As summer rolls around, people start to incorporate more linen pieces into their outfits. This feels like a great opportunity to talk about how awesome linen is and why you should be opting for it more! Linen is the oldest textile around, so it’s not surprising that it’s also one of the more sustainable textiles available today. The fabric is made from the flax plant (yes, like the seed) and has a rich and interesting history. Flax isn’t just what we sprinkle on top of our oatmeal, it’s also one of the first plant fibers used by humans. The plant stalks have been fermented, dried, crushed, and beaten into a fiber for thousands and thousands of years. Although we have a plethora of great textile options today, the invention and widespread use of linen throughout history was an incredibly big step in humanity’s development.
You don’t need to be an award-winning chef to cook sustainable seafood. In fact, it’s never been easier to cook sustainable seafood at home! SASSI has joined with chefs from all over South Africa to help you plate delicious and inspiring dishes in your own home.
Young Canadians say they feel the pressure to make environmentally friendly choices. Unfortunately, those choices sometimes cost more. As they struggle with affording basic necessities, some people feel guilty about not being able to do more to combat climate change. The planet is dangerously close to crossing the carbon emissions threshold of 1.5 °C in 10 years, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The effects would be devastating and irreversible. Experts say climate action efforts from governments, institutions and individuals are all critical to the fight against climate change. But young Canadians say the rising cost of living is getting in the way. The November 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly known as COP27, stressed that the pressure is on to implement substantive changes rather than “snazzy promises,” said Julie Segal, conference attendee and climate finance manager at Environmental Defence, a Canadian environmental advocacy organization. “People always say that we’re the leaders of tomorrow,” said 27-year-old Segal. “First of all, we’re leading today.” But, as costs of living increase, making eco-conscious choices can make that leadership a struggle. Eden Schwinghamer says he understands his responsibility to prevent further harm to the planet, but the second-year Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) photography student says financial constraints have proven to be a significant obstacle. “I look at my budget and the fact that I’m putting myself through school, I am the only person in this ship with me,” said Schwinghamer. “I look at my bank account and I look at what I need and unfortunately, a lot of the more sustainable options do not line up as being more affordable.” Schwinghamer says he feels a certain level of guilt for not being able to afford making bigger changes, such as buying more ethically sourced clothes, in his efforts to be eco-conscious. His situation isn’t unique. TMU environmental sciences graduate Claire Davis also says she feels guilt about being unable to invest more into green living. “I do what I can, but there’s only a certain degree of change people can individually contribute to protecting the environment,” she said.”
Electronic waste, known as e-waste, is an ever-increasing problem worldwide. Levels of electronics consumption are high in both developed and developing countries, and many consumer electronics are designed with short life spans. Once an electronic item has reached its end of use, what happens? While some electronics are recycled, many are discarded in landfills. Even those that are recycled face a dubious fate. Who is ultimately responsible for fixing our e-waste problem? Electronics are filled with chemicals and substances that are harmful to human health and the environment, including toxic metals, flame retardants, and persistent organic pollutants. If not recycled, these chemicals can contaminate landfills and enter the water supply through leachate. Even the recycling of e-waste is problematic.