The climate is changing. The planet is struggling. This is no secret. We desperately need to change our ways if we want to preserve our planet for future generations. We need more sustainability.
Ideally, big countries and corporations pull their weight more than they currently do. It might feel hopeless on an individual level. There’s no denying that. But that doesn’t mean the rest of us, your average Joe’s, shouldn’t contribute. Every little help.
Our project at Reloopingfashion is to recycle old cotton into new fibre and thus help reduce the carbon footprint in the clothing industry. But why stop there? There are several more ways to contribute.
In the following, we present 10 simple tips and tricks we all could implement to help reduce our carbon footprint. Some of them are directly related to fashion, while others are of a general nature. They are all easily achievable for most people.
These are not revolutionary tips, and more likely than not, you’ve heard them all before. But it doesn’t hurt to repeat them once in a while.
Recycle your clothes
The step closest to our hearts has to do with the recycling of clothes. Make something new out of something old! Not just a fun exercise in creativity, recycling your clothes is good for the environment. Instead of throwing out your ripped jeans, why not patch them up with fabric from an old t-shirt?
Learning how to stitch and sew can turn old rags into fabulous new outfits. A fun activity that’s good for the environment and lets you stand out from the crowd? Sounds like a winning hobby to us.
A simple trick we could all implement is to preserve water. As lovely as that 30-minute steaming hot shower in the morning is, it would benefit the planet if we all managed to cut it down.
Maybe you can share the shower with a loved one? That’s a quick and fun way to halve the shower consumption. Living alone? There are plenty of health benefits associated with taking cold showers. It might be worth considering swapping one shower per week from warm to cold.
Turning off the water tap while you brush your teeth is an easy way to reduce your water consumption level ever so slightly. It might just be a few drops, but with enough drops, you’ll fill a whole bucket eventually.
Buy second-hand clothes
Have you ever set foot in the treasure trove that is a thrift store? Here you often find unique clothing pieces you can dream of finding in a chain store, often for dirt cheap. Considering most fashion styles goes in fashion, you might even pick up a jacket or hoodie old enough to be trendy again.
The obvious benefit of buying second-hand clothing is that it’s good for the environment. It means that each item gets a longer shelf life, while there’s less need to produce new clothing.
On the other end of this, it’s much better to donate your old clothes to a thrift store than it is throwing them out. This way, you might prolong the life of your old wardrobe.
Eat less meat
This is a tough one for the carnivores out there, myself included. But a sad fact is that global meat consumption leaves a massive carbon footprint. It is well-documented that the planet would benefit significantly from less meat consumption.
We’re not saying go full vegetarian. We’re firm believers in moderation. Therefore, we’d suggest introducing a few meat-free days every week. Many modern offices and companies already do meat-free Mondays, so why not add one more day at home to make it two? The Internet is full of tasty recipes for meat-free meals.
Buy higher-quality clothes
Today’s mainstream clothes industry is centred around fast and cheap fashion. The global juggernaut clothing chains launch new collections and seasonal styles at a rapid speed. This leads to a use-and-toss mentality with low prices, where clothing items are replaced way more often than necessary.
First off, this is not great for the environment. Clothes production leaves a big carbon footprint. Secondly, constantly opting for the dirt-cheap fast fashion option might not make financial sense in the long run.
The quality of these garments is usually poor, and it’s not uncommon to replace them regularly. If you can afford it, investing in a higher-quality outfit might end up saving you money in the long run due to its durability. Understandably, this is a matter of finances and budgets. But if you are lucky enough to have the means, investing in higher-quality clothing might make more financial sense in the long run.
We know you’ve heard this one before. Flying is suboptimal for the environment, to say the least. It was evident with the travel bans under the COVID-19 pandemic that nature flourished without the hundreds upon hundreds of daily flights.
We get that everyone’s itching to travel after being unable to for a long time. All we suggest is to look into alternatives. Maybe instead of planning a flight to a popular gambling destination, why not try your hand at an online casino? Here you can experience the same thrills and more technologically advanced games – without leaving your couch!
Depending on where you live, how about a road trip somewhere nice? Travelling by car gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of extra stops and detours. There’s plenty of countries suited for train holidays, too, with cheap and flexible railway passes. You see way more from a train than a plane anyway!
Stop buying things you don’t need
In short, consume less. In our hyper-commercialised world, it’s becoming increasingly normal to hoard “things”. Gadgets, clothes, electronics, you name it. We buy it, toss it out before needed and replace it before it’s necessary.
This endless consumption hurts both our planet and our wallets, and research shows it’s not making us any happier. We’re not saying sell all your belongings and become a minimalist – just to be a bit more conscious about your spending habits for the sake of the planet. Owning more things won’t make you happier either.
Cut down your plastic consumption
A lot of these tips boil down to the same core concept: consume less. There is no secret that single-use plastic is horrible for the environment, the planet, and animals. It’sawfule for pretty much everyone and everything.
What can we as individuals do? An excellent place to start is to stop buying bottled water. The production of bottled water is expensive and harmful to the environment. This is easily countered by bringing and filling your own reusable water bottle.
Starting using reusable cups, stop using straws, bring your bag or net when you buy groceries. These are small changes that can make a small difference.
Use public transportation
We have already recommended using your car instead of flying. This tip goes even further. If possible, leave your car at home and make use of your local public transportation. We realise this will heavily depend on where you live and what kind of public offering you can access. As a general rule, however, it would make a difference.
Anyone living in or close to an urban area should presumably have access to decent public transportation. With some planning, it might be possible to leave the car at home more often than you do. You do the environment a favour; you will also save money on gas and time on finding a parking space. You also save money in the form of less wear and tear on your vehicle. Everyone wins!
That’s pretty much the gist of what the individual can do to try to limit our contribution to climate change. In simple terms, it means consuming and travelling less. Recycle your clothes and use reusable bags and cups. And, of course, try to vote in a way that holds politicians and corporations more accountable. We need them to make a meaningful impact.