Earth alert: Why we urgently need to draw up resolutions now

Published July 29, 2021, 11:33 AM

by Marie Buenaventura

On July 29, Earth Overshoot Day, we have used up all ecological resources and services the planet can regenerate this year, three weeks earlier than in 2020, seven months earlier than in 1970.

Happy New Year 2022?

The year has come to a sudden end—at least resource wise. July 29, 2021 marks the day we have consumed and used all ecological resources and services that the Earth can regenerate this year.

The later this day arrives in any given year, the better we have managed our resource consumption. The past decades, however, have shown that the date tends to be earlier every year. While last year’s Earth Overshoot Day fell on Aug. 22, pushed back by the pandemic-related lockdowns, this year’s resources has been consumed three weeks earlier, with the main drivers being the increased carbon footprint and deforestation. To put things in context, in 1970, it fell on Dec. 29, seven months later than this year.

How can we #MoveTheDate? Projections show that reducing global carbon emissions by 50 percent would already move Earth Overshoot Day by 93 days, the equivalent of more than three months. Manufacturing brands such as Grohe are therefore working on reducing their emissions drastically. Since April 2020, Grohe has been one of the first leading manufacturers in the sanitary industry to produce CO2-neutral. CO2 emissions, however, are only one part since there are plenty of other resources that need to be handled with care, such as water or other natural resources. For this reason, Grohe focuses on products that are not only efficient in their use of water and energy, but also follow the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) design concept, which guides the design and make of every product with the intent of using its components in its end-of-life-phase for the creation of new products. To start this circular journey, Grohe has launched four bestsellers as Cradle to Cradle Certified variants at Gold level.

Since each and every one can contribute to #MoveTheDate by preserving our resources, Grohe has curated some helpful New Year’s Resolutions as an inspiration to start.

New Year’s Resolution #1: Collecting rainwater to water our plants 

Plants are craving for water, especially in summer. We can reduce our water consumption easily, however, by collecting rainwater in jars or barrels and using them to water our plants. This will help counteract water scarcity while also having the potential to save emissions as the more plants we grow the more carbon dioxide is absorbed.

Projections show that reducing global carbon emissions by 50 percent would already move Earth Overshoot Day by 93 days, the equivalent of more than three months.

New Year’s Resolution #2: Using soap bars to save plastic

Soap and shampoo bars are the perfect solution to start abandoning plastic from our bathrooms. With products ranging from body scrubs, body soap, facial wash to shampoo and conditioner, the variety is now meeting individual preferences and needs, while replacing numerous plastic bottles and jars. Soap bars are also perfect for travelling as they can be easily transported in a little bag.

New Year’s Resolution #3: Increasing shelf life of food

Often food goes to waste unintentionally by simply going bad faster than we thought, but there are some helpful tricks that increase the shelf life of food. Storing an apple with potatoes prevents them from sprouting. Removing strawberries from their original packaging in a glass jar makes them last longer by weeks. Storing spring onions in water does not only increase their shelf life but also lets them continue to grow.

New Year’s Resolution #4: Closing the pot for cooking

There are several smart and easy ways to save energy in our homes. One is to cook with the lid closed since it reduces the energy it takes to cook something by as much as 1/3. If we use the lid in five cooking sessions per week, we can save up to 46 (₱2,730++) and 100kg CO2 emissions per year.

New Year’s Resolution #5: Bringing vegetable bags for shopping

Whether at the weekly market or in supermarkets, we do not need our vegetables and fruit wrapped in plastic or paper bags, which are usually thrown away after use anyway. Convenient helpers, such as vegetable bags, in which you can pack your loose vegetables and fruits, are very useful here. A little advice: the bags are usually very small and handy. Just place them in pockets and jackets, so you always have a vegetable bag with you, even when you go shopping spontaneously.

With these New Year’s Resolutions at heart, let’s start the new resource year 2022 better than the last and #MoveTheDate as much as we can collectively, by applying our greatest strengths: foresight, innovation, and care for each other and our environment.

 
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