She talked about overconsumption. There is a quote saying: “Climate change isn’t the issue, the issue is toxic systems and climate change is purely a byproduct of this”. Wue have altered the environment because of how our lives, our government are set up. It is not the effect but what is causing climate change.
Overconsumption: consuming something in excess.
Climate justice: is a concept that addresses the ethical aspects of climate change. It includes concepts such as equality, human rights and the historical responsibilities for climate change.
Eco-anxiety: is a fear of environmental damage or ecological disaster. This sense of anxiety is largely based on the current and predicted future state of the environment and human-induced climate change.
It is a style of economy where businesses are owned privately by individuals rather than controlled by the government. Because of this, the main characteristic of the system is the desire to make a profit.
Consumption is essential for capitalist economies to function. This is why we see advertisements everywhere, encouraging us to buy more constantly. They try to get us to spend more money.
Overconsumption: The products we use
Buying things wouldn’t be so bad if what we bought was sustainably made using eco-friendly materials.
Today, an average person living in North America or Western Europe uses 100 kilograms of plastic each year, mostly in the form of packaging. 50% of plastic produced is single use plastic.
There will be more plastics than fish in our oceans by 2050.
Always bring a reusable bag with you
Avoid single use plastics
Avoid buying fruits and vegetables that are wrapped in plastic.
Buy in bulk. You can store your food in glass jars.
Instead of using plastic bags and plastic Tupperware to store food, use beeswax wrap or glass containers.
We can also see overconsumption in the food industry.
The world’s food industry is responsible for about 25% of the planet-warming greenhouse gases that humans generate each year.
Meat and dairy, particularly from cows, have the most impact, with livestock accounting for around 14.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases each year. That’s roughly the same amount as the emissions from all the cars, trucks, airplanes and ships combined in the world today.
4.OVERCONSUMPTION: THE FOOD WE EAT
Meat and dairy are not the only foods that have a negative environmental impact. If your food has to be shipped to you from far away places, if it uses a lot of water in production and if the land required to produce it leads to deforestation, it isn’t so eco-friendly either.
Some examples include avocados, coffee, mushrooms, chocolate, almonds and cashews and bananas.
How to eat for the environment
Eat more plants
Eat in season
Buy local so you don’s ship from far away
Stop wasting food
Eat meat and seafood in moderation. Buy eco-friendly meat/seafood.
Buy food that is eco-certified
Eat less processed food Compost and grow your own food if you can
5.OVERCONSUMPTION: THE CLOTHES WE WEAR
The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world just after the oil industry.
Fast fashion can be defined as cheap, trendy clothing that is made really quickly to meet consumer demand. The idea is to get the newest styles on the market as fast as possible, so shoppers can buy them while they are still popular.
It plays the idea that outfit repeating is bad and that if you want to be cool, you have to have the latest look. It is a big part of the toxic system of overconsumption that has made fashion one of the world’s largest polluters.
400% more clothes are produced now compared to 20 years ago.
Only 20% to 30% of the clothes of most women’s wardrobes are being worn.
In most of the countries in which garments are produced, untreated toxic wastewaters from textiles factories are dumped directly into the rivers. These are extremely harmful to the aquatic life and the health of millions of people living by those river banks. The contamination also reaches the sea and eventually spreads around the globe.
The fashion industry is a major water consumer. Huge quantity of freshwater is used for the dyeing and finishing process for all of our clothes. It can take up to 200 tons of freshwater per ton of dyed fabric.
7.HOW IS THE CLOTHING INDUSTRY UNSUSTAINABLE?
Every time we wash a synthetic garment about 700.000 individual microfibers are released into the water, making their way into the oceans. Scientists have discovered that small aquatic organisms ingest those microfibers. These are then eaten by small fish which are later eaten by bigger fish, introducing plastic in our food chain.
Every year, thousands of acres of endangered and ancient forests are cut down and replaced by trees used to make fabrics. This loss of forests is threatening the ecosystem and indigenous communities.
The people who make our clothes are underpaid and overworked and do not have safe work conditions.
How to dress for the environment
Buy second-hand clothes
Share hand me downs with friends, have a clothing swap
Buy fewer better quality clothes
Don’t wash your clothes after each wear
Repair your clothes if they are damaged
Donate your clothes
8.WHO IS AFFECTED BY OVERCONSUMPTION?
The world’s richest countries consume on average 10 times as many materials as the poorest.
