1000 Flowers for the Planet - #330 Buy Eco Fashion
The fashion industry is one of the highest polluting industries on the planet. The good news is that there are a number of brands that are supplying eco fashion for a world on the cusp of changing its way of thinking. With these eco brands you can purchase garments that have one or several considerations for the welfare of the planet and its inhabitants:
Eco fashion should be made from organic and sustainable fabrics (see also Flower #329). Animals that provide the fibres for our fabrics must be well cared for and maintain the full range of animal rights. The closer the fabrics are produced to the source of the fibres, the better. This reduces travel miles, which use lots of fossil fuels and produce carbon emissions, which create the greenhouse effect. Garments should be made as close as possible to the point of fabric production, again reducing travel miles. Production of fibres, fabric and garments should be fair trade, wherein all workers are given full rights to healthy and safe working conditions, bargaining power, reasonable working hours and fair wages. Using natural dyes is another consideration.
Your eco fashion store will also consider labels and packaging, keep plastic use to a minimum or zero altogether, and offer quality garments that will last a long time, not just a season. Some may even choose to use recycled fabrics, which is another great way of reducing waste and landfill. The full life cycle of the clothing should be considered, so when you’re done with your eco garments, recycle them.
It’s not quite as simple as just buying organic cotton. There’s a lot to think about on this one, but one step at a time we can improve the way things are done. Check out some Aussie options at http://www.purepod.com.au or http://www.gormanshop.com.au or search the Internet for what’s available in your corner of the planet.
1000 Flowers for the Planet - #327 Create a Menu Plan
The menu plan is an excellent tool to assist you in the running of your household, with many benefits for you and the planet. By making the effort to sit down and work out what is happening in the coming week/fortnight you’ll find that you give yourself a better understanding of where you need to be and at what times. This clarity will prove invaluable to preparing meals daily or in advance, ensuring you provide nutritional foods for yourself and your family. It is also an excellent tool to help you shop once a week or once a fortnight. Combining a menu plan with less frequent shopping expeditions results in a better use of your time, giving back a valuable commodity most people seem to lack these days. Less travel means a reduction in fuel usage, reducing fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions, and saving money. By purchasing the correct foods in the correct quantities, as per your menu plan, less food is wasted, and as 30% of food is currently thrown away in developed countries, this will make a massive difference to the planet in reducing resources, such as water and fertilisers, used in the production of food. Throwing away less food means financial savings as well. So some valuable investment of your time will create many benefits for you and the planet.
1000 Flowers for the Planet - #326 Shop Once a Week
It’s easy to shop once a week, or dare I say once a fortnight, when you have a few things at your disposal: a schedule, a shopping list, enough green carry bags, enough Tupperware or suitable storage containers and an organised pantry. Why should you shop once a week (go on – make it every fortnight)? It will actually save you a lot of time, it will save petrol getting to and from the store/s and therefore it will save money.
How do you do it? First thing is to schedule the task into your diary. If you make it the same time every week/fortnight you will know not to schedule anything else at that time. Next, ensure you have enough carry bags to transfer all your items without having to use plastic bags. Once you have the reusable bags, you have them, and keeping them in the boot/trunk of your car will ensure they are there when you need them. Over time, build up a good Tupperware collection (no, I am not being sponsored by Tupperware to write this – I just think it’s a superior product) to contain all your staple items such as flours, tea, coffee, sugar, pasta, rice, salt, etc etc. Tupperware will keep your foodstuffs fresh for longer than if you leave them in the packets in the cupboard where the mice can get to them. It also promotes an organised pantry which will save you time and money in the long term.
By shopping once a week/fortnight you avoid making multiple or daily trips to the supermarket, spend less money, use less petrol and waste less time. This saves your resources and those of the planet, like finite fossil fuels. It also frees up a lot of your time so you can do more fun things.
1000 Flowers for the Planet - #324 Breathe Fresh Air
For those who live in metropolitan environments, high rise living, or polluted cities/countries this may be difficult to achieve, but it’s important enough to highlight, because breathing fresh air will make a difference, in many ways. If you cannot breathe fresh air where you live and work, make a huge effort to get yourself and your family out into the countryside and a fresh environment as often as possible. Try for once a week – go on a picnic every weekend, sit, relax, enjoy each other’s company, slow down and breathe. For those lucky enough to live in a healthy environment, ensure you take time every day to stop, sit and breathe that delicious fresh air, for at least ten minutes. It could be while you take a coffee break or a short walk, or even when you fetch the mail from the letterbox – be aware of breathing the fresh air. Many people suffer depression and anxiety, and this simple act of consciously breathing deeply the freshest air you can access will increase endorphins and raise the spirits. Improving mental health in this way will reduce pressure on health systems and save precious resources. For everyone’s health in general it will do the same – be happy, feel invigorated, improve health, strengthen family relationships, relax. All of this will lead to a happier community wherein people work for the benefit of everyone, require less medical intervention, use less resources and thereby help the planet. And fresh air is free.