Marine mammals ever drink fresh water

Gethsemane Church Munich

May 2021
Dangerous hormone fluctuations
(Synthetic chemicals with hormonal effects)

Until the beginning of May the signs warn “Attention! Amphibian migration! ”When the amphibians have finally made it into their spawning waters, the next danger lurks there. No, no grass snake, no stork, a tiny enemy invades their thin skin unnoticed, leading to lower testosterone levels in males and decreased egg production in females.

The causes are fitness wristbands, binoculars, fatty foods and gourmet oil, nail varnish or packaging material, plastics such as shoes or cosmetics, textiles or toys. They can all contain phthalate plasticizers. Phthalates are among the endocrine disruptors - chemicals or mixtures of chemicals that disrupt the natural biochemical mode of action of hormones and thereby cause harmful effects (e.g. disruption of growth and development, negative effects on reproduction or increased susceptibility to special diseases).

Many synthetic chemicals with hormonal effects are found in rivers and in the sea. Fish, reptiles and marine mammals are particularly affected by the pollution of their habitats. Damage was also found in birds and land animals. Long-term observations in particular provide impressive evidence of the effect of hormonal substances on wild animal populations. The reproduction of the starlings suffers from estrogen-like substances, which damage the immune system and change the singing behavior of the males. In Alaska, 68 percent of male black-tailed deer have undescended testicles and their sperm die because it is too warm inside their bodies. In polar bears, hermaphroditic animals and malformed sexual organs are among the consequences of the high levels of pollution in Svalbard and East Greenland.

Predators at the end of the food chain are often exposed to particularly high levels of stress, as long-lived substances accumulate in the fat of their prey. One example of this is PCB - polychlorinated biphenyls are organic chlorine compounds that have been used in many industrial applications. Although banned worldwide by the Stockholm Convention in 2001, the substances are still found in wildlife and the environment because of their longevity and bioaccumulation.

Phthalates or their breakdown products can be found in the blood and urine of almost everyone. We do not absorb the emollients through the skin, but with food and the air. Only a few plasticizers are now banned in the EU, but are still allowed in imported products. Small children are particularly at risk because they put plastic toys in their mouths.

"Danger! Amphibian hike! ”The implementation here is simple: drive slowly, sometimes stop, wait and after a few weeks the hike is over. We need perseverance against the threats posed by plasticizers, which are not limited locally or in time and the extent of which we cannot yet estimate. The scientific and social debate about the dangers and risks of hormone-active substances will keep us busy for a long time.

April 2021
Listen and be amazed
Finally spring, finally time, finally out, finally moving and yet, how about some rest?

Going for a walk without a cell phone or a watch, not running through the forest shouting, stopping for a moment? Don't plan what to eat in the evening, who will do what after the excursion, what still needs to be done, but just be in the now.

Who steps in such a way that you cannot hear them?

Maybe look up at the clouds on a picnic blanket? Lie down comfortably, close your eyes ... Who can be quiet the longest? What can you hear? Who hears something that the others can't? And then what could it be? Is that a woodpecker, a squirrel, using its lower front teeth to break apart a nut with a peng? A small helicopter or a wooden bee? A squirming wren in the undergrowth, a blackbird rustling in the leaves or maybe even a little wood mouse?

Listen and be amazed. Relaxation guaranteed.

March 2021
Protection of species in the garden
The nights are still cold, the wild bee pupae are still slumbering in hollow plant stems or under the ground. But every morning there is an overwhelming bird song concert, in sunny hours the first lemon butterflies flit like strings through the still bare forest and the blue tits quarrel about nesting holes

If you are now rethinking and planning your garden, remember that we have an immense influence on the flora and thus also on the animal world in our gardens. They only settle there where animals find food and protection and can reproduce. But even the smallest garden can become a refuge, a sanctuary, for endangered species.

In winter, the protective plant remains had multiple functions: They provided shelter for insects, protected the perennials from freezing and fed animals. Due to the burgeoning warmth in spring, however, new shoots now need space and light to grow; that means: Get rid of the plant remains. But be careful, take a close look at broken, marrow-containing stems of blackberries, raspberries, dog roses, mullein, thistles, burdock or mugwort beforehand! Some wild bees only use these broken or cut off, dry stems for nesting. With their upper jaws, they create a duct-like cavity for the nest in the soft plant pulp. A break or interface allows the bees easier access. Most stem dwellers only have one generation a year. This means that the offspring only hatch ten to twelve months after the development, these stems should remain unchanged if possible in place.

Do not be tempted by flowering meadow mixtures that promise a lot of nectar and pollen and an endless sea of ​​flowers, just sow them like islands. Many wild plants and most wild bee species also need sun-exposed, unfertilized soil. If the insects lack warmth on the ground everywhere in the garden because a dense meadow of flowers does not allow the sun's rays to reach the ground, they cannot reproduce. The seeds should be regional seeds from native plants. If you like things to be uncomplicated, you can also purchase organically produced seeds quickly and easily online.

Keep artificially introduced plants in check so that there is room for wild plants and they can spread and settle naturally. Once they are there, they are easy to care for because they are already in the ideal place. The countless species of thistle, often frowned upon, not only look very picturesque in winter and have very different, colorful inflorescences, they also provide the endangered goldfinch with plenty of food. They are also almost besieged by bees, wild bees and butterflies. The plants have low demands on the soil and are optimally adapted to hot and dry summers.

Even nettles, which have already been discussed here, provide plenty of food for many insects, so give them a corner too.

Leave the small pile of wood and the rest of the stone wall standing and help a little if your garden looks more like a green, structureless lawn desert than a living space.

Get dead wood, sand, natural stones and create structures. Through the targeted creation of piles of wood, brushwood and stone piles with cavities in the most sunny location possible, you not only offer insects, but also lizards, blindworms, birds and hedgehogs a suitable shelter.

Wooden bees, sand lizards, wild bees and many other animal and plant species will give you a buzzing, humming and dazzling summer in your very own species protection area.

February 2021
Of dust bunnies and rabbits with the protective hand
The Christmas tree has just been disposed of when the blackbird whistles through the still dark winter morning with a swollen chest. The low winter sun mercilessly illuminates the bunnies and other strange gatherings that literally remained undisturbed for the rest of the year. So sweeping, spring cleaning; premature, but why not? Off to the cleaning cupboard or the drugstore.

Since 2013 it has no longer been allowed to sell cosmetic products in the EU that have been manufactured with the help of animal experiments. The animal experiment ban only applies to ingredients that are used exclusively in cosmetics and care products. Conversely, this means that ingredients that are also found in other products and therefore fall under the Chemicals Act are still tested on animals. This applies to many ingredients in cosmetics - they are also used, for example, in cleaning agents and detergents, in medicines or even for paints.

Most of the substances with which we clean are used in different areas, so that they are tested according to chemicals law. Detergents and cleaning agents that are advertised with the addition of “antibacterial” or “disinfectant” have also had to be tested in accordance with the EU Biocidal Products Regulation (528/2012) since 2013. These tests essentially consist of toxicity tests on animals.

The German Animal Welfare Association, together with the International Manufacturers Association against Animal Testing in Cosmetics (IHTK), certifies numerous cosmetic products with the rabbit with a protective hand. Among other things, the seal also prohibits raw materials from dead animals or tortured animals. A manufacturer only receives the seal if he does not belong to a group of companies in which animal experiments are carried out.

Since 2013 there has been the seal rabbit with a protective hand with the addition "animal-friendly". This distinguishes animal-friendly products which, in addition to the criteria for animal testing, guarantee ecological and socially responsible production. The international leaping bunny seal is a similar, strict seal alternative. However, it does not explicitly prohibit raw materials from animal cruelty and extermination as well as from dead animals. The seal of the animal welfare organization PETA "Cruelty-Free" places similarly high demands on manufacturers as the Leaping Bunny seal. However, it does not take into account whether a company from the same group of companies carries out animal experiments. Unfortunately, the rabbit with the protective hand can hardly be found and the other labels are still far too rare.

Why don't you make your all-purpose cleaner yourself? If you are indulging in organic oranges or lemons right now, why not use the peels without the pulp, soak them in white vinegar, tightly closed, in a screw-top jar for two weeks. If necessary, refill vinegar so that the peels are always covered and do not go moldy. Remove all peel and fruit residues and either dilute the scented vinegar 1: 1 or 3: 1 with water or use it pure (please do not use on natural stone floors, silicone joints and silicone seals). The bowls can safely be put in the organic waste, the cleaner can be poured into an old, rinsed spray bottle.

