Marta Cerqueira is a journalist and writes about the environment, sustainability and ways of making a (positive) impact on the world. Marta is the founder of Peggada – in one site you will find everything you need for a more sustainable life: bulk shops, sustainable hotels and restaurants, tips for buying second-hand clothing and more.
Sustainability is a topic that attracts more attention every day, something positive, but that can very quickly be turned into negative by those who use it as a false social responsibility. How can we recognize and combat “false sustainability”?
Sustainable, green, bio, are words that have entered our world as a guarantee that something better is there. We all want to believe so, but if we look with a critical eye, we quickly realize that, many times, these banners are nothing more than marketing and that they serve to camouflage other less ethical practices of a particular company. That is why, I believe that the critical spirit is an asset in this sustainable journey. Doubt, question, research, be demanding, do not let yourself get carried away. This is the profile of the consumer who wants to do more and who wants to be assured that they are really on the right path.
Teresa Cortes, Marketing Manager of Sociedade Ponto Verde (SPV) with extended experience of working in the Sustainability and Environmental services industry. SPV is the nonprofit organization that manages the integrated system of collection and treatment of packaging waste in Portugal.
The term recycling is often used incorrectly because it is confused with the concepts reuse and/or reutilize. What are the differences between the 3?
Recycling presupposes a transformation of materials (mechanical/industrial). The initial object is transformed and converted into a new raw material that can be used in a completely different application. Exp: a water bottle that is transformed into fiber to be used as a car upholstery filling.
Reuse is to give a new use to something that already exists – reuse a bottle, reuse a piece of clothing, reuse a Tupperware, without necessarily having any kind of alteration to the existing object, in the limit, there may be a repair.
Reutilize, considering regulatory aspects linked to reuse systems, presupposes that a given item is returned, treated, and put back into use. As an example, the returnable tare system: a bottle is filled, used, returned, cleaned and disinfected, and filled again.
Maria de Oliveira Dias is a gastronomic consultant, vegan cooking trainer, author of 4 books on sustainable cooking and lifestyle and host of Veggie, the first vegan TV show. Maria is a Health Coach by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Plantbased Chef by Plantlab LA and Food Future Institute and the founder of the blog The Love Food.
A large part of the population says that it is very expensive to be allied to sustainability, whether in food or in art. Do you think that if the economic situation was different the choices in products would also be different?
The fact that it is expensive does not mean that it is, in fact, expensive: it all depends on the perspective and the type of investment you want to make. Unfortunately, as we live in a consumistic, immediate and disposable period, we prefer to have more products of poor quality, which do not last, that go out of style quickly and whose manufacture has nothing ethical or sustainable, than to have less, possibly for a higher price but made with dignity, in a sustainable way, that never goes out of style and lasts a long time. With food, we go through the same paradigm of disposable abundance: we eat a lot of quantity and little quality, that is, little or no nutrition. Along the way, it is devastating to the environment, to those who produce, and, in the end, to those who consume. While I don’t agree that healthy and sustainable food is expensive, I do think that we should rethink our lifestyle and make an investment in eating better, as well as in living better and consuming better.