With the arrival of the COVID pandemic came a massive and sudden reduction in the number of daily flights around the world. This decrease led to a 60% drop in the level of CO2 emissions caused by aviation, which can only mean good things for the environment and climate change. Travelling by land rather than flying has always been one way to reduce your carbon footprint. Likewise, opting for ethical clothing and following a plant-based or vegan diet also lower your impact on the environment. The pandemic forced us to stop and think and shone a light on humanity’s materialistic approach to modern living. With this in mind, anyone who is inspired to adopt more sustainable ways of living may be interested in the following tips and ideas.
The fashion industry is one of the biggest global polluters, churning out thousands of litres of toxic dyes each day and creating massive amounts of waste. Fast fashion not only creates a huge amount of environmental waste but is renowned for being an exploitative field when it comes to the workforce. There are lots of ways to adopt a more sustainable approach to fashion and many ways to build a low-impact wardrobe. For starters, researching and choosing where to shop is a great way to ensure you support brands that produce clothing in an ethical and sustainable way. For anyone adopting a vegan lifestyle here are lots of products in eco-friendly vegan leathers available, for instance. Other ways to follow sustainable fashion trends include the following:
- Browse second-hand shops when shopping for clothes, shoes and accessories
- Choose natural fabrics such as cotton, linen and silk
- Invest in good quality items that will last well
- Avoid following fashion trends and choose not to purchase fast fashion garments that are designed to be worn a handful of times
- Donate or recycle old clothing that you no longer wear
- Mend or repair any garments that need it, rather than get rid of them
When repairing garments that perhaps have a tear or a loose seam, sewing is one of the easiest ways to fix them. Likewise, using suitable glue on materials such as leather is a quick and easy way to repair any damage. The right kind of super glue works extremely well on porous surfaces like leather, and is an effective, long-term solution for repairing damaged items.
Following a plant-based diet is another way to adopt a more sustainable way of living. Plant-based doesn’t have to mean completely vegan. It can be a diet that is centered mostly around plants and whole foods such as wholegrain, nuts, seeds and legumes. Opt for organic fruit and vegetables where possible, as they tend to be higher in nutrients and ethically grown. Choosing fresh foods that are in season and produced locally is also a great way to support sustainable methods of food production. The organic food market has seen a surge in popularity over the past few years. In the UK alone consumption of organic food and other products increased by over 12% in 2020 when compared with the previous year. Changes such as these are encouraging and represent a positive shift towards to more sustainable mode of living on a societal level.
The COVID pandemic forced the global population to travel less and also encouraged many people to reconsider their lifestyle and consumerism. As we emerge from the crisis, there is a strong opportunity to scale back the hyper-materialistic approach of pre-COVID times, and a chance to move forward with a more environmentally conscious, sustainable way of living.
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