If this takes too long, you will find lists of cleaning products that are not tested on animals, as well as countless 'recipes' for homemade cleaning products and a wide variety of uses on the Internet. They are really amazingly easy and quick to make.

Get rid of the bugs without causing animals to suffer.

January 2021
Just do nothing

No, they don't look beautiful without snow, the black and brown sunflower stalks with their sadly withered heads outside the patio door. The filigree grasses are nicer to look at. But the scruffy wood shed back there in the corner or the pile of leaves blown against the wall of the hut, shouldn't they even be cleaned up?

No, just don't do anything! And they do a lot with that.

Winter - a life and death struggle for the wildlife on the other side of the window panes. Birds can still feast on the last of the sunflower and grass seeds. Tits switch their entire metabolism, even parts of their stomach, from being insectivores in summer to eating grains in winter. But the insects in our latitudes have also developed strategies to get over winter safely. The frost is not the problem. Instead, depending on the type, they need special conditions and opportunities to withdraw.

No, insects have not disappeared, they are often very close to us. Apparently lifeless animals such as butterflies or moths can be found in the attic, in the basement or in the garden shed. Please just leave it alone. When the days are longer again and the temperatures are more pleasant, they become active again.

Ladybugs often spend the winter sleeping deep in piles of leaves. Most wild bee species die in summer shortly after they have laid their brood cells in hollow plant stems, tunnels in the ground or in dead wood. So please do not clear away dead wood even over the winter. Only a few of the butterfly species in Germany overwinter as adult moths. These include, for example, the well-known lemon butterfly or the peacock butterfly. They fall into a freezing cold, for which they look for a sheltered place. They overwinter in hollow trees, dead wood, cracks or in barns. The brimstone butterfly can even withstand freezing temperatures of up to 20 degrees. However, many moths often only survive the winter as a pupa, caterpillar or egg, where they either look for a warm hiding place or spin themselves. Still others, like the Admiral for example, even fly south to winter.

Send your thoughts on a journey with him and don't do anything. Enjoy the winter rigor of your garden and look forward to spring. Together with the insects, you can then work outside again, feeling well rested. How and when you can find out in good time in the environmental tip.

December 2020
And now?
What do I do now with my psychological ear and eye pain with so many comments and complaints about Corona? What do I do now with the creeping poisoning from new words that begin with "C"? What do I do with the flood of stereotypical photos?

What do I do now? Resignation, fooling around, circumventing rules in a tricky way, blaming others? Or take my eyes and ears, my days into your own hands again?

Wake up to perceive my environment. Not just the fresh air and the enchanting snowflakes. Also the damage, the tree gaps, the sealed landscapes.

Fortunately, it's not New Year's Eve yet. Fortunately, I don't have to come up with any good (or silly) resolutions.

I can live Simple and now. A little silence at Christmas can help me with that. And the carrots, which I consciously peel. And the art of making a warm soup yourself. And the art of clearing my drawers on quiet days. I can discover so many treasures in what I already have.

The only hamster purchase that is worth it now would be pink sewing thread. I don't know what for. I don't need to know yet.

November 2020
Autumn - recharge your batteries
Bright red, yellow, orange and in all the colors in between, the leaves hang on the tree or tumble to the ground in small color spirals. Nature prepares for winter.

Time for tea, good books, hobbies such as knitting and making music for which there was too little time in the last few months. Time to talk, if not in person, then on the phone.

But don't hide yourself. When there is too little light, our pineal gland produces more melatonin in the diencephalon. Because of the increased melatonin level in our organism, we become tired, listless and sleepy.

Make use of the daylight, even when the days are getting shorter, even if it looks uncomfortable outside. Go out in sturdy boots, thick sweaters and recharge your batteries. Enjoy with all your senses, the wind, the rain, the colors, the spicy smell of the forest floor, the mud under your feet, the astonished gaze of the deer in the clearing. The sun will soon be at its lowest point.

It becomes still and calm in nature and we can feel the soothing energy of slowing down to calm the mind and get clarity in life.

October 2020
30 years of reunification: The green belt - a success for nature conservation
In December 1989 around 400 environmentalists from both German states met in Hof at the invitation of the Federal Nature Conservation in Bavaria (BN). In a unanimously passed resolution, they demand that the entire border strip be placed under nature protection. This is also where the term "green belt" is used for the first time. It is intended to symbolize that the most diverse valuable living spaces are lined up like a string of pearls through the whole of Germany and are, at least in part, still networked with each other and with their surroundings.

In the period of upheaval in 1989/90, environmental and nature conservation issues faded into the background.It therefore took a really bold vision to secure significant natural areas - including former military training areas and state hunting areas - by establishing protected areas for the future. The fathers and mothers of the national park program of the last GDR government followed this vision, which was decided on September 12, 1990 - literally at the last minute before the accession date - in the GDR Council of Ministers. A total of 14 large protected areas were secured in this way.

Where fences and walls used to separate, nature now expands. The Green Belt is a symbol of the peaceful growing together in Germany and Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification. With a length of 1,394 kilometers, it has an area of ​​17,656 hectares or almost 177 square kilometers and not only connects the habitats of animals and plants, but also the people along the borders and has a peoples-unifying and peace-building function.

The decision of the last GDR government to place extensive areas under special protection with a "national park program" gave the impetus to secure many more valuable natural areas in the unified Germany for the future: After reunification, a total of six more national parks and the majority of today's biosphere reserves. In total there are 138 large protected areas in Germany today: 16 national parks, 18 biosphere reserves and 104 nature parks. Of these, 7 national parks, 10 biosphere reserves and 31 nature parks are in the new federal states. Over 5,000 animal and plant species can be found in the Green Belt. More than 1,200 of them are on the red list.

If you want to get to know the habitat of black storks, whinchat, corncocks, otters, lynxes or wild cats and maybe even catch a glimpse of animals such as the sea eagle, you should set off. Go hiking, the offer is very extensive.

If you want a little foretaste, want to find out more information about the work of the BUND and the future projects for the Green Belt, you can read Vincent Perazio's report "The wilderness is back" on "Arte" until November 23rd 2020 that will inspire you in the media library
https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/079386-003-A/die-wildnis-mektiven-sich-zurueck

September 2020
Safe water - Water safe? False friends
A summer's day in August, the young canoeists are happy to be able to get rid of their neoprene outfits and bathe in the cool Iller after loading the canoes. After all, conventional shampoo is supposed to clean sweaty heads. "Safe water" is emblazoned with fat on the packaging. The young men look embarrassed when I notice that it says “safe water” and not “water safe”, which only means that they should save water, not that the ingredients do not harm aquatic organisms. The question is, why is it written there in English and not in German.

As already mentioned several times at this point, the environmental awareness of the population is very praiseworthy, but also a pound with which a lot of profit can be made. It is becoming more and more difficult to find a way through the jungle of claims worth advertising and the real protection of the environment.

'Environmentally friendly' is emblazoned on many packaging, often the packaging is still in shades of green. Sure, what you use as an environmentally conscious citizen. However, this often only means that the packaging consists of xy percent recycled plastic, praiseworthy! But it doesn't mean that the contents are environmentally friendly and the packaging is of course still made of plastic.

The new trend of 'solid shampoos' or solid shower lotions that do not need plastic packaging and weigh less because you lather them up in the shower also make a major contribution to environmental protection, but they too often contain the very aggressive sodium lauryl sulfate.

So please, only use shampoos or soaps in the wild that are 100% biodegradable. And even then, they should not be used in natural water, i.e. in the lake or river directly, but the soapy water should be collected and poured into a 10 cm deep hole about 70 m away from the lake or river. Only then will you not leave any traces and the water will be safe.

August 2020
One year referendum biodiversity - what?
After these turbulent months and the current midsummer temperatures, who still remembers the cold in February 2019?

What began with ice feet in long lines in front of Bavarian town halls culminated in a better nature conservation law for Bavaria, which has been in force since August 1, 2019.

What about the implementation of the referendum on biodiversity - "Save the bees!" One year after the legislative changes were adopted by the Bavarian State Parliament?

