Rethinking Earth Day

Should We Even Celebrate?

We got to a point where rethinking Earth Day becomes crucial. Indeed, if we continue at this pace, in a future devoid of resources, Earth Day will be remembered for the countless celebrations. But should we even celebrate?

Earth Day significance

April 22nd marks the annual recurrence of World Earth Day 2024, a global event dedicated to raising awareness and promoting environmental protection. This day is a powerful reminder of the critical need for conservation and sustainability efforts. The purpose is to inspire collective action towards a healthier planet and a more sustainable future.

Earth Day marketing

However, we received emails inviting us to purchase products to save the planet! Is this truly the extent of our commemoration? Another opportunity for product promotion? Is increasing sales an effective strategy against global warming? Is it the means to safeguard our planet? Earth Day promotions sound really weird!

For those striving for a sustainable lifestyle, which transcends the hollow slogans bombarding us incessantly, Earth Day holds no celebrations. In truth, there is little cause for celebration. What’s to commemorate? The devastation wrought by humanity? Or perhaps a brief respite? Certainly not!

climate change -Image of a melting planet earth - Killing me softly by Gianluca Traina
Killing me softly by Gianluca Traina

The true purpose: rethinking Earth Day

The aim is to raise public consciousness, to instil the understanding that we have but one planet, and we must preserve and protect it. Mother Earth requires time to heal from the havoc we wreak daily, from the mountains of waste generated by our economic system, by our way of life! The devastation is the byproduct of progress, something we seem unwilling to relinquish. 

Let’s face it. Unfortunately, Earth Day has become the ultimate marketing strategy to drive sales! But sustainable growth is a myth. Similarly, there can be no sustainable fashion or sustainable tourism without a significant reduction in consumption! “What is needed in the first instance are reduced levels of consumption, not just changed patterns.” – Herman E. Daly.

In conclusion, brands may push marketing gimmicks to celebrate Earth Day 2024. Tourism, fashion, or any other industry may create its own sustainable bubble. But we will neither address nor solve any issue unless we are wholeheartedly committed – every day – to saving the planet by curbing our consumption.

So, let’s be serious: rethinking Earth Day means nothing to celebrate. We must raise awareness and take action!

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Life in plastic?

Why recycling plastic is a dead-end street

In the search for a sustainable lifestyle, great discussions revolve around recycling plastic to limit waste. Even though we pay attention to separate our waste at home, unfortunately, that is not a solution. So a new report on plastic pollution says.

The plastic report by Greenpeace

A new Greenpeace USA report – the source of this post – states that “plastic recycling is a dead-end street. Year after year, plastic recycling declines even as plastic waste increases.”

The good news is that paper, cardboard and metals are effectively recycled. But the bad news is that most plastic is not recyclable.

According to this report, U.S. households generated 51 million tons of plastic waste in 2021, but only 2.4 million tons were recycled.

Furthermore, once the U.S. exported plastic to China, they counted it as recycled, even though much of it was burned or dumped.

Plastic recycling: why doesn’t it work?

1- plastic waste is extremely difficult to collect
2- impossible to sort for recycling
3- it is environmentally harmful to reprocess
4- it’s often made of and contaminated by toxic materials (therefore unusable for food)
5- too expensive to recycle

In the end, the study points out that a circular economy based on recycling plastic is pure fiction.

“Corporations like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, and Unilever have worked with industry front groups to promote plastic recycling as the solution to plastic waste for decades. But the data is clear: practically speaking, most plastic is just not recyclable. The real solution is to switch to systems of reuse and refill.”


Of course, refilling and reusing make sense. We refill and reuse plastic containers as much as possible. But plastic is everywhere! And there’s too much of it! Every single item we buy comes with a plastic container and plastic wrap: food, beauty products, cleaning products, and tech stuff… Everything! In fact, the world is submerged by plastic. And researchers found plastic in human blood, too!
Therefore, recycling is not sufficient to solve the plastic waste issue. It’s clear!

The solution? Governments should put an end to plastic production.

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Climate change, Fashion Taskforce and private jets

Climate change is the alarming issue we discuss frequently, but the sad irony behind the latest news is creepy.

G20 and COP26 – the world leaders meetings to address climate change represented the bla bla bla we are used to hearing. Words, not facts. In some cases, they offered us something to laugh about with their sleepy faces. Even if there’s nothing to laugh about, in fact, we should only cry for what we did to our planet, as it wasn’t our source of life.

Does it make sense to discuss Joe Biden flying on his jet to Rome and then to Glasgow? Is that the point? How about the other 400 VIP jets that landed in Glasgow for the occasion?
The problem wasn’t Joe Biden’s flight. The problem was all of them gathering together – 400 flights for a climate change summit! That is ridiculous!

