Here are some ways you can be more environmentally responsible and greener with your everyday choices in Turkey.
- Choose a green energy provider
The most significant renewable energy source Turkey uses is hydroelectric power; Limak Enerji and Arsan Group, for example, are a few companies that utilize this. Zorlu Energy is one of the most prominent green players, with hydroelectric, wind, and geothermal power plants. Aydem Renewables also produces electricity from hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, and landfill gasses (LFG).
If you live in Afyonkarahisar, Balıkesir, or Denizli, chances are your house may also be using geothermal energy to heat up.
Turkey also recently announced that its Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (YEK-G) System and the Organized YEK-G Market would enable electricity producers to prove their source of renewables under Turkey’s Energy Exchange Istanbul (EXIST) to make things more transparent.
- Invest in a bicycle
One of the easiest and most beneficial ways to reduce your carbon footprint and be greener in Turkey is to get cycling. Especially if you live in a smaller town or a city with relatively few hills, you will not only get your daily exercise, but you will also avoid the dreaded mile-long queues in your car.
- Compost at home
You do not need a lot to start composting at home. You will need some bare earth to begin with and add twigs or straw, vegetables, fruits and their peels, and eggshells for organic material. After layering these, you will need to add a bit of manure and green manure (wheatgrass, grass clippings, etc.) as a nitrogen source, and then you will have to keep this mix moist.
If you do not have a garden or want to keep things smelling- and mess-free, you might want to invest in composting kits and bins. You can find different Bokashi containers on sites such as Hepsiburada to get started on your composting journey
- Get involved with the sharing economy
Living sustainably also means thinking more about ways to lessen what you buy or use. One way to achieve this is through sharing.
Car sharing, through apps such as Zipcar, which allows you to rent a car when you need it on a minutely billable basis, or Uber, the ride-hailing app that lets its users share a trip if they are headed in the same direction. These apps are just two that can not only save you money but also stop you from overusing resources to get your money’s worth.
Speaking of eco-friendly rides, and pay-as-you-go shared electric scooters are also a great option. In Turkey, the easiest way to join this scheme is via the Martı app. When you are done with your ride, you only need to tie the scooter to a lamp or signpost and take a photo – no need to take it back to where you got it from.
Register to Martı by using This link and define the discount on your account via the app, get a discount during your first ride!
- Shop locally
The most delicious way to reduce your carbon footprint is to shop locally and in season. So, instead of getting your fruit flown over from the other side of the world, try to enjoy the best your local farmers have to offer.
Luckily, Turkey’s climate and fertile lands have no shortage of variety when it comes to fruit or vegetables, and the best place you can find all of these are at your local bazaars (halk pazarı). Bonus points if they were grown within your town!
- Download the right green apps
A simple 101 ways to live sustainably is to download apps with a green mission. You could start with Martı for an eco-friendlier way to get around the city, or you could check these apps out:
Give02 – works integrated with your GPS and measures your carbon footprint.
Forest – stops you from spending excessive time on your phone and social media and encourages you to disconnect by allowing you to grow a virtual tree for every minute you spend not glued to the screen.
SolarChecker – measures solar radiation, aka sunlight, levels near your home and recommends improvements to make the most out of it. Great for those looking to invest in solar panels.
Vodafone Turkey’s “Yeşile Saygı” (Respecting the Green) – shows you the nearest green spaces, organic bazaars, and animal shelters give tips for an eco-friendlier lifestyle.
- Go paperless with your banking.
If there is one thing you will do in 2021, let it be to switch to e-receipts with your bank – no more letters or clutter. All Turkish banks now have the option to go completely paperless, and you can complete all of your procedures online.
- Watch your water usage.
Whether it is drought or wildfires that have got you thinking more carefully about your water usage, it is never too late to start taking action. If you do not have a backup water tank, you may want to invest in one, and if you have any drips or leaks, you should call out a plumber.
You could also upgrade your water meter to a smart one to closely monitor your usage habits.
- Replace those old appliances
If you have any electrical appliances over 7-10 years old, they are likely the most significant energy drainers in your house. Not only will they be running less efficiently and showing signs of wear and tear, but they will also be an expensive burden on your electrical bill every month.
Consider switching to higher energy ratings such as A and A+++ and staying away from the lower-rated models.
- Recycle, recycle, recycle
There are no excuses not to recycle nowadays.
More and more recycling bins are being installed across Turkey, and many municipalities are now calling on residents to be more mindful of their waste. Make sure to separate your plastic, carton/paper, glass, and aluminum before throwing it all out with your household waste.
Some associations also collect the blue caps of plastic bottles for recycling and use these funds to donate wheelchairs to the disabled.
You could also wash out your old yogurt cups, reuse them for storage or turn them into water bowls for stray animals.
Planting trees with us! $1 still plants one tree at TEMA (TEMA, Turkish Foundation for Combating Erosion, Afforestation and Conservation of Natural Assets)