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Common and less common injuries at Christmas

Common and less common injuries at Christmas

The festive season is a time to celebrate with family, friends, and joy. Overeating can cause digestive discomfort, which is what most people find the worst. For a few, Christmas can be like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. These people can teach us valuable lessons that 

Christmas shopping has changed – but retailers need to accept that pop-up stores are here to stay.

Christmas shopping has changed – but retailers need to accept that pop-up stores are here to stay.

New vendors fill vacant shops with decorations, gifts, and calendars for next year, filling empty spaces. Christmas markets appear to spring from thin air. Online retailers also set up shops on high streets. These will all disappear without a trace by the new year. However, 

Before shopping for fast fashion, read this: The environmental costs of fast fashion.

Before shopping for fast fashion, read this: The environmental costs of fast fashion.

When there is so much new and appealing clothing on the market, it can be difficult to love your clothes enough to keep them in good condition. Before you rush to the January sales to grab those tempting deals, think about the environmental impact of fast fashion.

Fast fashion is all about speed and cost. It is especially harmful to the environment because of the pressure to cut costs and reduce the time required to get products from design to the shop floor. Fast fashion is criticized for its negative impact on the environment, water pollution, toxic chemicals use, and increased textile waste levels.

Fashion garments are known for their vibrant colors, patterns, and beautiful fabric finishes. However, many of these are made with toxic chemicals. After agriculture, textile dyeing is the largest pollutant of clean water worldwide. After testing various brands’ products, Greenpeace’s Detox campaign was instrumental in urging fashion brands to eliminate toxic chemicals from their supply chain. These chemicals are often banned in different countries or strictly regulated because they are toxic and bio-accumulative. This means the substance builds up faster than it can be excreted or metabolized. They are also disruptive to hormones, carcinogenic, and disruptive.

Polyester is the most widely used fiber for fashion. Polyester garments can be washed in household washing machines, but they will shed microfibers which contribute to plastic buildup in the oceans. These very small microfibers can easily pass through wastewater treatment plants and our waterways. However, because they don’t biodegrade, they pose a serious threat to aquatic life. The microfibres are eaten by plankton and other small creatures, moving up the food chain to shellfish and fish that humans can consume.

Continue reading: How plastic pollution from laundry piles can pollute the ocean.

The True Cost documentary shows the devastating effects of toxic chemicals used in agriculture to grow cotton. It also includes the deaths of two US cotton farmers from brain tumors and severe congenital disabilities among Indian cotton farmers’ children. To prevent crop failure, cotton growing requires water and pesticides. This can prove problematic for developing countries where there may not be enough investment or a drought risk.

The majority of cotton grown around the world is genetically modified to resist the bollworm pest. This improves yield and reduces pesticide use. However, this can lead to other problems down the line, such as the appearance of superweeds resistant to standard pesticides. These superweeds often require more toxic pesticides to control them.

Organic cotton is gaining popularity. H&M and Inditex (the parent company of Zara) were among the top five organic cotton users by volume in 2016. However, organic cotton is only 1% of the world’s annual cotton crop.

Hunger for newness

Fast fashion’s unintended consequences include textile waste. People buy more clothes, but don’t keep them as well as they used. The international expansion of fast fashion retailers has exacerbated the problem. The problem is worse in developing countries where the wardrobes are already full. To sell more, retailers must keep their inventory up-to-date and convince customers that they no longer have fashionable items.

The rise in disposable income over the past few generations has meant less need to “make it and mend”. It’s usually cheaper and easier to buy new items than to repair an item. People are busier than ever, making fixing their clothes harder. Clothing has become “disposable” thanks to the availability of fashion in supermarkets and regular sales.

Continue reading: Community repair: A pop-up alternative for the throwaway society.

Although there is interest in moving to a circular model of textile production that reuses materials whenever possible, current textile recycling rates are extremely low. Three-quarters of Britons discard unwanted clothing instead of donating or recycling it, despite a well-established network of charity shops in the UK and an increasing number of high-street stores with in-store recycling points.

What shoppers can do

Can consumers cut down on the environmental impact of fast fashion shopping? It is difficult to choose an eco-friendly fabric as each type of fiber has pros and cons. Natural fibers may not be better than synthetic fabrics, but labeling garments as such does not mean they are superior. All fibers must be spun, knitted, woven, dyed and finished before they can be sewn or transported. Each of these processes has different environmental effects.

Choosing organic fabrics can be better than non-organic fabrics, for example. However, organic cotton requires more water and impacts more than dyeing polyester.