The sponsoring group * had arranged for regular monitoring to review all measures for the implementation of the improved Bavarian nature conservation law, which was supplemented by an accompanying law and an extensive catalog of ordinances of the state government.

An initial interim balance is mixed. Four larger state forest areas in Bavaria are to be placed under protection as natural forests and the promotion of orchards is to be increased. Some of the new wildlife habitat advisors have already been hired.

In many places, however, there are still no specific definitions such as information on the spatial distribution of the green network in the forest or in the biotope network. Likewise, the proportion of grassland areas with late mowing times, which this year should be ten percent, will not be achieved.

Strips of the waterways also seem a long way off, just as there are no reliable studies that assess the current situation and thus make progress measurable.

This is only a very brief insight into the interim balance sheet, the detailed information on it and the draft law are available here: https://volksbegehren-artenvielfalt.de

However, the vote was only a first step! It is always easier to show with your finger or behind your hand what 'they' have not (yet) implemented than to move yourself.

With our votes in winter 2019, however, we did not give up our responsibility for our fellow creatures. Each and every one of us votes every day: with what we eat, wear, consume, where we move and how.

We have shown in recent months that we can make a difference. Let's move on in the right direction, enjoy and experience consciously. When we know the true value of food, clothes, everyday things, we can consciously enjoy.

This is the basis for conscious, fair and environmentally friendly consumption and an enjoyable summer!

* ÖDP, LBV, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and the Gregor Louisoder Umweltstiftung commissioned the Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Economics and Environment (HfWU) to examine the effects of the new laws on the basis of specified indicators. The monitoring concept developed by the HfWU has derived 32 indicators from over 80 measures that have been decided.

Environment tip July 2020
Infinite blue
On the way to work, at 6:45 in the morning, it flashes out between the rows of houses and spans the sunlit roofs in an almost unreal, seemingly endless blue.

It's not wrong, the sky is clearer than it has been in a long time. Long means like before 100! Years. BLUESKY is also the name of the project in which scientists are investigating the effects that the shutdown of social and economic life has on the atmosphere.

It took just under two months, from the first idea to the last, successfully completed measurement flight at the beginning of June. The hurry was also necessary, meanwhile one or the other contrail divides the infinite blue again. Contrails contribute a lot to global warming, this has been known for a long time.

“The corona crisis affects us all. But it is precisely these restrictions, the restrictions that also mean that we now have a chance in science to sample the atmosphere in a state in which it is less polluted by anthropogenic pollutants. This is a unique opportunity that we will not get again in our lifetime. ”Says Christian Voigt, DLR Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Oberpfaffenhofen.

We can still enjoy this clear sky, lying on our backs in the meadow, at the weekend when we cycle into the blue or simply on the way to work. And we can make sure that it stays that blue for as long as possible.

Let's keep one or the other home office days, the finally functioning webinars or the online conferences, where everyone now knows how to speak. Let us continue to use the fitness we have built up over the past few weeks, the new bike or simply the experience of how good it is to move forward with your own strength.

Have a nice summer!

Environment tip June 2020
Open spaces and retreat areas
Whitsun holidays, everyone flocks outside.
It seems that in the great outdoors, not only are masks removed, but all other precautions are taken as well.

No, it's not about us. It's about the fragile nature. People, often accompanied by their four-legged friends who are not on a leash, are currently out and about everywhere in fields and meadows, on and in the lake and in the forest. The Whitsun holiday in a foreign country is canceled, so crowds of people flood the local nature reserves in the truest sense of the word, penetrate deeper and deeper into the protected areas in search of peace and solitude. With bicycles, stand up paddle boards or on foot, they ignore information and warning signs regardless of losses.

"He does nothing" does not help the wild animals, even if the dog does not actively hunt wild animals. He chases them up, away from their resting places, fawns, nests, often with devastating consequences for the animals.

Just one example is the little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius), an endangered breeding bird species in Bavaria that lives on sections of the wild rivers that are still close to nature. The blackbird-sized brown and white bird with the black and white face mask has a black ring around its neck and a distinctive yellow eyelid ring. As a gravel breeder, the little ringed plover lays its eggs on bare gravel islands or gravel banks directly on the gravel. Only a small hollow is created for the usually four eggs. Due to their stone-gray color and dark spots, the eggs can hardly be distinguished from the gravel. By stepping on gravel banks and islands, the clutches can be overlooked and trampled very easily.

Especially the intensive recreational use on gravel banks and gravel islands by bathers, walkers, barbecues and the landing of boaters endanger the little ringed plover breeds every year anew. If the brooding adult birds are disturbed by bathers, boaters or dogs running freely in the vicinity of the clutch, they leave it. Depending on the weather, the eggs and chicks can cool down or overheat and die.

Enjoy the early summer, your vacation, nature, but please leave nature its retreat during these times and keep your dog on a leash. And don't be afraid to inform other nature lovers in a friendly but firm manner. Perhaps this environmental tip about the little ringed plover will help you.

Environment tip May 2020
Life under the bell jar?
Shops and restaurants are closed, the trams almost empty, the playgrounds deserted, hardly any planes, an eerie silence. Life takes place like under a bell jar. Best-selling author David Quammen wrote in the New York Times: “We cut down the trees, we kill animals or we put them in cages and sell them in markets. We are destroying ecosystems and we are shaking viruses off their natural hosts. When that happens, they need a new host. Often we are. "
There is no better way to describe the current situation.

Our life takes place under a bell jar, but that! Life has just exploded in the past few weeks. Blaring birdsong, exuberant flowers, shimmering insects, clear waters. Our attention to, yes, our longing for nature has changed a lot since mid-March. We miss them more than we thought - the hikes, the first jump in a lake in spring, the joint bike tours and picnics in the countryside.

On the other hand, on the mostly lonely walks we enjoy the sun, the wind, the flowers, the bird calls much more intensely - spring, at least this constant in our life has remained. Scientists have found that the songbirds in the big cities have adapted their song to the city noise level for years and are now singing more quietly again. An incredible bird song concert every morning for all of us, including those who are not allowed to leave the house. Open the windows wide, close your eyes and enjoy.

It is time for us to show nature the respect it deserves and needs. We would not have come this far if we had not adapted to our development over the course of millions of years. Let us take some of the current experiences with us into the "AC" period, After Corona.

Let's start in the right direction, let's get what has become so important to us now, what brings us out of some depths and gives us so much joy. Give your insects a wild corner in the garden, the hedgehogs a bowl of water and the birds fruit-bearing shrubs and nesting areas. And lock your cat in when the little blue tits make their first attempts at flight out of the nest box.

Environment tip April 2020
And now?
Strange time shifts are noticeable: Some work their way through their days at high speed. The others suddenly have a lot of time - especially in and with the family. Some of you may have finally discovered the containers for waste separation on the walk.

Now comes the hour of regional vegetables. The time for creativity in the kitchen. A few cabbage leaves and onion skins are left over from lunch and not a double outer packaging. (And as a consolation: bio-waste also wants to be taken away).

Now we hear and read in the news how quickly deceleration affects environmental values. Might well give hope.

Once again picking up the good old paper cookbooks instead of surfing around the boarding school - that could now also save energy. And ensure tasty results.

Environment tip March 2020
A week without plastic
It has begun: Lent. Time for contemplation, repentance, reflection. To try something differently - even if it is difficult - can lead to the discovery that it could be better differently.

We produce three million tons of plastic waste annually, a third of which we export, which then happens to it…. It is already time-consuming to separate rubbish and collect plastic enough, but to do without it? Many feel left alone with good intentions. But even the smallest waiver makes sense. Mission EineWelt offers a good start with the “Creation - not for sale!” Campaign. It invites you to a week without plastic from March 22nd to 28th. All information about the campaign can be found online at https://keine-ware.de/eine-woche-ohne-plastik/

The site offers many tips on plastic fasting, short devotions, an online diary, and you can win attractive prizes in a photo competition.

Join friends, work colleagues, other parents and neighbors on site. Exchange experiences, meet for a meal together, where everyone brings something, of course without plastic, then the week will certainly be exciting and the fun will not be neglected either.

Environment tip February 2020
Ethics of enough
Live well instead of having a lot is a much-cited guiding principle on the subject of a sustainable lifestyle. In the churches, this perception of renunciation is a very Christian tradition.
An ethics of sufficiency is not primarily to be seen as an ethics of renunciation, but essentially means a gain in quality of life, which consists in freeing oneself from waste and exclusively material orientation.

