The Butterfly Effect

Some days I am more mindful than others.

Just remembering to bring my reusable shopping bags into the store from my car is a small victory. It's not a big deal but it's one less plastic bag that I use.  Each day that we make one mindful decision creates a ripple effect. Yesterday I made some choices. My family loves seltzer water. We go through cases of seltzer at a time.  I recycle the cans but yesterday I thought, I can do better.  I decided to invest in a Soda Stream.  We use it every day and have cut back dramatically on our recycled cans. I also switched from my single use coffee pods to a french press.  I didn't eliminate my pods entirely - as I love a quick shot of espresso - but I am reducing my usage and recycling the old pods.  I was surprised and pleased when I dropped off my bag of used pods at the UPS store, and the clerk said they get several dropped off everyday. People are waking up to the power of mindful decisions. It's such a hopeful sign for the future. 

If you're of a certain vintage, like me, you may have grown up learning about the 3 R's; reduce, reuse and recycle. Recently, this has been updated to the 5 R's; refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle.  The extra R's, refuse and repurpose have been recently added. Refuse to buy things that jeopardize the long-term health of the planet. Vote with your wallet, in other words.  "Stop sucking" was a recent campaign to eliminate plastic straws. Eliminate the demand and the product will stop being produced, simple laws of economics. Repurpose allows us to take what has already been made and find different uses.  But repurpose is lower down in the order of priority because we want to stop products from being produced that we do not need and are damaging to the environment.

Recently the EU Parliament approved a ban on single use plastic.  Plastics make up over 80% of marine litter.  On a recent trip to Zanzibar we were staying near the beach and decided to take a walk. I grabbed a bag to pick up some of the litter along the way.  Within a few minutes we had so much trash we had to go back for more bags.  Zanzibar is on the east coast of Africa and much of the garbage floats across the ocean and lands on its shores. While it may seems thousands of miles away, the trash that floats to its beaches will eventually find its ways to our shores. 

This article is meant to be more about mindfulness than recycling. Every decision we make has an impact.  When we are mindful of our decisions, how they affect not only ourselves, but the rest of the world, we become aware of the power we have. There is a mathematical theory called the Butterfly effect that states that small, localized changes in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere. Next time you go for a walk, grab a bag, pick up some trash and think about the fact that you are metaphorically flapping your Butterfly wings and creating ripples around the world. 

-Maria Bromley, Mom Of Model

 
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More Impact, Less Harm!

Between Fashion Revolution Week April 23-29th and Earth Day on April 22, it’s an important time for us all to reflect on our positive and negative impacts on the environment. 

Prior to starting ODM/ODC, I had little knowledge of the effects of fast fashion on our environment and on the people who make our clothes. $5 seemed like a bargain for a t-shirt and I found myself flocking to fast fashion retailers, desperate to buy the newest trends for as cheap as possible. Even being in the industry myself, having witnessed first-hand the difference between well-made clothes with beautiful fabrics and time consuming handwork and cheap fast fashion that felt as if it were about to fall apart, I found it hard to wrap my head around the fact that there is a crucial difference between a $5 throwaway and something that would cost me a lot but my last a life time. This is the problem many people face without even knowing it because of the marketing we are bombarded with each day. Consumers now expect to pay as little as possible for more clothing without realizing who is really paying for the pay-cut. 

It wasn’t until living four and a half years in NYC as a full-time model that I began to realize the negative impacts of fast fashion. A fellow model and friend of mine, Cameron Russel had a meeting for models in NYC to talk about how to best use our platforms to advocate for matters that are important to us, for her it was women’s rights and the environment, especially fashion’s impact on the environment. It was at this specific meeting that I realized the fashion industry is one of the ‘dirtiest’ out there. In terms of pollution, worker’s rights and fabric waste, the industry has much to improve upon. 

