The past few decades have seen great awareness and public concern for the deteriorating state of the environment. The market today has several thousand eco-friendly products. There is growing consumer awareness and public demand. Some environmentally sustainable initiatives like net zero energy houses and recycled clothing have become the new craze.
People are popularizing the trend of wearing biodegradable clothes and jewelry and are even driving electric vehicles instead of fuel-driven cars.
Some Environment-Friendly Trends That Are Ruling The Global Markets
Using Second Hand Clothes
Until a few years back, it was unfashionable to use second-hand clothes, but now it is a thriving eco-friendly industry. Reusing clothes to make animal blankets, tote bags for shopping, tie and dye clothes, and pillowcases are fun activities. Reusing clothes has several advantages like it reduces the amount of waste generated in the household.
When clothes are used again, they put less pressure on landfills and waste management systems. Garments made of cotton are biodegradable, but when they end up in a landfill, they may not have enough time to undergo natural degradation. Thus, even biodegradable fabric can end up causing greenhouse gasses if they do not get sufficient oxygen and time for decomposition. Making new clothes requires a lot of energy, be it for power looms or printing on dresses. Hence reusing dresses saves a lot of energy.
Apart from the environmental aspect, reusing old garments helps the less privileged animals. Presently, there are factories like Zagumi that are making valuable products using second-hand materials from old clothes, shoes, handbags etc.
Net Zero Energy Homes
According to a report by the UNEP ( United Nations Environment Programme), building and operating costs at construction sites are responsible for about 40% of the global emission of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a major air pollutant and a gas responsible for increasing the planet’s mean temperature (global warming). Hence net zero energy homes are adopted to protect the world from disastrous consequences.
Net zero emission means that these buildings or houses are a net zero consumer of energy. Net-zero consumption is achieved in two ways. Firstly, the energy consumption is low. Secondly, the little amount of energy that is consumed is regenerated and returned to the energy grid.
The energy consumption is lowered by reducing energy loss and using energy-efficient approaches. Energy loss happens through cracks and poor sealing of houses. Hence, sealing all cracks, using proper insulation, etc., saves a lot of energy. Thus, the heat from inside the house does not leak out. Preventing leakage and heat loss reduced the need for heating rooms.
Moreover, using double-glazed windows, having a layer of vacuum between two glasses reduces the interiors’ heat loss. Having large windows allows more natural light to come inside, reducing the need for artificial lights.
Using efficient appliances also reduces electricity consumption. Using LED lights for lighting and use of low-energy HVACs( Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning) systems consumes less electricity.
The net zero energy homes also generate electricity within the premises of the house. Most buildings install solar photovoltaics on the rooftops. Other forms of renewable energy, like wind energy or geothermal energy, are slightly challenging to fit in residential areas.
Sustainable jewelry, sunglasses, bags etc. are in great demand. People have become conscious of the impact of their lifestyle choices. They are choosing bamboo and cane-made bracelets and sunglasses over metal bracelets and plastic sunglasses. Metal mining releases air pollutants, and bamboo or cane grows fast and is a study material for making jewelry. Sunglasses that use plastic do not degrade fast and linger in the environment for decades. Most plastics are extremely difficult to degrade, and they end up harming grazing animals and polluting the land.
Besides bamboo ceramics, clay and paper pulp-made jewelry has widespread acceptance. Women no longer fancy carrying animal-printed leather bags; instead, they go for cloth bags.
Vehicular exhaust is the most significant source of greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide. Hence companies are designing car models which use hydrogen fuels or run on electric batteries. Hydrogen produces only water as the by-product. Electric vehicles run on batteries; that is, they run on electricity, not fuels like diesel and petrol, which harm the environment.
Some of the sustainable technologies like non-polluting cars and net zero homes will take time to replace the older models. However, there is great enthusiasm in the consumer to adopt these products. Changing people’s attitudes towards a product takes a lot of time. However, people are becoming aware as they can see the harmful impact of climate change in front of their eyes. It is expected that the consumerism culture will end within the next few decades, and a majority of people will make better informed and conscious lifestyle choices.
Suman(Kul Prasad) Pandit is a graduate from Tribhuvan University with four-year experience in corporate and start-up sectors in UK and USA. Being a responsible & sustainable business enthusiast he is dedicated to business education to solve problems in entrepreneurship and business growth.