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This is one of many tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint.

Do you have this pile of paper that is in the mailbox every day? This free weekly newspaper with no content but ads, advertising from the post office (extra welded in plastic packaging), catalogues, magazines? A sticker on the letterbox helps against these free weekly newspapers, against advertising from the post office and similar stuff. You ordered somthing online and since then you get a catalogue once a year? Twice a year? More often? It is best to unsubscribe immediately when a catalogue is in the mail. the customer number is usually at the back. A mail to shipper and you’re out. Help other family members: Can I unsubscribe from this catalogue for you?

This magazine: Do you still read it? I unsubscribed the computer magazine last week because I only read the FAQ and tips and tricks regularly and otherwise individual articles. I have an online subscription for that, that’s enough.

Professional stuff: Do you need that? Yes, this university lecturer’s newspaper. There’s something interesting in there from time to time, but somehow you can’t get to read it and it’s just lying around. Cancelled. Annual reports and invitations from institutions with which you have had something to do at some point? The DFG’s research magazine (by Wiley =:-(). Cancelled.

Magazines and brochures: unsubscribed

Schwuppdiewupp a whole bunch of paper and the shipping saved. Actually simple, but you have to stick to it. You can do this. =:-)

And one more tip at the end: If you don’t want unsolicited advertising, you can sign up for the Robinson list. These are available for Germany and some other countries. You can also block your phone number there. Then there is scilence. Like on an island.

Please use scheduled aircraft instead of your jet

This is one of many tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint.

Today I discovered an interesting way to reduce your CO2 emissions. Unfortunately, the target group of this post is relatively small. But I don’t want to leave anything untouched. Compared to the decommissioning of your tumble dryer, this tip would have much more impact. So, when you fly, just fly with a scheduled plane, not your private plane. This would save a lot of CO2.

Seriously, according to an estimate in an essay in Nature Climate Change, which is also available on Researchgate, the 0.54% of the richest people have a CO2 emissions of 3.9 billion tons of CO2/year. This corresponds to 13.6% of all lifestyle-dependent CO2 emissions. By contrast, the 50% poorest people have 10% of emissions. The authors of the study interviewed three super-rich families, each with more than a million dollars in share ownership. In addition, real estate and valuables. Two families from the US and one from South Korea. On top of this, a pilot from Central Europe who flies customers on private planes was interviewed.

CO2 emissions from the super-rich. Three families were examined in one study. Otto 2019. Shift the focus from the super-poor to the super-rich. Nature Climate Change 9. p. 83.

The total emissions amounted to 129.3 tons of CO2 per year (for a two person household). This is 65 tons of CO2 per year per capita. For comparison: US average 22 tons, German average 11.61 tons.

CO2 emmissions per capita in countries. Source UBA (German Environment Agency), 2019

The article proposes solutions. Among others:

Frequent air travel is a primary contributor to hugely above-average emissions of the super-rich that could be substantially reduced by avoiding using private jets and just flying less.

Otto 2019. Shift the focus from the super-poor to the super-rich. Nature Climate Change 9. p. 83.

So, in case somebody belonging to the 0.54% should read my blog: Here is my request: Fly with a normal scheduled plane. You can get to know nice people in business clas as well and on an economy flight you certainly get completely new perspectives on life in general and humanity in particular. Train travel is, of course, even more exciting!

If you really belong to the 0.54%, you will not like another suggestion of the authors. They propose levying inheritance tax and diverting revenue to climate funds. But perhaps this proposal will be forgotten again if you do it like Bill and Melinda Gates, like the Otto Group or Bosch and support ecological projects yourself. And the article also mentions that the posh and rich act as a role model for us ordinary folks. Just put cool solar cells on the roof of your house (it is big enough).

See you! On the train.

Addendum after sleeping about it: The authors of the study say that CO2 taxes would not stop the super-rich from flying. “Heavy environmental taxation, as commonly discussed, is unlikely to effect the consumption behaviour of the super-rich, who can afford to continue polluting.” (p. 83) One could, however, link taxes to aircraft utilisation. If an aircraft flies with three people instead of 500, other taxes are due. Similar models exist for the taxation of cars, where size also plays a role. Of course, the regulations have to be developed with a sense of proportion, because even scheduled flights sometimes fly back empty.

Switching to green electricity

This is one of many tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint.

This tip is specific to Germany. If anyone knows how to do this easily in other countries, please leave a message to me or a comment.

I thought I could write this tip very quickly, but it wasn’t that easy in the end. First, if you switch from coal-fired electricity to green energy, there is no risk that you will somehow be without electricity. Switching electricity is not like changing the phone provider, where you may end up without a connection for a few days if you’re unlucky. After a change of provider, you will receive the invoice from another provider next month, otherwise you will not notice any change.

The switch to green electricity has the greatest effect after car-free life and transatlantic flights

So how do you find a good green energy provider? I found a portal when searching for providers: check24. Here it is important to click on “Green electricity only” (Ökostrom) and “Sustainable”. If you select “sustainable” (nachhaltig), you get local suppliers who actually invest in the production of green electricity (providers with the OK-Power or green electricity label). If you do not select this option, you may end up with electricity that’s just labeled as ecological. For example, you may buy Norwegian hydropower, which can lead to Norwegian electricity customers having our lignite electricity on the bill, because the certified green electricity is used here. More information can be found on the linked pages of the labels.

This information should actually be sufficient to change the electricity provider in five minutes.

You already have green electricity and nevertheless read up to here? Well, then ask your parents or children if they have green electricity and if not, help them to switch to a sustainable provider.

Abolish your tumble dryer

Do you dry your laundry in the dryer? Doesn’t have to be. There are clotheshorses with 0 kwh consumption. Even beautiful. From Side by Side Design from workshops for people with disabilities.

Clotheshorse Mom in use. Don’t worry: Clotheshorse Dad is also available. And dad is also allowed to use the Clotheshorse Mom.

A nice side effect of drying on the clothes rack is that the evaporation creates coolness. So instead of using the tumble dryer to generate waste heat, you cool your apartment. And even in winter it is advantageous to dry the laundry in the flat: In new buildings, the air is usually too dry during the heating period, which is why it is sometimes advisable to attach evaporation bodies to the heating. The same effect can be achieved with drying laundry.1

Disadvantage: You need space and the thing is standing around.

Put purchases into the fridge immediately

In this category, I write about easy and more advanced things that you can do to reduce yourr CO2 emissions.

One way to save energy is to put goods that were cooled (e.g. milk, butter) immediately put in the fridge. This way, they do not heat up and do not need to be cooled down again.

This tip is relevant until all energy supply is switched to green electricity. Even after a complete changeover, it is relevant, as an increase in power consumption will require more modules/wind turbines/…, which must be produced.

Saving water with flow limiter

In this category, I write about small and large things that each person can do to help reduce their energy consumption and thus CO2 emissions.

You don’t shower for long and not hot, but there’s this one person in the family who just takes a long time to wake up? There is a very simple solution: the flow limiter. This allows the water flow to be limited to half. Anyone can install it and it costs around €5. According to, a family of four can save up to 47,500 litres of water and 1,950 kWh of energy per year with flow limiters.