Something recent that ignited the fire for people to advocate for a better industry was the tragic Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, five years ago on April 24, 2013. After numerous warnings that the building had visible dangerous cracks, workers were demanded to go to work regardless, and a day after many had complained, the building collapsed killing 1,138 people and injuring 2,500. It was the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. Tons of brands were identified in the rubble, many western , although it took many years for all those involved to own up to their involvement in this atrocious disaster. The disaster was fueled by political corruption and corporate greed perpetuated by the idea that our clothes needed to be made faster, be made cheaper all at the cost of the workers in third world countries where factories were unsafe and workers conditions were forgotten. 

Now, five years what has changed? 

Brands and customers seem to be more conscious of what they buy, what materials they’re using to produce clothing and who are the makers behind it all. The Fashion Revolution non-profit was made to promote genuine change and inspire others to be curious about where all their clothes are made. The industry hasn’t totally transformed but brands big and small are definitely taking strides to be more transparent about all their production processes, which is a huge step in the right direction. [1]

The Fashion Revolution created the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes? to inspire customers to reach out to the companies they buy from and see if they respond about their supply chain. Companies big and small including H&M, ASOS, and Adidas are working with their customers to share their suppliers, proof that some positive change is being made. 

The Fashion Revolution organization also encourages easy steps for those in and outside of the fashion industry to take to ensure we’re all on the path to better production. These steps include an action kit with information on how to get involved globally at each and every fashion revolution week event. Things like printable posters to share on social media, campaigns to share with friends and followers on social media with important facts and quotes, encouraging consumers to share their fashion love story. The fashion love story should be used to write a love letter to a piece of clothing you already own encouraging consumers to shop less and find love in things they already own. Similarly, the organization created the hashtag #haulternative which inspires consumers to refresh their closets in a new way such as shopping secondhand, swapping with friends or doing DIY customization. The last steps to inspire change are to actively reach out to policymakers, writing letters to brands and then downloading their educational resources which includes worksheets, activities and information to show how you can be a student ambassador at your school. 

Whitney Bauck, editor at Fashionista magazine is passionate about the intersection of fashion, faith and ethics and often writes about these issues, especially when they pertain to fashion. Since the factory collapse, Bauck explains another positive step towards ensuring a healthy and safe work environment in the Bangladeshi garment industry with The Accord, a five-year legally-binding agreement between large corporations and trade unions. [2] With the Accord in place, factories are continually inspected to ensure safe working conditions and are financially backed to upgrade safety measures. If you refuse to work with The Accord you could lose out on working with international brands that are signed up. Now, factory safety is no longer a “Western Luxury”. Because of these improved safety conditions, the amount of deaths per year has significantly dropped from 71 workers pre Rana Plaza to 17 workers annually now. [3]

There is however much more improvement needed. While the amount of unions surged immediately after the Rana Plaza disaster, activity has since slowed down, many people claiming to have been beaten up by police officials if they were involved in unions. There is hardly any backing of these unions from government officials. [4] Companies are pushing for safer working conditions yet often don’t want to pay for it. It’s tough without these unions to impose proper working wages or overtime pay for instance. [5]

In addition to these resources, I personally only try and shop from brands that are transparent about who makes their clothes, where they are made and the materials they use. There are enough brands out there doing it ‘right’ for me that I find I have enough resources available to shop. As of late, I’ve found I haven’t really had to buy any new clothes at all but will try and shop secondhand or swap with friends if I need something specific! It’s a fun way to spice up your closet, save some money and ensure you’re not contributing to environmental harm. Check out this article where I talk about a clothing swap I did with some friends in NYC! 

With organizations like the Fashion Revolution, companies who are willing to change and friends and family who are inspired to do good, we can all work together to demand better conditions for all workers and for the environment we all often take for granted. Which leads to another important holiday that falls right before Fashion Revolution week, Earth Day!

Earth Day is a global annual celebration to demonstrate support for environmental protection. From the amount of plastic used, the amount of material waste, contaminated rivers and streams, greenhouse gas emissions, the food industry, makeup and hair, the list goes on about ways in which we can all collectively work to ensure better conditions for our environment. 

