June 5, 2022, 9:13 a.m. by Karuwaki Speaks ( 213 views)
Climate Change, Pollution, and Environmental Responsibility are words that are becoming part of our day-to-day vocabulary. Human OR Artificially caused climate damage is said to be closing the point of no return. Every little action taken collectively and individually will contribute to our quest to reclaim Mother Earth’s balance. For this year’s World Environment Day, we give you tips on 5 relatively lesser-known habits and sources of environmental damage in our daily lives. These are only some of an endless list of lifestyle remedies needed holistically throughout the world, not for the sake of nature but for the longevity of our species and families.
1) Packing and Packaging
By now everyone knows of the harms of single-use plastic. Plastics and similar nondegradable materials still constitute the bulk of food, delivery, commercial and industrial packaging. Every e-commerce order will have a trail of waste disposal and recycling. Even with current recycling technology for plastics, there is still a cost attached in terms of energy and power consumption. Making simple conscious decisions in our daily life such as using one’s carrier bag to shop, actively refusing plastic bags at shops, or simply carrying a travel flask reducing the need for cups or bottled drinks will all make a difference. Every meal cooked at home is an instance of delivery packaging waste reduced.
2) Is your diet Environmentally Healthy?
This may not be the easiest thing to digest, as our diets are essentially linked to personal freedom and have socio-cultural implications. However, it has been acknowledged beyond debate from multiple studies that modern eating habits are one of the most significant causes of environmental degradation. It is also the most significant in the sense that, it is an aspect that is directly controllable by one and all. Truly the biggest contribution any of us can make in the fight against Climate Change is to think and consider what we eat and where it comes from.
Indeed Oxford University has identified that modern agriculture, animal husbandry and the supply chain logistics attached to sourcing animal products contribute to up to 73 % of our carbon footprint. Indeed the stress on land and population increase is in part due to the pressures of raising more animals and farming for their food.
3) Its ok to be safe, but PPE is a problem
If there weren’t enough human-induced factors and practices already having serious negative impacts on nature, Covid-19 introduced a new toxin to the environment. Waste management, recycling and landfill operators are now overwhelmed with heaps of used PPE waste mostly single-use masks. PPE kits have non-natural fabric which is again not bio-degradable. The presence of biological remains must also be dealt with by waste workers. The oceans too are witnessing an influx of PPE waste with images of used masks washing up on shores a common sight now.
A simple step to mitigate this is to use cloth or other such traditional fibers wherever possible. One can make judicious decisions over their choice of personal PPE and eliminate the extra accessory where not deemed necessary.
4) Fast Fashion
From what we eat to what we wear. Today's global fashion industry including a budget, luxury, cosmetics and marketing has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to environmental compliance. The bulk of clothes today is manufactured with environmentally harmful synthetic fibres. Factory conditions have consistent issues regarding labour safety and child employment across developing countries in Asia and South America. However, with the increasing power of social media marketing, the continuous demand for clothes at different budget levels is increasing. Similar problems exist within allied industries such as footwear, cosmetics and sanitary products.
People today are starting to dial back fashion trends to the yesteryears in more ways than one. Buying limited clothes, opting for tailoring subscriptions, visiting local designers/textile workshops or generally opting for local custom-made wear will make our fashion more environmentally responsible.
5) The price is right
Ultimately a big aspect of Climate, Pollution and Environmental Decay is linked to consumerism and the desire for products beyond our immediate needs. While growth and consumerism cannot be inherently negative it ultimately needs to be balanced with Preservation and Care. Our decisions as a consumer must be taken with the environment into account. Yes it would be nice to own a product or invest in a venture, but do we think of the short and long term consequences environmentally. Like the example of ‘Fast Fashion’ it may feel good to own the a newly released T-Shirt but are we considering what the trail of this decision is in terms of fuelling demand for in-ethical workplaces, freight resources, packaging, delivery cost and so on. If we are to be serious about making a difference to the environment, it must begin in our own homes and workplaces, with each and every aspect of our life as a whole. Buy local, buy ethical, be sustainable.