Persevering in considering the fight against Climate Change a priority remains very important, despite the ongoing pandemic and the measures taken to combat it [lockdown in the first place] have led to a general improvement in environmental conditions and a decrease in pollution in many countries.
In January, researchers from the European Investment Bank [EIB] interviewed a total of 30,000 people from 28 European Union countries [UK included], the United States and China about how they actively intended to change their habits in order to help slow down – if not reverse – the effects of pollution on Climate Change.
The study showed that the attention towards consequences related to climate change was very high and everywhere [in Europe, in China and the USA] many people admitted that their daily decisions would be influenced by this issue.
Europeans [often counted among leaders in climate change policy] and Chinese [despite China having historically been a leader in carbon dioxide emissions] have given similar responses – 93% and 98% of respondents respectively – regarding their willingness to reduce plastic consumption, while only 81% among Americans answered affirmatively.
A positive surprise is the fact that it is always the Chinese who seem most determined to increase their contribution and acquire greater awareness of Climate Change given that they responded positively in high percentages to the questions relating to the decrease in heating in homes [91% against 78% of Europeans and 75% of Americans], to the reduction of air travel in favour of train travel [94% against 75% of Europeans and 69% of Americans], to the boycott of companies that contribute to global warming [95% against 76% of Europeans and 66% of Americans], as well as with respect to the desire to participate in initiatives regarding environmental protection and the reduction of atmospheric pollution [79% against 56% of Europeans and 52 % of Americans].
In particular, I’d like to focus on the problem of microplastic pollution, an issue highlighted by a variety of studies and research. Those analyses have put into evidence the alarming presence of microplastic in the planet’s waters [oceans as well as all the other waterways] and underlined as over one third of microplastic fibers floating in the oceans come from synthetic fabrics: a single machine wash at 30-40 ° C of synthetic garments can pour 500,000 [if polyester] to 730,000 fibers [if acrylic] into wastewater.
Anyone can contribute actively to fight Climate Change and the plastic pollution just by modifying some of their habits: eating less meat, decreasing the heating of homes, traveling by train instead of airplane and public transport instead of car, and anyone who has [I think almost everyone] items of clothing in synthetic fabrics in their closet could replace them with natural fiber clothing [eg. cotton, wool, hemp] in order to give an active contribution to reducing the microplastic problem.
In summary, once the lockdown and its positive impact on pollution is completely overcome, let us strive to remain focused – as for people as for brands – on modifying our daily lives in order to safeguard the environment in which we live as much as possible.
[Images and data via: Statista]