Category Archives: Sustainable Lifestyles

BUT WHAT ABOUT JOBS?


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It’s a common objection to the environmental movement, the reducetarian movement, and, last but not least, the vegan movement, the latter of which will be the focus on this article.

If the demand for animal products suddenly plunged, those who make a living from animal agriculture would be without work, a genuine concern.

Then again, if everyone quit smoking, those in the tobacco industry would also lose their jobs. Come to think of it, if humanity ever reached a state of world peace, those in the weapons industry would also lose their jobs.

Is this a valid excuse for people to continue smoking and for wars to keep happening?

In all reality, the likelihood of everyone on Earth suddenly going vegan, from one day to the next, is close to nil. This is a gradual process, but one that should not be delayed nevertheless, especially considering the ethical, environmental and health implications put into play by the animal agriculture industry.

Livestock systems take up nearly half of the Earth’s surface and are the leading cause of species extinction, rainforest deforestation, soil depletion, etc. The industry also uses up 33% of the earth’s freshwater and contributes more to climate change than the entire global transportation industry, not to mentioned the cruelty that often takes place inside slaughterhouses.

In the US, slaughterhouse workers have the “highest rates of occupational injury and illness,” according to Human Rights Watch, and some of the worst outbreaks of Covid-19 have been in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants around the world.

As a result of the factors stated above, the meat industry is in decline in most developed countries, and many other parts of the world may soon follow suit.

Considering how almost 50% of all the grains on the planet are used to feed livestock instead of humans, farmers could potentially dedicate themselves to producing food for people and not animals destined for slaughter.  In some areas, soils aren’t suitable for growing crops and vegetables for human consumption. This problem could be solved with vertical farming.

Animal farms are often portrayed as these wonderful places in children’s cartoons and movies. With pigs and cows happily roaming free, providing people around the world with stable jobs, which makes everyone happy and prosperous. But if we look at the big picture, the reality is quite different. Farmers in poor countries are often victims of the global meat industry.

Amazon rainforest cleared for cattle ranching

About 85% of the total grains on Earth that are fed to livestock are fed to those destined to be killed and eaten in wealthier countries, and the majority of the world’s beef, pork, poultry, turkey, soybeans and corn (the last two are mostly used to feed the animals in mention) are in the hands of four companies. This concentration of buyers forces farmers to accept lower prices, contributing to more inequality.

Many people don’t realize that the only reason many farmers are able to turn a profit from exploiting and killing animals is because the industry is, for the most part, heavily subsidized. Annually, the US government spends $38 billion subsidizing the livestock industry, and the European Union dishes out a good 20% of its yearly budget for the same purpose.

All this taxpayer money could be redirected to help farmers produce plant foods for humans, which would significantly lower the environmental cost as well.       

The idea that such a relentlessly destructive and cruel industry should continue to operate on the sole premise that people rely on it for jobs is irrational.

Fear about job losses is a legitimate concern in all areas of today’s world, especially as artificial intelligence systems become increasingly sophisticated, replacing workers on different levels. We should agree on the importance of preserving certain jobs in certain industries, unless the industry itself is pervasively destructive to the planet, the animals that live on it, and to ourselves.

I have personally heard the jobs argument against veganism from environmentalists, who passionately advocate for the replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy without a glint of concern for those employed by the coal industry, who would also lose their jobs. Yet when the idea of ditching meat comes into mention, they are fierce defenders of the economic status quo.

The good news is today there are countless alternatives to our favorite foods, without the cruelty or environmental devastation. The plant-based foods industry is among the fastest growing in the world, and has created over 55,000 high-wage jobs (as of August 2019) in the US alone.   

As intelligent beings, our collective mentality is shifting, along with our value system. Newfound awareness of the impact of our decisions is leading the way in how we spend our money.

Fear of change should not get in the way of this magnificent move in the right direction.  

pepperoni pizza with basil leaves

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MONSTERS TRAPPED IN THE ICE, PATIENTLY WAITING TO BE FREED

Credit: Quo.es

As any informed citizen of the world should know, the polar icecaps are melting at a freakishly rapid pace, at least in comparison to the Earth’s pre-human history.

