This week is all about Earth Day. Words about sustainability and shopping locally are commonplace. You might almost feel FOMO if you don't know your stuff. But don't worry, that's why I'm here to help you get some awareness.
What does it mean to buy sustainable and local, to live sustainably and how do I do it right?
Ecological - Fair - Social
Ecological is an option, an alternative that leaves a smaller footprint on our planet. It could be resource-efficient production of food or other consumer goods. Whether it's pasta at the supermarket or your next pair of jeans.
How was the product produced? How many environmental resources were used in processing? What about the packaging, etc.? Do you really need the tomatoes from Spain, when you could buy some, locally, from Switzerland (without the carbon footprint of the long distance transportation)? Yes, they could cost a bit more, but you are saving our home - our earth.
There are also ecological ways to shop, for example shopping in second-hand stores like Martas Flohmarkt or Glore Zurich - they offer fair fashion brands as well as a second-hand corner. Let's not forget everything from fair trade! You can shop a favorite piece without a guilty conscience
Fairness refers to the people behind the products. Your avocado, your bag, and your gold necklace were all made and worked on by people somewhere. Are these people being fairly compensated for their work? Are they protected from workplace accidents and occupational hazards? If you see a product price somewhere and think, "Hmm, that's amazingly cheap!" These savings have been made somewhere usually and unfortunately, it is from the people whose hands were involved in the production.
Ask where the products came from, what the company's values are, and what they stand for. The Changemakeris a chain dedicated to making it easier for you to discover products with sustainable values. Circle - The Sustainable Shop does the same, which makes both stores great places to shop ethically.
Social sustainability refers to a community and economic sustainability refers to protecting independent initiatives, entrepreneurs & start-ups. We are confronted with this, specially given the pandemic. We need to support local businesses that have always had it a little harder. These small businesses desperately need our support in the current situation. Today, shop at the small bakery down the road that uses local and seasonal ingredients. Buy something at the small design studio where everything is made locally. And even if the family owned restaurant is still partly closed, buy vouchers to support them financially. So that these businesses can survive. Social sustainability is not only monetary but also a system that is sustainable, such as the Nachbarschaftshilfe Zürich.
Ultimately, sustainability is nothing but a system that can function in the long term without falling apart.
At Protsaah we strive to be sustainable in all areas.
- Ecological: All our materials are recycled or at least recyclable.
- Fair: All people behind our collections are paid and treated fairly.
- Social: Through our projects, we support artisans to generate their own sustainable income.
Do you have any other questions? Leave a comment and I'll be happy to answer them!