With plastic waste alone, and even more specifically single-use straw waste, over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used EVERYDAY in the United States, many of which end up discarded in our ocean. It’s something so simple we can all say no to, to alleviate the amount of plastic ending up in our oceans and killing our ecosystems. I took the pledge to #stopsucking on single-use plastic straws and instead use bamboo straws if need be. Paper straws are a great alternative however if you don’t have to, using none is even better! Similarly, I always bring reusable bags to the grocery store, am never without my reusable water bottle and reusable coffee mug! I’m always on the go, so it also helps to have a metal fork and spoon on hand (I have a few in every purse). It’s little steps like this that we can all implement in our lives that will help make a difference. We can also reach out to our local restaurants, coffee shops (hello Starbucks!) and policymakers to address the abundance of plastic use and see if there’s a feasible solution that’s better for the environment. 

This past Earth Day, I had originally planned to skip all the fun activities and watch a Raptors basketball game in D.C. which would include four + hour bus rides each way to and from NYC. What was environmentally friendly about that? Being stuck in a bus most of the day and contributing to the carbon footprint wasn’t ideal. We decided to skip the game and spend as much time as we could outdoors and ended up having one of the most fun weekends I’ve had in a while. 

We started off our day by not using the lights as much as possible. Sure we had to get ready in a little bit of darkness but the light shining in from our windows did the trick. Next we went to our local coffee shop and used a cup to stay and my reusable mug. We then decided to do a 5k run and pick up trash along the way. This is called ‘plogging’ picking up trash while jogging and is huge in the Scandinavia. [6] It’s a fun way to keep our grounds clean and I must add definitely added a strength component to the workout! After our run, we made sure to bring our reusable bags with us and headed to the grocery store for a shop having them bag up everything in our own bags. Afterwards, we walked home along the east river and enjoyed the rest of the sunny day. It was a fun day outside where we got to admire mother nature and tried to make a difference where we could. It’s things we try and implement into our daily lives anyways but was a nice reminder to not leave the lights on, not have the tap run unnecessarily, pick up trash whenever you can and be cognizant of your impacts on the environment. 

So, what changes are you going to make in your life? For our environment, for the people who make our clothes, for the companies we invest our money in and for the life we leave behind for future generations. Share some things you already do and what steps you’d like to implement into your lives, we’d love to hear your suggestions! 

*Opening image shot by Leeor Wild for ADAY's new minimal waste campaign 

People Tree; Doing it RIGHT!

People Tree is a leader in ethical and sustainable fashion. With credentials running from WTFO accreditation to the Fairtrade Foundation and using GOTS certified cotton, People Tree goes above and beyond to ensure their customer is getting something of quality that isn't at the cost of our environment or the people who make each garment. With the upcoming Fashion Revolution Week and Earth Day nearby, I decided to interview Katy Hughes, account director of People Tree to hear her intake on the future of sustainable fashion and how People Tree ensures they're production process is ethical and sustainable. 

*Use code 'ODMODC10' for 10% off new arrivals!

1) For someone new to the sustainable world, what are some key small steps they can look out for when shopping to ensure they’re investing in a good company?

If you want to shop more consciously, it comes down to paying attention to sustainable and ethical aspects, buying fashion which is better for the environment but also ensuring good and safe working conditions for the people behind it. Being mindful to either of this is already a great step in the right direction. To make sure you’re investing in a company which is actually following these ethics, have a look out for credentials. Certifications like Fair Trade and GOTS are awarded by independent organizations and their strict standards are reviewed regularly. While many fashion brands talk about ethical fashion, these credentials mean you can actually trust how the products are made and ensures you’re investing in a good company. This is a huge support for consumers trying to find orientation in the ethical fashion world. It might also be helpful to read some blogs from independent experts in this area for some advice and guidelines. Apart from that, always keep in mind that doing something is better than doing nothing and every little step contributes to a big change. 

2) People Tree is Certified in many ways from GOTS to SOIL and WFTO to ensure proper sustainable and ethical measures are taken when going into production, which is fabulous! What are the steps to certification and how easy would it be for a smaller company like ODM/ODC to get certified?