But the conversation on anthropogenic climate change was put on the backburner after a more immediate threat caught the world by surprise. COVID-19 seemed to come out of nowhere, and as of the moment I write this article, over 1,218,000 people have been infected and almost 67,000 have died. Economies of every country, from Japan to Argentina, have taken a beating. Many have lost their jobs and the future remains uncertain.  

On a positive note, pollution levels from the most industrialized nations have plummeted, and recent evidence shows the cleaner air may also be saving lives.

It’s too soon to know what affect the slowdown will have on the Earth’s climate systems, but we’ve essentially given the atmosphere an overdose of greenhouse gases for decades, and it would likely take several more decades before those planet warming gases faded out away.  

Pixabay at Pexels


In any case, industrialization will likely continue where it left off, once Mr. Coronavirus has reluctantly left the stage.

The source of COVID-19 is most likely a Wet Market in China, where wild animals are kept, brutalized and killed (sadly, slaughter houses in every country in the world can be equally cruel, albeit to different animals).

Indeed, we’ll probably get over this. But in the coming years such pandemics may come from more unsuspected sources, like deep within the permafrost of the far north, which is now melting. However, unlike the outbreaks of the past (most of which developed close to us and over which we eventually developed some form of immunity), these pathogens have been hidden under the ice for thousands of years.

Like alien invaders from a previously hidden universe, our immune systems could also be ill equipped to deal with something so freakishly novel.   

Credit: Scitechdaily.com

A 2017 BBC article discusses just that, and how the prospect of zombie pathogens, as fictional as it sounds, may one day become a reality. In fact, it has already happened, albeit not on a large scale, yet.

In 2016, Siberia was hit by a major heatwave, followed by an unexpected outbreak of anthrax from the thawing of deer carcasses, once nestled beneath the permafrost. The previously frozen bacteria were unleashed, and like an invisible sandstorm, they rolled across the tundra and infected dozens of people, eventually killing a 12-year-old boy. That same year, an article from Scientific American wrote how “human viruses from even further back could also make a showing. For instance, the microorganisms living on and within the early humans who populated the Arctic could still be frozen in the soil.”

This means viruses caught by early humans in the Arctic could come back to haunt us, and some may be completely unfamiliar and unpredictable.

Today’s situation is indeed quite scary. Never have I experienced a crisis affecting the farthest reaches of the globe. But what’s to come may be even scarier if we continue to warm the planet while poisoning it with our factories, our transportation and our relentless deforestation.

One would hope this experience serves as a testament to our own mortality, that the current economic system is more fragile than we allow ourselves to believe, and that we have to stop treating the planet (along with the animals that live on it) like a commodity before it’s too late.

Otherwise, the days of the COVID-19 pandemic may be remembered as the good old days, back when we all believed this was as bad as it could get, oblivious to the much darker clouds on the horizon, all because we were too stubborn to change our ways when things got back to normal.

Credit: Surfertoday.com

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CORONA CHAOS, AND WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM IT


Credit: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It’s impossible to go anywhere these days without hearing the word “coronavirus” (or more specifically, Covid-19). Every media outlet (including this one) is passionately covering the topic. Arguments among friends and family are breaking out over whether it’s all media hype or a legitimate threat and, not surprisingly, every conspiracy theory under the sun is clogging the internet’s arteries, causing mass confusion and mistrust in our institutions.

Living on Earth in 2020 is like riding shotgun in a speeding vehicle where the driver just had a cocktail of every imaginable drug. Pupils dilated, pedal to the metal, he just swerved off the road and is barreling towards a canyon. That canyon can be the stock market, which has taken a major hit (but continues to fluctuate like a rollercoaster). It can also be the overall situation, as new countries join the list of documented coronavirus cases.

The efficiency with which the coronavirus spread globally is unnerving. It went from a Chinese problem to a global crisis in a matter of weeks. But this should not surprise us. Cheap flights to every corner of the globe are now the norm. Nearly every island, region and nation with something worth talking about is flooded with visitors from far-away places, thrilled to show their Instagram followers their every move, potentially picking up local viruses on the way, and bringing them home.

