There’s no denying that global warming is a ‘hot’ topic, and a somewhat controversial one at that.
The magnitude of the global carbon footprint created by humans, industry and animal agriculture saddens and terrifies me. While irreversible damage has already been done, I feel compelled, as an environmentalist and a vegan, to take a stand and make a difference.
Now I’m not saying that everyone must go vegan, not right away at least, but I would and do encourage people to pay more attention to their daily actions and choices.
Education is imperative.
I recently watched the BBC documentary “Fashion’s Dirty Secrets” in which journalist Stacey Dooley highlights the devastating impact the fashion industry has on the planet. She notes that it can take over 15,000 litres of water to grow the cotton to make one pair of jeans. And no one can only ever have just one pair of jeans…
She travels to Kazakhstan in search of the Aral Sea, which has dried up to one tenth of its original size in four decades because of the amount of water extracted for cotton production.
Within the documentary Lucy Siegle, a broadcaster and journalist investigating fashion’s environmental footprint notes “there is credible evidence that says that garment and apparel production is one of the top five polluters globally.”
“We are producing over 100 billion new garments from new fibres every single year – and the planet cannot sustain that,” she added.
While the immediate solution might not be boycotting the shops altogether, shopping less and shopping sustainably are good places to start.
Dooley also visited one of the most polluted rivers in the world, the Citarum River in Indonesia.
The Citarum has become so heavily polluted with toxins as a result of textile factories disposing of their waste in the water that it now contains dangerous levels of mercury, arsenic, cadmium and lead, according to Environmental Toxicologist Dr Sundari. The river is vital for the locals who use it to bathe and wash their clothes in.
Another major pollutant in the Citarum is plastic – surprise surprise.
Researchers from the University of Georgia and the University of California found that of the 6.3 billion tons of plastic waste on the planet, only nine per cent has been recycled, 12 per cent incinerated and 79 per cent has accumulated in landfill or the natural environment – much of which ends up in the oceans where it kills marine life.
While the responsibility to create change begins with an individual, those individuals can work together as groups, companies and organisations to create significant change. There is a corporate social responsibility to be as ethically conscious as possible and Haggie Partners is no exception.
So, in light of World Vegan Day on November 1st, Haggie Partners is going green.
From October 29th to November 2nd, Haggie Partners will be increasing recycling efforts, choosing to take the stairs instead of the lift, printing and photocopying less, avoiding single use plastics and wearing green on Friday to participate in a ‘Green Week’ quiz.
Now, that’s not to say we haven’t already made some significant changes. We have ditched our plastic water bottles for glass, and are looking to buy a SodaStream, we have joined forces with Fruitful Office instead of buying Sainsbury’s overly packaged fruit, and we have also started a Cycle to Work scheme.
While some people are aware of the impact we as humans have on the planet or that global warming is in fact a ‘real thing’, many are comfortably set in their ways and believe what will be will be. Others have the attitude that the actions of any one person aren’t enough to make a difference. That is simply not true.
To quote Leonardo da Vinci, “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
The time to act is now.