The Problem With Poverty and What We Can Do to Help

In last week’s class I read the YES side, written by Professor J.B. Hans, which talked about why poverty is an agent for environmental degradation. Before reading, I had never thought about poverty as being a cause of environmental degradation. In the reading, I noticed that people have been trying to create more indicators that help illustrate poverty and what it entails. Some individuals have even paid people to make said indicators. Most people just don’t understand or aren’t aware of how those that are living in poverty just simply cannot live sustainably. Unfortunately, the lack of knowledge doesn’t come as a surprise because being voiceless and powerless are some of the key aspects of poverty. This makes it difficult for those that are poor to speak out about their situation. The reading and Leyla’s TED talk encouraged me to reconsider the way I do things. They also made me think more about what I can do to try and live more sustainably in efforts for a post-disposable future. While brainstorming, I saw something that said I could switch from makeup wipes to reusable cotton rounds. Most disposable makeup wipes have trouble breaking down and can release toxins into the ecosystem. So, switching to reusable cotton rounds would be better for the environment and is a more sustainable option. 

Furthermore, I decided to look into RILA to see if there were any other ways I could alter my habits to be more sustainable. RILA stands for Retail Industry Leaders Association and is an organization focused on creating and pushing industry professionals towards a new, better standard. One topic of interest for RILA is climate and sustainability. Their website talks about how they are working closely with lawmakers to create legislation to make sure the standard for sustainable product packaging is met. The type of packaging they are talking about is a type of eco-design that uses 100% recycled or raw materials and has a very minuscule carbon footprint. An example of this is a shopping bag from the clothing brand H&M that turns into a hanger after you are done using it. A plethora of brands have been following suit and incorporating environmentally friendly, eco-design, product packaging into their brands. A change I am now going to try to make in my life is to shop at stores and online with brands that use sustainable eco-design packaging.

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