Making a difference, actually.

Ecology is a topic that got a lot of coverage last week. Unfortunately, many of the talks were fundamentally broken, again. Like when people go demonstrate into the local downtown with vague banners like “BAN ALL FOSSIL FUELS NOW.” – It is no different than to demonstrate with slogans such as “Stop organized crime by this Thursday!” or “Force the UK to use the metric system, now!” …It just isn’t going to happen overnight, is it… Not to mention that all the banners, signs, and single-use T-shirts only contribute to the waste and ultimately, fuel the pollution which those people are protesting against.

Don’t get me wrong; I do like the planet. I didn’t buy any plastic bag from a store for years; I often clean litter when I am hiking, I organized a few cleaning events, and I do recycle. But it annoys me to see these wannabe-eco-acts, like people buying food or coffee in takeaway packaging just to consume it in the local cantina where they got it – instead of using reusable plates and cutlery – while wearing a tote bag with a “forest is my friend” writings on it… what a joke! It is no surprise that a good portion of the population doesn’t take the eco-movement seriously when they witness such things daily. This massive waste is a much bigger problem than the technology we use – and it is actually something every individual can help with.

If people wouldn’t buy a new phone every year, if they would not be hungry for new clothes every season, we could all happily drive diesels and be good to polar bears at the same time. Speaking of clothes, this brings me to the point that made my day recently: the University of Dundee, in collaboration with the Gate Church, organized a carbon-saving event, where students could come and fix their clothes, and to learn basics how it’s done.

About a week before this event, I joined the uni cycling club for a shredding session. Unfortunately, besides the bike tires, I managed to shred my I trousers to pieces, after I lost traction in one corner. I purchased the trousers from a military surplus around ten years ago, so one could say that they already served enough. The two new, large holes could be a good reason to finally bin them for good. But, thanks to the sewing event, they have a new patch, and they are ready to serve a little more. Sweet!

According to Forbes, the fashion industry is responsible for 10 percent of all the world’s carbon footprint. And events like this are fighting those numbers way better than any silly demonstrations, or angry Facebook statuses do. I wish there would be more initiatives like this, and I am thankful to the uni and the Gate Church for putting this event up.

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