This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day event, this annual occasion is celebrated in over 100 countries and has gained traction in South Africa over the past few years.
Earth Day, taking place on the 22nd of April, is one of the largest non-religious gatherings worldwide and highlights the importance of taking care of the environment. However, with the significant gain of the movement in SA, activists and participants are now left with questions as to how they will celebrate the environment while staying at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
For fashion and beauty brands sustainability has arguably become one of the biggest issues. Monica Ebert from wool athleisure brand Core Merino says, “Sustainability is more than just a trend, it’s an expectation from customers who analyse everything about the products. As a brand, we value innovation and educating our customers about the importance of using eco-friendly products and encouraging them not to take a backseat in the fight against the climate crisis during and post lockdown”.
Earth Day celebrations usually include activities such as climate strikes, conferences, beach clean-ups, hiking, outdoor group yoga, however, due to lockdown regulation, outdoor activities and gatherings of large groups are not possible. Ebert offers a few ideas of fun things you can do that will have a lasting impact on the environment beyond the Coronavirus:
Start and cultivate a garden
Contrary to popular belief, gardening does not require huge spaces and amazing luxury gardens. You can grow flowers, plants and trees on your balcony, garden or inside. Not only is this great for restoring living things in the environment but also offer major health benefits and contribute to general well-being.
Beginners will discover that there is pure satisfaction in watching your flowers bloom and pleasure in growing and eating your own veggies, so what better way to learn self-reliance and self-sufficiency than planting.
Reorganise household waste and recyclables
Recycling is one of the popular concepts used to describe waste management, this means separating household waste according to their material and having it collected by a recycling company. This process takes time to set up bins inside the kitchen with different labels such as glass, paper, metals and plastic. This could be done without leaving the house to buy new bins by using old tins and jars stored away in your kitchen or garage.
Declutter and build an ethical wardrobe
The first and most important step to building a sustainable wardrobe is looking at what you have and removing what you don’t like and wear. The second step is to evaluate what could be mended and repurposed, or even upcycled. Sustainable fashion isn’t a completely new idea but one of the challenges with building an ethical wardrobe is finding out where to start shopping.
Retail brands are far more transparent about their clothing make-up in 2020, which aids consumers in opting for natural fibres and more sustainable options. Ebert says that the sky’s the limit in terms of product and price range. “Merino wool is an obvious choice for every sustainable wardrobe as wool is a fibre that works in many formats for all seasons and all temperatures. The fibre has gained substantial popularity internationally, specifically in the exercise and outdoor sectors, and we’re seeing an increase in South Africa too”.