Sustainable development

Sustainable development is the need of the present time not only for the survival of mankind but also for its future protection. Unlike the other great revolutions in human history the Green Revolution and the Industrial Revolution the ‘sustainable revolution’ will have to take place rapidly, consciously and on many different levels and in many different spheres, simulta­neously.

On the technical level, for example, it will involve the sustainable technologies based upon the use of non-renewable, fossil fuels for technologies that take advantage of renewable energies like the sun, wind and biomass, the adoption of conser­vation and recycling practices on a wider scale, and the transfer of f cleaner and more energy efficient technologies to countries in the developing world.

On the political and economic levels, it will involve, among other things, the overhauling of development and trade practices which tend to destroy the environment, and the improvement of indigenous peoples, a fairer distribution of wealth and resources within and between nations, the charging of true cost for products which exploit or pollute the environment, and the encouragement of sustainable practices through fiscal and legal controls and incen­tives.

On the social plane, it will involve a renewed thrust towards universal primary education and health care, with particular emphasis on the education and social liberation of women. On the environmental level, we are talking about massive afforestation projects, renewed research into and assistance for organic farming practices and biopest control, and the vigorous protection of biodiversity. On the informational level, the need is for data that will allow the development of accurate social and environmental accountancy systems.

The aim of ecologically sustainable development is to maximise human well-being or quality of life without jeopardising the life support system. The measures for sustainable development may be different in developed and developing countries according to their level of technological and economic development.

But developing countries, like India, can focus attention on the following measures:

1. ensure clean and hygienic living and working conditions for the people

2. sponsor research on environmental issues pertaining to the region.

3.ensure safety against known and proven industrial hazards

4. find economical methods for salvaging hazardous industrial wastes.

5.find out substitutes for proven hazardous materials based on local resources and needs instead of blindly depending on advanced nations to find solutions.

The prime need for sustainable development is the conser­vation of natural resources. For conservation, the development policy should follow the following norms:

(i) Make all attempts not to impair the natural regenerative capacity of renewable resources and simultaneously avoid excessive pollution hampering the biospherical capacity of waste assimilation and life support system.

(ii) All technological changes and planning strategy processes, as far as physically possible, must attempt switch from non-renewable to renewable resource uses.

(iii) Formulate a phase-out policy for the use of non-renewable resources in general.

Thus, for a worldwide sustainable growth, there is need for efficient and effective management of available resources. In this field, the production of “environment-friendly products” (EFP) is a positive step. With the industrialisation and technological devel­opment, markets are flooded with products of daily consumption. They could however be a source of danger to health and damage to our environment.

There is thus need to distinguish the more environmentally harmful consumer products from those which are less harmful, or have a more benign impact on the environment right from the stage of manufacture through packaging, distri­bution, use, disposal and reusability or recycling.

Throughout the world, emphasis is now being put on the production of EFP. In India, plans are afoot to market EFPs with combined efforts of Bureau of Indian Standards, Ministry of Environment and Forests and Central Pollution Control Board. Since 1990, a scheme of labelling ECOMARK has also been started. In its first phase, the items included in this are soaps, plastics, papers, cosmetics, colours, lubricating oil, pesticides, drugs and various edible items.

The objectives of the scheme are:

(i) to provide an incentive for manufactures and to reduce adverse environmental impact of their products,

(ii) to reward genuine initiatives by companies to reduce adverse environmental impact of their products,

(iii) to assist consumers to become responsible in their daily lives by providing them information to take account of environmental factors in their purchase decisions,

(iv) to encourage citizens to purchase products which have less harmful environ­mental impact, and

(v) to improve the quality of the environment and to encourage the sustainable management of resources.

Not only in consumer goods production but in the field of energy production also, environment-friendly techniques of power generation can be used. For example, in power production from coal, PFBC (Pressurised Fluidised Bed Combined Cycle) technique is useful in which coal is burnt efficiently and cleanly in combined cycle plants.

To cope with increased demand of the basic requirement of life and the limited supply of the natural resources, along with consid­eration of environmental degradation and ecological balance, we need to emphasise on optimal management of land, water, minerals and other natural resources. There is also need to utilize the native wisdom of those people, who live close to nature and earth, for eco-restoration along with development.

In order to apply the principle of sustainable management in reality, a highly complex way of looking at the problem is required, involving various disciplines. Sustainability is first and foremost a mental question. Without a grasp of the need or the will to change awareness, we will not succeed in realising the principle of sustainability in agriculture.

