The international Earth Day takes place on April 22nd.
Earth Day has been celebrated at the end of April for 51 years. Protecting the environment is important every day of the year. But April 22 is used as a day of action to specifically point out a more environmentally conscious and sustainable way of life. This year's Invest in Our Planet campaigns will explore how regulation, incentives and collaboration can help build a 'green economy'. But it is also about our impact as individuals: How can we impact our ecosystems and the actions of companies and governments through our choices, our civil society actions and our interactions.
Here are a few tips on how you can personally take action to protect the environment.
In 2022, Earth Day in Germany will focus on the topic of sustainable clothing.
In Germany, the German Committee e.V. was founded by Earth Day International in 1994 as a non-profit, independent environmental initiative. The motto of this initiative for Earth Day 2022 is: Your clothes make the man - sustainable, organic & fair suits you and the earth better.
A report by Greenpeace stated in 2019: "Every German buys around 60 new items of clothing per year and wears them half as long as 15 years ago. 2 The wardrobes are already full: various surveys show that almost everyone has clothing in their closet has that will never be worn."
Of course, all these clothes have to come from somewhere: we use natural raw materials to make the clothes, often using toxic chemicals that harm human health and the environment. The working conditions for the workers who produce clothing are also often exploitative, discriminatory and life-threatening.
How can I pay attention to sustainable clothing?
Sustainable clothing means that our clothing has as little negative impact on the environment as possible, helping present and future generations to lead healthy lives. So it's not just about what we wear, but also where our clothes come from, how they were made and how they are sold. We can all consider a few things relatively easily in order to keep the negative impact as low as possible:
- Buy fewer new clothes: You can now buy second-hand online and offline and simply sell them yourself. What no longer suits you, has never fitted well or simply no longer suits you can still bring joy to another person. There are also clothing swap parties in many cities.
- Repair instead of disposal: As with many everyday objects, the same applies here; it is much more sustainable to fix broken clothes than to throw them away and buy something new. Learn how to darn holes and mend tears yourself, or take your clothes in need of repair to the nearest tailor. This not only protects the environment and resources, but usually also saves money.
- Pay attention to ecological materials: The production of clothing always consumes resources. The cultivation of cotton uses a lot of water and land, even if it is organic cotton, but at least fewer pesticides are used. However, clothing made from artificial materials such as polyester or acrylic puts an additional burden on the environment: these materials emit microplastic particles when washed, i.e. plastic parts that are smaller than 5mm. According to BUND, around 35% of the total amount of microplastics entering the world’s oceans comes from our clothing. Clothing made from ecological materials such as linen, cotton, hemp etc. are better for the environment in this respect.
- Buy new clothes consciously: If you do want to buy something new, find out where and how the clothes were made. Of course, that takes a little more time, but you can be careful not to give your money to corporations that have clothing produced under inhumane conditions or that damage the environment.
Do you have any other tips for sustainable clothing? Please send us your additions.
Let's take action for climate protection!
Under the motto "Let's take action for climate protection", in 2022 we will be dealing with the topic of climate protection in forests and bogs both in our camps and in our office team and with our voluntary group leaders and teamers. Will you join us?