No social media account, no sneaker, no instant camera and no Kardashian has enjoyed so much attention as the word “sustainability” within the last year. To be, think and live somehow sustainable seems to be right but for many what is more important: it’s on trend.
Luckily! Consciously taking care of raw materials and resources is a trend that is here to stay. First of all, that’s important if you don’t want the world to end. Secondly because it’s really not that tough to translate a green lifestyle in your everyday life. Why? Because also small steps in the right direction are permitted and a dogmatic approach is silly anyways.
First step towards ecological living: raise your own awareness for the issue. Think about all the things you consume on a daily basis and where it’s coming from. For example strawberries in winter can’t be from a field close to you but must have had a long journey with a lot of help from chemical fertilizers and pesticides. If you visualize that, all of a sudden waiting for summer time isn’t all that hard.
Speaking of waiting: we all know how fast paced the fashion industry has become. Therefore it’s more rewarding to invest in statement-pieces that truly fit your style for a longer time instead of being tricked by the fashion world into buying a squared heel or cut-off pants one season and then floor length pants the next season. Making smart decisions when selecting the pieces averts having to sort out the closet constantly and helps turning the own collection into a precious fundus – vintage shopping at home so to say.
At home it’s easiest to make changes to your diet and to start with the classics. Turning off the water while brushing the teeth, turning off the light whenever leaving the house or changing to an eco-supplier of electric energy. Easy! It’s getting more advanced when taking care of trash. Yes please, waste separation really helps and plastic isn’t hard to dispose – quite the opposite actually.
Plastic is the nemesis. That is common knowledge at least for most people by now. Why again? Because it’s mostly made of raw oil and that is rare. Also because plastic cannot be decomposed that means literally never.
A variety of experts estimate the time it takes for synthetically materials to dissolve to 500 to 1000 years. This means that any form of plastic ever created still exists in one form or another. The remains of it are mostly found in the oceans where it’s especially fatal for the environment. Through the movement of the sea and the sunlight the micro plastic particles drop down in the water and float around seemingly invisible for animals so they mistake it with food. By now there is more plastic in the seas than plankton.
That’s a problem but not only for turtels, herons or dolphins. Every year seven million tons of plastic end up in the oceans and get into a swirl of waste around the North Pacific sea and between California and Hawaii. Many beaches between the North Sea and Asia are already full of plastic and it’s even worse: it becomes part of our food chain. This includes all the toxic chemicals that are added to plastic such as softeners or flame resistant ingredients. All of that is in the fish we eat, our groundwater or on our fruits and vegetables. We basically are poising ourselves.
Does it have to be that way? It doesn’t if one is aware of plastic as the enemy and if one knows about alternatives. For example neubau eyewear has found a lightweight polymer as an environmentally friendly alternative for their frames. To support brands like this can be a step in a more green direction. Another one would be to choose your glasses wisely so you love it for a long time and might even get it repaired when it’s broken instead of just getting rid of it.
To sum it up there are two things to know about sustainability: everything we consume has to be produced and everything that we throw away isn’t gone – it’s just somewhere else.