The Drive Towards Sustainability

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Bring-your-own-bag campaigns. Electric-powered vehicles. Smaller water bottle caps. All of the above have something in common. They proudly carry the “eco-friendly” badge, and people are buying it.

The Green Trend

Green is the new black, and companies and countries altogether have been spending hefty amounts of money in the pursuance of sustainability.

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 One of the first and best examples of eco-friendly companies is Puma. Having thought of a way to reduce Puma’s material and shipping costs, with the help of Yves Behar, they have come up with the Clever Little Bag to replace the traditional shoebox. It is a combo of a bag and a box: a flat cardboard sheet that folds up to a box structure that holds the shoes, and a cloth bag that snugly fits the box. With a fraction of the cost, they boast of 65% decrease in cardboard use, 8500 tons of spared paper, 20M megajoules of conserved electricity, and the list goes on.

Sustainability Isn’t Just for the Big Guys

It doesn’t matter if you don’t own a multi-billion dollar athletic wear company though. Even kids have the opportunity of pushing for sustainability. After all, they’re called sustainability “efforts” for a reason. Sustainability initiatives can be as simple as turning the lights off when not in use, opening the windows for natural cool breeze to go inside the house instead of turning the AC on, turning off the faucet while brushing, and even simply bringing water with you (as a one-liter plastic bottle suprisingly takes seven liters of water to produce).

Going, Going, Green

As much as it goes down on an individual level, it goes up to the national scale. Many countries have taken the green route, although it definitely is easier said than done.

1. Switzerland charges for their water and waste management service and implements strict restrictions on cars that some cities are carless.
2. China has less CO2 emissions than the US even though its population is four times as big. Consumption of plastic bags was reduced by half when consumers were charged for them.
3. Finland not only preserves and rapidly grows its forests, but closely looks into the sustainable processes of building and construction.
4. By 2030, Norway is projected to be a country with virtually no CO2 industrial emissions.
5. In Sweden, some cities run entirely on biofuels, while others rely on alternative energy sources.

What’s in it for Everybody?

Environment Protection
Efficient Use of Natural Resources
Economic Growth
Social Progress

When we arrive at a pattern of resource use that purposefully meets human needs all the while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met beyond the now, then we have sustainability. Who wouldn’t want that?

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