Recent studies have shown that 80% of the world’s natural resources are used by only 20% of the world’s population.
Those who are working to maintain our overconsumption are those who consume the least. They are being underpaid, overworked, put in dangerous work conditions and exposed to toxins.
This is not an issue you are expected to solve on your own!
Though it is important to incorporate eco friendly habits into our daily lives, it’s also urgent to remember that we are not expected to solve this problem on our own.
Eco-anxiety is real and we have to remember to find community as we face environmental challenges so we don’t feel alone and overwhelmed.
Reaching out to community organizations working towards climate protection can help you get involved.
Participating in neighbourhood gardening, trash picking, or waste reduction efforts can also reduce feelings of eco-anxiety and make you feel as though you’re contributing to the cause.
Use your voice. Capitalism relies on the desires of the population. If people demand change, it will eventually come.
1.WHAT IS THE MOST ECO-FRIENDLY MATERIAL OF CLOTHES?
This is a complicated issue because the more natural the fabric is the better as polyester and nylon use plastic and oil. Cotton and nylon are better but use more water in their production. You can make clothes out of marijuana leaves. It is sustainable and you can buy them since their leaves extract carbon from the soil.
2.IF PEOPLE STOPPED USING PLASTIC, WOULD IT BE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD?
I am not sure. I would love to think so. It would definitely go down. There is a lot of plastic in the industrial world It is already in the system. A lot of people stopping the use of plastic would be beneficial but it has to come from companies more than people. It is the message you tend to hear it is on us to stop buying plastic and make those individual changes. The companies have to stop because they are the ones creating the products.
3.WHAT DO YOU DO TO FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE?
It is a good question. I choose not to eat meat but I sometimes eat dairies in moderation. But at restaurants I eat pizzas. It’s all about moderation, it is not that you have to follow strict rules. I also do simple things like recycling. I try to buy vegetables and fruits that are in reusable bags. I really like buying second-hand clothes because they can be fashionable. I do walking and biking rather than driving. These are the little things. I really like doing community activities like urban gardening. It makes me feel like I am doing something hands on to make a change.
4.WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE BIGGEST BRANDS OF CLOTHING?
I think that some of them are starting to make some changes but most of them to make their products cheaper , they’re using really cheap labour in other countries, so they are not paying the workers enough. The work conditions are not good either. There’s a lot of change that needs to happen in big companies like in Zara with cheap prices. Those are fast fashion.
5.HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GOING TO THE SEA AND RIVER?
I haven’t done sea or river clean-up because in Maryland I haven’t a river or ocean. I would like to do it here if I find an organization. I have done trash pick-up in the city and planting trees.
6.WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST CHANGE FOR OVERCONSUMPTION?
The important thing is not to be overwhelmed. It is to be conscious to make people aware of the issue so that you make changes in your daily life and also changes on a big scale through community advertisements. Just being aware and mindful is really important because when you know about the issues you can get involved and make a change, so obviously to avoid overconsumption you need to consume less in general. Because you can have more than you need. The main conception is being aware, it’s the most important thing.
7.CAN OVERCONSUMPTION LEAD TO HAVE PROBLEMS?
It already has. It’s specially the food that we eat and It’s also the products that we use. When we use any products that has plastic or no eco-friendly chemicals, they are not good for your body and they will cause in health problems in the future.
8.IS OUR GENERATION MORE AWARE OF THE ENVIRONMENT THAN OTHERS?o
That’s a good question. I think it depends because in the past people were more in touch with the natural grounds. Before industry they were very in touch with the land. They were aware and thinking about it all the time. With the industry they disconnect from it and they started to think faster. It was when we started to destroy our planet saying that it was worth progress not paying attention to the consequences. Now young people specially are growing awareness of environmental issues because we are able to see the negative impacts: ice melting and climate change.
9.WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT PLASTIC IN THE SEA?
It makes me feel very sad. It is revealing damaging fish. They didn’t do anything , didn’t cause the problem and they are very affected by because our consumption. It really has an impact on our physical health. When microplastics are very small because they happen when they are ripped down into tiny pieces and they are later consumed by us. That’s how we get plastic in our system. So plastic in the ocean is sad as it is harming innocent life and damaging our lives.
10.WHICH CONTINENT IS THE MOST EXCESSIVE CONSUMERIST?
I have to look at the numbers because I am not sure which is number one. But it is very likely United States. Our consumption is really high. Developed countries and western Europe are also high consumers. But I am not sure which is the most.