Today is Earth Day – an annual event that encourages people across the globe to think about the environment and the protection of our planet.
This year it is perhaps more poignant than ever…
Due to the events of the past year and the time we have spent in lockdown – for many – the issues facing the planet have been brought to light more than ever. Attitudes towards the environment have changed. Our lack of global movement has led to decreased carbon emissions, cleaner skies and reduced pollution levels in our biggest cities.
What’s more, we have been forced to get to know our local areas better. We have been walking in our nearby forests and woods, going to the beaches we never had time to visit, and we have spent hours and hours tending to our gardens.
Whilst painful and dark at times, COVID-19 has not been an entirely negative phenomenon. It has given us time to think about the environment and the protection of our planet.
In an article in the guardian, it was even stated that: ‘when restrictions were at their strictest, the human footprint softened to a level not seen in decades. Flights halved, road traffic in the UK fell by more than 70%. Industrial emissions in China, the world’s biggest source of carbon, were down by 18%’
So COVID-19 has done some good it seems. The question is, what now?
Whilst the world is beginning to return to normal, we can’t go back to business as usual… We need to learn from the last year and rectify the everyday actions we take that negatively affect the planet.
Whether big or small, we need to ensure that we are always eco-conscious and that we continue to treasure our surroundings.
That might sound overwhelming, but we can start with the clothes we wear and the accessories we put on our head… glasses anyone?!
If it became the norm to choose a preloved pair of glasses over a cheap, plastic and mass-produced pair, we would be taking a step in the right direction.
75% of adults need some form of vision correction and this number will continue to rapidly grow as our global population increases and time spent looking at screens surges. In fact, by 2050, it is predicted that half of the planet will need glasses.
That is a LOT of glasses and most of those spectacle wearers will – unfortunately – be shopping at high street brands rather than smaller-scale sustainable companies. Most of these glasses wearers will also be throwing away their old specs as opposed to giving them a second life. 4 millions pairs of glasses are currently thrown away each year. That is a shocking statistic.
It is easy to panic and feel useless in the face of these huge climate questions but there are things we can do!
Donate your old glasses to organisations like Vision Aid Overseas or the Lions Club! They collect thousands every year and give them new homes instead of letting them go to waste. You can also donate your glasses to us at Retrospecced if you think they’re an extra special pair … we’ll give you a discount code if you do … If that wasn’t enough donation inspiration, you can always give your preloved glasses to a friend or family member!
BUY AND SELL SECOND HAND.
Selling your glasses is also an option. Platforms like Vinted and Depop are perfect for flogging a funky pair of spectacles. And whilst it can be great to sell your possessions, buying second hand is vital too. Instead of contributing to fast fashion and the unethical production of billions of tonnes of clothing and accessories, try and get your hands on someone else’s unloved stuff – you can find some absolute gems and for a fantastic price.
TREASURE YOUR POSSESSIONS.
Keep your glasses for as long as possible and treasure the things you own! It is so important to invest in high quality, timeless pieces, especially when it comes to glasses. Choosing a beautiful vintage pair of frames with a story encourages us to take care of them as we are a part of their life as much as they are a part of ours. Instead of succumbing to the fast fashion attitude so many possess in this day and age, buy products with the intention of looking after them. It will bring you more joy and keep you seeing clearly for a long time.
The planet means the world to us. Let’s protect it!
Yes, we find ourselves amidst a ‘new normal’ when it comes to day to day life, but that doesn’t just go for social interaction, hygiene and health. This crisis should be seen as a warning.
We hope it has brought about an interest in the environment as it has never been more important to protect our planet, savour everything we have and prevent another disaster from happening.