THE ENVIRONMENTALIST

Image credits: Elena Niculescu, Leaf digital painting 2011

I read a lot of articles about business and sustainability and have a keen interest in preserving nature for future generations. Since Emma Watson had her two collections with People Tree, a company established in 1991 who was the first ‘’to be awarded  World Fair Trade Organization product label’’(People Tree, Our story, 2020) opened my eyes to the fact that there are entrepreneurs out there showing us it is possible to run a business in a transparent, ethical way and be successful.

I’ve come a long way, really. From thinking ‘’Oh, she’s a millionaire, of course she affords fairtrade clothing’’ (relatable, right?) switching to ‘’There are changes I can make right now’’. Influencers have two sides, good and bad, depending on who is influencing you. Charity The Female Lead focused on exactly that when they ran a study called ‘’Disrupting The Feed’’ which showed it does matter who you follow and following positive role models like Michelle Obama and Emma Watson. Their social media is super inspiring and uplifting.

Took a hard look at my own wardrobe, which – some years ago – a hot mess. I donated everything I didn’t wear anymore or didn’t like or the items I’ve outgrown and now it’s easy to manage. You have to donate if you don’t wear them and doing that review every year. I kept a lot of ‘’old clothes’’ that were in a good shape and if they weren’t(and fixing wasn’t an option) then some got thrown out.

Fixing instead of throwing is great also. I’ve gotten into sewing, and got proud of myself even if the line wasn’t exactly straight but still looks better than before, when it was ripped. I wear what I have too. I can do that because I’m not the woman who buys clothing a lot, only when it is stricly necessary to do so. I have bought a pair of pants maybe a month ago? If I will buy something, I want it to come from vintage/thrift shops or sustainable brands like People Tree, Thought or Siz Brand, or one of the few Romanian brands that are ethical like Loud Bodies, Sense, Fandacsia or Musette. I don’t want my clothes to impact the environment.

Another example would be to reduce single use plastics at home, like Bonnie Wright, Greenpeace Ambassador, suggests. I didn’t throw out the plastic straws I used at the Romanian seaside earlier this year, back when we didn’t have to wear a mask everywhere. I took them home and still used them for drinking a Pepsi which I do once in a blue moon. We need to think of what our younger generations will inherit and the current state of our oceans who are choked of all that floating plastics. It’s not too late to care for the environment.

Reuse plastic bags that you have at home so you don’t accumulate a ton of them. Now, I feel proud of my University(Southampton Solent) for giving me a cotton tote bag at Fresher’s Fair, and found another one binned in my dorm. Don’t worry it was clean and came with some shampoo samples I loved so it was a win. Whilst I don’t know how sustainably made they were, but reusing them sure is.

I’m an Environmentalist when I argue about plastic use and styrofoam boxes. It’s simple for me, pastry can be served in cardboard boxes instead of plastic, and food can be delivered in eco-friendly boxes too, so when are they going to start investing in bad materials? When we stop buying. We need to recognize that ”As consumers, we have so much power to change the world just be being careful in what we buy” (Emma Watson). So you can be an environmentalist too! If you want to still travel and enjoy Mother Nature’s goods(foods, landscapes), might as well work on maintaining what we have now.

Steps you can do now:

  1. Sort your trash (paper, cardboard, glass)
  2. Reuse plastic straws and switch to glass/metal ones from Package Free Shop, reuse plastic bags whenever possible instead of buying another one;
  3. Donate clothing that you don’t wear, outgrown, no longer like, doesn’t fit;
  4. Fix instead of throwing
  5. Consider a compost bin.

References:

Elena Niculescu, 2019, Changes inspired by Emma Watson, Viewed on [12/9/2020], Available from: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0Giqv8Axj3/

Elena Niculescu, 2019, Emma-Watson.net chosen for #DisruptYourFeed campaign, Viewed on [12/9/2020], Available from: https://www.instagram.com/p/B3XGnO0gA-m/

Elena Niculescu,2018,  Divine intervention, Viewed on [12/9/2020], Available from: https://www.instagram.com/p/BjRgDwUHuQe/

The Female Lead, 2019, Our 2019 Research: Disrupting The Feed, Viewed on [12/9/2020], Available from: https://www.thefemalelead.com/research

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