Environmental Sustainability

Posted: October 17th, 2013





Environmental Sustainability

 I understand sustainability as the ability to maintain the factors and practices that ensure quality of the environment to be high and reliable in the long-term. Environmental sustainability is based on the simple principle that everything needed in order to survive and live well is directly or indirectly dependent on the natural environment. Therefore, ensuring to sustain the environment is a way of ensuring our survival. The only way to do this is through ensuring that we prevent further degradation of the environment, as well as overexploitation of natural resources through conserving and recycling the recyclable materials. It is within nature that we survive and sustaining it means sustaining our life and lives of future generations.

Before reading about environmental issues a few years ago, I had little regard to environmental concerns. However, after going through several literal works on the issues of environmental changes or degradation and its effects, I have come to appreciate nature as the mother to all living organism. In order to ensure its sustainability, I have been engaging in several practices to ensure minimal waste from my home. The first practice I have been doing is sorting out my trash at home and ensuring to retain what can be reused such as the thick plastic bags for shopping. Instead of relying on the bags provided at the shopping malls, I prefer to go with my own to avoid having a lot of waste in my home. I have to bins, one for biodegradable materials and another for non-biodegradable wastes.

After separating the trash, I take the degradable waste to make composite at home. I have made a compost pile at home where I take all my biodegradable waste. This reduces the amount of waste that goes to the landfills where pollution might be higher. I also add the dead leaves in my compound in the composite since it is degradable and produces nitrogen that enriches the soil. With the composite, I use it as fertilizer for planting flowers in my garden. This way, waste becomes useful in my compound. This further reduces my costs of having to purchase fertilizers for my flowers, making it more sustainable by reducing reliance on natural resources.

With the non-degradable materials, I reuse them and donate those that I might not be able to recycle to the recycling companies within the community. Most of the materials such as plastic bags, papers and bottle as well as cans are easily reusable. While shopping, I try to buy recyclable goods or goods made from recycled materials. This ensures that few materials are mined or gotten from the environment to make new ones. When I need to use materials that are not frequently used such as lawn mowers, I consider renting or sharing with a neighbor instead of having to buy a new one. Additionally, before buying goods that can be reused, I ensure that I do not have some of them that can be reused in the house. If some are available, I avoid buying new ones. Some of them include sports bottle for carrying water,

The other activity I have engaged in is reducing the amount of green gas that I emit into the atmosphere. This I am doing by using my car for long distances only. While going around my home area and at shopping malls for small things, I prefer cycling instead of driving. Although this does not seem significant, it has reduced the amount of time I am using my car by almost a half. Another way of doing this it riding in my friend’s car or having him in mine in order to avoid using two cars at the same time, which is also effective in reducing the emission of pollutant gases to the atmosphere.

While reading the environmental materials, I realized that one of the major effects is depletion of natural resources such as water. One of the most essential commodities that animals and plants cannot live without is water. It is surprising that only 2.5% of earth’s water is fresh. The rest is salty and contained in the sea. Of the 2.5%, much of it is contained in the glaciers, and only about 30% of it is available for use. Therefore, using water economically and preventing its depletion is crucial for the sustainability of the human race that is rapidly increasing. In order to ensure minimal water usage in my lawn, I use the grass cuttings from my lawn as mulching in order to reduce water evaporation during the day in my glower garden and irrigate during the night. Within the house, I ensure water is used sparingly, and I do not have to fill the bathtub.

My activities or efforts to ensure minimum waste going to the landfills may be too minimal to make any significance to the environmental changes. However, I believe that my activities are good enough, and if everybody would do the same or make other kinds of efforts directed at reducing the amount of home waste that goes to the landfills, pollution would be reduced greatly. In order to realize that efforts at every household make a big difference, one can consider that landfills that produce a lot of methane gas in the atmosphere are from the households. Therefore, every household ensuring reduction of waste ensures reduced pollution. Thus, sustainability will be achieved since the environment will not be degraded, which ensures life for the future generations.


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