As a journalist, this time of year, my inbox is brimming with trend lists for next year. And from an environmental standpoint, I can tell you that 2015 promises to be a good one. Nearly every industry seems to be trending toward environmental responsibility, holding it as an area of focus for goals set in the coming year.
Take a look some of the trends we’ll see in 2015. From responsible seafood on the menu to greener cars on the roads, next year is exceedingly hopeful from a sustainability standpoint.
Increased sustainability in restaurants: The National Restaurant Association has identified sustainability measures as one of 2015’s hottest industry trends. Watch for more sustainable seafood options and more responsibly raised and locally grown ingredients. Behind the scenes, chefs will be working on ways to decrease food waste and conserve energy, water, and other resources.
Global environmental measures: Watch for world leaders, spurred by the United Nations, to take serious steps with regard to environmental issues, namely reducing emissions, reducing biodiversity loss, protecting forests, and improving sanitation and access to drinking water in developing nations. The year 2015 was the target end date of the eight Millennium Development Goals, one of which is ensuring environmental sustainability.
Fashion meets sustainability: There will be an increased number of options for sustainably produced, socially responsible clothing. At London Fashion Week, designers showcased recycled materials, locally sourced goods, short supply chains, and manufacturing procedures that minimized waste. We’ll see green options from both high-end designers as well as more affordable options like the lines from Target’s Tom’s collection and BeGood.
Investment in greener homes: People are ready and willing to pay more for green homes, according to Green Home Builder Magazine. And builders are rising to the occasion: net zero homes, energy-efficient construction, water-conserving plumbing, and living walls and roofs are some of the features that will be available to new home buyers. And although there’s a willingness to invest more in these green homes, builders are also making these features more affordable.
More responsible beach and cruise vacations: Coastal travel destinations and cruises are among the fastest-growing vacations in terms of popularity, and the tourism industry, led by the Center for Responsible Travel, is stepping up efforts to make sure cruise ships, resorts, and attractions are minimizing their impact on the environment. Or you can opt for one of the growing number of eco-tourism options, such as eco-friendly cruises.
More efficient cars on the road: Four years ago, President Obama stated a goal of having 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. While it looks like we’ll fall short of that goal, we’re definitely seeing more electric, hybrid, low- or zero-emission cars on the highways. In certain parts of the country, Nissan Leaf leases are extremely favorable, while a growing number of manufacturers are jumping on the hybrid bandwagon, making them more affordable and equipped with more user-friendly features.