It is upon the decision-makers in politics to create the right framework and the pre-conditions for a sustainable development in agriculture. Global involvement, on the other hand, must not be left out of account. Sustainability reflects our understanding of necessity and responsibility on the question for whom, for what and how production can be guided into the future in a way that is efficient, environmentally sound and sparing on resources.

Global change is an ecological phenomenon, whereas globalisation is concerned with economic change. A recent analysis of sustainable agriculture in the context of trade liberalisation and globalisation raises equally significant concern for a more informed decision-making process at local, regional and international levels.

The emerging issues related to the impact of globalisation on sustainable agriculture are as follows:

1. There are explicit problems with the conventional theoretical economic conditions for agricultural sustainability, especially when applied at the global level.

2. The processes of trade liberalisation and globalisation will not be uniform given the ecological and institutional diversity of the nations of the world.

3. There will be disparities in globalised impacts between rich and poor countries for agriculture, industries, sustainability and environment as well as income and poverty.

4. There is need for serious analysis of problems and policy initia­tives, since the risk of disruption to agricultural systems and environmental deterioration, social disruption and dislocation in the poorer countries of the world is clearly very high.

5. The type of production technology research, facilitated by private research, will not address the significant public good and externality issues facing developing countries.

The pursuit of sustainability demands choices about the distri­bution of costs and benefits in space and time. There is also need to take advantage of the ‘traditional ecological knowledge’ (TEK), which encompasses all issues related to ecology and natural resource management, both at local and regional levels. Along with political dimensions of environment-society relations, the TEK can be used for both eco-restoration and sustainable development.

GLOBAL WARMING- CAUSES, IMPACTS, CONTROL

GLOBAL WARMING:

           Global warming is the phenomenon of the increase of certain gas levels in the atmosphere due to the increase in the earth’s temperature. The temperature rise is due to the greenhouse effect caused by the increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and other pollutants. This term has been observed over the past 2 or 3 centuries. The rise in global warming has brought changes in climatic patterns. Many scientists have warned that a temperature rise may bring significant social, ecological, and economic damage to society. Such damage also includes the extinction of some flora and fauna species.

CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING:

          The causes of global warming may be natural or artificial (man-made). The following are the major causes of global warming:

  • DEFORESTATION: The cutting of trees over a large area will result in deforestation. The loss of trees will gradually increase the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since the plants are the main source to intake CO2 and release Oxygen (O2). This in turn results in economic imbalance and increases global warming.
  • INDUSTRIALIZATION AND POPULATION GROWTH: With the advent of industrial development, there is a rapid rise in the earth’s temperature. The release of harmful pollutants into the atmosphere results in global warming. The increase in population increases the level of CO2 in the atmosphere since they exhale CO2.
  • GASES PRODUCED IN AGRICULTURE: Various farming activities produce carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Methane is released by various resources like rice paddies, fossil fuels, cow dung. By adding the fertilizers to the land, it increases the level of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. This leads to a rise in the earth’s temperature.
  • VOLCANIC ERUPTION AND FOREST FIRE: The ash and smoke emitted during the volcanic eruption and forest fire will drastically increase the level of CO2, which in turn increases global warming.

IMPACTS OF GLOBAL WARMING ON EARTH

  • MELTING OF GLACIERS: Global warming has led to the temperature rise which may bring several disadvantages to the earth. This in turn increases the melting of glaciers and thus increases sea level.
  • ECOLOGICAL IMBALANCE: Increase in global warming results has affected the coral reefs that may lead to the extinction of some flora and fauna species. This creates an ecological imbalance.
  • CLIMATIC CHANGES: Global warming has brought changes in climatic patterns. The monsoon failure, drought, acid rain, tsunami, floods due to heavy rainfall are some of the results of climatic changes. This will have a drastic impact on the living species of earth. The marine ecosystem is greatly affected by global warming.
  • ARRIVAL OF NEW DISEASES: The patterns of heat and humidity have been greatly affected by global warming. This results in the mutation of several microbes and that mutation maybe sometimes dangerous and will result in severe diseases. The increase in temperature affects the normal healthy lifestyle of humans.
  • LOSS OF HABITAT: Global warming will result in the loss of habitat for several flora and fauna species. Some of the animals have to migrate from their natural habitats or some become endangered species and indirectly it brings drastic effects on biodiversity.

HOW TO STOP GLOBAL WARMING?

            Follow 3R’s Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Reduce the usage of devices that emits CFCs and CO2 to the atmosphere. Plant more saplings to decrease the level of carbon dioxide and thus helps in maintaining the ecological balance. Conduct many awareness programs about global warming and its impact so that people can understand. Avoid the usage of plastic bags and canes. Use energy-efficient products to save energy. So, let’ protect our earth by following these steps.

