5 sustainable options for expat-friendly services for expats in Germany
August • 26th, 2021
by Expat in the City
Choosing the more sustainable option - these are the ones we found for expats in Germany!
Unless you’ve lived completely off the grid (or under a rock), you’ve heard about climate change and how this is affecting nature and our daily lives. As an expat you’ve most likely lived in various cities and countries and know how different countries and companies act (or not act) to create a more sustainable society. When you are new to a country it sometimes is hard to find the more sustainable options. In this article you will find a few examples of companies and initiatives that we found along the way to help you to choose the Green Pill. It’s up to you!
1. Tomorrow Bank – a sustainable online bank
Everyone needs a bank account and when you move to Germany you need a new bank for all your local transactions (your salary, German health insurance etc). Researching a (new) bank might not be on your list of favourite things to do, but it does allow you to choose a bank that fits your needs and values. One of the interesting (newer online) banks that we stumbled across during our research is Tomorrow Bank. Their slogan is ‘Banking for a better future’ and everything they do is measured with a sustainable goal in mind. You can open a bank account for free, and online. If this also appeals to you, have a look at their website to find out more about their products and services.
2. Share Now – car sharing in Germany made easy
If you don’t own a car and don’t have a job that comes with a lease car there are many options to get around in Germany. Usually, these options are more sustainable than owning a car, and also a lot less hassle than actually being a car owner in Germany. One option to get around is of course public transport, which in Germany is well organised and very affordable. Secondly, there are quite a few car sharing initiatives in Germany. One of them is Share Now. They have a diverse fleet that also includes electric cars and they were one of the first to offer their services in English. If you want to rent a car, why not try it out? You can check out their services here.
3. Ecosia – A search engine that plants trees
During our research for sustainable organisations and initiatives in Germany we came across this great sustainable alternative for Google. It is a search engine called Ecosia and the good part is that besides helping you find what you’re looking for they use their profit to plant trees where it is most needed. The company publishes its financial reports monthly, making it very transparent where investments are made. Server power is drawn entirely from renewable energies and another plus point: Ecosia places particular importance to data protection.
4. Atmosfair – offset your flight
As an expat on average you probably travel more than non-expats (although during Corona lockdown your travels were most likely reaching a very low point) as you travel back home regularly to see your family and friends. And in most cases the quickest and safest way is to travel by plain. You undoubtedly know that air travel adds to pollution quite significantly, a fact that for some makes it less comfortable. If you want to offset your flight, there is a really great initiative that allows you to do so: Atmosfair. Atmosfair is a German non-profit organization that actively contributes to CO₂ mitigation by promoting, developing and financing renewable energies in over 15 countries worldwide. Check it out next time you fly!
5. Ostrom - renewable energy in Germany
Finding an energy provider in Germany when you just moved here is not so easy, especially if you don’t speak German yet. However difficult the process, it is necessary to choose an energy provider as soon as you sign your rental contract. In our search for (renewable) energy providers in Germany that can provide their services in English we found nothing for a very long time. And then during our last attempt we found Ostrom. They have really thought through the entire customer service process and because they offer flexible services and services in English they are a great fit for expats in Germany. Have a look at their website and see for yourself if this might be just what you've been looking for.
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Do you know of more sustainable products or services that are suitable for expats living in Germany? Let us know! We love to hear from you and share it within our expat community.