Happy World Earth Day! This annual event was first celebrated in 1970, when a United States senator organised a national demonstration to raise awareness about environmental issues. Today it engages more than 1 billion people every year and presents an opportunity for admiration and awakening. It’s a time we reflect, reframe and rethink the possibilities regarding the future of our planet. This year, the theme is ‘Invest in Our Planet‘.
In an ideal world, today would solely be a global celebration our complex, diverse and thriving planet. When we think about the marvel of our existence and the probability of life in our universe, here on Earth, we are an enigma across all of current science and space. You would think that our uniqueness of life, in all its shape and forms, would present an innate desire to preserve its scarcity at all costs, right?
Instead, Earth Day is currently a global call for action to protect our threatened environment. Years of exploitative and unregulated industry practices (like deforestation, fracking, burning fossil fuels), have begun to destabilise our planets natural ecosystems.
Why We Need To Take Action
According to a 2018 assessment of life on Earth, the global human population represents just 0.01% of all living things. Yet humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds. Corporate greed for endless economic growth, alongside astronomical rates of mindless consumerism, is unravelling the very fabric of life as we know it. Climate change is the biggest global threat we face today.
Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations agreed to hold global warming to well below 2℃ as rising temperatures will damage ecosystems and threaten species that can’t adapt, including in coral reefs and Arctic areas. Low-lying coastal regions and small islands are at risk of disappearing as sea levels rise and the impact on agriculture and industry will also be profound.
Whilst today is about creating urgency and motivating action, it’s not all to be doom and gloom! We can harness the power of hope to innovate! After all, hope is a key driver of change…
Indigenous Communities and Climate Activism
It’s important to note that for centuries, generations of indigenous communities around the world have lived in balance with nature. Their traditions and belief systems often mean that they regard nature with deep respect, and they have a strong sense of place and belonging. These custodians of the landscapes and ecosystems are central to efforts to limit climate change but it’s also placed them at risk. Those who stand up against powerful economic and political interests remain under intense pressure or threats in many parts of the world.
But it’s not just indigenous communities that are working to protect the planet. Youth climate activists around the world are leading in the way driving important conversations and demanding accountability from global leaders. Global climate strikes of recent years, led by the likes of Extinction Rebellion, have united people beyond borders, to address climate change so that we can not only survive but thrive!
Green Red Handed!
So, we know our planet is in some hot water of our own making. We know we must act quickly and meaningfully to reverse the effect of climate change. However, public awareness of the situation also transcends across big brands and corporations, which is where the newer issue of greenwashing comes into play.
Greenwashing is when a company paints an image of being environmentally conscious for marketing purposes but actually isn’t making any notable sustainability efforts. It’s problematic for smaller, independent brands with sustainable practices, as they often struggle to compete against bigger brands heavily-funded, deceptive marketing which give the illusion of sustainability. It’s a common occurrence across all different industries.
According to The Sustainable Agency, one of the best things people can do to protect themselves from greenwashing is to become familiar with recent cases of it. Some of the most prolific ones they note include Ikea for accredited illegal logging, H&M for insincere sustainable fashion claims, Ryanair for false low-emissions claims and Shell for gaslighting the general public (you can read more about these cases here).
Start Small. Think Big.
Despite all of this, and whilst we desperately still need action and accountability from global leaders, businesses and corporations, we can still play our part as individuals. As quoted by by Howard Zinn, “Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world”! When it comes to taking climate positive action as consumers, the best thing you can do is use what you already own. The second best thing you can do is cast your consumer vote consciously and at Veo, we strive to be the platform that enables you to do just that. Our goal is to make ‘sustainable shopping’ the standard, the accessible, the aspirational… a beautiful new normal.
Veo World x Our World
Veo seeks to transform how we live, how we produce, and how we consume. To disrupt antiquated economics, and introduce new and positive systems – regenerative, closed loop, circular systems – that reinvent the relationship between business and consumer. To form the catalyst for change, that revamps the very nature of supply and demand for the better.
In line with Sustainable Development Goal #12, to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”, we ensures all brands and products utilise pioneering methods of sustainable production. This includes more efficient use of our natural resources, and using innovative bio-materials, organic fabrics, and less wasteful practices.
For us, sustainability isn’t a choice, but a necessity. Providing a community for consumers to lead healthier and happier lives through sustainable choices, and use of products that not only last longer, but are higher quality and are the better alternatives to those widely available. We are proud to be a platform for innovators who are transparent, legitimate in their ethical credentials and want to be part of positive change – we’ve got a B Corp Certification to prove it too!
This Earth Day melt hearts, not ice-caps! Remember, in line with this years theme ‘Invest in Our Planet’, using your consumer power consciously can have a bigger impact than you realise! Still want to know more? You can head to our Sustainability page to learn more about our credentials and values.