Are you doing enough for the environement? Did you say yes? Oh, recycle, and you went vegetarian and you ask for paper bags. Great, awesome. Except they aren’t that eco-friendly, I am afraid.
1. Buying only biodegradable products
While not using plastics is definitely great for the environment, replacing them with biodegradable products doesn’t always do the job. Most biodegradable things you buy, like milk or juice packets, are biodegradable, sure, but they take a very long time to go break down as well. And more often than not they will just lie down and never rot unless they are processed at specialised compost facilities.
2. Buying reusable bags
Again, no plastic is great but ask yourself how many of these reusable bags you own! Do you get one every time you shop? Then are you kind of defeating the purpose of reusable bags, no?
3. Buying almond milk
Firstly, this is primarily a vegan trait. Vegans love almonds and they really love almond milk, so much so that it is the market leader in plant-based milk products. In the United States alone, their sales have gone up by 250% in the last 5 years. To meet the demand, farmers have to increase almond cultivation, which not only takes up a lot of land but just as much water, say about 1.3 million gallons per year for one acre of trees!
Again awesome idea, great initiative but doesn’t really work. Just because something is recyclable doesn’t necessarily mean, it gets recycled. Chalk it to consumer demand, fashion, the lack of affordable technology, especially in poor countries like ours.
5. Buying sustainable fashion
Even if you somehow manage to ignore the child labour in the global south and that’s a big IF, this industry causes approximately 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions and uses up a lot of natural resources.
6. Sharing cabs
People often think that sharing cabs is good for the environment but the fact remains that the same cab will be covering the same amount of distance if not more to drop off as many people as its carrying. If you are all going to the same destination and live at the same location, great. Otherwise, it’s meh!
7. Going vegetarian
According to research by Carnegie Mellon University, “a diet that includes more fruits and vegetables but less or no meat, exacts a greater environmental toll as it increases energy use by 38 per cent”.
8. Buying organic
Organic vegetables and fruits are generally good and free of insecticides. But depending on where you live and what you consider organic, your choice of food has to be transported over extremely large distances, thus polluting the environment.
9. Buying hybrid cars
It’s better than using regular cars but then manufacturing cars from scratch leaves behind some serious carbon footprint. So, IDK, use public transport. It’s quite simple, really.
Look, environmentalism isnt a new concept. Natives of any land have been doing it for thousands of years. Moreover, most of our environmentalism, all the popular methods listed above are unaffordable for most people. Like Chico Mendes said, Environmentalism without class struggle is just gardening.” So read, understand, maybe go back to your roots a little bit.