July 11th is World Population Day, a day for the world to turn its attention to the many issues that come with living in a world with so many people. One such problem is the limited resources that we have to share with an ever expanding population.
It's predicted that by the year 2025, the world will be home to roughly 8 billion people. With a population that large, there will be a huge demand for new goods and that will be a real strain on our planet's resources.
Much of this demand is for textiles. New clothing is always desirable, but the process of making inexpensive and fast fashion can be one of the most environmentally unfriendly processes in the world.
Clothing factories in places with little oversight may lead to poorly managed disposal of waste, dangerous working conditions, and an over-taxing on natural resources:
- It can take over 700 gallons of water to create just one T-shirt and over 1,800 gallons to manufacture a pair of jeans.
- The process of creating an article of clothing can require the use of a multitude of toxic chemicals like lead, formaldehyde, arsenic, and a slew of others which can end up washing into local groundwater sources.
- Cotton counts for 16% of the total amount of pesticides used in the world which may be adverse to local environments and workers.
As the population grows, there will need to be a reevaluation in the process of making new goods, but we can start making a difference now by investing in reuse.
The fact of the matter is we have plenty of stuff to go around! Most people have more clothes in their closets than they know what to do with. By decluttering and letting your unused things back into the world, it means there's one less new item that needs to be manufactured.
Reuse is a simple first step in curbing the effect our growing population has on our world. While it may not feel like much by getting a shirt on Yerdle, remember that simple acts of conscientiousness ad up and can change the world.