Simple things to do to help the environment.

Unfortunately, people have not always been good custodians of the planet. We must all take proactive efforts toward cleaner living practices in order to conserve the environment and preserve the earth for our children and future generations.

We are the first generation to recognize that we are killing the world, and we may be the last to act. One of the most powerful things you can do is speak up, especially to the appropriate people.

  1. Reuse and recycle are two words that come to mind when thinking about the environment. Recycle Bin Made of PlasticThe largest environmental advantage comes from reducing the amount of “things” you consume. It’s ideal to avoid waste in the first place, so consider your purchases more carefully.Reusing objects saves both natural resources and energy that would otherwise be used to create new ones, as well as money.
  2. Consumption reduction can have a significant environmental impact. The three “R’s”—reduce, reuse, and recycle—get a lot of press, but the earth might benefit from a greater emphasis on the most crucial and overlooked “R”: trash.You say “no” when you refuse, which isn’t always easy. None of the freebies at events, the inexpensive things on clearance, the hot new children’s toys, or the latest devices that claim to improve your life are necessary. And they nearly invariably end up in the trash or in the back of a closet, forgotten.
  3. Instead of ordinary light bulbs, use energy-saving light bulbs. They last longer, saving you money (any little bit helps when it comes to a college budget, right?).Encourage you to turn off lights, televisions, and other appliances while not in use.When it’s not in use, turn down the heat or air conditioning. This is especially true in the transitional period between seasons. In the early fall, consider opening your windows or layering your clothing.
  4. Water is squandered on a far larger scale than we can see. While brushing your teeth, turn off the faucet. Wait until you’re ready to hop in the shower and wash your hair before turning it on. When washing dishes, try to use as little water as possible. It is beneficial to both the environment and your wallet to change old behaviors.
  5. Automobiles are hazardous to the environment. Taking public transportation, walking, or riding a bike to class are all healthier options that assist the environment, save money, and provide exercise!If you do need to drive, compare your schedules and residency locations to those in your classes. You may share the expense of gas and set up alternating driving schedules.

Conclusion

The most important method to help save nature and its species is to encourage others to realize its importance and beauty.

Self care is not selfish thing

Often times, when we do something for ourselves, it is considered selfish. Growing up it is common to be taught to take care of other people and put others first. However, when it comes to our mental and emotional health, these types of actions of neglecting yourself to put others first can have huge consequences.

Self-care can be confusing and it can make you feel like you are putting too much attention on yourself. But remember, self-care never has and never will be selfish, especially when it comes to mental health.

In order to take care of other people, you must take care of yourself first. 

Why Self-Care is Important

Self-Care is one of the most important things that a person can do for themselves. It is not only vital for your physical health, but also your emotional and mental health as well.

There are many misconceptions around self-care and what exactly it entails. However, self-care is really not that complicated. At the most basic level,

self-care is just doing good things for yourself. This could be anything from working out, to taking an hour every night to journal, anything that makes you feel good.

Self-care requires you to know and understand yourself. You are forced to listen to your body and mind, understand what resources are running low and what you have to do to replenish them. 

There are many benefits that come with performing self-care. Some of them include increased productivity, improved resistance to illnesses & better physical health are just a few. These benefits are just the beginning.  Some of the other, more personal benefits are, enhanced self-esteem, increased self-knowledge, and most importantly, you have more to give to other people.

When you are mindful about reguarily carving out time for yourself and making sure that your physical, emotional, and mental needs are being met, you will feel better in all aspects of your life.

This makes it easier for you to work with and help others in their time of need. Just like when you are on an airplane, you have to take care of yourself before you can help anyone else. 

Stigma Around Self-Care

Self-care can be hard, not only because of the stigma that surrounds it, but because it can be extremely difficult to admit that you need help or to take care of yourself when you are struggling with your own mental health.

Growing up, it is extremely common to hear that you should put others before yourself. Kids are taught that being too vain or thinking about yourself is selfish. When you take time to take care of yourself, friends and family may start to get frustrated or say that you need to spend more time thinking about others and spending time with them.

Read also: We need support, not stigma. How do we end the stigma around mental illness and start talking about it?

However, the worst stigma, is self-stigma. The voice in your head that tells you to stop focusing on yourself, saying that you don’t deserve the time or attention that you are giving yourself.

You start to think about all of the things that you are neglecting and the people who deserve your attention more. However, this self-stigma, and any outside stigma, is far from true.

By taking care of yourself you are making sure that you will be able to help and encourage others.  

How you can Take Care of Yourself 

Self-care can be difficult because of the stigma that comes with it. However, understanding how, and being able to take care of yourself is one of the strongest things that you can do.

