11. Stopping Shopping
Not sure which way you make the most pollution? Find out.
No one can stop shopping entirely, but if you could (almost) kick the habit, it would help.
There's much too much abuse and pollution in the shopping supply chain.
“‘Fashion is a terrible excuse for animal exploitation’.”
“In 2020, Stockholm Fashion Week kicked off with a ban on exotic skins, meaning no crocodile, snake, ostrich, or alligator skin.”
By Nina Bazza - https://www.four-paws.org/, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77747637
There’s no such thing."
"Turns out, there's a lot of harm."
“‘Cotton defoliants are ‘the most toxic farm chemicals currently on the market’.”
Too much cotton comes from the forced labor of Uyhgurs in Xinjiang.
“From the extraction of the raw materials to the wastewater from the dyes… synthetic fabric is environmentally problematic.”
“The clothing industry...employs every sixth person on Earth...the apparel trade has exploited labor [and] the environment.”
“Systemic human rights abuses pervade the global garment industry.”
"Textile dyeing is one of the most polluting aspects of the global fashion industry" (see photo). The "fabric-dyeing industry...uses trillions of gallons of water a year."
"The fashion industry...is responsible for up to 10% of global carbon emissions." “Clothes account for a massive, and growing, pile of waste that ends up in landfills.”
“Three East African countries stood up to the industry and initiated a ban on secondhand clothing” imports.
It can be difficult to connect all the dots that lead from glamorous runways and fashion houses...to miserable third world workers and polluted weather.
“The energy-intensive fast-fashion sector…has become notorious for…chemicals that quickly end up in landfills and oceans.”
The ultra-fast-fashion company Shein, “has poured significant funds into Google and Facebook advertising campaigns, influencer deals, and even its own social-media reality show…
Ultra-fast-fashion will only keep ticking up in speed… as long as consumers continue to...buy.”
“Heavy-duty trucks are responsible for nearly a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions
from the nation’s transportation sector”...
“Tractor-trailers, delivery vans, and heavier-duty pickup trucks…
[emit]...45% of nitrogen oxide emissions and 57% of…PM 2.5.”
“Electrifying delivery vehicles would take [a large] bite out of carbon emissions”
"The port of Los Angeles...shows apparent increases in NO2 [pollution] in October
2021" due to "record-breaking backlogs of container ships idling offshore."
“90% of the world’s trade is carried via ocean traffic”, and container ships are “some of the biggest and dirtiest machines on the planet.”
“Cargo ships…burn some of the world’s dirtiest and carbon- intensive fuels.” “Ships are acting as hazardous waste incinerators for the world’s oil refineries.”
"The dumping of rubbish resulting from the routine operations of ships, and from illegal activities...are major sources of pollution."
“The Sri Lankan…Navy said...The ship’s crew were aware of [the nitric acid] leak...
and had sought to dock in Qatar and India but were denied permission." June 2021
"An abandoned cargo ship packed with cars is adrift in the Atlantic Ocean, after a rapidly- spreading fire..." February 2022
What To Do?
I'm sorry to report that except for paper/cardboard, bottles, and tin/aluminium, many "recycled" materials get incinerated or dumped - in the US or elsewhere.
Reuse or Repair
Support Right-to-Repair legislation. If we fix old stuff, instead of dumping old stuff and buying new stuff, there’ll be less stuff
in our oceans and atmosphere - see more on stuff below.
Not the best at fixing things? See if there’s a Repair Cafe (or something similar) near you.
Keep in mind the clever corporate concept of planned obsolescence:
"The ultimate goal is to make you buy products again and again".
I’ve found that people appreciate a simple home-made-type of gift.
For more info, read about Buy Nothing Day.
Buy 2nd hand
It takes a little time, but you can find good-quality items (including suits and other dress clothing) at second-hand stores.
Re tech items: buying-second-hand-tech
Search - second hand stores near me
Consult the scorecards
Compare different apparel companies at an ethical fashion scorecard.
"The fashion industry continues to rely heavily on coal...plus...fracked gas."
For electronics, go to: ethicalconsumer.org/technology/shopping-guide/laptops
Too much stuff
"That's all you need in life, a little place for your stuff...If you didn't have so much stuff, you wouldn't need a house...
And when you leave your house, you gotta lock it up. Wouldn't want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff...That's what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get...more stuff!"