Since this is an environmental website, I’d also like to mention that although tourism is great for local economies, it also inundates the skies with airplanes, injecting billions of metric tons of C02 into the atmosphere every day.  


Credit: NBA Top Highlights/Youtube

To top it off, the industry is responsible for 35 million tons of solid waste dumped into our environment (including our oceans) every year.

The idea here is to create awareness, not to blame all the planet’s ailments, including the coronavirus, on the tourism industry alone. There are numerous factors at play here, but tourism is a big one.
Both for the good of the earth’s ecosystems and to mitigate the threat of global pandemics, it’s best to travel locally whenever possible. A great option for lodging is Ecobnb, which provides eco-friendly accommodations and encourages local travel.

Now onto the source of coronavirus Covid-19, which is believed to be a market in China that sells animals, both dead and alive. The original hosts of the virus are believed to be bats, which may have infected live chickens or other animals in the Wuhan market (called a Wet Market).

As human beings, our relationship with animals is complex. In some cultures, certain animals are treated as our own children, like dogs and cats. In others, these same animals are merely sources of food and subject to brutal exploitation before they are killed. While such treatment often brings about international condemnation, other countries systematically treat other animals with similar cruelty, mainly to satiate public demand for meat.


Credit: The Dodo

Nearly all pathogens throughout contemporary human history (tuberculosis, measles, mumps, smallpox, etc.) came into our world as the result of agriculture, (more specifically animal agriculture), which arose approximately 11,000 years ago. Most coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, circulate around animals, including domestic farm animals.

It’s quite possible that if most people around the world adopted plant-based diets and avoided animal-based products, the resurgence of epidemics such as Covid-19, SARS and MERS could potentially be avoided, as there would be little to no domestic farm animals in confined areas, in constant contact with humans. The extreme cruelty and environmental degradation caused by animal agriculture could also become a thing of the past. Plus, we could significantly improve our health and prevent other health related diseases.

Social media is helping spread conspiracy theories about the coronavirus from all angles, some claiming it was created by the US government to destroy China, others saying it was the Chinese government bent on controlling the population and destroying the US economy, others that it was Joe Biden, Fidel Castro and Santa Claus conspiring to ruin Trump’s second presidential bid. While these ideas are great click-magnets, the real reason this thing exists, and has spread so rapidly, is a convolution of complex factors, including our interconnected world and our mostly not so pleasant relationship with animals.

Let’s just hope the driver of this car can sober up, get things under control, and change his ways before it’s too late.


Credit: Everythingcarsclub

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Pandemics, Climate Change, and Conspiracies

Understanding the world means accepting the fact that things sometimes happen randomly, that reality can be complex, and that certain events may be the result of numerous variables inadvertently colliding, without any conscious forces guiding them. But for the human brain, this concept is often hard to grasp.

Why? One theory is that our brains perceive patterns when random events occur as a way of detecting potentially dangerous coalitions. Many social scientists believe our brains evolved this way because such coalitions were prevalent in the ancestral environment, mainly in the form of neighboring tribes conspiring to invade our own.

And now here we are, in the 21st century, where the world has become way more complex, albeit relatively nonbelligerent in comparison to certain eras in human history, so far. At least in most peaceful nations we can confidently stride to the supermarket without worrying about being ambushed by people with spears.

Credit: Historiam Olim

But even for those of us who live in the coziest of conditions, there is often fear and mistrust, especially of groups that possess more power than we do. Fueled by social media, every conspiracy theory we can imagine is adopted by a certain group of people as an unequivocal truth, and it usually involves the belief that another group is plotting to take advantage of us, and eventually destroy us.

This isn’t to say we don’t face threats, or that any form of mistrust in local and/or foreign institutions is illogical. But these beliefs are often overblown and misguided. One of the most pervasive, and nonsensical, beliefs is that nearly every university, institution, scientist and government on the entire planet has conspired to lie to the public about our role in altering the Earth’s climate, resulting in climate change denial and suspicion over scientific facts.