It is also important to distinguish between the things that actually make you feel good and things that you think make you feel good, but often have the reverse effect, like drugs & alcohol, over-eating, and taking risks. 

There are many different types of self-care; the most well-known is physical self-care. When people say that they are trying to take care of themselves this is often what they mean.

Physical self-care can be helpful not only for your physical health but also to help you let off steam. This doesn’t have to be going to the gym, it can also mean dancing around the house to your favorite song, doing yoga, or going outside and going for a walk. This could also be taking a nap when you need some extra rest or giving yourself a break when you are down or unwell.

However, while physical health is important and this type of self-care can make a huge difference, it can also be harmful to your mental health if you focus on your physical self too much and too often. Working out and getting the ‘perfect’ body isn’t what self-care is all about.

It is vital to remember the other parts of yourself that need to be taken care of, make sure that you aren’t focusing on the outer-self to avoid taking care of your inner-self. 

Sensory self-care helps to calm the mind. This will help you to live in the moment, focus better, and let go of the past and forget your anxieties.

This type of self-care is all about sight, smell, touch, and sound. This could be considered sitting outside at the beach, enjoying the feeling of the water on your skin from a shower or a bath, or listening to calming music. Anything that helps you feel calm and relaxed. 

Effects of plastic bags on environment

Introduction

Plastic bags are the main cause of plastic pollution. The pollution which is destroying our environment. To reduce pollution plastic bags must be banned. Humans try to decompose them but it does not decompose instead it leads to air, water as well as soil pollution. It is said that plastic bags are the leading causes of increasing pollution.
For this reason plastic bags are banned in various countries. In spite of knowing the consequences, plastic bags are still used widely in most parts of the world making it harmful for the environment.

Plastic bags are readily available in the market and are used widely.These are popular at the grocery stores, markets, etc because they are handy and are comfortable to carry the grocery items like rice, wheat flour, pulses. Apart from grocery items it is used to carry veggies, fruits etc.

It is available in various sizes; these are quite economical and also easy to carry or use. But the cost for using these bags -is overlooked. These bags are costing us our beautiful environment. The plastic bags that we use in our everyday life are very much harmful to the environment. The actual problem is much more severe than it appears to us.

Plastic bags are destroying the soil making our agricultural lands infertile. It also causes several other serious problems. To ensure a cleaner and greener environment many countries have banned the use of plastic bags. Among those countries, India is one of them.

Our country has banned the use of plastic bags in many states. However, the implementation of this rule hasn’t been proper.

These are still available in the market. The retailers provide goods in these bags, and the shoppers gladly take their stuff in these easy to carry bags. And another reason for this does not have a proper option to replace them.

It is time for each one of us to understand the severity of the issue and stop the use of plastic bags.

Plastic Bags – A Boon or A Bane /A Curse?

Plastic bags are lightweight and can be carried anywhere without much effort.

This may sound like a blessing to us, but in reality it is much more harmful than its uses. They get carried away by the wind and water because of its light weight. They end up landing on the seas and water and pollute them. They get stuck in fences and pollute the environment while getting carried away with the wind.

The material used to make plastic bags is polypropylene. This material makes them durable thus making them last for a longer time. This polypropylene is prepared from natural gas and petroleum. They are non biodegradable in nature.
Green-house gases like Methane Carbon, Monoxide, and Carbon Dioxide are released during the production of various plastics products including plastic bags. This is a significant cause of global warming in the world today.

There is a misconception that recycling is an alternative to the misuse of plastic bags but recycling of plastic products cannot be a good choice because only 5% of the plastic bags can be recycled and the remaining 95% find their way in soil, water and landscape causing pollution. Only 35-40 percent of plastic bags are being recycled and the remaining 60% is not even known where it is gone.

As 60% of the plastic bags are not being traced, the producers are forced to produce more products to meet the needs of people. Everyone considers plastic bags as the most convenient bags to carry loads but it has the most harmful effects on human health.
Synthetic substances present in the polythene bags can disturb the typical working of hormones in the body.Most plastic pieces in the seas, like plastic bags, have a few contaminations, for example, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl) together with PAHs (Polycyclic fragrant hydrocarbons), which disturbs the normal function of our hormones.

When the marine creatures eat these synthetic substances, they travel through the food web then later into the people who consume sea animals, especially the fish.

How can we minimize their use?
In many countries across the world plastic bags have been restricted in several nations all over the world.

In many states the Government of India has already restricted the utilization of plastic bags.

