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Sustainability made simple: Here are 7 How-to tips

Sustainability is at the core of our company philosophy. We believe in the sustainability of solar energy. Switching to solar energy is only one step towards a sustainable lifestyle. There are several small changes to your day to day routines that can both be easily implemented and be very effective in reducing your carbon footprint and saving money at the same time. 

For a start: How can you define sustainability? Sustainability put in very simplified terms, can be described as the principle that only as much of a resource can be consumed as can simultaneously be grown again or regenerated. Nature and the environment will then remain balanced. Conserving resources is one of the easiest ways to achieve sustainability.

We also believe that smart and simple solutions will prevail. It will be just as easy to implement our sustainability tips as it is to use our storage systems. Let's get started.


Tip 1: Reduce your energy consumption

Heat generation appliances are the biggest energy guzzlers in most households. This is where the greatest savings can be made. Simple measures include, for example, washing your laundry at lower temperatures which is sufficient with modern detergents and avoid using the tumble dryer. You save a lot of energy by heating your rooms to more moderate temperatures and only when you need to. Modern Smart-Home solutions can be helpful to control your heating.  An additional tip (only applicable for the tough ones among you): take a cold shower. Conventional hot water heating consumes a lot of energy. For all of those who prefer a hot shower, there are interesting solar power based solutions for hot water heating. The my-PV GmbH, for example, offers a range of such devices.

There are also measures you can take that do not require any restrictions on your daily routines: Do not use stand-by mode for electrical appliances, do not leave the lights on in unoccupied rooms, switch over to LED lamps and ensure your appliances have high energy efficiency class ratings.


Tip 2: Buy locally

It doesn't always have to be organic food. Regional products also score very high on sustainability, as short transport distances from supplier to consumer significantly reduce the carbon footprint for these products.  You support the farmers in your region and help to preserve regional jobs.


Tip 3: Don't throw away food

Far too much food is thrown away and therefore wasted. This behaviour is not sustainable. You can avoid food wastage with two simple tricks. Firstly: Don't take the best-before date on packaged food too literally. It is the date the supplier guarantees the food can be consumed. Usually, food can be consumed beyond this date and a visual and olfactory test can confirm this quickly. Secondly: Plan your food shopping more sensibly. The refrigerator does not always have to be overloaded with food supply lasting for several weeks.  Try and think about what you need and want to eat in the next few days and adjust your shopping accordingly. A positive side effect of sensible shopping: a fridge that is filled with less food also uses less energy.


Tip 4: Do not use plastic bags for fruit and vegetables

Single-use plastic bags have two major problematic impacts on the environment: they are produced with fossil fuels and never decompose completely leading to increased plastic pollution. Single-use plastic shopping bags are gradually phased out from shops, however thin see-through bags for fruit and vegetables are still ubiquitous. They are not needed as they can easily be replaced by nets which every supermarket accepts these days.  


Tip 5: Reduce your meat consumption

You don't have to become a vegetarian. Eating less meat helps to considerably reduce your carbon footprint and will also benefit your health.  According to the World Wildlife Fund organisation, between seven and 16 kilograms of fodder are required to produce one kilogram of meat. Why not try to incorporate one, two or three meat-free days a week to your meals. Not so long ago, meat was only served on Sundays. This "Sunday roast" was something special and tasted the better for it. 


Tip 6: Buy quality items

You most likely have heard of the term "Fast Fashion". It describes cheap fashion items that are designed to be worn only a few times. Following this principle when buying goods, is expensive for you in the long run. It also has a very negative impact on your carbon footprint. Cheap throwaway goods will always be inferior when compared to more durable, high quality and initially more expensive ones. It pays off to look out for quality and durability. This approach not only applies to fashion but almost all other products. A washing machine that lasts 10 years longer and at the same time consumes 30% less electricity is better for the environment as well as your household budget. Solar storage systems that are more energy-efficient and last longer are also a significant contribution to greater sustainability. Certified Sustainability Labels can help you to choose the right products.


Tip 7. Become more autonomous

The last tip is not easy to follow for all people as not everyone might have access to the means to achieve becoming more autonomous. Those who have can change their lifestyle habits and become active. There many areas where you can get started. Grow fruits and vegetables in your garden. You cannot be more local. If you cycle more, you are less dependent on petrol or electricity for your transport needs. Talking about electricity: owning a solar system with battery storage attached for self-consuming the generated electricity will make you more independent of energy suppliers and fluctuations in energy prices. RCT Power will be happy to advise you on any questions you may have concerning storage of solar energy.



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