Foto: Min An / Pexels

Three students designed this website in the elective course “Sustainably Studying” for current students and future students at Nuremberg Tech. For us students, in particular, the topic often seems very complex and confusing. We want to present tips and opportunities to you for how you can make your everyday life more sustainable.

To develop a more sustainable lifestyle, more than anything else it is important to rethink one’s own consumption and to actively save resources through small and large changes. That is why we’ll show you some options and a few small examples. But before we start, we would like to emphasise that this page is not intended to promote companies or businesses. The information presented here is a result of independent research and selected and described according to our own discretion. Our goal with this website is to support your progress towards a sustainable lifestyle and at the same time show you that you can contribute with simple acts.

Living sustainably at home

In a highly technological and advanced country like Germany, electricity and water are available to everyone in what feels like infinite quantities. We are in the middle-range compared to other countries in Europe for water consumption per capita per day (average in Germany is about 120 litres and 2000 kWh including hot water). However, since drinking water is a finite resources and outdated household appliances require too much electricity, we want to show you how you can use these resources more sustainably in this section.

Photo: Saya Kimura / Pexels
Turn of unused devices:

It is a common experience: the old Blue-ray player moved into the new living room, but it is rarely used in these times of Netflix and Co. The solution is: unplug the device or use a power strip with a switch. This works for other electronic devices in your home, for example, in the kitchen (toaster, kettle, coffee machine, microwave, etc.). By using a power strip with a switch these devices can be completely disconnected from the electrical supply when they’re not in use and no longer consume any power.

The oven:

A small, but good tip is to refrain from pre-heating the oven. Since a frozen pizza has to go into the oven anyway, you can use the heat generated during the heating process for baking. In most instances, the food is ready in less time than it would usually take if you follow the directions exactly. This is true for par-baked rolls and generally for many things that can be made using the oven. The fan oven function is the most energy efficient setting, if you have it.

Electricity provider:

Changing your electricity provider, to an eco-electricity provider for example, can be worth it. All you have to do is know your own electricity use per year and compare the offers. Unfortunately, there are no student rates, but a little research and using comparison portals can save you a few euros. 

Washing machine:

Purchasing a new energy-efficient washing machine, in a shared apartment or on your own, may be expensive at first, but it can make a significant difference in water and electricity consumption. Of course, you do not have to buy a new machine immediately to save water. It is definitely more sustainable and saves resources to make sure you run your machine only with full loads and/or use the eco-program. So remember: Instead of doing the washing with just a few pieces of clothing, wait until you have a full load. This is true for dishwashers as well!

The tap:

To behave more sustainably with the water tap, it is enough to not let it run unnecessarily, for example, when brushing teeth, shaving, showering, etc. A water flow restrictor or water-saving showerhead, both of which can be purchased for just a few euros each, will also help you reduce water consumption and make another contribution to a more sustainable student life.

If you want to live more sustainably and save money at the same time, you should refrain from tilting windows while the heating is on. If windows are tilted, the room continuously loses heat and the heating system has to work harder to maintain the room temperature. Instead, simply turn the heat down for a few minutes and ventilate the room fully by opening the windows wide.


How can I recognise a sustainable product? In addition to the well-known tips to by regionally and seasonally, food and other products can be identified by labels and quality seals. Such labels on products generally serve as proof of specific quality characteristics and are intended to support customers in making purchasing decisions. Since greenwashing is unfortunately becoming more widespread and it is sometimes very easy for manufacturers to print some kind of “sustainable” seal on their products, we have listed some examples of labels and seals that you can trust.

Photo: Oleg Magni / Pexels


Besides the best-known, but also least regulated organic standard, the EU organic seal, there are various association labels in Germany. These labels generally fulfil all the guidelines laid down by the European Union, but have defined further criteria for their members or their label, which guarantee a higher quality of organic food through stricter standards. In the following lists, we have briefly described the most well-known association labels for organically produced food.

Association logos and seals

Bioland logo / Source: Bioland

Products: incl. cheese, milk, eggs, fruit, vegetables, meat products, flavourings and condiments, beer, wine

Special criteria:

  • A farm or business that adheres to this standard must be in entirely in adherence, a partial conversion to meet the standard is not permitted. As the saying goes, “All or nothing!”