Strict measures must be taken to ensure that the use of these bags is stopped. There must be curbs on the production of plastic bags altogether.
Retailers for selling as well as those who are carrying and using plastic bags must be fined.
Good quality plastic available in the market must be made chargeable. This is a good strategy to minimise the use of plastic bags.
To provide a proper alternative of polythene bags is another good strategy. The alternative must be cost efficient and have to be similar in use.

Conclusion
We had often overlooked and underestimated the harmful consequences caused due to plastic bags because we don’t notice the long term effect of these small, easy to carry bags used in our daily life.

People keep on using these bags owing to their convenience. They completely ignore the real fact about these bags that they are harmful for the environment and are a threat to life on earth.

@track2traininginstitution @track2trainingngo @track2trainingworkshop

Plastic bags and its effects on environment

Plastic bags are a main reason of environmental pollutants. Plastic as a substance is non-biodegradable and as a consequence plastic bags continue to be in the environment for hundreds of years polluting it immensely. It has come to be very essential to prohibit plastic baggage before they destroy our planet completely. Many nations around the world have both positioned a ban at the plastic bag or levi tax on it. But, the problem hasn’t been solved completely due to the fact the implementation of those measures hasn’t been as a success.

Issues due to plastic baggage
Right here are a number of the troubles as a result of plastic bags:

Non-biodegradable
Plastic baggage are non-biodegradable. For that reason, eliminating the plastics is the most important project. T

Deterioration of environment
They may be destroying nature because of their dangerous impact. Plastic baggage have grow to be the primary reason of land pollution nowadays. The plastic bags getting into the water bodies are a first-rate cause of water pollutants. Therefore we are able to finish that those are deteriorating our surroundings in every feasible way.

Harmful for animals and marine creatures
Animals and marine creatures unknowingly consume plastic debris together with their meals. Research suggests that waste plastic baggage were a major purpose for untimely animal deaths.

Cause of infection in people
The production of plastic luggage releases toxic chemical substances. These are the main motive of great contamination. The polluted surroundings is a main reason for diverse diseases which are spreading effortlessly in human beings.

Clogged sewage
Waste plastic baggage are the primary motive for trapping the drains and sewers, especially at some stage in rains. This could result in a flood-like scenario and disrupt the regular lifestyles of human beings.

Motives to ban plastic luggage
There are numerous reasons why the government of numerous nations has come up with strict measures to limit the use of plastic baggage. Some of those include:

Waste plastic baggage are polluting the land and water immensely.
Plastic luggage have end up a threat to the lifestyles of animals dwelling on this planet as well as in water.
Chemical substances launched by using waste plastic bags input the soil and make it infertile.
Plastic baggage are having a poor impact on human health.
Plastic luggage result in the drainage hassle.
Public assist for plastic bag ban
Despite the fact that the indian authorities has imposed a ban on the use of plastic baggage in many states. However people are still sporting those bags. Shopkeepers forestall providing plastic bags for few days simplest in the starting.

It’s time while we all should contribute our bit to make this ban a fulfillment. As a consequence we the knowledgeable lot of society need to take it as our responsibility to prevent the use of plastic baggage. On this manner, we are able to assist the authorities in this campaign.

Some contributions that may be made through people are as follows:

Maintain a tab
That allows you to achieve success on this assignment, we need to hold reminding ourselves approximately the harmful results of the plastic luggage on our nature and preserve a tab on their use. Regularly, we becomes recurring to doing without those bags.

Are seeking for alternatives
There are numerous green alternatives to plastic luggage like reusable jute or fabric bag.

Reuse
We ought to reuse the plastic baggage we have already got at home as commonly as we can before throwing them away.

Spread cognizance
Even as the government is spreading consciousness approximately the harmful effects of plastic luggage, we can also unfold consciousness via word of mouth.

Conclusion
Although plastic is becoming a huge danger for absolutely everyone, nonetheless this problem has regularly been neglected and underestimated. This is because humans do not look at the long term effect of these small, easy to hold baggage they use in their everyday lifestyles. Except all of these human beings keep using baggage due to their convenience. But now all people has to absolutely stop the usage of the plastic bag to save our surroundings and earth.

The Environmental Impact of Paint

Paint is one of the most broadly utilized materials on the planet. Simply consider all the vehicles, dividers and structures which are covered each day all up the world. Paint, in some structure, has been utilized for a huge number of years and has experienced noteworthy changes over that time. From the soonest utilizes where the ‘paint’ was only a shading produced using characteristic materials, right the route through to the 1940s where engineered colors and an assortment of synthetic compounds were utilized make a practically interminable range of hues, paint has been significant.