Recycling content is often the best option because it reduces the need for virgin resources and addresses the growing problem with waste management. Patagonia, for example, was the first brand to create polyester fleece from recycled plastic bottles. It decided to simplify its T-shirt ranges in 2017. Starting in spring 2018, it will only offer two fabrics: 100% organic cotton or a mix of recycled cotton, acknowledging the negative environmental effects of organic cotton.

The charity WRAP’s Love Your Clothes initiative provides information to consumers at every stage of the buying process. This includes buying smarter, caring for and repairing items, upcycling, customization, and responsible disposal. The best thing we can do for our clothes is to make sure they last longer and buy less.

Food banks have been institutionalized in

Food banks have been institutionalized in

One of the 58 activists, academics and food writers who wrote a strong open letter urging against the institutionalization of food banks in the warned me. We believe that the country is at a crossroads where retailers’ “leftover foods” and “left behind people” are in 

Food banks will not be enough to feed the hungry in the event of the coronavirus pandemic.

Food banks will not be enough to feed the hungry in the event of the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 is showing us critical flaws in our care for one another. Many Canadians are losing their jobs and need emergency food assistance. Food banks had to close down to meet physical distancing needs, decrease staffing, and elderly volunteers stayed home to self-isolate, ration food, 

Holiday food drives – Tossing a can full of beans in a donation box is not enough.

Holiday food drives – Tossing a can full of beans in a donation box is not enough.

Food prices are expected to skyrocket in 2021 when many Canadians are struggling to afford to feed their families after the COVID-19 economic crisis.

To kick off the “season for giving,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Canadians to grab “an extra item or two” to donate to the local food bank to help a family in dire need.

Trudeau took non-perishable items from a Metro supermarket and donated them to a charity bin. He assured us that purchasing food from the grocery retail partnership to help local food banks was the Canadian way.

The government seems to have it all together, having spent $200 million through the Emergency Food Security Fund to help food banks during the pandemic.

However, this approach fails to reduce food security.

Canadians have an inalienable right to food. But our government makes food a gift for those who are food insecure. This corporatized charity approach ignores that food insecurity is created by race, gender, relationship status, housing, labor status, and participation in social assistance. This approach doesn’t work.

A staggering 4.5 million people were food insecure before the pandemic, nearly 40 years after food banks began. Despite this, profits from corporate grocery retailers have risen, partially thanks to federal assistance. The market share concentration among the three major grocery retailers, Metro, Sobeys, and Loblaws, has risen to at least 80 percent.

This corporatized response to Canada’s food insecurity crisis has not changed. Statistics Canada discovered that food insecurity rose during the pandemic’s first wave while retail grocery profits skyrocketed.

Trudeau isn’t asking us to buy and give a few more items. He is inviting us into an inefficient, commoditized model of charity that is ineffective and commoditized in two ways.

  1. Ignoring evidence

Trudeau asks us to ignore evidence that low income is the main predictor of food insecurity here in Canada. This is why food charities won’t solve the problem, especially since only around a fifth of food-insecure households go to food banks.

However, British Columbia and Ontario research show that food insecurity is reduced when unconditional cash transfers are used.

Secure jobs, living wages, a guaranteed income, a minimum income guarantee, and strong social programs such as childcare, affordable housing, mental health support, and childcare are all essential for ensuring everyone can afford food.

  1. The benevolent grocery giants are

Trudeau also asks us to accept Canadian grocery companies as corporate citizens. This implies that their pursuit of profit is somehow compatible with ending food insecurity. These contradictions are stark.

These corporations are not helping Canadians in their hardships. They fix prices and make record profits during the pandemic. They create them.

The three largest grocery retailers are driven by profits for shareholders and not the well-being of citizens. And despite its international obligations to protect and fulfill the right to food for all Canadians, our government continues to treat food as a commodity while polishing the good-corporate-citizen veneer of those who profit from this arrangement.

Obvious counterpoint

Canada’s policy of providing universal access to health care and education at elementary and high schools is a clear counterpoint to the reckless way it treats food access.

But Canadians don’t view food as a decommodified, public good. It is in many ways more important than education and health care.

This path might be possible if the federal government supports the overwhelming public for universal access to healthcare in Canada.

Instead of listening to Trudeau’s request to support food charities, it’s high time to demand more from our state and ourselves. This income approach is a good one. Publicly funded, universal health care and education work well.

This holiday season is a time for charitable giving. To support a Basic Income guarantee,

You can also email your local politician to request universal access to food for all Canadians.

