It is no secret that climate change is a big issue. And it doesn’t go away just because we are dealing with a pandemic. We should all try to be more environmentally friendly, and here are some simple ways to do it.
Recycling helps save energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions because it lowers the need for extracting (this includes mining, quarrying and logging) as well as the refining and processing those raw materials, which all cause a lot of air pollution.
Recycling is one of the easiest ways you can help the environment because it does not require a lot of effort from you. You do not need to try and reduces the amount of things you buy or consume, just separate your trash before you throw it in the bin, and take it to a recycling centre when you want to throw it out.
This does tend to be more of a challenge in Romania, although things are definitely starting to improve. It used to be very hard to recycle a couple of years ago, as there were not many recycling centres, but now almost every supermarket chain has a recycling campaign going on, and you can even recycle your clothes by taking them to select clothing stores, like H&M or Zara.
Even better than recycling, reusing means even less pollution. Although recycling gets rid of emissions caused by the production of all the things we consume, it still uses energy in the process of dismantling and re-manufacturing products. Not only that, but reusing things in your home means there is less of a need for companies to produce more of those items.
There are many ways to reuse things in your home. I feel like Romanians are quite good at this. After all, it is impossible to go into a Romanian household that does not have a bag with more bags which are used for grocery shopping, to bin bags, and some are even reused for gifts. Jars are another staple of our households, reused for pickling, food containers, vases and sometimes even as drinking glasses. Another thing Romanians reuse a lot is old clothes and fabrics, which are cut up into scraps and used as for cleaning or to replace kitchen paper towels.
3. Buy second hand to be more environmentally friendly!
Did you know that it takes 2 800 litres of water to make a cotton t-shirt? And for a pair of jeans, that amount goes up, because it takes up to 10 000 litres of water.
Thrifting is a very simple solution, and I am glad to see that it has become more popular. Buying second hand saves you a lot of money. You can find lots of clothes, shoes and other accessories in pristine condition. Some even with their original labels! Thrifted items can be found in many places. You can choose a flea market, a second hand store, or the increasingly popular Instagram stores. There is no need to compromise on style when trying to save the plant.
There is something else that you should take into consideration when trying to be more fashionably sustainable and environmentally conscious. Lowering the demand of fast fashion is very important and necessary, and doing this is even easier than thrifting. What’s important is buying only what you need.
It is estimated that in some places, around 40% of all clothes that are brought are never used, which is quite a big percentage. It is important to put quality above quantity. The more you wear your clothes, the less pollution you create. And while better-quality clothes are more expensive and this may make you feel less inclined to buy them, in the long run you are saving money because you won’t need to buy a new replacement for it as often.
Helping the planet is not hard at all.
It may seem like the environmentally friendly ideas presented here are small and cannot make that much of a difference. But small changes are better than no changes. Lots of people doing small things to help can have a huge impact overall. So start today, however small!