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Don’t buy anything new!!! REDUCE, RE-USE, Recycle

There are almost 8 billion people on our planet now.  The mass consumer culture that has increased globally throughout the decades is un-sustainable. The world cannot handle the mass depletion of materials and resources that go into making all of those products, and then the mass dumping of the non-compostable products/packaging back into the oceans and environment.

In the last year or so, I made the commitment to STOP buying EVERYTHING.

  • This refers to non-food products.
  • Refers to not buying anything new.
  • Applies unless a product is 100% necessary and I know it was produced and can be disposed of in a 100% environmental and ethical way.

Products have MASSIVE environmental effects. *(see below for example) Your phone, computer, toys, games, blankets, clothes, books, backpack, shoes, kitchen utensils etc.?  Those were all produced by mining the earth’s resources for materials — often by destroying environments– and then processing the materials (typically by low-wage workers) and shipped around the world (greenhouse gas emissions cost).  It only takes a few minutes of research on the internet to start to figure out the negative environmental effects of a product.

 

So just if everyone could PLEASE:

  • a) STOP buying everything.  When you are about to buy something, think “how much do I actually need this product”?
  • b) If you do need it, buy it either used, or from a 100% environmental company (do your research!).  Used is better – since you won’t be using up more material.
  • c) Remember to take the packaging into consideration when thinking about buying something.  DON’T buy anything with un-environmental packaging like plastic.
  • d) Also it always helps to write to companies to both ask about their environmental practices and also let them know that you won’t support them unless they are certified in environmental practices, like: using 100% green energy in their supply chain, Fair-Trade-certified, Rainforest-Alliance-Certified, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, USDA-Organic-certified, ethical labor practices etc.
  • e) Donate all of your old clothes/products etc. to donation and thrift stores.

Think about it, what do you really need to buy new?  Hardly anything.  Any products you might need, you can easily get used, from: yard sales, friends/neighbors, eBAY, Craigslist, Amazon-used products and other sites dedicated to used products.

There are almost 8 billion people in the world, chances are that someone else has already bought the product that you want.

Even if you need an updated electronic product, like a new phone, you do NOT need the newest model.  And there are always enough people in the world buying and casting off phones that you can find a relatively new model that will work for you.

 

So please, everyone in the world needs to REDUCE their product consumption and try to buy everything either USED, or from 100% environmentally-friendly sources.  Apply this to when you give gifts, buy new products for yourself, etc.  Imagine the positive environmental impact we could have if all 7+ billion people in the world followed these principals.

 

 

*A smartphone for example is made of dozens of materials, including:  glass, plastic, metals like aluminum alloys, the batteries include lithium cobalt oxide and carbon graphite, the wiring includes gold, copper and silver, the circuitry includes platinum and tungsten; Rare metals, such as neodymium-iron-boron alloys, dysprosium and praseodymium, are also used to make the magnets, speakers and motors found in your phone.   **These materials have to be mined from environments all over the world, including increasingly in the oceans.  Mining is a massively destructive process that obliterates the environment. The processing and transportation of all of these materials also have a huge environmental cost.

3 months ago No Comments Views

Stop buying foods/products that have un-environmental and unethical supply chains

After doing some research, about 6-8 months ago, I made the commitment to only eat food that is environmentally-friendly.  I buy local and organic as much as possible.  I stopped buying foods that had negative environmental impacts in their production chain, such as:  deforestation/land degradation in order to clear space for plantations, subsequence habitat destruction and species endangerment, greenhouse gases released during processing and transportation (especially relevant for foods shipped from other countries), human rights abuses in the supply chain, non-sustainable packaging used etc.

It’s quite scary that there can be so much damage happening up the supply chain, that normal consumers have no idea about when they buy the product.  All it takes is at least some minimal research to understand where foods/products are coming from.  With the internet, there is no excuse.  PLEASE research what products/foods you buy!

*TIP:  Basically avoid anything that has to be grown in a tropical environment – it very likely is tied to tropical forest/habitat destruction, species endangerment and also human labor abuse.  Buy everything local and organic.

Foods to avoid 

Some top foods to avoid:  palm oil, chocolate, coconuts, coffee, vanilla, bananas, almonds/almond milk etc.

