2020 is just
around the corner, and it has to be the year we all step up our efforts to stop
This needs to be a year of massive action, on all levels. Of course, we are all hoping for radical climate policy on national level, but we also have to be part of the transition on an individual level. That way, we signal to both politicians and big business that we are serious about wanting change! And we need to move towards minimal CO2 lifestyles, as fast as possible.
I have always travelled a lot, and it is a major part of my identity. The world is such a glorious place and I am so curious to experience it! I am convinced that it has helped me become both more informed about the complexities of today, but also more compassionate towards others. This, however, has had a massive CO2 footprint. Only in 2019, my flight emissions were 3,19 tonnes of CO2e.
Feeling regret about our past emissions is hardly helpful. We need to start somewhere, and it is never too late to do better. But if we want to stop climate change, we need to start now!
Therefore, my new years climate resolution is to stay on the ground to keep fossil fuels in the ground! I am keen to explore my more immediate surroundings by train, foot and other climate friendly means of transportation. After all, travelling in Sweden and Europe has a lot to offer! On top of that, knowing how many tonnes of CO2 I can keep from getting into the atmosphere is definitely a good motivation.
Kalle is already standing steadily with both feet on the ground! So his commitment to the climate and the environment for 2020 is to not buy any new electronics or clothes! The GoClimate blog has posts about electronics and sustainable fashion if you want some inspiration to join Kalle on his journey. A pair of jeans is estimated to emit 6 kg CO2eq, whereas a 15-inch MacBook Pro is 560 kg CO2eq – and that is not considering the potential pollution and ethical concerns regarding mining for minerals.
Cissi has worked a lot on her own emission sources, and for 2020 she wants to, at least, participate at twice as many climate strikes compared to 2019 and have a larger impact on her surroundings by influencing her tenant owners’ association. By talking to her neighbours, she is aiming to take the lead to make the apartment block more sustainable. That way, they can make collective decisions (perhaps some solar panels?) but also she can reach individuals in her immediate surrounding and lead by example.
Evelina wants to focus on food and soil health for 2020. She wants to lower her food waste, eat more locally produced and learn more about regenerative farming.
Our collaborator Marlena has decided to “be a more annoying customer” – to ask at the restaurant if they have sustainable (MSC certified) fish, if the taxi company has electric cars, etc. By doing so, she will voice the demand for sustainable offers from customers to service providers. Doing so, in a positive and encouraging way! Take the lead!
Are you also staying on the ground in 2020? What is your pledge for a cooler future? Let us know and join us in being part of the solution!
Nowadays clothing has become somewhat disposable. The majority of the clothing produced today are made with poor quality, without longevity in mind and in many cases even planned obsolescence(made to break within a certain time with the intent to create a need for the customers to buy new)
This is a guide of how you can give your clothing a longer life, keeping them looking new for as long as possible.
Do it yourself if you have the skills or if its small and can be done by hand. Or you can look for guider or videos online to see how you can fix something yourself even if you haven’t done it before
Get a professional to do it. Support your local tailors.
Opt for visible repair, partially because you don’t have to worry about the mending looking perfect but it also adds to encourage fixing what’s broken. Let’s make it a trend! #VisibleRepair is a very active hashtag, so you can find a lot of inspiration of what you can do on Pinterest or Instagram.
Remove pilling to make your garments look like new again. Rent, borrow or buy a pilling machine, or try using a razor to see if that works.
Repair as soon as possible, so it doesn’t get worse and therefor harder to fix.
Dye bath when colours are faded instead of buying new
Cover stains instead of throwing away if they won’t go away with any tricks. Another version of Visible Mending. Maybe use iron-on-pads or find other creative ways to cover those stains.
Snip loose strings and threads as soon as you see them (I know it may be tempting to pull in those loose threads, but that can actually make the problem worse. Snip the thread off as soon as you notice it.)
Wash less often (Washing adds wear and tear to your clothes. While necessary when clothes are dirty, unnecessary washing shortens the life of your garments.)
Always check label guidelines to make sure you are following instructions
Liquid laundry detergent wears off the fabric less than a powdered one
Wash with colder water
Skip the fabric softener/conditioner
Hand wash if possible
Use a lower spin cycle
Wash your garments inside out
Air dry (direct sunlight can fade colours) If you have the time, drying in natural sunlight and air is usually best. Dry whites outside and dark colours indoors.
