Conscientious consumption in seven acts

There are many ways to behave more conscientiously and sustainably as a consumer. Sharing platforms like Kleihd and Sharely or swap meets offer you the chance to trade goods instead of buying them. Secondhand offerings are becoming more and more popular. High-quality, durable goods also have a better carbon footprint. So it can be quite simple to establish more conscientious consumer behaviour.

1. Shopping consciously

Many products that are still in good working order, as well as fully functional electric appliances, end up as rubbish, and get replaced by new ones.

→ Before your next purchase, ask yourself: Do I really need it? Will it make me happier?

2. Sharing instead of buying

The worldwide demand for clothing has increased significantly. Sales have nearly doubled over the last 15 years. On average, a person in Switzerland buys 65 to 70 new pieces of clothing per year – 40 percent of which are never worn.

→ Try sharing, swapping or renting. Kleihd offers everything from smoking jackets to wedding dresses; everyday clothes can be swapped via the SWAP clothing exchange; and things like inflatable dinghies, stand-up paddleboards, climbing gear and angle grinders can be found on sharing platforms like Sharely.

3. Secondhand instead of new

Only 2 per cent of consumer goods purchased in Switzerland are secondhand. Extending the life of a product, i.e. using it until the actual functional end of its life, reduces its carbon footprint enormously. The image shows your CO₂ savings through the purchase of secondhand products. By comparison: A return flight from Zurich to Athens produces 600 kg of CO₂.

→ Browse secondhand shops, swap shops and flea markets, or search on Ricardo and Tutti. Bonus: Clothes that have already been washed many times are cheaper and healthier than newly purchased ones.

4. Natural or plastic?

Many products are made of polyester synthetic fibres nowadays. High-quality fibres made of recycled plastics have a very good environmental footprint. However, they can still have a negative effect on waterways due to microplastics.

→ Pay attention to quality, wash gently and try to keep the material mix as low as possible because bonded material can only be reused to a limited degree. Natural materials, like wool or linen, offer a good alternative.

5. Quality lasts longer

More than 50 per cent of CO₂ emissions are affected by how long you use a product. This is true for clothing as well as coffee machines, home fitness equipment, tablets or bikes.

→ Quality is worth it. Whenever possible buy timeless classics; high-quality products that you can use for longer. Over the long term, this is better for the environment and more economical.

6. Buy regional

Imported products carry an invisible burden of previously emitted gases with them, which occur during production and transport.

→ Opt for regional products These may be more expensive, but they are usually more durable and often better for the environment.

7. Repair instead of throwing away

If something breaks, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to buy a new one. Many manufacturers and speciality shops have an affordable repair service. Plus, mobile phone doctors and repair cafés are becoming more and more common.

→ The order of the day is:
Reduce, repair, recycle. Join in the fun!

Verschiedene Secondhand Stühle, Tische und Möbel, die nebeneinander ausgestellt auf einem Aussenplatz stehen.

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