Irrational conspiracy theories are believed to have spurred numerous violent attacks in recent history, such as the gunning down of 11 Jewish worshipers at a US synagogue in 2018. The gunman was convinced Jews were bringing illegal immigrants to the US to help them take over world governments and destroy the “white” race. The 9/11 attacks, which killed thousands, were carried out by jihadists who believed Islam is under attack by Judeo-Christian nations. Then there’s Dylan Roof, who killed nine people at a black Church in the US state of South Carolina in 2015, and Anders Breivik, who killed 77 in Norway in 2011. Both men were motivated by the belief that they were “defending themselves” from groups threatening the existence of their own race.


Photograph: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

And now, not surprisingly, irrational beliefs are being spread about our beloved coronavirus. The Chinese created it to control the population and destroy the world, the Trump administration created it to destroy China, American liberals created it to undermine the Trump administration, aliens created it to…. 

Such outrageous rumors, particularly the first one mentioned, have spurred racist attacks, mainly towards Asians in non-Asian countries throughout the world.

In all reality, the coronavirus is the result of some random and not so random events. Epidemiologists suggest it originated in bats, that were then transmitted to domestic animals and spread to humans.

Nobody intentionally created this virus.

But the illogical beliefs and reactions throughout the globe are not surprising when we understand how flawed the human psyche is. Considering the fact that humankind has walked on the moon and sent robots to mars, it’s easy to believe our brains have advanced quite a lot since prehistoric times. And it’s true that, despite the attacks mentioned above, violence around the world has decreased over time (as also mentioned above), in part thanks to increases in global literacy rates through education, democracy and an abundance of resources brought to us by our own technological advancements.

But these are mainly the accumulation of previous discoveries and material wealth, used to finance research into more discoveries, rather than our brains having evolved to where we are now rational, superbly intelligent beings.

There’s no doubt education has improved our situation in myriad ways, making us less susceptible to illogical perceptions of reality.


Credit: EUIPO-Europa EU

But it doesn’t make us immune.  

A cure for the coronavirus may come about with the development of a vaccine. But human induced climate change is much more complex and cannot be solved with a simple shot in the arm. When resources become scarce as a result of more heatwaves, floods and droughts, more conspiracy theories will emerge as to who is really at fault, and violence may become much more pervasive than in the recent past.

Perhaps someday, as an entire species, we’ll harness the ability to distinguish random events from those orchestrated with malicious intent. But until then, we might as well keep a firm grip on our spears.

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SCIENCE DENIAL: FUEL FOR GLOBAL CRISES

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Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Science is a system of knowledge that has been around since long before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. It’s widely believed that the first scientist was Ibn al-Haytham, an Iraqi mathematician and astronomer who died around 1040 AD in Cairo, Egypt. Since those days, science advanced at a relatively modest pace, picking up steam during the Renaissance, when the idea of heliocentrism (the fact that the Earth and other planets in the solar system revolve around the sun) became widely accepted.

But since its emergence onto the big stage, science has been subject to relentless onslaughts by its enemies, and there’s a reason for this. Domination of the masses relies on stories and falsehoods, which science has been known to shatter. 

The Islamic Golden Age, which lasted from around 800 to 1100, came to an end when the influential Imam Hamid al-Ghazali of Iraq led his followers to believe mathematics was the work of the devil. Centuries later, in 1633, Galileo was convicted of heresy for spreading the word about heliocentrism, and Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was vehemently rejected as pure lunacy in the mid-19th century.

But that was a long time ago. People today are much smarter and more civilized, right?

Sadly, there is no legitimate evidence to show that the human brain has actually evolved much in the last few centuries. The barbarians of the middle ages basically had the same brain structure as those you see today in fancy cars. Among the few things that have changed about humans since then is the abundance of accumulated knowledge, and culture.

But what exactly does that mean?

First, let’s consider how even with 21st century luxuries, such as airplanes, smart phones and modern medicine, all brought to you by scientific discoveries, science continues to be under attack today. Climate science is relentlessly subject of suspicion by the masses and suppressed by fossil fuel interest and lobby groups, in the same way health experts who proved tobacco smoke is the leading cause of cardiorespiratory diseases were “debunked” by powerful and influential individuals with ties to the tobacco industry.

