I’M AS GUILTY AS THE REST
Totally am. Won’t pretend I’m a saint. I’ve been that guy standing in McDonald’s waiting for a Big Mac, chips and a coffee because it was there.
I’ve been that guy with two young kids wandering around H&M trying to find trousers, tops and jumpers for them both and knowing I had less than £100 to spend and it meant I didn’t have to do any thinking.
I’ve been that guy who didn’t really recycle because it was a hassle.
I’ve been all these things but at some point something has to give.
Fast food went first. That was an easy call to make. Regardless of how hungry I was, or how good the smell of chips was, I decided no more. Take out food too. I have spent the last five years cooking meals, even if I’ve had a long day, still cook. No take out. I can count on one hand the number of take-outs in those five years.
Recycling has improved. Glass, cardboard, paper, tins all separated out from black bags for general waste collection. Could do better, but getting there.
The fast fashion thing is harder. Trousers with holes in the knees; stitching that comes apart; shrinking in the wash are all things that lead to that Saturday afternoon in town to replace as it is easier than having to think about an option B.
I have to say I had next to no skills when it came to mending clothes. I didn’t even own a needle and thread! Then again, did I really have to? Usually it was easier and cheaper to just replace it. After a long day at work, making dinner, dealing with homework, did I want to have to sit and mend trousers, or did I want to scroll through social media?
The UK buys too many clothes. Fact.
The average UK citizen buys over 26kg of clothing annually.
Some estimates suggest that 99% of things we buy are thrown away within 6 months of purchase.
There are now more phones that people on the planet – this is staggering.
When is enough, enough?
The last year has been a real eye opener for me as we have researched materials, slow fashion, non-ethical business practices, linear and circular economies, production / consumption and natural resources.
There are so many things wrong with the current world model that it is easy to close ourselves off from it. There is nothing we can do.
This thinking is exactly why we are where we are. We do nothing.
They call us consumers.
Do you like that term? I don’t.
It suggests a selfish, destructive user of resources.
Each of us has it within ourselves to make a small change every day.
Separate your waste into the correct bins. Don’t just dump it on the street.
Separate out your textiles/clothing. Can it be recycled? Donated? Given away?
Do you need to buy that new outfit? Do you need it, or just want it.
Do you need that new phone? Really need it?
We need to consume less.
This starts with us. Consumers.
Let’s all consume less and deal with our own waste better.