Go Green: Environmentally Conscious Mobility

In 2015, as part of the Paris climate goals, the international community agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era.

You too can play a part in ensuring that the goals are achieved - even during your international mobility. We have put together various tips that you can take into account, if you want to be sustainably mobile - both on the way to Germany as well as on campus - and even after your stay abroad.

Travel Planning and Means of Transport

After your admission at DHBW Mosbach, it's time to start with your travel planning. What is the best way to get to your campus? By plane, by train, or rather by car? There are many factors that influence the choice of the means of transport like distance, travel duration, costs, etc. - and sustainability should be one of them, too. This Decision Tree for Flying*, posted by Sigurlaug I. Lövdahl from the University of Iceland, might help you with this decision.

If the only way to get to DHBW is by plane, there are still many possibilites to travel as sustainably and leaving as little a CO2 footprint as possible:

1. Book direct flights to keep the flight distance as short as possible.

2. Compensate* the CO2 emissions of your flight. Many airlines already offer all kinds of compensation options.

3. Travel with little luggage.

4. Support green projects that aim to reduce CO2 emissions like reforestation projects etc.

>>> If your travel distance to DHBW Mosbach is less than 1000 km, we recommend to travel by train.

Here are the reasons why:

  • Erasmus+ stipends include a special premium for mobility. Please consult it with the corresponding Eramus+ coordinator at your home university (not DHBW Mosbach). (for EU students only)
  • By train, you avoid waiting queues at check-in and baggage claim.
  • Central stations are often located in the city center, so the last section of your travel to your housing may be shorter or, ideally, within walking distance.
  • Attractive ticket prices and more flexibility, i.e. with purchasing the Interrail Pass* (EU students) or the Eurail Pass* (non-EU students)
  • Variety of additional discounts and benefits with the ISIC Card*
  • Your CO2 footprintis considerably lower.

*This link leads to an external website. We do not assume any responsibility for the content of the website. 

Further points to take into consideration

Apart from chosing the means of transport, there are some more points to keep in mind when planning your travel to your guest university:

1. Luggage: Less is more. Pack what is indispensable for you — you can buy the rest locally. This way you have less to drag with you, and it's better for the environment.

2. Day of travel: When you are flexible timewise, a flight or train connection during the week may be shorter than at the weekends, and vice versa. Check several dates of departure before booking.

3. Arrival: Do you already know how to get from the airport / train station to your housing? Is there a good connection with public means of transport or is it located within walking distance?

Travelling around Europe

During their stay abroad, most students decide to explore their guest country and regions. Go green and discover Europe by train and with public transport – Europe has a close railway network which allows you to travel to almost any place in Europe! Apart from this, students get discounts almost everywhere and there is no better way to discover Europe's beautiful landscapes than by train.

Sustainable use of resources

Recycling is a big issue in Europe. Did you know that the World Economic Forum named Germany Recycling World Champion in 2017? Well, there is still a lot more to do, but let us quickly introduce you to the German Recycling System:

  • Good to knowThe DPG Deposit Scheme allows to bring used glass containers (bottles, jars) but also one-way plastic bottles back into the recycling circle by means of a compulsory deposit. So each time you buy, for example, a plastic water bottle, you pay €0.25 deposit on the bottle. If you bring it back to the grocery store (or any other collection point), you get your deposit back in form of a voucher.
  • Waste Management: As you certainly know, most of our waste can be recycled. Here are the main areas of recycling that you will encounter in Germany: 
    • Glass: All glass that is not included in the DPG Deposit Scheme, i.e. that cannot be returned, is collected in glass containers. At the collection point you will find containers for white, green, and brown glass.
    • Plastic: Plastic packaging is not to be deposited in the normal garbage bin but is collected in yellow sacks (available for free at the town hall) or in yellow bins/containers.
    • Paper: In Germany, old newspapers, magazines, writing paper, etc. are collected in blue bins or containers. In some areas you find containers marked as "Altpapier" (= waste paper).
    • Organic waste: Food leftovers, spoiled foodstuffs, garden waste etc. is collected in brown bins. This waste is being composted and reused as mineral fertilizer.
    • Batteries and light bulbs: At many supermarkets and drugstores you find collection points for used batteries and bulbs.
    • There are collections points for all other kinds of waste (electronic waste, toxic waste, etc.).
    • Residual waste: Finally, everything that cannot be recycled is to be disposed in the black bin.

What else can you do to sustainably use natural resources?

  • Save water and energy
  • Avoid plastic waste by
    • using reusable bags, glass containers, buying unpacked products at Zero Waste Shops ("Unverpackt Laden")
    • using drinking water from the tap instead of buying bottled water. The drinking water quality in Germany is very good and under permanent control. 
    • Note: Since 3 July 2021, there is a EU ban effective on production and selling of plastic drinking straws, single-use plastic cutlery, plastic cocktail stirrers, and others.
  • Look out for bio labels and fair trade labels
  • Use public transport
  • Buy second hand
  • Comply with local rules and regulations
  • Follow the 5 R principle: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

Green Projects

Get in touch with our Green Office to know how you can take action. You can also contact local or international action groups and help to make a positive impact on our environment.

During your stay abroad, you will meet new people and make a lot of new friends, visit new places, and get to know new customs and traditions. From then on, you will see your own country with new eyes, and learn to appreciate what you already have there but also what might be improved.

In terms of sustainability, you will also get to know different projects and ideas. Bring these ideas home with you – and, of course, your ideas and experiences from home to Germany.

Maybe some of these ideas or projects can be implemented in your region?