Documentaries To Learn More About The Environment On This Earth Day

There is no secret anymore that climate change is real. The effects of human impact on the planet are already visible with the melting of ice sheets, increased CO2 in the atmosphere, the potential of megafauna extinction, and massive garbage patches floating in our oceans. It can all be pretty overwhelming.

But what can we do about this? I have gathered my favorite documentaries for you to learn more about the environment. Maybe some of these movies can help us to get inspired and find the answers.

More than honey (2013)
Beekeepers, scientists, and others discuss the world’s declining bee population and what it may mean for modern society.

A plastic ocean (2013)
Explorers Craig Leeson and Tanya Streeter and a team of international scientists reveal the causes and consequences of plastic pollution and share solutions.

Cowspiracy (2014)
Follow the shocking, yet humorous, journey of an aspiring environmentalist, as he daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and true path to sustainability.

The true cost (2015)
This shocking documentary is must-see for everyone. We all wear clothes. This sheds light on the real story behind the fast fashion industry, the true cost of fashion. Uncovering dirty secrets and encouraging positive change in society’s behavior.

Sustainable (2016)
Farmer Marty Travis watches his land and community fall victim to the pressures of agribusiness. Determined to create a proud legacy for his son, Marty transforms his profitless wasteland and pioneers the sustainable food movement in Chicago.

Before the flood (2016)
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio meets with scientists, activists, and world leaders to discuss the dangers of climate change and possible solutions.

Chasing coral (2017)
Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. Divers, photographers, and scientists set out on an ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.

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Learn About: Synthetic Fabrics

In the journey towards a more sustainable wardrobe, I came across the topic of fabrics. The production of garments whether from natural or synthetic fabrics cost a lot of resources. Natural fibers have a better impact on the environment than synthetic ones. But in order to know more about this topic, I will show you the advantages and disadvantages of the most common synthetic fibers.

Polyester

is the most common synthetic fiber in the market. Chemical reactions are necessary in during the production of polyester and that involves coal, petroleum, air, and water.

Polyester:

  • Strong
  • Flexible
  • Dries quickly
  • Durable
  • Resists wrinkles
  • Doesn’t shrink
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to wash

Disadvantages of polyester:

  • Not breathable
  • It builds up static
  • Can cause bad smell
  • It isn’t biodegradable
  • The production requires a lot of energy
  • Causes an allergic reaction in some people
  • Microfibers come off during washing, which ends up polluting the oceans
  • It is difficult to dye, which requires a lot of toxic dyes and bleach in the production process

Polyester fabric

Acrylic

is made from a polymer. It is like polyester, a petrochemical fiber. The fabric is often used for sweaters, as linings for boots and gloves, as well as in furnishing fabrics and carpets. Some acrylic is used as a less expensive alternative to cashmere.

Acrylic is:

  • Soft
  • Lightweight
  • Warm – with a wool-like feel
  • Colourfast
  • Machine washable
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Inexpensive

The disadvantages of acrylic:

  • Painful to knit with
  • It is flammable
  • Pills easily
  • It builds up static
  • It doesn’t breath
  • Can cause bad smell
  • It isn’t biodegradable
  • It’s hard or even impossible to recycle
  • The production requires toxic chemicals
  • Microfibers come off during washing, which ends up polluting the oceans

Research has found that acrylic is responsible for releasing nearly 730,000 tiny synthetic particles (microplastics) per wash. Five times more than polyester-cotton blend fabric, and nearly 1.5 times as many as polyester. ( “Accumulation of Microplastic on Shorelines Woldwide: Sources and Sinks”)

Green acrylic fabric

Nylon

is a petrochemical man-made fiber. It was developed in order to make a synthetic replacement for silk.

Nylon is:

  • Strong
  • Weather resistant
  • Versatile
  • Water repellent
  • Machine washable
  • Dries quickly
  • Durable
  • Inexpensive

The disadvantages of nylon are:

  • It builds up static
  • It can irritate the skin
  • It isn’t biodegradable
  • The production requires toxic chemicals
  • Energy-intensive
  • Microfibers come off during washing, which ends up polluting the oceans

Nylon fabric

Spandex

is made from petrochemicals as well. It is also called Elastane or Lycra and it’s usually found blended with other fabrics.

Spandex is:

  • Elastic
  • Stretch
  • Retains its shape

The disadvantages of spandex are:

  • It breaks down over time
  • It becomes brittle
  • It isn’t biodegradable
  • Energy-intensive
  • Polluting to make
  • The production requires toxic chemicals

Spandex

Rayon

is a fiber that is extracted or fabricated from wood pulp. Rayon is considered as a semisynthetic fiber.  It comes from wood but in order to make the fibers, it is combined with synthetic materials. Types of rayon include viscose, modal, and lyocell. Each of which differs in the manufacturing process.

Rayon is:

  • Versatile – It can imitate the feel and texture of silk, wool, cotton, and linen
  • Easy to dye
  • Soft
  • Smooth
  • Comfortable
  • Highly absorbent
  • Cheap

The disadvantages of rayon are:

  • Bad quality
  • Pills easily
  • Wrinkles
  • Shrinks
  • Loses appearance and shape when wet
  • There are toxic dyes and bleach in the production process
  • Workers can be seriously harmed by the carbon disulfide used in the production
  • Because it comes from trees, it might contribute to deforestation problems

Rayon fabric

As you can see, all of the fibers have advantages and disadvantages. I personally find synthetic fibers too harmful in general. I prefer to buy and wear garments from natural fibers as much as possible. This is a personal decision but whatever you choose, it’s good to know about the fabric of your garments. I hope you find this information useful and helps you to become more aware of synthetic fabrics. If you want to learn more about natural fibers, you can read my latest post about this subject here.

With Love,

Alisson

Learn more about Natural Fabrics
Learn more about cotton and polyester

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