finest bread and rolls, as well as fruits and vegetables,” writes Katharina, a food­sharing.de member, as a comment for a “Fairteiler” – a port­manteau of the words “fair” and “teiler” (a person who shares). Fairteilers are shelves and refrigerators where you can get free food. An easy-to-read map shows you all Fairteilers nearby.

    The platform already has more than 200,000 members in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The brilliant concept: Anyone who has extra food can join in and either bring it to the nearest Fairteiler, like Katharina, where anyone can take it, or you can offer a “food basket” for pickup at your home. These offers are also displayed on the map. In addition to a short description of the leftover food they have to offer, many users also upload pictures. To ensure high quality among the offerings, rule number 1 of food sharing is “Don’t offer anything you wouldn’t eat yourself.”

    -500 kg CO₂

    According to Environmental Action Germany, that’s how much CO₂ you can avoid every year by eliminating food waste. By the way, every German throws away around 75 kg of food every year. Hopefully that will soon be a thing of the past.

    That’s 8.1 metric tons less
  • cow
    bin 0.0

    Not “cool” at all: German households have thrown away %s cows – in the form of sausage and meat products – since you started reading this article. According to the Meat Atlas published by the Green Political Foundation, Heinrich‑Böll‑Stiftung that amounts to around 230,000 cattle every year.

  • 11

    What about the internet itself? Isn’t it a huge climate killer?

    As much as apps and the internet help us to protect the climate, surfing the web consumes energy and causes CO₂ emissions. That’s as much as or even more than global air traffic – a recent study from the United Kingdom arrived at this surprising conclusion. The re­search­ers not only considered the emissions caused by internet use, but also the emissions generated during the production and scrap­ping of the technical equipment. All in all, it is responsible for 2.1 to 3.9 percent of world­wide CO₂ emissions, according to the study.

    screen
    CO₂ emissions from surfing the web

    If you want to know how much CO₂ you’re emitting while you surf, use the browser add-on Carbonalizer. It’s currently available for the Firefox browser (as of press time: November 2021) and shows you how much CO₂ is emitted as a result of your surfing.

    Surf with a clear climate conscience

    Does that mean we shouldn’t use the great apps and tools from the above tips after all? No, we should, with a clear climate conscience that’s simple to achieve: by surfing in Deutsche Telekom’s network. It already runs on 100% green electricity. Even videos, which are usually responsible for a large portion of internet emissions, become climate-friendly in Deutsche Telekom’s network. Nevertheless, it also helps to pay attention to where you’re surfing. If you stream TV shows on Magenta TV, for example, you’ll still be protecting the environment in Deutsche Telekom’s network. But there are other major streaming services that run on conventional power and emit huge amounts of CO₂. Deutsche Telekom has calculated that Telekom solutions helped customers to avoid seven times as many CO₂ emissions than the company caused itself in 2020 in Germany alone. To find out more about sustainable products from Deutsche Telekom, follow this link.

    Deutsche Telekom has calcu­lated that Telekom solutions helped customers to avoid seven times as many CO₂ emissions than the company caused itself in 2020 in Germany alone.

    PUE, it’s warm in here

    With its PUE (power usage effectiveness) value of 1.3, Deutsche Telekom’s data center in Biere, near Magdeburg, requires a full 30 percent less energy than conventional data centers. This makes it one of the ten greenest data centers on the planet, as well as the largest data center in Germany and home of the Open Telekom Cloud. Watch the video to find out how the data center saves so much energy.

    Can you cut CO₂ emissions by surfing?

    Yes, you can! Another climate-friendly provider, one that can even help you reduce your emissions, is ecosia.org. How does that work? Every time you search, the platform makes a contribution to reforestation projects from Brazil to Indonesia. According to information from Ecosia, you’ll plant one tree on average for every 45 search requests. The best thing: Ecosia offers a browser add-on that shows you how many trees you’ve already planted simply by using the service. 15 million people already use Ecosia (as of November 2021). Join them! By the way: If you run an average of three searches per day on Ecosia, you’ll indirectly plant 24 trees each year. With an average beech tree, which absorbs around 12.5 kg of CO₂ every year over 80 years, that amounts to a whopping 300 kg of carbon dioxide a year – according to calculations by Dr. Daniel Klein from the Forestry Center at the University of Münster. That’s quite an accomplishment! It just takes a few clicks to make Ecosia your default search engine on your computer and smartphone.

    -936 kg CO₂

    By defining Ecosia as your default search engine, you’ll make an active contribution to removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. If you run just three searches every day, you’ll plant 24 trees a year, which absorb around 300 kg of CO₂ every year when fully grown. You can avoid another 636 kg CO₂ every year by using a climate-friendly streaming service like Magenta TV for 4 hours every evening.

    That’s 9.1 metric tons less

    I want to do more

    A major share of your CO₂ footprint results from manu­facturing the devices that you buy, as calculated by Jens Gröger from the Oeko-Institut. A flat screen TV is re­spon­sible for around 167 kg CO₂ per year; a smartphone around 62 kg CO₂. The longer you use a device, the better it is for your carbon footprint. So try to avoid buying a new smartphone every two years and pay attention to the environmental impact of your purchases. To help you with your decisions, Deutsche Telekom and other telecommunications providers have introduced the Eco Rating. It provides information about the sustain­a­bility of various smartphone models.

  • Your new footprint

    Welcome to the climate rescue team !

    Congratulations, you did it! If you follow these 11 tips, you can save over nine metric tons of CO₂ per year. And what about the rest? The easiest thing is to compensate for your emissions on platforms like atmosfair. Alternatively, you can transfer your account to a sustainable bank, to automatically invest in sustainability projects around the world. Or you can help advocate for climate protection projects online. For more information, see the focus topic “Digital Democracy”.

    1.5 t 2.1 t 11.2 metric tons CO₂