Large, colorful posters “Finale”, “Sale”, “Everything has to go”, advertise for our money and space in our closet. But honestly, do we really need new pants, a pair of new shoes, that brightly colored sweater that will be too warm in a few weeks and very likely out of fashion next winter?
We don't wear a third of our wardrobe. How about an inventory in front! the next city stroll? Can things still be 'pimped up'? How about a clothes swap party? So one or the other piece can still be used and maybe there is also the item of clothing that I need right now. And how nice when the trousers that didn't fit right from the start become a favorite in another wardrobe.
Maybe organize a clothes swap party yourself, with friends or in the neighborhood? It's fun, you can make or renew contacts.Carrying the items to the thrift store, offering them at the flea market, giving them away or donating them may be tedious. But enough means for those who have too much, less is more. For everyone else, they have to get enough to live well.

Used clothing is not waste. There is energy, water and a lot of work in every piece. Second-hand fashion is good for the environment because it already exists. It has already left its ecological footprint, large as it may have been. Sustainability starts with the purchase. Do I really need it or does the supposedly good piece end up in the second or third row in the closet very quickly? Of course, this also applies to the purchase of used clothing.

Environment tip January 2020
If you'd been silent or the cowardice of words
Silence is the opposite of speaking.
Is there also the opposite of writing? More precisely: from anonymous comments without looking the other person in the face?

Not speaking is often a sacred discipline in family and friends. At least when it comes to critical issues such as lifestyle and environmental behavior. A critical question can cost a friendship. Over and over.

I have to choose - between silence and talking.
Much more often, I wish for the courage that begins with I-messages and ends with an honest why. With the request: explain it to me. That could cost a friendship or give it new depth. No justification, but understanding. An exchange with the chance that I get a different perspective on myself and my environmental behavior. And probably also the realization of how many paths and decisions there are in commitment to the environment.

Instead of talking - directly and with eye contact. Pretty difficult. I know. But better than cowardly silence or cowardly commenting.

Environment tip December 2019
Merry Christmas without palm oil
Now they are everywhere again, Santa Clauses, gingerbread, cookies, Christmas tree rings ... but unfortunately - and not only here - palm oil is in every second supermarket product! Palm oil is pressed from the fruits of the oil palm. It has an excellent melting behavior, is tasteless and has a firm consistency at room temperature. It is used worldwide for chocolate fillings and biscuits, spreads or margarine, but also for products such as shampoo, detergent or soap or biofuel. The demand is growing steadily and more and more oil palms are being grown. They are also so widespread because their yield is several times higher than that of other oil plants. This is one reason why oil palm cultivation is extremely attractive to farmers.

Palm oil is one of the so-called cash crops, as it is not grown to feed the local population, but purely for export and financial profit. Palm oil itself is not the problem, but growing it is destroying the rainforest, threatening biodiversity, fueling climate change and displacing indigenous peoples. In Southeast Asia, oil palm plantations are the main reason for the destruction of the rainforests.

Chocolate lovers should therefore also pay attention to whether - and which - palm oil is included when buying their sweets. Since the oil is not always directly declared as palm oil, since many of the ingredients can "only" be made directly or indirectly from palm oil, there are correspondingly different names on the packaging, such as "Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate" - "Cetyl Palmitate" - "Cetearyl Alcohol" - “Fatty acid glyceride” - “Glyceryl Stearate” - “PEG-100 Stearate” - “Polyglyceryl-2-Caprate” - “Stearic Acid” - “Magnesium Stearate” or “Glycerine” (for vegan products either made from coconut oil or palm oil).

And if you already have palm oil, please make sure that only certified palm oil according to the RSPO segregation model “Segregated palm oil” is used. The environment, humans and animals - in the last 20 years in Sumatra alone the great apes lost almost half of their habitat - will thank you for it.

Environment tip November 2019
Overview in the label jungle
We avoid rubbish, recycle, ride bicycles and shop in an environmentally conscious way, the environment is important to us.

Many companies jump on the bandwagon, and with the growing environmental awareness of consumers, money can also be made. But a lot of what is around is not necessarily environmentally friendly. With new labels on the market almost every day, it is difficult to keep track of things. Shopping in a truly environmentally conscious way is becoming more and more time-consuming.

Environmentally conscious also has many facets, regional, fair trade, organic, animal-friendly, sustainable. So that you can keep track of the confusion of labels, take a look at www.siegelklarheit.de before your next purchase. The focus here is on credibility, environmental friendliness and social compatibility.

At www.label-online.de, labels, including regional ones such as “Label in Bavaria”, and seals are rated according to independence, transparency, control and meaningfulness. “Highly recommended”, “not recommended” or “partially recommended”; Products are not only listed, but the evaluation is also explained in detail. That too takes time, of course. For Bavaria alone there are currently 34 results in the label database. But you can consciously decide which criteria are important to you personally and what you can use as a guide. Use the time you have gained for a long autumn walk, even when the sun is not shining. The late autumn has its very own charm.

Environment tip October 2019
There used to be an Italian ...
And on October 4th we remember him: Francis of Assisi.
A special saint.

He rebelled in his youth and found his convictions. He opposed the father's business-oriented way of life. He went his way - not without hostility.

He used less and less material.
He could ponder and meditate.
He listened to the birds.

This is our first tip for October:
Be quiet and listen to the birds. Every day.
What if nothing can be heard? Accept the shortcomings.
And gain strength from it for your own path.

Our second tip has to do with apples and our noses.
Now they are back, local apples!

Visit the little fruit shop around the corner or on the way to work. Ask specifically about local apples. The seller will be happy to advise you and perhaps happily tell you where you found the Grafensteiners or even Goldparmänen. An interpersonal exchange, information completely without google or mobile phone. Close your eyes and sniff the apple's almost waxy skin. Do you smell it? The sun, the summer, the buzzing insects? A local apple exudes all of this even before you have the first bite in your mouth.

Environment tip September 2019
Defrosting freezers helps the environment
The last days of late summer, the last days of vacation or vacation, the refrigerator has emptied noticeably. Now is a good time to defrost freezers.

Fridges and freezers run around the clock and are some of the biggest energy guzzlers in the home. An iced up refrigerator uses 15% - 45% more electricity. Use the warm temperatures to defrost, maybe your neighbor has a space free where you can store the rest of your frozen food for a few hours?

In general: 7 ° C in the refrigerator (level 1-2) and -18 ° C in the freezer are sufficient. The larger the cooling and especially the freezing volume, the higher the energy and thus also the electricity costs. 100 liters more volume increases consumption by 20 percent. Therefore, calculate your cooling requirements carefully the next time you buy a refrigerator. Because the unused storage space also increases energy consumption.

The Stiftung Warentest specifies 120 to 140 liters of usable capacity as a benchmark for refrigerators in one to two person households, and an additional 60 liters for each additional person.

Environment tip August 2019
Don't panic with wasps
Summer time, outside time ... if it weren't for the annoying blackheads. The warning color black and yellow has caused at least a slight hysteria for many since childhood. It is unnecessary. Not everything with black and yellow stripes makes our cake or the bratwurst dispute, let alone attack.

By the way, the only real wasp in Germany is the hornet, which also feeds on wasps. It is the only wasp species to hunt at night, but at the evening barbecue, it is not attracted by the smell of meat, but by the light. If you avoid light traps and use motion detectors for your house and garden lighting, hornets can give you a summer without annoying blackheads.

But even the common wasp, which, like the three other short-headed wasps, likes to nibble on sweets or meat in late summer, is not out to fight, but rather to defend itself. The most important thing is to discover the nests. If you know that there is a wasp's nest in a hole in the ground or hanging under the roof, then you can avoid it and wait until it disappears in autumn. The animals become aggressive when, for example, you drive a lawnmower over the nest because you do not know that there is one in the ground. Keep at least 4 m away from wasp nests. Without good reason, wasps - like all wild animals - must not be disturbed in their development according to Paragraph 39, Paragraph 14 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act.

The rest of their relatives, the long-headed wasps, which also include the medium wasp or small hornet, ignore everything except windfalls. The wasp nests of this species are only the size of a football, the colonies consist of a maximum of 200 individuals and they also hang their nests in trees or bushes, which means they avoid dark nesting sites as the common wasp prefers. Even field wasps, recognizable by their orange antennae, are completely harmless. Like the hornet, the common and German wasps are predatory, hunt other insects and are valuable members of the ecosystem.

