Tropical Leaves

Sustainability 

Welcome! The fact that you made it to this page fills me with joy. My goal this week is to share knowledge that I’ve gathered through research, business owners, educators, and meaningful conversations as a way to inform you (and myself!) on ways to live a more sustainable life. There are countless ways to help out our planet, neighbors, and environment. I will only hardly scratch the surface of this very important topic. However, I want to know you’re interested! I hope this helps + if it does, I will continue sharing tidbits that I learn continuously. For now, ENJOY + please share with me any information that I shared that is helpful to you. If you have things to share with me, let’s chat, I’d love to keep the conversation going.

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Intro

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is the principle that everything we need to exist well is dependent on our environment either (and sometimes both) directly and/or indirectly. Three pillars - Environmental, Economical, Societal/Social

 

Why should it matter to me?

The concept of sustainability is important to protect our natural environment, improve human and ecological health, and encourage innovation for the betterment of our communities.

 

How can I act?

There are SO MANY WAYS! This week I focus on sharing a few bigger concepts, and then zoning in on everyday-ways that we can choose better alternatives. Pursuing sustainability means you are taking action to restore and create harmony within our planet! That’s major.

Why is this not talked about more?

My only answer to this is simply an opinion and that is in our country it has become such a hot topic for politics. As with anything extremism is most heard. Americans love excess. In Europe and other countries, it's a common, positive table topic. Why wouldn't we want the best for all of us? 

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01

Skincare

Why should we care about sustainable skincare?

Many of us use skincare every single day - whether it's cleansers, some make-up, moisturizers, sunscreen, shaving cream, lotion, etc. We should care because buy it regularly, use it regularly on our bodies, and use a lot of it!

What are the three main focuses of sustainable skincare?

1 - Clean/Green Ingredients

2 - Sustainable Packaging

3 - Formulas Made for Multi-use

02

Fashion

Why should we care about sustainable fashion?

Sustainable/ethical fashion are important because the current fashion industry is causing environmental damage and violating human rights. When we buy an item from the store, some people consider the following: style/look, fit, affordability, and quality. Here's the thing - there is SO much unseen! Here are some thoughts to consider before you next shop for clothes.

How does the fashion industry harm the environment?

It takes a lot to produce one piece of clothing. Let's break down the supply chain. Raw materials (usually farmed), then fibers, then yarn/fabric (major Carbon hotspot!), then dyeing, then design, then production (threads, buttons, padding, etc), then tagging, then shipping to sellers, then shipping to buyers. The fashion industry accounts for 8% of ALL greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere!

How does the fashion industry violate human rights?

The apparel industry, in many cities, is like modern day slavery. For companies to buy in bulk and sell to you cheaper, the people in the earlier stages of the supply chain are being forced to work for cheaper in harsh conditions. This also means they are overworked, with around 1.4 million injuries in fashion supply chain workplaces per year. This is expected to rise by 7% by 2030. We need companies to start reporting accurately and improving conditions for this mostly-women employed industry, but we also need to stop supporting the chain brands that buy from these types of mills.

What is "fast fashion"?

"Fast fashion" is the term given to the manufacturing and marketing of producing high volumes of low-quality, often low-cost garments. 

North America is the largest textile consumer in the world. Yes, our population grows rapidly, but that's simply not it. The issue is majorly caused by the fact that we're obsessed with excess and novelty. 85% of textiles are sent to landfills. It can take 200 years for polyester clothing items to decompose. 

How can I help this issue?

The simple answer: Shop sustainably! Don't fall for the marketing scheme that you need to "treatyoself" by buying MORE. I'm working on this too. Instead of being the constant consumer, love what you have, donate it when you're over it, and shop vintage and brands that are making informed/progressive decisions! 

The Good on You Directory is super helpful to me. They have made a full directory, that is transparent for you and I to see, You can look up different brands/companies to see their rating. 1 is bad and do not shop and 5 is great. TNot only does it rate them, but it tells you WHY they are rated this way (based on information they report). Pretty much every brand is searchable. You can also use the sidebar to look up the type of item you are looking to purchase to get solid suggestions of companies doing it right. 

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Household Products

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Food

Why should we care about sustainable household products?

Many household items are single-use, meaning we use them once and toss them into the trash to become waste. The US, though home to only 4% of the population, contributes 30% of the planet's waste. Paper, plastic, metal, and glass account for over half  of our trash. Think about the things we use at home - plastic bags (Ziplocs), paper towels, plastic containers, and so on. We have far more waste than anyone else, so it's something we need to work on.

Why is a lot of trash a bad thing?

Nearly half of US greenhouse gas emissions comes from extracting resources, producing goods, and disposing materials. Trash causes air pollution, ocean pollution, water contamination, and habitat destruction. 

How can I help this issue?

You can help by purchasing and prioritizing use of reusable items. We are able to save in both cost and harmful effects to the planet by making choices like this. Buy in bulk, be thoughtful when purchasing, and research local makers.

Household Replacements

Replace this:

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With this:

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Why should we care about sustainable food?

Sustainable food is the way of the future. The main topics of sustainability in relation to food, like other things, are production, consumption, and disposal. You have probably heard of "processed food" when it comes to poor health. Processes of food have negative affects on other things too. Many processed foods are imported and shipped all around the world. Processed foods are also packaged in ways that are harmful to our environment. I once read that sustainable food generates abundance so future generations can enjoy it as well! I love that! Diversity of plants and animals, and promoting health to our people are also very important!

How can I eat more sustainably?

Shop from local farmers, nearby growers, and the outer edges of the grocery store. Eat more plants. Eat a variety of different things, especially those that can be grown/made near you. Bring containers to buy nuts, oats, flours, and more in bulk, or order from a bulk supply store! Forget the plastic bags for produce, just clean them before you eat them. Minimize waste. Donate food you have to those in need. Choose brands with smart packaging.  The best option (one I'm intimidated by, but also want to do!) grow your own food!!