You can also shop at your local independent grocery store or an alternative social enterprise that values people more than profit.

We can mobilize that collective effort.

The holiday shopping season fuels a rapidly warming planet

The holiday shopping season fuels a rapidly warming planet

Extreme weather events around the globe and in Canada are linked to human-made global climate change. However, one story is still missing: The connection between climate change and the products we buy. Recent research has shown that the product’s total carbon emissions over its entire 

Black Friday: Why is there so much chaos in the consumer market

Black Friday: Why is there so much chaos in the consumer market

Black Friday is back. Retailers are introducing the post-Thanksgiving day of discounts to their products once again. Last year, shoppers fought for bargains. Retailers are hoping that Black Friday sales will continue to rise. In the UK, Black Friday first made its debut in 2010. 

BlackFriday marketing tips and four ways to avoid falling for them

BlackFriday marketing tips and four ways to avoid falling for them

Black Friday is here again. The annual ritual of sales kicks off the Christmas shopping season. To counteract November’s slump in sales, retailers hope to sell off old stock and make room for new lines. Shoppers are hoping to find a bargain.

It is not clear how much people save on Black Friday. To avoid overspending and regretting buying, you must be aware of the tricks retailers use. Price points and timescales can be manipulated to maximize the purchase of products and services. This is why it’s important to keep your needs and budget in mind, so you don’t overspend.

Black Friday’s run-up is often kept secret. Shoppers don’t know what the deals are until the day gets closer. This allows retailers to adjust prices closer to the date, depending on factors such as the market, competition and consumer buzz. This makes it more difficult for shoppers not to be savvy. This eliminates the time shoppers might need to plan for an expensive purchase and allows people to make purchases faster than usual.

Black Friday is a popular day for shoppers because of the lower prices. It is only sensible to shop on Black Friday if you are planning to purchase the item you want. Of course, this is not always the case.

In a larger research project on borrowing credit, I spoke to shoppers about their Black Friday expectations and how they felt the reduced goods would disrupt their Christmas shopping plans. They didn’t know what they would reduce, so that they couldn’t incorporate it into their long-term financial planning.

More than half of those who participated in the survey said they had made Christmas shopping lists to control spending. Of those who participated in the research, 80% said they bought Christmas products on Black Friday. Instead, they were impulsively bought because they knew it was a “good discount”. The research found that shoppers will make purchases (or not) based on the effects it may have on their mental health.

We often subconsciously consider the emotional implications of purchases when we make them. Buyer’s regret is when you regret buying something. We are wired to avoid negative emotions such as regret. My research revealed that FOMO is also a problem when shopping, namely the fear of missing a deal.

Black Friday is an example of a time-constrained sale. This means we don’t have the time to decide whether we should buy the item. The inward battle to avoid FOMO and buyer’s regret is intensified. Impulse purchases are common because we feel pressured by retailers to make quick decisions.

When other factors are considered, these emotions can be magnified. My research revealed that consumers who are already in debt are especially problematic. This creates additional stress. This may have prevented the product from being considered because it was out of reach for an individual in debt. The product is now more affordable and appealing to people with limited resources. This is when high-cost credit providers can capitalize on it by offering fast cash to help bridge the gap.

The pressure to spend on Black Friday, and the subsequent weeks high, is overwhelming. Here are four practical ways you can manage your spending.

  1. Make a list

You can plan the Christmas gifts you buy for your family and friends. That list should be kept in mind. You can only allow some leeway when a similar purchase allows you to cross off something from that list.

  1. Create a budget

Stick to what you can afford. You should shop around for the best interest rates and plan to repay them.

  1. Create a Black Friday spending account

Plan if you know that impulse purchases can be made on Black Friday. You can either set up a separate savings account to add to throughout the year or keep an informal one at home. There are many ways to save. You can use a regular saver to make monthly deposits (which tend to have high-interest rates) or keep small coins in your house to deposit at the end of each week.

  1. Make time

Retailers want you to make purchases to avoid buyer’s remorse or FOMO. It’s best not to make snap decisions unless you are confident. UK shoppers are savvy enough to use price comparison websites and research before making a purchase. This eliminates the constraints of time-based offers and allows you to think about your options and decide if you want to buy something. ).

Charity Shops: Why they are better than the rest

Charity Shops: Why they are better than the rest

A bone china teapot and a pair of leather brogues are among the items I have purchased. Also, a poetry collection, a velvet coat, a tablecloth with embroidered designs, and a book of poetry are some of the other things I have bought. These are