Crisis and shelter in place allowed many to reevaluate the past, contemplate the present, and wonder about the future. These critical times brought us all together by making us want to reach out to our loved ones and even reconnect with long lost friends across the world and realize how much we care about them and how happy they are to hear from us. By looking at the most recent satellite photos, we are also learning that we might not be the only ones who’s been using this time to reflect – our planet took a deep breath as well, cleaned its airways, and replenished some of its most valuable resources.
Support environmental-friendly business. Support local. Support each other.
by Katya A Willaims, Sustainability and Social Responsibility Editor
With factories and manufacturing companies have stopped their production, with fewer vehicles on the roads, fewer people going about their daily business, and no tourists occupying waterfront zones, our planet is resting – it is processing less waist. Experts confirm that the lockdown in China, besides stopping the deadly virus from spreading, saved tens of thousands of lives from deadly air pollution. Due to less boat traffic, Italy sees clean water in the canals and better air quality. This is the evidence of how deadly the effect of human activity can be on the ecosystem and how high of an externalized cost all living organisms have been paying.
We all desperately wonder when the pandemic will end and how damaging it will be for the human population. Many also wonder once it’s all over, where they will rush to first – bars, restaurants, movie theaters, stores, boutiques, coffee shops, parks, beaches? There are so many options, and we sure miss them all. There is no doubt, we must help our economy to recover; however, I encourage everyone to give special attention to local businesses that are not only thinking about themselves right now, but they also can’t wait to get back to work so they can continue serving and maintaining the health of the whole community and ecosystem around them by practicing sustainability and conservation.
Any environmental advocate’s best advice would be “REDUCE & REUSE,” which has become the main concept for many business owners, who remain to be active contributors to a global plan to reduce the environmental pollution. And they deserve recognition. Meet Anne Kilduff, the owner of Style on Lafayette boutique, which is located in the heart of downtown Suffern and is the biggest consignment shop in the Hudson Valley. Anne’s main goal is to reduce waste and make “a conscious effort to foster change in the fashion industry,” by giving a second chance to “barely used to new with tags” brand name clothes. Style on Lafayette also reuses paper bags from other fashion retailers, boxes, and shipping materials, and donates discarded items to local shelters, shares Anne in her letter.
We also must know, when it comes to environmental issues, local non-profit organizations play a tremendous role in making changes in how people conduct businesses, by bringing the awareness to local public and introducing new environment-friendly ideas and educational activities to local communities. As a former Las Vegas resident, I feel honored to introduce Las Vegas’ own Li Jackson, an Executive Director & President at Rethink Worldwide, a non-profit organization that focuses on conserving the environment and ending single-use plastic. She is also the VP of Marketing at Plus Studios and a Group Manager of Trade Show Sustainability, which is a new educational platform for companies to make their trade shows and events more sustainable. Her main goal is to conserve the environment, educate people on how to live sustainably, and create sustainable jobs in underserved communities.
Li’s business model also changes the way we look at fashion today. Las Vegas-based Rethink Fabrics presents clothing items made of 100% recycled fabric, produced from the materials that would have been buried in landfills if not used for this cause.
Once the social distancing order is lifted and we are eager to explore the world all over again, it is important we gain a new appreciation for each other and the environment around us. Make an effort to support local farms and local food and beverage vendors; instead of buying a brand new dining table, look into local consignment shops and see if there is one already there for you – remember to REDUCE & REUSE; learn to recycle properly – your plastic bottle collection may become a part of making a fleece blanket or a sweatshirt by a local company; before going to a corporate pharmacy store for skin products, check out a local organic shop for local organic oils and lotions that will be twice more beneficial for your skin and for the environment. These options are smarter and healthier for you and everyone else. Appreciate the Earth and she will appreciate you right back!
Hudson Valley Style Magazine is launching a brand new product review series. If you have a product that is aligned with concepts of sustainability and social responsibility, and you would like it to be reviewed by our team, please contact us at https://hudsonvalleystylemagazine.com/review/