The figures from the Federal Environment Agency are sobering.

The CO2 emissions of the Germans decreased from 1995 to 2017 from 10.8 tons to nine tons.

That is just a little more than a tenth.

Today each of us blows CO2 into the air with the weight of nine small cars.

Source: WORLD infographic

Time to take action.

Here are the biggest CO2 emitters in your home and tips on how to combat them.

Besides that, you also save money:

I. Causer number one: room heating, 61 percent

The Federal Environment Agency: "Heating is not only expensive, but also by far the largest energy consumer and CO2 emitter."


According to WWF, you save

450 kilograms of


a year if you heat up to one degree less on cold days.

The Federal Environment Agency recommends a room temperature of 20 ° C in the living area, 18 ° C in the kitchen, 17 ° C in the bedroom - as long as it comes close to your individual comfort temperature.

Again, it should be noted: The risk of mold increases in rooms that are too cold.

According to Greenpeace, you can save

150 kilograms a

year if you keep doors and windows tight and only ventilate briefly in winter instead of tilting the window for a long time.

This means that less heat is lost, which you have to compensate for with heating.

II. Electrical appliances, 14 percent


Source: Getty Images / Tony Cordoza


Reduce CO2:

Every single Google search query causes 0.2 grams of CO2.

This is how it was calculated by the people at Ecosia, a climate-friendly search engine.

Every search query with Ecosia


the CO2 in the atmosphere, according to the company's own statements: The search engine servers run on solar power, and a tree is planted after around 45 search queries.


one-person household saves one

ton (!) On

average with a consumption of 1700 kWh per year when switching to a green electricity provider.

Look out for the “Green Electricity” label and the Ok-power seal.

They guarantee that new plants are funded by purchasing green electricity.

220 kilograms:

According to WWF, your annual savings if you completely switch off five devices, each with ten watts of standby power, when not in use (for example with power strips).


You can save

160 kilograms

if you (for example) replace your old refrigerator of energy efficiency class B with a device of class A +++.


Hot water, twelve percent

Source: Getty Images / Liam Norris

According to Stiftung Warentest, you expect

90 kilograms

less CO2 in the atmosphere if you shower sparingly.

It helps not to turn the water quite so hot and to use an economy shower head.

By the way: showering uses around four times less energy than bathing.

IV. Process heat, ten percent

This means heat that is required for technical processes such as cooking, cooking, washing or drying.

You save

330 kilograms

by washing correctly.

Greenpeace advises omitting the pre-wash and generally washing at a maximum of 60 degrees.

Modern washing machines also clean satisfactorily at 30 to 40 degrees.

What should actually be clear: Then don't throw the laundry in the dryer, but air dry it.

Savings potential: up to 330 kilograms of CO2 per person and year.

It is 100 kilograms

less carbon dioxide a year if you use a saucepan lid when you cook five times a week.

90 kilos

come down again if you boil a liter of water every day with the kettle instead of in a pot ..

V. Lighting, three percent

Source: Getty Images / Colin Hawkins


100 kilograms:

Suppose you replace five conventional 60-watt lightbulbs with energy-saving lamps that only consume eleven watts.


In the longer term, you could also consider sharing a flat

The number of single-person households is increasing steadily.

In 2017, only one person lived in 41.8% of households in Germany.

The Federal Environment Agency suspects that this has ensured that in recent years CO2 emissions per capita have only fallen by an average of half a percentage point per year.

The use of environmental resources per household member in smaller households is usually significantly higher than in larger households.

Federal Environment Agency

"For example, the smaller households per household member have, in particular, higher consumer spending, larger living space, higher energy consumption and

higher carbon dioxide emissions


Logical: two people in the same room consume as much heating costs or even less than two people in two separate apartments.

But our society is moving more in the single direction.

That makes it all the more important that at least these savings tips are heeded.



figures for CO2 savings should of course be treated with caution in principle.

Too many individual factors such as energy efficiency of the respective apartment building, comfort temperature, ecological characteristics of individual electricity providers, household appliances and so on mean that the savings cannot be generalized.

But it helps to weight - and it motivates.

I wish you success!

This article was first published in July 2019.