Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Green and black † how to be alternative and environmentally friendly

I'm a bit of a greenie. I think it's important that we should be environmentally conscious, for a number of reasons:
  1. It's good for the planet. Like, you know, the only planet we can safely inhabit?
  2. It can save you money!
  3. It can make you look cool ^_^
  4. It's good for your overall wellbeing.
Okay, how does it do all those things?

Well, firstly, there are heaps of things you can do to be an alternative style monster but be green at the same time. Some of these things are pretty cheap, others teach you to be thrifty. The results of your endeavours are often unique and interesting. And you know, it can be a detox. 

Think about it. It's cool to dress up and follow a style. I watch hundreds of videos on youtube and scour fashion blogs drooling over outfits and accessories. How much clothing is that? How much material went into making those outfits? How much water? What were the workers who made the garments paid? Were your cosmetics tested on rabbits? (I say rabbits because they are often chosen for their inability to blink/water out things from their eyes -_-)

Look at your wardrobe. Is it full of clothing? Or does it contain clothing you don't use? Do you love to shop... and shop and shop and shop?

Think. Is this good for you, let alone the planet? Sometimes it's important to stop and detox. First thing is to go to your closet and pull everything out. EVERYTHING. Throw it on the floor. Sort them into categories: things to throw out, things to donate/sell, things to keep, and a 'not too sure pile'. Think hard about each item: when did you last wear it? Does it match with anything? Is it damaged and can you fix it (or will you)? Be ruthless!

And next time you go shopping, go through the same thought process: Do I need this? Am I shopping because of the positive feeling it gives me? (You can do other things to make yourself feel good!) Does this suit me? What is it made of? What is the quality? Am I feeling mesmerised by the things in front of me and therefore compelled to buy something? (Hate that feeling.)

If you come out of that having bought nothing, slimmed down your wardrobe to only the best and come to the realisation that you don't need any more STUFF, congratulations! I am sure there are those who would argue that consumption is vital for economies to keep running (hell, look at Japan), but an economy based on consumption is unsustainable in more ways than one (again, Japan). It is bad for the environment and will eventually reach a saturation point where so much stuff is being produced that people fail to buy.

We don't need more things. Seriously, this article has some really scary stats on the fashion industry. The developed world has got its hands on more resources than it can consume and refuses to share it with the Global South. But you don't have to be a radical to live a 'slimmer' lifestyle. Think about the money it will save you, and how good you'll feel, unpressured to buy things, no matter how many youtube videos you watch.

Happy new year.

4 comments:

  1. "(I say rabbits because they are often chosen for their inability to blink/water out things from their eyes -_-)" I never use cosmetics/skincare/etc that were tested on animals! But I didn't know that and it's freakin' horrible. Why do people have to torture innocent creatures when they don't need to? What makes us so special?

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    1. Well, I could probably give you an essay on that, having studied ecological ethics, but the main reasons are: old religious notions of dominion over animals + old notions of animals as unfeeling automata + the primal desire to lord over things. :/ Note that in China, cosmetics MUST be tested on animals as part of the consumer safety process. :(

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    2. wow I had no idea about China's mandatory testing on animals. Yet another reason to buy local.

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    3. Whoops, I wasn't clear enough there. In China whether the product is locally made or imported, it can only be sold if it has been tested on animals. For example, Jurilique, in order to sell its products in China, must pass them to a Chinese testing centre for approval. It's not really a matter of buying local

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