  • Animal transports are only allowed up to a maximum distance of 200 km and a maximum travel time of four hours.

  • Animals are fed 100% organically grown fodder, of which 50% or more must come from the farm itself or regional cooperation.

Demeter association logo / Source: Demeter

Products: incl. cheese, milk, eggs, lettuce, meat products, flavourings / condiments, infant foods, hygiene products, natural cosmetics

Special criteria:

  • Lowest number of permitted food additives (max. 21)

  • Animals are fed 100% organically grown fodder, of which 50% or more must come from the farm itself or regional cooperation.

  • Strict standards about pesticides or herbicides and fertiliser amounts

Naturland / Source: Naturland

Products: incl. cheese, milk, eggs, fruit, vegetables, meat products, fish, flavourings and condiments, honey

Special criteria:

  • Social requirements for the producers and absolutely no child labour

  • Animal transports are also only permitted up to a maximum of four hours and a distance of 200 km. The entire transport process including travel time, loading, etc, may not exceed 8 hours.

  • As with the other association labels mentioned, at least 50 % of the feed must be produced on the farm where the animals are raised, only a few additives are permitted, and the feed must be 100 % organic.

Fairtrade seal / Source: TransFair e.V.

Products:incl. coffee, chocolate, clothing

Special criteria:

  • Payment of minimum prices
  • No child labour or discrimination or tests that could cause discrimination (pregnancy tests, HIV tests)
  • No use of pesticides
  • No forest clearing for new arable land

Cosmetics and body care

Despite a comprehensive law passed by the European Union in 2003 on the manufacture of cosmetic and care products without animal testing, plenty of loopholes remain for manufacturing companies. However, the fact that it is also possible to produce cosmetics without the aid of animal experiments is shown by the following quality seals.

Labels for cosmetics and body care

NATRUE seal / Source: NATRUE

The Natrue seal was developed by natural and organic cosmetic producers. These manufacturers have committed to producing their products predominantly from natural materials. Since 2021, there are two variations of the seal: natural cosmetics and organic cosmetics. Natural cosmetics meet the original requirements; organic cosmetics refers to the fact that at least 95% of the natural and derived natural ingredients must come from certified organic farming. Besides cosmetics, their seal may apply to other hygiene articles such as shampoo, shower gels, soaps, or deodorants.

Vegan trademark / Source: Vegan Society

This quality seal from the Vegan Society is awarded to foodstuffs and cosmetic articles. According to the Vegan Society’s label, it is generally forbidden to use ingredients or materials that originate from animals. Regardless of whether the animal is living or dead. It is also forbidden to test on animals and the permitted ingredients are heavily regulated.

Wood and paper

In order to preserve our forests for future generations, there are ways to integrate sustainable wood and paper products into everyday student life. We have included three examples of seals that can help you to identify sustainable wood and paper products.

Photo: ready made / Pexels

Labels for wood and paper

Blue Angel seal / Source: German Environment Agency

In Germany, the Blue Angel seal is the most well known seal for ecologically sustainably produced paper goods and articles for daily use. It guarantees compliance with ecological standards, for example, 100% recovered paper content, compliance with pollutant standards, or chlorine-free bleaching. In addition, the Blue Angel standard now applies to other products, such as small electronics - like toasters, vacuum cleaners, or printers - and paints/varnishes. It should be noted, however, that Blue Angel products may not be exclusively environmentally safe products; the labelled products are primarily more environmentally friendly than other comparable products. Products: including writing paper, hygiene paper products, paints and varnishes, electronic devices

Products: Toilet tissue, writing paper

Products: incl. wood and paper products, furniture, books, wooden writing utensils. You can find more information at WWF, Greenpeace, Utopia, on the website of the Verbraucherzentrale (consumer advice center), or the respective certifying companies.

Helpful apps and web pages

The world is in a constant state of progress. In times of fast fashion, unending food waste, and new smartphones, televisions, etc. on the market every half-year our consumption is also constantly increasing. Unfortunately, our earth’s resources are not endless, which is why it is increasingly important to economise our use of them. So the questions arise of “how” and “what” one can do to counteract this consumption. To provide initial answers to these questions, we have collected a list of selected apps and websites that can help you. A sustainable lifestyle is not so easy, especially as a student, a green lifestyle sometimes seems complicated and expensive. Fortunately, there are apps and websites that can support us and show us simple ways to live a more sustainable life. Below, you can find some apps and websites that may help you in the future. Have a look and see what you think!


