On the contrary, the studies conducted in the past few years have provided indisputable evidence that eco-friendly trends have greatly contributed to reducing the depletion of finite resources, pollution levels and have actually managed to restore the ozone layer. No matter where you live in the world, following these trends is not just a fad – it is a responsible gesture, a transition towards a better life and, ultimately, a better planet. Are you ready to become a real-life superhero?
As much as they tried implementing eco-friendly changes to their infrastructure, hotels remain a major source of pollution because they generate a lot of waste. From their high commercial cleaning requirements to their impressive water and energy waste, hotels may provide a luxury experience, but they do little in terms of environmental protection. This is why the past decade has seen a steady growth in alternative accommodation methods and green travel. Tourists everywhere are trying and loving agritourism and are starting to prefer peer-to-peer accommodation over hotels. This not only offers a more personal, raw experience, but also reduces waste. Guests use strictly the resources they need and disposal is done in a more responsible way.
Sustainable home improvement
For many years, it was widely believed that corporations were the only ones that could make a noticeable difference in terms of protecting the planet, but that this myth was quickly busted. Every change matters, even at a local scale, and home improvement trends, if followed by many people all over the world, can have a huge collective impact. Some of the best examples include:
· Replacing conventional lights with energy efficient LED lights
· Investing in energy efficient grade A windows
· Installing insulation to reduce energy waste
· Planting trees around the house to create natural insulation and improve air quality
· Building houses using eco-friendly materials
· Switching to non-toxic cleaning products
· Using environmentally friendly gadgets and appliances
Reading the words “fair trade” on a label used to be quite a rarity a few decades ago, but now, this sign is the hallmark of a modern, responsible, environmentally aware company. Fair trade means that corporations are taking steps towards helping the planet and the people in developing countries. According to the World Fair Trade Organization, companies who pledge to this idea make every effort to develop transparency and accountability across their entire activity. They have to create equal opportunities and fair payment for their workers, provide good working conditions and practice respect for the environment. They should obtain supplies only from certified, legal sources and avoid waste as much as possible. Local suppliers are preferred over international ones and green materials should be used wherever possible, from production to packaging.
Renewable power sources
More and more families are welcoming renewable energy into their homes, especially under the form of solar panels, which have benefited from so many Government incentives that in some areas they’re becoming mainstream. In the US, the use of solar panels has grown to 40% and even China has taken measures to popularize solar panels. Apart from solar panels, other devices promise to revolutionize energy storage. For example, Tesla announced the Powerwall in 2015, a sort of battery that can store energy for later use.
Recycling is one of the oldest eco-friendly trends on the list, if not the oldest, and young generations are starting to learn about its importance while in elementary school. Of course, when hearing that the simple act of throwing an empty tin can in the right garbage disposal saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours, it’s hard not to make part in the recycling trend. At present, this is actively pursued by both individuals and companies, although some countries are better at it than others. For example, only 17% of Canada’s waste was recycled, which led authorities to initiate public projects promoting scrap metal recycling in Toronto and other major cities. Germany, on the other hand, is winning the recycling race with a whopping 65% of their waste being re-used. South Korea is second on the list, followed by Slovenia and Australia.
Electric cars have gone from ugly, unpractical vehicles to glamorous, state of the art toys for tech-savvy people. Thanks to manufacturers such as Tesla, Toyota and BMW, electric hybrids now look amazing and they’re much easier to fuel. Besides, many countries have rebate programs for people who buy electric cars, which balances the relatively high purchasing costs. For the younger population, or people who don’t want to invest in electric cars just yet, electric scooters are an equally friendly idea.