2019. Ways to be More Eco-friendly
It's time to stop being the throwaway generation and time to start being the thoughtful generation.
2018 Wow we really did hit so many miles stones when it came to spreading the knowledge about the impact we as humans are having on the planet. Here's to making an even bigger impact toward a sustainable world in 2019.
Tip #1 Recycle, Reuse and Repurpose - Do NOT replace
I've seen a lot of posts online recently where people have been promoting replacing plastic items. Yes, we 100% want to cut down on our plastic consumption but that doesn't mean we want to replace it with something just as bad. People have spent a lot of time talking about replacing plastic straws with paper straws. However much we want to get rid of plastic straws cutting down a load of trees to do so is not ideal.
We need to learn to reuse and recycle what we already have rather than making new materials. It's time to stop being the throwaway generation and time to start being the thoughtful generation.
Tip #2 Go Plastic Free for the Ocean
If you've travelled around the world or watched the news lately you will have seen plastic waves. These are real! Plastic is a big no no, it's destroying the ocean and sea life. It is even destroying us.
It has been proven that when consumed, plastic can transfer into our bloodstreams. You may be thinking to yourself, why on earth would I ever consume plastic. Well, it's in our bodies more than you may realise. It's in the ocean and therefore it is in the seafood you are eating. It's entwined into our clothes, which are literally in constant contact with the biggest organ in the human body (the skin, your skin). We drink our water out of it, we eat our food out of it and we even bath and sleep amongst it.
Burning plastic is cancerous so what happens when we are pretty much consuming it? We are living in a plastic world, which is a pretty scary thought if you ask me!
#3 Cut down on your meat intake
Humans and livestock take up 97% of the world's mammals.
Let me start this section by saying you don't have to go completely vegan or plant-based. That takes time. It took me 4 years and I failed numerous times. Even now after being mainly 'vegan' for over a year I still have ups and downs, it will forever be working progress for me, and that is ok!
Working in hospitality kind of pulls the guilt card on you. You see food waste is even worse than the meat and dairy industry for the planet (obviously not for the animals). Food waste that goes to landfill slowly emits methane gasses over a long period of time. These methane gasses go into the environment and are causing global warming. So if a piece of cake that contains dairy is going into the bin, I will take one for the team and enjoy it. I won't, however, buy into the market, so no buying of animal by-products at the supermarket or at restaurants.
If this is something you want to give a go, why not start with Fishless Fridays or Meatless Mondays? Every little helps! Cut down on the worst culprits such as beef, pork and dairy, then work down from there. Try your best, and give it a go. As long as you feel like you're doing the best you can that is all that matters. Plus, experimenting in the kitchen is fun!
#4 Compost. Be Eco, Be Green
Did you know that 1/3 of the food that we buy at the supermarkets is wasted? That is equivalent of 1.3Billion tons of food going to waste per year. In the USA 40% is wasted. There are people starving worldwide. Yet we really are not appreciating the privilege we have of being able to buy whatever food we like, whenever we want. We are greedy and we are buying food at a faster rate than it can be consumed.
When food waste ends up in landfills it gives off methane gasses. By composting we can help avoid greenhouse gasses been given off into the environment. Composting is great in more ways than one. Not only does it reduce greenhouse gasses but it helps with soil production. Due to over farming and overuse of chemicals it is estimated that there are around 50-60 years of topsoil left. Topsoil is the nutrient-rich soil we need to grow crops.
Composting is natures way of recycling.
Composting is an amazing way in which we can put back into the earth and enrich the soil by helping it to retain moisture. It also suppresses plant disease and pests which in turn reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. It is estimated that we have around 10 years to make a difference before the state of our soil becomes critical.
#5 Fast Fashion
The fast fashion industry is a real problem for the environment.
It takes 2,700 litres of water to make one t-shirt... Mind blown right!? Some people don't even have daily access to water. Yet over 2 billion t-shirts are sold worldwide per year. Imagine how many are made but aren't sold.
It is crucial that we change our habits when it comes to fashion. Once upon a time, there used to be four seasons in a year, now we seem to have 52 seasons in a year when it comes to the fashion industry.
We need to start thinking about the bigger picture. It's not just about looking good anymore. The industry is not only ruining our planet but the ethics behind it are still not stable. Humans are being harmed on a daily basis due to working in buildings that are not health and safety certified. People are getting paid less than minimum wage, and there are still children working in factories who don't meet minimum age. Slave labour is real, and it is still very much present around the world in 2019.
My top tips to stay away from the fast fashion industry are -
- Shop local
- Go a week per month with no shopping
- Unsubscribe from fashion mailing lists
- If you want to shop set your self-goals - for example, 4 items per month
- Make sure you wear each item of clothing at least 30 times to be equal to it being made
Set yourself goals . Shop responsibly . Shop locally . Support small businesses
Rana Plaza Factory Collapse 2013 - Bangladesh
"1,134 people died to feed the world’s appetite for cheap clothing" - The Guardian
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