5 Simple Ways to Make Your 2022 Eco-Friendly!
Senior Sourcing Officer (Myntra Fashion Brands)
Myntra Jabong Pvt. Ltd.
Dept. of Fashion Technology,
National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT)
Year 2022 is Here! Covid and lockdown-induced existential crisis aside, we are now only 8 years away from the @unitednations #SGDs target for 2030. It is high time we all took collective action – makers, consumers, marketers, policy makers, activists…. Literally ALL OF US!
Now that you’re over the new year buzz and all set for new goals, here are 5 very basic eco-friendly habits that we all need to inculcate starting 2022 to ensure we’re leaving a little less impact on this planet. These tips are from personal experience and trust me, they don’t demand a whole lot of time and effort neither do they burn holes in your pocket.
Rethink Single-Use Plastic
Replace single-use items with reusable & carry your own wherever possible!
We have successfully demonized Plastic. It is actually one of the greatest inventions, it’s just that we got terribly carried away under the pretext of CONVENIENCE!
How were we not alarmed by the words ‘Single-Use’ or ‘Disposable’ a decade ago? We are producing over 300 million tons of plastic every year, 50% of which is for single-use purposes – utilized for just a few moments, but on the planet for at least several hundred years. More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year.
Some countries have now banned single-use plastic and it would be great to have a global law against manufacturing it. However, until we reach that sweet spot, we as consumers have equal responsibility. It’s important to refuse single-use ANYTHING for that matter! Brands and organizations listen to us and make amends.
Get some inspiration from these Zero Waste Influencers to change your lifestyle one step at a time @ullisubymridula @trashisfortossers @greener_by_the_day
Rethink Mindless Consumption
Evaluate Need Vs Want & optimize what you already own, explore the Minimalist approach!
“This is a story about us being persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to create impressions that won’t last, on people we don’t care about.”
– Tim Jackson’s TED talk: Economic reality check
As a society, we’re spending at record levels yet we’re one of the unhappiest lots in history. Moreover, hyper-consumption has been identified as one of the dominant drivers of environmental degradation and climate change.
The easiest way to Mindful or Conscious Consumption is by looking at the product that you think you want to own and asking yourself if you NEED it or WANT it. Wants are generally impulse driven while Needs are mostly rationale driven.
Once bought, ensure you take good care of it so it lasts.
Check out @mariekondo Author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” & Star of @netflix’s “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” on minimalism.
Also Checkout #Project333 for building a capsule wardrobe of 33 items that can be worn for 3 months! How cool is that!
Lastly, no matter how much or how less you buy, be mindful of where it’s coming from, who made it and what has been its environmental impact until it reached you and thereafter!
Open Your Eyes to Greenwashing
Read between the lines, research and ask questions, don’t believe anything on face value!
Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound.
Look out for the 6 Sins of Greenwashing:
- Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off: e.g. “Energy-efficient” electronics that contain hazardous materials. 998 products or 57% of all environmental claims committed this Sin.
- Sin of No Proof: e.g. Shampoos claiming to be “certified organic,” but with no verifiable certification. 454 products and 26% of environmental claims committed this Sin.
- Sin of Vagueness: e.g. Products claiming to be 100% natural when many naturally-occurring substances are hazardous, like arsenic and formaldehyde. Seen in 196 products or 11% of environmental claims.
- Sin of Irrelevance: e.g. Products claiming to be CFC-free, even though CFCs were banned 20 years ago. This Sin was seen in 78 products and 4% of environmental claims.
- Sin of Fibbing: e.g. Products falsely claiming to be certified by an internationally recognized environmental standard like EcoLogo, Energy Star or Green Seal. Found in 10 products or less than 1% of environmental claims.
- Sin of Lesser of Two Evils: e.g. Organic cigarettes or “environmentally friendly” pesticides, This occurred in 17 products or 1% of environmental claims.
Source: Treehugger, A study released by Terrachoice Environmental Marketing randomly surveyed 1,018 common consumer products ranging from toothpaste to caulking to shampoo to printers.
Offset Your Carbon Footprint
Average per capita CO2 emissions of an urban Indian is 3.5 tonnes p.a.! You will have to plant approximately 300 plants/year to offset it, no kidding.
Carbon or CO2 Footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organization, or community.
How is a carbon footprint calculated?
When calculating a carbon footprint, a lot of factors are taken into consideration. For example, driving to the grocery store burns a certain amount of fuel, and fossil fuels are the primary sources of greenhouses gases. But that grocery store is powered by electricity, and its employees probably drove to work, so the store has its own carbon footprint. In addition, the products that the store sells were all shipped there, so that must also be factored into the total carbon footprint. Beyond that, fruits, vegetables, and meats that the store sells were all grown or raised on farms, a process that produces methane, which has a greenhouse effect 25 times greater than CO2. All of those elements must be combined to understand the full carbon footprint of a given activity.
How can I calculate my carbon footprint?
Although adding up one’s individual carbon footprint can be difficult, online calculators can do some of the work for you. Check out the calculators on @wwf @carbonfootprintltd or @conservationorg
A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for emissions made elsewhere. On an individual level, we can plant trees to offset our CO2 footprint. While it would be ideal to move to a lifestyle that reduces our emissions in the first place, planting trees could be a good starting points towards it.
Planting trees is way easier than you imagined. Yes, you can always physically go for plantation drives and campaign against cutting down of trees. But you can also plant trees as easily as making an online purchase. Check out some of these platform @growtrees_global @sankalptaru_foundation
Segregate & Manage Waste
Upto 80% of household waste can be recycled or composted all we need to do is manage it well.
“Throw it Away”, they say but what is ‘Away’? We all know by now that everything that we ever discarded out of our homes is rotting in landfills only a few kms away from us. THAT is AWAY.
Landfills are one of the biggest sources of global warming. About two-thirds of landfill waste contains biodegradable organic matter from households, business and industry. As this material decomposes, it releases methane gas. As a potent greenhouse gas, methane traps upto 20 times more heat in the atmosphere compared with carbon dioxide. (Source: US EPA)
According to Monisha Narke, Founder & CEO of @rurgreenlife upto 80-90% of household waste can be recycled or composted provided it is segregated at source. All it takes is a little understanding of the types of waste and how to go about it.
At first waste segregation and composting might sound overwhelming. However, with consistency, it won’t even take over 10 mins a day. And these 10 mins are sure to go a long long way!
Millennials are refraining from having kids because of the fear that there aren’t enough resources to suffice so many of us. While this is a real situation, and we are amidst a climate emergency, please know that every small action of yours counts.
All in all, it’s high time we adopt eco-friendly habits and have a good start into this new year. Here’s to a year of loving yourself, those around you and the planet. May this year awaken the Eco-Warrior in you!!!
You may also like:
- Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): The Cradle to Grave of Your Clothes
- Carbon Footprint in Textile Industry and Ways to Reduce
- Carbon Credit: Definition, Types and How Does It Works
- Sustainable Fashion Industry: Startups, Big Brands and Fashion Designers
- The Role of the Textile Industry in Global Warming and Ways to Prevent It
- Global Climate Change and Its Impact on Agriculture
Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.