If you care for your wood with environmentally friendly paints, the short-headed wasps cannot use it as a building material. Fly screens in front of the windows help against unwilling visitors in the house. Collect windfalls in good time and still do not walk barefoot, close garbage cans well. For the outdoor coffee table, you can rely on plants: mint, lemon balm and lavender don't like wasps. Nicely arranged in a pot, they are also a decoration.

Always cover food and drinks outdoors, do not forget to wipe your mouth and hands and do not wave frantically, this is threatening for wasps. Even blowing on it only leads to aggression, since carbon dioxide in the wasp hive is an alarm signal. A water sprayer with clear water is better. Most stitches are not caused by attack, but by squeezing under the arm, on the backrest, by stepping on them.

Keep calm and act and move carefully. When the situation becomes too confusing, sometimes the only thing that helps is to escape inside. Avoid places that are already teeming with wasps, the ice cream in hand tastes good even away from the ice cream parlor. If it does get you, carefully remove any sting, cool and then hold half an onion with the cut edge on the sting - it really helps!

If living together becomes really critical: The professional fire brigade usually has several experts who are familiar with all kinds of hymenoptera (bees, wasps, bumblebees, hornets) and are happy to provide information to unsettled citizens.

Environment tip July 2019
Big politics in a small shopping basket
No, I'm not tired of politics. I love the politics in my shopping basket. I can reject goods at my personal-ethical limits several times a week. I bet on regional instead of nationalistic. Fair is not only my maxim for sport.

I enjoy that more and more. I can and want to think about the consequences of buying product A or product B. I can weigh up. I have to guess that it can seldom be correct in every respect. I don't have to be against everything either. I can choose something. Fully aware.

This is how the other big politics could work too.

Environment tip June 2019
We still have a choice - soy or Brazilian rainforest
The EU election is over, but we as Europeans can continue to exercise our freedom of choice. Let us take a critical look at our behavior and its consequences.

We can vote daily with the feet and the shopping bag. Let us find out about the origin, manufacture and consequences of production of the things we need every day. Wood, palm oil, soy - an area the size of a million! Football fields in the Brazilian rainforest were cut down only last year.

The import of oilseeds and protein crops such as soy into the EU is duty-free. The replacement of soy meal with other domestic protein sources such as rapeseed meal, rapeseed press cake and sunflower meal is still lagging behind. In 2017 alone, the EU imported 35 million tonnes of soy, and demand is growing. 26.8 million tons from South America alone. Almost the entire increase in soy production for decades has been achieved there by clearing the Amazon. Germany is an example of a country with an extremely high dependency on feed imports. We are 100% dependent on soy imports.

What hardly anyone knows is that we feed over 80 percent of the imported soy as animal feed. Unfortunately, that's hardly written on the ham or meat packaging. But we can ask. We can do without meat from factory farming and avoid meat from Brazil or Argentina. We are celebrating our summer festival this year without meat, vegetables also taste delicious grilled.

The Amazon rainforest is still the largest and most important CO2 store in the world and a habitat for countless animal and plant species. We can choose, the indigenous peoples and the nature of the Amazon not.
Source: Soy trade flows 2017
Source: www.transgen.de

Environment tip May 2019
Orange aurora butterflies love pink meadowfoam
After the rain showers, the lawn sprouts and, especially after the lush Easter days, people like to move outside. Mowing the lawn is a good idea.

Perhaps a few whitish orange dabs of color are flirting across the meadow? These are the males of the aurora butterfly, who look out for the more inconspicuous females. The pretty aurora butterfly has whitish wings with orange upper wing tips, it owes its name to these splashes of color: Aurora, lat goddess of the dawn. When mowing the lawn, leave a few wild corners, especially places where pink meadowfoam or garlic mustard bloom. Since aurora butterflies prefer moist or partially shaded locations, this will rarely be in the middle of the lawn, but rather on the edge, where it does not bother anyone. This may be more time-consuming to mow, but it is immensely important for the biodiversity in your garden.

The female aurora butterfly lays very carefully usually only one egg on a meadowfoam plant. This is the only way for your offspring to find enough food after they hatch. Aurora butterflies, which belong to the white family, are dependent on meadowfoam, garlic rocket and a few cruciferous plants. The caterpillars only pupate on the forage plant in late summer, overwinter and hatch in the next spring. A whole generation can be destroyed by carelessly mowing the lawn. With the targeted sowing of night vole or silver leaf, on the other hand, and not mowing it, you can also enjoy the butterflies of the dawn next spring.

Environment tip April 2019
Nicely colored and individually packaged
Chocolate Easter eggs - in all colors and sizes. Individually packed piece by piece. Rarely from fair trade. Always feels too expensive.

Just belong to it. At Easter there is also the message that habits are being broken.

Would you prefer a bar of chocolate? Or mustard with the shelled Easter eggs? Or Easter eggs in candle form? There are no limits for your creativity.

Environment tip March 2019
Lent - reflection when buying fish
Christians of all denominations shape the time between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday as a time to prepare for Easter. Actions such as "7 weeks without", ecumenical exercises in everyday life, but also giving up food, alcohol, cell phone and television consumption can be helpful. In the Protestant Church, change is more important than renunciation. Fish is a tradition on Ash Wednesday.

Whether fasting, reflection or health aspects: in the next few weeks, more and more fish will be on the table in Germany. But the oceans are overfished, and conventional aquaculture has devastating effects on the natural ecosystem. Ecolabels like the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) are controversial. The requirements of the seal include e.g. B. does not rule out the risk of temporary overfishing.

What can consumers do to consume fish in an environmentally conscious way? In the case of unprocessed fresh, frozen or smoked fish, the catch area, the production method (whether from aquaculture or catch) and the fishing equipment must be marked. But this information only helps if consumers also know about the condition of the fish stocks.

A responsible choice when buying fish is difficult. Despite criticism, the MSC seal provides a good orientation; there are hardly any other alternative seals for wild fish on the market.
Digital shopping guides contain tips and lists of endangered fish species. They are updated regularly because the fish stocks are constantly changing - due to catch quotas, the intensity of fishing or climate change. You can find out more about the fish stocks in individual fishing areas directly on the website https://fischbestaende.thuenen.de/. The database contains information on 180 fish stocks relevant for the German market from over 30 fish species worldwide. The Greenpeace fish guide and the WWF guide https://fischratgeber.wwf.de/desktop/#/ online help with shopping. WWF and Greenpeace use different assessment methods, so the guides differ for some fish species. The edible fish are sorted into categories such as "Good choice", "Second choice" and "Better not". Both organizations unreservedly recommend carp only.

For Lent, the carp or the herring from the North and Baltic Seas are currently a 'good choice'. Local organic fish such as trout or char with the ASC seal (certification for farmed fish by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council) are also suitable. Organic fish can be recognized by the EU organic logo. Certified fish from the organic farming associations Bioland and Naturland is even better. Here, for example, significantly fewer fish are bred in the same area.

Environment tip February 2019
Pain gel in the water?
More than a bruise for the environment!
Winter time, ice age, danger of slipping, sprains, bruises or strains are inevitable. Diclofenac pain gels are popular and proven. What hardly anyone knows, although it is logical, the gel is washed off with the next shower and ends up in the wastewater. Despite the most modern treatment technology, it is not possible to remove these residues. This is very problematic from an environmental point of view. Pain gels have been shown to have a high potential to damage environmental organisms. They cause kidney damage in fish and residues enter the food chain.

According to drug manufacturers, it is difficult to recommend alternatives in terms of environmental impact. All that remains is to always use the correct dose and not to use it longer or more often than necessary. “Only 4% of the pain gels are absorbed by the body, the rest is washed off,” says Björn Ericsson, Chairman of the Medicines Commission of the Swedish region of Gävleborg. He advises against using it completely. The effect is small, but the environmental impact is great.

If you can't do without it, how about at least wiping the affected area thoroughly with a damp paper towel before taking a shower and throwing it into the household waste? Incidentally, unless the pharmacist advises otherwise, this applies to most medications. Under no circumstances do they belong in the toilet or wash basin, but in the household waste. There they are burned and cannot cause any damage in the wastewater.
Source: www.helahalsingland.se, "Högst begränsad nyttoeffekt och farlig för miljön", January 7, 2019

Environment tip January 2019
Environmentally friendly grit
Now it's winter after all. And instead of turning around comfortably in bed in the morning, you have to get up earlier if it is snowing. In Munich, property owners outside the so-called full access area are obliged to clear sidewalks of snow and ice or to have them cleared. And only if it is cleared promptly and thoroughly when it is snowing, the snow does not become solid and there is no sliding surface.

