How the Changing World Can Stay Focused on Sustainability/Preservation Efforts
The world is always changing — and that’s a good thing. Without change, we wouldn’t be the creative, problem-solving innovative, species that we are.
However, not all change is good. Recent changes like increased urbanization carry a mixed-bag of effects, while the global impact of wealth inequality favors only the fortunate few. But, by far our biggest challenge is climate change.
Climate change threatens to change our way of life forever, and will likely cause massive amounts of destruction throughout ecosystems and across species. No one can be sure just how climate change will affect us, but we do know that our efforts to combat climate change will require a global effort.
Here are a few of the ways the changing world can stay focused on sustainability and water preservation.
Humans are moving towards urbanized living in unprecedented numbers. Half of the world’s population already lives in cities, and a further 2.5 billion people will move to urban areas by 2050. The rapid shift towards city-living puts billions at high risk during climate events, as disasters occur more frequently in cities, where poor areas are hit the hardest.
In addition, urban developments increase water scarcity, as domestic and industrial developments increase the demand on national water boards. These demands not only reduce access to water but also threaten the safe water supply for citizens, as urbanization reduces the quality of surface water used in agriculture and industrial work.
However, urbanization can also reduce our overall carbon emissions, reduce waste-water usage, and create new jobs in public health. Innovations in water preservation have responded to urbanization, and many public health graduates are now finding employment in wastewater management and health departments. This helps cities find new, sustainable solutions to urbanization and water waste.
During the pandemic, the rich capitalized on their existing wealth and the poor got poorer. 120 million were pushed into extreme poverty by the pandemic, and the net value of billionaires grew. The disparity in individuals’ wealth is also influenced by climate change, which threatens to punish the poor while the rich can afford innovations and relocation.
Research shows that climate change already exacerbates global wealth inequality. Poor countries — which have warmed due to human actions — produce less and historic disparities have become more acute due to rising temperatures in recent decades.
As we attempt to tackle wealth inequality, efforts must be made to support historically exploited countries. This requires that we advocate for low carbon energy sources, and pushes us to see ourselves as global citizens, whose ethics extend into international relations.
While fighting wealth inequality and climate change is complex, one of the best solutions is to increase water supplies in previously exploited nations. This will increase access to clean water, which, in turn, reduces the effects of wealth inequality. Globally conscious citizens can also enroll in (or donate to) any of the UN’s green projects, as many of these climate-oriented projects also tackle issues like wealth inequality.
The pandemic forced many of us to work from home. While the vast majority of workers have returned to work in a physical location, many companies have adopted remote practices full-time. This means that folks who used to commute now have the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint by working from home.
While working from home will reduce your overall use of natural resources, you should be aware that it will put a greater strain on your home. In particular, you need to look out for water leaks, as these can have a disastrous impact on your health and can contribute to water shortages in your local area.
If you are working from home and suspect you have a leak, you need to act quickly to stop wasted water from forming mold or damaging your property. You can use a range of metal detectors to locate a leak but should call in professionals to ensure the issue is resolved correctly.
Employees who are shifting towards remote work also need to be aware of their carbon footprint, as hybrid work models may actually result in higher carbon usage and office waste often goes overlooked.
Companies and employees who are moving to hybrid or full remote work options should take care to ensure office waste does not end up in landfills and can enroll in environmental audits to ensure their work practices are environmentally conscious
Our changing world faces global issues that will require planning, collaboration, and a sense of worldwide responsibility. Currently, large, wealthy nations are exploiting the poor, producing massive amounts of carbon, and are failing to live up to their climate promises.
However, lifestyle changes like remote working and plant-based diets have increased awareness of the climate crisis. In response, governments have committed to bold climate promises that could deliver us into a future where equality is treasured and sustainability is central.