There’s been a real shift towards us building a more sustainable + eco friendly future for ourselves + the planet. Only over the past couple of decades have we really truly begun to realise the impact we’ve had on the world + everything that inhabits it. David Attenborough’s latest programme ‘A Life On Our Planet’ highlighted some startling statistics...
+ Humans cut down up to 15 billion trees per year
+ 30% of fish stocks being fished to critical levels
+ The Arctic has seen its summer sea ice reduced by 40%
As well as making some unfortunate predictions for the years to come…
+ By the 2030s, continued deforestation of the Amazon will cause it to dry up, obliterating biodiversity in the rainforest + altering the global water cycle.
+ By the 2080s, global food production will enter into a crisis as soils become exhausted by overuse + the weather will become far more unpredictable.
+ By the 2100s, the planet will be four degrees Celsius warmer, meaning large parts of the Earth will be uninhabitable making way for the sixth mass extinction.
However, all is not lost! Of course, industries really need to sit up + take notice; changing their practices + heeding the warnings of Greta + David. But as individuals, we can also play our part in saving the planet + even small changes will have the biggest impact if we all do it together.
Here are small ways we can be more eco friendly...
Eat fewer animal products
More than 30% of the Earth’s surface is being used to raise + support livestock which takes a huge toll on the environment, namely the production of CO2 + other harmful greenhouse gases. By cutting back on the amount of meat + other animal derived products such as milk that we eat, we can reduce the need to raise so many animals + in turn, reduce the scale of the damage being done to the environment.
If you’re a big meat eater, understandably it can be a big change but even trying out meat-free Mondays would help. If you already consume a small amount of meat or are vegetarian, why not try being vegan one day a week? See how it goes + build from there! It’s easier than you think.
Research the products you buy
Whether it’s food or cosmetics, putting in a little bit of extra effort into finding out what is in the products we buy + how they’re made, can help us become more eco friendly + sustainable. Cruelty-free labels mean the product hasn’t been tested on animals, whilst vegan labels mean the product contains no animal products. Being aware of things like this can help you make more informed decisions. There are more options out there than you think. For example we produce natural, vegan + cruelty free hair products + we carefully researched our bottles to ensure they were as sustainable as can be.
There are some ingredients you may want to avoid if you’re looking to become more sustainable. Palm Oil is a big one. It’s an ingredient that’s found in cosmetics + food products. It heavily contributes to deforestation + is driving endangered species such as orangutans to extinction. Again, check your labels + just be more mindful of the products you’re buying.
Fight fast fashion
Fast fashion is the mass production of cheap, poor quality, disposable clothing. Currently, the fashion industry produces around 400% more items than it did 20 years ago (around 80 billion garments a year - that's over 10 for every person on earth). The problem with fast fashion is that there is so much wastage. Clothes are getting cheaper + therefore quality is dropping. But at the same time, fashion trends are accelerating which increases demand + drives an incentive for people to buy more clothes as certain items fall in + out of fashion. So where do all the clothes we don’t want end up? The majority of fashion items are neither recycled nor donated - they go to landfills… With many clothing items taking around 200 years to decompose, you can see how this is a problem.
The creation of fast fashion items also has great environmental + societal costs such as:
+ Massive water usage
+ Production of greenhouse gases
+ Human rights violations
So how do we avoid fast fashion? There are a number of ways you can shop for clothing that are more environmentally friendly:
1. Check out your local charity shops, vintage shops, + even jumble sales - I have found some absolute gems this way + you can even pick up designer pieces!
2. Support local + independent shops
3. Research ethical clothing brands
4. Swap clothes with your friends - you know you've always had your eye on a few of their pieces…
5. Don’t be a slave to trends - find your own unique style!
Getting into a quality over quantity mindset will do wonders for the environment but will also benefit your bank balance (buying cheaper, low quality products is a false economy as you’ll just have to replace them more frequently).