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Sustainable Tips for the New Year

As the new year, (re: dec­ade?!) pro­gresses, it is a good time for us to take a step back from our every­day lives and take a second to reflect; pon­der our choices, decisions and per­haps the changes we would like to make as we enter the next era. Although it is not uncom­mon for res­ol­u­tions to be made (and broken), this year we want to encour­age you to join us in mak­ing a pledge- a pledge to com­mit your­self to sus­tain­able prac­tices in whatever way you can. Most of us live very busy lives and com­mit­ting your­self to envir­on­ment­ally friendly prac­tices can often­times seem time con­sum­ing, but now more than ever we need to be pro­act­ive about tak­ing care of our planet.

Here at neubau, being eco­lo­gic­ally friendly is at the very heart of everything we do. Both our optic­al frames and sunglasses are made in our home coun­try of Aus­tria, and we do not out­source our man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cess in order to ensure our car­bon foot­print is as low as pos­sible. The raw mater­i­als we use to make the glasses, such as our nat­ur­alPX, is also highly sus­tain­able as it is sourced from seeds of castor oil plants. We are ded­ic­ated to using the best tech­no­logy com­bined with innov­at­ive prac­tices to cre­ate products that pro­duce prac­tic­ally zero waste, and we only want to increase our com­mit­ment to such prac­tices as we enter the year 2020

We know it is not easy to change our habits, which is why we have com­piled a list of tricks and tips that we hope are easy to adopt. Small changes go a long way while mak­ing a big impact and have the addi­tion­al bene­fit of giv­ing your wal­let a break. 

1. Eat local/seasonally

Eat­ing loc­ally is great, not just for boost­ing loc­al eco­nom­ies and help­ing our farm­ers but espe­cially for the envir­on­ment. By con­sum­ing veget­ables that are impor­ted from around the world we are cre­at­ing a demand for our food to be trans­por­ted through planes or long truck jour­neys, res­ult­ing in huge car­bon emis­sions. Buy­ing loc­ally mit­ig­ates this prob­lem, while sim­ul­tan­eously res­ult­ing in us con­sum­ing fresh­er pro­duce, pro­tect­ing our loc­al land and wild­life and cre­at­ing loc­al employment. 

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2. Replacing single use plastic items

The UN envir­on­ment reports that our world cur­rently holds 9 bil­lion tonnes of plastic. Most of this ends up in land­fills and our oceans adversely affect­ing our pre­cious forests as well as aquat­ic life. Plastic does not bio­de­grade which is why single use plastic items are one of the worst pol­lut­ants today. Single use plastic items include (but are not lim­ited to) cigar­ette butts, plastic bottles, bottle caps, straws, styro­foam takeaway cups etc. Repla­cing these items is pretty easy as there are a lot of dif­fer­ent com­pan­ies pro­du­cing replace­ment items — from met­al straws to keep cups. Most gro­cery stores have also stocked tote bags that can be reused to do your weekly shop­ping (sav­ing you a buck as well). 

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3. Thrift/ vintage shopping

As we already know, the fash­ion industry is the most pol­lut­ing industry in the world and yet is hard not to be com­pli­cit — not every­one can afford to buy high qual­ity design­er cloth­ing and so we are forced to shop at high-street brands. A good solu­tion, for both the envir­on­ment and our bank account, is thrift­ing. By buy­ing second-hand, you pre­vent cloth­ing waste from pil­ing up in land­fills and also reduce demand for items from uneth­ic­al high street com­pan­ies. Not to men­tion, you can find pieces that are pretty unique (includ­ing design­er finds) and are presen­ted the oppor­tun­ity to let your cre­at­ive juices flow. 

4. Bicycling

If the idea of a good workout replace­ment (extra workout oppor­tun­ity?) isn’t appeal­ing enough, per­haps know­ing the pos­it­ive envir­on­ment­al impact of choos­ing bicyc­ling as your primary mode of trans­port is. We don’t even need to explain the con­sequences of pil­ing into buses and trains, let alone our own cars. Crack­ing down on road traffic is the first solu­tion imple­men­ted in Mex­ico, China and India to tackle the health crisis cre­ated by pol­lu­tion. If your homet­own has sol­id infra­struc­ture to allow for bicyc­ling, it is an easy, healthy solu­tion. You might even find a scen­ic route to make your morn­ing com­mute enjoyable!

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5. Going vegan

Going vegan has repeatedly been men­tioned has the single biggest way to reduce your impact on the plan­et. Choos­ing to fol­low a vegan diet can res­ult in the reduc­tion of one individual’s car­bon foot­print by nearly 73%, report research­ers from the Uni­ver­sity of Oxford. With increased know­ledge about the eco­lo­gic­al impact of con­tinu­ing to con­sume meat and dairy products, a myri­ad of new com­pan­ies have popped up offer­ing dairy and meat altern­at­ive. From oat milk to high qual­ity meat (and cheese) altern­at­ives — going vegan has nev­er been easier!

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6. Volunteer for organizations

In addi­tion to all our oth­er tips, you can always take your com­mit­ment a step for­ward by work­ing the hun­dreds of organ­iz­a­tions that are doing their bit to help mit­ig­ate our impact on the plan­et. From cre­at­ing urb­an green spaces to intel­li­gent recyc­ling solu­tions, there are lots of innov­at­ive organ­iz­a­tions look­ing for volun­teers. If you’re not sure where to start, we recom­mend look­ing up Plastic Patrol; a crowd­sourcing effort to keep rub­bish out of nature. 

17 Jan 2020 · neubau eyewear