I am always open to solutions. I am always looking for ways to reduce, reuse, recycle. Always moving forward in understanding and awareness which takes practice.
As a consultant, a healer, a teacher, a guide I consistently warn against jumping on the bandwagon of latest fad or trend in health and wellness. The quick fixes are anything but that, there truly is no such thing. It in no way belittles the research and truthfulness of the research that backs parts of said trend, but trends tend to draw attention away from the true goals, the true growth towards better health. It always comes back to moderation and the deep understanding of your own path, your history and an even deeper understanding that there is no one fix that fits anyone, let alone everyone.
Then comes the trends in Save the World solutions.
Who doesn’t like and support ways to alleviate one of the biggest problems facing the earth: plastic. specifically plastic water bottles (yes, this is a crucial truth and also a bandwagon). It is hard to grasp the huge effect that plastic is having on the earth, and even harder to grasp the constant trends that are acting as solutions.
Even with my research within textiles, the research of multiple different sources and the understanding of how plastic doesn’t ever go away, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, I was all giddy about one of the new trends. When I found out that there were amazing new fabrics being produced from recycled water bottles, I mean, who wouldn’t jump on the bandwagon? We get to save the world by wearing plastic water bottles….forever….
One of the behaviors that I am working on now, it to never jump to the end without looking at how we get there. Never assume things without looking into the background and the future possibilities. The only thing I want to jump into without thinking is a lake, river or my next hike. If it isn’t those things, then I know that I need to do some research. Sone practical thinking.
Truth is plastic doesn’t go away in any traditional decay sequence. When polyester was created it almost instantly changed the world. The earth had a new enemy and human bodies had to learn how deal with a product that made life easier, food processes open to interpretation and… well I can’t think of one area of production that didn’t jump on the bandwagon of this process. From here, there stemmed 6 main plastics and a miscellaneous group of 7 more. They are organized by recycle codes that you can find on the product somewhere. Interesting no? That the knowledge built so quickly about what plastics were and that regulations were quickly applied to organize them in a thoughtful way, knowing they would never break down but could, depending on the plastic, be reused and recycled, but it would have to be in a certain manner as to keep them from becoming toxic. Different plastics, different requirements for recycling. So many possibilities. A bunch of nano-composites that had almost endless possibilities. Endless being the key word.
As time has passed, as with so many brilliant inventions ( ask Elon Musk what a brilliant invention can turn into), problems stemming from creativity sometimes have to be solved with creativity to alleviate the problem, and so on and so on. Time tells a story we could only guess as to where it takes us in the beginning.
The point is that I am not going to sell recycled plastic apparel. The washing of synthetic apparel is enemy # 1 to the plastic problem in our oceans and in all of nature in my book. When the micro and macro fibers are brushed away during the wash and rinse cycle, they are sent through the sewer system and the particles are so small, that there are not yet filters that can keep them from returning to your faucet or the only other place they can go, through endless rounds of filtration, natural and otherwise, these particles end up in the sea, the rivers, the lakes and numerous other places.
So I return to the sustainability of plant based fabrics. Renewable sources like bamboo and hemp seem to have the least impact and can be quickly reloaded into the ecosystem as a source. My solution for now is not reducing the demand for plastics to be made. Reduce the demand by reusing and caring for the plastic as to not break it down as quickly. To not buy plastic products when other less harmful options are available. To always be thoughtful about the clothes, the containers of products I buy, support innovative companies that stop using plastics and are returning to longer lasting packaging that could actually help nature instead of harm.
There is no perfect way to have zero impact, every process might have an impact at some level of production. But, until time passes and could prove me wrong, I’m choosing the products that closer resemble my level of commitment to change and influence the world around me.
What are you willing to do to reduce the demand for products that harm. What are you willing to do to find a better way. Period.
What are you willing to rebel against and be a warrior for?
This is a pretty great article that can “plant” some knowledge and spark your creative juices maybe.
Here are some of my recommendations while searching for answers on subjects that interest you:
1.Stay away from narrow scopes and sales pitch articles. Look for research done by neutral sources.
2.Look for companies that are trying to solve the problems or at least talking about solutions.
3. Don’t hurry into decisions, just be patient with the options and yourself. Do what feels comfortable and allow for changes within your comfort as you become more aware.
4. Look to local companies within your community 1st. It’s amazing how many resources are saved by starting here. Especially within the food and plastic realms.