In 2019 alone it is evaluated that the paint and coatings industry in the UK delivered 703 million liters of paint. As paint has created and the utilization of synthetic concoctions has gotten more pervasive and essential to paint, the ecological effect has become unquestionably more huge. So is paint harming to nature and assuming this is the case, how?

There are a few hurtful substances found in paint which are harming to both nature and human wellbeing. The most notable of these are VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, which are generally found in dissolvable based paints. VOCs are known to add to air contamination, both during the paint’s creation and afterward when it is being applied to a surface.

For human wellbeing VOCs can likewise be hurtful, this is the reason you should be amazingly cautious when painting inside with dissolvable based paint. VOC presentation can cause eye, nose and throat contaminations alongside cerebral pains. It can likewise prompt more major issues, for example, liver and kidney harm, and some VOCs can cause malignancy.

Sustainability: The Only Way Out

We can’t just consume our way to a more sustainable world…

When the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi decided to return back to his motherland from South Africa where he had gone as a lawyer for the Indian community, he called Kasturba and told her, ‘Let’s distribute these gifts among the impecunious and needy people.’ Kasturba, befuddled, replied, ‘But these gifts have been given to you by the very same people. To this Mahatma Gandhi answered, ‘They gave it to me out of love , but I don’t need it.’ This man spent his whole life the basis of needs, that too reduced.

This is also what he had preached in context of sustainability, ‘Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed’. This is proved by a research conducted in the 80s which indicates that if the world’s population is multiplied by 4, there still would be enough for everyone provided that our life is confined to our needs and not greed. Keeping this in mind, it’s vital to understand that the distribution of development in our country isn’t horse to horse. The current model of development has created more problems and solved less. The irrational methods of production, consumption and distribution has created a huge gap between the haves and have-nots. If the benefits of development doesn’t reach to all the people then how can we call it development? So it’s logical and rather exigent to question ourselves whether the type of development we pursue creates, reinforces and perpetuates this crises. If the answer is yes, then it’s the eleventh hour for us to altercate our policies and consciously design a thorough plan development that by every means is sustainable.

We can recall an advertisement where a school going youngin expresses his wish of becoming a cycle mechanic to his father reasoning it with the fact that if we are ever so careless with the precious resources we possess, it wouldn’t even last until he’s grown up. The father in the same advertisement shows sensitivity and awareness towards his son’s words and turns off the car stuck in the traffic . But what if he hadn’t, what if WE don’t, don’t what would lie in our future? Perhaps something like this ‘The street is carpeted in the same dusty powder that is in my hair and clothes. Homes trajectory the street like broken teeth, falling down impetuously as if they were bombed. Yet the most sumptuous thing to happen here in the past twenty years is the ever hotter summers and wind that howls across the landscape unhindered by trees. Graffiti still shows red and blue through the dust, tags from people who fled north with the dying rains, all childish rebellions long blotted out. How all this trauma aged us. Adolescents could be ninety in those teenage bones. One wouldn’t come here if it weren’t for the resources we now need, stuff that could be lying relinquished behind these sunbaked walls. I would shout to shock this place with the exuberance of life, but then I would have to breath this foul air in more deeply and I don’t know how much this old hospital mask will filter.”

The child symbolizes the future generation and the father represents the present generation. As parents we all are concerned about our children’s future. After all we want it to be safe, secure and prosperous. But do we really? The answer is a big no. You need not ask me ‘why’. Let us ask ourselves what are we leaving for our children – toxic air, water and soil. This translates to the fact that whatever they will inhale , drink and eat is TOXIC. This again leaves us with a question – Are we responsible parents or citizens? No matter how harsh this dreadful imagination may sound, it has the potential to transform into reality if we aren’t cautious enough. We are setting up the future generation for a dark future. Can we reverse the trend, repair the damage and change it for the better? The answer is yes. The solution is Sustainable Development which is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

But this leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Whose “needs of the present” is this referring to? The needs of a family of four in a United States suburb are quite different than those of a similar sized family in sub-Saharan Africa. And regarding the needs of future generations, a world in 2100 is drastically different than our current world . Figuring out how to meet our needs while simultaneously considering the uncharted territory of such a large future population is a massive undertaking. Most importantly this definition doesn’t tell us what sustainability actually looks like in practice. How can we motivate people to move toward more sustainable lifestyles if they can’t envision what they’re moving toward?
Further complicating the topic of sustainability are the myriad aliases it operates under — sustainable development, resilience, sustainable entrepreneurship, Triple Bottom Line, corporate social responsibility, etc.
That’s why, perhaps it’s more efficacious to break the issue into smaller, more manageable knobs than to speak of sustainability in grand pronouncements .To that end, here are four suggestions to help advance the “global sustainability” narrative.