Even if road salt is still available in DIY stores and supermarkets, road salt is prohibited for private property owners because it is toxic to plants and soil organisms. Even small amounts are harmful. The sensitive hairs on the root tips, through which woody plants absorb water and nutrients, die off. This can have fatal consequences during the next dry period. The damaged fine roots cannot absorb enough water, plants can die or show pathological changes in the leaves (so-called necrosis), an early wilt.

For stressed city trees, this can mean the exodus. The salty seepage water also disrupts the finely tuned interaction of the soil organisms. And the salt dissolved in the meltwater is hardly retained in the drainage systems and ends up in the streams and rivers. As an environmentally friendly alternative to salt, BUND Naturschutz therefore advises dulling grit. They don't melt the ice, but increase the grip. Sand, gravel, stone chippings or sawdust can be used. However, grit and granulate can contain toxic substances such as arsenic, lead or mercury. The BN therefore advises the use of "Blue Angel" grit. These are largely free of environmentally harmful substances. Furthermore, you can purchase funds made of expanded clay, pumice or basalt, which can even be reused.

There is also one good thing for snow shovels: the extra pounds that have accumulated over Christmas melt away faster.

Environment tip December 2018
Beeswax cloth - a gift for yourself, good friends and the environment

Christmas time - the time of giving and packaging. How about beeswax wraps, also called Bee’s Wrap, either bought or, better still, homemade?

Beeswax wipes replace aluminum or cling film, plastic bags, plastic stoppers and plastic boxes. For the lunch break, as a cover for the glass bowls in the refrigerator, the cut edge of the cucumber, the wine bottle or the bread. They are available in different sizes and colors depending on your needs. If you make them yourself, there are no limits to your imagination - large, small, medium, flowers, hearts, snowflakes, classic checkered or plain colors.

Beeswax cloths do not have to be thrown away after use, but can be wiped off with a damp cloth (lukewarm). The body heat of our hands makes the cloth elastic and hugs the object, similar to cling film. Once the wax layer becomes porous, you can put it between two pieces of compostable baking paper and run over it with the iron. Then the wax spreads out again. Since the cloth cannot withstand heat, it is not suitable for hot dishes, raw meat, fish or sausage and as packaging in tropical temperatures.

There are numerous “handicraft” instructions on the Internet. Pure cotton towels, beeswax from the beekeeper or old beeswax candles, a few drops of sunflower or rapeseed oil, baking paper and an iron and off you go. 200 grams of beeswax cost around 10 €, but are enough for some wipes. And of course you can buy them ready-made. When ordering beeswax pellets or ready-made towels on the Internet, please pay attention to "regional & fair".

A nice gift also for the environment, not only sustainable and plastic-free, there is no waste at all!

Environment tip November 2018
Down to the last ounce of cream
Empty again! Really?
Everyone knows the situation: when you squeeze, squeeze, roll up and shake the tubes until the supposedly last ounce of cream is squeezed out of the tube. With body lotion it becomes very difficult, here only vehement, jerky shaking, almost hitting, helps. Anyone who has ever cut a tube knows how much remains in each pack.

It is an average of five to ten percent in each tube or bottle! On the one hand, this is waste, on the other hand, the cream residues make plastic recycling more difficult. Even bottles that are designed to be stored upside down often have 'shoulders' that are too wide above the cap, in which residues can then get stuck.

What to do?
Shampoo bottles, shower lotions or bath oils can be rinsed out. For all others, the only thing that helps is cutting open, but with body lotion you almost need pruning shears and the risk of injury is very high, so please don't try it!
Better: only buy head bottles, but make sure that they have narrow, sloping shoulders. Or use a jar, preferably made of glass or recycled plastic, which you can completely empty down to the last bit. Easy on your wallet and the environment.

Oh yes, glass belongs in the waste glass, of course, but the plastic banderoles and lids or plastic stickers should be removed before recycling.

Environment tip October 2018
About climate and pumpkins
Autumn: apparently all of a sudden it got really cold. There they are again, the harbingers of winter: sweaters, thick socks, soup.

The earth would actually be around 33 degrees Celsius colder. Without the natural process of warming the earth through greenhouse gases, we would have an average temperature of a frosty -18 degrees Celsius. Greenhouse gases are gases in the earth's atmosphere that change the earth's radiation budget. They allow short-wave solar radiation to pass through, but hinder the radiation of heat and act in the atmosphere like the panes of a greenhouse - hence the name greenhouse gases. The heat radiation that is radiated back from the earth to the atmosphere is not reflected back into space, but is absorbed (absorbed) by the "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere and radiated back to the ground from there. The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon. But for generations we have thrown it off balance. Our planet continues to heat up. The fuel for this are the greenhouse gases.

Around two thirds of the natural greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide (laughing gas; N2O), ozone (O3) and methane (CH4) also contribute to this to a lesser extent. The harmful greenhouse effect is caused by an excess of these substances. Carbon dioxide is responsible for more than half of the man-made greenhouse effect. Cars and trucks now emit fewer greenhouse gases and air pollutants on average than they did in 1995. The kilometer-based emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide fell by an average of 13 percent for cars and 31 percent for trucks. But because more trucks are on the road, the total carbon dioxide emissions in road freight traffic are 16 percent higher today than in 1995. Unfortunately, the increase in car traffic cancels out progress. (Source: Federal Environment Agency).

What to do? Even if we don't use the car at all, we can reduce the percentage of greenhouse gases (GHG) considerably just by making conscious purchases. This is how the energy / GHG saving effect compared to conventional goods is:
Organic: 10-55% GHG per food
Regional: 50-85% per food
Seasonal: 85-97% per food
Vegetarian: 20-40% GHG
Vegan: 40-65% GHG
(Source: http: //www.zukunft-einkaufen.de/fileadmin/ZE%20II/ZE%20Publikationen/ZE _...)

So take a pumpkin with you on the way home from one of the colorful stands. So the pumpkin soup heats us up and not the climate.

Environment tip September 2018
Water and bread?
Nature is slowly recovering from the drought. The late summer days beckon to stroll along a body of water. Here you can watch waterfowl up close, especially when the bread bags are unpacked. But what makes bird watching easy for us, reminds us of childhood and now delights our own children or grandchildren, is misunderstood care. Nature gets along better without our bread!

Water birds feed on microorganisms, mussels, snails and plants. Bread is seasoned, salty, swells in the stomach. The 'fast food' is far too one-sided for the animals, their internal organs become fat, they get sick. The large number of animals in a body of water changes their behavior, endangers rearing youngsters during the breeding season and the accumulation of feces at the feeding points over-fertilizes the water. The result is increased algae growth. The large amounts of algae can only be broken down insufficiently, so that over time an increasingly thick layer of digested sludge forms in the water. Mold and putrefaction processes lead to a lack of oxygen at the bottom of the water, which leads to the release of other toxins (methane, hydrogen sulfide, botulin). Botulism bacteria can produce toxic spores. If the ducks ingest this through their food, they perish miserably.

The higher the water temperature, the greater the risk of the lake tipping over, as we've seen time and again in the media over the past few months. Now in autumn the temperatures are usually not that high anymore, but in addition, falling leaves from the trees are deposited on the bottom of the water. And the bacteria that break it down also need oxygen for the bread, which sinks to the ground uneaten in the heat of battle. Oxygen that fish and plants need. In addition, the proximity and contact of the animals with one another greatly increases the risk of transmission of infectious diseases and parasites.

Please take your time instead of the bread bag and, if you have them, binoculars. Then right now you can watch many water birds that naturally feast in the waters before they make their long journey to their winter quarters. It is always more relaxed to watch ducks pounding than during the aggressive fight for the last crumbs of bread.

