Why is eco-friendly really just another trendy and not at all eco-friendly marketing move? In recent years, along with such fashionable words as “life hack” or “workshop”, an equally popular term has appeared – “eco friendly”. However, with an eco-lifestyle it is worth being careful. It is necessary to distinguish real eco-rules of life, which lead to useful consequences – for you and nature, from false marketing moves and empty trends. Let’s look at specific examples.
Eco-lifestyle: lifestyle versus trend
How does marketing work? For example, you decide to buy clothes. But you are also worried that your consumption does not cause unnecessary harm to nature. So, you choose a brand that positions itself as an eco-friendly. But in fact, you should understand: regardless of whether this company uses artificial fur or not, it does not reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, nor does it reduce the amount of clothing produced. Finally, there is such a rule as liquidation – when, after a certain period of time, the mass of products is simply destroyed because customers have not bought it. Although it would be possible to sell these clothes at sales or transfer them to second-hand clothes. Well, it’s worth doubting whether these brands are really eco-friendly … Critical thinking will obviously not hurt us here.
Of course, each of us loves high-quality, pleasant, light and not hot cotton clothes. One of the most famous brands producing cotton items is Stella McCartney. All this, of course, sounds wonderful. Given that the brand is positioning itself as an eco-friendly. However, have you ever wondered what harm cotton fields cause to nature? By the way, you can read about it on the Internet or watch the movie “House” by Jan Arthus-Bertrand.
The second fashion trend is electric cars. Advertising screams: buying electric cars, you reduce the consumption of environmentally harmful gasoline. But take an interest somehow, from what and how batteries for electric cars are made. The second problematic issue is the disposal of these batteries. Meanwhile, by the end of 2020, the disposal of batteries for electric cars will already be necessary. As an option to solve this problem, use nickel and cobalt in batteries, 90% of which can be recycled. However, so far not so many manufacturers are using this technology (among them – Audi).
How to become eco-friendly without fanaticism and loss of comfort?
Eco-friendly, meanwhile, may very well become a real way of life, and not just fashion. If you are really concerned about the environment, then you should optimize your consumption. Here you will find some tips that will tell you where to start:
No. 1. Evaluate what you really need (from cosmetics, clothes, etc.), and what is superfluous, which can be dispensed with. Remember that we buy many things only because marketing imposes on us a certain image, which we do not follow at will. Therefore, leave only that which makes you an individual, that belongs precisely to your small world.
No. 2. Refuse, finally, from disposable cups. There is a good option for their replacement – thermo-mugs or special glasses. By the way, this will save your budget in the future! The same goes for the water bottles that you take with you in training in hot weather.
No. 3. Do not buy new plastic bottles with liquid soap and household chemicals. There is an alternative for this – “spare parts”, which are sold in packages. Just save one container for liquid soap, for example, and pour in a “spare”.
No. 4. Do not buy hundreds of wardrobe items, low-quality shoes that will not last even a season. Remember: avaricious pays twice. Better to invest in quality clothing and shoes once, so that these things are used longer than once.
No. 5. Instead of large supermarkets, where goods are often sold already packed in plastic bags, choose small shops where you can buy fruits and vegetables without packaging.
No. 6. Do not take business cards, brochures once again. In order not to lose the information you need, digitize it, photograph posters, write down numbers on your phone, etc.
No. 7. Finally, if you want to get rid of garbage, do not breed it, do not bring unnecessary, unnecessary things to the house.
Zero Waste Concept
Literally Zero Waste translates to “zero waste” or “zero loss”. The main idea of Zero Waste is to minimize the amount of garbage that we produce. How to do it? What Zero Waste offers does not seem so complicated: the main thing is to replace disposable things with reusable products in consumption. Thus, most of the garbage (and ideally all garbage) will not go to landfills and incinerators.
Zero Waste is not fun. Rather, it can be called the moral, economic, effective and global goal of humanity. Within this concept, five steps are identified, which are called the “5R Rule” and are a practical application of Zero Waste. So let’s look at these five steps:
- Refuse or “Refusal”: refuse unnecessary things;
- Reduce or “Reduce consumption”: save resources;
- Reuse + Repair or “Reuse + Repair”: do not throw away a thing if it can be repaired;
- Recycle or “Recycling”: hand over things for recycling;
- Rot or “Composting”: if the waste is of organic type, then make compost from it to fertilize plants.
Living in the style of Zero Waste is the rational minimalism that we need so much at the globalization stage. In addition, do not forget that recycling and composting involves the preliminary sorting of waste. And here we lack education, because sorting includes rules and a certain ethics. In any case, why not start a new – useful – page in your life and arrange a quality educational program for yourself? 😉
Eco friendly is not only a trend, but also the reality of life. In order to follow the rules of eco-lifestyle, you will need a lot of patience and determination. But, as they say, it is better to show once than to tell a hundred times.
I realize that these daily activities are not enough and that I am very far from zero waste. Until we compost food waste, because we do not know where to put the fertilizer received. Also, the transition to veganism for me is still too radical a step. And it’s not always possible to avoid the bags or to save the “rustle” from the trash. Earlier, for every violation of my “eco-rituals” I felt a strong sense of guilt. Now I am getting rid of it little by little. My little actions, of course, will not save the world. And several thousand people who come to the store with a bag, and in the cafe with a cup, also do not mitigate the environmental damage from industrial waste. I don’t want the trash reduction to become a feat or a meaning of life.
In each country, comfortable conditions for the processing of garbage should be created. Although it is worth recognizing that consumerism, the desire to have more than we need, is deeply rooted in us. Resource recycling alone is the way out of the global garbage crisis. Raw materials, depending on the type, can be processed only a limited number of times. I still want to learn how to consume less overall. ”
“The world is large enough to satisfy the needs of any person, but too small to satisfy human greed”
Being real eco-friendly is a person’s informed choice. Of course, we should not immerse ourselves in a state of total discomfort, save water, using peat in latrines, etc. However, it is necessary to distinguish marketing cynicism from real help to the environment. Even if we do not help nature too much, we can at least harm it as little as possible. Maybe you were inspired to change your life and be a little more eco-friendly?
Featured image on unsplash.com
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