For those of us who work in the environmental space, April is a significant month in the calendar year. It’s not only Earth month but Fashion Revolution week is coming up, more about FashRev next week but these are two really significant events which shine a light on how we can help build a better future for all lives on planet earth by doing clothing recycling. The first Earth Day was in 1970, can you believe that we have been fighting for a healthier planet for 53 years? We have come a long way since the days of vast amounts of leaded gas was being consumed through massive and inefficient cars. As is the case with big movements like this, there is always a catastrophic event that sparks action from a small group of passionate individuals. In 1969 there was a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California that led Senator Nelson to take action. While Earth Day started as a teach-in led on college campuses it quickly inspired 20 million Americans to take to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate against the impacts of 150 years of industrial development which had left a growing legacy of serious health impacts.
Now, in 2023 we are in a serious climate crisis and the planet is pretty much screaming at us to hard launch ourselves into the green revolution. What does this look like? Well, we need to build a healthy economy, this means more businesses focussed on strong ESG Standards (Environment Social Governance), think refillable everyday products, natural materials and ingredients, ethical production and food waste programs as opposed to single use consumables, plastic based materials, chemical filled products and exploitation. We are seeing more and more of these companies popping up each day but as consumers what can we do? It’s as simple as voting with your wallet and choosing to support those products and brands which are better for people and planet.
This is the sticky part. Since the beginning of time, we have been influenced by others (not just the government, but ‘others’ in general) in the way we dress, the food we consume and the products we buy. The reality is that majority of the population isn’t really thinking about the planet because we are so used to big corporates feeding us content that benefits them and puts us at risk. Until strict regulations come into play and the government starts acting like we are in a climate crisis it really is up to us to save our planet.
At BLAEK Store we understand that it seems hard and it’s overwhelming, like why would you bother using a reusable coffee cup each day at work when you know Karen from accounts brings hers without fail. Isn’t her commitment to the planet enough to save us all? Hot Tip, no it’s not and as they say, ‘it’s only one coffee cup, said one BILLION people’ Fun Fact, in 2021 it was reported that the UK used 7 million disposable coffee cups a day, that’s 2.5 billion cups a year, in one country. OK, so sometimes we forget our reusable cup, that’s fine, no one is perfect but it’s 2023 and there really is no excuse. If you’d like to be hardcore with Tom and I, abide by the ‘no cup, no coffee’ rule or sit down for five minutes, take a break, and have your coffee in the café. It’s really simple and you know what, life can be really chaotic I’m sure your body will appreciate the five-minute break.
- The environmental activist has gone on a rant, we get it, use a reusable cup blah blah blah.
What I want to empower you with this Earth month is this, while we wait for the government, big corporates, and toxic brands to catch up, there is significant power behind the choices we make every single day. We have the power to make real change, each time you vote with your wallet you are voting for the planet. While we think that companies have control over the way we live our lives, it’s actually the other way round. When demand drops businesses must pivot, they must change their offering to satisfy our needs and wants. Picture this, tomorrow the Australian population wakes up and decides ‘today I’m bringing my own cup to my local café’ and everyone continues this trend for the rest of their lives. I can tell you now your local café will be putting a stop to their regular single use cup order, effective immediately, there would be no need for them. We applied a similar concept at BLAEK Store, we stopped offering shopping bags to our customers and not a single customer has ever questioned the switch, in fact you can almost see something tick over in their brain, it’s like a lightbulb turns on and they realise a single-use bag is pointless and the next time they visit us they bring a reusable bag.You can read more about it here over HERE- Read more about “Do you need a Bag with that”.
So, we’ve known for years that single-use cups are bad, I’ve used this as an example because it’s a simple concept to grasp and in my opinion, the easiest first step you can take toward making a difference. What other actions can we take every day to make an impact? Here’s my quick list that you can start acting on today.
- Pick up rubbish while you’re out and about.
- Switch to reusable bags.
- Use a reusable water bottle. (See Project Pargo at BLAEK Store.)
- Buy a few reusable cups, keep one at the office, in your car and in your kitchen. Buy reusable coffee cups at BLAEK Store.
- Prep your meals to reduce food waste.
- Buy local food.
- Skip plastic, buy glass or paper products.
- Practice sustainable fashion. (shop womens or mens)
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Eat less meat.
- Shop small and support local.
- Use refillable everyday products.
Together we can invest in our planet, let’s make everyday Earth Day.