  1. Palm oil!!! (Many products have palm oil in them, including foods, soaps, cosmetics etc.  PLEASE check labels and avoid products with palm oil.  Most palm oil tree plantations are in Indonesia and Malaysia, and other tropical countries, where people have cleared tropical forests to make space.  This has resulted in massive deforestation, habitat loss and subsequent loss of species.  Particularly the endangered orangutan has been seriously impacted and is in danger of going extinct. Chemicals/fertilizer if not organically grown.)
  2. Chocolate.  (Grown mainly in Western African countries and South/Central America.  Causes massive deforestation, and thus species loss, as people clear tropical forests in order to plant cacao trees — although if good farming practices are in place, cacao trees could actually just be planted in the shade of local trees.  Chemicals/fertilizer if not organically grown.  MAJOR human rights abuses are still widespread, including low wages, forced/slave labor, child labor, and subsequent child kidnapping in order to force children to work on plantations.).
  3. Coconuts/Coconut oil/Coconut water/coconut milk.  (Grown in tropical countries like: Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Brazil etc.  Some deforestation and clearing of indigenous plants to make space for plantations.  Farming monoculture, which has negative impacts on habitats and species.  Chemicals/fertilizer if not organically grown. Greenhouse gas emissions during processing and transportation.  Human rights abuses along production chain: low wages for farmers and farm laborers, low wages for processing plant workers etc.).
  4. Coffee. (Grown in tropical countries like:  Brazil and Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia etc.). MASSIVE deforestation and destruction of tropical forests.  *Could cause less destruction if trees were shade-grown.  Biodiversity and species loss.  Chemicals/fertilizer if not organically grown. Greenhouse gas emissions during processing and transportation. PACKAGING.  Human rights abuses along production chain: low wages, child labor, slave labor etc.).
  5. Vanilla.  (Madagascar, Indonesia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea etc.  Widespread deforestation and destruction of tropical forestsBiodiversity and species loss – human overpopulation and habitat destruction in Madagascar is causing population decline for the endangered lemurs, who are only found in Madagascar.  Chemicals/fertilizer if not organically grown. Greenhouse gas emissions during processing and transportation. PACKAGING.  Human rights abuses along production chain: low wages, extremely labor intensive since the vanilla orchids are so delicate, theft of the increasingly valuable vanilla pods, violence against farmers, corruption etc.)
  6. Bananas.  (India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, etc.  Monoculture – negative impact on species and habitats.  There is basically only one type of banana grown worldwide, Cavendish — thus the similar genetics cause vulnerability to fungi/bacteria outbreaks.  Contributes to heavy use of fungicides/pesticides.  Some forest clearance – although this is less than for some other plants/products, there still exists deforestation due to banana farming. Greenhouse gas emissions during processing and transportation. Packaging.  Human rights abuses along production chain: low wages, tough working conditions etc.)
  7. Almonds/almond milk/almond flour etc.  (US, Spain, Iran, Morocco etc.  Destruction of local environments.  Industrial almond farms require many bees to fertilize the trees.  This results in MASSIVE bee deaths, and abuses towards bees.  Large use of water.  Greenhouse gas emissions during processing and transportation. Packaging.)

 

I hope others read this and make these changes to your lives, too!  And spread the word!  Please be conscientious and do the research to make sure you are not inadvertently supporting horrific industries that are causing environmental degradation, species extinction and human rights abuses all over the world.

Best bets are to buy foods that are local, organic and with no packaging/plastic. 🙂

3 months ago No Comments Views

Great use for dog fur!

Brush your dog and put the fur out for the birds to take as nesting material. Happy dog and happy birds!

3 months ago 1 Comment Views

I reused my old magazines

As paper is such a valuable ressource, don’t waste it. If you have old magazines that you don’t want to read any more give them a second chance.

On a flea market I once bought a pile of old dinosaur magazines for children because I loved them when I was young. I read through them and then decided not to throw them away, but to turn them into something useful and aesthetic. So for the next few years I won’t need to buy any present wrapping paper or enevlopes – and I enjoyed a nice afternoon selecting and cutting the most beautiful pictures as well. And everybody loves dinosaurs, don’t they?

3 months ago 2 Comments Views

Daffodils announce the beginning of spring

  • They are one of the rare species of plants that are able to successfully grow through the snow.
  • Due to toxic sap in the stem, daffodil should not be kept in the vase with other plants.
  • Squirrels won’t eat daffodils due to these poisonous crystals — be careful to keep away from dogs, too.
  • There are at least 25 different daffodil species and up to 13,000 hybrids according to the Daffodil Data Bank.
  • Daffodils are surprisingly tolerant of cold, and they’re an ideal flower for novice gardeners

Plan ahead and buy yourself some daffodil bulbs, ready for planting in September. This will bring you beautiful flowers for next spring!

3 months ago No Comments Views
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