This app is especially practical because its easy to use. While you save money, food is saved from the bin. The app displays shops and restaurants that sell leftover food or dishes for less money shortly before they close. From rolls to pizza, there is something there for every taste and every meal.

If you know Weight Watchers, you know how this app works. Except you are not counting calories but CO2-eq points. What you eat or consume, how you live and heat your home, your use of electricity and your mode of mobility creates greenhouse gases, directly or indirectly. All of these activities are translated into points in this app. Currently, we are emitting too much CO2. If everyone would limit themselves to 100 points per day, we can positively affect our world and our climate. Just one day of counting points can give you a good sense of how more climate-friendly behaviour feels.

A good shopping assistant to have with you could be the CodeCheck app. The app allows you to scan the barcodes of foods and cosmetic products. The app then shows you the ingredients of that item, listed according to their level of concern. Materials that are harmful for the environment or those that are unhealthy for bodies can be avoided by using the CodeCheck app.


Second hand goods are not only trendy; they save you money and material, too. Items like clothes, furniture, electronics, etc., that are no longer useful or valuable for an individual would usually end up in the rubbish, but using a second-hand cycle allows them to continue being useful to someone new. This allows you to save a lot of money and live your life more sustainably. Flea markets / tag sales in Nuremberg also offer this opportunity and are useful options for students, like you.

You think everything that is broken must be replaced? No, there is a much more sustainable option. Many products can be easily repaired. These web pages can show you where you can have your items screwed back together. This saves a lot of materials in addition to being gentle on your wallet.

Often it is complicated and time-intensive to find sustainable products among the many offers online. This site shows you eco-fashion, sustainable housewares, rucksacks, and other sustainable alternatives without unnecessary searching. Nonetheless, you should generally pay attention to your consumption behaviour and adjust it focused on need.

Especially as a student you are often cooking for just one person, which means there are often leftover ingredients. This is often inevitable. You can enter all of the ingredients that you have left over into this website. It provides you a suggested recipe for a dish that incorporates your leftover ingredients. This can save food from being thrown away and you discover new inspiration for your cooking.

Foods are often unnecessarily packaged. Unpackaged shops offer the opportunity to purchase food without packaging waste when possible. Besides, you can weigh the exact amount of the items that you need. If you live alone, for example, foods that are packaged are often in amounts that are more than one person needs. There is often much too much left over that end up in the rubbish bin. These shops allow you to prevent making packaging waste, but also minimise food waste.

New smartphone, laptop, or speakers? No problem. These providers have made it their task to offer secondhand technology. The devices are checked with regard to performance and overhauled if necessary. By grades from, for example, “excellent” to “good”, these used products are made available for purchase, depending on the requirements of the customer. Of course, it is no longer brand new, 100% efficient, or may show slight scratches on the casing, but that is what covers are for. In addition, refurbished items are considerably cheaper. When you realise how high the consumption of resources and rare earths of our current technology really is, these providers are definitely an environmentally friendly alternative.

In a nutshell

  • Pay attention to the energy efficiency of your devices and appliances. It may well be worthwhile to exchange them.

  • Avoid “half-full” washing loads or dishwasher cycles.

  • The labels of German organic associations can help you identify high quality features of your food.

  • Many cosmetics and body care products are available today without animal testing or with environmentally friendly ingredients . Also in this area, various seals and labels can give you a good indication.

  • For notebooks and other paper wares, look for environmental seals , like the Blue Angel. This ensures you are using recycled paper .

  • Try to complete your work digitally and avoid needlessly using paper.

  • Invest in good writing utensils, like a good ballpoint pen that only needs ink refills occasionally.

  • Use things that you have as long as possible. If something breaks, choose a more sustainable option when you purchase a replacement.

  • Purchase used instead of new items that you need for your studies. Regardless of whether it is a calculator, a tablet, text books, or a laptop - you will be saving resources.

  • Repair instead of throwing away: You can often repair electronic devices simply and inexpensively (e.g. by using YouTube videos). Another way is by looking for a repair café in your area. In the Nuremberg/Fürth/Erlangen area there are repair cafés in the Fablab, the Kofferfabrik, or in the E-Werk, for example.