BRINGING A CHANGE
THE STATUS QUO
When was the last time you stopped to think about the planet? Maybe you read a headline that spoke about climate change and it prompted you consider your high school science classes, where the teacher relentless quizzed you on runaway greenhouse gases. Maybe you saw a sign that said, “no littering,” and that caused you to reflect for a moment on the state of the roadside. But when did you last pause to truly ponder about the world you live in, and your impact on it?
The truth is, we take our tiny, floating blue and green orb for granted. We mindlessly litter, excessively use energy, and take shortcuts for the sake of convenience while simultaneously causing untold damage on our world’s fragile ecosystems. And yes, this might sound like doom and gloom, but in all actuality, it just might be. Unless we make a change. Collectively.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the average daily waste of a person is close to six pounds…and much of that is completely unrecoverable, meaning once it’s discarded, it sits in a landfill somewhere near your home, taking thousands of years to degrade. Compound that with the trash of your neighbors, then your community, and then your town, and suddenly, just your tiny bubble has contributed metric tons of unsalvageable waste. It’s a striking problem, and it’s only getting worse.
It’s no secret that immense amounts of waste play a large role in weakening our ozone, making large geographies uninhabitable, and diminishing natural habitats. They also lead to public health crises and toxic living conditions for populations in lower income brackets, whose only option is to reside near these foul-smelling, unsafe landfills.
But amidst all of this “trash talk”, there is a silver lining. Sustainability.
Sustainability when it comes to waste management is our ability to reuse, recycle, and repurpose our waste to serve the same function repeatedly, or new ones altogether. The outcome is less waste and healthier options for humanity.
One such way of achieving sustainability is through the diversion of food and compost waste to farms for application in managing crops. Just think about it: a world where the very thing that was once killing us slowly, redirected to become a key ingredient in our survival. That is sustainability done right.
Another wonderful example of sustainability in action is responsible and biodegradable manufacturing. In a sense, this means that the packaging, containment, and possibly even the product itself are made in a way that has a minimal, net zero, or positive impact on the environment where it’s produced. The product and its pieces are also then able to be reused or recycled, or in the best situations, left to biodegrade rapidly, leaving no trace behind.
Finally, sustainability extends beyond the environment, and into the homes of our friends and families. When sustainability is put into practice correctly, communities benefit from an increase in GDP, fair labor job opportunities, and practices where what once brought harm to their quality of life now enhances it.
BE THE CHANGE
Making a change starts with you. Your choices to invest in and purchase from businesses who hold sustainability as a core tenant of their operations allows their reach to grow, and when reach grows, so too does their impact.
Next time you go to order a service, such as a cleaning crew, consider how they take on the task of sustainability in their work. And remember: If you want to bring about a change, you must first become the change you want to bring about.