4 Environmental Trends Worth Paying Attention to

It is no secret that businesses & individuals are under more pressure than ever to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and switch to more sustainable alternatives.

With the most recent news of the IPCC report on Climate Change and the urgent call to action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we thought it would be suitable to put together some information on how this can be accomplished!

We’ve pared it down to 4 Green Trends that we think are worth paying attention to:

1. Zero Waste Movement

Zero Waste encourages the redesign of resources so that ALL products are reused. The ultimate goal is for absolutely no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators or the oceans. It focuses on restructuring production and distribution systems to eliminate waste.

  • Here are some definitions:
    • Upcycle -process used goods or waste material to produce something that is often better than the original product – I upcycled an old towel into a mop
    • Repurpose – adapt for use in a different purpose – take a CD Rom and make it a Christmas decoration
    • Cradle-to-Grave – Cradle to cradle manufacturing takes the whole life-cycle of an item into account, including sourcing and end-of-life disposal

TRASH

2. Plastic Free Movement

A hot topic – every time we hear about our oceans or Great Lakes, we are faced bad news  – the reality that our waters are filled with plastic pollution! There have been many scary stories that create a compelling case for why plastic is a huge problem. Just last week, a whale washed up on shore with 112 plastic cups and 2 flip flops inside!

There are plenty of resources available that can help you reduce your plastic consumption and many governments are taking the lead in banning plastics all around the world.

  • Here are some definitions:
    • Micro-plastics  – small, barely visible pieces of plastic that enter and pollute the environment. They are any type of plastic fragment that is less than five millimeters in length , that end up getting ingested by fish and can make their way up the food chain.
    • Single-use plastics – any plastic that can only be used once before being disposed of or recycled. Common examples surround us in our day-to-day lives, including: grocery bags, water bottles, and plastic utensils. These plastics are often used for a very short period of time.

Remember, there is absolutely no such thing as away!  

Consumers are coming to realize the negative impacts that plastic has on our planet, and are switching left, right, and center to green, reusable solutions and refusing plastic any way they can.

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3. Minimalist Lifestyles

Have you heard of the Tiny Closet and down-sizing your wardrobe and all the stuff you own?

It has been said that we have stuffed drawers and over-flowing closets because of our reliance on consumption.

People are starting to realize that they just don’t need a lot of what they have.We live in a society where we constantly accumulate stuff – material possessions, that lead to distraction and noise. We forget about what is important to us: family, friends, hobbies. By living a minimalist lifestyle, you can encompass a variety of different voluntarily practices to simplify your lifestyle. This can include: reducing your possessions, increasing self-sufficiency – and being satisfied with what you have – not what you want.

  • Here are some definitions: 
    • Declutter:  to remove mess or clutter from a place and to organize and prioritize one’s commitments, material possessions
    • Tiny Closet : a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you completely LOVE to wear – and downsizing the amount of clothing you own to fewer pieces
    • Experiences over stuff:  when purchasing gifts, opt to give memories and quality time spent with others

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4. Plant-Based Diets

There has been growing awareness that meat-based diets are really bad for the planet, in a variety of ways. There has also been research surrounding the health impacts of too much meat in our bellies – and so, the rise of plant-based diets is upon us! You can see more restaurants offering vegan/vegetarian dishes and more and more vegetarian restaurants popping up!

A plant-based diet is a diet based on foods derived from plants, like veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products. 

  • Here are some definitions 
    • Flexitarian Diet:  a style of eating that encourages mostly plant-based foods while allowing meat and other animal products in moderation, specifically special occasions
    • Vegan : the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals
    • Vegetarian: usually exclude meat, chicken and fish. Some vegetarians choose to eat eggs and dairy products, while some exclude these foods too.
    • Meatless Mondays:  An international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet.

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These 4 Environmental Trends are very important to pay attention to.

Can you participate in one or all of them!?

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