Updated: Oct 22
The resounding answer is NO. To secure the sustainability of both humanity and our precious planet Earth, we must embrace a trifecta of principles: Minimalism, Moderation, and Mindful living. Our overconsumption only leads to diseases for human beings and the planet, not a sustainable world.
In our contemporary market, the term 'sustainability' is tossed around with abandon, often attached to products like plant-based and vegan fabrics. Yet, before we pat ourselves on the back for choosing these alternatives, it's imperative that we, as responsible consumers, scrutinize their true environmental impact. We must break free from the cycle of repeating our ancestors' mistakes.
Let's journey back to the origins of plastic to understand its initial purpose. Plastic emerged as a solution to safeguard our natural world and address the depletion of precious resources. Remarkably, it is plastic that paved the way for our modern way of life. It fueled the development of computers, smartphones, and countless life-saving medical innovations. Lightweight and excellent for insulation, plastics have contributed to the conservation of fossil fuels, the reduction of deforestation, and the transition away from coal in heating and transportation. Without plastics, many conveniences we now take for granted would remain exclusive to the privileged and affluent. So, as you read this, does plastic still seem like the arch-nemesis?
The crux of the matter lies in how we utilize plastic and where we deploy it. The key is ensuring that it doesn't become an agent of pollution in our Earth, oceans, or our bodies. Paradoxically, we began producing plastics to preserve our planet, only to now witness a return to deforestation in the name of conservation. I understand if some of you are a bit perplexed at this point, wondering, "What on Earth is Simy talking about?" Look around, and you'll notice an upsurge in plant-based and vegan clothing, shoes, bags, diapers, toys, and more. But have you ever wondered where the materials for these products originate? Are those resulting in deforestation, are vegan items genuinely plant-based, and if not, what substitutes are being used, and how and where are they manufactured - does it create water/land pollution and hazard to human health?
If your focus aligns with the sustainability of our planet, our well-being, and our future, then the first and foremost step is to educate yourself about the products you're considering. Avoid blindly hopping onto any bandwagon or trusting in hearsay. Secondly, before making a purchase, assess whether it aligns with the health and well-being of your family, our planet, and yourself. Remember, just as clothes that constrict you can choke your comfort, those same items can strangle the planet and the artisans who make them. Consider those Halloween costumes for your child's school party, laden with harmful substances harmful to all involved. Wouldn't it be wiser for everyone to steer clear of such choices?
Lastly, pause to ask yourself, 'Do I genuinely need it?' If the answer leans towards a want rather than a necessity, chances are it will become a source of waste and exert a negative impact on both us and our planet. This holds true for all that we consume, be it clothing, food, gadgets, or any other aspect of our lives. In embracing Minimalism, Moderation, and Mindful Living, we can pave the path towards a more sustainable future for ourselves and the Earth we call home."