How to live more sus­tainab­le with Anna Schunck from VIER­TELVOR

No social media account, no sneaker, no instant camera and no Kardashian has enjoyed so much attention as the word "sustainability" within the last year.

To be, think and live somehow sus­tainab­le seems to be right but for many what is more important: it’s on trend.

Blog 1704 Viertel Vor Neubau 14

Luck­i­ly! Con­scious­ly taking care of raw mate­ri­als and resour­ces is a trend that is here to stay. First of all, tha­t’s important if you don’t want the world to end. Second­ly becau­se it’s real­ly not that tough to trans­la­te a green life­style in your ever­y­day life. Why? Becau­se also small steps in the right direc­tion are per­mit­ted and a dog­ma­tic approach is sil­ly anyways.

First step towards eco­lo­gi­cal living: rai­se your own awa­reness for the issue. Think about all the things you con­su­me on a dai­ly basis and whe­re it’s com­ing from. For examp­le straw­ber­ries in win­ter can’t be from a field clo­se to you but must have had a long jour­ney with a lot of help from che­mi­cal fer­ti­li­zers and pesti­ci­des. If you visua­li­ze that, all of a sud­den wai­t­ing for sum­mer time isn’t all that hard.

Spea­king of wai­t­ing: we all know how fast paced the fashion indus­try has beco­me. The­re­fo­re it’s more rewar­ding to invest in state­ment-pie­ces that tru­ly fit your style for a lon­ger time ins­tead of being tri­cked by the fashion world into buy­ing a squa­red heel or cut-off pants one sea­son and then floor length pants the next sea­son. Making smart decisi­ons when selec­ting the pie­ces averts having to sort out the clo­set con­stant­ly and hel­ps tur­ning the own collec­tion into a pre­cious fun­dus – vin­ta­ge shop­ping at home so to say.

At home it’s easiest to make chan­ges to your diet and to start with the clas­sics. Tur­ning off the water while brushing the teeth, tur­ning off the light whenever lea­ving the house or chan­ging to an eco-sup­plier of electric ener­gy. Easy! It’s get­ting more advan­ced when taking care of trash. Yes plea­se, was­te sepa­ra­ti­on real­ly hel­ps and plastic isn’t hard to dis­po­se – qui­te the oppo­si­te actually.

Plastic is the neme­sis. That is com­mon know­ledge at least for most peop­le by now. Why again? Becau­se it’s most­ly made of raw oil and that is rare. Also becau­se plastic can­not be decom­po­sed that means liter­al­ly never.

A varie­ty of experts esti­ma­te the time it takes for syn­the­ti­cal­ly mate­ri­als to dis­sol­ve to 500 to 1000 years. This means that any form of plastic ever crea­ted still exists in one form or ano­t­her. The remains of it are most­ly found in the oce­ans whe­re it’s espe­cial­ly fatal for the envi­ron­ment. Through the move­ment of the sea and the sun­light the micro plastic par­ti­cles drop down in the water and float around see­min­gly invi­si­ble for ani­mals so they mista­ke it with food. By now the­re is more plastic in the seas than plankton.

Tha­t’s a pro­blem but not only for tur­tels, herons or dol­phins. Every year seven mil­li­on tons of plastic end up in the oce­ans and get into a swirl of was­te around the North Paci­fic sea and bet­ween Cali­for­nia and Hawaii. Many beaches bet­ween the North Sea and Asia are alrea­dy full of plastic and it’s even worse: it beco­mes part of our food chain. This inclu­des all the toxic che­mi­cals that are added to plastic such as sof­te­ners or fla­me resistant ingre­dients. All of that is in the fish we eat, our ground­wa­ter or on our fruits and vege­ta­bles. We basi­cal­ly are poi­sing ourselves.

Does it have to be that way? It does­n’t if one is awa­re of plastic as the enemy and if one knows about alter­na­ti­ves. For examp­le neu­bau eye­we­ar has found a light­weight poly­mer as an envi­ron­ment­al­ly friend­ly alter­na­ti­ve for their frames. To sup­port brands like this can be a step in a more green direc­tion. Ano­t­her one would be to choo­se your glas­ses wise­ly so you love it for a long time and might even get it repai­red when it’s bro­ken ins­tead of just get­ting rid of it.

To sum it up the­re are two things to know about sus­taina­bi­li­ty: ever­ything we con­su­me has to be pro­du­ced and ever­ything that we throw away isn’t gone – it’s just some­whe­re else.

Words by Anna Schunck from VIER­TEL \ VOR, Photography/​concept by Mar­cus Werner

22 Apr. 2017 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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