1. Break sustainability down by sector

When throwing around phrases such as “building a sustainable future,” it’s critical to identify the sector you’re talking about. The sustainability of the transportation sector obviously presents a different range of challenges and opportunities than, say, the sustainability of global agriculture. And if one becomes more sustainable while the other becomes less sustainable, are we truly moving toward a more sustainable future overall? Even within sectors there are challenges. If your goal is to create a more sustainable energy system, does that mean reducing carbon emissions — thus including nuclear energy — or are you referring to “clean” sources of renewable energy such as solar and wind? Once again, details matter greatly.

2. Speak in specifics

Ask a hundred people if they’re interested in living in a “more sustainable world” and I bet the vast majority would respond, “Yes.” The trouble is, they’d probably all have a different idea in their heads of what that meant. We need to start talking about a sustainable future in specifics. Sustainability over what time frame? Where? For whom? Which brings me to my next point…

3. Clearly identify who benefits

We need to clarify who benefits from sustainability efforts. For example, does sustainable apparel benefit someone making dollars a day? If so, explain how. Does sustainable energy help the millions living without access to electricity? Are we talking about sustainability for humans, animals, plants and/or other natural systems? If humans are living “more sustainable lifestyles” while the extinction rate for plants and animals continues its upward trajectory, can we call that a success?

4. Paint a picture

What does sustainability look like in practice? How does it actually work? What’s different from the world we live in today? And, perhaps most importantly, what are the trade-offs? Walking and biking might be the most sustainable forms of transportation, but they’re probably not the most time efficient if you need to drive 10 miles across town for work or an appointment. No matter how different we want the future to be, we can’t simply ignore the way people actually live today. We cannot simply wish for a world we want.

It’s also imperative to comprehend that sustainable development does not mean a return to a preindustrial or pre-technological era. It calls for perpetuated economic growth and for business and industry to play a pivotal role in achieving sustainable livelihoods for all people–alleviating poverty and improving living standards while maintaining the integrity of the global environment. But the process has been hindered by a conceptual obstacle: the belief that economic progress and environmental protection are mutually antagonistic goals. This thinking originated with the industrial revolution and achieved its fullest realization in the decades of unprecedented growth following World War II, when innovation produced such high-tech items as computer chips and satellites, new and quicker modes of transport, agricultural green revolution, etc. However, this only served to reinforce a belief in the virtues of unbridled industrial development, even at the expense of the environment. Balance is essential between development and environment changes in global climate patterns, deforestation, species loss, air and water pollution, ozone depletion and toxic waste disposal, all indicate the urgent need for sustainable practices. The crisis is global. So everyone rich or poor , developed or underdeveloped have to make painful choices in the name of mutual security in order to meet the goals of sustainable development.

Sustainable development is the need of the present time not only for the survival of mankind but also for it’s future protection. Unlike the other great revolutions in human history like the Green Revolution and the Industrial Revolution; the ‘sustainable revolution’ will have to take place rapidly, consciously and on many different levels and in many different spheres, simultaneously.

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Sustainability

COVID-19 and its effects on the environment

Coronavirus and climate change-related conservation

COVID-19 has heightened wildlife conservation awareness. As Scientific American has cited, wildlife trade secured additional notoriety when the CDC broke the news of a zoonotic pathogen jumping from animals to humans, causing the current pandemic. Secondly, when the American Veterinary Medical Association announced the positive presence of COVID-19 in domestic animals, zoos and BioTechniques Journal likewise saw captive animals test positive with the new coronavirus. This elevated concerns for sources such as UNESCOTimeNature and Smithsonian Magazine about the future safety of already threatened species, like the great apes who are similar to humans. Additionally, National Geographic raised alarms on poaching proliferation in conservation reserves as rangers and keepers self-isolated.

Related:  Discarded face masks now threatening wildlife habitats

a power plant emitting fumes into the air

Should climate change run unabated, future zoonotic disease outbreaks may become the norm, asserts Conservation International and Harvard University’s School of Public Health. Given that healthy animals living in healthy ecosystems are robust enough to resist diseases, by minimizing climate change and protecting habitats, we may be able to avoid future pandemics.  

Social distancing has improved air quality

The COVID-19 crisis has forced activity freezes. Lockdowns and calls to shelter-in-place have closed schools and non-essential businesses. Minimal activity from industrial sites, factories and construction sectors has minimized the risks for toxins to escape, in turn improving air quality.

