There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about sustainability, and it’s important that we keep those conversations going. Unfortunately, we are at a key moment in history, in which, if we don’t all act soon, the planet is going to become irreversibly hostile.
With the futures of the next generation at stake, people have been doing what they can to make a change. As a result, there have been notable shifts, as sustainability trends take hold and come to redefine the way we live our lives.
Not only that, but they look set to continue shaping our attitudes for the better. Here are some of the biggest eco-friendly trends we’re seeing right now and how they could help us to make progress in the coming years.
1. Eating vegan
What we eat matters, not just to our own physical and mental health, but to the health of the planet, too. Food production accounts for a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, while the production of meat and other animal products alone accounts for around 15%.
People are becoming increasingly aware of how the food they eat impacts the earth, and they’ve been doing something about it. The result is a sharp increase in vegan diets in countries around the world, which has been helped along with the wider availability of meat-free options in restaurants and supermarkets.
As more vegan foods go into production and become cheaper to get a hold of, greater numbers of the population are likely to cut down on the animal products that are proving to be so harmful to the planet.
2. Turning our back on plastic
The anti-plastic revolution is well underway, now that people have started to see the impact this virtually indestructible material has on the world’s wildlife. These days, consumers are shopping with reusable canvas shopping bags and shunning plastic water bottles for reusable ones.
Governments can and indeed are helping with this initiative by imposing bans and phasing out single-use plastics in their countries. This is happening in Australia, with products such as single-use cutlery, polystyrene food containers, and plastic packaging planned to be phased out by 2025.
3. Going electric
Cars powered by fossil fuels such as diesel and petrol are gradually going the way of the dinosaurs, as chargeable electric cars make their way into the mainstream. When the time comes for people to purchase a new vehicle, many are now choosing to buy far more eco-friendly models that don’t emit any greenhouse gases as they drive.
And, as the technology continues to improve, there is no need for drivers to compromise on speed or style. Makes such as Tesla are churning out fast and futuristic cars which, while expensive at the moment, are likely to become more affordable as the decade goes on.
4. Reducing, reusing, recycling
In a world in which convenience is king, it can be hard to live an entirely sustainable life. No matter how hard you try, the reality is that you will sometimes have to buy products in plastic packaging, and you will end up with waste that you don’t know what to do with. Thankfully, there is a way to mitigate the impact of any wastefulness, by subscribing to those often repeated principles of reducing, reusing, and recycling.
Perhaps the most important of the three is “reducing.” However, if it isn’t possible to completely cut out your consumption of unsustainable materials, then reusing them or sorting them into the correct recycling bin is the next best thing.
5. Consumer awareness and political action
What a lot of these trends point to is a change in priorities and behaviours among consumers. Australia is a case in point, as 79% of the population has been found to care about the threat that climate change poses. However, many worry that this concern is not reflected in governmental policy.
Last year, Australia ranked last in an evaluation of 57 countries’ climate policies. Things do appear to be looking up, though, as indicated by the earlier-mentioned commitment to phasing out single-use plastics. But, moving forwards, as the people of this country come to care more, we can expect to see increasing political pressure as a means of encouraging politicians to do more in the fight against climate change.