What is sustainability and why should I be considering it?
McGill university describes sustainability as ‘meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ It is a conscious and sustained effort to make sure that our actions and behaviours do not negatively affect wildlife and biodiversity, and that our consumption of resources is not to the detriment of the environment. Sustainability is steadily increasing in popularity and is a hot topic right now perhaps even more so as we emerge from lockdown, and reconsider our impact on the world we live in.
Why is sustainability important?
The impact of sustainability is vast and covers everything from your food choices, mode of transport and choice of clothing. It literally impacts our everyday lives, and while it may seem like an immense mind shift to make changes, small changes can be made to our lifestyles to help make a difference. Something as little as deciding to recycle paper or food waste instead of putting it straight into the trash can, is helping to make a difference in ways you cannot imagine.
How recycling paper can help
After you have put your paper into the recycling bin, it is taken to a recycling plant and along with cardboard it is sorted into types and grades and then processed. While you may think that your recycling efforts may not make much of a difference look at the stats!
“Each 20 cases of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 390 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, and 4,100 kwh of energy. It also eliminates 60 pounds of air-polluting emissions and saves 8 cubic feet of landfill space.”
Look at all of those trees being saved! That means more oxygen for us all and less CO2 for the planet.
Our food waste as renewable energy
As for food waste, it can be turned into renewable energy and natural fertiliser.
‘When food waste is sent to landfill, it breaks down in the same way but the biogas produced goes straight into the atmosphere and contributes to climate change. Methane is 25 times more damaging that carbon dioxide.’
COP26 in November 2021
COP26 is due to be held in Glasgow in November 2021 with sustainability at the core of the agenda. What can be done globally to help tackle climate change? While this question is immense and on the lips of governments and organisations globally, we can also individually do our bit, no matter how small to help make the world a more sustainable place. Recycling definitely helps and there are other easy ways to incorporate sustainability into your life. For more ideas on how you can be more sustainable read our handy guide available here.