To be Fair Trade certified, you have to become a member of the WFTO and put their 10 principles into action and ensure living wages along your whole supply chain. Then you do the audit to become certified and you need to attend regular checkups and peer visits to show that you continue following the 10 Fair Trade principles.

For the GOTS certification you also start by building up a GOTS certified supply chain and finding an Organic cotton supplier who can provide you with a transaction certificate for all the cotton you use. Then you apply to GOTS and have an annual audit to prove that you have all of the documentation. It will also be checked if you are ethical and sustainable in other processes along the supply chain from the office to packaging.

So to become certified with these credentials, it is important to show some action first and put their standards into practice so you can pass the audit. It definitely requires a lot of work, but we think that it is possible to achieve for small companies as well, as everyone has to start somewhere. 

Even if you take on the road slowly, it still is a step in the right direction and you will get there one day. Till then, make sure to be transparent about what you’re doing and illustrate your supply chain to your customers so they can be sure to trust and rely on your ethics. 

3) A lot of people think ‘Made in USA’ is the best way to ensure sustainable and ethical practices. However, a lot of your products are produced overseas. Although it took me a while, I’ve finally come to understand the importance of preserving cultures, giving underdeveloped countries the proper tools for ethical production and a sustainable working wage to ensure available work for these markets but some people don’t understand the whole picture. Made in USA however doesn’t always mean it’s better…How do you convey the difference to your customers?

With the specific aim of Fairtrade to support farmers and suppliers in the developing world, as a WFTO accredited company for us it is a key aspect of our mission to help people build a sustainable livelihood and reach economic independence. We do realize that farmers and workers in the US or UK might face similar challenges to our producers, however we have focused on supporting the growth and development of disadvantaged communities. 

From our point of view, either approach, the local production or the Fairtrade support, is good and valuable. But it is important to know, that in terms of good working conditions, the producer country itself doesn’t give any information or guarantee. Instead, credentials like the Fair Trade mark give insight into standards that you can rely on. 

4) Something many conscious consumers in the sustainable world have trouble with is the idea that simply producing more clothing (whether it’s sustainable or not) is bad for the environment. How do you justify making more clothes? 

Here at People Tree we are very happy that the topic of sustainable fashion finally gets more awareness and consumers are adapting conscious shopping habits. However, we think that is still a long way to go till the change actually becomes part of our daily lives, so making and selling more clothes is crucial to sustainable brands as it allows us to grow and spread the word further. 

In addition to that, sustainable production techniques like organic farming will be used more broadly with increasing production numbers, which actually benefits the environment. Organic farming builds a strong and healthy soil and preserves water, so the more organic crops are grown, the bigger the positive influence on the environment is. 

As a small and ethical company, when we consider a complex issue, we have to weigh up pros and cons from different perspectives and review the impacts of every decision we take. 

In this case, we think that at the point where our society is at now, it is still more important to meet customer’s demands and offer a wide selection to allow them to slowly amend their habits. We also figure that producing higher numbers so that we’re able to offer our garments to a broad audience is crucial to promote sustainable production and trading techniques.

5) Sustainability seems to be trending in the fashion world. Hopefully it’s not a trend that goes out of style. What are some positive shifts you’ve seen in the past five years in the fashion industry in relation to sustainability and ethical production?

A positive shift can definitely be witnessed in the growth of the interest. More and more people are curious about the topic and start talking about it. Social media is full of hashtags, conversations and blogs focusing on sustainable fashion. Our follower and customer numbers are growing continuously and it doesn’t seem like it will stop soon. 

Once people have learned about this topic, it is impossible to forget. That differs the rise of sustainable fashion from a trend. It is not based on taste, but the whole movement relies in facts that have been researched thoroughly for years. More than that, the negative impacts of our current lifestyle and economic processes show clearly which results in more people realizing the importance of a sustainable lifestyle. Especially the younger generation who will face the consequences even more therefore grows up with a complete different view to this topic. Their higher sensitivity towards sustainability could have been noticed in the past year and makes us believe that the growth will continue. 