Always wash similar colours to remain the garments colours as long as possible
Use delicates bags for your extra sensitive items, like lace underwear
DAY TO DAY
Hang or fold correctly (try to fold along the seams of the garment)
Airing your clothes can be enough for several uses with natural fibered clothing
Use a steamer instead of an iron – or hang garments in shower room when usingth shower or spray with water, hang up & let wrinkles unfold with the help of gravity
Spot clean small stains instead of washing the whole garment
Invest in good hangers as the thin ones can cause the shoulder parts of your clothing to misshape
Store clothes in a dry space
Fold your knitwear.The weight of jumpers can cause them to lose their shape.
Materials that don’t smell, can me aired out. You can read our guide on materials here:
Whether it’s for financial or environmental reasons, you may consider doing a period of not purchasing any new stuff, or at least new clothes. But how do you keep your love or need for fashion if you don’t shop anymore?
There are actually several different option, so here’s a guide for you, along with some tips of apps and website where you can thrift, swap or even get things for free.
Buying second hand is a great option to get (to you) new clothes considering the situation we’re in where the business models of fashion is to produce an abundance in clothing, using precious resources, land and energy.
It’s a lot better to use what we already have than to use new resources.
As second hand shopping is become more popular, I’m hoping that people will shop their clothes with the second hand value in mind. Quality will keep its value for a long time, while cheap and poor quality fast fashion items will have little to no value after a short time of being used.
In a world where we every day get marketing in our faces of what is trendy and not, avoiding trends and looking to thrift stores makes it easier to find your own personal style.
The downside to shopping second hand online is that you can’t try things on before buying it. But there are many pros about thrifting online, like being able to search for specific items and sizes, saving time and for many people – stress, and of course not everyone have many second hand shops near them. In some website or apps you can even set to get a reminder if a specific item comes up for sale.
But please do keep in mind the shipping when purchasing online. While thrifting is a sustainable way to buy clothing, if you have them shipped from far away the carbon footprint of the transportation could become quite large. So try to buy second hand as locally as possible.
I know it can take some time and getting used to the idea of buying pre-used clothes. Personally I used to get very stressed by being in thrift shops as they were often disorganised and very busy. When I was younger I used to think it was unhygienic.But can we just take a moment to address that a lot of the people who think it’s not fresh to buy used clothes seem to have no issues staying in hotels, sleeping in sheets slept in by hundreds of people before them, or eating at restaurants with glasses and cutlery also been used by hundreds, if not thousands of people. Clothes can be washed too, right!?
Here are some links to where you can thrift online. These are just a few options, there are so many more and as thrifting is becoming more popular, even more are popping up. Use your computer or phone to find options near you, both for physical and online stores.
There’s a separate list for swedish apps and websites, as we have a majority of Swedish readers at the moment.
Have some clothes in your wardrobe that you’re not using? Perhaps they don’t fit anymore, your style has changed or you’ve grown tired of it. Well, most people do and just imagine what treasures are out there not being used and appreciated.
Want new stuff but don’t want to spend money?
Let me walk you through the concept of a clothing swap.
Either organised by a company, organisation or simply between friends – people bring clothes they no longer enjoy or can use and then you can swap with each other.
A strategy used by Stories behind things of which I’ve been to a clothing swap event, you leave your things and get tokens for them. Depending on what kind of item, quality and brand you get different amount of tokens. This way there will be no loss in bringing quality items, as you could get either another high quality item or several more simple items. As long as they’re whole and in good condition you can leave them for tokens.
The items then have a “price” of x tokens, depending on the qualities mentioned above.
Do some online searching to see if there are any clothing swap events or organisers near you, or you can check out an app called Bunz which works in a similar way. It’s based on users actually using it, so in some places there’s no one who’s gotten started yet but if you start by putting your things in and then encourage others in your area to join too, you can swap that way.
Or why not create an event with some friend who have similar sizes and do it less formal over dinner or coffee.
Another way to get things for free is to simply ask your friends and family if they have anything they’re not using and ask if you can look through it and pick some stuff, either to keep or simply to borrow from them.
There’s actually people giving things away for free somtimes. Check to see if there’s a local facebook group of people giving things they no longer want for free, or on market place in your area as some people put things up there too.
