My plastic challenge has made me think about how we consume resources in general. The clothes we buy and renew on a regular basis form the basis for a huge global industry. It is estimated that 100 billion new textile garments are produced every year. Imagine the amount of human labour, water, land, pesticides and fertilisers needed to satisfy this seemingly insatiable demand for new clothing across the globe on a yearly basis. On top of this imagine the extraordinary volume of transportation needed to supply these products from production to point of sale and the vast quantities of CO2 emissions generated as a result.
With the IPCC recently releasing their annual report, it is clear that fundamental changes need to be made over the next decade if we are to mitigate disastrous consequences for our environment and societies across the globe.
What is also clear is that how you choose to consume products and energy is a key factor in making positive change. I think people far too often feel that they are powerless in the face of big business and they perceive themselves to have a lack of choice and power. But you can make a significant difference! Eat less meat, use public transport more often, repair worn clothing and donate unwanted items, try and buy locally sourced food products (why do we need to buy bananas in Norway?), stop and ask yourself before you buy – do you really need the latest version of the next smartphone or laptop?