Among them was Mike Pence, the current vice-president of the most powerful and influential nation on Earth today, where the president himself has openly stated that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese government to undermine American productivity.  

This brings us to our highly esteemed coronavirus, which has garnered even more media attention than Kim Kardashian’s worst day at the office, believe it or not. Of course, with good reason. As of the moment I write this article, the virus has spread faster and infected more people than the SARS and MERS outbreaks.


Credit: E!/Youtube

When the virus first broke out in Wuhan, China, local authorities tried to silence the doctors who warned of its deadly potential. From Wuhan it has spread all over the world, including the United States, where President Trump has spent the last two years slashing funds from the agencies responsible for handling these kinds of crises.

Sadly, our tribal instincts appear to be getting the best of us. Science is no longer a way to discover emergent truths. If you accept certain scientific facts, you may be regarded as “one of those liberals.” It’s a political thing now, as if the laws of physics were somehow the machinations of Hillary Clinton and company.

Credit: BBC.com

Of course, it’s not all one sided. Anti-vax conspiracy theories show no respect for the political divide, whose believers are all over the place, from conservative Christians to left wing hippies, and similar theories about the coronavirus have spread much faster than the virus itself, adopted and spread by people of all walks of life.       

A potential remedy is to invest in educating people, from a young age, about the importance of science in low, middle- and high-income schools, ideally throughout the entire world. Because if we want to overcome crises like climate change and global pandemics, we have to figure out how to overcome ourselves first.

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The future is in the waves

I remember when I was a kid in the 80’s, the thought of cars that don’t pollute the air never captured my attention. The thought of flying cars most certainly did (in large part thanks to Marty McFly and of course, Dr. Emmet “Doc” Brown). Back then, stories of a future where windmills and solar panels light people’s homes would’ve had a soporific effect on my boyish imagination. Windmills and solar panels by 2020? You mean we haven’t even colonized Mars yet? No first contact with alien life? Not even a channel where we can at least send them messages?

Well, at least in 2020 we can send each other messages much faster than in 1985. Yeah, I know. Not much to brag about considering the expectations.

And that’s not the worst of it. In 2020 most homes on Earth still aren’t powered by windmills and solar panels. We’re still burning coal just so we can kill the darkness and cool our food. Come to think of it, if Doc had transported the 80’s version of me to 2020, I’d have been one disappointed, frustrated kid in a future devoid of ray guns and inundated with iPhones, which aren’t really so exciting.

But considering the dire situation in which we’re continuously finding ourselves, where much of Europe just had its warmest January on record, the 39-year-old version of myself might have a few things to finally get excited about.

Renewable energies still require backup energy either from coal, gas or nuclear since they lack efficient storage to use saved energy when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. But there’s one activity that nature never puts on halt, the waves that crash along the seashore, unloading tremendous amounts of kinetic energy. In fact, they can produce the annual equivalent of 2.64 trillion kilowatt hours of energy. That’s approximately 64% of US electricity generation in 2018.

Source: ttim.co.th

This is no longer just a fantasy of the future. In the state of Portland, Oregon, a giant barge-like wave energy device is currently in the making, due to be tested in Hawaii. And Japan is also leading the way in wave technology. Considering how approximately 40% of the Earth’s human population resides within 100km of the coast, this could be quite an intriguing breakthrough when it comes to reduction in C02 emissions, especially considering how wave energy would produce close to zero of those emissions.

Sure, it’s not as exciting as shattering the space time continuum on a hoverboard, but there are plenty of surfboards that can take us to the future we need now more than ever.     

Source: Surfgirlmag

THIS TIME IT’S DIFFERENT….

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As you may already know, immense portions of Australia are on fire. It’s no coincidence that 2018 happened to be the driest and hottest year on record for Australia. In a recent BBC article, Professor Richard Betts from Met Office Hadley Center stated that we’re “seeing a sign of what would be normal conditions under a future warming world of 3C.”

In fact, to say “change is coming” is a bit of an understatement, because for many, that “change” is already here.

