When people adapt to a more sustainable lifestyle it can be discouraging when you cannot do a thing without having an impact on the environment. We’re shifting pollution, and in the process we’re hoping that it doesn’t have the environmental impact. You believe you are doing good for the environment but realize it’s still not good enough. What can you do to make a real impact and stay encouraged when adapting to a more sustainable lifestyle?
Stores have started to introduce in store recycling schemes. Where customers can drop off unwanted items. However it’s been highlighted that only 0,1% of all clothing collected by charities is recycled into new fibre. Recycling and small Eco clothing ranges are not enough to encounter the throw away culture and the strain on natural resources. First step is to avoid contributing to fast fashion.
It´s not good enough to recycle the plastic. When it’s not piling up in landfills, it’s blocking drains, cluttering up streets, surfing air currents, and contaminating oceans. Of all that plastic you find in your kitchen, only one thirds can be recycled. Meaning two-thirds of plastic food container waste gets thrown into landfill. Plastic packaging is made from a variety of polymer types, which need to be carefully separated out to allow for recycling. Even if plastic were easily recyclable, it is still manufactured from crude oil. Though it’s not always easy we can still choose to opt out of plastic or avoid products packed in plastic.
If you're planning to buy an electrical car, you’re probably feeling pretty good about yourself. However current production methods of EVs are significantly more environmentally damaging than the production of ICEVs. This is mostly due to the power mechanism manufacturing techniques, including battery manufacturing, in EVs that involve energy intensive processes. Your electric car doesn’t need gas, but it still might get its energy from burning carbon. It depends on how your local grid generates electricity. “If you use coal-fired power plants to produce the electricity, then all-electrics don’t even look that much better than a traditional vehicle in terms of greenhouse gases. But if your local grid incorporates a fair amount of hydro power, geothermal energy, renewable solar and wind energy, your electric vehicle is pretty clean. However even when you add all the environmental impacts, they still come out in favor of electric vehicles. In the end what is important is that you understand what it takes to make the materials that enable your green choices. The greenhouse-gas-emissions footprint of electric vehicles can be pretty high on the front end, as they’re being built. So you need to get a lot of benefits on the other side, when you use it and after you're done using it.
Use your choices to communicate your values to the world. How do the clothes you wear and the the things you buy reflect who you are and what you stand for. What is the story behind the brand and the brands values?
The real issue with fast fashion is the speed at which it is produced, putting a high pressure on the people and the environment. We should be proud of the things we buy and wear. Clothing can have a significant effect on self esteem and confidence. Think about how you feel while wearing cheap, low quality materials which degrade after just a few wears made with the use of workers on low wages. Versus how you feel while wearing a long lasting ethical brand, Buy fewer, higher quality items and you are already reducing waste in the world. Sometimes you just got to give up brands that fail to meet your value.
Companies today seem to more interested in figuring out how to recycle and increase efficiency. Which is good for consumers however we still need to ask questions and be fair in how we value the things we want to buy and think about it as a long term purchase. Is it reasonable to look for good quality and not be willing to pay a higher price?
When you choose sustainable brands that reduce their impact on earth and care about their workers you are simultaneously reducing your impact on the world. Creating a sustainable lifestyle takes a lifelong commitment – to learning, experimenting, exploring, committing to increasingly sustainable practices.
Simplifying as much as possible is the first of two essential steps for kick-starting a sustainable life. Taking a thorough inventory of our life – our purchases of products and services, our modes of transportation, etc. is the second critical step. It helps us really understand how we are living now in order to identify and shift away to more sustainable choices.
Lifestyle changes are a process that take time and require support. Once you’re ready to make a change, the difficult part is committing and following through. So do your research and make a plan that will prepare you for success. Careful planning means setting small goals and taking things one step at a time. Some of the things you adapt to can be challenging at first until it becomes natural and part of your lifestyle.
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The success of us as individuals, society, and businesses as a whole has been sadly linked with mass consumption. We are often persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need. Today, we are facing challenging circumstances where we need to adapt quickly. We have to change the way we do things. Instead of returning to business as usual as soon as possible, we should challenge us to reduce our consumption and adapt to a more sustainable lifestyle for the future. Out of crisis comes creativity and our well-being depends not on being consumers but on being part of a community and helping each other.
DIMMBLÁ, ICELANDIC DESIGN COMPANY
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