Sustainability and what role could People, Businesses and Technology play?
“With increasing fervour since the 1980s, sustainability has been the watchword of scientists, environmental activists, and indeed all those concerned about the complex, fragile systems on the sphere we inhabit. It has shaped debates about business, design, and our lifestyles”. Jamais Cascio
In the 21st century, sustainability is still one of the most significant dilemmas faced, as the world is still using up more resources than the planet can produce. The earth is a source of produce for resources we rely heavily upon, such as food and water, but this is becoming more limited. The planet can only deal with a specific amount of greenhouse gas emissions to stay healthy. One of the biggest aggravators of environmental degradation is the substantial rate at which humans consume resources, as the manufacture of goods has risen; this has been caused by the economic growth of wealthy economies increasing wealth in the developing world. Although the developed countries hold a significant responsibility for the damage being done to the earth, citizens in the developing countries are the most impacted.
Furthermore, because of climate change, natural disasters have increased significantly in the last 50 years, although the number of deaths linked to natural disasters has decreased. The world is dissolving around us, such as the North pole, because of some of humanity’s choices. Polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate, while global warming is causing climate change. The Arctic Sea ice decreases at a rate of around 13% per decade, but in the last 30 years, the ‘oldest, thickest ice in the Arctic has deteriorated at an astonishing rate of 95%. If emissions continue to climb without anything being done, the Arctic could be without ice by summer 2040. And that which takes place in the Arctic affects the world, such as sea loss. The Arctic and the Antarctic also affect our temperatures, with the Artic impacting our food as the rise in heatwaves and unstable weather instigated by ice loss has substantial impact on crops and the global food systems we rely on, which could mean increase in prices for us and increased instability when it comes to food and financial stability for the most vulnerable such as those who are on low incomes or in developing countries.
How can we be more sustainable and support the environment?
Use reusable bags
Reusable bags are a sustainable alternative to the use of plastic bags, so make sure to take one along with you, to help the planet and to save money on paying for plastic bags
Use energy-saving lightbulbs
Some lightbulbs are energy efficient such as CFL and LED bulbs to use up less energy than regular incandescent bulbs
Consume less meat
Meat is determinantal to the environment. The Amazon rainforest has suffered catastrophically because of meat production. Meat production also contributes to increased carbon emissions and has been linked to climate change, deforestation, and forest fires.
Avoid facial wipes
The use of facial wipes contributes to paper waste, so why not use a facial cleanser alongside a reusable damp cloth, does the same job and preserves the planet at the same time some my call this a win-win
Recycle as much as possible
Look out for items that are recyclable when purchasing items in the shops or online by looking at the labelling on the item or description on the site
Ditch the teabags for a loose-leaf tea in a strainer alternative
The packaging on teabags contains plastic, so using loose tea bags in a loose strainer is an efficient way of being more eco-friendly without giving up on tea
Grow your own produce if you can
Growing your own produce can be done by planting vegetables in your garden or growing them on your windowsill if you do not have a garden
Look for green options when travelling
If you’re absolutely dedicated to the sustainable lifestyle and want to apply this to each and every part of your life, you could also stay in hotels that back sustainability by recycling or composting waste and using renewable energy. Ecolodges are one option because they have been designed with sustainability in mind as they were intended to have a negligible impact on the environment.
Purchase from sustainable beauty brands
Purchasing beauty products for non-toxic makeup brands and other beauty products that are vegan, organic, or non-Gm products are recommended for more sustainable living as sustainable makeup brands products do not contain the harmful “chemicals, parabens, phthalates or genetically modified ingredients” according to eco-friendly habits.
Check if you have any items which you can refill
The next time something finishes in your house, check if you could get a refill as brands are increasingly making refills to lessen the amount of packaging being used. A penny saved is a penny earned as you will save money buying refills as they are not as expensive as purchasing a replacement.
Replace or change air filters
Air heaters and conditioners use up a lot of your energy, and when their filters get dirty, the energy used is even more. Therefore, cleaning or replacing filters are needed to save on energy.
How could the businesses incorporate sustainability into the work environment?
Businesses could incorporate sustainability in the workplace by reducing their carbon footprint through decreasing the use of raw materials usage and waste. They could also teach employees about sustainability and what they could do to benefit the planet, encouraging employees to re-use and recycle the resources to save energy.
We are all completely reliant on earth for our survival if we destroy this planet we do not currently have another planet in which we can just pack our bags and relocate to; Change starts with us; doing small changes in our lifestyles each day to be more sustainable might not seem like it will make a big difference, but if you inspire others by making changes and others around the world do the same, it will make a big difference in the long-term. It starts with one person; look at Greta Thunberg; she began a one-person mission to reverse climate change by aiming her speeches at the leaders of countries and inspired other young people in Europe and beyond to contemplate the carbon footprint we have been contributing to in the masses and to advocate for future generations. As Mahatma Gandhi says, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
Intellisaving and what they are doing to join the sustainability initiative?
Intellisaving is a platform that supports Cash savings and its end-to-end lifecycle. It also has an app for saving that allows users to integrate their saving and interest-bearing accounts into one single platform, making it easier to track and manage accounts, so you don’t have to track your accounts on various platforms making it more time and technology efficient. Intellisaving also has other features such as a personalised portfolio that works as a financial profile with information such as returns, types of accounts, and amounts invested per account, having all the information related to your Savings accounts on your personalised portfolio makes it easier and more efficient. Intellisaving is also preoccupied with contributing to making the planet more sustainable as they care about the wellbeing of our planet; as a result, they encourage users to not use paper statements by having one app that displays and tracks all their saving and interest-bearing balances and transactions through electronic integration so that they can contribute to less paper being produced. The platform is the best app for finance management as it lets you browse the best available Savings products in market and add them to your watchlist for a time when you are ready to start your saving journey. There are many other benefits and please refer to www.intellisaving.com for further details. As part of the Intellisaving initiative, we will continue to look at ways to be more sustainable as an organisation and continue to encourage users to go paperless.