“All I care about, and cherish, is on this one planet. It is my home, the home of my family and friends, and the home of another 7 billion people. It is also the home of beautiful forests, mountains, savannahs, oceans, lakes and rivers and of all of the species living within. Our planet is beautiful, but our planet is also fragile. We have the ability to save our home, to protect our planet. Not only for our own benefit but, above all, for generations to come. We have the solutions. Everyone can make a contribution by making better choices in how we govern, produce and consume. Taking better care of the planet is in our hands”- André Kuipers, Astronaut, European Space Agency
WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is one of the world’s largest and most experienced independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
WWF published Living Planet Report 2012. The report shows that humanity is already using nearly 50% more natural resources than the Earth can replenish. By 2030, the report says, even two planets will not be enough.
The Living Planet Report is the world’s leading publication on the state of our planet. In summary, the 2012 report states:
- Nature is the basis of our wellbeing and our prosperity.
- Biodiversity has declined globally by around 30 per cent between 1970 and 2008; by 60 per cent in the tropics.
- Demand on natural resources has doubled since 1966 and we are currently using the equivalent of 1.5 planets to support our activities.
- High income countries have a footprint five times greater than that of low income countries.
- Areas of high biodiversity provide important ecosystem services such as carbon storage, fuel wood, freshwater flow and marine fish stocks.
- The loss of biodiversity and related ecosystem services particularly impacts the world’s two poorest peoples who rely most directly on these services to survive.
- Business as usual projections estimate that we will need the equivalent of two planets by 2030 to meet our annual demands.
- Natural capital– biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services– must be preserved and, where necessary, restored as the foundation of human economies and societies.
- WWF’s one planet perspective proposes how to manage, govern and share natural capital within the earth’s ecological limits. We can reduce our footprint by producing more with less, and consuming better, wiser and less.
Why we should care?
- Our wealth, health and well-being are dependent on ecosystem services. Many areas of high biodiversity also provide important ecosystem services such as carbon storage, fuel wood, freshwater flow and fish stocks. Human activities are affecting the continued provision of these services.
- Deforestation and forest degradation currently account for up to 20 per cent of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions, including losses from forest soils.
- Only a third of the world’s rivers that are longer than 1,000km are free flowing and without dams on their main channel.
- A nearly five-fold increase in global marine fish catch, from 19 million tons in 1950 to 87 million tons in 2005, has left many fisheries overexploited.
- The frequency and complexity of land use competition will rise as human demands grow. Throughout the developing world, there is an unprecedented rush by outside investors to secure access to land for future food and fuel production.
- The loss of biodiversity and its related ecosystem services particularly impacts the poor, who rely most directly on these services to survive.
How can we contribute? We can help save planet by bringing small changes in our home. Wash Clothes sustainably. By being more environmentally conscious with your laundry, you can extend the life of your clothes, protect the environment and save money. Guide to sustainable washing.
Sustainable tips for washing various garments:
Clothes with prints should be turned inside out to keep the print looking good.
To maintain your jeans’ unique look, wash them as little as possible. In a first instance, try airing them or spot-treating a stain. Always wash your jeans inside out and with similar colors. This is particularly important with darker jeans. Laundry “streaks” on jeans can be caused by fold creases that occur when the clean laundry is left lying in the washing machine for a long time. To avoid discoloration, hang up the jeans to dry as soon as the washing has finished. Always hang jeans up to dry. Do not tumble dry.
Silk is a delicate natural fiber that requires proper care. When washed gently, the garment will retain its fine quality. Wash with a mild detergent free from bleaching agents and enzymes and avoid fabric softeners. Never leave silk garments to soak. If a machine wash is recommended, avoid a spin cycle. Instead, you can try placing a towel on the garment and carefully pressing out the water. Either hang the garment to dry, or dry flat.
Garments made of viscose should be hung up to dry, as viscose can easily lose its shape when wet. You can reshape the garment by gently stretching it while it is still damp.
Where possible, avoid washing wool garments; in most cases simply airing the garment is enough to freshen it up. Wash wool by hand or using the recommended washing machine programme. Use a mild detergent free from bleaching agents and enzymes. Remember that wool can become matted when worked too hard, and can shrink in sharp changes of temperature.
To prevent runs in delicate knitted garments, use a laundry bag. Dry the garment on a flat surface after washing to ensure it retains its shape.
Be extra careful with garments that contain both dark and light shades. If no specific advice is given in the care instructions, for example “wash separately”, multi-colored garments should be sorted based on the garment’s dominant color.
If you choose to iron, follow the garment’s care instructions for ironing. Sort your laundry before ironing, separating cotton and synthetic garments – these require different temperatures. Avoid ironing zips, buttons or other details on your garment. Also remember to clean your iron regularly.
Shirts retain their shape best it they are hung on a clothes hanger. However, if you need to fold your shirt, here’s what to do: Do up all the buttons and lay the shirt front-down. Place a magazine under the collar in the middle of the shirt. Fold one side in towards the middle, take the sleeve and fold it down in parallel with the back. Repeat for the other side. Fold the lower part of the shirt up towards the back of the collar and remove the magazine. Turn the shirt over and the job is done.
Don’t hang sweaters on a clothes hanger as they can easily stretch and get unsightly marks from the clothes hanger. Fold sweaters in the same way as shirts.
Ideally, trousers should be hung. If the trousers have a crease, fold them along the crease and hang them up over the horizontal bar of the hanger, or use a clip hanger.
Skirts retain their shape best it they are hung. Use the small loops that are usually sewn into a skirt’s waistband to hang it on a clothes hanger. If the skirt has no hanging loops, use a clip hanger to hang it.
Dresses with linings are best hung inside out. Linings are usually made of a synthetic material and provide good protection against dust, dirt and wrinkles.
Reduce your environmental impact by looking after your clothes in a more environmentally conscious way.