More than that, there have been massive upheavals in the industry: Several brands are committing to sustainable and fair practices, the Australian Vogue just appointed the first sustainability editor at large, traditional fabric fairs show lots of innovative sustainable materials and universities offer specific programs focused on educating experts for this branch. All these changes point out, that sustainability in fashion is not just a trend, but a change that came to stay.

6) What are the next steps for People Tree? How do you see yourselves evolving in the next five to ten years? 

At People Tree, we have been innovating ourselves and the industry continuously whether by introducing new design and crafting techniques, innovative fabrics or implementing Fairtrade standards into the fashion industry. 

As a pioneer in the sustainable and fair fashion world, we know exactly how important it is to question the status quo and go with the time, because there is always room for improvement. 

For the next few years we aspire to maintain the role as a pioneer in the industry by continuously implementing more sustainable production materials and techniques. As one of our key missions from the very beginning is also to support underprivileged people from around the world we also want to keep taking on more partners. 

It is our vision to make sustainable and fair fashion the norm. To achieve this, we are expanding our clothes range every season with introducing more styles and launching new products like our underwear range. We want to make a broad range of garments available to as many people as possible including men and kids, which we are already working on. 

At People Tree we never stop evolving and as the fashion industry especially in this niche is evolving very fast, we might ourselves be surprised what we’ll all have achieved in ten years. 

7) In your opinion, what is the most unsustainable part of the fashion industry? What are you doing to combat this?

The most unsustainable part of the fashion industry in our opinion is the use of unsustainable, artificial materials, the use of hazardous chemicals and energy-intensive production techniques which are exploiting our resources and damaging our environment. 

But this is also the part where you can achieve the biggest change. People will always be shopping clothes which is good to some extent as this strengthens our worldwide economy. So instead of trying to break people’s habits and fight consumption, why not changing the habits instead and make use of the situation for good. 

Consuming fashion is not the problem. What you consume is what makes the difference.

This is why here at People Tree we only use environmentally friendly processes along the whole supply chain. From sourcing organic fibers via using natural dyes through to promoting the use of carbon neutral handcrafting skills and choosing sea shipments, sustainability lies at the heart of everything we do.  

Perks are that this also results in comfier, long lasting and unique garments. 

a) What about ethically?

The most unethical part is the exploitation of workers along the whole fashion supply chain. Humans are working hard to create beautiful garments for us and aren’t even paid a living wage, let alone valued for their skills. More than that they’re facing safety risks whilst having to work under dangerous and unhealthy working conditions. 

To combat this, People Tree has obliged to work under the WFTO’s standards from the very beginning. The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) is an internationally recognized organization that aims to improve the livelihood of disadvantaged producers and introduce fair working standards for greater justice in world trade. 

Like all their members, we have to ensure to meet their 10 standards of Fair Trade. More than that, People Tree was actively involved in writing these guidelines which equally address economic and social topics.

At People Tree, we’re really proud to be the world’s first clothing company that received the their product mark in 2013, which means that we’re dedicated to these principles throughout the whole supply chain from the design, to the fabric and the production processes in every garment.

Fair Trade is at the heart of our mission to combat the most unethical parts of the fashion industry. 

*Use code 'ODMODC10' for 10% off new arrivals!

How to Make Every Day Earth Day!

What an incredible past month we’ve had in taking strides towards becoming more transparent and cognizant with sustainability and our environment. I’ve become more inspired than I knew was possible with events ranging from discussion panels at Fashion Revolution week to the People’s Climate March in Washington, and of course, Earth Day [which I celebrated a few weeks ago with SoRipe]. In light of this important month, I thought I’d share a bit of information on Earth day, some takeaway points and how you can make simple changes to contribute to the movement.

Earth Day was formed in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin as a way to spread awareness nationally about the environment. He was inspired by the anti-war movement and saw Earth Day as a way to teach others about air and water pollution, which was especially important after a massive oil spill that occurred in Santa Barbara in 1969. [1]

In just one year Earth Day was so popular that it led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency which subsequently led to the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. By 1990, Earth Day had become a global event. 