Environment tip August 2018
Summer colors
Turquoise, yellow, orange, red - finally holidays, beach, water, underwater paradises. Turquoise, yellow, orange, red - drugstore shelves, chemical or physical light protection, UVA, UVB, waterproof? The choice is difficult. While chemical sun protection absorbs UV radiation (certain wavelengths - UVA and UVB) and converts it into another form of energy (e.g. heat), physical sun protection reflects UV radiation so that it ricochets off and does not penetrate deeper skin layers. Unpleasant side effect, the mineral pigments leave a white sheen on the skin and make it difficult to apply. So that it can keep up with the “invisible” chemical filters, the industry has often ground the particles to nano-size, now the difference is hardly noticeable on the skin.

Stiftung Warentest has been deducting points for the promise of "waterproof" in its annual rating of sun creams since 2017 - because the lotions can still be called that when they are half floating in the water after two 20 minutes in the pool or the sea and then no more protect from radiation. And let's be honest, who doesn't know the streaks on the surface of the water that shimmer in the sunlight in the evening on the bathing lakes or the sea at the latest?

In fact, according to the American marine authority NOAA, up to 6,000 tons (other experts speak of 14,000 tons) of sunscreen end up on the highly sensitive ecosystems of coral reefs worldwide. There they have a devastating effect. Algae live in most corals, give them their characteristic turquoise, yellow, orange or red color and provide them with oxygen and energy. Around a million of these algae cells settle on an outer surface of one square centimeter. The chemical UV filter Oxybenzone kills the algae and thus the corals within hours. They lose their color and fade, particularly quickly in warm sea water. Corals are filter feeders, i. In other words, they also feed themselves in part by filtering out microplankton, nutrients and trace elements from the current-rich seawater. The mineral filters processed into tiny nanoparticles can also be tumbled in and kill the animals. The symbiotic interaction of algae and coral polyps has secured the habitat of thousands of fish and plant species for a long time. Life on the reef dies with the corals.

Hawaii has now become the first US state to pass a law banning creams that contain oxybene zone. The law is scheduled to come into force in 2021. Biodegradable sunscreens have long been mandatory on the Yucatan Peninsula or Xel-Ha in Mexico. In Germany, UV filters made from sun creams can of course also be found in bodies of water, for example in the Baltic Sea, as measurements taken near the beach in 2015 showed. The Federal Environment Agency has been working with UV filters as a precaution for years: some of the substances have a hormone-like effect, some accumulate in the environment and in organisms - with unclear long-term consequences.

So choose either mineral sunscreen without oxybenzone and nano-particles. Or biodegradable sunscreen that both protects the skin and doesn't damage the environment too much. If you can't find environmentally friendly sunscreen and want to snorkel, you should simply wear a neoprene or lycra suit instead of sun protection. It might not look as nice as the new bikini and you won't get tan underneath.But ultimately it's not about how we look, but what we see and hopefully for the next few years as well.

Environment tip July 2018
From Goldparmänen and Berlepsch
Simply practical as a small snack. Many vitamins, already 'packed', not so sensitive: the apple comes with you in your school satchel, your hiking backpack, at the lake, in your travel bag. Each of us plastered 30 kilograms per year. Even now there are apples from Lake Constance, local, almost regional, you feel good right away.
But wait, local apples in May or June?

Didn't the trees just bloom? That's right, we won't have fresh apples from the tree until August, everyone else has been waiting for our powerful bite for months in a controlled atmosphere of oxygen and a lot of carbon dioxide. In gas-tight cold stores, in addition to temperature and humidity, the oxygen and carbon dioxide content are kept at a constant value and in a certain ratio to one another. In the ULO (Ultra Low Oxygen) warehouse, the oxygen content is so low that the ripening of the fruit is extremely slowed. Not only do the vitamins disappear during this time, but greenhouse gases are also created.

So better the apples from the southern hemisphere?
It is now autumn or winter there and the apples are ripe when we run out of fresh apples. That is why around 600,000 tons of apples are imported every year (https: //www.bmel-statistik.de/fileadmin/user_upload/monatsberichte/GBB-2 ...). In addition, last year many of our flowers froze to death in late frost and farmers in Germany were only able to harvest just under two thirds (597,000 t instead of 1,038.9 t in 2016) of the usual amount of apples. From a CO 2 perspective, long-term storage of apples is more harmful to the environment than transporting them further across the oceans.

But that is only one aspect. Many clever people have expected to go in search of the life cycle assessment. Transport by ship, train, truck, plane, often as with New Zealand several means of transport, transport routes, large-scale cultivation versus smaller businesses, protection of regional cultivation on site, working conditions and and and.
And?

There is no such thing as the ideal, right solution.
The most important point, their own transport balance! Take the bike or, if you already have the car, use it as little as possible and as effectively as possible. If we take everything into account, we should only buy apples from August to February, and preferably from orchards, because there may also be one or the other 'old' apple variety such as Goldparmäne or Berlepsch. Because the formerly large variety of varieties has been further reduced in today's intensive cultivation. Only around 20-30 varieties are of economic importance.

If you still want to enjoy apples in spring, why not store them yourself? A cool cellar, a frost-free garage or a location on the balcony outdoors without direct sunlight are ideal. However, the fruits must not get frost. Over a longer period of time, larger quantities should be packed in single layers in boxes or cartons, if possible. It is important that the fruits do not touch.

And if you can't do without apples in summer, the white clear apple is available in August. It doesn't like to be stored, it tastes best fresh from the tree.

Environment tip June 2018
About tomatoes and seahorses
One imagines something else under a vegetable garden. But the largest vegetable garden in Europe is a “mar de plástico”, a sea of ​​greenhouses and plastic sheeting. It is one of the hottest regions in Spain, thanks to the constant sunshine, four or more harvests per year are not uncommon.

However, those who grow tomatoes on the balcony or terrace themselves, for example, know how greedy these little plants are. One of the most pressing problems of vegetable growing in Spain is therefore the gigantic demand for water. The tomatoes alone consume per kilogram! around 180 liters of drinking water.

The water is sometimes pumped over hundreds of kilometers or the already heavily over-fertilized groundwater is illegally filtered and used again and again. What happens to the poisonous filtrate? Report Mainz reported in mid-May that this toxic waste in the Murcia region is being channeled into the Mar Menor, the largest salt water lagoon in Europe. The organization Hippocampus (lat. Seahorse) sounded the alarm last year. In the Mar Menor, almost three times the size of Lake Starnberg, famous for its crystal clear water and its seahorses, just ten out of a hundred seahorses live.

According to Report Mainz on May 22nd, 2018, one of the largest Spanish vegetable suppliers for the German market is responsible for this, and charges have now been brought against him and other polluters in Spain. According to local farmers, it is the low purchase prices of the shopping chains that make them resort to these measures.

So, even if you don't ride your motorboat across the salt lagoon on your vacation and harm the wildlife, the decision which vegetables you eat can threaten animals that live thousands of kilometers away.
Keep this in mind the next time you buy in the supermarket.

Please buy regional goods! It's summer - strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, everything grows here too.

Environment tip May 2018
May rain
Almost only sun since Easter. Balconies, streets, beer benches - everything is powdered with yellow pollen. Everyone is drawn to the outside world. Only some allergy sufferers dearly wish for rain. And gardeners currently spend a lot of time hauling watering cans. As is well known, May rain is supposed to make you beautiful, but there is still no rain in sight. Insects, birds and even squirrels are now looking for bird baths, ponds or freshly watered beds to quench their thirst.

Bees collect water to cool their honeycombs in the hive. In the big cities it is particularly arid. All animals, including insects, need water. The most beautiful insect hotel stays empty when the next water source is too far away. Many bat species lack drinking places and prey insects in our settlement areas, the larvae of which develop under water. A garden pond can help. There is hardly a garden that is too small that a wet biotope or a near-natural pond cannot be created in it.

And if not, even on the smallest balcony, one or more flower pot coasters or plates, filled with fresh water every morning, create a welcome gas station for insects, squirrels and birds.

Environment tip April 2018
Of wild corners and wild carrots

The main reason why insects seek out flowering plants is to collect their nectar and pollen. Insects and plants are a well-coordinated team: every plant has a function, every insect a preference. By touching them, insects pollinate the female flower organ with the collected pollen. A seemingly small and simple process with a big effect: This ensures the sexual reproduction of around 88 percent of all plants worldwide - in tropical regions it is even more than 90 percent. Wild and honey bees are of great importance. But butterflies, flies, wasps and beetles also make their contribution.

In many places there is insufficient food for wild and honey bees and other insects such as butterflies. All too often, monotonous green spaces define our cities. Something has to change about that!

