Author Topic: What things can we do to reduce our environmental destruction?  (Read 6495 times)

Offline Mubii

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Re: What things can we do to reduce our environmental destruction?
« Reply #15 on: 31 12, 2020, 02:42:23 pm »
In a simple word, the answer to the problems is 'Minimalism'.

Now why people live minimalist life is another thing and I would not like to talk about here at least.
“Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hatred, and hatred leads to violence. This is the equation.”Ibn Rushd

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Offline gokberk

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Re: What things can we do to reduce our environmental destruction?
« Reply #16 on: 22 01, 2021, 01:49:17 pm »
A lot of people want to buy electric cars, but are buying them when they already have relatively new petrol/diesel cars. The amount of non-renewable energy it takes just to build any kind of car means it isn't worth moving to them until your petrol/diesel powered vehicle is old and/or beginning to die.

Electric cars are not "that" eco-friendly if the country's main energy source is not renewable. E-cars are great in Norway because NW produces almost all of its electricity via hydropower but in the UK where more than 60% of the electricity is provided by fossil fuels, you just quit using a petrol-powered car to switch to a coal-powered one.

I think the problem with clothes is that instead of using cotton they're using cheaper but very bad for the environment materials that contain plastic and therefore contribute a shit load to the microplastic problem so all they have to do is stop being such greedy bastards and use cotton but that won't happen so the government(s) can impose a tax on these destructive materials.

The cotton is not that eco-friendly. It requires A LOT of water to grow cotton, there are initiatives like Better Cotton to standardize cotton production but there is a long way to go. The actual problem of the fashion industry is rather a technical one. Almost all of the clothes you buy today have petroleum-based synthetic fibres like polyester knitted in it. Any clothes that are flexible, water-resistant, sweat-proof, wrinkle-proof has these elastane fibres and currently, there is no way of sorting these fibres out of the garment during the recycling process. This is the main reason why most of the clothes end up in landfills. There are startups like ambercycle and Worn Again working to sort them chemically, once it is achieved sustainable fashion will be possible and these materials will be more eco-friendly than cotton. Although cotton is an organic material, cotton clothes are not recycled either. Because in order to recycle an apparent made out of cotton, there has to be no material other than cotton in it. And t-shirts have paint, tags, prints, stamps on them are not recycled either. Considered that almost all clothes have the brand label and washing instructions on them, they all need to be manually removed by hand which costs extra money and a burden on the process so no one is actually bothering recycling cotton.

About the topic "What things can we do to reduce our environmental destruction?":

You might have heard of the slogan "Reduce, reuse, recycle". I will talk about why it was made up and why it won't work.

I'd like to start by saying there is an agenda followed by the FMCG (Fast moving consumer goods -basically anything you see on market shelves-) and the fast fashion industry. Corporations like INDITEX, P&G, Unilever and H&M position themselves like conscious brands via millions of dollars of marketing spending. This is called "greenwashing". Then they say "we are already a green brand, what are YOU doing to get greener?" the problem with this rhetoric is it is a deliberate strategy to load the responsibility of climate change to the consumers' shoulders while the real damage to the planet is made by the business models of these companies. In the free market, the only and most powerful weapon of the consumers is the demand they create. We have no other responsibility. No other thing the individuals do will contribute to the planet if it is not attached to their consuming behaviours.

Recycling is a lie.
It never delivered what it promised, it never will. Climate change cannot be thought separately than capitalism. From the beginning of the recycling concept, corporations knew it won't work. Recycled plastic still costs more than producing plastic from the scratch and it has less quality. So why would a company spend more money on less quality material? Of course, they did not. So there was and currently is no demand for recycled raw materials. But corporations needed a fix for the growing consumer concerns because they did not want people to feel guilty while making purchases. So they kept this "recycling game" running to make people think their products are eco-friendly. Most people still believe when they buy products made out of recyclable materials they will be recycled and it is good for the planet so shop comfortably. But almost 90% of the things you threw at the recycling boxes so far were not recycled at all. Even in Europe, recyclable waste is sorted accordingly to the laws of the country and then exported to other -less developed- countries to end up in landfills. For example Ghana is the electronics dump of the world. Bangladesh is garments. China was the biggest recycler of the world and up until recently was buying most of the plastic waste and actually recycling it to create plastic raw materials. Then they realized it is not cost-effective and environmental and public health damage costs are beyond the gains the recycling industry makes to the country so China basically killed the recycling operations and declared to World Trade Organization that it will ban the import of recyclable waste in 2017. This was the last nail to the coffin of the already not-so-well working recycling concept.

So if recycling is not working, what's the solution?
Consuming less or minimalism is not a solution on the contrary, it could give birth to other problems. We need an economic model that won't kill the industries and cause job loss but will also be conscious of the planet. That's where the circular economy model comes into the play.

The industry as we know today follows a linear model. It takes raw materials from the world, produces products and once the product completed its life it gets thrown away. The circular economy aims to create an ecosystem where this loop between throw-away and production is closed and all industries of the economy benefit from that. We can say the failed recycling concept was the first attempt in order to get circular. In circular economic model traceability of each material is the key. The post-usage stage of the product is determined during the design of it and "waste management" becomes "resource management" as its own profitable industry, unlike the inefficient recycling industry of today. Because remember, when it is not profitable, no one is going to do that. this won't change until capitalism goes away and it doesn't look like capitalism is going anywhere near future. It is the most efficient and applicable model for the people and the planet and as the consumers, it is our responsibility to create demand for circular companies and boycott the linear ones.

Some other sources to get familiar with the issue:

> Ellen MacArthur Foundation is working on the circular economy. They have bunch of educational materials and they host periodic training programmes too.
> True Cost is a documentary about social and environmental exploitation of the fast fashion industry. It was on Netflix once but it might depend on the country you're watching in.
> FRONTLINE investigation on plastic recycling