Present day, there are unfortunately still many people refuting the idea of climate change; well-funded oil lobbyists, the disinterested public and our newly appointed President Donald Trump. The sense of urgency to spread awareness and fight for a clean environment is still strong and perhaps it’s even more crucial as our President shares his negative views of climate change, especially as he looks to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement.  Fortunately, there are still over a billion people celebrating Earth Day each year and who continue to make it their mission to do good for our planet. [2] 

Mia Yamaguchi, coordinator at the CoolClimate Network at University of California, Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, brings up a good point about the importance of an individual’s impact on climate change in an article on Life Science. We have the power to significantly improve and manage our own environmental impacts by making small changes; taking mass transit instead of driving, recycling, and ditching the plastic utensils are a few that first come to mind. With other things like foreign relations, or national debt, it takes a lot more political involvement to make a small change with a lot less participation from the individual. [3] 

Having lived in New York for the past five years, I have become extremely aware of my carbon footprint and how I can make a change. From the amount of taxis I was taking to castings to the waste as a result of the fashion industry I work in, I began to realize that I was a lot more part of the problem than I thought I was and have made small adjustments in the way I live to ensure I’m a bigger part of the solution. 

On that note, for Earth Day this year I teamed up with SoRipe, an organic health food catering company to go to New Hampshire for a retreat where all 25 of us would get out of the city and surround ourselves with nature. My friend and fellow model Dani Seitz helped organize the event with activities ranging from a hike up Mount Sunapee to candlelit yoga to an organic spa night. We not only wanted this retreat to be a celebration of our Earth but to also raise awareness about the impact we all have on the environment. 

The hike we did on Earth Day, April 22, proved to be the medication we all needed, whether we knew it or not. It didn’t matter how hungry we were, how tired we were, or if our broken toe was hurting or not (sorry Doc, the hike was definitely not flat and I definitely made it worse than it was) but it was worth every minute of the four-five hours we were there. Everyone couldn’t get over how full of life they felt taking in the fresh air as we made our way to the misty mountain top. 

In addition to our hike, we reached out to a few environmentally conscious companies to provide some samples to test out and use. These companies take environmental protection to heart and are fully transparent with all of their practices.

Health-Ade Kombucha
Health-Ade ensures high-quality and good taste for their fermented teas, also known as kombucha. Everything is certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, raw, vegan, and kosher. They look to inspire people to look good and feel good; something that they believe comes from having a healthy gut. 

Herbivore Botanicals
Herbivore values safe, non-toxic products that are good for you and made with natural ingredients from our environment. Every ingredient they use are there for a specific therapeutic reason with no fillers of any kind used. They’re not tested on animals and are made with an emphasis on high quality food-grade ingredients. Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs everything we put on it into our bloodstream. Herbivore ensures everything you use is just as good as the organic food you feed yourself. 

Justin’s
Justin’s is a nut butter company that values innovation and corporate consciousness. Integrity and transparency with their staff and consumers is of up-most importance to Justin’s every step of the way. They take care of the earth by sourcing local, high-quality ingredients, simplifying the supply chain and by mitigating their environmental impact. 

Keap Candles
Keap was created to provide consumers with a middle ground; a candle that was neither full of harsh chemicals nor overly priced. In addition to making candles that are better for our health and our pockets, Keap started as a Public Benefit Corporation to provide better access of affordable, sustainable living to people outside of the electrical grid. They’ve partnered with SolarAid to provide solar light to communities in need through their Buy a Candle, Light a Home program. 

Prana
Prana considers every type of person when they make their clothes with sustainability, style and versatility always to heart. They go out of their way to ensure every part of their supply chain is sustainable from the materials they use to the suppliers and factories they work with. The doers, makers and shakers that wear their clothes not only value style and design but are also environmental enthusiasts that need their clothes to last more than a few washes. 

 

It’s important for us to remain conscious of our habits whether it’s Earth Day or not. We have made significant victories since Earth Day’s began 47 years ago [6], and should continue holding ourselves and our policy makers accountable to our environmental footprint so we can continue with victories. 

