Sustainable products are very much in vogue

household consumption

Product sustainability is becoming more and more important to consumers - but what can be done in this context? © Jason Blackeye / Unsplash.com
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The numbers at a glance

Information on the proportion of organic and sustainable products in the total consumption of German households can only be estimated. In the various areas of consumption, the proportion is also different. Overall, however, sales have risen by approximately 73.5% since 2011.

These are the market shares, according to the Federal Environment Agency, in the respective areas:

  • Energy- using household appliances: In the household appliances consuming energy, the market share can be estimated at between 70% and 90%. Energy efficiency classes are a selection criteria for many customers when buying.
  • Mobility: The field of mobility is not very green. The proportion of used public transport in traffic is only about 9%. Hybrid and electric cars are only used to 1.9%.
  • Diet: In the field of nutrition, organic products account for only 5%. However, the proportions vary greatly depending on the product.

Especially with regard to the emission of carbon dioxide in private households per capita per year, there has been little change in recent years. Although a positive trend can be seen and the greenhouse gases produced by the private German households have fallen in the last 15 years, but this is only insignificant. While CO2 emissions per capita were just over eight tonnes in 2000, they have only been slightly below eight tonnes per capita since 2016.

What can companies do?

Eco-products are increasingly in demand, but the market shares in many areas are not as high as many would wish. Companies could make the products greener.

In production, companies could use more biological materials. This can already make production more sustainable and ensures lower emissions of carbon dioxide. This can be made possible above all when plastics are dispensed with during production. display

It is also important that the use of fossil fuels is reduced. Non-biodegradable plastic is still used by too many companies today. Bio-based and biodegradable plastics could be a sustainable alternative. However, it is important to differentiate in which environment the substances can biodegrade. Often, products that have been sustainably produced and can be described as green are more expensive. If the prices of these products can be lowered, shoppers rarely resort to alternative products that are not sustainable.

Even with product packaging, many companies are putting too much emphasis on plastics. Especially foods are packed to a high degree in non-biodegradable plastic. That's why many supermarkets are already doing without many of these products. In addition, many of them completely dispense with plastic bags and only offer paper bags.

Above all, it is important that companies also train their employees to become more environmentally aware. Through support and training at the workplace, emissions can also be reduced in the offices. If they understand the biological footprint, it is also possible that they also live more sustainably in private life and focus on sustainability.

In addition, it can also make sense to highlight the sustainability of your own company with smaller promotional items. Why not even a sustainably produced sketchbook or ballpoint pen in a cool wood look. This shows consumers that the wishes of society are taken seriously.

What can consumers do?

Even as a private consumer, one can ensure greater sustainability. First, consumers should be well informed and understand what their lifestyle has for the greenhouse effect and the environment. This makes it easier to live more environmentally conscious and sustainable. Here are some tips on how consumers can ensure that more sustainable products can be produced:

  • Encouraging demand: When consumers put more emphasis on products that have been produced sustainably, supply also increases. In addition to the production, attention should be paid to the packaging. Many products are packed several times in plastic. Especially with fruit and vegetables can be dispensed plastic packaging. As sales of these products decline, more companies are turning to greener and more sustainable methods of production and packaging.
  • Pay attention to textile seals: Even when buying clothes can be paid attention to a sustainability seal . In textile production too, more and more companies are turning to environmentally friendly methods of production.
  • Avoid plastic bags: When shopping, consumers can also refrain from transporting them in plastic bags. Although many supermarkets offer exclusively paper, many still offer plastic bags. If they are omitted and customers often bring their own cloth shopping bags, they are also less produced.
  • Contribution to the environment: Consumers should be prepared to pay a higher price for green products.
  • Recycling: As a consumer, you can often do without plastic packaging or products that are largely plastic. In these cases, the packaging and products should at least be properly recycled.
The renunciation of plastic bags could be a building block in a sustainable product strategy. © RitaE / Pixabay

Conclusion

Sustainable, green products are becoming more and more popular and are in demand every year. The offer is often not very large and the products are often more expensive in comparison. The carbon dioxide emissions of private consumption have not fallen significantly in recent years. To change that, companies and consumers alike can improve sustainability.

Companies can work to make their products more sustainable in general. This is made possible by a more environmentally friendly production and the elimination of plastics in the production and packaging.

As a consumer, you can ensure a better supply by increasing demand. The more organic products are purchased, the fewer products that are not sustainable are produced. In addition, consumers should be careful to properly and properly recycle their non-biodegradable waste.