Just as much as the facts around the challenges facing our planet are clear, they can seem inconceivable and overwhelming too. As individuals we many times feel powerless–we hastily throw our hands up because whatever we do ultimately doesn’t make a difference, right? Wrong. We share some of our favourite tips and initiatives that will help you reduce your impact and do good.
1. Try pre-loved | The negative connotations around second-hand are dwindling fast as more and more of us are choosing second-hand and getting a buzz out of the bargains too. For household goods, furniture and clothes, a visit to the Brockenhaus Zug can be well worth it. For appliances, kitchen or bathroom units and the likes, GGZ’s home improvement shop is an absolute gem that few know of and best of all, has an online store too. If you happen to be after a new bike or bike parts, the upcoming bicycle exchange held by Pro Velo Zug on March 28 at the Stierenmarktareal is not to be missed. There, bicycles will also be taken in by Velafrica for export to Africa, and likewise, all the above-listed organisations will find a new home for your unwanted items that result from your next spring clean.
2. Switch to renewable energy | Electricity and heat is one of the largest carbon-emitting sectors worldwide. Opting for renewable sources such as solar, wind or hydro can help you reduce your annual carbon footprint by as much as a quarter, plus spurs the uptake and development of green energy. The local energy supplier WWZ offers a range of renewable energy plans for you to explore. On top, you can choose to support local solar energy producers and power plants that adhere to strict environmental regulations as well as fund ecological projects to support local wildlife. For households operating on gas, biogas which is produced from organic waste matter can be a good alternative versus natural gas.
3. Get your recycling right | If you haven’t done so already, take the time to familiarise yourself with the canton's local recycling scheme. The waste management facilities available to us are second to none with the Ökihöfe collection points around Zug accepting and processing dozens of different types of waste. For further information, our recycling guide gives you the full lowdown and takes the headache out of recycling.
4. Host or join a local clean-up | Not only is it extremely rewarding, but clean-ups can be a great way to get directly involved with your community and raise everybody’s environmental awareness in the area too. Pick a location and time well in advance, decide on supplies required, any waivers and how you will be disposing of all you collect, properly. Then, use your immediate network and social media to shout about it. Work, your local gym or any clubs you are a part of serve as great starting points too. For those short on time or less comfortable with hosting their own clean-up, International Volunteers for WWF Zug helps organise and support events including clean-ups. For WWF’s full range of events across Switzerland, visit their site (in German).
5. Fix it before you throw it | The internet is a powerful source of information so make use of it. Before disposing of things, consider whether they can be repaired or reused for another purpose. For repair jobs where DIY just won’t cut it, Repair Café Zug moves around the canton and offers its repair services free of charge typically on the last Saturday of every month. For unwanted and repaired items in a good condition, hand them in at a second-hand store like the Brockenhaus Zug–if you’ve read this article in its entirety, notice how we’ve come full circle?