Especially after the hit series Marie Kondo where she shows how to declutter and get rid of stuff, more people than ever are getting rid of their belongings so get more space (physically and mentally) in their home.
“Sharing economy is a term for a way of distributing goods and services, a way that differs from the traditional model of corporations hiring employees and selling products to consumers. In the sharing economy, individuals are said to rent or “share” things like their cars, homes and personal time to other individuals in a peer-to-peer fashion.” – Wikipedia
As our resources and the use of them are becoming more crucial, the idea of a shared economy where co-owning an renting rather than everyone owning everything themselves is becoming increasingly popular.
The time for buying an entirely new outfit for a single event became more accessible and popular with the growth of fast fashion brands offering the latest fashion for an unreasonably low price needs to end. You can read more about what fast fashion is here and why it is so important that that business model changes.
If you ever need to wear something once for a specific event, like a job interview or a wedding, or if you just really like to dress in different items often, clothing rental is just the thing for you.
Clothing rental is no longer just about renting tuxedos or fancy maid of honour dresses. It is becoming more common with rental companies offering more day to day clothing, an instead of just for one specific event, to subscribe and use the rental as more of a clothing library where you can borrow new items every month.
Perhaps you find something you really like and want to invest in, but want to try it out in person before making the commitment to buy an item that is rather expensive (as the quality and working conditions most likely are much better than the fast fashion options most people wear these days)
Here are some options to clothing rental companies in the UK, US, Australia and Sweden. But there are many more options out there so search online to find what options there are near you. Remember that it is not sustainable to keep shipping clothes for swaping or thrifting across the world, so try to find an option as locally as possible.
Do you too have a pile of clothing that you love but need some kind of repairing or alterations?
If the mending it beyond your personal skills, you can either ask someone you know who does, or you can support your local tailors.
The same goes for altering clothing. Maybe you have some items you love but they need to be shortened, sewn in or in other ways be modified. Try doing it yourself or as mentioned above – take it to a tailor to make it fit you as perfect as possible with the help of a professional.
Have a stain you can’t get rid of? Hide it with a pin, pad or do something called visible mending – an upcoming trend to make the mending of your clothes obvious but do it in a creative way. For inspiration see the hashtag on Instagram or Pinterest.
In Sweden, there’s a repair company called Repamera where you can send your clothes for mending that requires the skills of a professional, they fix it and send it back to you. There might be a similar option in your town or country, so that could be worth checking out if you don’t have a physical tailor close to where you live.
REMAKE or UPCYCLE – alter clothes or fabrics to new items. There are also plenty of brands and people creating new clothes from fabric scraps or other unused old fabrics. Search online to find what options there are near you!
Here’s a pyrmaid to keep in mind when wanting or needing something
What do we have to do to manage the 1.5 degree target and avoid the worst consequences of climate change?
Managing the 1.5 degree target is challenging to say the least, but still reachable if we start doing things differently today from yesterday. According to calculations that we have done based on a few studies, in practice, all of us will have to keep a yearly “carbon dioxide budget” and emit maximally 5 tonnes greenhouse gases by the year 2020 (excluding public consumption). Currently, the average Swede emits nearly 9 tonnes greenhouse gases per year (excluding public consumption). The global average is 6 tonnes greenhouse gases every year.
What is possible to do within a carbon dioxide budget of 5 tonnes?
To create an understanding of what can be included within a carbon dioxide budget of maximally 5 tonnes, here are some general estimates of the emissions of a few activities:
Driving 10 000 km with a petrol-powered car corresponds to approx. 1 tonne CO2eq emissions.
Eating non-processed vegan food corresponds to approx. 0.5 tonne and above CO2eq emissions.
Eating a diet based on a lot of red meat and dairy products corresponds to approx. 2.5 tonnes CO2eq emissions.
Living in an apartment – electricity, heating and hot water corresponds to approx. 1,5 tonnes CO2eq emissions/apartment (based on Swedish averages with low carbon intensity electricity).
Living in a house – electricity, heating and hot water equals approx. 2,7 tonnes CO2eq emissions/house (based on Swedish averages with low carbon intensity electricity)
A 5-hour’ flight corresponds to 1 tonne CO2eq (including high altitude emissions). This means that traveling to and from Frankfurt-New York emits approx. 3 tonnes CO2eq. Traveling to and from London-Mexico corresponds to approx. 4 tonnes CO2eq.
