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How can you live a more sustainable life? Introducing HELLO!s Planet Positive initiative

Discover everything you need to live a life that's good for you, and the planet

Georgia Brown
Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
22 April 2024
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As we mark Earth Day 2024, it has never been more important to protect the environment. 

In the last year, the fashion industry contributed 97 million tonnes of waste to landfill. The beauty industry produces at least 120 billion pieces of packaging each year, and travel is responsible for roughly 8% of the world's carbon emissions. But what can we do about it?

There are several ways we can be more impactful with our choices to better our planet. From creating a circular wardrobe to shopping pre-loved, eating seasonally and travelling slowly, HELLO! has curated a hub to guide you in your journey to living a greener lifestyle.

You may be wondering whether your small changes can really make a difference to the planet. The good news is, there is no such thing as 'too little' when it comes to thinking consciously about our impact on the planet. We don't need a handful of people practising sustainability perfectly, we need 8.1 billion people doing it imperfectly. 

With so many brands claiming to be green, it can be hard to know where to invest your money. We promise that all brands featured in our Planet Positive Hub are making it their mission to tread lightly on the planet.

In an open letter to HELLO! readers, Rebecca Pow, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment, introduces our Planet Positive initiative.

An open letter to HELLO! readers from Rebecca Pow, Parlimentary Under Secretary of State for Environment

Rebecca Pow, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environmentcca Pow, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment© Rebecca Pow
Rebecca Pow, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment

Humanity's impact on our precious planet means we face some harsh realities. Worldwide, one million species are at risk from extinction, over one million tonnes of textiles end up in landfill each year, and we're losing 27 football fields' worth of forests every single minute. It's a horrifying picture.  

While this might sound depressing, I am ever the optimist. There is so much we can all do to help turn this around. And given that half of the world's economy depends on the natural world and its ecosystems, it's vital that we do it fast. 

That's why HELLO!’s Planet Positive initiative is so important and why I am thrilled to support it. We can all make choices to help protect nature and conserve precious resources like water and raw materials, whether it be through the food we eat, the holidays we take, or the clothes we wear. 

Our fashion industry, for example, should be celebrated for all the jobs it creates, but we need to be aware of the sheer volume of resources involved and the environmental cost linked to the price tag of each item we buy. We can take advantage of the chance to pass on clothes (I've just recirculated a 20-year-old jacket and I wear loads of my daughters' clothes - yes, even to Parliament!), give them a new lease of life, repair them, and eventually recycle them. In government, we are funding initiatives with the UK's big fashion names to drive forward more resale, rental, subscription, or repair of clothes, and boost recycling.

And by making informed choices, we can also have a positive impact on nature. For example, try growing salad crops in a window box, using refillable containers for various household products, and recycling wrapping paper. I recycle all of mine (despite teasing from my kids).

Much of my passion for sustainable living stems from growing up on a family farm, where homegrown and seasonal was the order of the day while tending to the pastures and hedgerows. An environmental degree, and a career in agriculture and broadcasting, eventually led me to Parliament, where I held the first-ever debate on soil, and was instrumental in achieving the ban on microbead plastics in wash-off care and cosmetic products. I have been honoured to become our Environment Minister on the mission to restore nature, reduce waste, and improve our air quality

While policy is key, so too is the action that we take as individuals. Whether it's supporting sustainable fashion or making small changes to our everyday rituals, there is much we can do to make a difference and protect our planet. I am looking forward to reading about the many inspiring examples that Planet Positive will focus on as the months go by and hope you will join me in doing the same.

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