The more I write, the more environmentalist I become. Apparently it has that impact on me when I challenge myself to put my thoughts down and publish them online. I start to dig for what really matters to me. As far as the outer world is concerned, the absolute number one seems to be the care for nature and all living beings in it.
It may be a trend to be “green” and earth conscious but for me this is becoming more than a mere trend: It´s a necessity. I´ve now seen so many examples of how our natural world is suffering from our way of life, I cannot turn a blind eye anymore.
We watched Planet Earth II recently. I can highly recommend it to anyone, actually. David Attenborough is just such a splendid narrator, this combined with so many beautiful shots of nature and incredible wildlife. In his end speech of the series, he encourages us to create a planet that isn´t just a home for us, but for all living beings on this earth. Now I cannot find the speech on YouTube, but here is the trailer for you:
And an interview with Attenborough on climate change, politics, plastic and more. He is also talking about the fact that young people start to become more aware of the effects of climate change and pollution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9r1FgtCCU8o
Yesterday we watched the documentary “The true Cost”, about the fashion industry and its real effect on the environment and people. I decided to watch this documentary, because I realised I shop clothes in cheap stores (I´m not that wealthy as an artist) but I never actually thought about where my clothes really come from. After the documentary, wealthy or not, I will now only buy second hand or eco and Fair Trade clothing. I had no idea.
In Bangladesh workers slave away in terrible circumstances, for the lowest wages imaginable. They make the T-shirts that I wear, and pay 10 euro´s for. They may get 30 cents or something. They are forced to work in buildings that are on the verge of collapse. In the case of Rana Plaza (2013), a building collapsed on top of its workers, killing more than 1000 people. Many other incidents are known when buildings caught fire, killing hundreds of people in the process. What I find shocking here, is that I never heard of this incident before. Sure, I haven´t watched the news for many years now, because I simply can´t stand the outpour of misery that otherwise ruins my day; I would be constantly depressed. But, usually when something massive happens, it comes to me through other ways: social media, friends or family tell me about it. This didn´t reach me, even though the death of 1134 or more people is immense.
It also becomes clear in the documentary that the clothes we wear are full of chemicals, from pesticides for growing the cotton to the dyeing process. Many of these chemicals are dumped into rivers and the environment, causing cancer, mental disorders and other severe handicaps in the people who live close by. I cannot even think of what it does to whatever remains of the wildlife in these regions.
The effect of this documentary on me was for once not despair at how I cannot do anything to reverse the disaster. I have a choice where I buy my clothes from; there are sustainable alternatives. I can shop second hand, as I did a lot anyway, on the website of “The True Cost” there is a whole list with sustainable fashion brands, and on Etsy I can find many local craftspeople making excellent stuff. Then I will just have to live with it that I buy less clothes but in a better quality. At least I won´t need a larger wardrobe!
Featured image: Sea Grass, 2017