While I consider myself a feminist, an organic food advocate and a democratic health care proponent, none of that matters in comparison if we’re living on an unstable planet where communities are forced to migrate because of climate change or if the health of certain neighborhoods are compromised because of their geographic location. Our planet cannot sustain life if we continue to ignore the signs it’s sending us of how unsustainably we’re living. I don’t want my grandkids to ask me why we had the resources (and common sense) to protect our planet and why we chose to ignore them. 

Here are some small steps you can take towards living more sustainably. You shouldn’t feel the pressure to change every way in which you live but as Yamaguchi of CoolClimate stated, we as individuals can make crucial, positive impacts on our climate in small ways and all of that starts with self-awareness.  

1.    Donate
•    If you don’t have the time to get as political as you’d like, invest in companies that are doing the work and research for you! 
•    Project Tsehigh is a nonprofit that provides renewable energy sources to impoverished communities around the world.
•    Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. 
•    EarthJustice is the legal backbone helping back organizations big and small that protect our environment.

2.    Go for a hike
•    Explore the outdoors and enjoy what mother nature has to offer you. It’s a natural remedy that will calm your nerves and lower your stress levels. It’s a great workout and an awesome way to bond with friends and loved ones.

3.    Use mass transit (or better yet, walk or bike!)    
•    Public transportation dramatically reduces vehicle emissions and pollutants that create smog. 
•    Transport accounts for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions just from the U.S. Public transportation will help significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile. [7]

4.    Air dry your clothes
•    In most households, the dryer is the third-most energy-hungry appliance, after the fridge and washer. If we air dry, we have the potential to lower our average household carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds per year. [8]
•    Dryers account for almost six percent of a household’s annual electricity consumption. You can dramatically reduce your spending if you decide to switch to air drying. [9]

5.    Stop using plastic water bottles, straws and utensils. Use reusable water bottles and carry reusable utensils with you. 
•    Over the last ten years, we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. 
•    Enough plastic that is thrown away each year is enough to circle the earth four times. 
•    Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles per year. 
•    It takes 500-1000 years for plastic to degrade. [10]
•    Need a reusable water bottle? Find ours HERE!

6.    Become a conscious consumer. Buy less, buy better!
•    The pattern of consumption has changed so dramatically; we now purchase 400% more than we used to only 20 years ago. [13]
•    Especially in fashion, we’re taught to buy into seasonal, trendy clothes that often only last a few wears, if that, before they’re tossed into landfills.
•    The average American throws away 82 pounds of textile waste each year which end up in landfills, often taking over 200 years to degrade [13]
•    Buy less, buy better; invest in fashion that will last many wears, won’t go out of trend and are made by companies that value an ethical and sustainable production chain. [14]

7.    Educate yourself
•    There are a ton of amazing books, documentaries, and bloggers out there taking charge to raise awareness on climate change and environmental harm. If you’re looking to learn more, start small by educating yourself. 
•    EcoCult, Sustaining Life and Huffington Post Reclaim are all great resources to get in the know.

8.    Get political
•    I myself never considered myself a political person until I realized the importance of each individual to speak up and get involved
•    By voting, donating, or going on a march, you can add to the masses and stick up for change. The fact that we live in a democratic society is so important and often overlooked. We have this incredible privilege to be political so don’t let it go to waste!

9.    Lower your red meat intake
•    In the U.S. red meat, especially beef, accounts for a lot of resources that cause a lot of waste and global warming emissions. [15]
•    Animals require an enormous amount of water to grow crops for the animals to eat. A single cow will drink up to 50 gallons of water per day. 
•    It takes almost 20 times less land to feed someone on a vegan-style diet. [16]
•    Red meat specifically causes 10-40 times as many greenhouse gasses as vegetables or grains. [17]
•    If you’re a red meat fanatic, simply consider lowering your intake or making sure the meat you have is from organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed animals. Small steps can create a huge change for the better! For the better of our environment and for the betterment of your health! [17]