Climate change, water scarcity, and the collapse of fisheries are just a few of the signs that humans are exceeding the planet’s natural resource limits. While generally conceptualized as separate issues, these global challenges are all symptoms of a larger problem, the collective overuse of the Earth’s ecological capital and systems. This overarching issue of over consuming the planet’s available natural resources is known as the Global Sustainability Challenge.
The Global Sustainability Challenge is one of most pressing problems that society faces today. Human life, along with all of our economic and societal activities, is inextricably dependent on adequate and healthy biophysical systems. However, the scale of human activities and factors, such as continuing population growth, growing social inequalities, and environmental degradation, are placing tremendous stress on the Earth’s biosphere inhibiting sustainable development.
In order for society to be truly sustainable, ongoing resource demands must be less than, or at least in balance with, natural resource supplies. This means that society not only has to learn how to use resources more efficiently, but also stipulates that society considers the issue of resource sufficiency.
Ultimately, a fundamental shift in how people perceive natural resources and services is required in order to ensure an equitable and viable future. As the choices society makes today will determine the legacy civilization leaves behind for future generations, it is imperative humanity takes action and finds a balance between natural resource production and consumption.
It’s March 3rd, World Wildlife Day!
What better to time to remember sperm whales off the coast of England attacking shoals of herring in the 1800s or Serengeti-like biodiversity in Europe? Better yet, to recreate it!
Yoga pants causing cancer, autism and obesity?
Each synthetic garment releases between 1,900 and a quarter million plastic microfibers into wastewater every time it’s washed and these fibers make their way through treatment and end up in our lakes, seas and drinking water. Plastic is infiltrating everything in the environment and everything we consume – our air, our food, our water. Even setting up a typical tent releases these endocrine disruptors into the air.
“We can’t filter ourselves of this problem,” so we must look upstream at what we make and buy. The plastics industry is predicting 400% growth in plastic production over next 25 years, and 25-40% of plastic production is just for packaging. Since it’s not profitable to recycle disposable plastic, a huge amount of this too ends up liberally distributed in our environment.
Why use a material that lasts forever for a momentary purpose? And such a harmful material at that!