As terrifying as it sounds, massive infernos like this one may become commonplace on other continents in the coming years. Yet most of the world’s most powerful governments continue to deny the problem, let alone address it. Countless conspiracy theories are spreading even faster than the fires themselves, mainly efforts to deny the role of climate change, while too many world leaders continue to party like it’s still 1999.  

Indeed, the initial effects of climate change are knocking on our door. The owners of the house hear the knock, but they refuse to answer, knowing there’s an inconvenient reality on the other side. They’ve been ignoring the knock for years now, even though its getting louder and louder.

For decades, fossil fuel lobby groups have invested millions of dollars spreading misinformation about the role of human activities on the climate. Their efforts have been fruitful, especially in recent times with the election of leaders in bed with industry magnates.

But last year something changed.

Young people rallied in major cities around the world, in record numbers, to protest the complacency of the current leadership. Greta Thunberg may have helped spur the movement, but her voice was just the match in a gas filled room. Those fed up with denial and inaction on the climate crisis filled the streets, garnering enough media attention to turn heads and get people talking throughout the globe.


Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP

Those young enough, and informed enough, to fear for their own futures, are now old enough to take a stand.

Whether or not it’s too late to save the planet, and ourselves, remains to be seen. The warning signs keep getting more ominous. But this time the owners of the house can hide all they want, because the kids will soon be running the show, and they’re not afraid to open the door, and listen to whoever’s been knocking.   

And more things are happening.

Renewable energy prices are dropping, relying less and less on subsidies to compete with traditional energy sources, and more and more people are turning their backs on companies that poison the planet. Diets are also shifting, with increasing awareness of the hidden cost meat has on the environment, with record numbers vowing to reduce or ditch meat entirely in 2020.

Whether or not it’s too late to save the planet, and ourselves, remains to be seen. The warning signs keep getting more ominous. But this time the owners of the house can hide all they want, because the kids will soon be running the show, and they’re not afraid to open the door and confront reality.   

Courtesy: Robert Montalvo

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Traveling the planet, with the planet in mind

Most modern-day transport takes an enormous toll on the environment. Despite recent innovations in mobility (fuel-efficient cars and planes), global transport spit out 1.9 billion metric tons of C02 into the atmosphere in 2018.

That’s a lot of C02.

Not all this C02 is from travelers. But a lot of it is. The problem is travel has become so much easier and cheaper over the years. So many bargains and packages to travel halfway across the world. It’s become increasingly difficult to deny ourselves a well-deserved escapade to an exotic destination.  

But our travel cravings come into conflict with our desire for a cleaner, healthier planet, both for ourselves and our children. The hotel industry contributes about 1% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, and that number is expected to rise. To top it off, the tourism sector is responsible for the 35 million tons of solid waste dumped into our environment every year.

That’s a lot of trash.

To be perfectly honest, simply abstaining from long-distance travel is the best way to avoid this. But asking people to stop traveling is like asking children to do their homework during the holidays.


Is there still a way to travel and avoid trashing the planet at the same time? Believe it or not, there is.  

Unlike most companies whose sole purpose is to gain profits, there’s an eco-conscious outlier called Ecobnb. Owned by social entrepreneurs Simone Riccardi and Silvia Ombellini, Ecobnb is a community soulfully dedicated to sustainable tourism. They help travelers from every corner of the globe find accommodations in harmony with nature, everything from carbon neutral chalets in the mountains to treehouses and igloos.

What makes Ecobnb such an amazing company? For starters, they require all accommodations to run on 100% renewable energy. But there’s so much more. Hosts must also have organic food, ecological cleaning products, car-free accessibility, energy saving lights, and they must recycle more than 80% of their waste.


https://ecobnb.com/

The project was co-funded by the European Union and has received mention in a number of prestigious media outlets, including the British journal The Telegraph.

For those of us who want to travel the world while preserving the planet for our grand kids and beyond, Ecobnb is an exceptional alternative.

Sustainable Brilliance is dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint whenever possible and however practicable. However, we understand that reducing our air travel is not always easy. That’s why we’ve partnered with Jetradar to offer you the best rates on flights all over the world. Every time you purchase a flight through our link, please know that you’ll be contributing to a good cause as 10% of our yearly revenue will be donated to the Marine Conservation Institute. If you plan on travelling, click here to reserve your flight, and help save our oceans without paying a penny more than you normally would.