In order to provide the bees and other insects with food all year round, the different flowering times should be taken into account. A perennial bed can be laid out so that something always blooms between March and October. Wild perennials, which you can get in wild perennial nurseries, are particularly recommended. Cornflowers, meadow sage and nodding catchfly, yarrow, columbine, lavender, lupine, wild mallow, asters, unfilled dahlia varieties, but also bluebells, poppies and blue pillows are popular.

At Trees and bushes blackthorn, eucoat, cornel, hawthorn, gooseberry, raspberry, blackberry, currant, wild wine, ivy, unfilled climbing roses are suitable.

Also a Vegetable patch with broad beans, clovers, borage, marigolds, cucurbits, onions, cabbage, carrots, wild carrots or herbs provides plenty of food.

For the balcony Gold lacquer, nasturtiums, verbena, male loyalty, convertible florets, snapdragons, culinary herbs such as sage, rosemary, lavender, peppermint and thyme are ideal.

The honey bee actually accepts everything that flowers. Wild bees, on the other hand, are specialists when it comes to the food supply. Some silk bees specialize in composites, while fur bees feast on lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis), blue pillows (Aubrieta) and lark spur (Corydalis), while the wild carrot (Daucus carota) is the main source of pollen for sand bees and swallowtail bees. If you want to know who is frolicking in your garden or who you can specifically attract with fodder plants, the website insektenbox.de will help (tip: species of bees can be found under the “Hymenoptera” category). It is important not to plant double flowers and breeding varieties that are useless for bees and other insects.

And please think about wild corners: the simplest measure is to simply leave a wild corner that is neither mowed nor stepped on. Here we leave nettles, grasses and clover their space.

Environment tip March 2018

Sugar water for Her Majestyt
Finally, the energy sapping icy days seem over. Everyone thirsts for the sun, for color, for spring. How nice to finally have the first signs of spring on the breakfast table in the morning. But please, stay away from the first early bloomers! What pleases our eyes at breakfast is more than just their breakfast for the bumblebees and is essential for survival.

Every bumblebee that shows up in early spring is a queen. Because unlike the honey bees, all the bumblebees with the exception of the already mated young queen die in autumn. In early spring the queen goes looking for a nesting place where she can found a new colony of bumblebees. For this purpose, cavities in and above the earth are inspected. Mouse holes, dead branches, rotten tree trunks, moss mats, sometimes bird nests and even old snail shells, which are carefully camouflaged, can be used as nesting sites. First of all, the young queens still feed on food supplies from the previous year, which they have stored in their honey stomachs. However, these supplies are soon exhausted and then the young queen needs sufficient nectar and pollen-donating flowers. Crocuses, pussy willows, winterlings, snowdrops, bluestars, checkerboard flowers and later dead nettles, columbines and lungwort. Once a new roost has been found, the queen builds her first comb, lays a few first eggs and supplies the hatching larvae with pollen, which she collects on flowers. To keep the eggs warm, the queen even sits on them to incubate after the first egg-laying. She needs nectar for herself, which she converts into honey as a bad weather reserve and stores in wax pots.

Especially now in March you can often find exhausted bumblebees on the terrace, balcony or by the wayside. You can carefully slip a piece of paper under it, bring it to a protected place, dissolve half a teaspoon of sugar in a little lukewarm water and offer it to the animal by spoon. If it is warm enough, the bumblebee can empty up to a third of the teaspoon with its long proboscis within a few minutes. Precious energy! You may have to wait a while until it has warmed up a little in the sun or in the slipstream. Anyone who helps a bumblebee queen in early spring will not only save a single animal, but an entire bumblebee state that is still in the making.

Bumblebees are important helpers in fruit and vegetable growing, as the effective nectar and pollen collectors pollinate many types of crops. Unlike honey bees, bumblebees can fly even in unfavorable weather conditions and are often the only pollinators of fruit trees in cool spring.

Environment tip February 2018
A marriage proposal and a consequence of it
Private happiness becomes public. Private happiness becomes visible. A ring on the right hand. But not just any ring. It was supposed to be, it had to be a ring of fair gold. It became a fair gold ring. The sign of my marriage, my love and loyalty cannot be based on immeasurably great suffering while digging for gold.

The highly toxic mercury ensures that the raw gold can be extracted. Worldwide there are an estimated 20 million people who often work without respiratory protection, helmets, gloves, boots, contracts and social security. In addition, there is the destruction of nature on a gigantic scale.

Guya Merkle is the world's first jewelry designer to manufacture her entire collection from fair gold. A Swiss jewelry manufacturer already has a line with fair gold, an Italian luxury manufacturer wants to only use fair trade gold from 2020. Our wedding rings were designed and forged in Munich. Not only because of the art of our goldsmith they are wonderful to wear. A little justice on the ring finger. That's how it usually starts. Christine Glaser

Environment tip January 2018
Heating with wood in the fireplace and stove - cozy and environmentally friendly, right?
Wood is the most sustainable heating material of all, because it regenerates itself. The climate balance is actually positive as long as less wood is used than grows back. Actually?
The massive use of wood stoves is now causing serious environmental problems. A wood fire only produces as much of the climate killer gas CO2 as the tree took from the air during growth. But at the same time various other pollutants flow unfiltered through the chimney.

The Federal Environment Agency, for example, found at the end of 2016 that fine dust emissions from small wood-burning systems in Germany now exceed those from the engines of trucks and cars. However, in road traffic wear and tear from tires and resuspension have to be added. In addition, in addition to carbon dioxide, soot is produced during combustion. And that finally spoils the climate footprint of wood stoves. The black particles are extremely effective for the climate. They heat up in the sunlight, influence the formation of clouds, blacken snow and ice as far as the Arctic, which then melt faster. Overall, soot particles heat the climate up to 3,200 times as much as the greenhouse gas CO₂.

One reason why fireplaces can produce more fine dust is incorrect operation. Anyone who fires incorrectly, does not use the right wood or regulates the air supply incorrectly can quickly turn a clean stove or fireplace insert into a dirt spinner. Another cause is the age of the stove. According to the law, all devices that are 33 years of age or older should have been shut down or replaced by new ones since the end of 2017. But as with automobiles, there are evidently justified doubts about the reliability of the type approval test for wood-burning stoves. The actual emissions are “mostly considerably higher than the manufacturer's information,” criticizes the Clean Heat initiative. The environmental aid calls for measurement methods that are closer to reality, as well as better market surveillance.

Every year in Germany, almost as much wood is burned to generate energy as is harvested. The demand for wood has actually risen sharply over the past 20 years. As before, German foresters and forest farmers manage the forests sustainably, which means that they only cut as much wood as grows back. Or even a little less. According to the third national forest inventory from 2012, the annual growth is around 120 million cubic meters, the annual harvest is estimated at 76 million cubic meters. Every year in Germany 70 million cubic meters of wood are burned to generate energy. In order to meet the demand for wood for the furniture industry, for packaging, paper as well as electricity and heat, large quantities of wood have to be imported from all over the world.

In order to reduce fine dust, stove owners should only burn well-dried wood. As the Stiftung Warentest has determined, the fine dust emissions when burning wood with a residual moisture of 25 percent doubles compared to firewood with only 14 percent residual moisture. It takes at least two years for freshly cut wood to dry out if properly stored. Due to the high demand, however, firewood is sometimes dried in halls that are heated with fossil fuels such as gas or oil. For the environmental balance of the wood, this is just as negative as long transport routes. Buyers should therefore ask exactly where the wood comes from and how it was dried.

Wood burning in wood-burning stoves is therefore not climate-neutral. So please always fire carefully and if possible with local wood.

Environment tip December 2017
Old boy with curly hair ...
The text of "Silent Night!" Is 200 years old.
Soap has been the number one cleaning product for curly and other hair for thousands of years.Artificially produced shampoos, conditioners, shower gels and detergents have, however, displaced them more and more in the last few decades. It even goes so far that people today believe that soap is bad for hair. Hair soaps leave a good feeling on and in the head! They are healthier for skin and hair, require little packaging, are economical and clean without synthetic surfactants. Surfactants? They are found in most conventional shampoos and create a lot of foam on the head. We have got used to them and expect reliable cleaning performance from them. But surfactants are chemically complex, are mostly based on petroleum derivatives, can irritate our skin and make it permeable to pollutants.