Livable. Supportable. Renewable. Viable. All synonyms for an adjective our world is having a tough battle with right now: sustainable. Climate change, deforestation, depletion of nonrenewable resources, pollution and overpopulation are just a few wicked problems that contribute to the downward spiral of our environment. These issues are near impossible to solve due to the contradicting solutions that would have the least amount of destructive ramifications.
Personally, I have not paid the slightest bit of attention to the issues in the environment until they were brought to my attention…more like hit me square in the face in class. There are always headlines on the news reading: “Polar Ice Caps Melting” or “More Habitats Lost Due To Deforestation.” But, I never really processed how much of an effect these issues will have on our lives in the future. Celebrity news, politics and entertainment television overshadow these issues. We are more focused on what Kim Kardashian wore to an ice cream outing than we are with the Earth’s self destruction. Our priorities are not in order. If society got to take a look into the future of how we would be living based on the choices we make now, I think they would change their actions quickly. Slightly harder regulations and education could propel our world to an abundant life, such as stricter recycling, hunting and deforestation guidelines for a start.
Trees, a plant I take significantly for granted, could ultimately decide life or death. We discovered that in the short read of Easter Island. Although this society had little resources to survive off of right off the bat, their lack of knowledge of the land and environment led them to destruction. Their major wrongdoing was complete deforestation, which led to no resources for transportation, housing and religious practices. No resources to build canoes led to no voyages. No resources to build houses led to living in stone shelters dug into hillsides. No resources to practice religion for which your society has been built upon led to the collapse of it. Trees. Plants led to the destruction of a society…never really think about that one. There were more influences that played a part too, but deforestation was initially the first domino to fall.
The power these wicked problems have on every living thing is immeasurable. Hearing about these subjects in class over the past week has really opened my eyes. Light needs to be shed on these topics to students at a young age so it can be a habit to practice sustainability skills. We need to educate all ages on what small methods they can be partaking in to have a contribution in helping. One small action that makes a massive difference is recycling. Although over the years we have been more intentional about it, I still think there are more ways to recycle paper, plastic, cardboard and textiles. Additional awareness, advertising and bins in all public places can have an enormous impact. Just simple changes can be saving future generations. “Save The Planet” is a cliché saying, but it has a serious undertone once you know just how important three words can be.