There are a lot of trends that purport themselves as solutions to long standing eco-issues, like a big red button you can press to save the environment. However, before you take the plunge and drastically change your lifestyle, it’s important to look at the facts first, and consider what other factors may play a role.
Banning plastic straws, for example, has been a trend that has been undertaken by many establishments, from the most mainstream of fast food restaurants to the classiest of restaurants. However, this outright ban ignores a huge demographic of disabled people who rely on plastic straws, and so reduces their options drastically. Almond milk has also been purported to be the wave of the future in terms of milk, with people citing the reduction of carbon emissions and helping lactose-intolerant people enjoy milk again, but it also ignores the impact of how the growing of almonds to make that milk destroys the already precarious soil diversity in certain places to meet the demand of almonds, not to mention the fact that it takes more water to make non-dairy alternatives.
The list goes on, and each of these issues, while purportedly an amazing solution to an environmental issue, also presents consequences of their own that would affect aspects of the environment, the economy and social matters.
Thus, the answer, ultimately, is simple: when shopping, there is a need to make sure that your options are open, and with a little common sense, rationality, and research, you can reduce your environmental impact instead of blindly following social trends.
For more topics that have become the hot button-subject of environmental sustainability, The Guardian covers and discusses solutions that have become trends, including the two examples that have been provided above. To explore your options, please go to https://www.theguardian.com/food/2018/sep/05/ditch-the-almond-milk-why-everything-you-know-about-sustainable-eating-is-probably-wrong