Welcome to 2019! If you’re looking for ways to be kinder to our Earth in the year ahead, we’ve got a few ideas.
2. Bring reusables
It isn’t always easy to remember to bring reusable a cup every time we go to the coffee shop, but it makes a difference every time to you do. Keep reusable shopping bags in your purse or backpack. All those times we make a choice to skip a single-use plastic bag, straw, or plastic water bottle eventually adds up to a big reduction in the amount of waste we produce unnecessarily.
3. Reduce energy use
The energy we use to heat, cool and power our homes is one of the biggest contributors to our individual carbon footprints. When possible, look for options to choose green energy sources. Lots of utility companies offer choices to support green energy credits from sources like wind or solar. We can also cut down on power use by switching to LED bulbs.
4. Choose green transportation
Transportation is another huge contributor to our individual greenhouse gas emissions. Depending where we live and our day-to-day needs, it might be tough to avoid driving every day. But there might still be ways to cut down by carpooling or occasionally taking public transit. Those who live close enough to work switch to biking or walking, even just some of the time. And for those who can’t avoid driving daily, considering a more fuel-efficient or electric vehicle can also make an impact. Every bit helps!
5. Go local
Choosing locally produced foods and other products when possible can also help reduce our carbon footprints. Supporting local farmers and makers also benefits the local economy - and often tastes better too since it hasn’t been processed and shipped from far-away factories.
These are just a few ideas for a greener 2019, but of course there are many other ways to make a difference. What eco-friendly steps are you planning to take this year?
The fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters. Producing fabrics and other raw materials often uses toxic chemicals, huge amounts of water, and fossil fuels. Packaging and transporting raw materials and finished items around the world uses even more materials and energy.
How fast can be harmful
The rise of fast fashion has resulted in even more pressures on the planet with vast amounts of low quality, inexpensive clothing. Fashion trends are cycled through more quickly than ever to increase demand for the latest designs. The result is basically “disposable” clothing meant to be worn only a few times. Unsold clothing is often destroyed by retailers, rather than being donated or repurposed. In any case, the sheer volume of clothing being produced is so large that thrift and charity stores can’t resell the majority of what they receive in donations.
Of course the true costs of fast fashion aren’t just environmental - there’s a human cost, too. Workers in fast fashion factories are often poorly paid and can even face significant health and safety risks.
Increasing recognition of the environmental and social costs of fast fashion have led to the development of the slow fashion movement. Supporters advocate for a more thoughtful approach to clothing production and consumption, with a focus on quality over quantity. Clothing producers are continuously looking for ways to improve sustainability of the materials they use and the overall production process. There’s also an emphasis on durability and making clothes meant to last for years instead of just a couple wears. Meanwhile, consumers aim to make more thoughtful purchases, and invest in fewer, higher-quality pieces.
What can you do?
Like many, we’re relatively new to the slow fashion movement. Here’s a few tips we’ve found helpful as we work toward becoming more conscious clothing consumers, as shared with Juicy Green Mom: