A thoughtful gift is something someone could remember for a lifetime. We all appreciate the loving intentions that gifting carries. But the commercialization of holidays has added not only stress but tons of waste to gift giving. Wildlife Works protects the most remote forests in the world and we can’t ignore the impact of our consumption on the health of our planet. This holiday season, we at Wildlife Works are going to slow down consumption in order to give back to our earth and here’s why it matters.
The explosive growth and globalization of the apparel industry has accelerated pollution everywhere. This industry is one of the top five greenhouse gas emitters, contributing over 5% of all emissions – equal to the livestock industry. Textile dying alone is responsible for one fifth of industrial water pollution. 85% of used clothing goes to landfill when nearly all clothing can be recycled.
Plastic waste in fashion is also massive, with all of the polyester clothing being produced. But the industry also uses millions of plastic hang tags and other plastic packaging and trims for every single unit of apparel produces. This plastic waste eventually ends up in the ocean and waterways.
Fast fashion and our culture of over consumption for all goods has trained consumers to want things cheaper and faster, all at the expense of human safety in factories and everyone’s health everywhere.
Consumer goods now have shorter lifespans and longer waste-spans. Consider also the amount of non-compostable packaging that comes with everything we consume. It turns out that throwing them in the recycling bin does little to divert the landfill. Recycling centers have been closing rapidly due to lower demand for recycled materials and higher costs to recycle them.
We agree with Alden Wicker of EcoCult that brands and producers should take full responsibility for their products’ end of life. Until they institute a take-back program, or make more sustainable packaging, we should pressure them to do so and think twice about buying their products.
This holiday season, we challenge you to and support you in consumption-free gift giving. We approve gifts of adventures and experiences that bring you and your loved ones together. Treat them out to dinner, or make them dinner. Gift them a gym membership, a pottery class or spa day. Pay for 6 moths of their Spotify or Netflix subscription. Or what about cold hard cash? Try gifting less with a secret Santa or white elephant gift exchange. Ideas are endless!
If your loved ones are afar and physical gifting is something you can’t give up, spend a few more minutes choosing more ethical gifts. Here’s a head start, and our gift to you:
One time use plastic alternative gifts
Blue Avocado – Reusable zip lock bags
Super Bee – Reusable wax wrap
Etee – Reclaimed leather wrap
Chico Bags – Reusable shopping bags
Eco Bag – Reusable produce bags
Organic and fair-trade clothing is just as important to our health as organic and fair-trade food. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and healthy clothing minimizes toxic exposure for workers, consumers, and the environment.
Raven & Lily
If we can all just buy a little slower, a little more consciously and a little less, we can give our planet a little space to heal! Happy Holidays everyone!