Human-Made Stuff Outweighs Entire Biomass: What We Can Do About It

I hope you enjoyed a lovely holiday. It was a weird one for sure! For me, the days were spent skating on our outdoor rink, eating too much of my mother’s baking, and crafting with my kid. I also got to enjoy a luxury that doesn’t happen often enough: reading. 

I dove into digital lifestyle magazines, revisited a favourite novel (A Fine Balance, anyone?), and surveyed the state of the world by catching up on the news. 

One thing stopped me in my tracks. It was an article in the Guardian with this line in it: 

" The amount of plastic alone is greater in mass than all land animals and marine creatures combined. "

That is a terrifying fact, especially when we consider that “on average, every person in the world is responsible for the creation of human-made matter equal to more than their body weight each week.”

We—humans—are the problem. But we can also be part of the solution. 

Now that we’re all about to dive into the new year (buh bye and good riddance 2020), it feels like the perfect time to reset and rethink what is important to us. Here are three things you might resolve to do in 2021.

Pass Over Packaging

Seeing things like cucumbers or oranges on styrofoam trays wrapped in plastic wrap DRIVES ME NUTS. How about you?

Globally, consumer goods generate around 207 million tons of packaging waste annually and about two thirds of that is food packaging. 

When possible, be more conscious of what you buy and how it’s packaged. You might walk past the oranges bundled in that plastic mesh and instead throw a bunch in a reusable produce bag. You might bring your own jars to your local bulk food or refill store. You might opt for something in biodegradable packaging instead of something that will sit in the landfill for a lifetime. There are options!

Take Your Fashion Slow

Did you know the fast fashion industry produces 10 percent of global carbon emissions and 20 percent of global wastewater? According to the UN, this is more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. 

Luckily, there are alternatives to fast fashion options. Entrepreneurs are taking up the charge to lessen the impact of garments on the environment. Consider supporting their work—while looking dashing and dapper!

Here are a few sustainable Canadian brands you might want to check out:

🌿 Anian (women’s & men’s casual shirts & hats)
🌿 Preloved (women’s lounge & casualwear)
🌿 Message Factory (women’s & men’s casual & knit clothing)
🌿 Milk (women’s knitwear)
🌿 Unika Swim (swimwear)
🌿 Okayok (unisex & kid’s tees & streetwear)
🌿 Arraei (timeless women’s wear)

Turn to Plastic-Free Personal Care

At least 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean every year. Personal care products are a major source of those microplastics. If that bothers you as much as it does me, you’ll want to seek out eco-friendly alternatives. It just so happens that I, ahem, know of one such brand— etee! In case you missed it, we have everything from plastic-free shampoos and conditioners, shaving bars, lip balms, soaps, hand lotion bars, chewpaste (like toothpaste but better) and so much more!

Even though 2020 was a bit of a dumpster fire, 2021 can be better. And we can all make it better by starting with our choices. Right? Right!

Happy New Year, friends!

Take care of you and the planet,
- Chantal + team etee

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