There are certain facts which human beings cannot simply overlook. Out of these, one inescapable truth remains that we produce 300 mn tonnes of plastic waste every year, nearly equal to the weight of the entire human population. Only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled, about 12% has been incinerated, while the rest – 79% – has accumulated in landfills, dumps or the natural environment. While these numbers are almost unfathomable to grasp, one cannot deny the fact that plastic usage and wastage has an immense toll on the planet. They are now ubiquitous and found in every continent due to our inefficient waste management systems. In times like these, the least we can do is to consume in a sustainable manner and choose responsibly.
Nowadays, it has become easier than before to opt for sustainable businesses which are far more responsible than the traditional corporations who have been blatantly polluting nature and environment. These brands are much more than a mere company and have some inspiring individual stories to tell. If we take the example of tackling plastics, Delhi-based enterprise Ecoware has a solution in the form of their biodegradable disposable plates. Ecoware is India’s first and largest sustainable packaging company.
Ecoware products are made from biomass which are natural and compostable. They convert crop waste into sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic. The Ecoware model of production ensures end-of-life usage of all products and aims at eliminating waste by replacing plastic packaging with a more natural and sustainable packaging. According to the Centre for Science and Environment, a human being consumes plastic equivalent to the weight of one credit card, and by 2050 it could become five credit cards per year. So if you don’t want to consume any more credit cards unknowingly, opt for brands that offer products that are eco-friendly.
Another enterprise which is leading the way forward is clothing brand Doodlage in Delhi. It is a design house whose studio is full of fabric waste material that can be turned into new clothes! Their belief is simple: “We don’t need more new clothes.” Textile is reportedly the third largest source of waste in India, after plastic and paper. The amount of waste generated not just from the garments which are used and thrown, but also from the production aspect is unfathomably huge and causes perils to land and water, in addition to the vast amount of energy consumption leading to emissions. A single t-shirt requires about 2,700 litre of water for its production, which is the estimated amount of water a single adult would drink in roughly two years!
A way out of this perilous situation is to resort to ethically sourced clothes which will not only encourage consumers buy from a responsible business, but educate them at the same time about the environmental impact of the fashion industry.
Now if you take a look at zero-waste living, you might think of it as an impossibility. It’s true that these changes do not happen overnight. But even in the case of clothes for instance, buying a pair of denims which is a little more expensive will not only last longer but also be eco-friendly, as compared to cheap, fast fashion. We believe that even thinking about this transition is a good place to start. If every person switched from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one, imagine the amount of plastic we can save from entering our natural environments and habitats.
Similarly, other lifestyle choices can also have a huge impact in the conservation of natural resources. Using a bamboo tissue roll would mean cutting down lesser trees to produce traditional tissue papers or using liquid detergents which are made from natural ingredients instead of harmful chemicals would mean deterring pollutants from reaching the water. Other products catering to personal care, cleaning, home and kitchen essentials, lifestyle, home furnishings, furniture and so on could be game-changing when it comes to making a difference through lifestyle choices to tackle the dual crisis of global warming and climate change.
As an afterthought, shopping from sustainable and conscious businesses will not only support these ventures financially who are working toward achieving a circular economy, but will also allow individuals to be directly involved in taking meaningful action. Living a sustainable life through your lifestyle choices isn’t so difficult after all!