Travel bans have similarly restricted international flights. Canceled conferences, festivals, concerts and other public events have diminished interest in tourism, reports the US Travel Association. Airline ridership has slumped, and airports are as near-empty as they were in the 2001 aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. As such, aviation emissions — which accounted for 2.4% of global CO2 emissions in 2018, according to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) — have dropped significantly.

Still, the EPA says vehicular activity contributes more to greenhouse gas emissions than airlines do. Presently, fewer people are commuting, not just in major cities, but all over the world. Traffic nowadays centers mainly around immediate household supply runs to nearby stores, trucking supply transports to retailers or wholesalers, plus commutes by those in essential industries.

Both Traffic Technology Today and The Guardian have spotlighted the United Kingdom’s reduced traffic, which has plunged by 73% “to levels not seen since 1955.” And across the Atlantic Ocean, Canadian traffic has also declined, GEOTAB disclosed. As for the U.S., not only has road travel decreased, but congestion has all but disappeared, says VentureBeatNext City and USA Today. The decrease in congestion is critical, as idling vehicles emit more pollution

With substantially less vehicular movement, air quality has improved by leaps and bounds. Numerous sources have covered how air quality indices of the globe’s largest metropolitan areas have improved extensively since strict coronavirus lockdowns were issued. Even NASA satellites from outer-space show the significant reductions in air pollutants, which supports EcoWatch‘s observation that the novel coronavirus pandemic has delivered the silver lining of decreased air pollution

The Guardian added, “In China, the world’s biggest source of carbon, emissions were down about 18% between early February and mid-March – a cut of 250m tonnes, equivalent to more than half the UK’s annual output. Europe is forecast to see a reduction of around 390m tonnes. Significant falls can also be expected in the US, where passenger vehicle traffic – its major source of CO2 – has fallen by nearly 40%. Even assuming a bounceback once the lockdown is lifted, the planet is expected to see its first fall in global emissions since the 2008-9 financial crisis.”

Reduced carbon emissions and global warming

Just last week, Carbon Brief (CB) published that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted energy use worldwide, which could cut carbon emissions by an estimated 5% of 2019’s global total. That means the coronavirus crisis is so far “trigger[ing] the largest ever annual fall in CO2 emissions in 2020, more than during any previous economic crisis or period of war.” While this is encouraging news, experts say it still may not be adequate for meeting Paris Agreement goals to keep global warming from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius.

an oil field

What’s happening with fossil fuels during the pandemic?

When the pandemic called for lockdowns, paralyzing both air and ground travel, the demand for fuel was likewise decimated. An oil price war ensued with drastic shifts in global oil politics, thus destabilizing the fossil fuel sector, reported Business Insider. Even Fortune magazine highlighted the worry about where to store the surplus oil. According to Forbes, this pushed President Trump to broker a historic deal, whereby the planet’s top oil producers — namely Saudi Arabia and Russia — agreed to cut oil production.

As Sandy Fielden, director of oil research firm Morningstar, said to the BBC, “This is an unprecedented agreement because it’s not just between Opec and Opec+…but also the largest supplier in the world which is the US as well as other G-20 countries which have agreed to support the agreement both in reducing production and also in using up some of the surface supply by putting it into storage.”

Effects on the renewable energy sector

CNBC showed the renewables industry suffering supply chain cuts and employee layoffs during the deepening COVID-19 recession. There are worries that clean energy investments appear less desirable. Construction and development projects have been delayed as lockdown periods extend. Renewables, therefore, seek slices of the stimulus package to waylay progress derailments, which even the International Energy Agency (IEA) has cautioned about.

a protest sign with an earth painting and words saying "One World"

What’s happening to climate change policy during the coronavirus pandemic?

COVID-19 could portend future pandemics, particularly if global warming unleashes unknown diseases trapped in ice. Ensuring that global warming and climate change do not disrupt our planet’s health is still of paramount importance. Green Tech Media emphasized this, saying, “Climate change didn’t stop as the world turned its attention to combating the coronavirus.” Climate activism continues, despite cancellations to large climate change-related summits, negotiations and conference meetings.

Not all climate advocacy during this time is lost. Optimism reframes these economic stimulus measures as helpful nudges for climate policy and the renewables sector to evolve for the better. Indeed, Clean Energy Wire upholds that these federally-backed stimulus packages can be leveraged to provide investment opportunities in both the infrastructure that can reduce emissions as well as in clean technologies. Science Alert, moreover, contends, “the coronavirus has forced new working-from-home habits that limit commuting, and a broader adoption of online meetings to reduce the need for long-haul business flights. This raises the prospect of long-term emissions reductions should these new work behaviours persist beyond the current global emergency.”