The enormity of the difficulties facing our world may appear overwhelming, yet we can all make a difference. Read on to discover five easy ways you can help minimise your carbon footprint and contribute to the fight against climate change.
Avoid Fast Fashion
Unfortunately, we’re predisposed to enjoy receiving new things. Retailers take advantage of this weakness by luring us in with exciting designs and promotions. Primark, Shein, Boohoo, H&M, and Zara, for example, have developed massive, highly lucrative businesses by producing affordable, fashion-led clothing that is simple to own, wear, then throw away when the trends have faded.
The pressure on manufacturers to make fashion to a consistent standard at a low cost puts them under tremendous financial strain, which is passed on to workers throughout the process. The outcome is often bad working conditions, including long hours and little pay. These practices are harmful to humans, but they also have a significantly negative impact on the environment.
It is not only the throw-away culture that affects our environment. Cotton production reached 23 million tonnes in 2019, which is equal to 5.8 million average-sized African elephants. This staggering figure is only set to rise in the following years. 1 kilogramme of cotton requires around 11,000 gallons of water to produce. That means that in 2019, cotton-growing consumed over 2.5 trillion litres of water, the equivalent of a million Olympic swimming pools, to supply global demand!
Synthetic clothing is one of the most significant contributors to microplastics, delivering up to 32,000 tonnes of microplastics into the waterways every year in the UK alone. When buying clothes, we always suggest you shop sustainably using natural or recycled materials and with companies who are clear on their production practices.
Assessing and changing your buying habits is a great step to saving the planet. Y.O.U Underwear products are classically stylish underwear made from super-soft organic Fairtrade cotton. The brand is PETA approved and is as good for the world as it is for your wardrobe.
Elbow Pump Apparel is fighting against fast fashion; you can find a range of T-shirts, jumpers, and hoodies whilst ensuring that you are part of the solution, not the problem.
Food production is a crucial factor in the extinction of wildlife. 60% of global biodiversity loss is down to the food we eat, and the meat industry generates around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Animal farming for meat and dairy takes an incredible amount of land and tons of water and feed. The growth of agricultural land for animal feed production, such as soy, is now one of the leading drivers of forest loss. Not only this, meat production emits far more carbon dioxide than vegetables, grains, and legumes.
Because animal agriculture emits more greenhouse gases than all of the world’s transportation systems combined, switching to a vegetarian diet is an excellent approach to tackle climate change and help save the planet. These dishes are growing increasingly popular in restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets, so you should have no trouble finding them.
If that wasn’t enough, cutting down on your meat and dairy products can massively cut your weekly food bills.
Create A Sustainable Bathroom
Personal care products are a significant contributor to secondary microplastics (also known as “microbeads”) found in toothpaste, facial scrubs, and soaps. Pretty much all personal care or beauty products come wrapped in plastic, which is a big problem.
Because they include various disposables, consumables, and impulsive purchases, our bathrooms can be one of the most significant producers of plastic waste in the home. In terms of recyclable materials, just 50% of bathroom rubbish is recycled compared to 90% of kitchen waste, indicating that there is still a lot of space for development and improvement.
Your everyday bathroom items can take up to 500 years to decompose, meaning that they will survive for around 20 generations! This really isn’t worth it for a product that takes a month or two to use up. Did you know that the average woman creates 52,000 items of cosmetic & hygiene waste over their lifetime?
One of the easiest eco swaps you can make is a bamboo toothbrush. Bambooth sells the ONLY bamboo toothbrush approved by this panel of dental experts, arriving in a fully recyclable carrier tube. After you’re done with your toothbrush, simply pull the bristles out, compost the handle, and it will cease to exist in 3 to 4 months.
Swapping to a reusable bathroom alternative to reduce this useless waste is an excellent step to take for you to help save the planet. Read our blog dedicated to eco-friendly beauty products for your next eco-swap.
Use Your Voice & Stay Informed
Part of saving the planet is standing up for you what you believe and using your voice for change. We’re part of the first generation to realise our actions are destroying the planet, and we could be the last generation who can still do something about it. Using your voice is one of the most powerful things we can do, especially if we’re talking to the right people.
Talk to your councillors or your MP and tell them they need to commit to protecting our planet. Get in touch with your favourite brands and ask them how their products are sourced, discuss what steps they’re taking to be a more sustainable company. If you’re not happy with their response? Buy from someone who is taking steps in the right direction instead.
To support your campaign, you need to stay informed. The more you know yourself, the better equipped you’ll be to have conversations with politicians, brands, friends and family, and the people you want to influence. Get clued up on the facts, stay up to date with the news, and work out what you can do.
Whilst you’re at it, remember to be political and vote. This is an opportunity to vote for someone who is representative of you and your views, making our environment a top priority.
Reduce Your Single Use Plastics
Wasting natural resources is unacceptable in all forms of life, even when big corporations don’t seem to get the message. Every product you buy has an environmental footprint and could end up in landfills.
The impact of plastic pollution on our oceans is clear; plastic cutlery is the second most harmful type of plastic waste, after plastic shopping bags, according to the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
This is because these items are sharp, highly likely to be contaminated, and regularly found in our rivers; this is one of the most dangerous plastics for sea turtles, birds, and marine mammals. The cutlery pieces are mistaken for food by marine life, resulting in a painful and unnecessary death. Only around half of the plastic utensils discarded are recycled! This waste of cutlery is hazardous and needless; a reusable travel cutlery set is the ideal solution.
Straws (and drink stirrers) are the third most harmful plastic, and they are known for killing ocean animals. Straws are incredibly light and easily blown away; thus, they end up in waterways and flow directly into the ocean. When they get lodged in the noses or airways of marine animals, they can cause significant harm. In the UK alone, over 4 billion plastic straws are discarded each year!
These are just a few examples of everyday products and their effects on the environment. Consider every single-use plastic you use and think about a better alternative for both you and the planet.
We love I Am Ecoist here at Go Ethical; they sell an eco-friendly alternative to plastic cutlery and straws, which you can easily roll up and chuck into your bag. They also sell a great range of stainless steel water bottles and coffee cups to stop unnecessary waste.
Download The Goethical App For Your Eco Product Fix
Shop from GoEthical during 2021 to help make sustainable lifestyle choices, whether you have a specific product in mind or you’re looking for items to reduce your waste. Buy and sell ethical & eco-friendly, artisan, and pre-loved products at GoEthical.
If you want to browse an array of environmentally friendly and sustainable cleaning products, all you need to do is download the GoEthical App for IOS or Google Play. On it, you can chat and connect with like-minded community members and discover detailed listings for ethical and eco products, from small sellers to well-known global brands.
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