If I offset all my CO2eq emissions – can I emit more than 5 tonnes then?
No. Sorry, but it is not that easy. We have been letting out huge amounts of carbon dioxide for so many years now that we are in a hurry, and we have to do everything that we can to even have a shot at managing the 1.5 degree target. A dream scenario would be if we could reduce our emissions to a maximum of 5 tonnes CO2eq by 2020 and at the same time offset all the emissions that we currently cannot prevent (such as public consumption, to give an example).
So, from where did we get “a maximum of 5 tonnes”?
To begin with, we looked at the study 1.5 degree lifestyles (2018). According to this study, globally, in the year 2030, we will be able to emit maximally 2.5 tonnes CO2eq/person to have a chance of managing the decisive 1.5 degree target. In 2040, we will be able to emit maximally 1.4 tonnes CO2eq/person, and in 2050 – a maximum of only 0.7 tonnes CO2eq/person.
Thereafter, we used the theory of the “Carbon Law” from A roadmap for rapid decarbonisation (Rockström et al, 2017). According to the Carbon Law, we must halve our CO2eq emissions every decade to have a 75% chance at keeping the global temperature below 2 degrees Celcius.
We then combined the results from the two studies, starting with the amount of maximally 2.5 tonnes CO2eq emissions in the year 2030 according to 1.5 degree lifestyles, and doubling this amount according to the Carbon Law to reach the number of a maximum of 5 tonnes CO2eq emissions by 2020. This amount excludes public consumption, however, does not include the justice aspect. Used in for example the Paris Agreement, the justice aspect states that poorer countries should be allowed a longer time to adjust their CO2eq emissions than richer countries. For this reason, we use the wording a maximum of 5 tonnes CO2eq.
So, based on these studies, we would have a pathway to managing the 1.5 degree target if we as soon as possible reduced our CO2eq emission levels to below 5 tonnes and at the same time offset all the emissions that we currently cannot prevent. This way, we would give poorer people in the world a greater chance to better life standards and have a bigger chance at stopping climate change.
1) The numbers from the 1.5 degree lifestyles report do not take into consideration the possibilities that negative emission techniques (NETs) could provide. However, the calculations for the Carbon Law presume NETs to manage the target and keep the global temperature below 2 degrees.
2) Our calculated maximum of 5 tonnes CO2eq emissions per person by 2020 also corresponds with WWF’s goal of 7 tonnes CO2eq emissions per person by 2020 (5 tonnes of CO2eq excluding public consumption).
Milla Qviberg, founder of Ekorummet and writer in the Swedish eco-magazine Kloka Hem, shares her best tips for remodeling a home with the smallest climate footprint possible. The absolute best tip is to do as little as possible. That is, do not renovate or replace furniture just for the sake of it. According to a report by the Swedish Nature Conservation Association, furniture consumption in Sweden has increased by more than 50% since 2005. Stated in the report, the exchange of furniture – like a new sofa or a new kitchen – has a big negative impact on the environment. If you still really fancy a remake, keep the following in mind: 1. Think long-term and sustainable Choose colors and materials that are relevant over time. Think classic instead of latest trends. Go for solid wood floors that can be grinded several times. Don’t go for untreated wallpaper in rooms with strong sunlight to avoid a sun bleached and worn out look. Maintain the materials properly so that they last for a long time. 2. Use natural materials that age beautifully Clay, stone and solid wood ages well. There are natural, fossil free colors that are biodegradable, such as Auro wall paint and Leino’s ceiling and wall paint. 3. Think reface instead of replace Change the appearance of the floor by grinding it down and go for a new surface treatment. Give the kitchen cabinets a face lift with new color or consider just replacing the doors and drawers-fronts while keeping the kitchen frames. If, however, the kitchen needs to be replaced, check out eco-labeled kitchens that are popping up on the market. 4. Use functional design In addition to being decorative, interior design can also fill important features such as air-purifying, sound-absorbing, etc. Choose plants with air-purifying features. Go for wall decorations in sustainable materials that are both beautiful and sound absorbing (for example Lomakka.se). 5. Go all in for reuse There are loads of tips and inspiration on new design for your old drawer, bookshelf or just about anything. Check out Pinterest and Instagram and search for “hacks” or “IKEA hacks”. Have fun!