A man is singing in the shower

Tips for generating less CO2

Why you should take fewer showers

In order to halt climate change, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Each and every one of us can do our own bit, as lots of little steps can have a major effect when added together. Five things that you can do straight away.

Nicola Brusa

Despite being invisible, it has a major impact: the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, CO2. Everyone in Switzerland generates 14 tonnes of it each year. Is that a lot? To give a comparison: 14 beech trees would take 80 years to lock up this amount of carbon. This figure needs to be lowered by around 90 percent in order to combat climate change. Five practical tips for any household to lower its CO2 footprint.

  1. Take fewer showers: you need to have hot water in order to have a hot shower, and heating up water requires a lot of energy. This means that having fewer and shorter showers saves a lot of energy.

  2. Do less laundry: the less, the better. And when washing, fill up the machine, be sparing with the detergent and use low temperatures. Hang up the washing rather than tumble drying it.

  3. Drink less coffee: coffee has the biggest footprint of all drinks, and a cup of coffee creates as much CO2 as a 1-kilometre journey by car.

  4. Turn on the heating less: more than two thirds of the energy consumed by households is used for heating. Lowering the room temperature by 1 degree corresponds to a fall in energy consumption of around 6 percent.

  5. Buy less stuff: we should use the things we own for as long as possible and not replace them too early. So ask yourself: "Do I really need those new trousers?" "Do I really need to replace my smartphone?" If you keep using the device for another year, the environment will thank you 1,000 times over.

Get better acquainted with your own behaviour

How do I measure up? How damaging to the climate is my lifestyle? The WWF has created a footprint calculator, which provides some clarity and/or realism in 38 steps.

Sources: SFOE, WWF, MyClimate, "Das Magazin", Mathias Plüss