An average german person brings out 457 kilogram waste per year; in america it’s even about 755 kilogram per person per year – that is a lot! And it is actually pretty easy to reduce your own impact on this by acting more sustainable. Here are some tips for you on how you can reduce your amount of waste easily – espacially while traveling!


  1. When buying food at fast food restaurants or bakeries or the like, it sometimes happens that I buy only one item that I plan on eating right away as soon as I am out of the place. Therefore, putting it into a bag for just one minute is pointless. This is why I ask the cashier to give it to me without the bag. To me it doesn’t matter if it is paper or plastic. If I don’t need a bag, I don’t take a bag.

2. This aligns with number one. In German grocery stores you usually put your fruits into bags to scale them. But as soon as you are home you throw this bag away. I decided to stack my fruits onto the scale without a bag. My fruits will survive the trip home without an extra layer. Again, if I don’t need a bag, I don’t use it.

3. You probably heard it so many times already, but using refillable water bottles really helps reduce your amount of waste. Honestly though, which type of bottle is not refillable? Just fill any bottle with tap water and you’re good to go. (Avoid using bottles that contain any BPA’s though, as they can pose a health risk).

4. In plenty of restaurants and bars you will get plastic straws along with your drink. I tend to tell the waiter that I don’t need a straw. I am perfectly fine with drinking right from my cup. Of course some alcoholic drinks kind of need a straw. But plenty of places start handing out paper straws rather than plastic ones, which is a great alternative.

5. When going to fast food places, I always see people who grab an entire stack of napkins. For what purpose though? They will throw them all away with having used only one. Just take one napkin. If you happen to need more, you still can get up and get another one.

Of course these 5 tricks aren’t the only ones that you can use, but they are the one I feel most comfortable with. What do you do in order to keep your trash on a low level? Tell us about your tricks and there might be a part two!

By Sophie Fritzen