To make it really sustainable, wasn’t it better to arrange a zoom meeting?
Perhaps they had some problem with their wi-fi. Or maybe, world leaders intended to make it appear more spectacular to make us believe they are doing it for real. Of course, they needed more impressive backgrounds than computer screens.

climate change - Killing me softly by Gianluca Traina
Killing me softly – by Gianluca Traina

The agreement: -30% gas emission by the end of the decade, and halt deforestation by 2030.

However, acknowledging that China, India and Russia didn’t show up is so sad. They can say whatever, but if the biggest polluters are unwilling to sit at the table and openly find a solution, we have lost at the start.

As a matter of fact, after the Paris agreement in 2015, nothing positive followed. On the contrary, a lot of bad events occurred.
That is the demonstration that capitalism will never change. And money rules even when the house is burning.

At G20 in Rome, Prince Charles guiding a Fashion Taskforce, launched the idea of the Digital ID: a digital passport that carries all the information of a garment in order to provide transparency and traceability.

Although they are the Illuminati, those who created the problem cannot be the solution. All the businessmen with skin in the game have no interest in real change.

Eventually, Draghi thanked the climate activists. And undoubtedly, that is the pathway to follow. Make the change and trust ourselves, not the world leaders.

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From quantity to quality

When will the paradigm shift from quantity to quality? Or, the question should be, what else do we need to see in order to make this change happen?

People don’t consider shifting towards a conscious lifestyle because they are too ingrained in their old habits. But perhaps, those who are in this position will be forced to readapt somehow quite soon.

Difficulties in finding raw materials and supply chain shortages are now a reality. Indeed, one of the side effects of the pandemic was the sharp rise in raw material prices. Consequently, final product prices are getting much higher. It is already happening in the construction field, energy, gas. And it’s impacting fashion, too.

Therefore, caring more about what and how we consume will be a necessity.

Pointing feet - inspiring from quantity to quality attitude

Low-impact lifestyle: quality, not quantity!

What can we do?
Each of us has an impact on the environment. Even if corporate giants arm-in-arm with marketing have shaped the world for us, they can’t make it without our active participation. And the role we play is revealed precisely by how and what we consume.

Since we do not like to wait for change to happen, we choose with our minds what kind of world we want to live in, so we act. Also, we hold ourselves accountable for the choices we make.

Why buy less but better quality?
It is a long-term strategy. You will buy garments that last. Things you will wear for a lifetime, not items to discard after a couple of washings. Same for any other item we use in our everyday life.

This radical shift of perspective from quantity to quality is about educating ourselves to find pleasure in how things are made, not in the simple act of buying. Finally, this alternative lifestyle will reduce our impact on the planet.

So, make it a conscious choice now rather than a forced decision when it’s too late.

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The modern migration

Modern migration from big cities to small villages is the key to sustainability and happiness.

Transformed by the pandemic wake-up call, we decided to spend our August holidays back at our roots. A tiny small village in the Basilicata region – South Italy – immersed in nature and silence. Cows’ mooing, dogs barking, or the wind was the only sound.

Travelling in the middle of the night along the woods, we met a family of porcupines who was crossing the road, spines standing on end. Such a marvel! We promptly stopped the car to enjoy the unique show that nature offered us. We let them cross, caught in the headlights.
A scene impressed in our memory.

How different life is in small countryside villages! Healthier, for sure. You reclaim the value of time, space. You don’t feel trapped like in a city apartment. However big it is, it’s cement anyway. And you realise that in exchange for fewer services, perhaps you enjoy real life.

Reading the news, it seems that the migration from big cities to the countryside has already started, as a tangible effect of the pandemic. Indeed, the idea of a slow and sustainable lifestyle flows so naturally into this context, followed by a different way of dressing – which we will explore deeper – and decorating our places.
Surely, a way of living our life in tune with nature.

It has proven that economic growth and environmental impact are directly connected. What we used to call climate change is now a climate emergency. Therefore, in order to reduce our impact on nature, we have no other choice than to change our lifestyle.

To this end, modern migration to the countryside is an opportunity. Our needs have changed, big cities aren’t the answer anymore. We need more nature.

Therefore, we are envisioning a future where people repopulate small villages, giving them a new life. Intensive mass growing leaves space for smaller communities, all interconnected so as to support each other.

Finally, we can use progress and the web not to prevail or exploit but to genuinely and deeply connect.

With this in mind, we can be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

That’s the lifestyle for modern humans.

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