Your consumption habits and buying decisions have an impact on the environment. Whether this is positive or negative is up to you. By introducing even small changes to your daily life, you can make a big difference to our planet – and even save money in the process.

Sustainable living does not have to break the bank. Quite the opposite. Being a conscious consumer has nothing to do with luxury. The following tips will help you protect the environment – and your wallet.

A man listens to music with headphones

Tip 1: Choose a greener way to stream music, podcasts and series

Whether we’re listening to the latest podcast episode on the way to work or binge-watching a new series in the evening, we stream whatever’s available on our device. Did you know that streaming uses vast amounts of energy? The more data we stream, the higher the electricity consumption for storing and delivering it.

What can you do about it? You can, for example, change the image quality in the settings of your video streaming service. This not only saves energy, but reduces subscription costs as well. Stream your series in Full HD instead of 4K resolution. It’s a lot cheaper. Podcasts or music can also be consumed in a more climate-friendly way. You can download your content via wi-fi instead of using the mobile network on the go.

Shower head of a rain shower

Tip 2: Take more efficient, water-saving showers

A hot shower is a wonderful way to start the day. But this hot water consumes a lot of energy, which generates CO2 and comes at a considerable cost. Because before it comes out of your shower head, the water has to be treated, transported and heated. Calculated by the minute, the energy consumption of a shower corresponds to approximately one wash cycle at 30 C. So take shorter and cooler showers.

It may not seem an appealing prospect, but you would be doing something good for the environment. It's healthier too, because the colder water boosts blood circulation. Another positive side effect of the lower water temperature is that it is better for the natural protective barrier of your skin and makes your hair smoother and shinier.

A man fills his water bottle with tap water

Tip 3: Drink tap water

Are you aware of the environmental impact of bottled mineral water? We drink incredible amounts of it at home and in the office – more than 115 litres per person per year. If you choose tap water instead, the impact on the environment is 500 times lower than that of mineral water. Why? The provision of tap water is less energy-intensive, as it does not utilise resources for tasks such as filling, packaging and transporting bottles.

In addition, Swiss tap water is completely natural. Some 40% of it comes from spring water or groundwater and about 20% from our lakes. Its good quality aside, it is much cheaper than bottled water: instead of around CHF 1 per litre, you pay less than a centime for the same amount of tap water.


Tip 4: Sharing is caring

Did you know that a drill is only used for an average of 11 minutes during its lifetime? Using a drill that is already in circulation is better and more resource-saving than buying one yourself. This is the idea behind the sharing economy. And it goes way beyond providing tools for a personal do-it-yourself project. Hiring an elegant outfit for a special occasion, borrowing a vehicle to transport furniture, home swaps during the holidays – the possibilities are almost endless.

The principle is simple: instead of buying – simply swap, borrow or rent. On online portals such as Sharley, Pumpipumpe and Ubeeqo, you can quickly find the gadget you need or offer something useful yourself. This not only helps others, but also saves money and space. At the same time, you are taking care of the environment – which is why “sharing is caring”.

 A glass full of coins

Tip 5: Invest your savings

And now, what will you do with the money you’ve saved by following these tips? It’s best to get it back into circulation right away and pay it into your pillar 3a or pillar 3b.

The three pillars of the Swiss pension system allow you to build your retirement savings up over years and decades. We can help you look forward to a self-determined future.

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