Can We Truly Be Sustainable?

October 15, 2017 0 Comments

Can we truly be sustainable? An essay on factors that can create a more sustainable world

In my opinion, no. In order to truly be sustainable, our population would need to go back to being small tribes that used only what the land provided, no more technology, transportation, or modern medicine. It's the purest and most sustainable way of living and being part of the earth's ecology. 

That option would never work because our population is simply too big and to divert back to that tribal living after living in our current environment would be a very hard and unpleasant transition. So what now? 

I believe we need to take our thirst for innovation and our ability to educate to create the most sustainable systems we can muster without reverting. I believe there are 4 major aspects that can help us not only live a modern life but still create a more sustainable system. 

Innovation:

For centuries we can continued to create new and exciting things that have made our lives easier, but some have come at a cost to our earth. Gasoline and oil revolutionized and industrialized our nations but it has come at a great cost to our climate and now we need to figure out new ways to both capture the excess CO2 and to produce energy without emission. Same with disposable plastics, it created a convenience at a huge cost. But innovation has shown we can still create products that will still better our lives but not hurt the world. Electric cars like Telsa is revolutionizing the transportation industry with a car that can be powered by a battery and drive long distances with one charge. And we are continuing to work towards using solar to power their vehicles. In time, we could have all forms of transportation being powered by the sun. Single use plastics are being replaced with new products that are still strong, single use, but are compostable, and edible. 

In order to reduce the amount of CO2 companies are utilizing plants and seaweed for products like garments and a food source. Bamboo, hemp, and seaweeds capture more CO2 then trees and release more oxygen. The more these items are grown to harvest the more we can capture the excess emissions. Some countries are also powering their cities with solar and wind energy, and banning gas and diesel powered vehicles, allowing for a zero or negative emission.  

Education: 

Ever see someone throw trash on the street. Its infuriating, but lack of education can have a huge factor. And more countries are investing in educating their people at an early age about the cause and effects of not being sustainable. Even some cultures have a focus on respecting the earth and do more to educate on recycling and utilizing every aspect of something. It wasn't that many generations ago that we began to be so wasteful so to change and educate a generation would not be impossible. This is when our governments can be helpful by adding it to our education system and creating recycling, gardening, and conservation programs. 

Recycling: 

If we could recycle every non-compostable item we could revolutionize our sustainable system. If something doesn't naturally break down in the environment we need a system of being able to reuse it over and over again. If something shouldn't break down, it needs to be used in our infrastructure and if we remove a building to rebuild we need to recycle all materials of the old buildings for the new buildings, roads, bridges, etc. Old cars need to be fully recycled into new items. If it can't be recycled, it needs to no longer be made. 

Conscious Consumers: 

The big industry giants didn't just decide they would focus more on organic and non GMO products, it's because more and more consumers started passing over their products for others that were organic / Non GMO. That little shift just proves that what you buy is a vote for what you want, and if enough consumers continue to buy sustainable, organic, recycled, and ethical, the industry will change to stay in business. There are also a lot of new businesses that are staring that highlight sustainability. If you can do anything to help our world become more sustainable, this is the easiest. Shop at the farmers markets in your area, look for products that have sustainable mission statements. Do your research on products your interested in. It takes time but the change is already happening in a more positive direction.