SHOPPING TO SAVE THE PLANET: A FASCINATING NEW REALITY.

MotherErth.com Blog images

Ah yes, the holiday season is finally here. Family, loved ones, gifts, arguments about politics, and of course, lots of waste.

We consume products as if they just fell from the sky, and pretend as if all the gift wrap, the plastic casing, and of course, the product itself eventually end up in some mysterious place over the rainbow after we “throw it out”.


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Unfortunately, such a place does not exist, and even though our trash may be “out of sight, out of mind”, it usually ends up either buried underground or in our rivers and oceans.  According to the Ocean Conservancy, 8 million metric tons of plastic goes into the ocean every year.

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The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way.

A new startup called Mother Erth is changing the way we look at consumerism. Instead of creating more garbage, each purchase you make can actually help clean the planet.

According to their page, “We are a social impact company creating fashion that empowers women and restores the earth. We intercept unrecyclable materials before they can pollute the land and oceans and then work with a team of incredible artisan moms to create one-of-a-kind pieces of art.”

The company collects tons of plastic laminated foil discarded into the environment from manufacturers in Asia. Mother Erth finds them, cleans them, cuts them, and empowers artisan moms in the Philippines to use their traditional hand weaving skills to turn them into fashionable items, paying them at fair-wage prices, over three times the local average.

Credit: Mother Erth

Mother Erth proudly states that “when you buy a Mother Erth bag you keep pollution from our land and oceans and give artisan moms in rural areas access to markets to stop the poverty cycle. Carry it with pride.”

Considering how polluted today’s oceans are, and how much income inequality has grown all over the world, it’s nice to see new players working hard to make the world a better place.


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MotherErth.com Blog images

Laundry detergent has a massive impact on the planet. Let’s change that.

Tru Earth Laundry Strips

We all want to be as eco-friendly as possible. Let’s face it, nobody wants to live on a planet where the rivers and oceans are inundated with plastic, and where whales, fish and birds are choking on our trash. But at the same time, modern day life is good, isn’t it? Unless we’re willing to adopt an Amish lifestyle, it’s not easy to give up things like running water and electricity, which would mean no internet and no TV, and hence, no Family Guy.

Credit: © Shahar Azran / Polaris Images / East News
Credit: © Shahar Azran / Polaris Images / East News

The simple act of washing our clothes with the average detergent can be terrible for the environment. Regular detergents don’t biodegrade, polluting rivers and oceans with toxic metals, starving fish and other plant life of oxygen and the nutrients they need. Actually, just the act of washing our clothes, even with only water, can be harmful since most modern clothes contains synthetic materials, like microplastics, which also end up in our waterways.

Unfortunately, completely ditching detergent might not be the best idea for the freshness of your wardrobe. That’s why today we’ll focus on being better, if not exactly perfect.

Most cleaning products on today’s market are extremely damaging to the environment. But there’s a new player disrupting the way we look at laundry detergent. Tru Earth is a Vancouver startup offering zero waste laundry strips.

Click here to learn more.

 

For one, the strips don’t come in a plastic bottle (as do most detergents). Instead, they’re nestled inside a zero-waste compostable cardboard sleeve. This helps eliminate the hundreds of thousands of plastic jugs that end up in landfills, and often in rivers and oceans, each year.

Whether or not you use hot or cold water, each strip dissolves in your laundry machine, cleaning your clothes without having a profound impact on the environment. Manufactured in Canada, Tru Earth’s ultra-concentrated formula has a 94% lower carbon footprint compared to traditional detergents.

Their products are also vegan. This means they don’t contain animal-based ingredients, nor are they tested on animals.

Tru Earth is more than just a company, it’s a movement. The #TruEarthMovement aims at reducing the negative impact our daily actions have on our planet. Starting with our laundry detergent may seem like a small step, but enough small steps end up turning into big leaps.

So for those who really care about the environment, maybe you can give it a try. If not, there’s always Amish Country.

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