Sustainability is the most focused topic regarding the green and clean earth. Sustainability plays an important role in utilizing the resources at their disposal reducing environmental hazards and generating a minimum amount of waste.
The proper disposal and utilization of waste is what sustainability stands for, creating an energy-efficient and sustainable future. There are many facts about sustainability that are effective and implementable to create a healthier and wealthier future.
Sustainability can be defined as development done “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainability is as important as solar energy, hydropower, and other renewable energies.
The United Nations Brundtland Commission coined this definition in 1987. A sustainable society balances its demands on nature with nature’s capacity to provide for those demands.
There are almost 140 developing countries today seeking ways to reach their development goals, but sustainability is becoming more and more difficult to achieve at the pace with which industries are currently producing and exploiting the earth’s resources.
The definition of sustainability includes the three R’s, which stands for reduce, reuse, and recycle.
The reduction process includes proper waste management and wise planning of natural resources. The products human purchase is the source of waste and pollution on earth.
If people start to analyze the waste generated from the products they purchase or reduce the excessive use of the products. Thus minimizing the components spreading pollution.
The most effective of the three R’s is reusing the products more than once. Almost all products can be repaired or donated to the community or charity for reuse.
Reusing is the preferable process which saves money and time, reducing pollution. Some of the waste material should be properly disposed of, and others come into use for various purposes.
The waste materials that cannot be reused are converted into products or new goods, changing their physical form. This process of recycling prevents the landfills from being polluted.
The waste is separated accordingly to recycle according to their compatibility and converted into a completely new thing. E.g., glasses can be recycled to make new glasses or used for decoration purposes.
Understanding about the sustainable environment and its impact is important in this point of time where the pollution and global warming are the main concerns. Choosing actions that promote environmental sustainability is essential.
People know the importance of sustainable lifestyle, but the awareness and willingness is lacking. Not only that, but most of us are unaware of some surprising facts about sustainability and its impact. You need not worry, as this article might surprise you.
1. U.S. generates more waste
According to research, 40% of the world’s waste is generated by 5% of people. Annually, the USA discards two billion plastic razors, a million and a half tons of paper towels, and 12 billion disposable diapers.
According to the research, the U.S. is the most waste-generating country in the world. The fast-growing nation and the population are the cause of waste production.
2. 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year
About a million tons more garbage is produced every week or about 25 million tons extra! By reusing just two feet of holiday ribbon for every family, we could save 38,000 miles of ribbon that would be enough to circle the earth.
Reusing just three presents in every American household could cover more than 45,000 football fields on paper. Annual Christmas cards sold in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If an individual sent one fewer card on Christmas, it would save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.
3. We can save water using the dishwasher
Although it may be hard to believe, if your dishwasher is new and you are washing full loads, a big electricity-consuming dishwasher is a better alternative to hand washing. We can save approximately 2,000 gallons of water each year by using an automatic dishwasher rather than doing dishes by hand–saving energy and preserving our natural resources.
4. Plastic Bags out of Shrimp Shells
Despite the widespread desire for a decrease in plastic bags, Egyptian scientists have come up with the idea of replacing plastic bags with shrimp shells. A Nile University team has discovered a way of creating plastic-like materials from the shells.
Hani Chebbi, one of the researchers, told Reuters, “Egypt imports around 3,500 tons of shrimp, which produces 1,000 tons of shell waste.”. “Instead of throwing away the shells, we can make biodegradable plastic bags.”
5. Fashion industry the third most polluting industry worldwide
Globally, apparel and footwear industry emissions account for approximately 8% of greenhouse gas emissions, and fashion ranks third. The resale industry hopes to reduce the wastewater and emissions associated with the production of new clothing by encouraging customers to buy used.
There are many thrift stores around you to try out sustainable fashion! However, the trend of buying secondhand has picked up significantly since 2020, especially among female teens.
6. Turn off your computer
By switching computers on overnight or leaving them in non-energy-saving mode, computer monitors emit 9 million tons of CO2 every year. If workers in the United States didn’t shut off their monitors, they would waste $2.8 billion in energy costs each year.
A machine left on during off-hours may generate as much as 20 million tons of CO2, equal to the emissions of about four million cars. Computers left on overnight are not only harmful to your computer, but they are also harmful to the environment.
7. Climate change
The escalation of greenhouse gases provokes many environmental and health conditions all around the globe. Energy is the a driving source for society which can be obtained through nature and is important to reduce climate change’s impact.
Almost seven countries in the world are emitting 70% of the greenhouse gasses. The concentration of CO2 was record-breaking in 2018 with 408 parts per million.
Promoting renewable energy and proper waste management of non-renewable energy is essential for a sustainable environment.
The decomposed organic or biodegradable matter in the land field produces methane gas which is much more powerful than carbon dioxide, affecting the climate.
Consumption of the vegan diet reduces the organic waste by 65 percent, and the vegetable diet will reduce it by 30 percent. Half of the waste produced worldwide is organic or biodegradable.
If these by-products like methane and ammonia are used for fire and soil fertilizer, almost 80% of the biodegradable wastage will be utilized. Organic waste admits its important role in the phase of sustainability.
9. 20% of electronic waste can be recycled
Due to the short lifespan of electronic gadgets, electronic waste takes up many landfill spaces. Statistics show that the United States generated more e-waste than any other country in 2012.
E-waste is dangerous to dump in landfills because toxins leach out of the materials used to make them. However, the e-waste recycling rate remains low.
Less energy is used in production by recycling electronics and resources such as copper and aluminum. Every year 25 to 55 million metric tons of e-waste are produced globally.
10. Cycling for sustainable transport
Nearly 25% of global carbon emissions come from transportation, with 80% of people in cities driving high-emission motor vehicles for their private trips.
By cycling 10 kilometers each way to work, you can save about $1,700 in transport costs and 1,500 kilograms of greenhouse gases each year.
Furthermore, cycling is space-efficient, leaving more space for trees and green areas and requiring less paving with heat-generating and water-displacing impermeable surfaces.
11. Recycle cardboards to get more cardboards
It is possible to recycle cardboard and make more cardboard! If we add newspaper to the recycling mix, we can use cardboard to make cereal boxes to make even more.
We hope that a few of the facts that we have mentioned above related to sustainability helped you understand in a better way that we can take the right actions to save our planet.
Before you can do anything about sustainability and environmental issues, you must educate yourself. If everyone desires to contribute to a sustainable lifestyle, the challenge is not unsolvable.(Last Updated On: May 8, 2022)