“Are you climate change? Because when I look at you, the world disappears.” - Al Gore
It is easy to feel down about climate change. By just living our regular lives (even low-key lives) we are putting stress on the planet and causing damage. And let’s be real, the constant bombardment of headline news reporting a bleak future and the current climate change metrics can certainly leave us feeling overwhelmed and even helpless at times.
Let’s Break it Down: The gist of CO2
Fossil carbon is the main cause of climate change. Historically and largely still, the global economy is based on the use of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal) and when burned, these substances produce chemicals that stay trapped within the atmosphere. One particular waste chemical, carbon dioxide (CO2) allows radiation from the sun to enter the atmosphere but traps the heat emitted by Earth resulting in a warming of both the atmosphere and the surface of the planet. This is known as the greenhouse effect. A term you have probably heard of many, many times.
But we need some CO2 for the carbon cycle and to create the natural greenhouse effect. The earth's atmosphere has almost always contained carbon dioxide and that is a good thing because without any carbon dioxide our planet would be a lifeless frozen rock - not the coziest place to call home.
The carbon cycle is the earth's thermostat and what allows life to exist. Without this cycle, we wouldn't be here. This carbon is already in the system, but now what we have is too much.
It’s Getting Really, Really Hot in Here
If we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate it is predicted that the Earth will become 3 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels by the end of this century. This is the kind of hotness we do not want. A temperature rise of this amount would contribute to the disappearance of surface ice, thus rising sea levels, drought, desertification, increased destructive weather events, and extinction of thousands of plant and animal species.
Image we took of the Atacama Desert, Chile 2019. Really hot!
In the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the countries participating agreed to a common target: to hold the rise in global average temperature “well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.” If global warming is kept to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius, we could reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems. So how do we even start to tackle this issue?
Believe it or not we do have the power, in our own small way, to fight climate change everyday. Small changes by the masses, can create massive changes.
What is a carbon footprint?
Your carbon footprint is measured by the amount of extra carbon dioxide your lifestyle adds to the atmosphere as a result of the use of fossil fuels or activities that contribute to deforestation/ocean acidification and so on. The world average carbon footprint is about 4 tonnes per person per year. Your personal average would vary depending on where you live, your lifestyle, and how your energy supplier generates your energy supply.
So what small, everyday steps can we begin with? Well here's a very simple, little list to start:
- Reduce fossil fuel use (A very basic example would be putting those beautiful legs of yours to work. Walk, run or ride your bike to your destination when possible)
- Save energy (Hit your light switches when you leave the room and be conscious of unnecessary appliances running in the background)
- Choose good food and shop locally (You’ll be surprised what your neighbourhood has to offer if you just look for it!)
- Adopt new technology (Solar or wind energy for example)
- Buy recycled products (you can find awesome used clothes, repurposed phones and computers for example.)
- Waste as little as possible - and when you do have to discard something, do it properly!
These are easy, peezy things we can implement as just a way of living. It's nothing out of this world, but a little action everyday is certainly better than no action at all.
What are we doing at Tizz & Tonic?
Since March 2021 we’ve become a part of the Get Mads Carbon and Plastic Offset Project. By working with national averages and carbon emission data from the World Bank, Get Mads created a monthly plan for us based on global averages and data to ensure that we are effectively offsetting a sufficient amount of Carbon Dioxide to fight climate change. Each month we are offsetting the CO2 emissions of our small but mighty team and contributing to climate positive initiatives.
Our funds directly support trusted climate-positive projects that have been strictly vetted and selected by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for reducing, avoiding or capturing carbon emissions.
As stated elegantly by Get Mads, “We don’t see this as a replacement for trying to live a more sustainable life, but we think it’s a pretty awesome way to give back and help create a more healthy future for our planet.”
Screen grab from our dashboard from time of writing 21.06.2021.
What's already embedded in the Tizz & Tonic Ethos
Our eco-vibes don't just begin and end with the Get Mads Initiative though. Since the founding of our company we’ve been conscious about what we can do to lessen our impact. These include:
- Riding our bikes to work and deliver underwear to our three local stockists by bike too
- Using recycled, recyclable and compostable packaging
- Using plant-based textiles for our products
- Digitally printing a large majority of our fabric which uses much less water consumption than dying fabrics (though we also offer dyed colours too)
- Eating a vegetarian or mostly vegetarian diet
- We (Imke and Yanna) have pledged to offset their personal travel starting in 2021, (because let's face it, getting home to Canada via boat would be our worst nightmare).
Some of our future plans include introducing biodegradable textiles and running the studio on green energy - along with goals to continue to offer low-impact underwear production with high-impact happiness.
Check out our full Greenspark dashboard here!
Three cheers for a brighter (but not hotter) future.